Bad Apples Campaign

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Bad Apples Campaign

[tab][/tab]Note: Throughout this short document there will be two colour schemes used; black for historical accurate information ( or as close as historical as we can get) and blue for changes made for this Mythic Europe campaign setting. Moreover the use of Italics will be for names in greek, slavic or vlach. There will be links to Google Maps and some photograph I do not own said maps or photographs nor use them for profit. Please contact me if you want them taken down).

[tab][/tab]The Covenant of Meru Mudi (Μέρου Μούντι, in Vlach) is situated inside the Vikos gorge of the mountainous region on Tymfi, in central Epirus. This is a short primer on the general area outside the Tymfi mountain, dealing with history, politics and general information about the area and era.

[tab][/tab]It is the year of our Saviour 1215, eleven years since the fall of Constantinople the shiny City, eleven years since the creation of the Despotate of Epirus by Comnenus Ducas (Μιχαήλ Κομνηνός Δούκας),a cousin to the Agelos Emperors, who broke away from the exiled government of Nicaea to forge his own kingdom. Eleven years of Byzantine intrigue, excommunications, making and breaking of alliances almost monthly, wars of expansion and acts of barbarism, ending in Comnenus' assassination at the hands of a trusted servant. Theodore Komnenos Doukas (Θεόδωρος Κομνηνός Δούκας), his cousin, took control of the Despotate, exiling the illegitimate and under-aged son of Michael.
[tab][/tab]During this period, the Despotate is in bad standing with almost everyone, forging on in an even more aggressive expansion war towards the east. The political climate is volatile and the mood in the major cities is tense. The people in the mountainous countryside are less affected; they usually don't care much about who rules them nor about their aspirations, in true medieval fashion.
[tab][/tab]For more information you can read about this period of history online (wikipedia is a good raw source) or in the Sundered Eagle: Theban Tribunal source-book. In this Mystic Europe campaign, history will plod on, unless members of the Order intervenes assertively; something strictly prohibited by the Code. It is not my intention to embroil in a mundane political saga, but rather to have a historical background of what is happening. The Order is worried , especially due to rumors of diabolism in the Despotate.


[tab][/tab]Mount Tymfi is located around 30 miles North East of the city of Ioannina . The mountain is surrounded by various massifs that also form part of the northern Pindus mountain range. Northeast of Tymfi lies the highest mountain of Pindus, Smolikas (second highest mountain in Greece, with its own dragonlake). The mountain of Trapezitsa lies to the north, Lygkos to the east and Mitsikeli to the south (west view from Ioannina). While the region is mountainous and heavily forested, in the North West the valley of Konitsa is formed by the river Aoos. The area is difficult to travel and quite far from civilization, trade routes, the sea and major cities.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab]People and Language

[tab][/tab]This part of Epirus has three main residential groups: Greeks are Byzantium greek people, they speak Romaic Greek and tend to populated towns, large villages and fertile valleys. Vlachs are mountainous people originating from Dacians ( the Pindus Vlachs are Aromanians), mainly occupying themselves with livestock ( goats and sheep) and forestry, and they speak their own latin originating language, Vlach. Slavs are either descendants of the first migratory tribes who settled in the area aeons ago or more recent arrivals from periodic raids and invasions. Most have been assimilated into the Empire and Christened. They speak Slav and they find whatever jobs they can. All three groups breed a local domesticated dog, the Molossus ( a war dog bred by the ancient Molossus Greek tribe).
[tab][/tab]Two small groups should be noted: There are a few gypsie koumpanias roaming around. These play an important role, part entertainment, part traveling merchants of small things, koumpanias always include some one with a passing knowledge of blacksmithing, called ganotis (γανωτής). Most small villages do not have a resident blacksmith and gypsies played a vital role in making small repairs, particularly on copper or bronze cooking pots and utensils. Traveling Koumpanias were both accepted and viewed with suspicion, rarely overstaying in an area. The other group are the newly arrived refuges from the sacking of Constantinople. These people were accepted by Comnenus and settled in the towns of Arta and Ionnina, bolstering their population. More urbane and civilized, they are non the less thankful for being saved and they have a large range of skills and knowledges you would not normally find in the back-country. There are very few other ethic groups encountered; a smattering of Jews and Venetians at the largest cities, some mistrusted Bulgars. Everyone else is an outsider and a spectacle.
The language of the Despotate is Romaic Greek. Official documents are more formal, but still the same language. Classical Greek is the language of philosophy, culture and 'science'. The Church uses for mass something between the two (anyone with Classical or Romaic Greek treats it as a -1. Priests and Monks can use either language with a specialization on Church). Vlach and Slav are used primarily by the respective populaces, who usually know very little else. Italian and Veneto are heard in major trade cities. More information you can read on pages 40-42 Theban Tribunal.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab]The Church

[tab][/tab]Orthodox Christianity is the de-facto religion in the area. There was an attempt for the western church to bring Catholic church in Epirus at the start of the Despotate, but Comnenus betrayed the Pope and was excommunicated (along with hanging several Latin priests and Bishops) The Church is loyal to the Nicaea Patriarch, though Nicaea is in bad terms with the Despotate ruler. While the political climate in the the upper strata of society is perilous, for the common people little has changed. Priests get married and do mass as usual, communion is blessed bread and wine, and what little education there is in rural countryside it is in the hand of the local priest. Areas are divided into Sees controlled by Bishops and Archbishops (which must not be married, bridging the gap between clergy and monks).
[tab][/tab]Monasteries abound in Epirus and they are important places. Monks do not marry, and while they cater their own lands they tend to avoid politics all together, in contrast to the West. Monasteries are less known as repositories of knowledge and more as a producers of religious art. All monasteries have at least some monks versed in Hagiography (Αγιογραφία), the making of icons (nuns busy themselves with weaving and healing). There are no Monastic orders as such, however there is a curious 'cross pollination' phenomenon. Monasteries are created when a patron provided funds and gets approval from the Emperor. That being said the patron might engage one self-governed Church to start a monastery inside the area of different Church See. Thus in Epirus you might have a monastery answering to Niceae, Athos or Alexandria. This makes for a weird inter-church political web.
[tab][/tab]Of note is the chrisovula (χρυσόβουλλα) or golden seals. All land belongs to the Emperor and as such it does not belong to the Monasteries. Every seven to ten years there is an audit from a special department of the government to renew the 'gift of land' parchment and the Emperor re-signs it in cinnabar ink if he approves or declines and the lands revert into Imperial control. As such, while they are not taxed, monasteries are acutely aware of where the power lies and behave accordingly. However, now that the Empire is temporarily dissolved, things might be a bit more chaotic.
[tab][/tab]Despite all the efforts of the Church though, paganism still exits, either in concealed form as customs and superstitions endemic in rural areas or as secretive cult-worship of old and new gods. Byzantium is refute with such entities ready to exploit any lack of vigilance.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Villages and Towns


[tab][/tab]To the North of Tymfi, at the north eastern corner of the valley, lies the village of Konita (Vlach Κόνιτα, present location of Konitsa). This is the largest village in the area and an important meeting and trading center for all the other villages and settlements in the area. Predominately Greek there are a lot of Vlach families settled too. People deal with agriculture and trade, leaving forestry and livestock secondary. The fertile valley, traversed by the Aoos river, yields many staples of diet. While large, there is no military presence and the people patrol their own. The village is not under a nobleman's control, all decisions are dealt by a council of Elders. The church is outside the town sitting on a hill overlooking it, and in direct view of the Lapatos Cross in the mountains ( the town itself is not in sight of the Cross). Around Konita there are several hot springs with Roman ruins. The people of Konita are friendly and moderately wealthy. They strictly avoid the Aoos gorge, even if they are situated right in the exit of it.


[tab][/tab]30 miles south of Tymfi is Ioannina, a modest town. Named after John the Baptist, it is situated on the west banks of a large lake. An important inland town and See, it has almost doubled its population in recent years, due to heavy resettlement from refuges. As such it is rapidly growing, under the watchful eye of its governor and bishop, where people are finding new opportunities for trade and crafts. The castle walls are rapidly being overgrown by the town and as History progresses it will become a city and the capital of Epirus. Of note are the caves of Perama , just 3 miles east of the city, and the Dodoni Oracle, 14 miles south.


[tab][/tab]South of Ioannina, at the banks of a gulf, is the Capital of the Despotate, Arta. Originally a small town, it bloated to more than twice its size when it was chosen as the capital of the Despotate in 1204. As a result it has a bad vibe to it.


[tab][/tab]Way to the North west lies the city of Durres (Δυρράχιο ). It is a major trading center, being the start of the Egnatia route that reaches all the way to Constantinople. As such, the military presence of the Despotate is large. The main population is Slavic, but there are a lot of other ethnic groups present (greeks, jews, venetians). Founded by Greek settlers in 7o BC, Επίδαμνος was conquered by the Romans who changed its name (it sounded ominous in Latin). A major trading center, it has seen may raids and sieges, falling into the hands of Venice as a part of the aftermath of the crusade. Comnenus later conquered it and added it to the Despotate. Its significance cannot be understated, both as a strategic point and a marine mercantile station, but it is quite away from the other places in Epirus. Despite the closeness of Thessaloniki, another major port and second city of the Empire, the political climate is such that Durres is the place to go to when you need something.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Tymfi, within the Circle

[tab][/tab]Tymfi is a mountainous massif in the Pindos mountains. Its has an almost circular shape with two gorges cutting the mass like knife strokes, to the north and south sides. Three rivers confine it, Aoos, Voidomatis and Vikos. In this Mythic Europe campaign these rivers completely encircle Tymfi in a ring of water, hence the Tymfi Circle.
[tab][/tab]The name comes from the ancient Greek tribe "Tymphe" or "Stymphe" that settled there. The highest peak is Gamila (Γκαμίλα) named because it looks like the hump of a camel. There are other lower peaks, all on the northern side except one, Astraka (Αστράκα). The central and south side of Astraka resembles the edge of a cube jutting out over the southern gorge, framed by a smaller gorge to the east and a sloping climb to the west. The three sided cliffs are called Towers of Astraka (Πύργοι της Αστράκας) and are some of the most impressive natural cliffs in the area. They frame a high, barren plateau. Between these northern peaks and the south trapezoid of Astraka is an fertile alpine meadow, rich in grass and water, a popular place for herds to feed. Two seasonal and one permanent lake exist in that area.
[tab][/tab]The mountainous mass is ringed by three rivers. Aoos (Αωός) starts one mountain east of Tymfi ( there is a large man made lake there today) and flows west, cutting the mountain on the north side then hugging the mass on the west side where it is joined by Voidomatis. It turns North west and flows for many miles till it empties in the Adriatic sea. Vikos (Βίκος) is a smaller river that starts at the same mountain as Aoos, but on its west side. One small tributary trickles into Aoos to the north, while the rest of the waters flow on the eastern side of Tymfi until they join Voidomatis near Kipi (Κήποι). Voidomatis (Βοιδομάτης) is the river that defines the southern side of Tymfi, the Vikos gorge, and of particular importance of this campaign. In Greek it means calf's eye because its two springs that feed it look like azure eyes from above. The name is actually Slavic, Bode–Mat, meaning good/clean water.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]The Gorges

[tab][/tab]The two gorges that define Tymfi to the north and south are similar in most aspects, yet also different in others. Both are of exceptional beauty, with a vast variety of life, and both are shunned by people (except herbalists). The Aoos gorge has a steep south bank, with a little used path going through on the north bank. At the east entrance to the gorge there is a small castle of some lord or other, a very inauspicious place. The Vikos gorge has the impressive Towers of Astraka on the north side and a equally abrupt cliff on the south. Both sides have multiple lesser gorges, nooks and crannies.In this Mythic Europe campaign, the gorges have an unusual natural phenomenon. Due to the incline of the sun's path, there are places in both gorges that do not receive direct sunlight. In the winter months the south bank of Vikos gorge is shadowed, including most of the river. The majestic Towers are fully illuminated, reflecting light across the whole gorge. In contrast in the Aoos gorge, because the south side is quite higher no light falls on neither the south nor the north banks, the shadow of the Tymfi mountain extending halfway up the opposite mountain. In the summer months Vikos gorge is illuminated, though there are some spots and valleys where the sun still does not shine directly. In Aoos gorge while the river receives some light in places, the south side of the mountain is still in shadow. Folk name these 'shadow spots' (σκιοχώροι) and never venture in them, superstition dictating that strange creatures roam there, while unique plants make herbalists dare seek them out in day. No-one enters the gorges at night.
[tab][/tab]Voidomatis is an anomaly, a river with two courses. This river has two springs that are inside the gorge, both of them near the west exit of the gorge, the south western edge of the Towers. Agkstromenis springs (Αγκστρωμένης) are dominated by a huge, smooth boulder on the north side, water seemingly rushing out from below it, making an oblong azure shaped lake resembling an eye. The water is cold and clean all year round, gushing forth in large volume. It runs west and north, meandering in some of the narrowest places of the gorge, west and out of the mountain until it joins Aoos river in the valley. The other spring is less than half a mile east, named after the river itself. It too is shaped like an eye, but the waters here are more placid. Due to a geological quirk, the river flows towards the other direction, carving the gorge all the way to the east exit, joined by other seasonal streams. It meets Vikos river outside the mountains and then flows to the west and where it is lost underground. During droughts, that part of the river may run dry, the waters flowing under the bed. However in spring months or under heavy rains, the river overflows and the waters run both ways, bridging the distance to the other spring and making it seem to flow both to the east and the west at the same time.


[tab][/tab]The area in and around the circle of Tymfi is called Zagori and the settlements are collectively known as Zagorohoria (Ζαγοροχώρια). In ancient greece it was called Parorea (Παροραία), 'behind the mountains', a name still used but slowly replaced by the slavic Za (behind) – gora (mountain). This is an extensive area, containing settlements scattered around different mountains, some of them in Tymfi, eastern and western side.
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Tsepelovo (Τσεπέλοβο): Largest of the villages, it is situated on the eastern side of Tymfi. Peasants work in livestock or forestry jobs mainly and is a typical small village of vlach and greek people. It has its own church, and about a mile south west is the stone monastery of Ioannou Rogkovou (Μονή Ιωάννη Ρογκοβού) built almost a hundred years ago. (Tsepelovo)
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Skamneli (Σκαμνέλι): A small settlement to the east of Tsepelovo, it is known for the Nunnery of St. Paraskevi, the oldest monastery in the area. (Skamneli)
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Dobrinovo: A small slavic settlement on the north east side of the mountain ( later renamed Iliochori/ Ηλιοχώρι)
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Liasinitsa: Small vlach settlement, north west of Dobrinovo (later named Vrisochori/Βρυσοχώρι). It has its own wooden church, the people are mainly occupied with forestry. Both it and Dobrinovo fall under the Aoos castle jurisdiction.
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Vezitsa: Two small Vlach settlements outside the west side gorge of Voidomatis, on the southern tip of the mountain (later split into Vitsa and Mondendri).
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Tservari: Very recent (barely a decade) settlement of Vlachs and slavs on the south west edge of the mountains, viewing the valleys (where Elafotopos is today). There are quite a few ruins of the ancient Greek era both to the south and the north of the settlement.
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Litoniavista: Small vlach settlement above Voidomatis, just as it exits into the north valley (later named Ano Klidonia). Barely a village, it is know locally for its fairs (early August celebrating Christ and late September a trout fishing fair), two large caves nearby and a brand new monastery.
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Aristi (Αρίστη): Not an actual settlement, this is a military fort, on the western side. Its purpose is to secure the area, patrol the roads and help counter any raids from the north. Permanent stone buildings are protected by a wooden palisade and guard towers. The residents are Greeks and it sees quite a bit of traffic.(Aristi)
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Papigo (Πάπιγκο): Small village of greeks in the heart of Tymfi, it is compromised of two settlements: The village itself is on a ridge facing south to the gorge and a smattering of goat and sheep herding buildings on the opposite side, just below the Towers. It has its own wooden church. People are split between working on livestock, forestry and some agricultural produce. (Papigo )
[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Vikos (Βίκος): Small slav settlement on a ridge, on the other bank of the gorge opposite Papigo. Its mostly livestock buildings and some wooden houses. This is property of the covenant and its main source of income. Around 20 souls live there, all slavs, tending to a herd of goats and another of sheep. In winter months, half the population takes the sheep to the valley bellow.(Vikos)

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Some Visuals

Towers of Astraka: South view, as seen by the Covenant
The Towers: View from the gorge
The Towers: South West view
The Towers: Western view
The Towers: East, South East view
Gamila Peak
Gamila Peak: As seen from Dragonlake
Astraka Peak
Astraka Peak: As seen from Lapatos
Dragonlake, 2
Alpine Meadows: As seen from Lapatos, with mists
Springs of Voidomatis: 2, 3
Springs of Agstromeni: 2, View from above, 2
Voidomatis: 2, the gorge looking east, the east exit
Aoos Gorge: 2, 3

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]Supernatural world and Places of interest

[tab][/tab]The Magic Realm

[tab][/tab]In general the Magic Realm in Epirus is well represented and roughly split into four broad categories; First are the old gods and races, dating back to ancient Greek legends. Though rarely seen, they are still around, usually locked in high regios and coming out to bring chaos on special times. The boundary between magic and fae is blurred in this category. Then there are the newer denizens, talking animals and mythic beasts. Mostly based on Byzantine myth and superstition, they share much in common with their western cousins, but there are also some that resemble eastern folklore. More recent are the influx of slavic folklore and the beasts that go with them. Next is the elemental spirits. These are solid, permanent and invisible, there is little lore on them (though ancient myths associate the Titans with them). These are the forgotten background, disassociated with human activity and found in the most remote and pristine areas. Last are ghost and the undead. There have always been stories about such magic beings, products of unfortunate tragedies, but the influx of slavs brought a more ghoulish aspect to this group. Superstitions about ghosts are especially common in slavic communities.
[tab][/tab]Tymfi circle is a majestic natural mastiff and as such the magic realm is well represented. Both Aoos and Vikos gorges have at least a magic aura of 1 in their entirety, spiking at places and possibly creating regiones. Elemental spirits and magical animals are most commonly found in and around the gorges, especially amphisbaena. Caves are abundant and usually either of a magical or fae nature or both. Ruins also are the focus of much folklore, whether they are ancient Greek, Roman or more recent. Some generate auras due to tragedy, others are old temples or destroyed settlements.
[tab][/tab]The Towers of Astraka generate an aura of three by itself. Local people avoid the plateau because of families of ogres (Δράκοι) that are said and heard to be roaming about. Shepherds swear the stories are true, pointing out various rocks that resemble giants found in the alpine plateau. The ogres rarely come down to the meadow though, afraid of the Lapatos cross and the large molossus dogs of the shepherds. Instead they have ways of climbing down the mountain to the east, and periodically raid settlements there. They have a nasty feud with the harpies of Smolikas.
[tab][/tab]The mountain tops and plateaus are regularly covered in mists and clouds. These are particularly dangerous to anyone caught inside as they are very disorienting. A lot of people are killed walking off a cliff without knowing it. Whether they are a natural occurrence or something more sinister no-one can say. There is no warning when they can appear and have no particular time of appearance.
[tab][/tab]On the north side of the alpine meadow, at the very edge of the cliffs, is a permanent, circular body of water called Dragonlake (Δρακόλιμνη). Its deep blue waters are cold and crystal clear, its depth unmeasurable and legend says that it is connected by underground byways to the large lake of Ioannina thirty miles away. As the name suggest there is a Wyrm in there, which the shepherds point to the large number of finger sized offspring in and around the meadow as proof. It is bad luck stepping on one of these mini dragons, though the goats and sheep have no such problems (see Ichthyosaura alpestris). Despite the beauty of this lake, it is forbidden to go near it, except during the dawn or dusk hours.

[tab][/tab]The Divine Realm

[tab][/tab]Settlements without a consecrated place of worship such as a church do not have a divine aura rating covering them, though in private places where icons or crosses are kept by truly devout people there might be a weak aura. Village churches typically have an aura of 2, higher near the altar (which in eastern orthodoxy is not accessible to the public and locked after mass) and an aura of 1 radiating from the church and covering the houses. This does not extend to the fields. The village of Konita church has a rating of 3, and an outside aura of 1 extending in a circle around it, until it reaches the edge of the village below where it stops.
[tab][/tab]Near the Agkstromenis springs is a tiny church in a meadow, Ekklisia Panagia (Εκκλησιά Παναγιά). This church has been burned down, destroyed by floods, earthquakes, falling trees, vandals and all manner of misfortunes, yet every time people in nearby villages come and repair it or even rebuild it. It is now made of grey stone, marred outside by fire in places, animal gouges in others. The heavy, iron bound oak door is pitted and scarred and always locked. The keys are in the possession of the priest of Papigo who is responsible for maintaining this church and who performs mass there twice a year. This church has an aura of 2 inside, barely covering the interior. Folklore says that benighted and lost travelers can find shelter here, the door miraculously wide open for them.
[tab][/tab]The most important landmark of the Tymfi circle is the Lapatos Cross, also known as the Watchers Cross. At the west end of the Towers of Astraka, just as the upward incline reaches the alpine meadows, a large stone cross sits atop a hill along the Lapatos ridge (near where the alpine shelter is located today). This is a stone cross nearly two men high, made of smooth, dark grey granite not endemic in the area, planted deep in the top of the hill and seemingly immovable. Attacks barely scratch it, and even those scratches fade in time, and it resists magic with a rating of 30. It might be possible to topple it if a lot of men are of a mind to, but that will earn the enmity of all the people of villages near and far. The cross itself and a small circle around it have a divine rating of 5, which extends an aura of three covering the hill.
[tab][/tab]The Lapatos Cross and its hill are never covered by mists or clouds, clearly parting around it. Shepherds have a superstition of taking one of the white stones found around that hill and carrying it with them for luck. When beset by the mists and in danger of getting lost, they clutch the stone and pray, the cross and hill are then briefly revealed allowing them to navigate. Custom dictates that the stone is good for one use. Depending on the size of the stone, the shepherd has to make a pilgrimage; small pebbles that are easy to carry are to be taken to Dragonlake at dawn and thrown in. Brave souls hurl them in the deepest part, while more prudent ones leave them just inside the water's edge. Larger stones are taken at the inclines going up to the Astraka plateau and placed on one of the four piles there. These are said to mark the ogre territory boundary and warn them not to come to the meadows. Finally the largest plinths, those heaviest to carry around, are taken back to Papigo village and placed on the stone wall surrounding the church (by the size of the wall, quite a few people follow the custom).
[tab][/tab]Twice a day the cross extends a vast divine aura of 2 with a range of sight for two to five minutes, depending on the season. At dawn, when the light of the sun first hits the highest peak of Tymfi, and again at dusk, this aura bathes the land around the cross, covering the alpine meadows, the west side of the Towers down to the gorge, and all the valley to the north and west (excluding the village of Konita). It reaches over to the other mountains north and west, covering most of their slopes facing the cross. For a few minutes all under the heavens are reminded that God watches.

[tab][/tab]The Infernal Realm

[tab][/tab]There are no reports of infernal sightings or influence in Tymfi.

[tab][/tab]The Faery Realm

[tab][/tab]In the Theban Tribunal the old gods still rule and the elder races still exist. In Tymfi Circle there are reported to be some ruins that are older than Roman times, temples to old gods or sites of Oracles and such. More recent fae roam the verdant slopes of the mountains unbound.
[tab][/tab]Wherever there are dense forests on the mountains, like the east and north slopes of Tymfi, fae creatures can be found. The locals in those areas have plenty of folklore, superstitions and weird customs to deal with the other realm, and mortals frequently 'touch' the immortals. Likewise rivers, lakes and streams are places where water fae like nymphs, naides and nyreids can be found. The two gorges especially attract such creatures. The 'shadow spots' are favorite place for darker fae and some even have their own castles and forts hidden away.
[tab][/tab]Of note is Astraka itself; the inside of the mountain is honeycombed with tunnels, caves and passages and the peasants say that in those labyrinths dwell Telonia (Τελώνια) a kind of goblin. These look like thin, pale, hunched humans with long mated black hair falling over their faces and beady black eyes. Their mouths are filled with needle like small teeth and they wear rudimentary skins and furs of slain animals. Some carry stone or crude metal weapons. Contrary to most earth fae who are nasty, cruel and some times playful, Telonia are murderous. They are nocturnal, move in numbers, and woe to the lone traveler or lost sheep they track in the dark. They are a real hazard but thankfully they do not cross running water. They are most active during summer and winter, when waters around Tymfi run low or dry. They avoid the western side as they seem to loathe the sight of the Lapatos Cross, and they use underground caves to reach the eastern sides of the mountains. Raids are rare but tales of them survive. They hate fish.
[tab][/tab]High level fae are rarely reported. As typical in Greece, these are gods of old, powerful and fickle. Fortunately they are usually sequestered in difficult to access regios.


[tab][/tab]In this campaign there will be a slight emphasis on symbols and their allegoric meaning. They might be subtly intruding into the narrative but not dominating it. They could provide hints to characters pursuing Mysteries, or they can be ignored as thematic background. It is up to the characters, and ultimately the players, how much attention they want to give to them. Two symbols in particular will be recurring:

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]The Apple

[tab][/tab]As a Judaic/Christian symbol it represents both Knowledge and Sin, as a medium of the Fall. However there are a lot of correspondences in other, pre-Messeanic cultures where apples, and fruit in general, are associated with life, death and cautionary tales. Whether it is Persephone's abduction, the apples of Hesperides, the lotus fruit or the wine of the blessed communion, fruit symbols abound. It depends on the beliefs of the individual how he interprets this symbol, but remember....sometimes an apple is just an apple.

[tab][/tab][tab][/tab]The Snake

[tab][/tab]Serpents have long been a part of many cultures as embodiments of good, evil, continuity, immortality, mystery, death (the list goes on). In this mythic campaign, this symbol also extends to mythological serpents, creatures without legs that crawl (the word serpent comes from the Greek Έρπω, which means 'to crawl'). Thus the serpent in all its guises has a multitude of meanings; the caduceus of Hermes has two serpents for example, a symbol associated with the patron of magic and healing. On the other hand, Christian belief has that serpents are inherently evil (see the Fall), and devout followers will not have anything to do with them. Snakes and apples are a clear anathema to Christianity for obvious reasons, and a lot of dragon slayers have been hailed as saints (like St. Demetrios). This very different approach to symbols might subtly influence the way players follow the narrative through the perceptions of their characters.


[tab][/tab]As members of a social species, magi do get involved in politics. While it is forbidden to meddle in mundane politics by the Code, magi (especially Jerbiton, Tytalus and Verditius) find ways to circumvent this. In the Theban Tribunal especially Jerbiton have been much involved with Byzantium, walking a thin line. It is important to note that the interpretation of the Code in this Tribunal, specifically on mundane interference, is based on actions not ideology. There are open political leagues that support that faction over the other, but are tolerated until they are caught in the act; they dont get persecuted for their stated beliefs.
[tab][/tab]Politics also plays roles in local affairs. Magi must interact with society. It is rare that a Covenant is self sufficient. Magi need food, tools, raw materials and luxuries, and even if you manage to cover these, you still need to find grogs and apprentices. No Covenant has successfully shut itself from society and let the next century pass by. As such there is a need to be involved in local affairs, even if its just for human contact or to learn of any potential danger. As a land that has been 'civilized' and cultured long before the West, Byzantium's local politics are advanced. Cultural divides however make relations between Greeks and Slavs tense. It is proper to at least know who your neighbours are, most covenants regularly send skilled companions or gentle magi out in the world.
[tab][/tab]Last but of most importance is politics inside the Order. No matter how secluded political matters touch every covenant. In the Theban Tribunal, the system of governance and the Redcap relay of news are advanced, so all covenants are apprised of important matters. Relations are amicable, and even when tense, Thebans would rather fight in debate or appeal to the Conciliatory board rather than raid another covenant. Non the less there are such occasions. Familiarity with Order politics is essential.