My players have decided to go in a new direction in our saga, and we're starting a new Spring Covenant on the island of Mallorca, off the coast of Iberia in the Mediterranean. It will be an urban covenant, set on the docks of the city of Palma. There are a few adventuring magi, and a sea captain/smuggler companion. They'll be running a warehouse
I turn to this group for any advice on the following:
research materials on the Baleric Islands
good high seas adventure novels, especially fantasy
flavor / research for mediterranean ports in the medieval period.
I've got a couple months to do research, and then we'll be gaming in earnest, so I've got some work to do!!
Actually, my old group had a covenant on Formentera, one of the smallest islands in the chain. The issue came up because one of my players, who is black, wanted to make sure we set the game where he could play at least one black character without causing massive mental juggling.
I'll see if I can find some of my material and try to send it to you.
That would be fantastic! (is this Angus from NorCal?)
(I could potentially have your covenant be a ruin for the characters to explore.)
I know that I'm going to be putting a rogue Mage pirate on one of the islands, who'd been expelled from the Order many years ago and rumored dead. The characters won't involve with him directly for awhile, but they will run up against his agents. Eventually, I look forward to an assault on his stronghold, with some nice magical items and summae as a reward for taking him out. I see this as the arc that gets the characters from a Spring to Summer covenant.
Again, I'd love to get any recommendations on high seas adventure reading, because I know almost nothing about boats and need to learn more....
Some books that I have read that give a sea voyage feel.
(a personal favorite) The Sea Wolf by Jack London
Cast Up By The Sea by Sir Samuel W. Baker
The Mystery by Stewart White and Samuel H. Adams
(a personal favorite) Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead
The Byzantium book is the only one that's roughly in the same time period and it is not strictly a nautical novel or for that matter dealing with that region. So I seem not to have too many suggestions that would directly help.
There was also a trilogy of books I only looked at at a book store so how well they are written or how they would apply is not known but from what I saw it was fairly okay, it was called "The Watercourse" trilogy. It's a FRealms D&D story but you can adapt the feel readily enough for Ars.
bleck... I am not sure how helpful this response has been.
Really? Very interesting data on the mosque Never heard about that.
The Balearic islands are home to a fairly large number of cairns and dolmens, so you can easily have quite a few magical and fae sites scattered around. The region is dry. It based its economy more on sheep than agriculture. Baearic slibngers were famous throughout the ancient and medieval period as crack shots. Check google maps for some visuals on the islands. As you can see they ar3e fairly flat. Formentera is extremely small, and cabrera (literally "island of Goats") is even smaller. You can drive from one extreme to the other of Formentera in half an hour with a 49cc motorcycle. It is an extremely windy place. The beaches of the islands are just incredible, so some nayads are bound to be around. Quite a few submerged caves exist, and the islands were a (berber) pirate haven for several centuries. Jaume I (also search for James or Jaime for internet references), King of Aragon and Catalonia invaded the islands in 1235 to incorporate them into his puissant realm, but also to get rid of the troublesome pirates; he was fairly pressured by the maritime merchants of Barcelona to do just that.
That is from the top of my head. If you find material in Spanish or Catalan (the official Balearic islands languages.... along with German ) and want to know what it says, feel free to contact me.
The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. LeGuin takes place in a fantasy archipelago-world, the main character is a wizard who goes everywhere by boat. It's been a long time since I read them so I don't recall how much seamanship you'll actually learn, but it's salt-flavored for sure. The books are, if I remember correctly: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore.
Kon Tiki (author's name I can't recall, Thor something I think...Norwegian) is an excellent true-life adventure; some Norwegians sail a hand-made raft across the Pacific.
A few after, but important in beliefs, lore and mistics them is the famous Ramon Llull (or Lulio), all a character form that area. You can search things for his period, origins, thinking and live, includings stranges mystical events.