Burgundy / Arelat and Tribunal borders

I find the history of Burgundy very confusing and I suspect that I'm not alone in this.

From an ArM5 perspective, Normandy includes the Duchy of Burgundy in the north, but the Kingdom of Arles/Arelat in the south seems to be just where the split between the Roman, Greater Alps and Provencal tribunals.

I haven't got my copy of SoI at the moment but seem to recall Savoy was part of the Greater Alps Tribunal and for what it's worth ToH: Rome seems to indicate that the Roman Tribunal ends at the border of Lombardy and the County of Provence.

Any ideas?



IIRC, during the writing of LaL we figured that the Greater Alps Tribunal had to expand westwards slightly from its extent as per SoI. I would say the the northern half of Arelat (including Besancon and Geneva) belongs to the Greater Alps, whereas the southern half (Lyon and southwards), including the County of Provence, belongs to the Provencal Tribunal. Lombardy belongs to the Roman Tribunal. However this is merely my take; I don't believe this has been defined in any 5th edition book, except that LaL states that Arelat is split between Greater Alps and Provence.

For interest, I found some commentary here with a map:



It refers to this book, by Christopher Cope:
"A Phoenix frustrated: The Lost Kingdom of Burgundy"

amazon.com/lost-kingdom-Burg ... 407&sr=8-5

The map seems to agree with you - I got lost and bogged down in the rest of the page which deals with the various dynastic grafting and entwining of France...

Sounds like Savoy is definitely Greater Alps.

There's far too many Burgundies!


Lachie / Jarkman

The failure of the so-called Provencal Tribunal to include the area known as Provence has long been a peculiarity of the Order. For quite some time, however, I've been working off of the established maps (i.e. prior to 5th Ed.), and there are several Covenants in the region who consider themselves to be in the Normandy Tribunal. Without having seen "The Lion and the Lily", I can't say how close any of the Covenants described there might be to the region.

Which covenants do you mean?

Since you haven't got L&L, the Normandy tribunal's southern limit in 1220 is the Dordougne river (ie. Bordeaux is just over the border in Provencal). To the south-east things get a bit murky but L&L notes "there are no covenants in this region" - the south-eastern corner covered by the map appears to be on the lower Rhone just between Macon and Lyons.



I've been wondering for some time if it was the Dourdogne River or the River L'ot which marked the boundary between the Normandy and Provencal Tribunals in the west. The region is full of ancient caves and important sites which make for rich Saga settings.

The Covenants in the southeast of which I speak are all in Sagas of my own, not officially published source materials. Again, the region is full of history, beauty, and many story possibilities but largely overlooked.

Looking at the Lion & Lily main map it's a bit unclear, but in Chapter Six: Anjou and Aquitaine the section map on page 63 seems pretty clear that the Dordogne is the border although things are vaguer near the Massif Central. I think Nidi is the southernmost covenant in Normandy and is only retained by the Tribunal as it is a vassal of Oleron, one of the Great Lieges. Note that Catra Solis is in Provencal, just south of Bordeaux.

I found this nice relief/river map of France and Northern Spain:

worldatlas.com/webimage/coun ... rlarge.htm

Do you have any links or sites for the various caves and sites?



I referenced a number of travel guides to find out details about the region's geography and history. They often provide inspirations not found in detailed histories, as they include passing references to a wide assortment of curiosities. "Let's Go! France 2000" is one of the best.

Regarding the caves, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac along the Dordogne is home ot many, MANY caves of great antiquity and development. Lascaux is the most famous. Others include: Grotte de Font de Faume, Grotte des Combarelles, Abri du Cap-Blanc, Grotte du Pech-Marle, and La Grotte de Rouffignac. Others are found near Souillac, Sarlat, and Gourdon. Rodue St-Christophe was a site occupied from c40,000 B.C.E. all the way into Medieval times and used as a defensive fort.

Farther south, the Ariege region, where Mistridge SHOULD be in real geography, is loaded with numerous caves and historical sites including Labouice, the longest navigable underground river in Europe.

Travel guides can be very useful!
(edit: or they can be really time-consuming pieces of rubbish with no interesting historical tidbits of any use to an Ars game - aargh...)

Anything north of the Dordogne is considered part of Normandy looking at the Lion & Lily map, so the caves are in the Normandy Tribunal - but there's nothing to stop Gascony covenants from Provencal settling there.

Looking through the ArM3 Mistridge supplement PDF, the map at the back shows it is located near Monsegur (the famous Cathar stronghold).

Interestingly, Doissetep is located quite far to the west in Armagnac, probably in the lower Pyrenees to the south of Tarbes / Bagneres-de-Bigorre, but still pretty far from the major pilgrimage routes across the Pyrenees.



Many of the caves are actually on the border between the two Tribunals. Previous editions have noted that the boundaries between Tribunals are often vague, and that Covenants founded along them can often choose which Tribunal they attend, thereby adjusting the exact borders. There are exceptions, like the Novgorod Tribunal, which keeps a very strict watch on its western frontier to prevent encroachment from the Rhine. From the basis of this thread, I'm guessing that the Normandy-Provencal border is one of those with limited definition.

It's worth noting that the "Mistridge" sourcebook really should have used more RL geographic information. The "Val du Bosque" actually overlaps with a fascinating location in RL history. Tarascon-sur-Ariege, for instance, is located almost exactly where the listed but not described town of Rial (sp? I have a hard time reading it because it is along the central crease of the map in the "Mistridge" sourcebook) is situated, not far from the Manor of Sir William. This was a vital center of Catharism, and is reputed to be the final resting place of the "Cathar grail".

For those interested in it, an excellent sourcebook on the region in the late 13th-early 14th Century is "The Yellow Cross : the Story of the Last Cathars, 1290-1329", by René Weis. It describes the final uprising of the Cathars and their fate, making extensive use of Inquisition documents which have become available since "Mistridge was" written.

Another illuminating work only published last year is, "Four Queens : the Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe", by Nancy Bazelon Goldstone". Beginning in the 1210s and running all the way up through the 1290s, it deals in depth with the House of Savoy's far-ranging political connections, as well as the history of the royal families of the Provence, France, England, and, to a much lesser extent, Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire.

Thanks for the book recommendations - I've come across the "Yellow Cross' book and keep wondering if it's worth a look. It seems a bit out of period for the canonical setting though - does it cover much of anything earlier in detail or is it just broad background?



I think the book is brilliant as a resource for campaigns set in the Provencal tribunal. It has several useful maps and photos. It gives a very good insight into peasant and low nobility life in the region, and into the intrigues of a small village (Montaillou, which is quite close to where Mistridge should be). It also describes the life of a cathar after the albigensian crusade (when they had to keep their faith secret to avoid persecution). Even if it deals with people in a later period in time (1290-1329) I believe peasant life probably was pretty much the same as in 1220. It describes topography and travel in this mountainous region in great detail as well.

This book looks interesting from the title, but has received some really bad reviews. What's your take on it?

I kind of recall designing the first draft of what eventually became Nidi as in one of these underground river systems. I'm not why I changed my mind...oh, yes, it's over the border in Provence.

Still, you're right, there are some great settings there. I hope that someone picks them if/when Provence is done.

Hmmm, I wondered if you wrote Nidi Timothy. It did seem to have your signature through it - that and the bees...

I suspect if, rather than when - to be honest I think Thebes/Transylvania or Hibernia would be more interesting and higher priority for the development of the official line rather than revamping extensive ArM3 material.

It doesn't mean that I'm not in favour of unofficial re-envisioning of say Iberia and Provencal though, and indeed I've been thinking hard about this lately but would be interested in what the level of interest would be (hence my earlier Poll: https://forum.atlas-games.com/t/which-tribunal-is-your-arm5-saga-set-in/2683/1).

Any takers?

Jarkman / Lachie

I actually managed to track down an ex-library copy of this book I mention above, by Christopher Cope:"A Phoenix frustrated: The Lost Kingdom of Burgundy"

amazon.com/lost-kingdom-Burg ... 407&sr=8-5

It's got over 20 maps in it but it's pretty disjointed in what it covers (Duchy, County and mainly the Upper Kingdom rather than Arles/Provence sadly).

I may even get around to writing an Amazon review of it...