Could use a little inspiration...

Hello all,

I'd like a few ideas as to what stories and mischief I could rund for my group. Not that I don't have any ideas at all, but I just finished the introduction of the Saga, and though we have troupe style play with shifting Storytellers, we are a small group, and I'll soon be up again.

The basics are: Normandy Tribunal. The magi have been invited by the leaders of Oleron, Confluensis and Montverte to investigate the regios at Branugurix. This is a very bold and unusual political move, which has not been accepted at a Grand Tribunal, but which has been accepted by the five liege covenants of Normandy (or more correctly – Florum doesn't really care and Fudarus haven't been asked...)

The players' covenant lies about 3 miles from the entrance to the regio at a small manor house ostensibly ruled by a local knight. This knight, Helori Arrec is the husband of one of the players.
The Knight (or Covenant) has about 250sqm. Of light forest which provides basic necessities for the covenant and 2 small villages. The tribunal has offered 15 pawns of vis every year, adding 5 pawns for every 5 years of existance, to a maximum of 25 pawns every year.

The Covenant is not allowed to participate in the Tournament at Tribunal due to their unusual circumstances of operation and focus. Also 75% found in the regios (Artefacts etc) must go to the Tribunal at large, and also anything deemed too ”unsafe” for the magi.

Covenant Roster:

Libro Vermiis: Socially inept Bonisagus, good scores of Vim, Terram and Rego. Has very meddlesome parents (both magi, but Parens is a 3. Magus)

Jotun: Giantblooded Ex Miscellanea. Gentle Gifted with an animal companion. Drinks A LOT. Creo expert.

Julian: Quaesitor, more inclined to the lawyer part, than investigator. Knows Mentem and Herbam and has a dark secret of being Pro-Diedne (his rapports to the Tribunal will always be most benign to the Diedne etc.)

Isolde Arrec: Gentle gifted Jerbiton, wife of the local Knight. Ignem and Auram expert. She and the knight have True Love for one another. Connections to a priest in Dol and another local knight.

Hooks and Boons:
Site boons

Aura (Aura lvl 4)
Vivid Environment (Pleasent surroundings)

Site hooks
Magical Disaster (Various magical creatures take an interest in the covenant's desire to breach Branugurix's defenses)
Regio (Branugurix)

Free: Manor House

Inhabitants: Hunters (Hunters, herb gatherers, fruit/nut gatherers, tanners, bow makers)

Residents boon
Loyal Covenfolk
Famous Resident??

External relations boons

Dedicated Covenant (Explore the mysteries of Branugurix)
Informants (4-5 informants...)

External relations hooks

Rival (All the mages in the Normandy Tribunal, who do not wish to see Branugurix opened)

Minor Surroundings Boon

Chase (The covenant controls a minor forest)

Major Surrounding Hooks
Ruined Covenant (Branugurix)

Minor Surrounding Hooks
Monster (?)

Maybe not so well suited for Normandy in general, but since you're so close to a powerful Regio and a ruined covenant:

Beneficial pests
On the covenant grounds, inside the Aegis there is a special item or plant that cannot easily be removed. Typical examples are something built into the walls, A huge tree rooted so that it helps support the walls or structures, the kitchen or a room with a laboratory. This item should normally be tended to by weak (might-wise) and whimsical (by nature) mythical creatures (pixies, small magical bees, goblins etc). Before the PCs set up their Aegis they could access the place freely, but they have no way of getting in now that the aegis is in place.

The creatures will try to convince the PCs to (re)gain access to their "Holy place", "Home", "Special Fruit", "Playground" etc. by pleading, asking, begging, harassing coven folk, etc.
The only way is to remove the Aegis or letting them in (tokens and invitations or participation in the ritual). Once inside whimsical mythical creatures are trying hard to behave, but they cannot change their nature (small pranks, a little "borrowing", small mischief etc.). At the same time, they produce Vis through their tending to the place/item/plant which they present to the PCs as "rent". (Possibly only giving it out to characters based on "who deserves it" as seen from their twisted point of view).

Nice for small disturbances, small stories, small rewards etc.


I do not have my books here, but that is a ruined diedne covenant in a regio in Brittany, right?

The basic design seems fair to me. It is thwe classic sponsored covenant. However, there are 2 issues here.

  1. What happens when they have finished ransacking the place? Do they still get their 35 pawns/year and that is it forever and ever?
  2. Will they still be supported AT ALL? Or will they be left to their own devices? In that case will they be able to participate in the tournament?

I guess the second one is the likely development after 4 tribunals or so: if you have not uncovered the secrets of the place in 25 years, you are clearly not going to discover much more form now on.

Now, stories.

  1. Portal system. Not mercere portals, but the stargate system that appears in ROP:M, in the virtues section. I can see the diednes having those in lakes and sacred groves, but specially lakes and ponds. Maybe behind waterfalls. Go around looking for ex-diedne places (both covenants and places the diednes used) all around Mythic Europe. High exploration saga. Maybe your troupe wants to keep this discovery secret. The ruins themselves can or cannot be of much value. Maybe it is the portal thing that really matters.

  2. A powerful guardian that holds a lot of the secrets of the diedne. he might even be some kind of ancient god that used to initiate a lot of the inner mysteries of the diedne. He is bound to a circle of stones and cannot leave, but he is nNOT bound to obey and inside the circle he is basically almighty. You need to enter the circle to interact with him. I can see the magi scrambling to find someone with high Bargain + puissant bargain all over the place. The first initiation: kill a grog in the sacrificial stone with an obsidian knife while a black goat candle burns in each stone of the circle and I tell you something... (I tell you that this was a test and you only earn my trust :mrgreen: )

  3. A community of grogs has developed inside the regio. The magi werre out, but the covenafolk were not, and nobody removed them from the regio, so they have developed their own culture. It can be as pagan or not as you want. They might have some minor abilities, and hold the key to some of the secrets. Maybe only a willing sacrifice by one of these covenfolk (bloodline) can activate some of the secrets. or maybe you do not need to sacrifice yourself (only for major sacrifices, that) but quite a few items are "diedne covenfolk only", so your cook can activate the level 90 magic item, while your trusted custos and the magi cannot. Or maybe the defences of the covenant are amazing and can only be controlled by one of the bloodline guys here (otherwise they go on "full auto" mode and attack everything on sight. So, negotiation witgh the covenfolk (loads of docial interaction! YAY!!! uis important at the start, and can cause stories later if the magi stop treating the covenfolk well. Maybe The Chosen One that can do X or Y is transferred from one grog to another when the previous holder dies. Who gets the new power is a mystery, so you cannot abuse some grogs and let a few enjoy all the privileges.

  4. A healthy feature, like a stone pond that has a the basic form of a cauldron.

In general, I see druidism as a SOCIAL magic system. So it needs to be tied to the community.


Thank you for the feedback.

@Xavi, yes Branugurix is none other than the Diedne Domus Magna.

The Introduction touched on some of the suggestions.

the magi travelled to Verum Revelandum (The name of their covenant) and was introduced to the Knight, and told that his wife Isolde had went missing for a year. They acquainted themselves with the village people (Mostly the Gentle Gifted Ex.Misc.) and he learned that Old Yuna, a wisewoman, knew of the old apple orchard in which a strange hybrid oak-apple with ritual carvings stood, and she knew of the pagan rites which used to happen there.

Also they learned that a drunkard, who apparently owned a magical sacrificial knife went missing, and the magi also learned that he was apparently dead - knife nowhere to be found.

They ventured into the regio, having learned from Old Yuna how it was done ("Ashes from the first fire, water from the pure source, breath of the Eldest and fool's gold") and encountered a strange hybrid Magic/Faerie Regio (The old Diedne F**ked up their regio royally when they retreated into it!) and found Isolde's necklace. Not being able to reach her with magic, they found menhirs with a Diedne Symbol (A Triskelion). Also the footprints of small people (It was humanoid, but only about 6 inches long).

Resting in the grove with the menhir, they met Arachne a spider-creature in pastel colours of great horrifying beauty, who bargained with them: One cup blood, one skin of a calf and one Torq of Gold every Midwinter - then it would tell where Isolde was. they agreed and she was apparently held under a hybrid oakapple tree in the regio.

Travelling on, they came to a small house, neat and quaint. They heard the mumblings of an older woman, and a grandmotherly matron invited them inside for pie and tea, calling herself Grandmother. apparently malicious, she drugged the magi and bound them with a magical rope. Preparing to sacrifice them, she was knocked out by a teenage boy, whom the magi had not seen before he swung her own cane against Grandmother. Panicking he freed them, but ran away.

The magi gave chase, and found signs of struggle and more of the small footprints. searching the site, they were soon surrounded by dwarf-sized treemen, elaborately carved. These quickly subdued them and knocked them out. THe magi awoke in an earthen cave and searching this site found a room with old stained blood, non active treemen and rusty sickles and knives. They also located Isolde, who was sleeping inside a magical circle, from whence you could not escape, when first entered.

The BOnisagus weakened the silver and crystal circle in the floor and chipped away at it. At the moment of Isolde's release, a great elemental being appeared in the cave mouth and demanded to know what they were doing. This being, whom they did not receive the name of, told vaguely, that "Those in White" had been gone for so long, and that he missed them - if they were here to slay them? The magi responded haphazardly, and saddened that "No one in White" would keep it company, the Elemental gave them web from Arachne and told them to walk away, eventually covering their eyes, they could then leave his realm.

The sacrificial knife is gone, which they will probably go searching for at some point, they never found out who the boy is, and they are pretty annoyed at the faerie/magic creatures, who apparently are running wild in the regio. :smiley:

It is always good to have an enjoyable enemy. Preferably someone too powerful to confront directly.

You can spin all kinds of ripping yarns from a good baddie. Especially if your players grow to hate that baddie on their own terms.

Give one of the peasants on their land a prophetic pig named Hen Wen. Whenever Hen drinks water, the pool/trough turns into a scrying pool which shows the most dangerous enemy (of the pig) within seven leagues.

The pig-herder's son, Taran, dreams of becoming a fierce knight, but is wholly unsuited to the profession.

Watching the players figure out what these visions should be worth at least a session or two. Your Quaesitor may throw a conniption fit over the potential Code of Hermes violations this represents.

If you're feeling particularly cruel to the literate, have them later discover a magic black iron cauldron. It's a simple cooking magic item, but anyone who gets the reference will be terrified until they discover what it does. If they investigate it, suggest that there may be more enchantments in the cauldron, but their scores are too low to identify the enchantment.

I'm also always a fan of playing against type. Have them meet a perfectly polite Templar with a Relic weapon, who is far too busy with real dangers (like the demon he's hunting) to worry about any wizards.