Covenant in Samothrace

I'm starting a new saga set in the Tribunal of Thebes. While browsing TSE for a covenant location, I came across Samothrace. Unfortunately, the island was only given a single paragraph. A quick look at the wikipedia articles (, rendered me some more information. The island housed an important mystery cult, centred on the Hieron ton Megalon Theon (The Sanctuary of the Great Gods). These gods are titan-like enough to warrant a magical (instead of a faerie) aura, making it a nice site for a covenant.

I want the saga to be mostly about the covenant's foundation and rise to power through the magi's many future accomplishments (most of them are determined to leave a mark on hermetic history). Thus, I am going to use the Sanctuary merely as a backdrop, especially as an excuse for a high magical aura.

That being said, I must confess my google-fu is weak. I could only find information on the Sanctuary and the cult, but not much about the mundanes... If I am going actually place the covenant in Samothrace, I'm going to need more information on possible towns, villages, etc. Can you guys please point me to some site or book where I may find more on Samothraki?

Finally, while I have considerable experience as GM and DM, so far I have only successfully SG'ed one Ars saga, so any suggestion, critique, or comment is more than welcome!

Well, I doubt that information on Samothrace in the XIII century is going to be easy to find. If I were you, I would take a look at Google Map, note where the towns are today, and assume there were already there back then. You can even keep the names, who are appropriately Greek :slight_smile:

Oh, and goats. Apparently there are lots of them on the island today (app. 100,000, see ), so be sure to put goats :wink:

Yeah, I imagine it's difficult to find information, that's why I was asking you guys. Anyway, thanks for the google maps idea. I had already taken a look at it earlier today and jolted down a few notes. I Guess reading a bit about raising goats in the middle ages will have to suffice. XD

Chances are there is more information out there in Greek than English, you may have some luck looking for an appropriate discussion forum in Greek and asking for assistance. A few years ago I needed a Finnish article translated and an hour after posting the thread had my translation and there was an active discussion (in English, for my benefit) of the subject matter. :slight_smile:

Awesome location. :mrgreen: Mythic History, Chthonic Mystery Cult, Spitting Distance to Constantinople.

The Island was apparently conquered by Venice in 1204. So you might look into how the Venetians handled their holdings. I don't have sundered eagle so I don't know how much is in there on that subject.

I suspect there's almost no information on mundane Samothrace, because there's very little to say? Even today, the population of the entire island is less than 3000. I would imagine that in the early 13th C, it may be only a few hundreds (but this is just a guess). Bear in mind that the majority of the island is mountainous, there are no mineral or agricultural resources, and no natural harbours. Apart from goat or sheep herding, fishing, or piracy, I see little to support any settlements of note... Given this, Venice's level of attention as nominal overlord is likely to be very light - there are many other islands which are richer and have proper harbours.

Here is a small map I found with a handful of historical sites listed:

I have no idea if either of the two monasteries listed date from the period - I'm guessing not, but you never know.

Personally, I would go with one small town of a few hundred persons (perhaps on the NW coast near where the supposed 10th century fortification is), and a scattering of tiny villages/hamlets. A small monastery and a small community of pirates would both be good for stories. I think there are supposed to be some thermal springs.

This raises the question of what is a plausible source of income for a Samothrace covenant! Herding/farming looks marginal at best, and without a proper harbour, fishing or trading at any decent scale is going to be difficult... But of course there are certainly magical possibilities! (Perhaps there are valuable resources to be harvested from the "underwater city"?)

I spun up a mystery cult at the location for Sub Rosa #3.

The issue includes the map of the Great Sanctuary on Samothrace and a number of seeds involving the cult.

Sub Rosa #4 has a related covenant site for the cult, the ruined Thracian temple-city of Seuthopolis.

They might be worth checking out.

Sundered Eagle is definitely going to be a good place to look at for some ideas on mundane life.