Give us your regios! :)

So, I though I'd start this thread because if there is one thing that sometime confuses me in Ars Magica, it's how regios work. So here we can post some ideas for regios. I'll begin.

Infernal Regio:
This one is inspired from the film Silent Hill. An infernal regio has suddenly manifested over a town, and after some horrible disaster, it has drawn some of the people into itself. There on the lowest level of the regio, they continue to sin, but demons live in the upper levels, and the sometime comes down to torment the townsfolk. Imagine all manners of depravity, every kind of evil, and the idea here is to make the townfolk seem even more evil than the demons, who are, in a way, only doing what their nature dictates.

So, any other ideas?

E.

A divine regio at the site of a great miracle or holy site. Sometimes people who make pilgrimages to the site are separated from their friends and talk to angels. They are shown a land full of miraculous healings and lions snuggling up with lambs, or a constant re-creation of the miracle. When they find their friends again, their friends struggle to believe them.

Any stone circle (aka "henge") can lead into a magical regio, or perhaps an infernal one (depending on the nature of those ancients worshiping there.)

A forest path could lead into Faerie one day of the year, perhaps by following a great (red?) stag or boar. Likewise any isolated ancient stone bridge or other apparently mundane "gateway".

One of my personal favorites is the accidentally created pocket magical regio, in the air above the foundations of a tower blasted by a powerful magical accident/event. If mundanes were to build using those foundations, an overlap of a magical regio and the upper stories of a mundane structure could overlap. Within that regio, perhaps echoes of the original tower still exist.

In a long-used covenant area, echoes of ancient magicians, labs or libraries, perhaps the veil between becomes weaker one day a year or season. Maybe a Mage stumbles through, vanishing from mundane world, and decides to stay a while, making use of the facilities (at least to determine how to get back!) Once back, how to return again?

A Magical Regio surrounds an empty stretch of ocean. When the stars align correctly a mist rises up, which conceals an island. The island is barren on such days, though there are oddly shaped bits of brush here and there, and a pearly little pond. On one day every seven years the highest level of the Regio is revealed. The island is covered all over with a mossy brush and the pond is the living place of the Gantas, a certain breed of wild swan, they have one webbed foot and one taloned foot, and can be quite deadly if provoked. They migrate as a yearly custom to the moon, and many odd souvenirs of their journey can be found on the island. These could include odd fish, an undying rose, sap of life or any other lunar objects.

A regio is formed around a castle, built of stone quarried from the head of a sleeping giant (who takes the form of a hill when asleep). The stones contain partial memories of the now deceased giant and and can be willful (refusing to lie level, hold together, or even falling on folk) unless placated. They whisper words and fragments of phrases to each other, caught in an endless dream.

At the higher levels of the regio, the dream is stronger and a degraded spirit of the giant dwells. If awoken into greater awareness, it is lonely and demands visitors attend it twice a year and bring a story and song to cheer its table. Within the giant's dream mentem and imaginem effects have greater power and durability.

A pond is home to a female nixie - a water nymph that lures and drowns men . In the mundane world it is misleadingly small. But entering the water in the right fashion means entering a fair-sized lake with a proud looking stone manor house resting the bottom.

Salmon, some nearly the length of a man, a known to spawn in this pond and contain Aquam vis. However, to catch them requires one to enter the regio and subdue them. Within the regio they appear as great silver-white horses with webbed feet, and the herd is tended by the nixie who is loath to share them.

A flooded limestone quarry now used as a local water source. When the constellation Taurus is overhead, stairs can be dimly perceived under the water. Travelers who walk the stairs descend through the water without drowning or becoming damp. Far below they enter into the remains of an ancient subterranean temple of Mithras.

The skeletons of the ancient roman soldiers who worshiped here still guard its sacred chambers.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithras

(Mithras rocks. He is our saviour. Believe in him, and you will have eternal life. No, really.)

On the small desert islands south of Zante, one of those islands was supposed to be the home of the harpies that tormented Phineas. Most recently Irene, daughter of Emperor Theodoros has began building a fortress-like monestary on one of the islands.

At one time, the island has a magical regio with the progressive regios going to the idolized lairs of harpies (pretty much filled with offal and other manner of waste). That magical regio represents the power that came from the harpies being "avatars" of ill winds per greek myth. However, overtime the regio has become infernally tainted by the cruelty and evil of the harpies. Now the lowest level is (0) is the windswept, salt encursted desert island where nothing grows, the next level is broken and wind-swept with foul odors, the next is one of waste as if a massive flock of pigeons spent the better part of a millenium on the ruins of a mycene town, and the highest level being the fouled lair of the harpies with caves overlooking the Ionian Sea, the Thessely, Lemnos, Pontus, a couple points along the Black Sea. The highest level of the Regio allows geographic access to those points.

The harpies have no direct relationship with the actual infernal, but their practices make them fairly good servants of the infernal.

Mt. Etna, Isle of Sicily

Most of the locals avoid the mountain, despite the fertile soil of the area, though the road around it's base is fairly well travelled. Along the southern side, there is an old path, a road left over from ancient days, that winds around the mountain. It leaves the main road on the south side of the mountain.

As one climbs this path, they wander up through the regio, each half turn being another layer. The path makes 5 full complete turns around the mountain. Most of the layers are uninhabited by anything other than hardy plants, though there are 2 exceptions; On the first level is a nice little house, where an old man lives with an old woman, and their young daughter. More on the old man later.

On the 6th level, there is the cave of the last cyclops; this poor wretch is blind, and lives in a squalid existence. He still has the gift of prophesy, but mainly wants to be left alone, and can easily take on a party of magi and custos if need be. If approached in a non hostile manner, he is a treasure trove of knowledge about his layer of the regio, and the one lower down and one higher up.

As one comes to the summit, and the highest level of the regio, one finds the ruins of a greek temple, partially melted, partially destroyed. Stairs lead down into the pit of the caldera, and into the highest level of the regio (+10 Aura); portions of corroded bronze bars the size and thickness of a man lay scattered about, and large chains and manacles lay within the pit. The party is looking at the prison of Typhon and Echidna, the first monsters. Echidna's fate can easily be seen, as her remains lay not far from the pit, killed by some ancient, Hellenic hero.

Typhon himself is the old man in the house on the first level, along with his second wife. One of their 4 children lives there, the youngest, a girl named Diana. While he is free from his prison inside the mountain, he cannot leave the island - his life and the island have become linked. He has been humbled by his imprisonment, and is content to live his days on the island, with his wife and family. The locals know of him, and he is respected for his wisdom.

His bonds, forged by Hephaestus, were destroyed when the power of the Greek and Roman gods failed with the rise of Christianity.

If roused to sufficent anger, he will show his true form, an immense, regal black and silver dragon. It is nearly useless to try and stat something that is considered a force of nature. He cannot be slain so long as the island of Sicily remains, even in part. As he cannot venture out of sight of the island, one simply leaves the island, and does not return, to avoid certain death.

The Magi of Verdi know of him, and leave him alone. They dismiss rumors of him as tales from the bottom of a cup or keg.

Steve

The covenant is placed in a mysterious strong magical aura of 5 without any special place like a temple or a dragons lair or something. After some adventures and investigation of the remainings of the old inhabitants of the covenant (which were all slain by some unknown foe) they find a spell designed by the old covenants members.

After using the spell in their aura they find out that there is a pathway that leads directly to other, higher layers of a powerful regio. To gaina ccess to this higher level they have to make a ritual that involves the blood sacrifice of "three different beeings". After this ritual a gate in the air opens and after walking trough this gate they find themselves in an old city.

After long invetsigations, exploring of the area and the confrontation with some long forgotten residents, they learn that this was once a major city of an old empire: the acient empire out of the legends of some hermetic magi (mostly the Seekers). The name of this city is/was Celestina and even after spending much time there not every secret is solved.

But the main problem are the other magi of the Rhine Tribunal: somehow Fengheld and Durenmar and some other magi knows about the researche sof the old covenants members and the little covenant full of young mages is hardly under pressure to find allies against the powerful archwizards.

What a growing collection of awesome Regios!!! I was particular taken by the Mt. Etna Regio and your description of it Kryslin!!

Sammos the forbidden world

To normal humans it is only a normal pond for fishing, owned by a small village near a covenant. But a fearie aura is around the lake of 1 in the woods and 3 direct in the pond. Fearie animals are found inside the pond with a giant, speaking fish as their leader. A little Aquam Vis source of fearie touched Vis is inside the natural spring wich creates the pond.

But if you close your eyes and jump directly into the water with a head jump into the ground (and only this way is possible) you can cross the first regio barrier wich leads you into an aura of 4 and... underwater.

Because this fearie regio is part of the near dark and far summer there is litte light but life is nearly at every point: algae around every part, fishes in every colour and size that flow trough the wide ocean, beautiful but pale mermaids and so on. The entry point of this layer is underwater: a vortex of water that is a passage in both sides. But this vortex lies more than 20 paces beneath the surface so if you arent prepared or a good swimmer your only hope are the (most) friendly mermaids to survive.

The shape of this layer is like a small planet with no core: besides a small island and some sand banks around it there is no earth, only water. The little planet has a diameter of 5 miles and the island is only 200 paces big. This island is covered by giant trees with algae that hang from their green wood but without and animal life. Only the sand banks are covered with tousands of shells, some friendly, some hostile, some intelligent, some as big as houses, some with big pearls, some with Vis inside of them.

In the center of the island is a lake with a tall 20 paces high gateway made of solid rock, covered with the faces of old pagan gods and dragons. This is the passage in the next layer, a level 5 fearie aura.

This is the true Sammos: a underwater world with no surface and deep, dark water with little light that shines from strange plants and animals. If you cant breath water (the mermaids might help you with this) you will drown within moments. But if you survive you can meet Morella the queen of the waterfolk, a fish-man shaped folk of fearies, not the brightest but extremly powerful with any water related effect that multiplies in intensity when they act together.

Morella and the folk of Merrow have an alliance with a nerby covenant: the covenant searches for the murderer of Morellas husband and the robber of their greatest treasure: an egg of their former god, a dragons egg. The covenant also have to give the queen a magical instrument that can create music every 7 years. And the covenant uses its influence to protect the regio from human people. For these services the magi can use the Vim and Muto Vis sources of Merrow.

But there are two more regio layers that are well hidden and protected: somewhere in the deep ocean are big canyons that are the entrance to the next layer (aura of 6) a maze of tunnels and caves filled with cold water and a total light and lifless darkness. Only an old crab with a long, white beard hids himself in the biggest cave of this layer: inside this cave also lies the skeletton of the former pagan god of this region, a big water dragon with a forgotten name. The crab hides in his skull and can tell everyone the story of this place: the dragon was once a small lizard in the pond, but after some strange events and coincidence the old tribes in this region praised the lake and his god of water. Trough this long time of praise the lizard grew in power and became a mighty fearie dragon, a true god of this people. In this time the water god created Merrow and his citizens but even they have forgotten the true story. But a real, magical dragon of the fire from the kin of Stellatus wanted to kill the water god and rob his big treasure. The fight between these two lasted for month and most of his human followers were killed in this war, Merrow was mostly destroyed and becaus eof the magical powers was hidden from human sight. In the end the fire dragon won, but the water god lured him with his last powers into a trap: he forged a magical ring like a circle of protection around the fire dragon inside the last layer of the regio.

This last layer with an aura of 7 (which can be reached simply by a tunnel near the water gods skeletton) is very different from the other layers of the regio: there is no water, only heat and fire, smolten iron and magma with some small islands of rock and earth. Inside this hell waits the mighty fire dragon fully awake for someone foolish enough to let him out of his cage. If this would ever happen the dragon would destroy Merrow and the whole landscape around the pond, including the nearby spring covenant.

But the one who killed Morellas husband and robbed the egg of the water god also unintentionally weakend the ring of the fire dragon, so perhaps in only a few years the power of the dragon wil leak out and slowly destroy the regio until the dragon is free or someone repairs the ring.

Agreeing with Furion, many great Regios here, and Lucius ex Verditius's most recent is among the best I've ever read. Great job guys!

Thanks for the fish :

The 2 regios are something I already build in our saga, they are the main Vis sources of the covenant and we have spend many days in these two.

And I love the idea of Kallie with his harphy island.

But beware poor mundanes I have another idea:

Dark castle of the sad story

This castle lies in a area with many forrests and little villages. The townsfolk around it only whispers of this cursed place in the brightest daylight. Legens of a cursed knight and his poor followers are told, but noone really knows the truth.

The castle itself is huge and surrounded by a dark and sinister forrest with huge oaks. There are many towers and several buildings inside the walls, but everything is without life, only some snakes take a sunbath on this place with an infernal aura of 1 on the day and 2 in the night. The buildings are without roofs, many walls are only ruins and nearly everything have cracks on it. There is only one exeption: a statue of an angry bear inside one tiny room. If someone touches it with his bare hands in the night he enters the first layer of the regio.

In this layer with an aura of 3 the buildings are more inatct but far from perfect, the shadows are longer and sometimes strage shemes and sounds can be heard and seen. In this layer there is a room with many paintings with the knight and his family. The seem to tell a story. If you look in too long you are transportet in another layer of the regio with an aura of 3. In this dream-like place the sad story of the knight who once was a perfect example of true knighthood, his wife with a bad heart who turned the once glory knight into a bad and dark killer who murdered innocent people, slayed churchmen and even holy men, ate children (litteraly) and enjoyed everything of it. After these storyies are told (there are several paintings) the watcher is transported back into the first layer. But some of the paintings are destroyed in this layer.

The true second layer can be reached if someone goes trough the main enrance of the small chapel. After this you are in a bloddy and ruined church with an infernal aura of 5. In this layer nearly all people who once lived in this castle can be seen as ghosts... and they can see the humans who entered their realm and the dark knights and soldiers are no friends of visitors. But luckily most of the night they do so much things (torture people, have sex, drink, eat humans ect) they dont recognize intruders fast. And if the intruders act as if they were normal party of this scene the infernal ghost dont even recognize them as living humans! In this layer all seems cold and frozen, the solid and perfectly intact walls, the water in the well which is pure ice, the flying ladys with a grasp of cold that can turn a human dead ect. In this layer there is the room with the paintings but with nearly all paintings... one seems to be lost. The other paintings tell the story of gods punishment and some deeper informations about the story and it seems that the wife wasnt bad all the time...

After some investigation (and the avoidance of detection) they can find out were the remaining painting is: it is well guared inside the deepest tomb. After getting this painting all watchers are transported into a new story... but this time with an infernal aura of 7 and the possibility for everyone to interact and to get killed. It is the true story of the events, of the demon which whove is web of lies and hate onto the humans and drove them deep into damnation. The entrance to the last layer is the palce were the last painting should hang. If it is placed in its right place a secret passage opens.

The last layer of the castle is true hell with an infernal aura of 9, only in this place the kight and his lady can be found. All is covered with ice, the temperature is about -40 celsius, deadly for all living beeings, small demons fly around and torture not only the innocent but mostly the knight, his family and his soldiers. This original demon is not very powerful, but the death kights and his banshees are an extremly powerful enemy, capable of killing even the strongest magi with their bare touch. If the intruders get all the informations from the painting and find the demon inside the castle and catch him, they could find a way to free the souls of the damned, but this is a horrible task.

Garden of the Moon
(Fae, Forest Glade somewhere near Brioux, in Aquitania)

This regio consists of a single layer, and can only be entered on those days the full moon rides in the sky, day or night. At all other times, the mundane level of the regio is a peaceful glade with a sping, and a large, flat rock in the center. Thick, thorny wild rose bushes surround it, and the path that leads into it is the only easy way in. There is a weak faerie aura here, a +1. The water from the spring is refreshing to drink, but not magical.

However, on those days the full moon rides in the sky, one enters the regio, a magnificent and sad garden, peaceful and quiet under the moonlit sky; The moon here is much larger than normal, and is always full. No one will have any problems seeing. Likewise, the feeling of calm and peace is all pervading, and few if any want to disturb it (an appropriate personality trait roll of 15+ to do anything violent or destructive). The Faerie Aura here is +9.

The layout may seem like a labyrinth, but such is not the case; All paths led to the center of the garden.

In the center of the garden, in the same place as the large, flat stone, is a crystal bier on which lays a stunningly beautiful young woman in peaceful slumber- mere words can do little to describe her beauty. She is in an enchanted sleep, awaiting the day when her prince shall return and awaken her. If the bier is touched, a gentle voice sounds in the glade "I am Selene, Queen of the Moon, who awaits the return of my prince, Endymion. Those of you seeking refuge, Be at peace and rest." She cannot be awakened. 4 fountains, each a part of the bier, feed small streams that water the rest of the garden. Here, the water is like liquid light (and is still non-magical).

At the 4 cardinal points, are 4 statues, of 4 soldiers dressed in ancient Greek Hoplite armor, standing at the gaurd. Should anyone attempt violence against the sleeping Selene (this includes trying to remove her), they will animate, and seek to expel the group from the center of the garden. (Exact stats are left up to the SG, but they attack as a trained team, should they attack in melee combat). Each has a fairy might of 20. Each has command of one element, and can duplicate any effect under 7th magnitude in that element, for the cost of 1 might point per 2 magnitudes. Consider each to have a penetration score of 8. Note that they can choose a magnitude, then choose a lower level effect, and gain the extra penetration. Their duty is to maintain the peace of the garden, and to make sure Selene remains undisturbed. They cannot leave the garden.

Once they inflict a total wound penalty of -5, that person is expelled, never to re-enter the garden. They are healed of any wounds that the gaurdians inflicted. They have also gained Fairy Emnity as a flaw.

Should the group decide to rest, they will eventually fall asleep. When they awaken, they will be at the mundane entrance. They will find the worst of their wounds healed. Unless anyone in the group has fairy blood, they will find that 28 days have passed. If someone in the group has fairy blood, only 1-3 days have passed (the full moon is no longer in the sky).

The flowers in the garden provide various kinds of fairy touched vis, depending on the flower. Only one flower per visitor per visit contains vis. The garden is immense (perhaps 400 paces across), and you only have from moon rise to when the moon sets to find them. The flowers picked will have regrown by the next moonrise. Picking too many flowers (a purely arbitrary amount - anything the SG thinks is excessive) over the season will attract the attention of the gaurdians.

Steve