Help with new Lion of the North Saga

Hello, it is me again after a looong time... I didn't started that saga, but now i will make it for sure... But i need some help...

I Already made a rough map for the setting (i sitll have to fix and include some things and change the names): ... 4fbbcd&z=6

The game will start at a Tribunal meeting iin 1203.. in this tribunal the characters will be invited to meet Azenis and help him rebuild Lux ex Tenebris...

Things i need:

A good font of scotish names.

A map of the political situation of the region in the game time

i quite didn't understand the land property of the covenant: Only Lords and the Church own lands, right? But a covenant can't have a vassal relation with a Lord... Is there any type of contract or something like that?

In some part of the saga the lands of the covenant will be held by the church (this will happen for the church have a closer look at the covenant after the Twelfth Night end and as plot to midsummer's night dream)... Is there a contract for this? What the church wants from a person or group in exchange for land use?

Anyone knows the hierachy of the church in scotland in those years? I know that there is a Abbey near (edinburg)... But anyone knows of bishops ans cardeals?

if you need more information to help me, just ask...


edit: my previous post viewtopic.php?t=3860&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=mcfion&start=0

Google - you need Google, and a willingness to use it.

I write a lot - but I'm not about to tackle all the info you're requesting, sorry. At some point, you have to go to the source and decide what you find useful and inspirational, and what not.

Keywords "Scotland" + "History" = ... tland.html ... story.html
& etc. & etc. & etc...

A specific question - good.

You are confusing what the Code says and how it is usually followed. By the Code, each magi is sworn not to "endanger the Order with my Actions... (and not to) interfere with the affairs of Mundanes and thereby bring ruin on my Sodales..." That doesn't mean magi cannot not live in the mundane world, or give a mundane money for something in return. They can buy bread, they can hire a laborer, they can rent a house. The difference is whether they "interfere" or not, and whether that meddling has negative results - i.e., whether they get caught. Simply paying their taxes and being good tenants does not breech the Code.

But many Covenants find some way to distance themselves - finding a friendly (or desperate) low-level landed lord who will act as a front for them works well for many. There are other, more creative ways to ensure that "the affairs of Mundanes" do not become the affairs of the Covenant - or at least, do not obviously do so.

What every power base wants - money. In the form of taxes, often a portion of the crop, if not actual coin. And a more loyal following - while the Reformation is far off, a Bishop who runs his own lands is far more confident to be free from heresy than one who operates on the King's land (The difference between Canon and Church law, which were once 2 diff skills). And to exercise more influence over them, as "the Lord" of that land, rather than appearing as another (if holier) tenant of the King's land.

I really tried to google... a lot.. but it is very very difficult to find information.... But thanks anyway... i will try those links =)

McF - I am at a loss as how to respond. "very very difficult to find information"? On the Internet??? :unamused:

The links above took me less than 60 seconds to find, copy and paste, and were merely the first on the list of millions of links.

If you mean useful information, or "information that doesn't read like history", then you need to either 1) accept that if you're looking for history, you will find "history", or 2) find a keyword that will "dumb-down" the information.

Go to this page:

type in these Keywords:
"Scotland" + "History" + "Timeline" ... index.html ... sh_history (Have you heard of "Wiki"?)

Again, these are just the first few of thousands. Okay, I lie - 1.5 Million. And, again, it took me about a minute to find. Okay, I lie again - less. Less than it took me to copy & paste them all.

Good luck.

OK ok... don't need to be rude =P

I really mean usefull information... It is very difficult to see how things were in 1200 in scotland, more precisely, in Edinburg...

It is very very easy to find timelines with major facts... Those are very well presented in The Lion of the North too...

But good political maps? I found a eclessiatical map of scotland, but it only says "middle-ages"... I will have to search more to see if it really aproches the eclesiastical situation in 1200...

For now i only discovered that Edinburg just gained the status of shire, and that there are two other shires... but nothing on its limits...

I'm reading a lot, and i don't need the internet dumbed down... i'm not dumb ¬¬ I just wanted to know if anyone already made this... Since it appears that no one had done this yet for use in ars magica, i'm trying to find it in the net... And it is really difficult...

Point me a political map of scotland in 1200 (more or less this year, of course you don't need to be very precise)... i'm searching the net for quite some time and didin't find one...

Lion of the North is a very very very good book.. but it lacks of maps is a major point down... A revised edition of the tribunals with good maps would be very good =)

Istead of criticizing me Cuchulainshound, you could really help me build this information that is lacking in the Lion of the North book: The political struture of scotland, the eclesiastical structure of scotland with good maps...


some of what i have found

It appears that the biggest chuch in the area in 1200 was this:

A list with the names of the abbots with dates:

With this i have a list of village names:

Timelines and major events are easy... But names of local lords and its lands aren't...

I'm trying to slap you into doing your own work - not the friendliest, but that's how I'm wired, no apologies. I can be an ass, however, I submit that I am not an ass - I do care, those who don't answer the ones blowing you off. :wink:

First, here's something I learned - as Story Guides, we are creating fiction. If you keep a straight face, your Players won't know the diff, and the story will be just as good.

You can't always find exactly the map you need on the 'web. So, take a modern map. If a road is "straight", then cross it out (too modern). If a town is large, it's small back then. If a town is small, it's a village. If a town is a village, then it was a few huts at a cattle ford. Smaller roads were tracks, no Roman roads in Scotland but at least they were traveled. Lots of brigands on the roads. And portray it as "fact" (with or with apology), and go with it.

In the end, it doesn't matter if the local laird is a Murray or a Gordan.

Or... keep trying on the web. Arguably, it's there somewhere. Refine your search, look at the words you find on pages that are "close" to help find similar pages. Research isn't easy unless you're lucky - it can be long hours of very little reward until you strike gold.

I'll take a stab at it.

here are the largest cities: ... ml#%20here

Here's one you can give your Players - it is, literally, a classic:

I already have a map =) I'm using google maps (see it at the first post)... But i reaaly don't have a good picture of how the political situation was in scotland...

Ok... we have scot clans at the north, anglo-saxons at the south... Already we have two different political organizations here... i would love to have historical names for the major land lords and nobles...

Since the Pact of Crun Clach is too recent... I wanted to place the players in some political situations, not only with the three major covenants, but with lords that remenber how usefull a magi is in the battle and in other mathers... And i want to make the church and it's maquinations a great factor in the covenant life... that is why i'm searching for this...

Remember "Braveheart"? Right - now while I don't recommend for a moment that any Hollywood depiction be used as a reliable model for a historical interpretation (some are, but purely by accident), there is one accurate lesson there. Remember the "meeting of lords", just before they're all hung? Remember the later meeting when they're all trying to decide who will be the new Scottish main lord?

Chaos. Hundreds of ankle-biting little bandit-lords each fortified in their own corner of some bog, each with a history of murder and border-wars and betrayals (think Macbeth!), and each as stable as any fish in a school in the sea.

One reason you're not finding a political map, is that there may not be one. Not "just" one - it might be changing seasonally, not one but many, every year a new one, and at few moments would any map represent anything more than a distant snapshot of a rugby game does.

You'd have to go to the library, find a really good book about the local politics in that period, and formulate the situation on your own for exactly your year and location. (And remember - that history was influenced by the records of those who won those border-wars...)

Or... you do some random reading, mostly for inspiration, but maybe pick up some factual history too. You watch Braveheart again, and take some notes about names, and about some of the petty squabbles, and make it up. If you can find some local names, great - but your players will not know the diff.

There are many ways to play AM. One is a strict historical recreation - but that's not necessary to the game. For one, the insertion of "magi" immediately changes that political balance - and history goes out the window after the first year of the saga.

It doesn't matter if Mactavish killed Dundee in 1204, or Dundeed killed Mactavish in 1206 - tell a story, tell your story, have confidence in your authorship, and enjoy. Once you start your story, no one is going to worry what the name of the historical Bishop of Glasgow was in 1200, or if he actually died mysteriously in the second year of your Saga - tell your story, and no one will blink.

Now i see my error... I wil do some more research and read the saxon saga of bernard corwell...

The sheriff system has just been implanted...

Well... if someone else has some references to point, i would be gratefull...

and thaks Cuchulainshound


McFion - there's a pretty good map of Scotland in the period here. It's from an early edition of Muir's Historical Atlas, which I can't recommend highly enough as a reference book. The rest of the site also has some good stuff on it.

For what it's worth, I'm also running a Loch Leglean saga (centred in Galloway), and I've pulled almost all the historical data I need from wikipedia. For instance: a list of the major noble estates, with links to reasonably complete lists of title holders through the middle ages and beyond.

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Wow... That was exactly what i was looking for!!! Thank you very much =)

Knowing that you are running a Loch Leglean Saga too, do you know if the character creation options presented at the Lion of the North book are presented in the Hedge Magic book?

I expect better research from you than this. 8)

On multiple levels, too:

First: Macbeth:

MacBeth's historical reign is noted as being one of the most peaceful in Scotland's history, culminating in a period of stability so secure that he was able to leave the kingdom and go on pilgrimage to Rome, a feat not followed by any of his successors until....hrrrrrm...I'm not sure, actually. Hundreds of years, though.

Unfortunately for MacBeth, his enemies paid to have him killed, killed his adopted son, and then claimed the throne. James VI and I, who was a patron of Shakespeare's, was descended from Banquo...hence the bit where the witches see his heirs thrice sceptred and crowned.

Second, a comparion of actual systems in operation:

Primogeniture is established in Scottish succession law during the reign of Malcolm Canmore (who died in 1093 and was an English speaker, probably raised in the Norman court in England). It doesn't take the first time it is tried, but in 1220 it has been operational for 123 years.

The reigning king of Scots is Alexander II. His predecessor was his dad, William I. His predecessor was his elder brother Malcolm IV. His
predecessor was his grandfather David I (his dad, also a David, died before his father.) David's predecessors were each of his brothers in turn, by birth order (Alexander I, Edgar) but at Edgar you could claim primogeniture has failed because Edgar takes the crown from Donald Ban by force, skipping an older brother who was on Donald Ban's side of the war (Edmund). So, you can trace primogentiture back to 1097.

Primogeniture was established in English law in 1217. That is, it is less than 3 years old in 1220. Its (only) beneficiary is the current king, Henry, although it didn't work in practice because the barons only agreed to this primogeniture thing after they were defeated at Lincoln and in a naval battle at Dover. They had offered the throne to Prince Louis of France and he effectively ruled London as king for about a year, as I recall.

The current king's father, John, came to the throne when the eldest son of the previous king (Arthur, son of Richard the Lionheart) vanished mysteriously while in John's custody, after the two had fought a war of succession against each other.

Now, I'm not saying that the Scots didn't fight rival claimants: they did. They didn't, however, fight within the royal house in the way the English did, because primogeniture has been operative in Scotland for over a century, and it hasn't actually be operative in England at all, in 1220.

This idea that the Scottish system is chaos is about as historical as all that woad on William Wallace.

Interesting post.... This changed the scenario i am preparing...

My Saga will start at 1203 in a tribunal meeting...

Can you give me the fonts of your argumentation?

If you are doing web searches, then "Edinburgh" may help as a spelling.

So you want an ecclesiatical map for Scotland in 1220? That's going to be a mite tricky.

"An Ecclesiastical History of Scotland" says the names of each diocese and its holder for 1220 (in chapter XX), but gives no map.

Note that there is no metropolitan of the Scottish Church. That is, there is no archbishop. This was last confirmed by Pope Honorius in 1218. Councils of the Scottish Church can only be called by papal legates because of this, and this is very unusual. It also means the Church in Scotland has no official leader, although unofficially it does, of course. The Bishop of Saint Andrews is first in dignity in Scotland, although this does not involve power per se. The leaders of the church also still meet, just not in councils binding on the church as to matters of doctrine.

The church holds a Council in Perth during 1221 with a legate from Paris. Then it goes odd and regional.

In 1225, the pope will send a letter saying "Hold a synod" and the bishops will deliberately misread it to say "hold a synod whenever you like", They then devised a system of annual synods of bishops, abbots and the priors of distinct priories. This system was run by the Conservator, who was appointed by and from the bishops, giving the Church a offical leader with the authority to punish failure to attend or follow the promulgations of the synods. So effectively the Scots have an elected archbishop until the C15th, when Saint Andrews gets tapped in as metropolitan.

The great joy of this is to keep legates out of the country. In 1237, the King of Scotland is in England (I believe) and the legate suggests he may wish to vist. The king comes up with this, according to Matthew Paris who is likely spinning a yarn:

" I do not remember ever to
have seen a legate in [my?] territories, nor that it has been
necessary for one to be summoned there, thanks to God ; and
there is not now any need of one, for all goes on well ; neither
was any legate allowed ingress into that kingdom during the
time of my father, or any of my ancestors, and I will not
allow it as long as I am able. However, since report pronounces
you to be a man of sanctity, I warn you, if you should happen
to enter my territories, to proceed cautiously,
lest anything untoward happen to you, for ungovernable wild
men dwell there, who thirst after human blood, and whom I
myself cannot tame, and if they were to attack you, I should
be unable to restrain them ; it is but lately, as you have perhaps
heard, that they wanted to attack me, and drive me from
my kingdom."

The bishoprics of Scotland in 1220 are: Saint Andrews, Glasgow, Dunkeld, Murray, Aberdeen, Ross, Caithness, Melrose, Dunblane, Argyll, Man and Orkney. Note that Man and Orkney contain parts of Scotland, but hold from the Archbishop of Drontheim in Norway, or York for Man if you follow one line of argument that the contemporary Pope prefers. This is in order of foundation and thus dignity, except perhaps Dunblane, which is weird, and the two Norse ones.

A few interesting notes:

The bishop of Argyll is the first ever. The bishop of either Dunkeld or Saint Andrews (sorry, can't recall and can't be bothered looking it up) sent a letter to the Pope saying basically "I can't speak Gaelic and it means I'm not serving the people in the west of my see very well. What you should do is cut my see in half, and leave me the eastern bit, and give the other half to a guy who speaks Gaelic. The see is wealthy enough for two bishops. PS, my friend who is carrying the letter is a top bloke and speaks Gaelic, just in case you are short of them in Rome." The pope sends him back a letter saying "You want to give up half your revenue instead of just hiring a guy to do it for you? You're so humble compared to other bishops you are clearley one of the coolest men ever. Do whatever you want. Your mate's cool, and I've tapped him in for you. Rock on with your crazy self."

The bishop of Caithness, in 1220, gets hacked to bits by his parishoners, because he keeps giving them a hard time about their tithes. His replacement is one of the saints of the Scottish calendar (Saint Gilbert, 1 April).

In 1231, the Bishop of Dunblane complains to the Pope that his see has been vacant for ten year because no one would take it, it being so poor. It was poor because it went unfilled for one hundred years a while ago and its lands have been stolen by noblemen. How a see goes vacant for 100 years is anyone's guess, and a see that old is -really freaking old- by Scottish standards.

And a politcial map for 1220?

This is really tricky, because there's no good repository for this sort of information. The map that one of our colleagues has given to you is goodish for regions, but it doesn't make clear that the borders of these lands are nebulous (which is why they lack borders on the map) and permeable (that is, the lord of Fife often owns little bits and pieces all over the surrounding lands, and they similarly own lands in his lands. Also, it doesn't mark interrelations. I first saw thios map in the front of "MacBeth" by Tranter, for example, and it doesn't say that the Lord of Orkney (from Denmark) was Lord of Caithness and Sutherland (from Scotland, which is why Suothern Land is at the top of the map) and that his half brother was Lord of Moray and they were chums.

nd the lords of Mar and Galloway are actually the same guy at one stage, and stuff like that. That is, these are geographic regions related to political power, but they

Good, but quite impossible.

The reason it isn't there is because its not available.

I'm sorry, I'm not clear on what this question means. Could you put it another way?"

I will put here the links i gathered so far: ... n_Scotland ... links.html ... o1300.html ... iddle_ages

and the map i'm making for teh saga: ... 4fbbcd&z=6

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:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
Another excerpt from da Ferg's Twisted Tales of History!

Rock on with your crazy self!

I want to know from where you get those historical informations =)

I do think they could put maps in new tribunal editions... They could invent the obscure parts, and that is what i'm doing....


Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, volume 1, chapter XX, although since you are starting earlier than 1220, you might find cahpter XIX better for you. ... b_djvu.txt

Good grief I sound like a jerk here.

Apologies to Cuchulainshound. What I meant to express is that I admire the depth to which he usually researches his answers, and that this momentary lapse from his usually impeccable standards was something which I thought suprising, and I meant to put that across in a humorous sort of way.

Instead I just sound like a troll, which wasn't the intent at all, for which I am sorry.