Well, the group in my campaign is currently fleeing from Rhine Tribunal, wanting to lay low after they came on Dankmar's bad side by siding with Durenmar. No one can prove Dankmar's involvement, but hey, they forest went all dark and nasty and started eating grogs.
One of the reasons for this is that we got two new players, and I wanted everyone to be involved when selecting the site for a new covenant. I will hint that England is a good choice, my own character being a Celt and all.
I came up with two locations in England that seemed interesting, but are the situation on these in the 13th century? I have the excellent book Heirs to Merlin, but maybe someone can help with more info?
Right, the first is Cornwall, the southernmost part of England. The second is Isle of Wight.
I read somewhere that the Isle of Wight will be under Norman rule until the 1290s. How is the government on this isle.
By the way, I found that Google.com has en excellent map engine. You can actually zoom in on the entire world with satellite photos, down to the scale where one inch is 50 feet. ("Hey, I can see my house from here!!")
Cornwall's a great place to set campaigns. You have a lot of Arthuriana, and a lot of giants, and the Duchy of Cronwall is a possession of the Crown (it's like the Principality of Wales is now...it goes to the heir of the Crown, but the kigs, like 12.)
Cornwall is ruled by the Duchy of Cornwall. Since the Duke of Cornwall (who is also the king) is a child, it is ruled on his behalf by a lesser noble appointed by his Council of Regents. It is not highly populated. The disocean seat is in Truro, which is to the raf east of the area.
It is governed using the Norman system of lordships, so its feudal, although the people in the area are a distinct minority group with their own Celtic language. They also have some odd laws to allow for tin mining.
I would warmly welcome you to the Stonehenge Tribunal (maybe after you upcoming pilgrimage...? )!
Our saga takes place in England as well - we've grown quite fond of the setting - our covenant is placed on the outskirts of England on the boarder to northern Wales.
I see that Timothy has already covered Cornwall, so I'll supply a bit on the Isle of Whight. The Isle of Wight, "Vectis" as the Romans called it, was part of Celtic Britain and would also become part of the Roman Empire, and there are remains on the Island from the Romans - which might inspire some plotlines - but the Whight might already have been taken by the Romans during some of their initial proding of the British Isles. The Roman Suetonius actually mentions Wight, being invaded by the Second Legion Augusta and later Emperor Vespasian, in a text on the Caesars. Wight was later taken and settled when the Anglo-Saxon entered Britain (during the time of the Arthurian legends) by the Jutes - a Germanic Tribe from what is today Jutland (my home!) - who also settled in some of the southern parts of Britain itself.
The Isle of Wight was invaded as a part of the Norman conquest of 1066, a norman, William Fitz-Osborne, was titled lord of Wight. He went on to build the Carisbrooke Castle and Carisbrooke Priory. There a speculations that this castle was build on top of earlier Jute and Roman fortifications. The Isle of Wight was rather independent untill the last countess, Isabella De Fortibus, sold all of the Island of to the english Crown for the net sum of 6000 marks(in 1293 I think). Thereafter the lordship was by royal oppoinment.
Another interesting detail is that the Isle Wight is said to have been the last part of England to accept Christianity - in the 7th century, which I also might abuse as some kind of plot hook.
I reckon that you should be able to find al sorts of more less trustworthy information on the internet on the Isle of Wight - but in role playing inspiration these sources might be brilliant.
Hey - just an addendum to my last post (had to end it in a hurry).
Isle Wight, as part of the new Norman lordships over England, was surveyed in the Domesday Book in the 1080'ies. This huge undertaking was to get a better understadning of the lay of the land. This exiting document has survived the the centuries and in it you can find info on towns, fiefs and at times even the number of lifestock. So even if it is made more than a century before your campaing, it should be a brilliant source of inspiration.
And if you enjoy reading more on the time and place of you saga setting I can warmly recomend a couple of titles. Foremost I warmly recomend Danziger & Gillingham's 1215: The Year of the Magna Carta. Even if focusing on a year a few years before the regular Ars campaing it is simply brilliant! Beside interesting knowledge on the (on of them at least) english civil war, the rule of King John and events leading to Magna Carta (even if that document isn't as important as is often portrayed to be), it also delivers a treasure chest of insight into the everyday life of the people.
For somewhat similarly purposes I recommend Alan Hardings "England in the Thirteenth Century".
If you more into high "politics" and the hsitory of kings and their rule - then among others I'd recommend M.T. Clanchy's England and its Rulers: 1066-1272.
Off topic, but your house is easy! My buddies and I played a game, 'First to find your car!". I found my at work. My buddy found his in the parking lot in front of his apartment. It harder than you think because not all the pictures are current. For instance my store is in a mini-mall that's three years old, but the picture of my mini-mall shows it under construction. So that pic is roughly four years old. You have to some detective work.
There's another game we played using google maps, use your noodle. What got me really laughing is here is this incredibly sophisticated technology, linked via the net, used by people across the country and world. And my buddies and I looking for our cars. Couldn't stop laughing at that one. Sorry, I digress...
I'm picking the Boons and Hooks for our new Covenant set on the Isle of Wight.
It's not the most subtle of places, as it consists of six Mystic Towers set up on the south coast on top of the whitle cliffs. These are set in a circle, each tower being the point of a six pointed star. The diameter of this circle is about 100-150 yards. Below ground, the lines in the six pointed star are "drawn" with the main corridors, connecting each tower's lowest level. These corridors also have all manners of rooms and chambers. Stairs lead from each side of the star down to the lower level. These four staircases lead to the main council chamber, which has a large six sided table and huge chairs for each of the six magi. Somewhere in this room is a hidden spiral stairwell leading down to a seacave at the base of the cliffs. This cave has a bigger magic aura than the rest of the covenant.
Right, you could say that our Verditius Terram specialist went a little nuts here, but the place looks great! Being in England, it looks like one big stone circle, but only with 80 foot tall towers.
What boons and hooks should I take for this Covenant. We're using the Covenants book. How is the political situation really on Isle of Wight? Since it's still under the Norman Lord, and not England, should I take Autocephalous? What other boons and hooks should I take?
Well, it depends on the stories you want to tell, but basically
Castle (Major Hook) p.12
Curtain walls and mural towers, if the towers are connected with walls that have walkways and crennelations. (Major boon)
Courtyard Castle (Free choice) p.13, if above, andf you are owed an edifice.
If you really mean you have just the towers, then you have Castle (Major hook), something to reflect all of those towers (say a minor boon) and the system owes you an Edifice (although I might allow you to swap your edifice for the towers, in my campaign.)
The cave has the Aura Major Boon, p.6, in either case.
You can flesh that out as much as you like, provided you stick to the Six Month Rule, on page 6, which I think is a damn fine piece of game mechanics....
You aren't autocephalous, because the Norman lord holds the Isle of Wight on behalf of the English crown.
The Charter may not be until 1238 , which is also the year of Peter des Roches death ,
but i was thinking that he might be very interested in a bunch of inhabited Towers appearing seemingly from nowhere.
I am not a History buff like some , i am only going by what i read on websites. Peter Des Roches
All in all Peter Des Roche is an interesting character in 13th century english history so I'd cock up plenty of ideas to include him in the saga - if you don't like abusing history to much you might always have him play a proactive part in assuring said Charter (whether it's his swan song or not)
Peter Des Roche was one of King John's staunt Poitevon supporters - even if the king at times wasn't very succesful at being king... the flamboyant Des Roches came to England from the kings Poitevin feifs and made an amazing place for himself there. Being bishop of Winchester and Exchequer made him one of the kings closest. He realised that with the lords af the lands changing yearly income it was aparamount to the royal household to have a firm grasp of the revenues of the lords - to ensure getting it's own part - therefore he implemented a system of accounting that to this day grant us a better view of the "feudal" economy of the time.
"Wintoniensis armiger Presidet ad Scaccarium
Ad computandum impiger Piger ad Evangelium
Regis revolvens rotulum..."
[the warrior of Winchester, up at the Exchequer,
Sharp at accounting, slack at Scripture,
Revolving the royal roll]
Thus a satirist of the time portrayed Des Roche - which I'm sure could cover many succesful top level clergy of his time. A fact that probably didn't bother the king at all. After the demise of John Peter Des Roche, even if he had been a supporter of at king who had left the kingdom in a terrible disarray - large parts the country in revolt, to an extent that the revolters had gone as far as to invite the French crown prince, a traditional enemy of the English, to come to England and be crowned king in John's stead. This crisis Des Roche also navigated and even succeeded in becoming the ward of Prince Henry during his majority. This gave Des Roche a prime position to influence the king-to-be, Henry III actually becoming one of the longest ruling medieval kings.
N. Vincent has written a whole book "Peter des Roches", you might find plenty of ressources on the net - Ravenscroft's for example. And I seem to recall that you own Hiers to Merlin where you might find some info as well - you might begin with p. 138.