The Hesperides and Grand Tribunal

So hello there! One of my long, solo, setting projects is the adventure of a magus as he travels around the Mythic Europe. This is been a multi-year personal project that has had a bunch of starts and stops and moments of writing as I get inspiration, etc etc.

The 'current' year in my writing is 1228, meaning Grand Tribunal. Two years before he spent exploring and base-setting up in Africa. Now my idea is that he will explore the Atlantic Ocean while also preparing for both Grand Tribunal and also maybe figuring out what he will be doing afterward, a new 'saga scope' since by this point he as visited all other Hermetic tribunals.

This leads to two questions.

The first is story seeds for why he would want to explore the Atlantic Ocean. My current ideas involve (1) The Hespires and Magical Coordinates and the Purple Islands from Ancient Magic and (2) somehow transplanting the Sunken Laboratory of Hermanus idea from Legends of Hermes. I'm also thinking of doing something with ships as a covenant as a plot point.

That said none of them feel enough of a push that he would even want to try and explore the Atlantic Ocean. Also, since he has a base in Africa the Purple Islands don't feel that far off and mysterious - so a part of me is maybe thinking Azores, but not sure.

So yeah, any thoughts on potential story seeds that could draw a magus who has explored the Hermetic world and is seeking to think about his future would be really helpful.

(For the record the 'thought about the future' element is him creating something like a magical land from pure Creo magic, which he focuses on. But figuring out how he goes from 'traveling to see new sites every other year' to 'making his own magical land' is a future project.

The second question is what sort of things would be interesting to draw him in in a Grand Tribunal story sense. Firstly, how long does a Grand Tribunal last anyway? Is it a Week, cause that could be cool. But yeah, he has traveled all over the Hermetic World and made allied covenants and bases linked by portal gates (he is really connected to House Mercere for all that he is Bonisagus) that allow for fast travel between sites.

But yeah, I figure a man like him - with his adventurers all around and his magical developments and his contacts - would be drawn into multiple Grand Tribunal plots, and it would be cool for me to think of some cool story seeds to write about.

(Its a solo game, so him being supremely powerful is FUN and doesn't take away from anyone else's fun as a note)

But yeah, honestly, I am really curious on what sort of story seeds would be recommended mostly for the Atlantic Ocean campaigning, but also for a Grand Tribunal.


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The quest for Atlantis might lure someone to explore the sea where the magical continent is supposed to have sunk in.


Yeah that does make sense as an idea. Plus it would totally fit with the mindset of a dude who has traveled all around mythic Europe and Africa. I still wonder what would be the initial seed that starts the quest. That and I have to figure out what sort of ship he would go on - I can't see him going on a basic ship, meaning said ship would need some sort of magical outfitting. Which could be an interesting start too,

But yeah, Atlantis totally seems like a logical idea base.

He finds a heavily annotated copy of Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, by Proclus (or maybe an early commentary, by Crantor). The person who annotated the book seem to have a good knowledge of Faerie Lore and/or Magic Lore. His claims about Atlantis are so detailed, but at the same time so absurd, that the main character has no choice but to see for himself and distinguish truth from falsehood.

The other way around. He goes to GT to prepare for his trip. Ask for funding, find a good ship and exchange ideas with fellow minded magi.

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I had a saga idea around an isolationist covenant which finds and settles the Azores around 200 (I think) years early. That they would try to build a pagan magocracy without that pesky Dominion, Infernal, or Faerie auras but, of course, all that stuff stows away with them.

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If you have access to Through the Aegis, its writeup of the Covenant of the Northern Seas contains a section on interesting and dangerous islands that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. Rumours about any of those islands might inspire interest.


Magic Lore, definetly magic lore. hehe

But yeah this does sound like an interesting set up. Also it totally fits with various "this appears and now starts a quest" elements. "Oh look, a book, lets figure out what it means." Followed by "oh and it just so happens to lead to exploration of the ocean which just so happened to be his next adventuring site."

Hmm interesting. So I was thinking of having it be ocean trip and THEN the Grand Tribunal, but switching it could make sense. It could also provide the opening for the Covenant of the Northern Seas to approach Heru. So hmm

Do you know when the GT officially occurs. I'm going to have to figure out when it is and how long it lasts, but if its early in the year I can definitely have it be the start of the events.

Yeah one of my half-formed thoughts was to use that Covenant as the basis for the adventure since it makes more sense that he would join with other magi in the sea explorations than him simply hiring a mundane.

The various assets available to Heru, by this point in his career, could totally benefit said group in them working towards achieving their own goals.

It, and they, definitely have great potential.

My basic assumption is Tribunals happen in the summer. For many magi travel even by horse is fraught so the timing needs to be at a time when travel by foot or cart is possible. Sure, some can fly or teleport but not everyone can and they should not hamper attendance by magi of even the lowliest hedge tradition within House ex Misc.

[EDIT to add:] In addition it matters how you handle years like 1228 where the regional tribunals and the Grand Tribunal are scheduled for the same year. If in your saga, like most Ive been in, the regional tribunals for the most part schedule theirs a year early so they have plenty of time to plan for and attend the GT after their regional tribunal. This does not work so well for the Theban Tribunal due to the apprentice graduation stuff and their local political situation but they could shift it a little earlier and make sure fast travel of some sort is provided to any delegates who don’t have access to those methods. And those are things that other Tribunals could do but in many tribunals it seems unlikely.

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From GotF p.24:

Meetings of the Rhine Tribunal are held every seven years and by tradition always take place at Durenmar. The formal proceedings begin on the eve of the 1st of May (Walpurgis Night), and typically last for well over a week, with a great deal of politicking taking place before, during, and afterwards.

I always assumed that the bit about dates and proccedings are also true Grand Tribunals. And that people start to arrive way earlier, but leave not much later, so you'd have people around Durenmar from early April to at least 10th May.

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Having the Grand Tribunal be in May works well for me. So the first season plus April are pre-Tribunal. Then May is Grand Tribunal time. Then third plus June and fourth are post-Tribunal whatever needs to happen happens period.

This works because it allows for set up and politiking in the first season, followed by the grand tribunal in the second, and then third and fourth season can be adventure in the Atlantic Ocean. Lots of potential in this design.

Discovery of a book about Coordinates and also getting a request from the Northern Seas Covenant can all happen in the first.

I still need to figure out the events of the GT, like what my character does and gets out of it, but knowing when it is and how events from it lead to the adventures in the high seas does make sense.


I still think the Sunken Laboratory of Hermanus idea from Legends of Hermes could be interesting though I have to admit I despise the 'your memory of the events/magics found will be removed' aspect and so I would have to change that. And by change I mean remove.

Maybe not entirely relevant, but I made a post a while ago about a Canary Island Tribunal.

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Oh I totally reread that post when I searched the topic again. It has some interesting points and comments. Its not entirely what I am looking for, hence this thread, BUT it was/is totally useful with its ideas.

So to make my life easier - and to aid in organization for the year. I have decided that the GT is in May. With the first week being pre-tribunal, the second and third being tribunal time and the fourth being post-tribunal. January is my guy's Circuit, which is when he goes to all his bases and casts the Aegis ritual by the gates that link them. February through April will see him doing some sort of personal projects, covenant work, apprentice training, etc. June through December will be the time spent adventuring in the Atlantic Ocean and setting up bases, etc etc.

Still need seeds but knowing the general, broad, outline of the year has helped to make things start to flow.