Transylvanian Tribunal variant


I had some free time thus I started to make an alternative Transylvanian Tribunal setting to this area. It is only a raw form I may improve it in the future and not only the wording. ... lvania.htm

P.s.: If you are a grammar nazi, corrections are welcome.

By alternative, do you mean that you don't take anything into account from any 5th ed book?
Like, for example, Peona being 154 while she is described as being +- 80 IIRC.

Oh, our Umno versions age are almost the same :smiley:.

I may have use for your magi/covenants names/concepts, can we use them or do you want us not to?

Nice work !

there should be more tremere covenant, as in the 5th edition it is clearly stated that is is a (nearly) exclusively Tremere Tribunal... if you decide there are other houses, there should be at least one tremere in each covenant

I know only True Lineages and skipped most of the Tremere things because I found them illogical or didn't suit to my conception. I didn't find her age but I wouldn't set the age of a prima so low like 80 years.

Use what you want. If you take much of them credits would be nice.

Pure curiosity: What did you found illogical, and in what ways?

Pure nitpicking that can be skipped because, well, it's just nitpicking: How can you find illogical something that you skipped? :-p

After rereading the related chapter they are only a few things. There are only minor notes about Coeris anyway.

Gate of Hades
I searched the net but the known gates were in different places.
Amongs them Gate of Eurydice is found on the southern tip of Peloponnesos.
I was waiting some Greek stuff because of the Hades wording but Transylvania has nothing to do with Greeks. Thus I skipped the gate from my description of Coeris.

Amber colored eyes of some grogs
Unbelivable the magi bring blind warriors from hundreeds of kilometers and spend a lot of vis to get some grogs. There are local people to hire who know the area and speak the local languages.

These are only 2 notes and there are about 2 more (wolf packs, pleasant place).

Thank you, that was interesting! :smiley:

Yes, the other Gates to Hades are in different places. That's deliberate. There are at least six real ones I know of: why not one more? 8)

You seem to be assuming that the Tremere covenants are a long way away from where the blinded army, historically, marched. I'm not sure that's true. Indeed, I'm sure that a destroyed Tremere covenant in The Sundered Eagle is right on a potential line of march since its at one of the few places where its possible to cross the Danube in numbers.

I think the main point of that, which is that after the ritual to restore sight to that army the Tremere had a cadre of people who owed them their sight, and thus were more loyal than average, holds water if you assume the Tremere have quite a bit of vis.

Also, If you look at something a magus does (and healing the eyes was one magus, as I recall) and say "Does this meet the cost benefit analysis I would conduct as player?" you're missing the point that characters in the setting are not constrained to engage in optimal play.

There's too little information to know what you mean, there. Would you care to expand it?

Birbin (and all interested) - since you've clearly invested in researching this tribunal, I was wondering if I could solicit your advice. I'm slowly writing up a "which tribunal to choose" FAQ entry, and I've written up the Transylvanian Tribunal as below. This is based on a cursory read on Wikipedia, however, and l'm sure it can be written-up better - can you comment on what the basic state of the tribunal is like, and what themes it lends itself to? (This is the theme of the FAQ page). And, in particular, which features would support the themes that its location, folklore, and circumstances set it up to tell best?

FAQ entry follows...

The Transylvanian tribunal has never been described in detail, under any edition of Ars Magica. Hermetically, it is the seat of power of House Tremere, and a few details on it are provided in Houses of Hermes True Lineages. Some notes can be made in light of this Hermetic background and the historical realities.

The tribunal is nearly identical, geographically, with the kingdom of Hungary. Thirteen-century Hungary is a powerful Christian nation. Its income exceeds that of France, and in 1212 its king raised the largest crusading army yet in the Fifth Crusade. His authority is limited, however, and in 1222 will sign the Golden Bull - a constitution that will grant much power to lesser nobles. Hungary has seen an influx of refugees fleeing the Mongol horde, and in 1241 will itself be conquered and utterly decimated, with perhaps as many as 80% of its settlements destroyed and 50% of its people killed. This disaster will lead to intensified fortification and military improvements that will suffice to finally arrest the Mongols in 1286.

In terms of mythology, the Hungarians descend from the pagan Magyar tribe and have only adopted Christianity in the last two centuries. As a result, pagan holdouts (especially hedge wizards) may remain. Hungarian shamans (taltos) were associated with magical horses, prophecies, and healing. They practiced their magic silently, and probably had second sight. Hungarian and Romanian folklore includes vampires, and witches that can send their spirits from afar and fly at night, as well as numerous legends about local spirits (mermaids, elves, and so on), with local names and appearances.

This background lends itself to two general themes: covert support of petty nobles that may, post-Mongol, evolve into overt support of the kingdom; and an investigation of the dark uniquely-Transylvanian mythology involving vampires, witches, and so on - and, perhaps, of the pagan shamans.

I call it simply gate of underworld, this wording is OK for me.

This would make the story more believable. Anyway if you think on the Bulgarians march to home why should they have crossed the Danube?
Could you locate this covenant and tell me its name? I would write some notes about it to the ruined covenants section.

I found 4 notes about Coeris and only 2 of them were strange for me. However with your help these might be solved, too.

I think that "wolf infested, with heavily twisted and opresive forests" and "pleasant place" do not match very well together. Unless you are a wolf yourself, that is :slight_smile:

Half of its area is Hungary.

No. I know there was a letter to the king of France about the income but they were augmented.

It the practice king András didn't do much. His involvement was expected by the church but he had no interest in crusading. His sickness after he turned back is considered a "political one".

The main change was under his reign he gave most of the royal lands to the nobles. After his death this leaded to feudal anarchy under some decades. Its regulations were not fulfilled the Golden Bull became far more important in later centuries.

These were some Cumans

Loss was about 25-33%. IIRC next year after the Mongols retreat Hungary led war against Austria already so there was enough manpower.
In 1285 it was only a raiding troop which were defeated and not a full army. The Mongol, who were called Tatars never came back with a whole army.

Hungarians descended from the Hungarian tribes is not mythology. :smiley:
In the middle ages the mythology part was the Magyars (or Hungarians) are the descendants of the Huns and the kings are the offsprings of Attila.

Remained. Or still present.
Hungarian táltos (shaman)
You may find a lot of stuff about the táltos and mythology on my page.

Silently? What does it mean exactly?
Second Sight is one of their basic ability.

Vlach (Romanian) and Slavic

Witches were everywhere especially in later centuries. I suppose their abilities were a bit different in every culture.

Fake. Some Vlachs were settled in southern Transylvania already but in general it would be better to put this vampire stuff to the present day Bulgarian and Serbian territories where Slavs and Vlachs lived in the period.
Witches are often associated with fairies in many folklore.
The táltos wizards are not good enemies because the lack of the magic resistance in ArM.

You may check True lineages. There are some good Slavic virtues in the Tremere chapter for Bulgarians and Serbs.

In all the years I've been playing Ars Magica, I think I've only had one player who reacted to events with a cost-benefit mindset. That was back in the third edition days and he was a bit like that anyway. Otherwise, events usually present their own emotional challenges to players and I've found those to the deciding factors on how much a player is prepared to risk/expend for something otherwise quite trivial or likely to cause trouble down the line.

I think the point is not so much that players act with a cost-benefit mindset and characters don't, but that player characters sometimes act in a different way to characters because the players can see the rules.

For example, as a player you sometimes pick melee weapons for your character on the basis of combat bonuses. Whereas, the in-game characters pick a melee weapon for other reasons. Which is not to say that all players always pick melee weapons on the basis of combat bonus. Just that it is an extra piece of information available to players that is not available to the characters. On the other hand, characters sort of have access to information that the players don't --- like what weapon is weighted the best, feels the most comfortable, etc.

And when things get discussed on forums like this, optimal (or not) choices based on the rules that the players see are the easiest thing to discuss, and so dominate these forum style discussions. Because even if Some Fools Read Them Wrong, we do have an actual copy of the RAW. It's just a mistake to conclude that this is therefore what real characters should do in a saga, or have done in canon.

Ah, that's a good point, about the Danube, but on the larger point, I'm saying that the border covenants of House Tremere might have been the ones who cured the blind army.

Isn't the ruined covenant called Dolostron or something like that?

I found 4 notes about Coeris and only 2 of them were strange for me. However with your help these might be solved, too.
You mean, how can it be pleasant and yet a wolf filled forest? The pleasant place is the facility itself, or at least the site its on. The wolf-haunted forest is around and through and near the covenant, IMO. Also, Tremere like wolves, and these wovles are magical and intelligent and social, so a wolf haunted forest is kind of like a housecat haunted forest to them, IMO.

I remember being rather annoyed by this too, until I realised that since it's a healing spell (and not one creating somethng from nothing), it can be done with target circle.

It probably still had to be cast multiple times, but not nearly as many as one would think.

EDIT: as a more general note, is there any reason ever to design a healing ritual with target individual as opposed to circle?

Speed of casting. But in general it is true that target circle is better.

I agree with Richard Love on this subject, BTW.


I was thinking why would I as a magus cure those Bulgarians. I found a good reason: when I need to. When my covenant has too few number of grogs from some reason and it is not possible to hire enough of them nearby. It overwrites thinking in vis or distance. Especially with that circle spell.

That was only Xavi. For me the pleasant place means "good living condition modifiers". :smiley:
Blindness can be reasoned by the need.
And Gate of Eurydice with another name: gate of underworld.
That's all. Thanks for everybody, your comments helped me to find some ingame logic for these.

kindly notice the word 'ritual'