Trying to Find a Campaign Location

Hello all, I come here with a request for assistance on trying to place an idea in a context that actually fits mythic European history.

Okay, so this is for a campaign that starts around the normal start date, 1220.

The idea that I have (just a preliminary one, and really this is more of a fun personal thought project rather than what is going on) is that our magus character in his youth lived in a realm's capital city where through happenstance he befriended the son of the local king. A few years later his magical potential became apparent and he was forced out of the city, whereupon his Uncle took him in and raised him as his apprentice, teaching him the secrets of Hermetic Magic, while living with his extended family in a remote though semi-important trade city that used to be a seasonal royal home of the king. Years pass and the son of the king becomes the king upon the death of his father around the time of outside and civil war. Not so much the new king's fault, but his capital city is besieged and so he has to run - he and his court choose to go to the old seasonal vacation home that was traditionally used by his family. At the site he discovers his old friend, and its like no time has passed in their friendship. The vacation city is ruled in the King's name by a Steward, which happens to be the non-magical brother of the Uncle who is the mentor to the main magus character. This is going to tie mundane politics into the magical story, which I am okay with.

Anyway, is there any event, person, or location in mythic europe that fits this sort of concept without having to change things super much, or is it just wishful thinking.

Thanks for any help, its appreciated. :slight_smile:

You won't have much luck. No realm capitals were taken within many years in either direction of 1220. However, you could get the same feel of it (major city, important ruler, successful siege, ruler in question escaped) if you're willing to move way the Infernal Realm over to Turkey to be near the Siege of Sinope, 1214. Look that up, see how it works for you.

Thanks for the comment. And yeah, I kind of figured that. The standard game start is a Europe that has become a much more civilized and organized than a bunch of competing kings ruling kingdoms all over the place just waiting to be attacked by other kings.

The general design of the suggestion you make seems interesting, though certain cultural aspects of it won't fit the characterization of my magus.

I wonder if I would have better luck if I go lower in noble rank, to maybe duke or count.

The Siege of Zara might work if it's a location issue, but you'd have to push your campaign back a few years since that's 1202. It's really the only successful siege that I can find much information on that didn't involve far eastern or African powers. If you're going down the rank ladder, though, then why not just make a city up? Especially if you can throw in a supernatural influencing force so there's a reason for the historical shift before player action is taken.

I would have similarly suggested going for the Fall of Constantinople, and hence Nicea. Or, better yet from its Magic-esque Wikipedia description, Nymphaion. But it's still heavily Greek, and not quite a siege.

What about thinking really big?

The capital city of your magus' youth: Constantinople. His friend from youth: Theodore Laskaris ( - not "the son of the local king", but a nobleman from a family, to which in extremis the people of Constantinople would have entrusted the Empire in 1204.
The city he transfers to, when his - non-gentle - Gift becomes apparent: Nikaia (today's Iznik). Since 1163 there is the covenant of Moero's Garden (TSE p.115ff).
His Uncle: a magus of House Jerbiton, and among the founders of Moero's Garden. As a Jerbiton, he can well be related to the Byzantine governor of Nikaia.
The time of the capital's fall: 1204. After its fall, Theodore establishes himself in Nikaia.
And after clamorously losing the battle of Adrianopel 14.4.1205, the Latin knights leave Asia Minor well enough alone. So Theodore Laskaris can set up his state there, which becomes a rallying point for what is left of the Byzantine elite. Isn't it idyllic? :wink:

In that case you need "The Sundered Eagle" (TSE) for your campaign. And a lot of Virtues, plus the consent of your troupe, for that magus' enormous social connections.


As a note its not so much a an issue of location of culture, I want it to be a western Christian location, mostly for the reason that that is what the Hermetic Order is at this time.

Constantinople and its events are perfect, Nicene is also perfect as a location. The time tables are mostly perfect, though that's mot hard to play around a bit with.

I'm not so sure on Theodore Laskaris being the friend, I'm considering maybe it's one of his unknown brothers or unmentioned sons instead. The end of Theodores life and his age all don't fit my needs.

I like Nicene but I'm not liking the garden covenant or the jerbiton uncle. Though I could change aspects of the covenant to suit my needs, like erasing the one that is there and making my own that fits my needs. My magus is house bonisagus though I'm fine with the covenant having members from other or all houses.

I appreciate the comments and the thoughts, I'm enjoying the research and and analysis and the examination of this concept.

Ideas are definitely still wanted. :slight_smile:

Edit //

So looking through my Sundered Eagle tribunal book I happened to come across the Kingdom of Thessalonica in Macedonia/Thessaly. It and the king Demetrios seems like it might be an interesting and potentially fun location with a mix of plots and points. Thought?

You might be interested in considering the Princes of Mecklenburg, in Germany. While their capital is still in their hands, they were ousted out of their ancestral worshiping site of Rethra in 1161 and are plotting their return. You could be settling in Rethra, or in one of their cities such as Rostock. That's not a perfect fit to your desired tale, but it's a bit close, heavily Western, and Rethra is a fallen oracular covenant (that is hence probably Faerie, but you can make it Magic or Infernal) which is cool.

I must declare a vested interest, but...

Have you considered Hibernia?

It may require a little hand-waving around specifics but there are enough kings and high-kings and earls and bishops, lands lost and regained, and shifting loyalties that you can make a pretty good case for a character being connected to any of them. The region over which they have influence may be slightly limited, but they still wield power. You can also make a very good case for mundane rulers being closer to the magical world given the number of hedge wizards, the non-human races, and plentiful vis.


Honestly, I tried looking up the Princes of Mecklenburg in Germany that you suggested and while I found the location in the book I really couldn't see anything about it that truly fit the concepts. Though I appreciate the suggestion.


Your suggestion of Hibernia is a good one, and I just spent a little over an hour looking through the book. You are right, there are a number of locations and kingdoms that could potentially fit the concept. In addition the importance of family and the largeness of some of them also work. The thing is that I need to go over it an analyze and figure out what sort of changes that I would have to make while keeping to the spirit and the theme and the point of the kingdoms and peoples that already exist.

At first glance I kind of like the design of the Kingdom of Desmond and the Kingdom of Thomond, with with the later being the one that I find interesting.

As a note, and I know that Ars Magica books aren't historical documents, but reading about certain places in the book had me looking up the corresponding 'real' history on say wikipedia, and its been quite interesting.


This is still very much a fun experience and I am enjoying looking things up and developing ideas further.

The idea that still basically calls to me is that of the Kingdom of Thessaloniki in the Theban Tribunal, page 52-56, and the youthful leader Demetrios.

I will also say that with the exception of who the friend is, I do like the who idea of Constantinople and its sacking being the event and the heading towards Nicea, which is historically and naturally the winter palace for the emperors.

So many interesting options. hehe

As a possible alternative, if you wanted a somewhat later event, there is the ousting of Henry III of England by Simon de Montfort. ... _Leicester

copied shamelessly from the above link: 'Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester (c. 1208 – 4 August 1265), also called Simon de Munford and sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simons de Montfort, was a French nobleman who inherited the title and estates of the earldom of Leicester in England. He led the rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263–4, and subsequently became de facto ruler of England.[1] During his rule, de Montfort called two famous parliaments. The first stripped the king of unlimited authority, the second included ordinary citizens from the towns.[1] For this reason, Montfort is regarded today as one of the progenitors of modern parliamentary democracy. After a rule of just over a year, Montfort was killed by forces loyal to the king in the Battle of Evesham.[1]'

This Simon was/will be the son of the Simon de Montfort who led the Albigensian Crusade...

Forces loyal to a French pretender held London in 1216-7. The resistance used several castles as home base, but one of them is detailled in an Ars supplement, as is the commander of the French naval forces.

There are so many mythic locations that sound perfect for adventure and campaigning and story that its hard to choose.

Though socially and physically sites in England are perfect, the political aspects of England and its king make it hard to choose that location if some sort of ties want to be had. I kind of wish there was an updated tribunal book for England, though in all honestly the one that we have from the previous edition is still mostly good to use with only little change or additions needed. (Unlike the Italy one for example, which is demons and infernal and evil everywhere [don't look under your book, a demon lurks there] and is pretty much useless for the current Ars Magica edition.)

Hibernia is an interesting location, it has a lot of story potentials and while I was going over the book looking for sites a number of possibilities came to me. Which I consider to be a sign of it being well written.

Going over it again and again I cannot help but see the site of Candia (Crete) in the Theban Tribunal. The island nation itself has a magical and faerie aura that could easily be used to provide magic to a covenant site. There is already a pretty interesting being that could be utilized as a patron, Talos. There aren't covenants on the island, which means that players don't feel like they are stepping on the toes of canon information and need to make massive changes that might have repercussions that they first didn't notice. It also has a pretty awesome vast ravine (the Gorge of Apollon) which would be a perfect site for a covenant, just simply perfect. (I can already picture the structures of the covenant carved out on the cliff faces of a segment of the ravine with bridges connecting both sides.)

What is also quite interesting is the political situation of Candia. Right now its controlled by Venice, but the native Greek peoples of the island hate this fact (both in-game and historically) and so they are basically constantly harboring individuals who are planning and seeking to free themselves from the 'iron fisted yoke of those imperial warmongers, the Venetians' (my words, lol). If events play out as history shows, in nine or so years a rebellion breaks out. Of course in game such actions are influenced by the players which means the event might have a different ending than they otherwise would. Furthermore, historically the first rebellion was propagated by two brothers, who lost, but the fact is I couldn't find much information on them so basically I can do anything I want with them. Including making them awesome cool guys that are personally exactly what I want them to be in a way that is fun and awesome; which has a lot of potential.

I need to figure out the whole family situation of my character, but that is my own mission. Though I kind of want him to be part of some really big family, with uncles and cousins in various fields of endeavor throughout the nearby lands.

One final question, though this goes a little off the point of this thread - Theban Covenants need a purpose in their founding, which is kind of hard to figure out what purpose that the one founded by the player on Crete would be about.

PS. My characters driven goals are twofold, one to establish a school of magic where those with the Gift can learn all they need to learn (aka Hogwarts style; I plan for certain breakthroughs to occur to enable group learning of magic and the removal of penalties for the Gift in teaching other Gifted) and the formation of a kingdom for his friend, the lord (this is mostly because the idea of using magic to create out of basically nothing a vast territory is really really cool; though I might have to put this idea aside as its basically its own thing, hehe).