Turning History into Adventure (need help)

I have a really interesting historical event looming in my saga. It seems a shame to let is pass without some sort of story, but I am completely at a loss as to what to do. :confused:

It's 1098, the Welsh Marches. The Earl has just been killed while fighting in Wales and his younger brother and intended heir has brought his body back to be burried. Meanwhile, in Normandy, the late Earl's older brother is a powerful landholder and has offered to support King William II's efforts in Normandy in exchance for his dead brothers English holdings. My history is vague on what happens next, only that the brothers do come to a settlement between them... with the older brother becoming the next Earl and the younger brother getting about a third of shire out of the deal. It seems a shame to let the intrigue and tension of the two powerful brothers in conflict pass unmarked... especially since the companions are all tied to the noble court of one of the major lords in the shire in question... but as I said, I'm just not sure what to do with it. Next session is supposed to be this Saturday (day after tomorrow).

I wondered if any of the storyguides here might have an inspired notion. Thanks.

Someone from Cad Gadu could be trying to support one over the other, and endeavoring to capture or eliminate the rival, and the characters might be enlisted to protect the other as they travel to negotiate with each other. (This has the potential to drag them in later with accusations of serving as court wizards, even in a weak charge) Or the characters could be offered the deal by Cad Gadu, in exchange for support at tribunal.

A fae could be trying to have them play out a story of sibling competition or a mentem specialist might be trying to turn the nobles into puppets or a demon might try to spur the region into greater conflict by killing one noble and framing the other or both and opening the succession to other lords or inviting William II in to take over. All of these serve greater regional focus and have value to the local covenants by reducing the strife in the area.

Ungulus might see it as an opportunity to put the lord in their debt and control, creating a situation they "rescue" him from.


I hadn't thought of that... Cad Gadu has reason to dislike the younger brother as his army just stomped through their territory and did a number of unpleasent things. They have no particular feeling toward the older brother either way. Meanwhile, the leaders of the covenant the PC's are associated with (a Voluntas clone relocated to Herefordshire) have reason to covertly support the elder brother, if only because he is the king's appointee and a sibling conflict that encompasses several of their most productive manors is bad.

Or allowing someone else to create the situation and then rescueing him.

Thank you, that's very helpful... not that I wouldn't love to see anyone elses thoughts.

Which one do you prefer?

Well, that one happens to have a demon familiar and have a starting powerwith the infernal powers. He is just good and patient with it, so nobody has noticed.

The one you don't like? That is the one with Guardian Angel. An angel that looks really ugly if you see him and you are not under a State of Grace since he reflects your inner self in the image it displays to you.

Have fun with mistaken goodies and baddies :slight_smile: You might even make the diabolist think he is blessed with an angel and the other one thinking he is plagged by a demon. Or both, or neither. Or one believes that of the other but not of himself....

Or for more mundane stuff, have a supporter of your friend rape a covenfolk of the covenant and the guy you prefer does not even cosnider it a slight when you demand reparations. People are grey. That is cool most of the time.


I've pretty much got a guy who is a brutal and sadistic warrior and a guy who is a cruel, manipulative and opportunistic warrior... and the infernalist is going to be, politically, the lesser evil. :smiling_imp:

So they're fun for orphanages and Christmas parties, I can tell.

You mentioned the army-- you could also look at a more mundane plot from within his army, as the older brother seeks to subvert the younger's forces and have them betray him from within, only to see it foiled enough that the younger brother makes out as you've described.

It also matters how much you're willing to deviate from history, if that's what you'd like to do, or not.


That is an interesting question. So far, I've opperated under a default assumption that history will progress as it did unless the PCs make changes... That the NPCs actions will simply result in history proceeding as it happened. I'm not adverse to PC actions changing history, but so far it hasn't ever come up in any saga that I have run.

I think that might be part of my problem here... I see great potential for conflict. The young brother, Arnulf, probably holds the castle and has the immediate claim to loyality from his dead brothers vassal knights. The older brother, Robert, has the support of the king, his own powerful holdings in Normandy and a strong familial right but he's coming in from outside and is being imposed on the local vassals. Historically, they come to a settlement and eventually end up on the same side... and by simply assuming that that will happen, I have no story. A relatively peaceful outcome is just a fact of history...

... but if I reverse my usual assumption. If I assume that for history to happen, the PCs MUST act then I have a story. Then the question becomes what role (leaving aside judicious use of Mentem magics) can a few relatively minor courtiers (even those with magical powers, since the use of those powers must be kept hidden) play in preventing this situation from becoming an open war/rebellion.

Put them in the line of fire so that they MUST act. I assume that the covenant is known to exist. Maybe the lords send envoys to them giving them the option of joining his side and be rewarded or losing everything if they oppose him. Then choosing the right winner can be quite a challenge. Whatever side they chose, their "allty" will ask them to do some services for him, like spying (they can discover some fancy stuff here that brings the supernatural into the picture) or outright assassination of the supporters of his brother (killing kin is not favoured by either lord).

If magi do nothing there is a local war and the area is devastated. The covenant might even be assaulted and major damage done to them even if they drive back the attackers/raiders. In the end both are weakened and the Welsh take advantage of the situation. The Normans are expelled from Wales for a century at least. You might even introduce cool names like Lewellyn and Diath Nah the famous Welsh priest. around just to scare the hell out of the players. :wink:

If magi act they discover some MAJOR stuff that they can deal with or denounce. Then both brothers find out that they were being used as pawns (maybe) and reach a settlement.

broad strokes, but you get the idea. Forcing them to act to reach the historical settlement is a really good idea. Kudos to that :slight_smile:


Then just assume someone is bringing the brothers to war for his own purposes.
Maybe they have counsellors that in fact work for someone else.

For exemple (I dunno if this is right historically speaking), the french could bribe one or both of the guy's counselors so that they go to war, which would weaken the english crown.
Or any similar story.

Very interesting, LuciusT.