Ultimate Saga II: Choosing The Plotline

Which do you prefer?

  • Triamore: Mundane Politics Galore
  • Forest: Lots of Realms to Battle!
  • Pagans: Gods Save the Last Pagan Bastion!
  • Mongol: To War! And Beyond

0 voters

This is a fan project I'm slowly working on. Any input or assistance is welcome.

The goal is to contruct a saga spanning 120 years, played out in 36 6-hour sessions. The idea is to provide full details for all 36 sessions, down to the monster stats.

Previous polls established the community to be split between wanting no significant change in the setting, and wanting some change that will make the setting more accomodating for magi. I have chosen to go with the latter approach, since I personally find no change unfitting for such a grand scheme. There are several ways I can see the players changing Mythic Europe to be more accomodating for magi:

  • A Triamore saga, where the magi form a key part in forming a new Tribunal and establishing the new “rules” within it. The first part will be establishing the new Tribunal and related Hermetic politics. The covenant's leader will strive to make the mundanes recognize magi as lords of non-Christian enclaves; this will face opposition from Nobles who will seek to apply their rights, from Crusaders who will seek to vanquish the bastions of non-belief, from Faerie Lords who will seek to corrupt the Magic regions, and from Divine supernatural and Church that will try to subvert the covenfolk and tenets. If successful, the magi will be able to sit side by side with the Kings and Nobles, as a separate entity in Europe – much like a Free City, so will these areas be Free (but paying taxes), and will be divorced of religious worship within them.

  • A Forest saga at the Rhine Tribunal, where the magi work to unite the Great Forest Spirit in support of a Wilderist scheme. Successes will first require opposing Faerie and Infernal forest spirits. At a later stage the Divine in the form of saints, miracles, guardian angels of the noble's lands, and so on. The end result will be a reunited Great Forest Spirit, the abandonment of Faerie and Infernal "contaminations", and the establishment of a huge “Black Forest” where mortals barely enter. Settlements in cleared forests will be abandoned, as will monasteries and other outposts, and these areas will slowly accrue a Magical aura. Occasional pockets of mundanity and dominion will remain, but there will be a huge block of Magical Forest sitting across Germany. (This could in theory later be connected to the Novgorod forests, expanding further east.)

  • A Pagan saga where the magi align with the Lithuanians and Baltic pagans and aid them against Christian conquest. They achieve acceptance within pagan society, and recognition. They will face Crusaders and noble armies, as well as Hermetic enemies and politics, saints and divine miracles that threaten to subvert the pagan faith, and attempts to corrupt the newly established Magical pagan religion into faerie or infernal ends. If successful, the saga will result in Lithuanian conquest and expansion of pagan religion into Christian lands, marking a turning point at Mythic Europe's history.

  • A Mongol saga set in the Novgorod Tribunal, where the magi face off against the (Infernal? Magical?) Mongol Horde. Striking an allegiance with pagan and/or Christian elements, they turn back the Horde while gaining recognition and acceptance. In addition to the Horde's attacks, they will later need to face Christian and mundane tendencies to renege on the wartime pacts once the war is over.

  • Other ?

Any comment on the above is welcome. :slight_smile:

Something to the "Mongol Saga": in my Saga this invasion was lead by the "Brotherhood of Konfuzius", the ruling power of the chinese Empire, a brotherhood which is highly involved into the politics of asia und uses the ancient powers of Wuxing. The invasion was started by the leader, the immortal Lo Pan to gather the secret of Parma Magica by the Order of Hermes. After some NSC found out about this and ended the invasion with dispelling the spell about the Khan, nearly twenty extremly powerful hermetic magi started an expedition to the far east, lead by a traveling Criamon maga with good contacts to the mysterius buddist monks of Himalaya and ther magical martial arts. What happen to them is still unknown but i think they will kick asses. :smiley:
But ths is only a subplot in our saga to put a bit more colour in the world and give the SCs the feeling of a dynamic world with many, many events, with most of them ot including the SCs.

My vote landed on "Triamore" - but might as well have landed elsewhere. I myself would find the road to secular power and its challenges more interesting than the goal itself.

Just a question - any considerations on a possible location for this new Tribunal? What about the existing ones - would one of them be a possibility to reform? I expect you would have to quite far from the heartlands of the Order, because the Order presumably would react we supreme force if any magi tried openly to proclaim themselves as powerful secular lords.

Oh yes. I'm just not at all certain which way is the most interesting. :slight_smile:

Well, I called the option "Triamore" since it is based on a story seed given in the description of the covenant of Triamore in Guardians of the Forest. This covenant would like to split up the Rhine and Normandy tribunals to form a new Tribunal between them, with it at its center.
I really should have made things more explicit in the option's description.. :frowning:

The option of winning support for a mage-as-lord model on the outskirts of the Order I find far less interesting. Who cares what goes on in Novgorod? When it happens in France, now that's different - you'll be facing extreme reaction from powerful Hermetic and mundane factions. Much more story potential.

Oh yes I know Triamore - actually my beloved saga is actually Triamore translated to the Stonehenge Tribunal. I used the Triamore setting and instead used my preparation time to write/illustrate 60 NPC before we started, adjusting the maps and writing a lot of background/history material for the players.

I really like Triamore - kept several of the characters (translating names to Norman/Anglo-Saxon) and especially the close connection to secular life and conflicts. I've studied medieval history but now I know more of medieval England than ever - especially during and before the saga I've read a lot about the conflicts of the time and high politics (as well as simple living). Some of it I've ignored, some I've used and a lot I've completely bastardized to make interesting impacts on the storyline. I'm not one of those fanatics, though a lover of history, that feels that an Ars Saga should be dead on the truth. Face it, there's wasn't any Order of Hermes, and even if you would believe it ( :laughing: ) we're in the roleplaying "business" to tell great stories, not to do history dissimination (even though I think me and my troupe have enriched our knowledge og medieval history!). BUT - why break your mind to think of interestig plots when our history is among the very best sources of inspiration? I'm constantly surprised by what unlikely wonderful things have happened...

The forest saga in the Rhine. Another option regarding it is as a merinita plot, allying with the black fir king who is already on a path of expansion/driving the mundanes out. In the Rhine book he is plotting against durenmar because the Order of Hermes is protecting a forest spirit that he needs to locate and subsume. For merinita a faerie forest is just as good as a magical one with the advantage that faerie forests breed faeries that can defend the forest against encroaching mundanes themselves, wheras a magical forest is unlikely to breed any organized monsters to defend it, just enhanced animals.

Start the saga off in Dankmar if the players want to start likely to ally with the black fir king, as the pro forest merinita and bjorner are likely to. Another point is that however the saga goes one of the forest spirits they have to unite is the spirit of the fane of the founders and to free that spirit before they can unite the forest is meant to bring disaster down on the order.

It seems opinions are split between the Mongol and Forest outlines. The thing is, I'm split too. I'll make a pro/con list:

Forest Saga:

  • ArM5 standard tribunal, so the saga will be more "standard".

  • Well described tribunal, GotF provides ArM5 material and description the SG can draw on. (It already provided the idea.)

  • Hermetically and mundanely important area, the saga can have profound Hermetic and Mundane reprocussions.

  • Provides a wide range of opponents (Realm-aligned forests, monasteries...)

  • Can be partially succesful (uniting only some part of the great forest spirit)

  • Alignment with the Black Fir spirit is possible, for added complexity, however...

  • Wilderist scheme ultimately calls for destruction of many other realm's power, particularly Divine and Faerie places, that will meet a lot of opposition within the Order. Pagan magi, faerie-loving Merinitia, all sorts of objections. This is a very problematic point as it will tend to limit who the PCs are and may severly limit their allies.

Mongols:

  • A frontier tribunal, so has more leeway to break Hermetic tradition and laws.

  • tDatB is a 4e book, providing much but a lot is not applicable and major parts of the saga will need significant inventions at this point. Depicting pagan priests, in particular, will probably conflict with later ArM5 products.

  • Provides a wide range of opponents still, as the Mongol Horde will have allies and servants, and a large part of the campaign will be centered on the mundane christian and pagan society.

  • Can be partially succesful, in the degree of recognition and rights magi are accomodated.

  • Can have varied allies and agendas, support can be made for the pagan or christian elements within mundane society for example, or they can all be united to defeat the Horde; the magi can support the mundanes in return for recognition as scholars, or as lords, or in pure self-defense without managing to acquire political benefits; and so on.

  • Plotline is more in-line with a Tolkein-like epic. I like it.

At essence, the Mongol saga is more flexible and accomodating, while the Forest saga is more supported and pivotal to Europe and the Order (assuming the Mongol saga doesn't botch and unleash the horde onto Europe...).

Could the Mongol saga also be part of a wilderest plot? The Mongols having shamans - magic worshipping priests as it were. A pagan, magic focused army coming in to conquer Europe, sweep away the power of the Church, and wipe out any city of mundanes that resists at all. What more could a wilderest faction want, sending a hermetic embassy to encourage them, provide them with intelligence and support, give a list of cities whose surrender the allies don't want to be accepted. That the mundane authorities would be having to provide tribute to the conquerers for the next 300 years or so would not bother the wilderists, and the Mongols would be likely to keep any deals with allies, to leave alone vis sources, etc.

It is certainly a possible complication. The thing is, I'm not at all certain which Realm the horde is associated with.

If the shamans are hedge wizards, then indeed the wilderist scheme above would be a very interesting idea. However, playing this out will require making sure the magi have connections to the mundanes around them (pagans or christians) for them to oppose the Mongols in this scenario, especially as the wilderists will very likely attempt to have the PCs join their circle of "protected sites" under their agreement with the Mongols. The point is not, after all, to have the horde trample all over the Order.

The Mongols were also pretty cruel, and this works well to make them villains the PCs would like to oppose; this tends to hint at least at Infernal corruption... I'm not really interested in playing a saga where the PCs are aiding the horde. The corruption and cruelty of the horde helps make aiding the mundanes more desirable.

So I'm thinking it might be best to have the Mongols be aligned with the Magic realm, but also Infernally corrupted. Likewise their Hermetic supporters are likely to be corrupted.

This brings to mind shamans as spirit masters that utilize demonic, as well as other, spirits. Their Hermetic allies might be taught secrets of theurgy and spirit magic in return for their loyalty. Or maybe the Geotic Arts or something like that, I haven't gotten to read The Infernal yet. :slight_smile:

Suggested Outline of Mongol Saga

  • Introduction Phase: The PCs are acquainted with local pagan and Christian allies, and endear themselves with the populace.
  • Initial Phase: Rumours of the Horde arise. Tribunal called to decide on whether to interfere in the affairs of mundanes, disperses without decision.
  • First Contact: Mongol horde starts assaults, PC magi called upon to aid allied covenant of Thousand Caves. Covenant is lost to horde shamans, who seem to know far too much about it and the PC magi. Retreat to PCs covenant.
  • Fallen Counsel: In emergency tirbunal, Pripet Maior prophesies the immanent Mongol ascension, and urges the magi to don the Mongol yoke.
  • Assault: Horde assaults mundanes near covenant, alliances with mundane Christians are brokered.
  • Betrayal: Horde assaults covenant and nearby pagans, with the open aid of Pripet Maior. Infernal corruption is revealed. Probably fail to protect covenant and retreat to Leczyca.
  • Assassination: It is revealed that the Great Khan's longevity potion is held tethered to the life of the chief betraying magus, probably within the Rhine tribunal. By assassinating him and severing the link, the PCs kill the Great Khan.
  • The horde's leaders leave to annoit a new leader. The magi with their pagan and Christian allies maunt a counter-assault on the remaining horde, chasing it across Russia to the southern sea, where it is decimated at a mirror event to the mongol's first defeat of the Slavs.
  • Final confrontation between Pripet and the magi, at the marsh. Includes collecting information on the marsh to aid the assault, leading allies, and overtaking the ancient Bjornaer stronghold, which is revealed to have fallen deep into winter.
  • Post-war, a prince attempts to rob the PCs of political gains, or a Christian assault on pagans comes. The PCs must mintain their rights in the post-war world.
  • Grand Tribunal questions magi's involvement with mundanes. They are either sanctioned as benefiting the Order, hence ushering the possibility for all of Europe, or rebuked, fined, and ordered to revoke their understandings with the mundanes as both side's actions are ruled to be interfering with the affairs of the mundanes.

The problem with this saga is that the war is relatively short. A lot of the saga must happen prior to the First Contact for the magi to acquire the alleigiancies and power that will allow them to oppose Pripet Maior. From First Contact, only a few years of research would be possible, so further character growth is very limited. At this point access to books, powerful teaching entities (or a Faerie regio where time flows slowly), or mystery advancement can considerably speed up gained power. Perhaps it would be wise to incorporate such possibilties into the introductory phase.

Suggested Outline for Forest Saga
Forest Saga

  • Introduction Phase: PCs are acquitted with the Wilderist ideal and uncover the techniques to reunite the great forest spirit. Perhaps a mentor provides them with this insight (a gateway to initiate any willing into the Nature Mysteries described in True Lineages), perhaps the forest spirit itself reveals this secret lore.
  • Initial Phase: The PCs undertake the Great Program, identifying “candidate” forests that can be easily united. They unite touching forests with Magic, Infernal, and Faerie auras. This is also a good time to get to know the other wilderists, and to introduce the Nemesis that seems to hinder their every move.
  • Open Opposition: A clear opponent presents itself, resisting their attempts (on a global level). This is likely to be House Merinitia. Clues should be in place to identify it as the Nemesis. The opposition should at first succeed, or at least bring things to a stand-still, but will be at least somewhat circumvented by an Unexpected Ally. Perhaps House Tremere?
  • Mundane Phase: Having united the easier and less well-guarded forests (probably excluding the powerful Faerie and Infernal forests), the PCs are forced to move against the mundane's encroachment. Or perhaps the mundanes encroch first. At either case, the magi must contend with a local noble and his demense's angel. At this stage Hermetic Architects may be solicited to undo the damage of a lymes line, probably revealing the Pythagorean mystery cult – perhaps as the Unexpected Ally before?
  • Divine Phase: The PCs are “assaulted” with Divine woes as their encroachment over it increase. A divine miracle or two may need to be worked around, or a saint, possibly within their grogs. At this stage, when they openly oppose the divine, they are also most vulnerable to Infernal attack. This is another possible candidate for the Unexpected Ally. This phase should be characterized by an initial great setback, that would be gradually undone. By its end, the PCs should be poised to attack the main Divine strongholds separating the great forest spirit.
  • The Great Reveal: The Nemesis is slowly revealed to be a secret society, possibly Jerbiton and Bonisagus led, that strongly opposes the wilderists. They open an era of Hermetic struggle that strongly hinders the PC's efforts although it doesn't mitigate their extant achievements.
  • Triumph: The PCs manage to remove the last Divine bastions and Roman lines dividing the Great Spirit, and unite it. This entails breaking several ancient enchantments, driving away key mundane settlements and monasteries, and somehow circumventing a few miracles. Some pockets of Divine and Faerie presence remain, the spirit is not whole but it is, for the first time in ages, united.
  • Crusade: A Divine counterattack is wielded by Templar knights, backed by a saint and/or angles, directly at the loci of power (such as the PC's covenant). The PCs must weather the storm. They must then weather the Hermetic storm, which may be even harder, but the saga should probably end with them weathering the Divine Crusade as it is probably more dramatic.

NPCs:

  • Throughout the saga a tempting demon and his cult will oppose the PCs, being most prominent (and upfront) in the Divine (and possibly the Crusade) phase. It will be the Unexpected Ally at the Open Opposition phase, but will be revealed as Infernal at the Divine Phase. A good candidate will be the Oak Gild leadership, perhaps Stentonius, heading a hidden cult practising spirit as well as infernal magic.
  • A Mystery Cult will be even more effective, working in secret until the Great Reveal and masterminding Hermetic opposition. Their interest in mundane s leads to a natural connection to Alchemical and Astronomical Mysteries. Some members may practice Divine Magic, but not on the whole. Quaesitors may be included, regardless the cult's magic should be capable of frustrating investigative attempts.
  • A wilderist mentor will accompany the party from the start, probably offering a path to learn Nature Mysteries and Forest Paths; this will most likely be a Bjornaer of the hidden line of Maynar, and may have ties within Merinitia that will break the secrecy of the Nemesis. He probably also leads other wilderist allies, perhaps he is a hidden master of a Maynar cult.
  • A Pythagorean cult may also be extant in the Order, initially remaining neutral in the dispute. She may be dragged into the PC's side by assualts on her, or may decide to abandon her cooperation with them.
  • House Merinitia will from the start oppose the PC's machinations, and will be hard to accommodate. They will, of course, wield Arcadian mysteries.
  • Various other, more sporadic, major NPCs will include saints, templars, angels, and various antagonists such as forest spirits, magi wielding Divine Magic, a local bishop, and so on.

This outline is far more sweeping, so much so that it is hard to see how it can be accomodated in 120 years. It glosses over the severe objections that will be made from Hermetic, Noble, and Divine circles. The support for the PCs is much more singular and tennous, the opposition far wider and extensive.

1222 1361 Novgorod: A new terror out of the East: a barbarian people called the Mongols appear in the east of the Tribunal. [History]
1223 1362 Novgorod: The Mongols defeat a large mortal army of Russians and Cumans, then mysteriously depart. [History]
1237 1376 The Mongol Horde returns and conquers much of eastern Europe. In the midst of this, the Teutonic Knights wage war on the Russians, who are caught between two invading armies. [History]
1241 1380 Novgorod: County of Leczyca raided by Mongols, effect on Leczyca covenant unclear. [History, DatB]
1241 1380 Novgorod: The Mongols devastate the nobility of eastern Europe at the Battle of Liegnitz. They withdraw later in the year, as mysteriously as they had come, but keep control over Russia. [History]

A mere 20 years pass between the appearance of the Mongols at the East in 1222 and the Battle of Liegnitz at 1241. That is simply not enough of time to serve anything but a capstone for a saga that covers 120 years. The Mongol saga does not, cannot, fit within the 120 year outline.

C. 1100-1200 C. 1225-1325 Gettra of House Bjornaer assumes the identities of many magi, for unknown reasons. She flees when discovered and has yet to face Hermetic justice. [HoH] The period of Gettra’s impersonation is difficult to research, and may be significantly shorter.
1151 1290 Rhine Tribunal of 1290: Durenmar fined ten pawns of vis to every other covenant in the Tribunal for plundering faerie sites of the Black Forest for vis, thereby making the Black Forest a hazard for magi, and restricted from taking further vis from faerie sites for fourteen years unless a peace was made with the fae. [WGRE]
Magi Anaxagoras of Tremere, Ulisterius of Jerbiton, and Forba of Bonisagus are granted a charter to form a covenant, Triamore, attached to the court of Emperor Conrad III. [Triamore]
1172 1311 Rhine: The lands of Triamore covenant raided by mortal lords fighting over mortal issues. [Triamore]
1180 1319 Rhine: Maga Alicia de Pahn Ex Miscellanea expelled from her covenant for consorting with mortals and bearing a child, in contravention of her covenant’s rules. [MND]
C. 1180-1200 C. 1340-1360 Rhine: The Bishop of Stettin requests aid of the Order against wizards of the Order of Odin, aiding local pagans. A covenant of a dozen magi is founded (name unknown), but fails within two years due to disagreement between magi Ignibus Impervious of Flambeau and Wilhelm of Tytalus. The covenant site is abandoned, and later becomes quarters for hedge wizards. These squatters are eventually killed in a pitched batte. [ME] The account of these events is very sketchy.
1186 1325 Rhine Tribunal of 1325: Magus Antonio Manecis is accused of summoning a demon and negotiating with it; the Magus claims he had done so to protect his covenant, and that the agreement was to assure the safety of the covenant so long as they did not interfere in its plots against mortals; convicted and Marched. [WGRE] The Tribunal notes that the Magus’ intentions were worthy.
1190 1329 Rhine: At Triamore covenant, the apprentice Pietre is found to have scried upon Maga Daria of Tremere. The boy flees before being punished. Pietre is expelled from the tutelage of his master, Aline of Bonisagus. [Triamore]
1190 1329 Rhine: A fire at Triamore kills Forba of Bonisagus. Not long after, the covenant is besieged by the army of Henry of Brabant, a mortal lord who wishes the covenant’s land and castle. The siege is broken through intervention of the new Emperor, Henry IV. [Triamore]
1198 1337 Magus Caritopulus of Flambeau issues a call to destroy hedge wizards across Europe to prevent them from gaining power and destroying the Order. His call is widely ignored, as he is considered easily alarmed. [OoH]
1205 1344 Thebes: Hoplitic Pact of Byzantium formed in the wake of the sack of Constantinople, allying House Jerbiton with the Order of Geonim to defend Jewish Quarters from mortal destruction. [Kabbalah]
1206-1280 1345-1419 Rhine: Lifetime of St. Albertus Magnus, philosopher and possible mage. Teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas, authority, lecturer, wise man, preacher, and papal legate. [History, Legend]
1212 1351 Rhine: Magus Carolus of Jerbiton visits Crintera, Domus Magna of Bjornaer. While there, his familiar is blinded by Maga Caprea of Bjornaer when it enters the covenant library. [MBRE]
1213 1352 Maga Murion of Bonisagus elevated to Prima of her House. [HoH]
1214 1353 Novgorod Tribunal of 1353: A delegation of shamans & shapechangers arrives at the Novgorod Tribunal seeking alliance with the Order. The issue is discussed at length, but the matter of bringing it up to the Grand Tribunal is tabled. In the meanwhile, the visitors are told to join House Ex Miscellanea. [Shamans]
After the Tribunal, three magi, Signum Irruptus of Criamon, Theoderich of Jerbiton, and Pancrestis of Bonisagus, decide to establish a covenant in Denmark, on the island of Zealand, in the ruins of Lethra town, which they name Heorot covenant, after the Hall of King Beowulf. [UT] The magi of Heorot did not seek any permission to colonize, which may yet cause them difficulty, as Denmark lies within Ultima Thule, which is ceded to Novgorod Tribunal. That Tribunal is ever fearful of Rhine magi expanding into their territories.
1214-1294 1353-1433 Life of Roger Bacon, monk, inventor, and reputed magician. He is said to have the advice of a bronze head, which may or may not be the one that advised Pope Sylvester II. [History, Legend] He is also said to have constructed the bronze head, as are Vergil and Sylvester II.
1220 1359 Rhine: Magus Sicero of Tremere joins Triamore covenant. [Triamore]
1220 1359 The German king Frederick is crowned Holy Roman Emperor after promising to undertake a new Crusade. The Emperor is quickly embroiled in restoring order in Sicily. [History]
1220 1359 The hedge wizard Michael Scot becomes court magician for Emperor Frederick II. [HM]
1222 1361 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1361 at Coeris.
C. 1223 and later C. 1362 and later Provencal: Refugees from the Albigensian Crusade, including magi of Bellaquin, find haven at Mistridge covenant. The population of Mistridge triples, and the council of Mistridge increases from four to twelve. The covenant becomes an important center of resistance to the Crusaders.
Mistridge is eventually cautioned by the Tribunal against becoming overly involved in mortal concerns. [Mistridge] The tale of Mistridge gives an important caution against magi who think to oppose the Crusaders of the Church.
1224 1363 Rome: Emperor Frederick II offers patronage to the covenant of Literatus. [Rome] This emperor is noted for his learning and patronage of the wise.
1224 1363 Rome: Filii of Literatus found a new covenant in Naples. [Rome] Naples covenant may have been founded with the Emperor’s aid; the issue is not clear.
1226 1365 Rome: Other covenants in Rome seek to undermine the alliance of Literatus and the Emperor. [Rome]
1227 1366 Tribunals of the year 1367 held in 1366, to prepare for the Grand Tribunal of the next year. Presumably the Stonehenge Tribunal, late one year since 1341, will synchronize with the Order. [WGRE]
1227 1366 Sixth Crusade: Emperor Frederick II embarks on crusade, seven years after promising it. His army is stricken with fever and delayed; Frederick is, after 20 days delay, excommunicated for malingering. [History]
1228 1367 Grand Tribunal of 1367: No rulings noted.
1228 1367 Pope Gregory IX invades the Emperor’s lands. [History]
1228 1367 The Sixth Crusade finally departs under the Emperor’s command. It lands in Egypt with little opposition. [History]
1229 1368 The Sixth Crusade secures Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth, and a corridor of land, all in six months. [History]
1229 1368 The Emperor returns and quickly drives out his foes. [History]
1230 1369 The Pope and Emperor reconciled; the Emperor is absolved. [History]
C. 1231 C. 1370 Papal Bull Excommunicamus forms the Inquisition to root out heresy. They focus initially on the Albigensian movement, under the guidance of the Dominicans. [History]
1232 1371 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1371 at Coeris.
1235 1374 Rome: Verdi Competition of 1374.
1237 1376 Novgorod: The Knights of the Sword subordinated to the Teutonic Knights. This is intended to resolve lingering problems of obedience by the Knights of the Sword. The Teutonic Knights descend hereafter into brutality and barbarism. [History] Indicating deep corruption among the Crusaders by this point.
1237 1376 The Mongol Horde returns and conquers much of eastern Europe. In the midst of this, the Teutonic Knights wage war on the Russians, who are caught between two invading armies. [History]
1238-1311 1377-1450 Life of Arnold of Villanova, physician and alchemist. [History, Legend]
1239 1378 Emperor Frederick II excommunicated for the second time. The Pope calls him a heretic, rake, and the Anti-Christ. [History]
1240 1379 Rome: Magi of Literatus covenant help Frederick II capture hundreds of clergy. A special Tribunal disbands the covenant later in this year. [Rome]
1241 1380 Novgorod: County of Leczyca raided by Mongols, effect on Leczyca covenant unclear. [History, DatB]
1241 1380 Novgorod: The Mongols devastate the nobility of eastern Europe at the Battle of Liegnitz. They withdraw later in the year, as mysteriously as they had come, but keep control over Russia. [History]
1242 1381 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1381 at Coeris.
1243 1382 Rhine: Famine sweeps Germany, spurred by a plague of rats. [History]
1245 1384 Emperor Frederick II deposed by order of the Pope. Civil war breaks out across Germany. [History]
1246 1385 Provencal: Mistridge covenant destroyed after an extended siege. The survivors flee deeper into the Pyrenees and refound the covenant with a new council, the senior magi all having Passed, died, or vanished. [Mistridge] The fate of Magus Grimgroth is the most mysterious; after leading his covenfolk out of danger, he rode to nearby Mount Tierne, and vanished on its slopes.
1247 1386 Rome: Some magi of this tribunal move against demons afflicting the court of Emperor Frederick II. [Rome] Whether the Emperor himself is influenced by demons is hotly disputed.
1248 1387 A new Cathedral is begun in Cologne to more greatly honor the Relics of the Three Magi. Their reliquary has become a great pilgrimage site, and the old cathedral is considered inadequate. [History] This new cathedral remains unfinished at the date of this History.
1248 (May 22) 1387 (II Gem) A total eclipse of the sun progresses across Europe, beginning in Hibernia and crossing to Levant in the space of four hours, ending over Jerusalem. [History] Effect hotly debated and highly anticipated.
1250 1389 Emperor Frederick II dies. [History]
1252 1391 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1391 at Coeris.
1253 1392 Rome: Verdi Competition of 1392.
1254 1393 The Great Interregnum. The Imperial Throne remains empty from the death of Conrad IV to the reign of Rudolph, nineteen years later. [History]
C. 1258 C. 1397 Germany and Italy afflicted by crop failure, famine, and disease. These disasters are thought to be Divine punishment for widespread sin. This in turn gives rise to the flagellant movement, whose members live in strict discipline, wear uniforms, and conduct public and private self flagellation to atone for the sins that have offended God. [History]
1261 1400 Grand Tribunal of 1400: No rulings noted.
1262 1401 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1401 at Coeris.
1271 1410 Rome: Verdi Competition of 1410.
1272 1411 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1411 at Coeris.
1273 1412 The Great Interregnum ends after nineteen years with the election of Rudolf I. [History]
1282 1421 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1421 at Coeris.
1284 1423 Rhine: A strange piper leads away the rats of Hamelin using the magical music of his pipe. After the people of that town refuse his fee, he leads away their children. [History, Legend] Whether he was Demon, Faerie, or Hedge Wizard, we know not.
1289 1428 Rome: Verdi Competition of 1428.
1292 1431 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1431 at Coeris.
1294 1433 Grand Tribunal of 1433: The Roman and Provencal Tribunals clash over issues of cross-tribunal interference and meddling in mortal affairs. [Rome]
1302 1441 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1441 at Coeris.
1307 1446 Rome: Verdi Competition of 1446.
1307-1314 1446-1453 The Knights Templar are accused of heresy and idolatry, discredited, tried, and the leaders of the order executed. The surviving Templars are spread through other Crusading orders and the lands of the Templars seized by local mortal authorities. [History] It seems that the kings to whom the Templars loaned money did not wish to pay it back.
1309 1448 Papal seat removed to Avignon. [History]
1312 1451 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1451 at Coeris.
1315 1454 A three year famine strikes western Europe. [History]
1320 1459 Pope John XXII issues Bull Super Illius Specula, condemning ritual magic as diabolism and heresy. [History]
1322 1461 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1461 at Coeris.
1325 1464 Rome: Verdi Competition of 1464.
1327 1466 Grand Tribunal of 1466: No rulings noted.
1327 1466 Rhine: A great fire burns much of Munich. [History]
1332 1471 Transylvania: Tremere conference of 1471 at Coeris.

For a different take on Mongols: Occupation and resistance:

If you want a more long running Mongol campaign, then you can start it off by more omens and prophecies foreshadowing it. Describing it as overwhelming, and openly magical in nature of the shaman. Then you have the other magi in the tribunal being scared, declaring that it is more mundane than anything, and demanding that no one in tribunal do anything to bring the wrath of the mundane army onto the order. The tribunals plan is to weather the storm, not embrace it or oppose it.

Some magi might cooperate or attack mongol forces but you can show what happens as those individuals are hunted down by small armies of spirits, commanded by shaman, and as the magi who cooperate do not have so much problems retaining their vis sources. The key element at this stage is the power of the horde and their slow conquest and consolidation over the land, claiming magical children as slaves to be used by the shaman (thus depriving magi of apprentices), taking vis sources and stores and walking into the various covenants and demanding npc magi to be handed over as hostages (taken back to Samerkand and interogated), demanding copies of every book, and half the magic items from each covenant.

Then comes the relaxation period. The mongols have done most of the magical looting, now the magi see some benefits coming in. Every dominion aura in the land is broken as every church is destroyed and priest killed. The native pagan religions are encouraged and rejoice. Magical and Faerie auras and regios begin to recover from the encrouchment of the mundane. Certain cities and nobles who had been hostile to the covenant at the start of the game were wiped out for opposition. Friendships start to tenatively be formed with some of the shaman.

Next campaign, the main mongol armies are called away to invade the next target, leaving a token force to insure the submission of the vassal states. The mongol forces are weaker, but at this stage no one dares to provoke a recall as memories of massacres are fresh. Any rebellion will be crushed mercilessly. The newer vis sources that have revealed themselves are able to be harvested secretely by the covenant without having to pay tribute on it. At the same time, the suppressed covenants and the tribunal as a whole reestablish connections with the other tribunals. They are low on magic items and books, but have more vis sources than anywhere else, they trade and rebuild strength, getting apprentices sent in from elsewhere.

Revelation, by this time the shaman that were respected and feared are dying of old age, the younger shaman, not battle tested, and less experienced are secure in their superiority. Elsewhere the mongol empire is at its furthest extension. Their armies are overstretched, but are heaped in riches, tribute and magic. With magical slaves from all over the known world practicing in Samerkand for the Khans entertainment. As valued vassal magi, the covenant is invited to Samerkand as envoys and see the combining magic of all forms has lead to some hermetic breakthroughs, in other cases the new crop of shamans have neglected their power and rely mainly on magic items gleaned from their conquests for power. The party stay here for several years learning and teaching, but realizing that the power of the mongols has reached its peak. They also meet other vassal magi from other cultures, Indians, Chinese. They make subtle overtures to plan mutual rebellions.

Rebellion, secure in the knowledge that they face no opposition that can defeat them one on one, the covenant begin organizing opposition. They know the mongols now, they know what acts of rebellion they can get away with, and slowly build their alliances together, forging treaties amongst the mundane lords, and bringing in hermetic allies from elsewhere. The boom in vis has fueled a large production of magic items to empower the hermetic forces and to equip their allies. They know exactly what to do to trigger a small mongol army, and together with their allies elsewhere launch their rebellions. The mongols respond as was expected, but most of their forces are auxileries from conquered nations, without good morale. Only a hard core are mongol forces and they are unprepared for opposition on this scale.

Warfare, victory over the punitive force leaves a breathing space of several years. During this time rumors come from other lands that have also rebelled. Some have not done so well. The mundane lords however are overjoyed, at long last they are free. They were not alive when the massacres took place, so do not fear the wrath of a full mongol army. Like the one being assembled and launched. Can the covenant keep its allies together in the face of a more fearsome assualt without suprise on its side, and with more canny leaders amongst the mongol playing their old trick of divide and conquer. Some allies are bought off, some intimidated. Its time to decide the covenants fate.

In real life, of course, the Mongols didn't do this. They were perfectly happy to allow the Russians to retain their churches. Indeed they were pretty open handed with the religions of all of their conquestees.

See, your take is much better than mine. :slight_smile:

Now you've left me torn again on the issue... :sigh:

Well, yes. I'm not sure how much of that we'd want to retain. Certainly I do see the story benefits of having the church presecuted - both in terms of auras and raw vis, and in terms of hidden Divine cults and Divine allies.

At the very least, influential shamans would make sure they weren't inconvenienced by pesky Divine auras. Now, quickly getting rid of them without giving rise to Infernal auras might be tricky, but if they have found a trick they can use, you can easily see why some in the Order might be interested in collaborating.

I figured divine priests can imbue auras, diabolist 'priests' of the infernal can cause infernal auras. Faerie auras are generated by long term faerie inhabitation and magic auras by lots of magic caused in the region. So why not let Shamans be the equivelent of priests for magic and know rituals that would overwhelm a divine regio with a magic aura that suppresses it. Yes they would need a lot of power, but say three hundred shamans travelling with their army and having between them a hundred and seventy queens of vis should be able to manage quite a few auras.

The way I looked at Mongols, they got tribute from all vassal states, well in a magical game they would also insist on a magical tribute from all vassal magi. Say half of all vis collected from vis sources from the entire continent of asia that they had captured (and as time goes on expands further), would be sent as tribute. Add that to the direct loot taken from each place conquered, and every shaman coming with the army to invade europe should have a couple of magic items and at least five rooks of vis on him. They might be hedge mages, but they are tooled up.