Vis Source Location Suggestions

I was about to post about a potential vis source location and it occurred to me that a general topic might be useful. It might not. Maybe this will sink like a stone.

Some redundancy with established material is to be expected. There's a lot of Mythic Europe, a lot of material, and a lot of real Europe. My intent is to list real world locations and their suggested art association, but I suspect it will drift into generalized vis sources.

I'll list title, location, real location, suggested vis source, and a description of the site.

I won't suggest a quantity, as people have wildly different ideas on appropriate vis wealth.

First up:

The Waves of Navare
Iberian Tribunal
Vis: Aquam
Real Location: Navare, Portugal
The waves at Navare are astoundingly large from October to April, and can peak at up to 65 to 100 feet, 20-30 meters. Probably a rich aquam vis source.

Navare is a small , unremarkable fishing village on the Atlantic Ocean with a stony coastal outcropping. Off short there is an underwater canyon which sometimes ejects a mighty water wave, usually about the time of a distant storm, which carries an impressive amount of vis with it, although the vis spreads into the ocean if not collected quickly. Collecting vis from a giant wave may prove quite a challenge.

Speculation: There may be an even richer, more stable, source of vis in the canyon. Capturing the vis before it ejects a wave may moderate the size of the waves.

3 Likes

These vis sources were created for a game held on Bear Island (See Mythic Locations), but could be of interest for a game in Constantinople or Asia Minor.

Lake Manyas hunting ground:
Vis: Animal
Real location: Lake KuĹź - Wikipedia

Lake Manyas forms a remarkable breeding ground for migratory bird species. Every summer, regional birds of virtue come to reproduce at this site which has a Magic Aura 3 aligned to Fertility. A hunter who is familiar with Magical Creatures can harvest vis on an annual basis during the season.

Roll Per + Hunt + Lake Manyas area Lore + appropriate magic skill*

*Appropriate magic skill includes one of: Magic Lore, Magic Sensitivity, Comprehend Magic and any other skills the GM deems appropriate to hunting magical creatures. Alternatively, a bonus could be given for the magnitude of the highest appropriate enchantment.

Vis yield: 1 vis on a roll of 9, 1 additional vis per 3 above target.

Regularly employing several hunters may lead to overhunting and damage the local aura. GM should feel free to limit the overall yield of the site. Additionally, the site may become a location of semi-regular stories with mythical animals coming to breed, or disappearing hunters (when a grog or companion is used to harvest the site) which may need to be rescued. From time to time, griffins might be sighted in the area.

Temple of Flames:
Vis: Ignem
Real location: Dascylium (Ergili) - Livius
A ruined magian temple nearby the Lake which has a regio with a Magical Aura of 5, which contains an ancient fire altar, stele, and depictions of ritual sacrifice for a bull. Once per year, if the altar is used to replicate the ancient sacrifice made by the Magians, by burning a bull until cinders remain, the cinders and ashes from the consumed Bull contain 2 Ignem vis. If the site is investigated with high level Intellego Terram spells, the GM should feel free to include hooks to magian magics that may help a character seeking lost secrets.

Marmara Island marble quarry:
Vis: Imaginem
Real location: Marmara Island - Wikipedia
In 1220, the marble quarries of the island have all but stopped, with the chaos created by the Fall of Constantinople, there hasn't been any demande for the material which was used ubiquitously in Ancient Rome. Enterprising magi seeking a new income source might buy the site and restart the business, which covers 40 square kilometers and has a low-key magic aura of 1, except where the dominion aura overwhelms the site's aura in its fringes, after hearing the reputation of the island as the source of Prokonnesian Marble which was used to build so many ancient monuments. The marble, incidentally, contains imaginem vis, and can produce 4 pawns per year if production is resumed. This is actually dedicated vis if used for enchantments without removing the vis from the marble. It has the strange property that, when used to construct monuments and statues, the vis will release itself to empower the crafter's skill and increase the overall artistic value of the craft (treat as a bonus to relevant Craft checks due to an imaginem effect allowing the crafter to visualize his ideal form while crafting. This effects lasts throughout the sculpting / construction, and may incidentally warp the person from prolonged exposure).

1 Like

The Growing Stones
Possible Vis Types: Creo, Muto, and/or Terram
Real Location: Costesti, Romania
The Growing stones are strange formations of sandstone that seem to grow and sometimes move.

Other places: Trovants can also be found in the Kawakeb Valley, in Northern Africa

The Colored Lakes
Possible Vis Types: Muto, Aquam, Imaginem, and/or Terram
Real Location: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The sedimentation of this system of mountain lakes comes in a wide variety of colors which is clearly visible due to the clear water and good mountainous viewpoints.

Plitvice Lakes might be better as a covenant site with a variety of vis sources since it's not a particularly small area.

2 Likes

The White Cliffs of Dover
Stonehenge Tribunal
Vis: Terram or Mentem
Real Location: Dover, England

The white cliffs of Dover's unusual colouring has long been a point of fascination. The cliffs are also one of the first sights of land a weary sea-farer will see on their way to England

If harvested during a storm, Mentem vis is provided representing the joy in a seafarers mind when they see land. At any other time Terram vis is provided.
While the cliffs are large, any attempt to harvest more than {game balance determined} pawns of vis makes the entire harvest fail, and there to be no vis to harvest until the next year.

2 Likes

The location of the Battle of Teutoberg
Vis: Perdo
Real Location: Germany

Often identified as the beginning of the end of the greatest empire the world has ever seen; on the anniversary of the battle of Teutoberg it is possible to harvest {game balance relevant} pawns of Perdo vis in the form of left over battle relics, such as roman coins, arrowheads, etc, one can dig up with little effort.

3 Likes

Horizontal Falls
Vis : Aquam and Rego
Antipodean Tribunal?
Real Location The Kimberlys, Australia

To cut and paste a tourist site

"In the turquoise water of Talbot Bay, the fast moving tidal current squeezes through two narrow gorges of the McLarty Range, pushing the water into rapid like formations which rush through the twin gaps at an astonishing rate, producing waterfalls turned on their side."

This water feature could be moved to anyplace with a strong tide and narrow gorges.

Wave Rock
Vis: Muto and/or Terram and/or Aquam
Real Location ; Hyden Australia

Again to quote a tourist site.
"Rising 15 metres from the ground and more than 100 metres long, the rock looks like a giant surf wave of multicoloured granite about to crash onto the bush below. It’s believed this amazing formation was more than 2,700 million years in the making."

It could be moved to any area with rocks and sand.

1 Like

Have thirty examples from November 2020

The Iron water
Rhine Tribunal
Vis: Terram
Real Location: Bad Schwalbach, Germany (in the 13th century, still just a forested valley)

Several water sources spring within walking distance of each other, along the side of a hill deep in the forest of the Taunus. The water has a strong smell of iron that some fearies might find off-putting, the water has a weaker iron taste but stings the tongue in a most abnormal way.
Drinking the water daily gives a +1 to recovery rolls from combat wounds.

Filling a cauldrons with equal amounts of these waters and boiling them repeatedly to dryness will lead to a production of [X] pawns of Terram vis per [season/year] in the form of a rust coloured cake. Alternatively, a single casting of gather the essence of Vis on the Swchwalbach source itself will yield [X] pawns of Te vis, but will rob the water of its healing power for the remainder of the season/year (depending on the intended Vis yield).

4 Likes

As my first post I can’t put in more than 2 links, but just go to the Wikipedia for Obrigo Bridge, Suero de Quiñones, Hesse, or Donar’s Oak. Hazard and the castle is more an urban myth than actual history, but thematically it fit. Also I apologize for any atrocious formatting.

Bridge of the Pass

Vis: 4 pawns of faerie tainted corpus vis in the sword (good example in RoP:F pg 50 granting 0 encumbrance and +2 single weapon bonus)

Real life location: Obrigo Bridge

Much later in history this bridge became famous for Suero de Quiñones’ staged Passo Honroso (Pass of Honor), but perhaps he was inspired by this faerie. Every spring equinox, a faerie knight appears on the bridge and challenges anyone who wishes to pass to a joust, or disgrace if they refuse. If the faerie knight is fairly defeated, he gives up his sword containing vis. After the faerie knight is defeated, whoever owns the sword feels compelled to the same action on the bridge every spring equinox, and vis is provided if the bridge is successfully defended the entire day.

Hazard’s die

Real life location: a gambling den at any city in England, or at a castle in the holy land

Vis: creo or vim (Succurro Fortunam effects from learned magicians seem most applicable)

It is said the game of Hazard was first played at this gambling den by the Englishman Sir William of Tyre and his knights during the crusades, while laying siege to a castle called Hazarth or Asart in Arabia. On the anniversary of that fateful day, the die of the best gambler of the night becomes enriched with vis granting the minor virtue Luck. Can play out the night or roll to be the best gambler, or identify and pickpocket whoever is.

To gamble:

Roll Pre + Carouse vs 12

Roll dex + Legerdemain vs 9 to cheat

To find and pickpocket the best gambler:

Roll Per + Awareness vs 9

Roll Dex + Legerdemain vs 12

Hate spice of [Donar’s Oak](Donar's Oak - Wikipedia)

Real life location: a rotted tree stump near a church in Hesse, Germany

Vis: herbam, mentam, perdo, possibly infernally tainted

Donar’s Oak was a sacred tree of Germanic pagans cut down by Saint Boniface in the 7th or 8th century and used to build a church at the same location. The tree has continued to rot in the centuries since, but refuses to fully die. Every spring, the decayed stump grows a small stem with a single acorn attached. If ground and used as a spice, the hate spice will taste very strong and bitter to anyone who hates the cook, and tasteless to anyone else. Stories can be had harvesting the vis source so close to a church or with its possibly infernal nature

6 Likes

The Healthy Peat
Rhine Tribunal
Vis: Corpus
Real Location: Bad Schwalbach, Germany (in the 13th century, still just a forested valley)

Slightly further up the hill side from the Schwalbach water sources, one can find a peat bog. Weekly bathing into the peat bog provides the bather with an usual benefit: treating results of "apparent age increases by one year" as "no effect" when rolling on the aging table for that year. There is no obvious way of collecting the vis from this source (X pawns per year), aside from "Gather the essence of the Beast". Doing so will remove the benefit of the peatbog for the whole year regardless of when in the year the vis was collected, as the bog's magic is depleted. The peat from the bog maintains its properties within the whole of the Schwalbach's magical aura, but looses it once taken outside.

3 Likes

The Turquoise River [Verdon Gorge ] (Verdon Gorge)
Real Life Location: Central Provence, France
Possible Vis: Muto, Aquam, Imaginem

The gorge runs 15 miles between towering limestone walls (some over 2,000' tall). The water in the ravine is a striking turquoise color.

The Horn of Stone [Matterhorn] [Matterhorn]
Real Life Location: Swiss Alps near the border of Switzerland and Italy.
Possible Vis: Terram, Auram, Rego

One of the tallest mountains in Europe, with a large, near-symmetric pyramidal peak. An isolated mountain, it stands in sharp contrast to the surrounding terrain. It was not successfully climbed until recent history and it is estimated that over 500 alpinists have died on the Matterhorn, making it one of the deadliest peaks in the world.

The Matterhorn is exposed to rapid weather changes. In addition, the steep faces of the mountain and its isolated location make it prone to banner clouds formation, with the air flowing around the mountain producing condensation of the air on the lee side and also creating vortices.

The Crown of Stone [The Dolomites] (Dolomites)
Real Life Location: Northeastern Italy
Possible Vis: Terram, Muto, Imaginem

18 peaks featuring sheer cliffs and narrow, deep valleys. Depending on the time of day, and the season, the mountains change color. A pinkish hue at dawn, the Dolomites can turn a vibrant red at sunset.

The Golden Falls [Gullfoss] (Gullfoss)
Real Life Location: Haukadalur Valley, Iceland
Possible Vis: Aquam, Imaginem, Rego, Muto

Gullfoss is a three step staircase that abruptly transitions to a two stage waterfall. Hundreds of rainbows appear in clouds of spray.

The Giants Bridge [Giants Causeway] (Giants Causeway)
Real Life Location: Northern Ireland
Possible Vis: Rego, Muto, Terram

Causeway is comprises of three modestly-sized fingers of naturally created crazy paving. The 37,000 hexagonal basalt columns formed as flows of molten lava cooled and contracted, fracturing vertically with mysterious regularity to produce what looks like a fiendishly complicated giant gameboard. According to folklore, the causeway is what’s left of a bridge to Scotland built by the giant, Finn McCool.

Grotta Azzurra [Blue Grotto] (Blue Grotto)
Real Life Location: Capri, Italy
Possible Vis: Aquam, Imaginem, Rego, Muto (possibly Ignem for the light)

A 50m sea cave, sunlight passing through an underwater cavity and shining through the seawater creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cavern.

3 Likes

Those are some real life locations that I visited and seemed good for vis locations

La couronne de l'Ardèche (Ardeche's Crown)
Real life location : Pont d'Arc (Arc's Bridge), a large natural stone bridge hollowed by the river Ardèche near Vallon-Pont-d'Arc
Possible vis : Aquam, Rego

During the winter solstice, an icy crown grows on top of a rock which some says ressemble a head. If it can be harvested before it melts, the ice contains vis. This stone is located just above the river, about 35m from the river, so it may be impossible to reach it without magic.

Hecate's altar
Real life location : on the slopes of Mount Donon, in the Vosges
Possible vis : Vim

The Mount Donon was a place of worship for many divinities : Teutates, Mercury, Jupiter, Taranis but maybe also Vogesus which could have been the name given to the fir spirit of the Vosges Forest (Guardian of the Forest p44). Hidden somewhere near the summit is an altar dedicated to Hecate. During a new moon, when the sky is particularly clear, a very fine sand can be gathered from the altar which contains vim vis. However, it needs to be done quickly, as even a very gentle wind could blow it away.

3 Likes

These have been interesting!

Cap de Creus

The Cape of Crosses is near Roses, in Catalonia. The area is moderately forested, with open areas due to harvesting, and rugged. This is where the Pyrenees exit into the sea.

The local area is noted for looking warped and twisted, and some of the local rock formations are supposed to be creatures turned to stone. How this may have happened is not clear, but the area may have a powerful Muto vis source.

The oak trees are a source of kermes worms, the insects used to generate crimson dye. The dye is valuable. Enough kermes worms may provide a source of Imagonem vis, at the cost of the production of dye from those worms.

1 Like

A tree in the western Transylvanian tribunal has a most interesting property - for a few days each year, water rushes out of it! This can be collected as Aquam vis.

Inspired by this tree which pours water due to the peculiarities of the local water table.

3 Likes

Tuhala Witch's Well
Novgorod Tribunal
Vis: Aq
Real Location: Tuhala, Estonia

Most years in the spring, this well will overflow, the water rising from the depth and up to inundate the local area. A mage fast enough to capture the first barrelful will be able to concentrate it down to [X] pawns of Aquam vis. waiting for it to flood the area will simply dissipate the vis rendering it impossible to collect.
Knowing the right day to collect the vis can be figured out by a combination of Area Lore and Magic Lore. (difficulty at saga's discretion).

3 Likes