Where is Mecklenburg?

So, I'm using the lords of Mecklenburg as bad guys in my new campaign, and in Realms of Power: Infernal, they are described as having a castle somewhere between Rostock and Lübeck. But where is it? This family and the area is historical, but can someone track down the exact location of the castle, if it even exists? I can't find it. :blush:


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The small Village named Mecklenburg is near Wismar (this should be the one you are after). The castle Mecklenburg was destroyed several times in this age and it doensnt exist anymore. The term Mecklenburg is a form of the english mighty burg(castle) or the oldgerman word mihil (mighty). In fact the nobels of Meckleburg (as a whole region!) never housed in the small village and the castle mecklenburg, they only took this name and resided somewhere else like in Schwerin or Streliz.


And at the traditional Ars start date Mecklenburg is actually under the rule of the Danish king, Valdemar II. - if my memory serves me right this ended around 1225 - because the king and his son were ambushed and taken capture while hunting on the southern Danish island of Lyø by Henry of Schwerin, Henry the Black. Henry resisted the attacks to free the king and in the end the king had to accept defeat and acknowledge to to pay ransom for his release (money he propably already owed Henry but had not paid). This led to war between Denmark and Holstein, Mecklenburg and Pommern. These were all North German principalities that had been controlled by the Danish king, but unlike the rest of the German principalities the Danish king had denied recognising the German emperor, Frederic Barbarossa at that time, as his liege. On the 22. of July 1227 the forces clashed at a field in Holstein. The German princess led by Saxony and supported by the Hansa-cities (Lübeck, a hanseatic town were under Danish control and the Danish King was a thorn in their side bc of the control of the access ways into the Baltic Sea = taxes). The fighting was hard but in the end it was resoluted when one of the forces shifted alliance in the thick of the battle. As the dust and confusion settles the Danish king had to concede Holstein, Mecklenburg and Pommern, that from then on became part of Holy Roman Empire and ruled by German princes

[size=75]And illustration from the “Saxon World Chronicle” of the battle at Bornhoved in 1227.[/size]

Btw - the Danish conquest of the Southern and Eastern Baltic coast as well as the German colonization push eastward further inland were both called as crusades and given papal acknowledgment. Besides being a nominal thing, and the "rhetoric" of its time, this also influenced the creation of German Teutonic monastic knight orders and it is seen in architecture in the region. Even the present day flag of Denmark with its cross is clearly a crusader flag and originating from these events. Legends will have it that as Christian crusader forces, that included German monastic knights, were about to loose a large battle at Lyndanisse (present day Tallinn, Estonia) in June 1219 the flag came flying out of the sky. I is also said that as long as the Danish Archbishop Anders Sunesen held up his hands in prayer the Christians progressed, but when he got weary and his arms drifted downward they loosed terrain, resulting in people jumping to keep his arm held high rather then actually fight the enemy! A silly but curious detail – concerning the flag, the true story is more likely to be inspiration from the Johannites Knights. They also took part in this crusade and their flag looks suspiciously like the Danish – or rather the other way around.

Well, I’m loosing myself – back on track. The population on the Southern Baltic coast were the Wends, a Slavic people, and they had at their largest extent reached the Western end of the South Baltic coast. In 1043 they meet, with a force said to have been app. 15.000, the Danish-Norwegian king Magnus den Gode at Lyrskov in Jutland and were defeated. The Wends were significant not only because they were a non-christian people close to the christianized European heartlands – moreso because they had been christened several times but had turning back to their heathen Wendic faith. This and the fact that Wends on the 10th of November 1066 had sacrificed the head of bishop Johan of Mecklenburg to one of their gods known as Radegast (the one you find in RoP:I and probably the name that inspired Tolkien’s character of the same name), were probably additional factors in calling yet another crusade against the Wends. That their neighbours on top of this saw an opportunity for winning lands and loot, and putting a stop to the Wends notorious raiding expeditions, probably didn’t slow their responses. In the end the Saxons, well aided by the Danish, all but obliterated Wendic culture. One of the famous chapters from this story is the conquest of the island of Rügen (home of Crintera) and Arkona – the last stronghold of the Wends – by the Danish king in 1169 (it had also been invaded in 1136 and the people christened by force, at least until the fleet had sailed back home..). The four-faced idol of the Wendic god Svantevit (“I see the World”) was toppled and dragged out of town. The Wendic crusade seemingly at end, and churches were build across Rügen to make sure that the Wends would this time stay Christian...

So basically the Baltic coast is in the early 13th century an area characterized by recent conquests, heathenry and crusade - a great place for infernalism and horrible intrigue! I reckon this also inspired the entry in RoP:I about infernalists in the area – and while it is great, I also enjoy going further and look at primary sources too. I am certain that you can find more inspiration in the GoF on Arkona and Svantevit. On the internet you can find several references to the other Wendic gods. If you want to know more about the conquest of Rügen, and since I know you Ferretz can probably read Danish, I would recommend Saxo Grammaticus’ “Gesta Danorum”. It was written by the scribe Saxo (best know for having inspired Shakespeare's Hamlet) who was ordered by the bishop Absalon to write the history of the Danes – and as such it is filled with glorifications of his employer(s) and tall tales of old legends. But it was written in the early 13th century, so it is close to the events, and the tone is in-setting which might inspire as well. His 14th book is about the conquest and you can find it here.

[size=75]A more recent picture of the toppled Svantevit from an 1890'ies illustration to a print of Saxo Grammaticus.[/size]

I've found MultiMap a good way to find obscure cities, and get a feel for what their layout. (That and judicious use of Google)

multimap.com/map/home.cgi?cl ... viewmap=EU

As you zoom in, you see various degrees of detail. If you remember that curvy roads tend to follow hills, and straight roads imply flatland, you can get a feel for the lay of the land as well. Also, you can (often) tell older roads from modern highways, and in Europe that'll often be the same ways that were used 1000 years ago.

Thanks for the info! The reason I asked is that I'm using the stuff about the Dread Host and the Princes of Mecklenburg from Realms of Power: Infernal, and I want to place that castle on the map somewhere.
Also, by chance, the place I picked out for the covenant is very near Rethra (see Guardians of the Forests). Is Rethra a real place, or is it placed there by Atlas Games?

By the way, I have another mystery for the research guys here. And this one is a challenge, it seems. The river Oder pours out in a large lake called Oderhaff or Stettiner Haff, before going out into the Baltic Sea. Now, it roughly follows the border between Poland and Germany. If you follow the borderline to where it goes out into the big lake, it first comes to a small lake with an island in the middle of it, just north of the village Reith. It is on this island we have our covenant.
But the big question is: What is this island used for? Is it possible to find anything about it?

According to Wikipedia (English), it currently is a natural reserve (birds and more birds). A bit more information here.

As for what it used to be, your guess is as good as mine (and I can't read German anyway). I don't think anyone will blame you for making stuff up.

Mmm, bog, wet grasslands, reeds, by the sea... sounds like a healthy place for a covenant :wink:

eggesin.de/stettiner_haff/ge ... -rieth.php

That island looks rather... wet, in a storm.

It looks like your PCs will also be setting up camp about 95 miles from Rugen... so they'll likely be dealing with Bjornaer.

A twist to consider.


Yup. If the island was in the same condition (bog, etc) in the 13th century, it sounds about right for a Crintera chapter house.

And Teutonic and Danish crusaders as well..

But in line with Fruny's comment, I am in doubt whether that island or rather that lake was there 800 hundred years ago (it looks manmade), but who cares?

Yes, all the Magi are in fact Bjornaer, and Crintera (and the whole Schism thing) will feature heavily in the campaign. Two of the characters are Pomerania themselves, but one of them, a rather bookish otter Bjornaer, was actually found in the library of Triamore by a wandering Bjornaer when she was seven years old.
The covenant is both on the island and the mainland. I'm using the place where the village of Rieth is now as a the place where the covenfolk live. Only the Magi's sancti is located on the island. Indeed, when looking at a satellite photo of the island, there is a dry patch of land with stone ruins. So the four medium sized wooden longhouses will fit there, I guess. But it does remind me of a scene from one of my favorite comedies:

"When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England."
-King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python's Holy Grail

Also, I noticed it was very close to Rethra. Need to research on that a bit..


The lake was there in the 17th century, at least. I have a map of Pomerania from that period, and it's marked there. The map is not detailed enough to see the island, though.


On Google Earth it looks like a pretty good sized island (about 1.4km long by .4km wide, or about 90 acres, I think) , and I can make out what I believe are the ruins you mentioned. Appears that there's either a road or a ruined wall around the coast (I think a wall) and possibly some old irrigation around the interior. Very cool setup, it seems. You can certainly fit a decent number of structures on that sort of island, it looks like someone already has. :slight_smile:


Wait a minute. Didn't The Dragon and The Bear actually place a covenant there? I seem to remember there was a Bjornaer covenant on a similar island, and you're really close the the Novgorod tribunal border. I don't have my 4th edition books with me to confirm, unfortunately.

I don't think there's a covenant there in Dragon & the Bear. There's one in Pripet Marshes, I think it's called. I'll double check it. :slight_smile:


And then there is the Three Lakes Covenant (Conevant). Both my inspire the layout, but non of them are on the Baltic coast.

I misremembered then. :blush: