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Spoiler Maps! Based on the GPC and Others

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There'll be a lot more on Cornwall and Brittany in a few years. (I'm the author)

The situation in Brittany is simplified in the GPC and is explored in depth. It's got serious problems, I'll just say. If you want a war during the Pax Arthuriana, that's the place to go...

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@Uqbarian

@jeffjerwin

Thanks for the info. I remember the comments of war in Brittany now from the GPC. Though I didn't notice the ones in the Book of Sires. I should have looked at it more closely. 

From what you're saying, it seems like Domnonie and Cornouailles should be represented as parts of Cornwall while Leon and Vannetais should be vassals or allies. 

My presumption would be that Idres was able to get his hands on the high kingship of Brittany and that the other kings didn't agree with Mark inheriting the position leading to war. Much like what happens in Cambria during the GPC.

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1 minute ago, Username said:

@Uqbarian

@jeffjerwin

Thanks for the info. I remember the comments of war in Brittany now from the GPC. Though I didn't notice the ones in the Book of Sires. I should have looked at it more closely. 

From what you're saying, it seems like Domnonie and Cornouailles should be represented as parts of Cornwall while Leon and Vannetais should be vassals or allies. 

My presumption would be that Idres was able to get his hands on the high kingship of Brittany and that the other kings didn't agree with Mark inheriting the position leading to war. Much like what happens in Cambria during the GPC.

Pretty much. Duke Hoel isn't exactly passive, however (he's the heir of Budec), and Mark also becomes progressively worse as an over-king. In Cornwall and Brittany you have the example of 'what happens when your liege is basically King John'.

Edited by jeffjerwin
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2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Mark also becomes progressively worse as an over-king.

Base calumny and pro-Camelot propaganda! Long live Good King Mark!

(Our PKs aligned with Cornwall in 500 and thus ended up on the wrong side of 'Arthur the Win-Hax' in 510-513, resulting in the PKs' exile to Cornwall where they continued as favorites of King Mark, former Regent of Salisbury. It has been fun examining the insufferably smug and holier-than-thou Logres knights from Cornwall perspective.

Besides... from GMing perspective, King Mark/John is a much more fun to play & generate drama than Arthur 'I am the Perfect King' Pendragon. :P )

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3 hours ago, Morien said:

Base calumny and pro-Camelot propaganda! Long live Good King Mark!

(Our PKs aligned with Cornwall in 500 and thus ended up on the wrong side of 'Arthur the Win-Hax' in 510-513, resulting in the PKs' exile to Cornwall where they continued as favorites of King Mark, former Regent of Salisbury. It has been fun examining the insufferably smug and holier-than-thou Logres knights from Cornwall perspective.

Besides... from GMing perspective, King Mark/John is a much more fun to play & generate drama than Arthur 'I am the Perfect King' Pendragon. :P )

In all seriousness, even aside from Tristram, who had complex reasons for foreswearing his allegiance, the trouble with being Mark's knight, is, like Sir Dinas and others, they will be forced to make a choice between being a good man (or woman) and being a loyal knight. It's probably for the best that these choices aren't part of the standard campaign.

Of course, in the verse Tristan romances, Mark is never an evil king. A weak or human king, yes. His malignancy in Malory and the Prose Tristan is a deliberate contrast to King Arthur's goodness; Mark as a complex and sometimes good king feels more modern to us but it was the older model, rejected by nearly every storyteller after c.1230, though perhaps influenced by.a hostile presentation of Mark that was even older in Cornish and Breton folklore and saints lives. (It should be noted that the whole plot of the Downfall in the Vulgate relies on tropes and moral problems that were raised first in the Tristan verse romances).

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I've updated the topic page with a political map I made for the Roman War. Our game is in 514 now and I'm looking forward to the changes that are to come. The Roman War map is based on various historical speculation of kingdom boundaries during the real 6th century. I then merged the Vandals, the remaining Alemanni, Visigoths, Suebi, Basques, Burgundians, and Ostrogoths into one reformed Roman Empire. 

I chose not to have the Zazamancs from the Book of Knights and Ladies represented as I wanted to keep the Byzantine Empire intact. My canon here is that they are sub-kings of the Byzantines. 

Related to sub-kings, I did not represent them on the map though France and the Romans Empire should be divided amongst other locations. 

I chose only to represent some tribal people as kingdoms mostly based on how accurately I could place them/whether they were in the Book of Knights and Ladies. The Moors and Mauritania could, probably, be more accurate as a empty space with a label like the Huns or the Norse.

Finally, the cities are curated from estimated populations during the 4th-7th centuries as well as cities that we're of prominence in the Pendragon line (that I noticed), or we're very prominent cities in the later Middle Ages. 

It's sized to be printed on a 24x36 plotter. Inspiration comes from text book history maps. I wanted something clean and crisp to use as an informational aid. Plus, I just like making them. I would say that a really great looking historical map of 525 comes from cyowari on DeviantArt.

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I check ed out your Roman War map. A few comments:

There wouldn't be a France yet. Gaul is still broken up into Franks (French) Occitainians, Aquatainians and such throughout all of the Pendragon timeline.The Roman Empire in Pendragon, and  at that point in history is mostly just Italy. Most of the Iberian peninsula would be like Gaul, basically post Roman settlements.  Again in t he  game that is why they have their own, non-Roman cultures.

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4 hours ago, Username said:

The Roman War

You probably have already seen this, but still: http://kapresources.wpengine.com/Pendragon Forum Archive/index.php/t-2612.html

We are actually just in the middle of the Roman War in our GPC playthrough (second group for me). I had Theodoric the Great wanting to revive the WRE, rather than Emperor Lucius. The Franks actually sided with Arthur, as Theodoric sent assistance to the Burgundians for them to fight the Franks off and demanded the Franks to submit to his rule, too. This keeps the Ganis situation under wraps for now since the Franks are important allies to Arthur and Lancelot is just at the start of his meteoric rise. I intend to use the Ganis-French War later.

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50 minutes ago, Morien said:

You probably have already seen this, but still: http://kapresources.wpengine.com/Pendragon Forum Archive/index.php/t-2612.html

We are actually just in the middle of the Roman War in our GPC playthrough (second group for me). I had Theodoric the Great wanting to revive the WRE, rather than Emperor Lucius. The Franks actually sided with Arthur, as Theodoric sent assistance to the Burgundians for them to fight the Franks off and demanded the Franks to submit to his rule, too. This keeps the Ganis situation under wraps for now since the Franks are important allies to Arthur and Lancelot is just at the start of his meteoric rise. I intend to use the Ganis-French War later.

It re-occurs in 536 I think anyway.

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1 hour ago, Morien said:

The Franks actually sided with Arthur, as Theodoric sent assistance to the Burgundians for them to fight the Franks off and demanded the Franks to submit to his rule, too.

This is great! Did your players have a role in this? Or was this based off of the thread you sent me? I have to say, I wasn't actually present during Nocturnal's run. I went to their website right at the end, but it was starting to run into issues and I didn't have enough confidence to actually post. Really, I learned of Pendragon a little while back, maybe around 2015-2016, but never actually looked at the rules until early 2018 and played my first game of Pendragon as the GM that summer. I definitely wouldn't have imagined that about a year and a half later I'd be 35 game years into a Pendragon game and making maps for it. Haha. 

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53 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

It re-occurs in 536 I think anyway.

Exactly why I decided to push it back. Besides, it fitted into the politics better in our campaign this way. The PKs did some scouting in Brittany and Frankia to find out if there was a WRE (Ostrogothic) invasion army already across the channel and found out that Arthur wasn't the only King getting demands for tribute. Hearing that Arthur wasn't going to submit to Theodoric, the Franks decided to join in with Arthur.

 

Edited by Morien

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15 minutes ago, Username said:

Did your players have a role in this? Or was this based off of the thread you sent me?

See above.

In the linked thread, I was originally thinking that the Franks had already submitted to Theodoric before he sent his emissaries to Arthur, but then I decided it would be more fun to have them as Arthur's allies and hence explain why he has to go to war with them again in a decade. If he had stomped all over Frankia, why not liberate Ganis while at it? GPC makes it seem like the Franks/French are defeated easily and actually switching sides in the end, so it should be easy to carve Frankia up. This way, I can save all that for 530s and 540s, depending on what is going on in the campaign.

Speaking of Frankia: http://kapresources.wpengine.com/Pendragon Forum Archive/index.php/t-2613.html

(EDIT: With BoS out, de Ganis ARE Visigoths, but more of a Visigoth + Roman mix. I might actually end up keeping the Battle of Vouille to kick Toulouse Visigoths out at the historical time, but let Ganis hang on for another decade. This might also serve to explain some of the split between Ganis and Visigothic Hispania. Not that it matters in our campaign anymore, since we are past it.)

As you can see, since I opted to make the Franks ally with Arthur, their kingdoms stay more stable. However, when Theudebert inherits Reims, his uncles try to oust him from power. Theudebert has been bitten by the chivalry bug during his stay with Arthur in the Roman War, and it is this event rather than an invasion of Normandy that kicks off the French War in our campaign. At least, that is the plan for now.

Edited by Morien

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Though there is the whole confusion as to who Claudas represents - Clovis or one of his sons? The sons definitely warred among each other and hence Frankish rulers could be on both sides (and probably would have been). Clovis would not have supported Theodoric's ambitions and might have cultivated Arthur as a potential client king...

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Just now, jeffjerwin said:

Though there is the whole confusion as to who Claudas represents - Clovis or one of his sons?

Heh. See the link in my response to Username. :P

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3 minutes ago, Morien said:

Heh. See the link in my response to Username. :P

Note that Clovis' conquest of Ganis/Aquitaine was historically a challenge to Theodoric's alliance with his fellow Goths.

In the Tavola Ritonda Ganis allies with Rome against Arthur during the Downfall... much later but suggests the same dynamic. Though that would be the Byzantines by the 550s.

 

Edit: French chivalric romances and as I recall the Mirror of History by Ostremeuse depicted the dynasty of Rheims/Austrasia as 'better' than the other French states, since they lionized 'Good King Dagobert' and linked him to Charlemagne's ancestry.

Edited by jeffjerwin

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@MorienI like your interpretation here. Theoderic's reign covers the area nicely and extending his lifespan a year works well. Further, the borders work well for the viable threat Rome seems to be suggested to face. Really, it's an elegant historical solution. If you wanted, you could even say Theoderic latinized in the familiar trope of the powerful and virile barbarian war become effeminate from the intoxicating effects of civilization. Which could serve to forshadow the same in Arthur's court.

However, personally, I'm not sure if I want to go that way. I'm torn between a historical based approach and an Alliterative Morte Arthur's approach. Arthur's conquest of the true Romans suggests that he is greater and his achievements more important than that great empire. Which, I think drives a point home, the players are living in a golden age. An age that, rightly so, deserves to be admired and held up as a great ideal and how else to do that, but defeat the greatest empire to ever existed.* This fits, our GPC well, which has been more based off of the medieval poetry and Tennyson with hints of White than Malory and the Vulgates, but there is something very tempting as a someone who spent far too long pursuing history degrees to trying to make it fit the historical record as much as possible.

Either way, I think we're going to extend the Roman War and make it a proper campaign.

 

*Very arguable of course and not necessarily my opinion.

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1 hour ago, Username said:

Arthur's conquest of the true Romans suggests that he is greater and his achievements more important than that great empire.

Then he should go and conquer Constantinople. :P

Thing is, as BoS already makes clear, the last hurrah of the (Western) Romans was with Majorian around 460. It also makes Arthur's refusal to accept Theodoric as his superior ring more true, in a sense that he is the true heir of Rome, via his great-grandfather, Emperor Maximianus (Magnus Maximus). But to each their own. :)

Edited by Morien
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Unrelated, but if anyone has any suggestions for more map ideas, I'd be interested to hear them. I'm probably going to do some more county maps, but I want to do a more interesting one. 

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I've uploaded some more county maps, I selected the towns shown on the county map as brown dots based upon Market Towns as designated by English counties. I tried to keep the counties relatively uncluttered because I like the aesthetic more, but they should show a lot more than the larger scale maps. I tried to look up the counties and added places that I felt fit the categories of locations. Which were Christian, Pagan, Castles, Cities, and towns. 

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On 11/25/2019 at 5:11 PM, Morien said:

Then he should go and conquer Constantinople. :P

Yes, he probably should have. I suspect the only reason why he failed to was because it has been conquered by the Ottomans in 1453 and was something of a sore spot  in Mallory's day. Might as well includie the Medditerrainian in there and perhaps Alendanger's empire too. M ost of it can go wild during the wasting anyway.

On 11/25/2019 at 5:11 PM, Morien said:

Thing is, as BoS already makes clear, the last hurrah of the (Western) Romans was with Majorian around 460.

I think the lash Hurrah was probably with  Aetius.  THat's the last time Rome really looks like it has a chance of making some sort of  comeback. After than it's really just going through the motions.

On 11/25/2019 at 5:11 PM, Morien said:

It also makes Arthur's refusal to accept Theodoric as his superior ring more true, in a sense that he is the true heir of Rome, via his great-grandfather, Emperor Maximianus (Magnus Maximus). But to each their own. :)

Yes it does.  IMO I think that is whole point of the Roman Conquest.  It "showed" Arthur to be as great as a Roman Emperor. Which is great if you are a medieval noble, and keeps up with all those "holy Roman Empire" Emperors.

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16 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes it does.  IMO I think that is whole point of the Roman Conquest.  It "showed" Arthur to be as great as a Roman Emperor. Which is great if you are a medieval noble, and keeps up with all those "holy Roman Empire" Emperors.

I agree with you on the intention, but I think changing the principle player here or allowing the empire to collapse with Aetius doesn't accomplish that. Personally, I doubt any medieval noble at the time would have seen Theodoric as the Roman Emperor or even considered the Byzantines in the role of Arthur's opponent or maybe even as a real Roman. Gildas's, which is the earliest know reference for Arthur fighting Rome, has Arthur defeat the Romans and it's the true Romans as we know them and not the Byzantines. That's because there would have been a recognition at the time stemming from the time of Charlemagne that the Byzantines were of questionable Roman authenticity. There's numerous references to medieval writers mentioning them as the Empire of the Greeks. Though there's also some strains of recognition of the Byzantines as Roman, I think the intention was clearly that the Romans were the Roman Empire as some sort of continuation of the 4th century or earlier Rome and not the Byzantines or a barbarian usurper. 

This is all to say that I think the choice for Malory or other medieval writers was quite conscious for Arthur to defeat the Romans. This was because all of the other possible contenders weren't good enough to face him. I mean a barbarian pretending to be a Roman or a Greek ruling in Constantinople hardly compares to the same entity that conquered Europe and left such visible marks across the landscape.

This was a long post on the topic. But it's an interesting one. I do have another question for anyone if someone could give me an answer I'd appreciate it.

Is there any information does anyone have any suggestions for forest placement on a county level? The map in the back of Pendragon 5.2 looks good at scale, but looks awful when scaled down to the county level as you can tell from my county maps. It's too much forest in too big of blocks. It's entirely unrealistic and I read recently that in the 11th century the forest cover in England would have been comparable to what it is now ~15%. Obviously Pendragon needs more, but I'd say, roughly speaking we're looking at nearly ~50% being forest cover now.

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30 minutes ago, Username said:

I agree with you on the intention, but I think changing the principle player here or allowing the empire to collapse with Aetius doesn't accomplish that.

For all  practical purposes it does collapse with Aetius. Even in the GPC Arthur basically goes through all the seperate Kingdoms on his way to Rome, and doesn't really face a real Roman resistance.  He doesn't really have to though, just  beat what looked like a roMAN ARMY TO MEDEIVALS.

30 minutes ago, Username said:

personally, I doubt any medieval noble at the time would have seen Theodoric as the Roman Emperor or even considered the Byzantines in the role of Arthur's opponent or maybe even as a real Roman

We disagree here then. I think  Medeivals certainly would have considered Byzantium  to be the real deal. I think that the reason why  Arthur didn't take it was probably becuase it fell to the Muslims only a few deacdes before Le Mote, and the idea was still too unpleasant, and touched too close to recent events.. IF Arthur went east then he would have had to have taken all t he holy land in a crusade.

 

30 minutes ago, Username said:

I think the intention was clearly that the Romans were the Roman Empire as some sort of continuation of the 4th century or earlier Rome and not the Byzantines or a barbarian usurper. 

I disagree. Byzantium was still viewed as the Eastern Roman Empire in the 15th century.

30 minutes ago, Username said:

This is all to say that I think the choice for Malory or other medieval writers was quite conscious for Arthur to defeat the Romans. This was because all of the other possible contenders weren't good enough to face him. I mean a barbarian pretending to be a Roman or a Greek ruling in Constantinople hardly compares to the same entity that conquered Europe and left such visible marks across the landscape.

Yes it was to defeat the Romans, but also, I think to beat everybody else.

 

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18 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think the lash Hurrah was probably with  Aetius.  THat's the last time Rome really looks like it has a chance of making some sort of  comeback.

Take a look at Majorian. Had his fleet not gotten destroyed, he arguably could have taken the Vandals down. With Visigoths pacified, Africa peaceful and Vandal piracy wiped out, securing the Med, maybe there could have been a recovery. Alas, the fleet was destroyed, and Majorian got backstabbed by his own magister militum, as so many other Western Emperors had before and after him.

1 hour ago, Username said:

from the time of Charlemagne that the Byzantines were of questionable Roman authenticity.

That is pretty much Carolingian and later Ottonian (HRE) propaganda, to try and diminish the Byzantines so that the Holy Roman Emperors would be the TRUE heirs of Rome. The Pope had a definite stake in the game to try and elevate his own position above that of the other Patriarchs, too. The Schism of 1054 left the Pope as the only Patriarch of the Catholic branch of the Church, and hence, supreme in the Western Europe.

The Byzantines were very much Romans in Justinian's times, and while the Eastern Med had been Greek speaking (at least the language of the elites) since the Hellenistic Period, the government didn't switch over from Latin to Greek until Heraclius, almost hundred years later, AD 620. Even then, they continued calling themselves Romans, Romaioi, throughout the Middle Ages.

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1 minute ago, Morien said:

Take a look at Majorian. Had his fleet not gotten destroyed, he arguably could have taken the Vandals down. With Visigoths pacified, Africa peaceful and Vandal piracy wiped out, securing the Med, maybe there could have been a recovery.

I doubt it. It would probably all fall to pieces when he got backstabbed by Ricimer.

1 minute ago, Morien said:

Alas, the fleet was destroyed, and Majorian got backstabbed by his own magister militum, as so many other Western Emperors had before and after him.

I guest Aetius broke the trend by being a magister militum who got backstabbed by his Emperor..

I guess nobody could accomplish much with all the betrays and backstabbing go one. Everyone was so keen on ruling the empire than they didn't realize they were causing it's destruction, or didn't care, or through they could fix it and no one would do to them what they had done to their predecessor. Succession is really what ripped the Empire apart. Instead of great generals working together to portect the empire they killed each other over it.

1 minute ago, Morien said:

The Byzantines were very much Romans in Justinian's times, and while the Eastern Med had been Greek speaking (at least the language of the elites) since the Hellenistic Period, the government didn't switch over from Latin to Greek until Heraclius, almost hundred years later, AD 620. Even then, they continued calling themselves Romans, Romaioi, throughout the Middle Ages.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I see. They are usually called Romans , and viewed as such. By

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