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Salve Sodales!

Welcome to the home page for the Italy campaign, an Ars Magica saga which ran for two and a half years (its predecessor, St. Nerius, began in January 1991; the game finally ended in June 1993) and was set in two covenants, first Vardian's Tomb from 1198 to 1217, then Dragon's Rise from 1217 to somewhere around 1255 (the very last adventure was set 20 years after the penultimate run). The first seventy logs are included here, up to 1224. There are no logs of the final adventures (running up to 1235), but a few short notes follow this table of contents.

These logs tell the story of the Roman Tribunal, a Tribunal sundered, and the young magi who came to Vardian's Tomb, made themselves a part of that covenant, and finally formed a new covenant that was something greater than their old home. It is a story of grand diabolic plans, Tremere plots that span decades, and grogs who became people and fulfilled their dreams.

Vardian's Tomb and Dragon's Rise picked up a few plots from the old Nerius campaign which ran just a few episodes then stopped. These include the plots of Tristus and his influence on Vardian's Stand, the Middle Marches, and the characters of Silva Ambages and Insolitus Georgius.

If you'd like to read these in order, start with the Nerius Logs, then go to the Vardian Logs, then the Rise Logs.

Vardian's Tomb:

Log #1 - Arrival
Log #2 - Vardian's Stand
Log #3 - The Verdi Competition
Log #4 - The Lost Lab
Log #5 - War Against the Stand
Log #6 - Swords of the Diabolists
Log #7 - The Stand Betrayed
Log #8 - The Missing Lake
Log #9 - Tales of the Vicious Ballerina
Log #10 - Tribunal, 1200
Log #11 - Cleaning Up, Part I: Rome
Log #12 - Cleaning Up, Part II: Verdi
Log #13 - The Master Strikes
Log #14 - The Magus' Daughter
Log #15 - The Epic of Luigi
Log #16 - Vardian's Revenge
Log #17 - Closing the Mirror
Log #18 - A Healer's Story
Log #19 - Many Happy Returns
Log #20 - The Spirit Master
Log #21 - The Certamen War
Log #22 - A Masterful Ending
Log #23 - A Day for Damnation
Log #24 - The Missing Magus
Log #25 - A Taste of Champagne
Log #26 - White Plume Mountain
Log #27 - Pawn to Books Three
Log #28 - Dry Bones
Log #29 - A Plague on Both Your Houses
Log #30 - Irena's Story
Log #31 - Pawn of Prophecy
Log #32 - Tribunal, 1207
Log #33 - The Laughter of Carthage
Log #34 - Grave Tidings
Log #35 - Magi Hunting
Log #36 - The Mercurian Temple
Log #37 - Green Magic
Log #38 - Rome by Night
Log #39 - Another Brick in the Wall
Log #40 - The Schizoid Man
Log #41 - Dance of Demons
Log #42 - Dragonquest
Log #43 - Truth & Consequences
Log #44 - The Enemy Within
Log #45 - Gate Escapes
Log #46 - Three to Conquer
Log #47 - Tea with the Black Dragon
Log #48 - A Trip to Literatus
Log #49 - Skin & Bones
Log #50 - Shining Steel
Log #51 - Babes in Toyland
Log #52 - Tribunal, 1214
Log #53 - Finale

Dragon's Rise:

Log #1 - Living in Harmony
Log #2 - The Tides of Time
Log #3 - Children of the Storm
Log #4 - Rage Across Sardinia
Log #5 - Swords Against Wizardry
Log #6 - The Olive Branch
Log #7 - The Paper Chase
Log #8 - Return to Literatus
Log #9 - Dark Carnival
Log #10 - Politics, as Usual (Tribunal, 1221)
Log #11 - The Apocalypse
Log #12 - The Demolished Man
Log #13 - Dance of the Dead
Log #14 - Air Apparent
Log #15 - Blood Games
Log #16 - Food of the Gods
Log #17 - Time Enough for Love

And that's as far as the Italy logs run. By the time the campaign came to (a good and final) end, I was so far behind on the Rise Logs that I despaired ever writing them. I finished a few, but gave up. You'll have to use your imagination as to how the Italy saga ended, though I can fill you in a little bit, based on memories of a saga now five years done.

I have names recorded for the next few Rise logs. #18 was "Blow Ups Happen", a name which means little to me now, though I suspect it had something to do with the disaster that occured back in Rise Log #16. #19 was "Night Without Stars", and that had to do with a diabolist plot that caused the stars over Rome to be snuffed out. Verdan almost died in that adventure, had a religious experience, and converted to Christianity, an affinity he kept throughout the rest of the campaign. #20 was "The Black Beast", which is a total mystery to me. I only have a clear memory of one other adventure, when giant, demonic vegetables attacked us (no, really). Poor Selywyne was killed by a giant turnip--we still give Chris grief for that.

I have one fragment, a story from what should have been a Rise Log written after all the ones I described above. It was authored by Dave Woo, and records Dubius' interactions with demonic turnips:

Rise Log #?? - Turnip-about is Fair Play

The campaign ran for many more months. If my memory serves we were nearing a total of 100 or so adventures when we decided to call things quit. We staged a set of 4 or 5 weeks of adventures during which time all of the gamemasters closed up their plotlines. Finally, everything was done, and I ran one last story. I jumped the chronology forward 20 years and ran a story without any real dice rolls or mechanics. Luke of Vardian's Tomb, made an arch-mage in the interim, had just died, and the magi of Dragon's Rise were called upon to bury his body... in the arch-mage's graveyard. The way was frought with perils as all manner of people stepped forward to help or hinder: characters that had been met over the course of the long campaign. And finally, Luke was laid to rest, and thus the campaign.

Afterward we talked for a while about the final fates of the various magi: who became primus of his house (Tolas), who truly controlled that organization (Flamma), who became a preacher (Verdan), who died an early death due to his pride (Rupes), etc. Due to its length and fullness, it was the most enjoyable Ars Magica campaign I've played in, though I hope Prospectus Locus can eventually reach that same stature. And, it influenced me and Chris Frerking to write a book. That was Tribunals of Hermes: Rome, which came out in 1993, the last year of the saga.