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Averoigne Location
Posted by: Mazza (IP Logged)
Date: 11 December, 2016 02:30PM
My name is Andrew and I am a long time lurker. Greetings to you all!

I have been especially interested in the Averoigne stories for the last couple of years. I've noticed it frequently mentioned in online sources that Averoigne should be roughly considered to be equivalent to the historical province of Auvergne. I propose that Averoigne should really be further north and to the west of Auvergne, somewhere in the historic province of Berry.

I've also noticed in most maps, including the beautiful one posted in the art collection on this site, a town in the province of Averoigne called "Touraine". I believe the original source for this was the D&D Module X2 Castle Amber, which places Touraine in the south of its hexmap of Averoigne. This strikes me clearly as an error, as Touraine is the historical province along the Loire river of which Tours was the capital. In "The Holiness of Azédarac", the Sieur des Émaux introduces himself as from Touraine, and I believe that Tom Moldvay, the author of Module X2, mistook this to mean that Touraine was a location in Averoigne, rather than a nearby province. The city of Tours was extremely economically important in medieval times - the most widespread unit of account was the livre tournois (the pound of Tours, like the Pound Stirling today). It makes sense for CAS to explain the location of Averoigne relative to Tours and Touraine.

In "The End of the Story", Christophe is travelling from Tours to Moulins. Moulins was the capital of the historic province of Bourbonnais. Between the provinces of Touraine and Bourbonnais lies Berry.

Finally, the placement of Averoigne in Berry is also more consistent with respect to language than a province further south. France did not become linguistically unified until after the time period of the Averoigne stories. Many stories describe the language of Averoigne as "Old French". As the Middle Ages were linguistically fragmented, there was no single "Old French" but dozens of closely related and similar dialects, but there were two broad families of dialects - in the north of France, the Langue d'Oïl, and in the south, the Langue d'Oc. We could simplify and call these "French" and "Occitan". If Averoigne is in Berry, it would make sense for its inhabitants to speak Old French just as CAS says they do. If Averoigne is really Auvergne, then most of them should be speaking Auvergnat Occitan.

Forgive me if all of this is obvious, but since the ideas that Averoigne is analogous to Auvergne and that Touraine is a town within it are widespread across the web, and since this site is the most complete and authoritative CAS site, I thought this was the best place to post a rebuttal to what I believe are two widely propagated mistakes.

Re: Averoigne Location
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 4 January, 2017 11:01PM
What an excellent post! Thanks for you input!

Re: Averoigne Location
Posted by: zimriel (IP Logged)
Date: 9 June, 2017 03:56PM
Good job. You are probably right.

I wrote a story of my own set in Averoigne, Cult of the Singing Flame... but I'd sketched it out before reading your essay. As a result it is set immediately northeast of the Massif en, oui (ou, oc), l'Auvergne. I had Stuff To Say about Catharism, so fixing at least Ximes upon the northern edge of the thirteenth century Languedoc was important to that story.

But hey, it's not like any of us can go there.



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