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Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: javis102 (IP Logged)
Date: 17 December, 2020 02:09PM
Hello,

I am in the process of building Tom Moldvay's Castle Amber D&D campaign in the video game Neverwinter Nights. I hope to scatter some bits of lore around the castle about the history and geography of Averoigne. I found some text to use for items like the Ring of Eibon and Sword of Sylaire, but cannot find much describing the various cities and geography of the province. I would appreciate any guidance one can provide. Thank you.

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 17 December, 2020 08:25PM
An interesting project. I never knew anything of Clark Ashton Smith's was involved with Dungeons and Dragons. I'm not exactly sure what you're asking for though. Are you asking for descriptions straight from CAS' stories? In that case, all his chronicles of Averoigne are available on this very site.

These particular stories should give you a lot of material to work with.

The End of the Story -
[www.eldritchdark.com]

The Satyr -
[www.eldritchdark.com]

A Rendezvous in Averoigne -
[www.eldritchdark.com]

The Holiness of Azedarac -
[www.eldritchdark.com]

The Colossus of Ylourgne -
[www.eldritchdark.com]

Averoigne is a land of simple towns surrounded by primordial forests. Many ruined chateaus and cursed chapels fill the folkloric imagination of this place. And there is a notable river called Isoile mentioned in several stories. Sorry I can't be of much more help, but it's been ages since my last reading.

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 17 December, 2020 08:48PM
Hespire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> An interesting project. I never knew anything of
> Clark Ashton Smith's was involved with Dungeons
> and Dragons. I'm not exactly sure what you're
> asking for though. Are you asking for descriptions
> straight from CAS' stories? In that case, all his
> chronicles of Averoigne are available on this very
> site.
>
> These particular stories should give you a lot of
> material to work with.
>
> The End of the Story -
> [www.eldritchdark.com]
> /63/the-end-of-the-story
>
> The Satyr -
> [www.eldritchdark.com]
> /214/the-satyr
>
> A Rendezvous in Averoigne -
> [www.eldritchdark.com]
> /181/a-rendezvous-in-averoigne
>
> The Holiness of Azedarac -
> [www.eldritchdark.com]
> /91/the-holiness-of-az%C3%A9darac
>
> The Colossus of Ylourgne -
> [www.eldritchdark.com]
> /27/the-colossus-of-ylourgne
>
> Averoigne is a land of simple towns surrounded by
> primordial forests. Many ruined chateaus and
> cursed chapels fill the folkloric imagination of
> this place. And there is a notable river called
> Isoile mentioned in several stories. Sorry I can't
> be of much more help, but it's been ages since my
> last reading.

I agree with this depiction, Hespire, and would also ask: did you generally get a feeling of "darkness", figuratively and to a degree literally, concerning the countryside. Little enclaves of Christian normality amid a sort of pre-Christian, dark paganism?

Not Provence, for example?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my Grandpa, not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car."

--Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: javis102 (IP Logged)
Date: 17 December, 2020 09:23PM
Thank you both for the help! I am going to check out those works and see what I can get from them. Yes I'm largely looking for descriptions to rip right from the stories (or at least use as a base). The actual exploration of Averoigne is not particularly well detailed in the adventure, so I decided to limit the adventure to the castle itself (and perhaps a little planar trip at the end :P). I still want to drop plenty of flavor to the players though so that they are fully aware they're in a very different world from their own. I'll see what descriptions I can piece together from what you linked so I can make book/document items the players will find in various bookshelves about the castle and so I can have the npc characters shed some light on where the players are. Thanks again!

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 17 December, 2020 09:34PM
I think that's the perfect way to describe Averoigne, Sawfish, and no doubt CAS' intent. It impresses me as this place where Christianity is utterly isolated, fortifying itself desperately from the primeval wilderness and the temptations of outer chaos. There's an interesting stress or anxiety pressing itself against those little communities, no matter the strength of their faith!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 17 Dec 20 | 09:34PM by Hespire.

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 17 December, 2020 10:46PM
No problem at all javis. I see now that Averoigne is only lingering in the background of this project, so it probably won't hurt to let your imagination loose.

I don't know how a typical Dungeons and Dragons campaign goes, but it might enhance the experience if you express the unique atmosphere of Averoigne. If the story is set during the day then the forests must look alluring with their rich, pristine, mysterious foliage, a suggestion that enchanting faes and maddening satyrs as wild as the entourage of Dionysus are lurking just beyond what you see. And if the story is set during the night, the forest becomes an ominous gateway to a shadowy underworld of devils and witches and loups-garous, holding unknown ceremonies for the likes of Lilit or Tsathoggua (also known as Sodagui in this setting), when they aren't hunting for mortal men and women.

In CAS' Averoigne stories, romance and sensuality often mingle with mystery and horror. A devoted church-going man may easily relinquish his faith and fall for a pagan magician, or willingly become the prey of a lamia who he knows might destroy him. There's an eagerness to embrace illusions, or to follow a siren's call into some tomb or ruined castle, before fleeing back to a safe society from the grip of some sorcerous lich.

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: DrWho42 (IP Logged)
Date: 18 December, 2020 06:22PM
i'm intrigued! there's a message board called the cartographer's guild filled with similar maps ;)

Re: Geography and history of Averoigne
Posted by: javis102 (IP Logged)
Date: 19 December, 2020 03:30PM
What an awesome resource. Thank you for directing me there. I can use those to help design areas in the videogame or lay a grid over them (as required) if I want to use them for tabletop roleplay.



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