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[Dark Eras fan] Byzantine Empire

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  • [Dark Eras fan] Byzantine Empire

    Like topic title suggest, I want to talk here about historical events and fan ideas for playing stories in Byzantium. I want to incorporate it to my Viking Era chronicle of Werewolf, but I see this as very promising for Mage also, at least. Lancea Sanctum difference in worship could also make it intriguing setting for them. Logiclly, this fan topic will expand materials from both chapters Wolf & Raven from Dark Eras 1 ( Vikings raids on Europe ) and 1001 Nights from Dark Eras 2 ( Golden Age of Islam ).

    Of course, it’s also a good topic to point great documentary or sources for the period.

    Some opening thoughs on topic for gamelines…

    Vampire: Lancea Sanctum of Constantinopole are known to enforce the rule of seperating worship of Sanctified from humans. Also, local Church Ethernal is known to enforce Traditions in the Empire.

    Werewolf: Byzantium is direct heir of Western Roman Empire – is it means that Roman Protectorate model from Forsaken by Rome Dark Era– i.e. Council of Eagles and Lightning, Concilium Aquilarum et Fulminum – is valid in Byzantine Empire? Or local Uratha would have different model?

    Mage: It’s Byzantine Empire Consilia that are probably the first greater force in Diamond to recognize Tremere as their sister Order in alliance. It’s also the place of first official banishment of Tremere from Diamond at the end of 11th century.

    From History of Awakend topic, based on Left Hand Path book:

    '8th century AD: Tremere join Diamond - In Eastern Europe, one or two Tremere demanded hospitality at Diamond wizards’ towers. Quickly follow them whole cabals, showing carcasses of monsters they fought to assure good intentions. Tremere were warrior-sorcerers and students of the soul who promised to lead the Awakened to a new age of splendor, built on the ashes of burning enemies. They hunted Seers and Scelesti, but demand selected Reapers and vampires as tribute for the balance of their wrath. They preached that Atlantis’s faithful willworkers were the natural lords of souls. Anyone who challenged their crowns deserved to burn. '

    '1099: Banishment of Tremere - Silver Ladder lictor Caterine Bedlam told the Convocation of Antioch what many now suspected: the Tremere was a Legacy of Reapers who hunted their own kind. It labeled them as Nefandi by Convocation, with banishment and ‘forgetting’ of Tremere Order members – their magical tools were destroyed, as any grimoires, soul stones, or imbued items they created. Their Shadow Name becomes illegal to utter and were replaced in all Consilium records by “Nefandi:” the name that is not a name and cannot be spoken. As other Convocations followed move that of Antioch done, within few decades Tremere were officially excommunicated from Diamond be every European Convocations, becoming target for Reaper hunters they ones been.'
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-05-2017, 09:42 PM.


    LGBT+ in CoD games
    Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
    Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
    Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
    My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

  • #2
    Other question on the Era topic – Do you have good sources or documentary movies on Vikings contacts with Byzantium? I need to plan a journey from Sweden in 799 A.D. to Constantinople, so as I understand, “Varangians” get to the capitol of “Greece” in 839 A.D. – Got idea how this great expedition ( several, I suppose ) would look like?


    LGBT+ in CoD games
    Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
    Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
    Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
    My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

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    • #3
      I assume you've already read the Byzantine appendix in Fall of the Camarilla?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
        I assume you've already read the Byzantine appendix in Fall of the Camarilla?
        Never knew there was one, as I do not run Vampire on day-to-day basis, so do not read 'chronicle books' for it. Will look into it then, thank you.
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-07-2018, 10:23 AM.


        LGBT+ in CoD games
        Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
        Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
        Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
        My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

        Comment


        • #5
          On the topic of Vikings journeys to Constantinopole - this is great article I just read. On Eastern Europe Norseman are called 'Rus' - and from their name is country name of 'Russia'. Article also points on Byzantine travel routes and capitoles defensece.

          Most interesting for me is that precise date of Vikings showing up in Byzantine Empire is unknown, only it was offically 'sealed' by 839 A.D. - so if I make more precise reaserch on Rus journeys to Ukraine and Dnieper and Volga Rivers, it could be even 20 years earlier, when first Vikings shown up at "Greece" doorsteps.

          Originally posted by Artcile
          It is not known when the Rus first reached Constantinople, but it was before 839 when Rus representatives arrived at the Frankish court as part of a Byzantine diplomatic mission. In June 860, the Rus launched a surprise attack on Constantinople at a time when the city was left largely undefended as Byzantine Emperor Michael III was off with his army fighting the Abbasid Caliphate in Asia Minor while the Byzantine navy was engaged with Arab pirates on the Mediterranean Sea.
          So now pointing more precisely Vikings raids on Ukraine and Volga Rivers...



          LGBT+ in CoD games
          Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
          Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
          Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
          My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

          Comment


          • #6
            For better showing how Vikings come to Byzantine Empire - two nice maps I found.









            Trade routes of the Vikings with Ladoga and Miklagarðr ("the great city", the Old Norse name for Constantinople).

            Article more on the Vikings expansion on Eastern Europe and Byzantium relations with them


            LGBT+ in CoD games
            Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
            Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
            Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
            My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

            Comment


            • #7
              Returning to Vampire ideas in Byzantium - as local Lancea Sanctum is enforcing Third Tradition: 'Do not worship alongside the living' - I wonder were Church Ethernet IS making their worship. Then I remembered that at time of Emperor Justinian were build Basilica Cisterns - vampires meeting in secret underground 'canals' network for 'black masses' sounds compelling to me.
              Last edited by wyrdhamster; 09-05-2017, 09:45 PM.


              LGBT+ in CoD games
              Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
              Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
              Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
              My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

              Comment


              • #8
                As to Vikings travels to Byzantine Empire - Khanwulf pointed to me that they could easily even start at circa year 800, as trade routes from Vangerians to Greece are there established, just not famous enough.

                Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                Another avenue presents itself, however: Staraya Lagoda was an established trade center by the 750s, and served as the northern terminus for links down the Rivers to the Black Sea and the holdings of Byzantium--assuming you could navigate past the Khazars and other such horse-peoples.

                Yes, the trade network really ramped-up in the early 800s and Staraya Lagoda fell under "Varangian" control directly by the mid-800s, but it exists at the time of your setting and it is no stretch to imagine your PCs finding traders and/or guides who could take them south to "Greek" lands. This would take them about a year at most, going there and back by boat and portage between rivers.

                Bonus points to you, if you embroil the PCs in the Byzantine-Bulgar issues of the day.


                LGBT+ in CoD games
                Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
                Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
                Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
                My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

                Comment


                • #9
                  About vampires- as the Byzantine Empire was Orthodox instead of Catholic, I think that in the new edition, it is more likely that the Kataramenon would be the "christian Covenant" of the setting instead of the Lancea.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                    Kataramenon would be the "christian Covenant" of the setting instead of the Lancea.
                    Where are described Kataramenon Covenant?


                    LGBT+ in CoD games
                    Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
                    Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
                    Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
                    My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good links, wyrdhamster! I'm bookmarking this thread for later, as well, expecting my valiant PCs to end up in Byzantium around 552 and get sucked into smuggling silkworm eggs.... It'll be good contacts for later.

                      Lagoda by 800 surely is a moderately prosperous community in that uneasy between-place of not large enough to defend itself well, but just large enough to be noticed and wealthy enough to attract vultures. Word would be spreading leading up to the need to recruit Rus overlordship to ensure protection in a generation or two. The route to Constantinople is surely known to several traders, who go "viking" down to swap goods instead of steel; vikings were traders as often as they were raiders, and we have records of them looting places, then turning around and trading things back to the inhabitants! (And, the reverse.) Mostly, to go "viking" was to go off and make a fortune in whatever way you could work out.

                      I'd forgotten about the cisterns. They always struck me as being designed for vampire congregation: just pave with a layer of grating, or use boats, and you never need concern yourself with clean up errant blood!

                      Other things we know about Constantinople come from much later, in the Dark Era After the Fall. That's a Demon era, which I've not read, but I gather the GM had Constantinople locked down and kept supernatural activity at a level much lower than what you'd suppose for the jewel of Europe. As a result, I assume Byzantinium ran like a crazy kind of clockwork--which it did, in intricacies that defy easy explanation to this day.

                      --Khanwulf

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                        Where are described Kataramenon Covenant?
                        they have a sort writeup in the Polis Erebus section of the Setting Chapter. They are an iteration of a pagan Covenant turned Christian, which believes themselves to be twice cursed- one by Apollo, once by God. They are diviners and plague bearers, and carriers of half of Greece's ancient tradition. In my head canon, I give them a variant of Veneficia instead of Theban Sorcery, but that's more a matter of flavor.


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                        • #13
                          There's also some more 1e info that could be translated. From my setting notes, the Camarilla never truly fell but evolved into the "Adamantes Athanatoi", or Unconquered Immortals, ruled by the Night Emperor/Dominus Noctis Imperator with the assistance of the Council of Prisci from each clan, and the Patriarch of the Eastern Sanctified who was effectively co-Prince. I also note that the Mystikoi were a group of vampire monks given unique feeding rights over the thriving monastery traditions, in return for service as scribes and historians. Both the Night Emperor and Patriarch I noted as powerful elders preceding the fall of the Camarilla.

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                          • #14
                            As I got literally today my Polish historical magazine issue about Byzantine Empire, I will in coming weeks share some interesting tibits about Eastern Roman Empire with you, probable springing some story or setting seeds. So we start!
                            • Name of 'Byzantium Empire' comes from first name of Constantinople, now Istanbul - When Constantine the Great took city of Byzantium, he renamed it to Constantinople and change to Roman Empire capitol, moving whole administrations - and few structures - from Rome. His sons split the Empire in two, one part for each prince, and so we ended with Western and Eastern Roman Empires.
                            • Latin was used only on Emperors Court and connected officials inside Byzantine Empire - in reality, almost of all the rest of Empire spoke and lived with Greek as first and official language. Even Christian Orthodoxy ( i.e. Eastern Church ) in some places, to this day, use Greek as liturgical language exactly because it was practical official language of Byzantium it started.
                            • There was (in)famous profession of 'actress'. In reality it meant women who was playing in very vulgar reconstruction of classical Greek's plays, with a lot of direct sex and violence scenes. 'Actress' then become supported by rich nobles, of course for becoming their mistress. In reality, it was only a more 'artful' version of prostitutes. What even more interesting - Empress Theodora, one of more strongest and famous Empress of whole Byzantium history, was previous 'actress' that Justinian I took as his wife, making great scandal. He changed law for her, stating that 'previous actress can become empress if she forsworn her previous life'. So one of greatest Byzantine rulers were - in reality - prostitute.
                            • What's even more interesting - historical writer Procopius in his Secret History from the same time period, describe his Emperor Justinian I as Demon-Emperor that looks like human only on days - and in night, he transforms in to some gruesome and terrible monstrous being. Interesting, isn't it? Maybe I sense here vampire controlling Emperor in the air...
                            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-12-2018, 04:03 AM.


                            LGBT+ in CoD games
                            Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
                            Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
                            Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
                            My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

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                            • #15
                              In Late Antiquity, there was pressing problem of chariot hooligans - almost the same as we have now on football stadion. In year 532 there was even so much rebellion between two of four 'color' hooligans factions - Greens and Blues - that they even were close to abolished Justinian I from his throne and conquered Constantinople! Called Nike Riots, were described the most violent riots in the city's history, with nearly half of capitol being burned or destroyed and tens of thousands of people killed. And now compare our modern 'few hundreds injured' events of football hooligans.


                              LGBT+ in CoD games
                              Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
                              Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
                              Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
                              My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

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