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JeffErwin

Averoigne: Monkshood Scenario

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JeffErwin

I'm working on rewriting an old scenario I wrote called "Monkshood" for the Repository. It's set during the French Wars of Religion (later 16th century) and it's located in Averoigne/Auvergne.

 

(How overtly it's in the former depends on figuring out some copyright issues, but it'll be likely an homage).

 

I'll keep people updated as it comes along...

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tjgreenway

Excited to see this! I'm planning to run a Dark Ages campaign set in Averoigne when my group finishes up Horror on the Orient Express (so likely mid-2019!) and would be keen to read any additional material I could plunder ideas from in the meantime :)

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JeffErwin
On 28/12/2017 at 03:05, tjgreenway said:

Excited to see this! I'm planning to run a Dark Ages campaign set in Averoigne when my group finishes up Horror on the Orient Express (so likely mid-2019!) and would be keen to read any additional material I could plunder ideas from in the meantime :)

 

There are some useful articles in Worlds of Cthulhu magazine (as you may be aware of) but I am not using their map. Instead, I'm fitting it into France much as Arkham and its environs were fitted into Massachusetts. I'll post my map as soon as it's done.

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tjgreenway

There are some useful articles in Worlds of Cthulhu magazine (as you may be aware of) but I am not using their map. Instead, I'm fitting it into France much as Arkham and its environs were fitted into Massachusetts. I'll post my map as soon as it's done.

 

Aye, the WoC articles were what got me hooked on the idea initially. Interesting, I'll be sure to check out what you come up with and see how I can incorporate it :)

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GBSteve

Petassou, a local figure burnt yearly in effigy might provide some folkloric interest. There's a video here from a bit further west. Petaç is the Occitan word for tatters and the figure is said to contain woes and cares and is burnt to free people from them (a bit like the Bohemian Grove). This is also from Périgueux, the Fountain of the Sick, which is strangely covered in spikes.

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MrHandy

I'd be interested in this too, as I'm planning to set an adventure in Averoigne myself, in the early 16th century.

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JeffErwin

Thanks, Steve...

 

I'm trying to figure out what is no longer under copyright and what is to figure out whether Averoigne is OK... "Maker of Gargoyles" (and perhaps The Colussus of Ylourgne) may no longer be under copyright... in the US (in the UK the copyright ends in 2031). Aaak.

 

Fausseflames and Averoigne are mentioned in Out of the Aeons (Heald and Lovecraft, 1935 [Weird Tales])

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skaye

Is it worth writing to Arkham House (April Derleth's children apparently inherited her majority stake following her death) or CASiana Enterprises?

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JeffErwin

My research has discovered (just recently) that CASiana is opposed (as of 2013-6) to using CAS's work for games (because of problems in the past I've not been able to discover).

 

Thus they are unlikely to endorse it (and it makes me leery of releasing it at all, given their feelings, though I don't know the details). Arkham House's imprimatur however is assigned to Chaosium... but whether it extends to allowing the use of CAS's stories that they republished would require litigation to pursue.

 

However, the original Weird Tales texts are technically free to use - but only in certain countries.

 

Edit: Hence, I'm too uncertain on the rights to publish.

 

The same issues bedevil anything based on any Mythos author outside Lovecraft and Chambers: the creations of Derleth, Bloch, Howard, Long, Eddy, and Lovecraft's collaborations (never mind anyone still alive). They seem to be excluded from use.

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GBSteve

How about Poictesme instead?

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JeffErwin

How about Poictesme instead?

 

No, it's got a different feel... and Cabell died in 1958. Much of his stuff is still under copyright.

 

In the US, copyright for works written in the 1930s expires at 28 years after publication +67 years (95 years total) if renewed.

 

The stories are: "The End of the Story" 1930 = out of copyright in 2025

"A Rendezvous in Averoigne" 1931 = out of copyright in 2026

"A Maker of Gargoyles" 1932 = out of copyright 2027

"The Holiness of Azederac", "Colossus of Ylourgne", "Mandrakes", and "Beast of Averoigne" 1933 = 2028

"The Disinterment of Venus" 1934 = 2029

"The Mother of Toads" 1938 = 2033

"The Enchantress of Sylaire" 1941 =2035

"The Satyr" 1948 = out of copyright 2043

 

Assuming CAS' work was all renewed, the Averoigne stories pass into the public domain between 2025 to 2043, with the major ones by 2028. So we'll have to wait about 10 years to make things kosher.

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JeffErwin

Map and some discussion:

 

The map from Worlds of Cthulhu 2 shows a region 40 miles east-west and 50 miles north-south. This is rather smaller than the actual province, which is about four times larger.

 

If one identifies the Isoile, the principal river of Averoigne, with the Sioule and Sioulet rivers that flow into the Allier from the far side of the Puy du Dréme range, the actual equivalent region in our world would seem to be the western part of the arrondissement of Riom. This was a part of the Duchy of Auvergne by the 16th century, a royal demense. It is partially in the seigneurie or baronnie of Combrailles in Basse-Auvergne by the 18th century.

The map on the left shows Combrailles within the Massif Central georegion.

 

The name Isoile seems to be a blend of Issoire, in the southern part of Auvergne, with the river Sioule in the northwest part of the province.

 

The Auvergne derives from the Celtic civitas or tribe of the Arverni or Arvernesi. Averoigne derives from the Averones, a fictional version of the same name; indeed "Averones" is a likely enough spelling variation on Averni. Auvergne (mediaeval Latin Alvernia) has a likeness to Avernus, the Roman underworld in sound and certainly Averoigne has its actual resemblances as well.

 

The WoC map shows the Isoile Marsh at the south end of the region. In fact there were marshes at the confluence of the Sioule and the Allier to the northeast.

 

The Isoile is stated on several occasions to flow into the Loire, which should mean a roughly northern course, given its mountainous terrain - a characteristic of south central France.

 

In "The End of the Story" Perigon and the forest of Averoigne appear to be somewhere between Moulins (in the department of Allier, and former capital of the Duchy of Bourbon) and Tours.

 

As can be seen by the map above (Senex, 1719), a little before the era of the story (late 18th century), there is a post-route to Tours from Moulins that follows the Allier and then the Loire, and round-about route that cuts across to Limoges from Clermont. The terrain north of Moulins is quite unsuitable as a placement for Averoigne, so we may tentatively posit that the protagonist chose the somewhat less direct route, which would place him crossing the Sioule - that is, the Isoile - at "Pont Gibaut". This also suggests that the wood and Perigon are situated beside and on the western side of the Sioule/Isoile.

 

The only real canonical clue to the course of the Isoile is found in "The Colossus of Ylourgne":

 

"Undaunted, he set forth on foot, carrying only a dagger and a wallet of food. He timed his wanderings so that he would reach Ylourgne at nightfall in the rising of a full moon. Much of his journey lay through the great, lowering forest, which approached the very walls of Vyones on the eastern side and ran in a sombre arc through Averoigne to the mouth of the rocky valley below Ylourgne. After a few miles, he emerged from the mighty wood of pines and oaks and larches; and thenceforward, for the first day, followed the river Isoile through an open, well- peopled plain. He spent the warm summer night beneath a beech-tree, in the vicinity of a small village, not caring to sleep in the lonely woods where robbers and wolves — and creatures of a more baleful repute — were commonly supposed to dwell.

 

At evening of the second day, after passing through the wildest and oldest portion of the immemorial wood, he came to the steep, stony valley that led to his destination. This valley was the fountain-head of the Isoile, which had dwindled to a mere rivulet. In the brown twilight, between sunset and moonrise, he saw the lights of the Cistercian monastery; and opposite, on the piled, forbidding scarps, the grim and rugged mass of the ruinous stronghold of Ylourgne, with wan and wizard fires flickering behind its high embrasures. Apart from these fires, there was no sign of occupation; and he did not hear at any time the dismal noises reported by the monks."

 

To summarize: Vyones was bordered on the east by the forest of Averoigne, which stretched to the valley of Ylourgne, where the Isoile river emerged. It is two days to the east of Vyones. Hence, as the Isoile flows beneath Vyones, it must head roughly east.

 

Averoigne has to major towns: Ximes and Vyones. The first has a bishop and the latter an archbishop. These usually are characteristics of towns and cities founded by the Romans.

 

Vyones, the Roman Avionium, and Ximes, Latin Simaesis, should both be situated on a Roman road. The map above is from an 18th century map of Classical Gaul. The principal settlements marked at Eborolacum (Ebreuil), "Fines" and Ubimum (which actually has never been identified).

 

It is tempting therefore to identify "Fines" with the similar-sounding Simaesis or Ximes. If "Fines"/Ximes (Pontaumur) is twenty-five miles from Vyones, Vyones might be associated with St-Gervais-d'Auvergne (formerly Mongolt) on the Sioule.

 

The town of Pontgibaud (the map's Ubimum) is so named because the Roman road from Clermont to Ahun crossed the Sioule here. At Pontaumur the same road crossed the Sioulet, the western branch of the Sioule. Pontaumur is close to Combraille, the eponym of the Combrailles region.

 

Vyones is said to be in the northern part of Averoigne, with Ximes in the south.

 

‘At that time, the year of our Lord, 1138, Vyones was the principal town of the province of Averoigne. On two sides the great, shadow-haunted forest, a place of equivocal legends, of loups-garous and phantoms, approached to the very walls and flung its umbrage upon them at early forenoon and evening. On the other sides there lay cultivated fields, and gentle streams that meandered among willows or poplars, and roads that ran through an open plain to the high châteaux of noble lords and to regions beyond Averoigne. "The Maker of Gargoyles"

 

Tim Kirk's map in The Freedom of Fantastic Things, however, situates Ximes and and Vyones fairly close to each other, roughly west and east with the Isoile bending north and then due east between them. The source of the Isoire in all analyses of Averoigne's geography. is the Collines d'Est, which correspond to the mountains separating the Sioule valley from the Allier.

 

WoC however makes clear that there should be about 25 miles between the two communities, with the Inn of Bonne-Joissance between them. Between the two is the Bois d'Auvergne, an ancient forest.

 

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TMS

Since geography and Poictesme have come up, there's an interesting line in a letter from Clark Ashton Smith to R. H. Barlow I thought I'd point out:

 

"Ulthar, as you have surmised, is indeed conterminous with both Averoigne and Poictesme, the latter lying somewhat to the northeast and the former to the southwest."

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Beyond17

There was a fun D&D module called Castle Amber, which had part of it's action in medieval Averoigne.

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JeffErwin
On 01/01/2018 at 15:56, Beyond17 said:

There was a fun D&D module called Castle Amber, which had part of it's action in medieval Averoigne.

 

Yes, I love that one. A major inspiration. It was authorized (I think?) before the current issue with copyright came to a head.

 

On 01/01/2018 at 03:37, TMS said:

Since geography and Poictesme have come up, there's an interesting line in a letter from Clark Ashton Smith to R. H. Barlow I thought I'd point out:

 

"Ulthar, as you have surmised, is indeed conterminous with both Averoigne and Poictesme, the latter lying somewhat to the northeast and the former to the southwest."

 

CAS is noting, I think, the identification of Poictesme with the Languedoc, which indeed borders Auvergne/Averoigne approximately in that way. Ulthar would be around Gevaudan, though this is a rather whimsical identification. There is, however, a legend of cats, the Matagot Cats, that he is probably thinking of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matagot

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MrTim

My research has discovered (just recently) that CASiana is opposed (as of 2013-6) to using CAS's work for games (because of problems in the past I've not been able to discover).

 

I'd hazard a guess it has something to do with TSR's creation of the Principality of Nouvelle Averoigne for its D&D Known World Gazetteers, including characters named for and very loosely based on Smith's stories.

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rylehNC

For gaming purposes I would tend to fall on the side of Mr. Harms (whose map appears in WoC 2), although I've not read Kirk's book. I would have loved to see Averoigne used in the scenario of Cubicle Seven's WW2 book.

 

EDIT: Kirk's map appears in the Wikipedia entry for Averoigne. I don't see a scale on it.

 

There is a third map by Ron Hilger that differs from both, although it's closest to the one in the Castle Amber module.

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JeffErwin

I am currently exploring creating a tangental product about 17th century Paris for the Repository (viz. the Cultes des Ghoules, Affair of the Poisons, and Musketeers). I have about 120 pp of notes so far.

 

There are hints of Averoigne in it, but Lovecraft mentioned Averoigne himself, so I think I'm in the clear.

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Mysterioso

I am currently exploring creating a tangental product about 17th century Paris for the Repository (viz. the Cultes des Ghoules, Affair of the Poisons, and Musketeers). I have about 120 pp of notes so far.

 

There are hints of Averoigne in it, but Lovecraft mentioned Averoigne himself, so I think I'm in the clear.

 

Oh how I would love to see a fully-developed CoC setting book that allowed one to play Dumas meets Lovecraft (and Smith and Howard)!

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JeffErwin

Oh how I would love to see a fully-developed CoC setting book that allowed one to play Dumas meets Lovecraft (and Smith and Howard)!

 

Well you may be in luck, eventually... 

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Khanavis

Would love to see some info as well. My group is running a CoC influenced mini campaign this summer based in 1630's France.

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arscott
On 29/12/2017 at 08:27, JeffErwin said:

 

No, it's got a different feel... and Cabell died in 1958. Much of his stuff is still under copyright.

 

In the US, copyright for works written in the 1930s expires at 28 years after publication +67 years (95 years total) if renewed.

 

The stories are: "The End of the Story" 1930 = out of copyright in 2025

"A Rendezvous in Averoigne" 1931 = out of copyright in 2026

"A Maker of Gargoyles" 1932 = out of copyright 2027

"The Holiness of Azederac", "Colossus of Ylourgne", "Mandrakes", and "Beast of Averoigne" 1933 = 2028

"The Disinterment of Venus" 1934 = 2029

"The Mother of Toads" 1938 = 2033

"The Enchantress of Sylaire" 1941 =2035

"The Satyr" 1948 = out of copyright 2043

 

Assuming CAS' work was all renewed, the Averoigne stories pass into the public domain between 2025 to 2043, with the major ones by 2028. So we'll have to wait about 10 years to make things kosher.

 

At least some of the copyrights were not actually renewed.  Renewal wasn't that common for short stories published in pulp magazines.  I remember do a search years ago when I was thinking of writing a movie-script adaptation of Colossus--I couldn't find any indication that it had been renewed (though I did find a renewal for Holiness of Azederac)

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