Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Further Commentary On The Ambrevilles of Mystara & Their Occult Influence

  "Gerard de l'Automne was meditating the rimes of a new ballade in honor of Fleurette, as he followed the leaf-arrased pathway toward Vyones through the woodland of Averoigne. Since he was on his way to meet Fleurette, who had promised to keep a rendezvous among the oaks and beeches like any peasant girl, Gerard himself made better progress than the ballade. His love was at that stage which, even for a professional troubadour, is more productive of distraction than inspiration; and he was recurrently absorbed in a meditation upon other than merely verbal felicities."

"The grass and trees had assumed the fresh enamel of a mediaeval May; the turf was figured with little blossoms of azure and white and yellow, like an ornate broidery; and there was a pebbly stream that murmured beside the way, as if the voices of undines were parleying deliciously beneath its waters. The sun-lulled air was laden with a wafture of youth and romance; and the longing that welled from the heart of Gerard seemed to mingle mystically with the balsams of the wood."

A Rendezvous in Averoigne

Clark Ashton Smith

" New ways of wizardry - yours to command!

There's something unique about a land where wizards rule. Marvels abound. Glamour tantalizes. Dangers await, cloaked in illusion. Whether a hero chooses to wield magic or steel, conjuring up adventure becomes as easy as a walk through the rolling hills of Nouvelle Averoigne - or one of the other dozen principalities that make up this remarkable land. And when the world's most powerful wizards are also its craftiest princes, nothing is ever quite as it seems."

Today was a day of answering questions to my players as to why does  Glantri wizards & magus keep showing up in various campaign settings. They keep showing up in lots of those campaign setting that we've run over the years. And there's a very good reason for this.  Upon Mystara the magic of Glantri is unique  & this goes right down the blood lines of The Château Sylaire of the Ambrevilles, in the province of Nouvelle Averoigne. And this goes all of the way back to Tom Moldvay's X2 Castle Amber. 
If you have a country of highly motivated & disciplined wizards & magus as part of your ruling body then what can you do with them?! Answer expand the trade, goverment, & Glantri rulership by sending out exploitive parties erm exploritory parties of adventures. 

The  province of Nouvelle Averoigne, is a dark reflection of the world of Mystara's codified country of magus. And as such its still under the dark influence of the Ambrevilles. This family has shaped everything from government to trade with other planes. And if we use  the Clark Ashton Smith's Averoigne stories as the primer for this then we see a country that is in fact similar in many respects to Venice during the country's hey day of the salt trade. Salt is far more valuable then gold during the Middle Ages; "Venice, which is situated at the far end of the Adriatic Sea, was once the richest and most powerful centre of Europe for hundreds of years. The reason being that it gained large scale profit of the adjacent middle European markets. Venice was the major centre of trade with the Arabs and indirectly the Indians in the Middle Ages" 

But what could Glantri have that's so valuable?! And the answer to this is a actually magic expertise & knowledge. This knowledge is unique to the country which is always looking for new markets  for its trade & to keep its higer level wizards on the run across the planes. This focus that produced the d'Amberville family who are at the heart of so many affairs within the occult circles of the planes. The family has keen interests in both Greyhawk & even Zothique. The d'Amberville family has agents roaming far & wide enabling its eyes, ears, and mouths to have the attention of royals across the planes. 
We talked about this fact reflecting in Clark Ashton Smith's writings of This isn't an accident & goes back to Smith's originla  writings & poetry: 

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