The part of 12th century Britain we’re going to be playing with is the remains of Roman Britain. You can read up on this on Wikipedia, but essentially, the (Celtic) Britons were on that land from the Iron Age. The Romans invaded in the 1st century AD and generally settled down to be civilized, liberal, accepting Romans-gone-native. Many were Christians, but many were also Roman polytheists, Pelagians, Mithraists, or followers of other cults.

Between the 5th and 11th centuries, the (Germanic) Anglo-Saxon invasions swept away much of the Britons’ legacy, but their inability to conquer Wales (or Scotland. Or Ireland) left a significant Celtic presence on the island. Much of the islands became Christian in this period, but kept significant ancestral traditions. Christian mythology began to be intertwined with Celtic storytelling traditions, creating new hybrid mythologies. In the 7th century, the Pope even specifically instructed missionaries to adapt, rather than destroy, native traditions — going so far as to recommend that the same temples, shrines, holidays, and sacrifices be “adapted” to Christian worship.

The Norman invasion in 1066, however, did its best to impose Norman French culture on the island and obliterate everything that was already there: Roman, Saxon, and Briton alike. The Normans strove to convert the islands to the continental, papal model of bishoprics with outside, centralized authority, in direct contrast to the localized, communal model of the Celtic monasteries.

Our story will be nominally centered on Wales, specifically Isca Augusta (Caerleon), but characters are welcome to be based in any historically Briton settlement or city. Bear in mind that for “Britain” I mean the British Isles as a whole, because “Oaths of Great Britain, Ireland, and the Channel Islands” just takes too long to write. Brittany is also an option, if the spirit moves you in that direction, but I’d like a reasonable background tie to England to be part of that.

Still stumped? Remember, we like story over mechanics – or history! Consider a list of Inspiration materials if you need a little creativity boost.



Oaths of Britain theEditrix