Wherever You Go
Below is the current list of places featured in EXILE (excluding the Priory of Captains, the Pentapolis and the other final destinations). Some of them I know, a couple of them I’ve even lived in, a lot of them I’ve spent the last month researching frantically. The divergent nature of Histories makes it easy for me to take liberties, but there’s plenty of material. Mid-1920s European history is fascinating, and butts in unexpected ways against what we know of Europe after WWII. (Don’t Google it: in our own History, which of these cities was martial law declared on May 9, 1926? Answer at post end.)
When we shared screenshots of the names of the Russian cities, we saw our Russian community get excited, and it occurred to me that it’s unusual to see some of these places appear in EFIGS games. Paris yes, Kaunas less.
So if you live in – or otherwise know – any of these cities, and there are aspects of its landscape or personality that you’d like more of the world to know about, please tell us. [EDIT:] History and mythology are relatively easy to find online, although details like the Venetian folklore that Tobia has provided below are very interesting. But more significanty, there may be ways your city looks or sounds or smells or feels, especially at particular times of day – things that easily go overlooked in research. If you’d like more people to know about your city’s distinctivenesses, tell us.
Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, add a comment below, or tell me on Twitter. If we use anything, we’ll add you to the Special Thanks in the credits, so tell us if you want to stay anonymous.
|Candia-Heraklion, now known as Heraklion|
|Leningrad, currently known as St Petersburg|
|Meshad, aka Mashhad|
|Stalingrad, currently known as Volgograd|
|Sverdlovsk, currently known as Yekaterinburg|
|Tiflis, now known as Tbilisi|
|Tripoli dell’ovest (so named under Italian rule to distinguish it from Tripoli in the Lebanon)|
(The answer is London, in the 1926 General Strike. Picture credit BBC News / Getty Images)
13 comments on Wherever You Go
I live in Venice, and therefore are a couple of place that you might find interesting:
Ca’ Dario (real name of Palazzo Dario – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Dario): an haunted mansion in the canal grande with a long history of deaths and suicides (and ever a connection with Candia)
San Lazzaro degli Armeni (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Lazzaro_degli_Armeni): an island with a long relationship with Armenia, Byron visited it, and it still has an aura of mistery
Lazzaretto vecchio (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazzaretto_Vecchio): during the plague, the infected were sent here to die and nowadays is still full of mass graves, in the XIX century, the austro-hungarian built a fort over the church…
Poveglia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poveglia): last but not least, Poveglia is an island in front of canal orfano (orphan river, and it’s not a casual name), used to host in the ‘20s of the XX century a mental hospital (and before was also a “lazzaretto”). Mussolini’s first wife was head captive here, and nowadays noone goes there in the night, since it’s famous to be the most haunted island in the lagoon.
I’m sorry for the misspells, my phone decided to correct me in strange ways… by the way, there are a few suggestive elements of Venice I wish to expose:
1. The night Venice become a void of obscurity that, sometimes, expands like the fog; sometimes, your only companion is the soft sound of the water and the waves, crushing softly on the banks of the canals, the salty perfume of the air and the echo of your steps running over the houses; in the narrow streets, sometimes, nor a lamp nor the moon can reach the pavement.
2. Although every place in Venice can be reached by foot, its canals, and the lagoon itself, constitute a “secondary road network”; necessary to reach the multitude of island and privileged way for aristocrats (the doors on the canals weren’t built only to stock goods, but also as a way to escape the peasant and Venice’s streets); roaming this dangerous network by night it’s a strange experience: the lagoon, being an intricate labyrinth during the low tides, it’s a continuous danger and a silent, dangerous monster that could block you in the mud or make you disappear. The light and its reflections are the most compelling part of a night travel by boat: light flickers on the water creating fascinating and fragmented mirages, especially under the full moon, while the darkness and the seaweed smell surround you.
3. During the autumn and the winter period, Venice is regularly submerged by fog, you can’t see anything and when it happens, especially during dawn or dusk, the colors of the sun become paler and paler, creating an eerie sensation and projecting a sort of “opalescent city”, a city that emerges from the water, visible from short distance, flickering like a mirage.
I wish, ultimately, to suggest only one person (a little Grail-related) that gave his name to a river in the nearance of the station, Riva de Biasio, since it’s practically impossible to find any information (in a language other than Italian): Biasio Carnico was a “luganegher” (sausage-maker, or butcher) famous for its “sguaseto“ (a stew) in the XVI century, a soup so delicious that hundreds came only to taste the delicacy. It became soon infamous when, one day, a customer found a little finger in his plate, and ran to the tribunal to report the horrible finding. The authorities found out, during the perquisition, that he used to kill children, to marinate the flesh in red wine and spices, and to serve them to hundreds of unsuspecting customers, and decided to execute publicly Biagio in 1503.
This is lovely, thank you. Let me know whether you would prefer me to include your surname (from your email address) in the Special thanks 🙂
Apparently in London when Charles II was around he ordered that 6 ravens remain in the Tower of London because he believed it would stop the fortress from falling.
It’s a New World city, so not what you’re looking for, but I thought you might appreciate this anyways; In Seattle, there was a great fire in 1886 which burned down the entire business district, destroying 25 blocks, as well as important boating and railroad infrastructure, yet somehow only killing one poor individual. After this, all of the streets in the downtown area were regraded one or sometimes two entire stories upwards, essentially burying what was left of the city. Now, there is an intricate series of tunnels left behind, a relic of the streets and alleyways of days past, and even some businesses, places where people used to live, still relatively intact. Nothing lives there, now, except of course the rats.
And the tourists.
I have already commented on Twitter, but this time I have a cool trivia regarding Venice coming from my girlfriend (that live in a city near it)
Often Venice is called the “Water city”, but around there it is best known as the “stone water forest”. Every building is built on top of wooden structures. For this reason the “Serenissima” Republic of Venice has always regulated very stricly all the woods around it, even at times when woods were just considered hunting grounds.
Wood logs were stick in the “caranto”, the clay bed below the lagoon, and then built a “boat” on top of it that served as basement for the building. Above it were placed stone blocks, making the wood sink in the clay and, with time, starting a crystallization process that prevented rotting.
After 500/600 years the alder logs used are still there, made eternal.
The Ponte di Rialto (Rialto’s Bridge) is built on top of a litteral forest of 1000 larch logs, 3m each, with other wood types to reinforce it, all made stone by the crystallization process. San Marco church stands on top of a “boat” (it is know as “zatterone”) made by a single ancient oak tree (according to her, but I highly doubt a single tree can produce enough wood).
So, every time Venetians (which frequently enjoy giving wrong information to tourists and visitors to let them get lost in the daedalus of roads the city is made of and watching them from their homes) walk around, they are in thruth walking and living on the stone “foliage” of immortal trees.
I hope this helps a bit more compared to the post on Twitter 😛
Also I want to point out: there are 4 different places called Tripoli all across Italy:
Tripoli at Massalegno near Lodi, Tripoli at Marsciano in Umbria, Tripoli near Mantua and Tripoli at Montechiarugo near Parma
Which one is it? That maybe I can ask some people that live near there (at least Mantua & Parma) if they whant to share something 🙂
Ok, I think I brainfarted very bably: you mean Tripoli in Lybia, right? Ahahah
So many cities named all the same in Italy…
We even have an Italian “Troy”
I’d love it! Thank you!
In Warsaw, the last king of Poland had an underground chamber built in a park near one of his palaces in late 18th century. That chamber, called the Elyseum, stands to this day.
Firmly locked down. For reasons.
I know Rome isn’t on the list but i must add this, it’s too juicy: there’s a small district that even most Romans don’t know (i stumbled on it by chance too) called Coppedè, and his architecture has really strong esoteric vibes. Started by the architect Gino Coppedè in 1910s and continued by others till the end of the 1920s, even the names of some buldings seem perfect for CS: “The Spider Palace” “The Fairy House” and “The Frog’s Fountain”
You could use this in the future or simply get insipiration from.
http://tiny.cc/d3p3mz (this is a google images search)
I live in Prague, and I will leave the most basic occult/esoteric lore and history, because there are full on books about it, but here are some tidbits:
There are two castles in Prague, the Prague castle, where the president sits, and the much older, original castle across the river, Vyšehrad ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vy%C5%A1ehrad )
There there is the Devil’s Column (or Zardan’s Column) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil's_Column) and folktales say, that a devil named Zardan placed a bet with a priest for his soul, that he (the devil) could bring a stone column from St.Peters Cathedral in Rome to Vyšehrad, before the priest could finish mass. The Devil lost the bet due to being outwitted and broke the column he brought.
There is also the legen of the prophesy of the foundation of Prague (also happening on Vyšehrad or in alternative Histories, in her own Castle Libušín, which in ours is not as old as this legend): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libu%C5%A1e
There is also Fausts house, which si not the actual residence of the historiacal Faust, but the palace has been owned by a long list of alchemists and occultists, among the Edward Kelley (the former occult partner of John Dee) and at that time the court alchemist of Rudolf the second.
There is a lot of lore and folklegends about the house, supported by walled in relics like childrens shoes or cat bones.
There is a ton of ghost stories, occult legends and so on connected with Prague.
As for the atmosphere of Prague, here are some period videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNoWDi7KEqM
I’d be happy to add more, if you would be interested 🙂
I live in Poland, and there was a legend of a dragon living in Cracow.
He was defeated by a shoemaker that made lure that looked like a sheep, but was filled with sulfur. When the dragon ate it, he became thirsty (his thirst was second only to the Grail) and drank so much water from nearby river that he died.
Candia is an odd choice for a town, and this is coming from a greek. Most of the city has been (re)built in the last forty years and frankly it is dominated by blocks of flats that look as hideous as the ones in Athens. Sure, you can find an occasional church or monastery (these are usually the oldest buildings in greek communities, although you will hardly find something dating more than 300 years) and Candia has a small venetian castlr, but I have no knowledge of any paranormal history or tradition.
At any rate, maybe the following info might come in handy:
a. cretans are big into vendettas and blood feuds, although these happen mostly in small villages and rural areas.
b. at the outskirts of the city lies the archeological site of Knossos, arguable the oldest city in Europe. You can still see the palace and part of the urban developement around it. The whole city was destroyed at once by a tsunami after the eruption of the volcano in Santorini. The palace of Knossos was the dwelling of the legendary king Minos, who, along with his brother Rhadamanthus were two of the three Judges of the Afterlife.
c. the scariest location in the whole island is Spinalonga an island which was used as a sanatorium for lepers. Taking the ferry to the island was the equivalent of a death sentence, although there are histories of perfectly fine people who followed there loved ones there. Even scarier is the fact that there is a village on the island of Crete oposite Spinalonga so you could clearly see the lepers and the lepers could clearly see you.
d. Crete was conquered by the Arabs and then reconquered by the Byzantines. By then, most of the population had converted to Islam, especially in the urban areas. The emperor sent a few missionaries in order to reconvert them to christianity – anyone who refused or remained a muslim was promptly put to death. Afterwards, the island was repopulated with byzantine nobility and people from the capital. Any buildings (mosques, houses etc) were promptly destroyed, too (any mosques standing there, nowadays are from the turkish period).