Maybe a week or more ago, I finished the regional map for Mycenae, Argos, Tiryns, Nemea, and Sicyon. And maybe a couple others, I forget. It’s a pretty loaded area.

The reason for it was my adventuring party traveling to the Peloponnese earlier than I anticipated. In order to make sure they had somewhere to go, and I could give them accurate travel times and such, I picked up my months-old notes and put the finishing touches on one of the most frustrating regions I’ve worked with yet.

The original problem I had with the region was that I didn’t know where I wanted to put Argos, and I didn’t know where I wanted the Argonautica to take place. There are lots of problems trying to integrate mythological accounts with historical ones, not the least of which being that mythology is mutable.

Knowing where the Argonautica started (in Argos), and traveled (placing Colchis and filling in the gaps), meant I had to decide which parts of the journey were the most accurate and where they took place. I’m of the opinion the journey in the Argonautica got longer and farther away through hundreds and hundreds of years of storytelling.

It was suggested by storytellers of the time that the destination of the Argonauts was placed farther and farther away as more and more of the world became known, and I’m somewhat inclined to believe them. I also have an idea that certain characters were added to the narrative after the fact – probably for political reasons.

Mapping the journey means making the call as to what version of story variations is “the one that actually happened,” and when multiple stories are dependent upon one another for events and locations, quite a snarl can form in the history of things.

Some of my recent reading also suggests that Corinth of all places, was largely unimportant and maybe even uninhabited during some of its best myths, which I think calls into question the veracity of other legends. When stories are altered to political ends it can become frustrating to sort out “what really happened.”

The Aeneid for example, which chronicles the journey of its eponymous Trojan hero, virtuous beyond question, across the Mediterranean to found the society that would one day become Rome, was perhaps a political invention to make the emperor of the age (was it Octavion? Augustus? I forget) appear to be descended from a god.

So yeah. Finished the region. It involved moving it a little farther west than I originally had it, but that means I don’t have to worry as much about that area (which had comparatively fewer settlements recorded in history and mythology). It’ll be fun filling it with more people and places over the next few years. Just you wait.