Thursday, January 15, 2009


Bavaria is an old Germanic Duchy with a proud and independent history. The tribes were first converted to Christianity by St Boniface long ago in the 8th century. Today in the 15th Century, it is accounted to encompass all of the Imperial lands south of Franconia, north of the Alps, east of the Rhine's Swabian headwaters and west of the Kingdom of Bohemia. The mighty river Danube cuts through from west to east. At this time, Bavaria is the ruled by several Dukes, having historically been constantly divided and reunited amongst the members of house Wittelsbach. In addition to the great Dukes, the region includes part of the scattered (not to mention contested) holdings of the Wittelbach Duke John "the Pitiless" of Bavaria-Straubing and the Imperial Free Cities of Augsburg, Ulm and Regensburg (the ancient capital). Other significant cities include: Passau, Munchen, Straubing and Nordlingen.

Bavaria occupies the high wooded Plateaus north of the Alps extending down through the Danube basin north into the Franconian and Bavarian forests. To the south and east, Bavaria is jagged and mountainous and where it abuts the Alps, reaches great heights with small villages overlooking the river valleys from high above. To the West, Bavaria meets the Swabian Alps and thence the heights of the Schwarzewald which occupies the border region between the Danube basin and the rich lands of the Rhine. The climate is cold by European standards, though milder in the lower south Danube basin. North of the Danube, nearing Franconia, the landscape rises once more into rolling hills and then jagged mountains. The River Danube and it's tributaries dominate the land providing major highways for trade and travel and all of the significant settlements are sited at crossings or confluences between rivers.

The outcome of the divided and contested rule of this region has been twofold: Ambitious nobles from other lands constantly encroach on the region and the Bavarian nobles often ignore Ducal authority, taking advantage of the chaos to further their independence. However, the contested rule in Bavaria has been positive for the cities and towns not directly occupied and ruled by the Dukes. They have taken the opportunity to draw upon the long standing Landschaft or Landtag, (in place since the beginning of the 13th Century when Bavaria was a united Duchy) to strengthen ties amongst themselves. Not only do the Imperial Free cities ignore the Dukes and Munich openly conflict with them, the other cities and towns now posses strong political and trading links independently of Ducal control, along with accompanying agreements for mutual defense and prosper accordingly. While the Hanseatic League has no member cities in Bavaria, it's Rhenish "Third" is neaby and the have agents in the area to purse league business. The Fugger family is based in the great Imperial Free City of Augsburg. The Medici family of bankers from Italy hails form south across the passes of the Alps. The long history of the Holy Roman Empire in Italy, as well as opportunities for profit, means that they employ Bavaria as the gateway to expanding their influence in Europe. With a commandery in Ulm, the Teutonic knights regularly take part in Bavarian affairs. The Knights Hospitaller have their Grand Priory of Lower Germany in Bavaria acting as a way station for communications with their sovereign possession of the island of Rhodes.

When the Germanic kingdoms coalesced after the earlier migrations of tribes, the kingdom that emerged in Bavaria formed out of peoples who, unlike the newcomers of the neighboring lands, had a long tribal histories and great traditions. The Bavarian people take great pride in their culture, history and contribution to the Empire and are noted for their independence and superior attitude. The Bavarians enjoy the additional distinction as the finest brewers and greatest consumers of beer in Europe. Those that hail from this land have: +1 Talent Statecraft, Stewardship

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