Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lands of the Empire

Despite the wide prevalence of "German" as a cultural language here, I am not making any claim that those regions are part of either a "Greater Germany" or dominated by German culture. It is simply convenient for the game to have a lingua franca and for that reason alone I have added the German language to every background I could think of the slimmest pretext, often only that characters will have interacted with German speaking nobles or served in German speaking armies. The list of languages gives your starting character the a set of options, from which one must be chosen and others may be useful.


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.

+1 Talent Statecraft, Stewardship


Languages: German, Czech

Bohemia is one of the lands nominally controlled by Sigismund, however Bohemian outrage at the burning at the stake of the religious leader Jan Hus sparked the defenestration of officials and open rebellion. The teachings of the Martyr Hus have sparked two major religious factions the the moderate Utraquists (who wished to regain the right to receive communion in both forms) and the fanatic Taborites (who formed a new Utopian community on Mt Tabor)

Abilities: +1 Talent Military arts, Theology

Hanseatic League

Languages: German

The Hanseatic league is a federation of free cities, centered on the Imperial free city of Lubeck, that maintains a near monopoly on trade in the Baltic and is famed for it's lead in shipbuilding technology. In addition to it's German member cities and the Hansa towns set up by colonists around the Baltic, the league maintains enclaves or Kontors by treaty in a number of important European centers including London, Bruges (in the Low countries) and Bergen (Norway). The league wields considerable political and economic clout and often exerts this both in Imperial affairs and abroad. It has recently been plagued by the depredations of pirates in the Baltic and the North sea, including the infamous Victual Brothers, reportedly sponsored by their rivals Sweden. However their agents in trade and war, work tirelessly to expand their interests.

Kingdom of Hungary

Languages: German, Hungarian

The Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund currently holds the crown of Hungary. While often hampered by the will of his nobles or rebels elsewhere in the Empire, in Hungary he is supreme and able to both freely enact his policies and draw on the lands soldiers for his campaigns. The majority of the Hungarian people are descendents of the Magyar horsemen, related to the horde of Atilla, who raided Christian Europe before their ruler converted in 1000 AD. A significant minority are Germanic Saxon settlers. A large proportion of the soldiery of this land are light horsemen and horse archers. With the advances of the Turk, Hungary is now one of the frontiers of Christendom in the east. St Margaret is the Patron Saint of Hungary.

Abilities: +1 Talent Animal Handling, Ranged Arms

Low Countries

Languages: German, Flemish, French

The Low Countries have usually been under the sway of either the Empire or the Crown of France. However, the rising prosperity of the Flemish town communes, and some military successes by their militias, has led to some independence for their citizens form their current feudal overlords.

Abilities: +1 Talent Commerce, Melee arms.


Languages: German, Baltic

The lands held by the Teutonic Order were Christianised by a crusade in the last two centuries. The Order holds all the conquered lands as their fief granted by Papal Bull. However, their position as the bulwark of Catholicism in Eastern Europe has been undermined by the conversion of the Duchy of Lithuania to Christianity and the alliance of this new power with the Kingdom of Poland. Together they inflicted a great defeat on the Teutonic Order at the battle of Tannenburg when the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund was prevented by his German nobles from coming to the Knights aid.

Abilities: +1 Talent Melee arms, Theology


Languages: German

The lands on either side of the mighty Rhine river are the richest and most productive in the Empire. The people are noted for their love of festivity and outgoing nature.

Abilities: +1 Talent Farming, Performance


Languages: German

Saxony is the heartland of Germanic politics and identity and has long been important to the affairs of the Empire. Saxony is presently an Imperial Electorate. Saxons have been at the forefront of expansion north, east and south, this growth has seen Saxon lands now form the new core of an expanded and Germanic empire.

Abilities: +1 Talent Statecraft, Melee Arms.


Languages: German

Abilities: +1 Talent Farming, Military arts

The confederation of Swiss Cantons remains nominally a part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, in all respects they are effectively independent despite numerous attempts by their neighbours to assert control or take lands from them. It is their well disciplined militia, raised from the free men in every community that has achieved this feat. They from large units armed with Pikes and Halberds and are the most sought after mercenaries in Europe.

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