Anderavia: a Pike, Shotte & Sorcerie setting
In the southern Alps is nestled the small Kingdom of Anderavia, a mist- and fog-swathed realm of verdant valleys, dark forests, rolling hills, treacherous moors, and majestic mountain peaks; a realm scattered with ancient castles, sleepy towns and villages, and crumbling ruins. Anderavia is a kingdom under siege by the forces of Evil. Diabolist cults, necromancers, and witch covens seek demonic power and influence to sow chaos and corruption among the populace. Ghosts and the restless undead haunt forgotten battlefields, catacombs, and crumbling ruins. Monsters of legend and folklore prowl the fog-shrouded wilderlands, and nightmarish creatures guard precious treasures in the dark places beneath the earth. For the few brave adventurers who journey to Anderavia in the Year of Our Lord 16uu, it is a land where those with the strength, skill, and courage to fight the encroaching Darkness stand to reap great rewards…
- Anderavia is neighbors with Venice to the south and the Holy Roman Empire (specifically the Duchies of Tyrol and Carinthia) to the north/west/east. It maintains neutral relations with the two larger powers, and, much like Switzerland, relies upon its mountainous terrain as a formidable line of defense.
- The Anderavian military is fairly small; the Kingdom maintains garrisons near the main passes into the country and a larger garrison in Ravesto, the capital city.
- Much of the population lives in cities and towns near the outer borders of the Kingdom. The majority of trade routes similarly cling to the outer, civilized edges of the land. The heart of the country is dominated by wilderness — dense forests, high moorlands and treacherous mountains. The few settlements that exist here are small villages, populated by suspicious, superstitious, hard-working folk.
- Catholicism is the predominant faith in the well-settled parts of the country; Protestantism never really gained a foothold in Anderavia, although there are some small enclaves in Ravesto and some of the larger border towns. Even smaller percentages of the population practice Judaism or (benign) Paganism. For many Anderavians, folk superstitions and the Old Ways still hold some degree of influence regardless of the faith that is officially professed. Christian influence wanes as one travels further into the heart of the country, where the pagan Old Ways are still vigrorously practiced and the dark, corrupting influence of the cursed, haunted ruin of Castle Anderavia waxes in strength.
- Religious disputes between Christian sects arise from time to time but violence is exceedingly rare, since Catholics and Protestants are united in the battle against the forces of Evil that walk the land. The reigning monarch, Leopold III, espouses Catholicism but, heeding the Bishop’s counsel, has made no official decree requiring Protestant citizens to convert.
- The principal language of Anderavia is German, although Italian and Romany (Gypsy) dialects are not uncommon in some areas.