Further Afield


Scandinavia is unusual in that it has about the same amount of land as before the flood. There is a certain slope to the lands, though, which seems to vary.

It is also unusual in that its population consists almost entirely of the dead and wild animals. The particularly large packs of wolves which roam the land have put most would-be settlers back on their boats in a hurry, though those of sterner reslove have brought back tales of a huge, wooden hall from which the sounds of revelry issue day and night.

As far as anyone can tell, it is ruled by a rather imposing one-eyed man, usually seen with a holly branch and six-legged horse.

Sailors have learnt to give Denmark a wide berth as unearthly growling can be heard in its waters, and some swear their ships have nearly been overturned in a calm sea.

Eastern Europe

The Great Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuanian is an elective monarchy and the centre of political intrigue for Eastern Europe, being in constant contact and contention with the growing Muscovite state and the Austrian Empire. It is a Catholic country and on the whole hostile to Albion, though not actively - its own problems don't allow much involvement in the feuds of Western Europe.

The Muscovite State, a growing Empire encompassing many lands, is the centre of the Eastern Church (Orthodox Church) and a great source of trade. Thanks to the efforts of Ivan IV, the Muscovite Trading Company was established in Albion and positive relations have been opened. Muscovy and the Kings of Albion have, in their time, exchanged many letters, and the prospects of closer ties with the mysterious Rus is a tempting prize for anyone who can bridge the geographical (and in part religious1) )gap.

The Americas

Various parts of the Americas have been colonised by European powers, especially since the years of the Flood. Trade across the Pacific is a profitable business, both in goods and in people, and several successful merchant enterprises run regular ships across the ocean. Frequently, travellers bring back rumours of terrible tribes, strange magics and inhuman monsters; it is known that the Northwest Passage, joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is rife with dragons, and that the Aztec Empires to the South boast many powerful Sorcerers and Theurgists.

England has settlements and colonies in the Northeast of the Americas and retains some holding within the Caribbean, either under tenuous control of the Crown or the Venerable Order, who do their best to police and reinforce their presence in that part of the world. The greatest settlements, though, are on the Eastern coast of South America, where treaties with the Aztec Empires ensure profitable and mostly conflict-free trade with the local tribes, in gold, silver, spices and Magical paraphenalia. The American colonies are largely the responsibility of the New England Company (NEC) which rebuilt them after their destruction by the Spanish. Many of the colonists are religious dissenters of one sort or another and their loyalty of the Crown is always uncertain; nonetheless, the NEC has so far kept the colonies profitable and growing.

The Spanish hold their chief colony in Costa de Maldonado (modern-day California), with coastal enclaves along the East coast. Through careful management, these holdings produce vast quantities of wealth each year, the principal source of Spain's strength. Treasure fleets sail from the Caribbean and are raided by the Venerable Order, additional revenue for Albion and a continuous source of friction between the two countries. The Spanish holdings also require large military garrisons however, with frequent raids from other Colonial powers and resistance from the Native nations.

Portugal has come into its own in recent years, and boasts extensive colonies along the Western coast of South and Central America; it is said that only the skilled Porto navigators' ability to circumnavigate Cape Horn allows them such extensive control of the coast. The Western coast of North America, meanwhile, is a hotly and constantly contested region, with colonies springing up like wildfire every time a successful ship makes it through the Northwest Passage - only to suffer attacks from pirates from Cathay and Albion, Spanish raiders, and hostile local tribes. The Spanish are in ascendance in the West at the moment, but seasoned travellers say that it might only be a matter of time before some other keen nation gains a foothold on the Pacific coastline.

Ottoman Empire

The great and terrible Turk Empire from where the armies of Muhammad march to conquer Europe. Many attempts have barely been repulsed in years past, but there's no telling when the Moor will finally give up. Their primary target, however, has always been the Mediterranean, and Albion remains safe from their threat. In fact, Albion does extremely cordial business with the Ottoman Empire; the Gerard Canal which connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas is the principal route for shipping to the Orient. It was built with English money and Albion’s trade still benefits from cheaper tariffs for using it.

A Muslim Turk turning up in Albion, and at Court, is not such a wild fantasy as some might think. The Sublime Porte sent an ambassador to the Court of King Henry IX, Matthew's father, though after the Ambassador's death through natural causes she was not replaced, and the rest of the embassy staff fled during the Civil War. It is possible though, that without proper protection and special royal dispensation, that a Turk would find him or herself lynched in the streets.


The North African coast is part of the Ottoman Empire, though the degree of control that Istanbul exercises decreases with distance. In Morocco the loyalty of the beys goes largely untested and the cities of the Barbary Coast make considerable profit from piracy and raiding of European towns for slaves. The East India Company and other merchant companies generally have an understanding with the local pirates and pay large fees to keep their ships safe. This arrangement is eased by the hostility of Spain which has never managed to keep its own shipping entirely secure and often launches punitive raids against either the pirates or the Albion fortress of Gibraltar. (Most Spaniards rally to the cry that Albion will be fought until Gibraltar is returned and Albion returns to the Catholic fold.)

The rest of Africa is more and more explored with each year however and new possibilities become quickly open. It is said to be a land of great resource and though not as exciting as the New World of the Americas, and seemingly far less hospitable, it is a tempting target for explorers. The East India Company seems to be the most likely competitor for control of African resources because of their extensive trade with India which constantly passes along African coasts. It is not however unlikely that the Privateers could take any colonies established under their wing, since the Spanish and Portugese consider Africa their domain.

The Mysterious East

The ships of the East India Company regularly travel to the Mughal Empire, which controls the entirety of India. The Mughals place strict conditions on traders from Europe, enforced with powerful and little understood magic, which confines them to the coast. Only a few of the most favoured are allowed past the permitted coastal trading posts, and even fewer to the Royal Court of the Emperor Shah Jahan. (The late Countess of Reading was a particular favourite of the previous Emperor and a frequent visitor; she was held in high enough regard to enter even his inner chambers. She is counted instrumental in repairing the Company's damaged reputation with the Mughal Emperor after the disastrous infighting before the Civil War.) The vast spice markets of the coast - all that most traders glimpse - are still a most impressive and profitable sight.

Few have travelled further east though, to the fabled lands of Cathay and Nippon, and even fewer can provide any accuracy to the great flow of rumours. Most agree that Cathay is a rich and prosperous land full of beauty and danger from which flow silks, gold and magnificent spices. Surely if anybody was able to establish a firm link with it they would become the richest and greatest man or woman alive! Many now know too that it is the ultimate source of most of Europe’s blackpowder, and a steady stream of agents and spies have for decades failed to find the secret of its manufacture. One positive result however is an increase in the trade in silk with Cathay; the agents and spies need some cover, and “silk merchant” is a remarkably facile disguise…

1) Though of course little is know about Orthodoxy and the few half-experts that there are in England, have called it both a softer Roman Church and a True 'Protestant' one. They really don't have a clue
elsewhere.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/08 13:46 by innokenti