Yeah, it’s Spain. Spain right at the time when the Inquisition was becoming powerful, pretty much. Other elements shoehorned in here include the Napoleonic invasion of Spain and the uprising against that, a young and naïve king (who looks exactly like Leonardo DiCaprio, so imagine him in The Man in the Iron Mask movie from a few years back), a powerful church ruling from behind the scenes, and even a little bit of Zorro-meets-V for Vendetta (there is the mysterious masked man known only as Los Vagos who fights for the King and against oppression).
Of all Théah’s nations, Castille is the most eclectic. Founded by one of the oldest of the Old Empire’s families, it has also shared an alliance with the Crescent Empire, is one of only two nations not ruled by sorcerous blood, and is the current home of the Vaticine Church. However, despite hundreds of years of invasions – military and otherwise – the heart of Castille has never changed. It was, is and always will be a nation devoted to its people.
The Lay of the Land
Castille is located on the southwest tip of Théah, just south of Montaigne. Geographically, the nation is situated on prime real estate. It has rich mines, fertile soil and well-stocked oceans; Castille’s people have never wanted for food or supplies. Its winters are short and tepid and its summers are long and temperate. Castille’s previous agricultural efforts hampered the productivity of its farmlands, but the Church’s knowledge has changed all of that. In fact, the Church’s organizational efforts have turned Castille into an economic powerhouse.
Added (20 Dec 13, 9:01 PM)
The Sandoval family sits on the throne of Castille, while its countrysides are divided into counties called rancheros. A family don governs the rancheros for the King, collecting taxes and administering justice. Due to Church sanctioning, the rancheros are distributed equally, and the dons are each responsible for housing and maintaining an equal portion of the King’s army. The King of Castille recently passed away, leaving his fourteen-year-old son on the throne. Dubbed “Good King Sandoval” by one of the more famous court poets, the boy has held the country together for two years – far longer than his detractors predicted.
While the King of Castille is nominally the supreme ruler of his Kingdom, it is no secret that his council of Church advisors powerfully influences his decisions. Others have plotted treason against the Good King, but three assassination attempts have failed, due largely in part to the efforts of the mysterious figure known only as El Vago. The masked Vagabond has proven to be more than a match for those who plot against the crown of Castille, although his efforts may yet be in vain.
Castille’s biggest problem these days comes from its northern neighbor. After having forced the Church from Montaigne’s borders, General Montegue continued on into Castille itself. Nearly a quarter of the country has been claimed as spoils of war by the invading Montaigne army. Montegue’s forces ripped through Castille’s defences, capturing important strategic and trade positions. However, since he split his army to assault Ussura (a tactical move the Castillians have still not been able to decipher), Montaigne has lost its momentum and the two forces are locked in a stand-off.
Added (20 Dec 13, 9:01 PM)
While it is easy to describe Castillians as “cold” or “distant”, it is easy to see why they distrust foreigners of any sort. Castille has been invaded many times in her history and her occupations have always been long and bloody. Consolidating Castillian power with the Vaticine Church ensured that foreigners would never again hold her, which has made it easier for Castillians to accept the teachings of the Prophet. Unfortunately, the recent Montaigne invasion has caused the people to begin to doubt the Church’s veracity and power.
Castillians are practical. They have seen the benefits of accepting the Church into their nation’s culture. Castille is the only nation to have aqueducts in every major city. They have free public education. Their water is clean and their crops are more productive than ever. Even the simplest village in Castille has a church stocked with medical supplies and a small library along with a scholar trained in science and medicine. Generally speaking, Castillians are the best educated people in Théah.
But they are also a passionate people. They love music and dancing and have a profound devotion to la familia: the family. La familia is centered around the mother who brought the children into the world; the Castillian veneration for the maternal figure is great. Traditional Castillian dances are passionate – some say lascivious – and their music is quick and heartfelt. The Church’s influence on Castillian music has produced what some call “a passion for precision”, a sound that the Castillian guitar encapsulates perfectly.
The recent Montaigne invasion is tearing Castille apart. Her economy is crumbling, her nobility is dispossessed and other nations begin to hover like vultures at her borders. Good King Sandoval is trying to hold his kingdom together, but it’s only a matter of time before the front lines waver and the rest of Théah rushes in to share the kill.
Common Male Names: Alonso, Andrés, Baltasar, Benito, Carlos, Diego, Domingo, Esteban, Felipe, Gaspar, Hector, Jaime, Juan, Lucas, Miguel, Rodrigo, Sancho, Sebastian, Tomás.
Common Female Names: Andrea, Angela, Beatriz, Catalina, Clara, Constanza, Cristina, Floriana, Francisca, Inés, Isabel, Juliana, Lucia, Luisa, Maria, Quiteria, Sancha, Susanna, Ursula, Violante.
Castille has no magic. Player characters instead are rewarded with the option of a much better education than other nations.
Aldana is the name of the style of dueling that hails from Castille and sees its practitioners fight one-handed, the off-hand tucked behind the duellist’s back. This allows the duelist to turn sideways and present a smaller target to his opponent. Aldana is really half-fighting, half-dancing, and the best fighters count time, which results in a disorienting effect on opponents. The style’s weakness is that the song a duelist uses can be predicted, enable an opponent to strike when the opportunity presents itself.
A beginner swordsman using the Aldana style gets to roll more Initiative dice (even if he has to keep the same number as usual), which usually helps him to act faster or later than opponents, whichever he wishes.
Some Character Ideas to Get You Started
- An arrogant youngest son of a Castillian Don, rich beyond belief, well-educated, talented with a sword, but naïve about the world, who was been sent on a journey by his father in the hopes he will learn some humility.
- A pious priest in the Vaticine Church, who is secretly spying for his King on the occupying Montaigne forces and trying to muster support for the guerilla forces.
- An impoverished older noblewoman who is atoning for having lost the family fortune due to gambling debts by travelling the world trying to defend those weaker than herself.