Okay, imagine all those little German principalities unified just as they were in the real world in the late 19th Century, but in Théah that happens in reverse, the country splitting into smaller kingdoms. It’s a tough, rough, unforgiving country filled with tough, rough, unforgiving people. Add in the whole Protestant reformation and a devastating war that’s fucked everything up, and you have the general idea.
The people of Eisen have always been proud. They are proud of the fact that they have no magic except that which they make with their own sweat and blood. They are proud that their ancestors carved the Vaticine Church’s empire for the Hierophant, and that their Empire lasted for hundreds of years. They are proud that their past is a series of one valorous deed after another. With the state their country is in today, they might be forgiven for trying to live in the past.
The Lay of the Land
Located in central Théah, Eisen has long been of critical importance in Théan wars and politics. Troops often needed permission to move through her borders, and trade agreements often hinged on allowing ships to pass along the river to their south. After the War of the Cross, however, Eisen was devastated. Fields were reduced to mud, garrisons could no longer be paid, and merchant ships could thumb their noses at any Eisen attempt to collect tolls.
Eisen’s sun has risen and set once more. Now Eisen is a lonely land of mud and snow, and travelers are well advised to hire an armed guard.
Added (20 Dec 13, 9:48 PM)
Eisen has collapsed into seven königreiches, or “kingdoms”. Each is ruled by an Eisenfürst, or “Iron Prince”. They each control a supply of dracheneisen, a metal that is stronger than steel and twice as light. This metal is traditionally used to create superior armor and weaponry for the Eisen nobility; because of this edge in a fight, they maintain their hold on Eisen.
Each Iron Prince rules his kingdom differently. Some, like Fauner Pösen, maintain strict control of all trade and troops. Others, like Reinhard von Wische, allow their subordinates to run the kingdom. The most extreme example of this hands-off attitude is Nicklaus Trägue, who collects no taxes or tariffs, and only occasionally becomes involved in politics.
Added (20 Dec 13, 9:48 PM)
Although Eisen lies in ruin, her people are far from beaten. While some have succumbed to the horrors of war, those that remain are stronger for the cruelties they have endured. The Eisen have more collective combat experience than any other nation. The armies of most of Théah’s nations rely on an Eisen advisor for tactics and strategy.
Since they have nothing else left to sell, the Eisen have begun to sell war. Their military academies are the best in Théah, and simply being born an Eisen is often a good enough reason to lead an army. Eisen mercenaries often find work as soldiers, bodyguards, or marines defending ships against pirates. Many loyal sons have left their homeland to fight abroad, sending their wages home to their families.
One thing that echoes throughout the national character of Eisen is stubbornness. The Eisen never give up. They may lie low for a while while they lick their wounds, but they always return in the end, ready to fight once again.
Common Male Names: Adrian, Bernhard, Dirk, Erich, Gustav, Hans, Josef, Kurt, Lorenz, Max, Oliver, Philip, Reinhard, Rolf, Stefan, Volker, Wenzel, Willi, Xavier.
Common Female Names: Barbara, Connie, Cornelia, Diana, Dora, Elsa, Eva, Gabrielle, Ingrid, Jessica, Kirstin, Lena, Mona, Nina, Ruth, Sigrid, Sylvia, Tina.
Like Castille, Eisen has no magic. Player characters instead are rewarded with the option of a the incredibly rare dracheneisen armor, if the wish.
Eisenfaust is the name of the style of swordsmanship in Eisen and the simple name is appropriate enough for a simple way of fighting. Usually (but not always) clad in their armor, Eisen duelists are patient and wait for their opponents to make mistakes, using a heavy broadsword in one hand and wearing a panzerhand or iron glove on their off-hand. Eisen fighters are the only ones in Théah who wear armor and use such heavy weapons, resulting in a defensive school of fighting, often grabbing an opponent’s sword with their panzerhand.
The weakness of Eisenfaust is that is a very rigid and slow method of fighting and a knowledgeable opponent will be able to guess what move follows another.
A beginning practitioner of Eisenfaust can use his off-hand without penalty, so long as he’s fighting with a panzerhand. In addition, if an opponent attacks and misses the duelist, then the duelist gets a bonus to attack them back.
Some Character Ideas to Get You Started
- A noblewoman from a broken family, who only has her suit of armor and sword to her name, but is now seeking to regain the family fortune.
- A Objectionist (in our world, a Protestant) zealot who is seeking to overthrow the Vaticine Church, little by little.
- A mercenary who secretly works for Sophia’s Daughters, promoting equality and feminism, having lost her home, her family and her faith in the War of the Cross, all at the hands of foolish men.