Shadows Gather Darkly
Chaubrette is a shining jewel of a realm. The folk are educated, pious, and chivalry is in full bloom. The people of Chaubrette are generally fair of hair and skin, with blue being the most common eye colour. Chaubrette does not have the overcrowding pressures of her neighbouring realms and its arts and science have evolved far faster as a result. Chaubrette possesses early powder weapons, and defends her borders from her militaristic neighbours with cannons.
The Land: Chaubrette is a coastal domain on the Mergeld Sea. Meore, the country’s largest settlement and capital, sits on the shore of Parnault Bay. This walled town of five thousand people with clean streets and neatly arrayed townhouses is built around the Duke’s Palace.
Nearby lies Chateaufaux, a trade village along the eastern border of the Duchy of Lavasse, with some fifteen hundred inhabitants. At one time, the town was home to almost two thousand souls, but hundreds of citizens left for Port-a-Lucine and Meore when the mayor lost his mind.
Chaubrette is a relatively flat land that grows progressively more hilly as one progresses south-eastward towards Lalkovnia and Kurland. Forests and heaths cover the land, and the earth is rich.
Cultural Level: Renaissance.
Ruler: Chaubrette is ruled by the lord-Duke Marcel Guignol. A council of five advisers assists the lord-Duke. The Duke writes laws and adjudicates important trials. The city militia helps the Duke and his advisers enforce the law.
Banner: Three white roses on a field of red quartered with three roses on a field of white.
Currency: Chaubrette uses both the Algandarve francs and mints its own.
Personalities of Note: If a citizen or visitor to Chaubrette wants to expedite dealings with the law and government, it is well known that the man to speak with Dominic d’Honaire, leader of the lord-Duke’s advisory counsel. A pleasantly humoured man in his early 50s, D’Honaire lives near the lord-Duke’s palace in Meore and has his ear in all matters.
Another important figure is Dr. Vilhelm Mikki, one of the mainland’s most famous specialists in nervous disorders and mental illnesses. He runs a sanatorium located in the tranquil countryside outside Chateaufaux.
The Folk: The people of Chaubrette are among the most civilised people in the entire continent. They produce some of the finest portraits and landscape paintings in the mainland, and as a group, they are logical and guided by a belief in scientific principles. Additionally, the people of Chaubrette try their best to take care of the poor, so most citizens have both food and shelter. Still, despite their progressive appearance, most gentry treat the poor as slaves to be ordered about. Poverty, disease, crime and even murder are common at the lower levels of society, whilst prejudice is prevalent at all levels.
The gentry of Chaubrette set the fashion trends for the stylish minded. Currently, the men of the land wear dark woollen pants and cotton shirts or silk shirts with tailored coats. Gentlemen wear black top hats, while men of the lower classes wear simple cloth caps. Most women wear sombre-coloured long dresses, high-buttoned boots and hats. Women of the lower classes wear simple bonnets, but the hat on of a lady is large brimmed and elaborate.
Superstitions: The people of Chaubrette and Lavasse believe that whippoorwills are psychopomps, birds from the underworld sent to bring back the souls of the dead, and occasionally steal the souls of the living. Thus, the cry of the whippoorwill is an omen of death.
Native Player Characters: Chaubrette is a genteel realm where resolving disagreements through violence is frowned upon. All classes can be found in this land, though rogues are the most common. However, PCs from this realm can only be humans. Chaubrette is a highly literate land, so each native character receives the reading/writing proficiency for free.