Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Welcome to Theah! The year is 1668. Kings, pirates, and secret societies all vie to control the future of the world as an age of upheaval wrests power from centuries-old governments and families.
The world of Theah is an alternate history of Early Modern Europe wherein the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment are occurring simultaneously, alongside elements of the Renaissance, Reformation, and Victorian Eras with which we are familiar from our own Earth’s history. Many things are familiar, but many things are also drastically different. Information about the world is intentionally limited so that players’ in-character and out-of-character knowledge remains congruent. Theah is a world rife with secrets and intrigue, and many parts of the game are predicated on this concept. No single person, organization, or entity in all of Theah has complete knowledge of its cosmology, or the many groups and plots that coexist in this relatively small world.
As you develop your characters, you will be provided with a cache of knowledge specific to you. As the game progresses, the entire group will learn more about the world, and may choose to, or may choose not to, share what knowledge they have. All PC’s in 7th Sea are always Heroes, and so you are assumed to be doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons in all cases. While the definition of “right” is flexible and subjective to some degree, many parts of that word in the context of a Swashbuckling adventure are not. More on this as the game progresses.
Some major differences between Theah and Earth:
- No one has successfully circumnavigated Theah. One brave adventurer and his crew sailed West, and never returned.
- There is not, to anyone’s knowledge, any continent analogous to North America, South America, or Africa. Analogues to Europe and Asia exist.
- Theah has only six oceans.
- The Reformation failed as the Church crushed the dissents with military force, a conflict known as the War of the Cross, which has left the nation of Eisen (analogous to Germany) a shattered wasteland of divided provinces.
- The King of Montaigne (analogous to France) fights a war on two fronts, simultaneously invading Ussuria to the Northeast (analogous to Russia) and Castille to the Southwest (analogous to Spain.) The Sun King, Leon Alexandre du Montaigne, has declared himself Emperor of the World. In addition, he has declared his entire country Apostate, revealed himself and his entire line to be of Sorcerous Blood, and opened the borders of Montaigne to any and all Sorcerers seeking haven from the Church. In response, the Church has excommunicated the entire country.
- The Hierophant of the Church has died in a terrible accident, and many members of the College of Cardinals have gone missing, preventing a new Hierophant from being elected to lead the Church. In the absence of a Hierophant, Cardinals have moved to serve their own agendas, which includes the rebirth of The Holy Inquisition.
- According to the Vaticine Church, the Three Prophets have brought the word of the new God to Theus. There has been no Christ figure in the history of the Church. In the Church’s eyes, the coming of the Third Prophet signaled the End Times, causing the Church to turn against Scientific exploration and discovery, which it had long embraced and patronized, in favor of asceticism. The Holy Inquisition is, therefore, the enemy of both Science and Sorcery.
- Vaticine City is located not in Vodacce (Italy’s analogue) but in Castille.
- Sexism: It doesn’t exist. It used to, a long, long time ago. Men and Women are viewed as equals by all but the dregs of society, and terms like “Chivalry” apply equally to all people. (Okay, this isn’t entirely true, but Theans have a much more sophisticated and egalitarian view of the gender roles. Exceot in Vodacce.)