Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Just south of Avalon, just north of Castille, just west of Eisen — at the center of the world — is Montaigne. For every civilized nation that cares, Montaigne defines fashion, civilization, art, music, and enlightenment.
The country’s terrain is beautiful and lush. The soil is fertile, the mountains rich in ore, and the farmlands extend for miles. Unlike Castille, which benefits from the careful guidance of the Church, Montaigne have not maintained their land while they draw from it. Visiting Church scholars warn them of the probable consequences if they do not slow down their production and begin to rotate use of their land. There is no evidence yet that the scholars are right, however, and with their twin war efforts against Castille and Ussura conspire against such action.
Montaigne’s observance of Church doctrine has been deteriorating since the early 1600s, and recently the Church sent an army to seize l’Empereur. The Montaigne army beat them back, and has since occupied one-quarter of Castille. The Church has since excommunicated the whole country. The nobility doesn’t care much, but the peasants are apprehensive, fearing they all might be damned.