Quick Primer to Théah
Théah is the continent where all the action of 7th Sea takes place – a continent with many similarities to 17th century Europe. She’s ruled by a series of nation- states, which bear cultural and historical similarities to particular European nations on Earth. While she isn’t Europe’s twin sister, she is certainly a distant cousin, which should make Théah more familiar and learning about her culture and history easier.
There are some important differences, however.
Sorcery is a very real power in Théah. Almost every noble family has the dark gift running in its veins, although two nations — Castille and Eisen — are exceptions to the rule. Their sorcery is powerful and dangerous, each type demanding its own unique cost. It is a discipline that not all can, or should, attempt to master, but when its power is harnessed, it can change the fate of nations.
The Vaticine Church
Théah’s principal religion — the Church of the Prophets, or Vaticine Church — has many elements similar to European Catholicism, but also some key philosophical differences. Aside from a slightly different iconography, the Church embraces science as a means of understanding the Creator’s world, and encourages the proliferation of knowledge through schools and universities. Because of its efforts, Théans have made several scientific breakthroughs that would not occur on Earth until centuries later. Unfortunately, the Church has a darker side as well. Théah has only just emerged from the thirty year long “War of the Cross,” a struggle between traditional Vaticines and a reform movement known as Objectionism. The war involved every nation on the continent, and left the country of Eisen in shattered pieces. As if this weren’t bad enough, a sinister Inquisition has recently seized power within the Church, threatening to transform it into an instrument of terror. Only time will tell if they succeed.
The Seventh Sea
There are six seas surrounding Théah. The mythical “seventh sea” is considered little more than a sailor’s story, a tale to frighten cabin boys on their first voyage. It is said that when a ship enters the seventh sea, the stars move backwards, the sun and moon share the same horizon and strange cries can be heard from beneath the waves. While scholars dispute the veracity of the sailors’ stories, too many have surfaced to be ignored.
The ruins of a society far older than man’s lie scattered across Théah. Some sit in ruined cities beneath the earth, while others lie on an extensive string of islands in the western seas. The race which built them — known as the Syrne — has remained unknown, but it is clear that they were not human. While their origins remain a mystery, the ruins are a treasure haven for daring men and women. Strange artifacts and wondrous inventions have been pulled from their depths, resulting in a great amount of puzzling… and an even greater amount of wealth.
The current nations of Théah — seven in all — currently represent the whole of the civilized world. A more detailed description of each can be found in the core book.
Avalon: Green and enchanted, this union of three kingdoms has recently risen to the forefront of Théan politics.
Castille: Headquarters of the Vaticine church, this fertile nation has recently fallen under attack from the Montaigne to the north.
Eisen: A once-proud country now struggling to recover from the War of the Cross.
Montaigne: One of Théah’s most powerful nations, leading the world in art and culture even as its Emperor crushes the populace beneath his thumb.
Sarmartian Commonwealth: Two countries united under one crown, an idealistic democracy that would otherwise be just a forgotten underdeveloped nation.Ussura: A vast and wild country, whose people still live as their ancestors did centuries ago.
Vendel/Vestenmannavnjar: This collection of islands is divided between two nations: a wealthy Guilds seeking to dominate Théah’s economy and the fierce raiders who refuse to surrender their heritage and live in the past.
Vodacce: The former cradle of civilization, now split between seven merchant Princes whose complex schemes reach every corner of the world.
Secret Societies The Nations are not the only powers influencing Théah. There are many more clandestine organizations — not beholden to nationality or religion — that move Théan politics, some unnoticed by even the most observant scholars and statesmen.
The Brotherhood of the Coast: An anarco-democratic gathering of pirates that form a "sea-born" nation bent on protecting personal liberties.
The Mociutes Skara: Movement that aims to provide disaster relief across national borders and to prevent warfare, willing to employ violence and brutal methods to keep peace and assist those in need.
The Explorer’s Society: One of the most prominent “gentleman’s clubs” in Théah, a multinational organization dedicated to studying the past and discovering her geography.
The Invisible College: A secretive band of academics who work to protect scientific progress from the fires of the Inquisition.
The Knights of the Rose and Cross: An ancient order of adventurers, seeking to bring justice to the unjust and to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Die Kreuzritter: A group of holy Vaticine Knights, wiped out centuries ago by a traitorous political ruler. Los Vagabundos: Led by a mysterious masked man, these hidden crusaders protect the people of Castille from enemies both within and without.
The Rilasciare: Best known as the Free Thinkers, the Rilasciare promote free will and self-determination through a range of extremely unorthodox tactics.
Sophia’s Daughters: An union of Vodacce women seeking equality and political power by covert means.