The campaign is set on the legendary
land-mass of Old Cantaboria, far southwest of the new world nations
of Cantabria, Khalkidia, Municipia and Griffildi. The same sun shines
down but singly, not doubled, and the gods & magic differ too...
Cantaboria is approximately 800 leagues east-west
by 650 north-south, divided into many minor nations and tribal areas.
The land has never been completely united since the Time of Legend:
that Golden Age of Peace, when the ancient gods and their followers
all lived in harmony, was destroyed two millennia ago. Infamous human
warlord Zark-Oh found new faith and made war upon the Elhadiz, those
he called 'Evil', in the cause of the Astridae, or 'Good' gods. This
villain and his cohorts were finally defeated and banished across the
eastern ocean - but the damage was already done. Heavenly Harmony was
lost and the lands thereafter ravaged by unnatural plagues, undead
hordes and unsane magics.
Throughout history since, Cantaboria has been a
place of wars and petty nations struggling to survive. Some achieved
a passing greatness but are now gone, or dwindled to sad remnants
sunk in decadence and wickedness. Two such are the Empire of
Ayathgaron and the Theocracy of Franchia.
The armies of the Empire of Ayathgaron once
marched with ruthless efficiency to dominate half the known world.
Their time is now long past, the 'empire' reduced to a heartland
around the capital city Ayathgar. There effete and degenerate fops
vie for social advantage, foolishly oblivious to the barbaric world
beyond the city walls. Yet still their King-Emperor pretends to
rulership of the provinces, demanding tributary fealty and sending
regiments against whoever will not serve.
The Theocracy of Franchia still holds theoretical
spiritual supremacy over the lands, in the person of Pope-Hero Aesop
the First. Nations are obliged to pay tithes according to his whim,
and must face Unholy Curses if they fail to do so.
The land of Cantaboria lies in the southern
hemisphere, so the southerly nations are colder and the northerly
hotter. The temperature differences are more extreme to the west and
milder to the east, due to prevailing winds and ocean currents. (The
map is oriented south-upwards to be intuitive for those of us
accustomed to northern hemisphere conditions. Please note however
that consequently north and south, and east and west, are reversed
from their usual directions).
(For an earlier version of the PBeM, never
played but highly ambitious and detailed – see