Duchy of Mittenheim
Physical Features: Humid and chilly, the Duchy of Mittenheim is bordered by mountains to the north and east, the Sea of Zenda to the south, and the former duchies of Graustark and Varania to the west. Most of the available flat land is dedicated to agriculture, though the Duke does maintain a small forest for personal use in a country estate near the Graustark border.
Mittenheim also technically preserves a small outpost on the Isle of Sighs, though in practice that is almost entirely administered and maintained by the Temple of Hosts.
Politics: Mittenheim is technically a feudal duchy. Although divided into a number of baronial holdings, the Duke of Mittenheim retains the right to impose himself upon the barons at any time. However, this power is rarely exercised – even 400 years on, the lesson of the Civil War remains piquant, and Mittenheim’s Dukes have tended towards caution in this regard.
Although the current Duke, Wilhelm the Reformer, has attempted to industrialise and develop more sophisticated means of production, the local economy still relies almost entirely on the labour of its local serf population for subsistence. Although there are artisans, franklins and merchants, in addition to the scions of the degenerate noble houses, in excess of 90 per cent of the human population remain bonded to their lands, subject to the will of their barons.
The Temple of Hosts is also extremely powerful politically, having a great deal of influence over local barons and, in times past, even the Duke of Mittenheim himself. In addition, the Temple maintains a small team of inquisitors who, in addition to hunting down and destroying witches, vampires, werewolves, and all manner of other supernatural creatures, also seek to uproot perversions of doctrine in the general population.
Demographics: Mittenheim is primarily inhabited by humans, though there are small enclaves of orc-kin. Dwarves inhabit the mountains to the north and west of Mittenheim, but are rarely seen except in trade caravans.
Religion: Mittenheim is technically united under the worship of the Elim Elahin, or the Host (literally: “Gods of Gods”). Although the syncretic origins of the worship of the Elim Elahin are clear by virtue of the name by which they are invoked, the Temple of Hosts maintains a strict control over public displays of religious feeling. However, despite the best attempts of the Temple, folk religious practices invoking the Elim Elahin are quite common, even though many of these practices have little in common with those sanctioned by the Temple.
Rural townships occasionally show no evidence of worship of the Host at all, but rather maintain beliefs in the Old Gods. Often found in extremely remote areas, worship to the Old Gods is often typified by animal sacrifices and the erection of rough circles of large stones.