The World of the Centurions

946 AD

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The setting is an alternate Earth in the mid 10th Century (The Dragon's Prophecy begins in 946 A.D). It is similar to our Earth in most ways but with several important differences culturally, historically, geographically, and biologically.   It is the early middle ages as western Europe is climbing out of the dark ages. Charlemagne has re-established the Roman Empire (what later historians would call the Carolingian Empire) but he is dead now and his descendants have divided up his kingdom and squabble among themselves over the remains. They pay lip service to the empire but West Francia, East Francia, Provence, Borgonia, and the Lombard Kingdoms are really more of a mutual defense league than an Empire. Many people are even starting to refer to East Francia as Germania. The Eastern Roman Empire (what later historians would call the Byzantine Empire) is a theoretical ally but they are dealing with their own issues and there is some cultural rivalry between the two. Each part of the old Roman Empire sees themselves as the legitimate continuation of the Empire and the other side as spurious claim jumpers. The remnants of the Western Roman Empire often refer to the Eastern Roman Empire as the Empire of the Greeks while the Eastern Roman Empire often refers to the remnants in the west as the Frankish Kingdoms. But the average citizen in both regions will still call themselves Romans even while they acknowledge their Frankish, Germanic, and Greek heritage.   This is a time of bold knights riding around in chain mail, and fighting off invaders and magical creatures. These invaders include the Hungarians (Magyars), Bulgarians, and Avars from the east, Vikings from the north, and Moors from the west. With invaders on the outside, feuding nobles on the inside, and magical creatures bringing chaos, the kingdoms of the Franks are struggling to survive.     The Order of the Centurions stands in the gap, fighting to protect the west from barbarian hordes, calculating nobles, terrifying dragons, voracious winter wolves, and other imminent threats. The Centurions are different from most military orders in that they are organized around families and the wives and daughters are trained to fight as well. Holy knights and squires, devout shieldmaidens and handmaidens, dedicated craftsmen and artificers, all have a place in the Order, all are trained to fight, and all are committed to serving the Lord.

   

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