The Grand Duchy of the Hanse is one of, if not the, richest provinces of the Empire; that sprawling, ramshackle state on the northern end of the civilised world. The Grand Duchy is centred along the mouth of the great River Don that flows from beyond the western borders of the Empire, through its heartlands until finally reaching the eastern sea. A thriving metropolis has grown up at the mouth of the Don on the great stone hill that casts its shadow over the river mouth. The hill and city are both known as the Burg.
The Burg, including the suburbs of Docktown, Riverside and Northfields, is home some sixty thousand souls. This number swells by some ten thousand during the busiest time of year (spring and autumn) when the traders from across the empire congregate to do business. They bring with them their ships' crews, body guards, seasonal workers and the inevitable cloud of scavengers, thieves and conmen.
The good folk of the Grand Duchy spend their days in the usual pass-times: attending balls, parties, soirees, laying-ins, dressings, et etcetera, et etcetera, et etcetera The humble folk go about their business of, um, whatever it is humble folk do. I'm sure it's very worthy, what ever it is.
But behind the facade of aristocratic indulgence, middle class work ethic and working class thrift there lies a world of dark secrets. There is barely a notable family in the Grand Duchy that does not hide some unpleasant past behind its respectable face. Even the greatest of noble families have skeletons in their closets. Indeed some cynics might say that the greater the family, the more terrible the secret. Some of these secrets are merely embarrassing but some of the greatest families hide truths that would destroy them and possibly the whole Grand Duchy along with them.
And now an insidous evil rises to threaten the Grand Duchy and the very Empire. Cultists of dark gods gather and seek to throw down the True Church and set their graven idols up in its place. The cultists move in the shadows, their actions hidden behind respectable faces and great wealth. They are laying their intrigues in great nets across the Grand Duchy, ensnaring the unwary and the foolish. That they intend nothing but unholy evil is beyond question, what remains to be found out is When and Where shall they strike?