From its high and snowy peaks to the inland sea
and the rolling lowland, the common folk of Théah
look out across Ussura (oo-SOO-rah) with pity and
contempt. Her religion is backwards, they say, and
her people uneducated. They dance under a blazing
moon beside wide rivers, and never give a thought to
civilized codes of conduct. Furthermore, the nobles
act as poorly as their peasants. It is certain: Ussura
has no future.

But as they speak, their eyes hint of fear, and when
they pass within sight of the snow-filled landscape,
even the bravest merchant lowers his voice. For the
forests of Ussura can hear every word.

Late at night when the wind wails down from the
mountains and rushes through the thick trees, families
gather around the fireplace and tell stories of “the
Leshiye.” Ancient spirits who grant both blessings and
curses. The greatest of them all is Matushka, she who
stalks the forest with a broom in her hand, and if she
finds young children wandering out of their homes,
she sweeps them back with a quick “Tsk, tsk.” If they
don’t treat her with the proper respect, she pops them
in her black pot and turns them into stew.
Ussura is not a kind land. It is not a gentle land.
But its people have kind, gentle and humble hearts,
made so by the harsh lessons they’ve learned from
Ussura’s winter.

Ussura is covered in snow and ice nearly year round.
When it isn’t covered in snow, it’s covered in mud.
One visiting scholar wrote, “The Ussurans do not
live in the present, but five hundred years in the
past.” There are no working roads, dams or any other
structure resembling modern architecture—or even
antiquated architecture for that matter. Even their
huts and hovels are primitive compared to the shacks
of Théah’s more fortunate peasantry.


7th Sea 2nd Edition: An Unexpected Uprising drogmir