Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RPG Andorra

To be honest, I know very little about Andorra.

I know they have low tax rates and a long life-expectancy. The population is less than 100,000. Um. They speak Catalan?!? Cripes. I'm floundering here.

From the Government's Website:
Andorra is the last independent survivor of the March states, a number of buffer states created by Charlemagne to keep the Muslim Moors from advancing into Christian France. Tradition holds that Charlemagne granted a charter to the Andorran people in return for their fighting the Moors. In the 800s, Charlemagne's grandson, Charles the Bald, made Count of Urgell overlord of Andorra. A descendant of the count later gave the lands to the diocese of Urgell, headed by Bishop of Seu d'Urgell.

In the 11th century, fearing military action by neighboring lords, the bishop placed himself under the protection of the Lord of Caboet, a Spanish nobleman. Later, the Count of Foix, a French noble, became heir to Lord Caboet through marriage, and a dispute arose between the French Count and the Spanish bishop over Andorra.

In 1278, the conflict was resolved by the signing of a pareage, which provided that Andorra's sovereignty be shared between the Count of Foix and the Bishop of Seu d'Urgell of Spain. The pareage, a feudal institution recognizing the principle of equality of rights shared by two rulers, gave the small state its territory and political form.

Over the years, the title was passed between French and Spanish rule until, in the reign of the French King Henry IV, an edict in 1607 established the head of the French state and the Bishop of Urgell as co-princes of Andorra.
Not being a master of middle ages politics — not that I wouldn't mind knowing more — the storyteller in me thinks there's more story here than culture.

The Website also says the country is 1/2 the size of New York City.

Seriously. I've got nothing more to write. This is a nation filled with Catalan, French, Portuguese, Spanish, in addition to the native Andorrans… all descendants of Spanish and French I'm sure. Fantasy games are filled with these kinds of countries. If I were going to use this country in my game, I would set up a buffer kingdom, with a bishop/prince as the new ruler of this very small "Duchy" with all of the headaches of forming a new nations, while still dealing with an invasion force (Moors or otherwise). PCs get knighted after proving their worth and are encouraged to recruit more soldiers to defend the "Kingdom."

Good? Can I go now?

Andorra Names

Okay. Just do some research on French, Spanish, and Catalan names... or just wait until I post those nations.