Odessa: a city and seaport on the Black Sea and one of the few places in Russia where Jews are allowed to trade and worship freely. It is, by travellers’ accounts, a fine place but peculiarly lacking in history being entirely a product of the last half century and notably stands upon the catacombs and caverns created by the quarrying of stone for its construction. In Acts of the Servant it is the childhood home of Sarah Pinsker.Ottoman Empire: dubbed the “sick man of Europe”, the Ottoman Empire is empire in name only, being effectively reduced to the city sate of Constantinople and a loose assembly of semi-autonomous peoples scattered across the western and southern seaboard of the Black Sea. Geography grants it control of the Bosporus, a strait of water connecting the Black sea and the Mediterranean and it was over this vital seaway that France entered war with the Ottoman Empire against Russia.
Portugal: the western extremity of Iberia notable for its sweet fortified wine and not being part of Spain.
Prussia: the largest and most powerful of all the German-speaking states making up the Holy Roman Empire.
Roman Catholic Church: while much of the Scottish and English population has turned to varieties of Lutheranism and Calvinism, the aristocracy of both countries has remained with Rome. Wisely, while neither sees entirely eye to eye with the other, neither has attempted to force its beliefs and Anglia, then a province of Denmark, was largely unscathed during the horrors of the Thirty Years war
Russia: a nation whose unmanageable size and dreadful climate would prevent it ever achieving greatness, even were it not for its ineptitude of governance. With the exception of lands bordering the Black Sea, its southern flank is entirely land-locked while its northern coast is six months ice-bound and six months un-navigable while its Pacific Coast is so far from its developed regions as to be useless. In the west, where the nation is most developed and European, the only sea port of note is St Petersburg, which is ice-bound three months from twelve. Russia’ leaders are quite aware that nature is remiss in granting them such poor access to the world’s oceans and a recent attempt to force the Ottoman Empire to allow free passage through the Bosporus for all Russian vessels ended in disaster for Tsar Alexander in the Crimea. Her people are naturally insular and regard outsiders with suspicion, yet in Peter the Great they once possessed one of the most visionary and far-sighted leaders in all of human history who undertook to learn from the best in Europe and lead Russia from the middle-ages into the enlightenment. Alas, he died young and though his people immortalised him in statuary, they soon forgot everything he taught them. Despite great pride in their nation, Russians are naturally melancholic and regard sobriety as the unfortunate effect of not drinking.Scotland: a dreadful place whose people would rather be anywhere other and when they are anywhere other long for home. Its northern inhabitants are much the poorer yet its prosperous southern peoples – who on casual acquaintance are more English than Scot – live in fear of them. Overall, Scotland is more impoverished than her southern neighbour with whom she shares her crown.
Senegambia: a region of West Africa notable for conflict between Arab slavers and those who wish to end their wicked trade.
Skye (Isle of): an island separated from mainland Scotland by a narrow strait and chiefly notable for mountains of unsurpassing beauty and harshness. In Acts of the Servant it is the home of Bheathain Somhairle and Lord MacDonald.Spain: at one time the possessor of a great empire in the Americas, it has now lost all its colonies through greed and recklessness. Profligacy has left it little better than it was before its empire and it is now the poor cousin of France. In Acts of the Servant it is the homeland of Princess Maria Isabel.
Stuart: the royal house of Scotland and, since 1702, Anglia.
Tower of Winchester and the Tower Hundred: the chief residence of the royal family when in Anglia and the hunting forest adjacent to it. Hundred is an old word for a subdivision of an English county having its own magistrate and the magistrate of the Tower hundred is, of course, the sovereign.
Well of Shadows: a fanciful or poetic name for the land of the dead. It lies beyond, or perhaps alongside, The Far Country and by tradition is sometimes located in the far west, behind the setting sun.Westmoreland: one of the three counties constituting the Debateable Lands jointly administered by parliament in Edenborough and Winchester. It is as desolate and impoverished a part of Anglia as you might find outside of Lunden’s East End, and could easily pass for its northern neighbour. In Acts of the Servant it is the birthplace of the unfortunate George Huck.
Wight Island: a modest island off the south coast of Anglia. It was, reputably, the first part of that nation to be settled by the Saxons and is by custom the burial place of her monarchs.
Winchester: a cathedral city in southern Anglia and the royal seat of all the kings of Wessex and Anglia prior to 1072, Winchester was reinstated as capital of all Anglia following the glorious deliverance of 1648. It is the setting for much of the second half ofActs of the Servant.