With the Ussura and Vendel • Vesten sourcebooks AEG have completed the coverage of the core nations of Théah. Both are lands of fire and ice with ongoing bitter conflicts, complex histories and struggles still to come.
Ussura, a vast land, invaded from the west by an army from Montaigne and bordering the firewall to the east, is a land of contrasts. Primitive by the standards of the nations to the west it has vast untapped resources that could one day make it the powerhouse of Théah.
This book follows the same pattern as the previous nations of Théah sourcebooks. It covers the nation’s history, geography, customs and society in detail. New character templates, swordsman schools, skills and knacks open up the possibilities for playing Ussuran born characters. A selection of important NPCs and background information will ease the referees job. The plentiful opportunities for adventure provided by the source material are a further boon for the referee.
Pyeryme magic is expanded with the addition of seventeen new forms that can be adopted by those gifted with its power. The connection between Pyeryme and the mysterious Matushka, a mythical figure from Ussuran folklore who may still walk the land, is explored in the referees section. The referees material also reveals more pieces of the puzzle that is Théah past, setting the world up for an explosive future.
Vendel and Vesten are two nations trying to occupy the same country. Vendel is a country forged by merchants ignored by their lords for two long. Vesten, or Vestenmannavnjar as it is more properly known, is what remains of the land that the lords once ruled where they still follow the old ways. The opening epic poem, telling how the people where gifted with the power of the Lærdom Runes when the heroes of the land defeated a foul beast, embodies the flavour of the old ways.
Yet now the land is torn asunder by the conflict. The Vendel league threatens the trading power of the Vodacce Princes especially with their introduction of paper money. They live in cities protected from the Vesten by foreign mercenaries paid for from their newfound wealth. Meanwhile the Vesten try to keep the old ways alive. They believe that the death of tradition has consequences beyond the loss of their heritage.
As with Ussura material for players is provided that will expand the possibilities for playing characters of both Vendel and Vesten birth. New rules cover investments, the Vendel Horoscope
The production standards for these books have not slipped compared to the previous sourcebooks making both a pleasant read. Both will substantially expand players and referees knowledge of these areas of the Théah and thus add to enjoyment of playing 7th Sea.