“This world is an uncertain realm, filled with danger. Honour undermined by the pursuit of power, freedom sacrificed when the weak are oppressed by the strong. But there are those who oppose these powerful forces, who dedicate their lives to truth, honour, and freedom. These men are known as Musketeers. Rise, D’Artagnan, and join them.”
King Louis of France (Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers)
The first half of the 17th century is a time like no other in human history. Protestant Europe is beginning its rise to supremacy over the globe. The English and the Dutch are on the attack, severing the Kings of Spain and Portugal’s tenuous grasp on the East Indies and the Orient. In North America the English colonies are thriving and English buccaneers plague the trade routes to central and south America.
In Europe Protestant and Catholic princes are locked in a war that will see hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians perish in the name of Christ. For thirty years it will rage, sapping the strength of once mighty empires like Spain, Austria and France. The continent is awash with landless soldiers, mercenaries and brigands, with no loyalty to church or king, only to coin and loot.
In England a King who believes in his divine right to rule clashes with an increasingly powerful Parliament in a battle of wills that will lead to a bloody civil war and regicide.
Yet behind all this is a deeper and most secret war. The foundations are being laid for the coming Age of Reason, when science shall start to provide explanations for things that only religion could before. New technologies, new weapons and new philosophies are unsettling the established order. Men and women are taking up arms against the superstitions of the past, seeking to consign to myth the many monsters and ancient orders that are holding mankind back.
Small companies have been formed by those on all sides and are being sent on missions that may well affect the future of all mankind.
This is a period made popular by such films and books as: The Three Musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Crucible, Lorna Doone, Solomon Kane, Mathew Hopkins – Witchfinder General, Captain Blood, Flesh & Blood, A Field in England, Day of Wrath, By the Sword Divided, Cromwell, The Scarlet Blade and many more.
It is time for you to buckle your swash and swing into action with your rapier and pistol!
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