Under the Mask

Savoy/Savoia

Geography

Savoy is the peninsula’s western most duchy in Italy. Savoy’s landscape is very mountainous. Areas that are not mountainous are full of rolling hills. A very small area of the region has fertile plains that are excellent for herding and farming.

Savoy is also nestled against the border to the Kingdom of France and does have a number of influences from that region.

Economy

Savoy’s position in the Alps has made it an important trading partner to its neighbor,France.Savoy grows and trades rice and meat to France along with clothing, blankets, and armor made from boiled wool. 

Savoy and the Catholic Church

Savoy was granted independence from the Holy Roman Church and given its status as a Duchy. Savoy also claims to have and is preserving the burial shroud of Jesus Christ and it’s keeping this important artifact in it’s capital of Turin. Savoy sits in a precarious position relative to France and the Holy See who have invested a great deal of time and effort into the Crusades. There are rumors that France intended to invade the Holy Roman Empire in order to take back a number of the Crusade artifacts that it’s knights recovered. Because of these rumors, Savoy was given its independence and the burial shroud was moved to Turin to appease the French. Rumors persist that France may try to invade Savoy and because the Holy Roman Empire has declared the duchy independent, it’s unclear if the Duke can rely on the Empire for support if there is a French invasion. 

Puppets in Savoy

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The people living in the mountainous regions of Savoy have developed a rich and lavish culture. They have a wealth of hand-crafted folk goods such as rugs and jewelry. Additionally, their access to German and French culture have also brought in other ideas from these places as well.

One of the most noted entertainments of the day is that of the narratore. A narratore is a storyteller who performs and recites great prose and poems to those assembled in coffee houses. Some of the best narratore have learned to incorporate musical instruments into their performances! With a rise in popularity of puppet theater in France, some narratore are even using puppets in their own storytelling as well. 

Government

Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund of Luxembourg, elevated count Amadeus VIII to duke in 1416. In 1434, Amadeus founded an order of knights and eventually turned over the duchy to his son preferring for himself a position within the Catholic Church. In 1439, Amadeus won an election and became one of the anti-popes, Felix V.

Today, Savoy continues to rule itself as a duchy. They have settled disputes with the Church and are once again united under a single pope. The Duke reigns over the land much as a king would, but the size of the holdings and the funds in the coffers do not warrant such a grand title. 

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