I’ve earlier presented some of the major state actors here but since I was asked by a test reader to clarify some things, I thought I’d put up a brief post today.
First off, we live in Europe. Sword of the Eastsea happens somewhere called Irminsul, which is Saxon for “Great Pillar.” It mostly looks like Europe but there’s a bunch of minor differences, such as a mountain chain in Finland, a country-sized forest in Germany and Ireland does no longer exist.
There are non-human intelligent species, even if they are a minority. Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, Trolls and Great Eagles.
Magic is fairly common, though powerful magic is rare.
Some people try to fit magic into a scientific pattern but it sort of resists that. But there’s scientific theories of magic.
The default state of people is that they are irreligious. Religion is more of an exception. Something very close to Christianity existed but died out.
Religions were never opposed to magic but they existed side by side. So, no organized witch hunts. Granted, these were not a big deal in our history too, but tend to crop up a lot in pop culture.
The Roman Empire existed in a way, but was sort of different and had a longer history than the actual Rome of our world. Everyone calls it the Old Empire, which ties in with old stories of an ancient evil that ruled half the world but was then defeated by the Sacred Kings of the Old Empire.