RPG: The Austro-Hungarian Empire gazetteer (extract)

carniolaNote: This is taken from my supplement for my Gas-Lamp Fantasy Roleplaying Game. The supplement covers the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire. This section is on Carniola.


Carniola is a region of Austria. It emerged as a separate district in the tenth century. It has an area of over 3,800 square miles. It has a population approaching half a million people.

Istria is to the west. Carinthia and Styria are to the north. Hungary is to the east. Croatia-Slavonia is to the south and south-east.

Rivers include the Laibach. The duchy is mountainous. The highest peak is Terglau (9394 feet).

Almost half of the region is covered by forest.

Cattle are kept. The main products are flax and timber. Linen and lace-making are cottage industries.

Mercury is mined at Idria.

HISTORY: In 476 Carniola became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

In 493 it became part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom.

In 623 the people of the area joined Samo’s tribal union.

In 658 the area came under the control of the Avars.

In 788 the Franks conquered the area.

In 1245 the region became a duchy.

In 1268 the land was willed to the ruler of Bohemia.

In 1335 Carniola became a possession of the Hapsburg Empire.

In 1364 Carniola was made a hereditary duchy.

In 1511 Laibach was devastated by an earthquake.

In 1797 the region was occupied by France.

In 1809 the area was conquered by France, and made part of their Illyrian Provinces. This situation continued until 1813.

In 1848, the year of revolutions, the people of Carniola revolted, trying to set up a Slovene kingdom within the Austrian Empire.

In 1849 Carniola became an Austrian crown land.

In 1882 Slovene nationalists, for the first time, won a majority of the diet in Carniola.

FLORA: Trees to be found in the region include the yew, juniper, common silver fir, Aleppo pine, Austrian pine, stone pine, white poplar, aspen, silver birch, common alder, beech, sweet chestnut, Turkey oak, white oak, English oak, holm oak, wych elm, European white elm, southern nettle-tree, white mulberry, fig, bay laurel, crab apple, whitebeam, Saint Lucie cherry, gean, Judas tree, mastic tree, Montpellier maple, field maple, Hungarian maple, sycamore, holly, bladder-nut, Christ’s thorn, small-leaved lime, cornelian cherry, tree heath, manna ash, ash and elder.

FAUNA: Larger mammals to be found in the region include the fox, wolf, brown bear, wild cat, lynx, wild boar, red deer, roe deer, chamois and badger.

Smaller mammals include the hedgehog, water shrew, pygmy shrew, common shrew, bicoloured shrew, lesser white-toothed shrew, white-toothed shrew, mole, grater and lesser horseshoe bats, Mediterranean horseshoe bat, Daubenton’s bat, long-fingered bat, whiskered bat, Geoffroy’s bat, Bechstein’s bat, large mouse-eared bat, lesser mouse-eared bat, long-eared bat, Schreibers’ bat, pipistrelle, Nathusius’ pipistrelle, Kuhl’s pipistrelle, Savi’s pipistrelle, barbastelle, serotine, noctule, brown hare, blue hare, red squirrel, dormouse, edible dormouse, garden dormouse, ground vole, pine vole, common vole, snow vole, harvest mouse, yellow-necked field mouse, wood mouse, black rat, brown rat, house mouse, otter, stoat, weasel, polecat, pine marten and beech marten.

Game birds to be found in the region include the black grouse, hazelhen, rock partridge, partridge, snipe, woodcock and pheasant.

Birds of prey include the goshawk, sparrowhawk, hen harrier, peregrine falcon, kestrel and buzzard. Owls include the little owl, pygmy owl, eagle owl, Ural owl, long-eared owl, tawny owl and barn owl.

Other birds include the great crested grebe, little grebe, grey heron, mallard, teal, ferruginous duck, water rail, moorhen, coot, lapwing, stone curlew, rock dove, stock dove, collared turtle dove, kingfisher, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, middle spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, black woodpecker, calandra lark, crested lark, skylark, woodlark, grey wagtail, , white wagtail, starling, jay, magpie, alpine chough, jackdaw, hooded crow, raven, dipper, wren, dunnock, blackcap, Sardinian warbler, chiffchaff, goldcrest, stonechat, blue rock thrush, robin, blackbird, sing thrush, mistle thrush, marsh tit, crested tit, blue tit, coal tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, nuthatch, treecreeper, short-toed treecreeper, house sparrow, tree sparrow, chaffinch, hawfinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, linnet, corn bunting, reed bunting, yellowhammer, cirl bunting and bittern.

In addition to the above birds there are also birds which breed there, but do not winter there; and birds which winter there, but do not breed there, and are not present all year around.

Reptiles, in the form of lizards, include the blue-throated keeled lizard, common wall lizard, Dalmatian wall lizard, European green lizard, Horvath’s rock lizard, Italian wall lizard.

Snakes include the Aesculapian snake, Balkan whip snake, common European adder, dice snake, green whip snake, horned viper, smooth snake.

Fish to be found in the lakes and rivers include the river lamprey, trout, roach, Danube roach, Adriatic roach, chub, blageon, minnow, rudd, asp, tench, gudgeon, barbel, bitterling, crucian carp, carp, stone loach, spined loach, brown bullhead, burbot, perch, pikeperch, largemouth bass, bullhead and eel.

CITIES: The main town is Laibach. It is on the Laibach River. Around 33,000 people live in the town. It dates back to at least the early 12th century. A lot of the buildings are in the Baroque style, however, being rebuilt after an earthquake in 1511.

Open spaces include the Tivoli Park, laid out in 1813, and designed by Jean Blanchard, during the period that France controlled the town; and the botanical gardens, which opened in 1810. At the centre of the city is Congress Square, laid out in 1821.

Important buildings include the University of Laibach (1595); Laibach Castle (12th century); the old town hall (renovated 1719); Laibach cathedral (1706); the Lyceum library (1774); and the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation (1660).

The University of Laibach is located on Congress Square. It was founded towards the end of the 16th century.

Other towns include Oberlaibach, Idria, Zirknitz and Gurkfeld.

Gurkfeld is a town of some 5000 people. It is on the Save River. People have been living in the area since prehistoric times.

Important buildings include a ruined castle above the town (12th century); the Church of John the Evangelist (15th century); and a Capuchin monastery (1644).

Idria is a town of some 5000 people.

Oberlaibach is on the Laibach River. It dates back to at least the 13th century. Around 5000 people live in Oberlaibach. The town is not on the railway.

Zirknitz is close to an intermittent lake called Lake Zirknitz. Around 5000 people live in Zirknitz.

The lake can be as much as ten square miles in size, but can drain away completely in dry weather. Tobias Gruber first accurately described how the lake worked, in 1781.

TRANSPORT: The railway reached Laibach in 1849.

POLITICS: The local diet has 37 members.

RELIGION: Nearly everybody is a Roman Catholic.

LEGENDS: Jure Grando: The wizard of the blood (or vampire) called Jure Grando hailed from Carinthia. See the supplement The Blood Is The Life for details.

MAGICK: There are no schools of Magick in the region. there are a handful of talented wizards in this region.

LANGUAGES: Most people speak Slovene. Around five percent of the population speak German. Since 1882 Slovene has been the official language.



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