[Phil suggested that something like this might prove useful for the OWaW "viewers" less familiar with the source material. --G.]
If You Don't Know, Make It Up
Geography of Our Witches at War
from Galactipedia, the Galactic Encyclopedia
Main article: Our Witches at War (franchise)
The geography of the Our Witches at War media franchise is based on a modified version of the planet Earth's geography circa the Standard Year 1946, when the series is set (on the Earth of an alternate past). Most, if not all, of this alternate Earth's countries are based on those which existed on the real Earth of the time, though many differ in some respects from their real counterparts due to changes caused by the alterations to history in the setting. Many have names which are derived from archaic names for the real places they reflect, though a few are called by the same real-world names and others' names are simply fanciful.
Most of the world's industrialized nations are members of a grand alliance dedicated to fighting the Neuroi, the technologically advanced alien weapons of unknown origin and purpose that have been ravaging the planet for nearly a decade by the time of the series. As the series opens, the Neuroi have been pushed out of several areas they once occupied (in previous campaigns mentioned in back-references), but still hold much of central and eastern Europe and threaten to expand again if not kept under constant pressure. While the Neuroi do not specifically exterminate civilian populations, their presence in force renders the occupied areas inhospitable to human life, which has the same effect if people in conquered areas do not flee. As such, they generally do.
Place names below the national level are usually unchanged from their real-world equivalents, and the names of landmasses and bodies of water are also the same as the real ones (with the exceptions of the continents of the Western Hemisphere; see below).
Home Countries of Major Characters
Empire of Fusō - An island nation in the western Pacific, analogous to the old Earth country of Japan. Fusō is a highly industrialized, technologically innovative country with strong magical and martial traditions, a combination which enables it to punch above its weight in the world war against the invaders. Since it's so far away from the Neuroi "center of gravity" in Europe, it's largely untouched by the war, which further enables it to bring considerable resources to bear on the problem, but complicates supply and logistics because of the immense distances involved. As such, and being an island nation anyway, most of Fusō's projection of military force involves seapower, and its Imperial Navy is one of the three greatest in the world (along with Britannia's and Liberion's). Witches from Fusō have a worldwide reputation for courage, dedication, and being a little bit crazy.
Characters from Fusō list their names with surname first (as do real-world Japanese-speakers). Of the central cast of Our Witches at War, three - Sakamoto Mio, Miyafuji Yoshika, and Hattori Shizuka - are Fusōnese. All are members of the Imperial Navy.
Empire of Karlsland - A large country in central Europe, analogous to the German Empire of late-19th and early-20th-century Earth. Karlsland is in an anomalous position as Our Witches at War begins, as it exists as a political entity but not as a physical country - the landmass of the Karlslandic homeland is completely occupied by the Neuroi, and all the people who lived there have either fled or perished. Most, including the Kaiser and his government, have relocated to Neukarlsland, a "refugee state" located where real-world Argentina would be. Technically sophisticated and highly motivated, Karlsland's armed forces in exile remain an integral part of the Allied war effort.
Minna-Dietlinde Wilcke, Gertrud Barkhorn, Erica Hartmann, and Heidemarie W. Schnaufer are all Karlsländer, though from widely disparate parts of the country.
Commonwealth of Britannia - An island country in northwestern Europe, known in reality as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland at that time. For a time in the early '40s, Britannia stood alone against the westward expansion of the Neuroi, which had conquered virtually all of the Continent apart from the southernmost part of the Italian peninsula. Witch units striking from bases in Britannia - including the 501st, main heroines of Our Witches at War - successfully defended the country and eventually liberated neighboring Gallia in 1944, ending the direct threat to Britannia itself. Technically clever but resource-poor, Britannian engineers and witches are accustomed to doing more with less, and like Fusō, the country punches far above its weight in the war as a result.
Main cast member Lynette Bishop is Britannian (specifically English - born in London - as the kingdom's sub-national place names are the same as in real life).
Republic of Gallia - The country in western Europe corresponding to France. Until recently, Gallia was in the same situation that still prevails in Karlsland, having been overrun by the Neuroi. Most of its surviving population took refuge in Britannia, or in enclaves in Belgica (Belgium) and Helvetia (Switzerland) that managed to remain unmolested (though always threatened), but returned to their badly damaged country after the Neuroi were driven out in 1944. Two years of strenuous rebuilding later, Gallia is just staggering back to her feet, economically and infrastructurally, but she's a proud country and will accept nothing less than full recovery. As the current front line of the war, northern Gallia is the principal setting for Our Witches at War.
Pierrette-Henriette (Perrine) Clostermann is Gallian, and rarely lets anyone forget it.
Duchy of Romagna - The southern part of real-world Italy, which never became a unified kingdom in the Our Witches at War setting. Includes Rome, the Eternal City, former capital of the ancient Roman Empire (just as in real life), as well as the other provinces of southern Italia (which the landmass itself is still called). Though not an economic, technological, or military powerhouse, Romagna is a land with a long and deep magical tradition and the homeland of some very powerful witches, and so is an important player in the alliance against the Neuroi in spite of its secondary-power status. A year before the events of Our Witches at War, it was the staging area for the campaign to drive the Neuroi out of neighboring Venezia, to the north, the successful completion of which removed the direct threat to Romagna (as the liberation of Gallia did for Britannia the year before).
The 501st's Francesca Lucchini is Romagnan, born and raised (inasmuch as she was raised, given that she's been on active duty since she was 11) in Rome.
Republic of Suomus - The "Frozen North", analogous to Finland. At first glance, tiny, industrially insignificant Suomus seems an even less likely place than Romagna to be a key member of the world alliance against the Neuroi, but like Romagna, it's a magically rich country that produces a disproportionate number of world-class witches. Allies of Karlsland since before the invasion, the Suomish get most of their military hardware from there, including Striker Units and aerial weapons. Suomish witches have a reputation for being taciturn to the point of standoffishness, but skillful and powerful in combat. Their uniforms are also among the most visually distinctive in the Alliance, with their blue jackets and white leggings (the latter a relative rarity among fighting witches).
Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen-Litvyak, the main cast's fortunetelling ace, is from Suomus. Her middle name is the name of a mythical Suomish spirit of the air.
Empire of Orussia - Our Witches at War's version of the pre-1917 Russian Empire (which, like the German/Karlsland Empire, didn't fall during/after World War I because that war, like the present one on the show, was a coalition fight against the Neuroi). A vast, sprawling country taking up the northeast corner of Europe and most of northern Asia, extending so far east it would share a border with Fusō if the latter weren't an island. The European part was mostly overrun by the Neuroi in 1941-42, forcing its population to flee eastward over the Ural Mountains. Tsaritsa Olga I (by the Grace of the Ancestors Empress and Autocrat of All the Orussias) now rules from a temporary palace in Yekaterinburg, just on the eastern side of the Urals, resisting advice by her ministers to move even farther east for safety. Orussian technology is known to lag behind the West's, but its witches are numerous, strong, and seem to remain powerful longer than those of many other nations.
Aleksandra V. (Sanya) Juutilainen-Litvyak is Orussian, born in the ancient, now-abandoned city of Moskva.
United States of Liberion - Often referred to simply as "Liberion", in much the same way that its real-world counterpart, the United States of America, was often just called "America". Similarly, the continents of the Western Hemisphere in Our Witches at War are called North and South Liberion, not North and South America (there is no available data on whether the people who live in all the other countries there are annoyed that the USL has hijacked the entire hemisphere's name as its own shorthand). A large and industrially powerful country, but viewed by the European Allies as both militarily naïve and a bit of a Jenny-come-lately, since they didn't get into the war until 1941. Likes to bill itself as "the Arsenal of Humanity", and indeed, a lot of the hardware the other Allies use is made there. Because of this, Liberion generals have elbowed their way into significant positions in the Allied high command, in spite of the country's late entry into the war and proportionally low number of witches in service. Liberion witches themselves are often better-regarded than their leaders by their colleagues, as they have a reputation for being unrefined, but generous and capable.
The 501st's resident speed demon, Charlotte E. (Shirley) Yeager, is Liberion to an almost absurdly stereotypical degree.
Other Countries of Note
Kingdom of Baltland - An amalgam of the countries of western Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, and Denmark). The part corresponding to Denmark is under Neuroi control. Suomus used to be part of Baltland, not altogether willingly, and many Suomish are still touchy about that.
Principality of Venezia - Northern Italia. Liberated from the Neuroi in late 1945 and still picking up the pieces.
Dominion of Farawayland - A Britannian dominion (mostly-autonomous colony) covering much of northern North Liberion (i.e., Canada). Lynette Bishop's mother is from Farawayland, and two of her sisters have chosen to serve with that country's Air Force rather than Britannia's.
Commonwealth of Australis - An island continent/country in the southern Pacific, until fairly recently a collection of Britannian colonies and still, like Farawayland, closely tied to the mother country politically and economically. Australia.
Kiwiland - Australis's smaller neighbor. New Zealand.
Empire of Ostmark - Formerly a country in east-central Europe, bordering (and sharing many cultural links with) Karlsland. Roughly analogous to pre-1917 Earth's Austro-Hungarian Empire. Collapsed completely when overrun by the Neuroi. Unlike Karlsland, Orussia, Gallia, and Venezia, Ostmark's national continuity was not preserved in the evacuation, and its future as a polity is uncertain even if the Neuroi are driven from Europe.
Republic of Helvetia - A tiny mountain country wedged into the Alps between Gallia, Karlsland, and Venezia. For unclear reasons (possibly because there seem to be no witches there?), ignored by the Neuroi. Switzerland.
Kingdom of Belgica - One of the "Low Countries" of northwestern Europe, north of Gallia (analogous to Belgium, or more specifically Wallonia, the French-speaking southern part thereof). Partly occupied by the Neuroi along with Gallia, but partly left alone, again for reasons not clear.
Empire of Cathay - The sprawling and mysterious South Asian heartland, analogous to China and Mongolia. Doesn't have much contact with the outside world. Historically not very good friends with Fusō or Orussia. Seems neither to be experiencing any Neuroi activity within its borders nor to care what goes on outside them.
Iceland - Small island in the north Atlantic, colonized by seafarers from medieval Baltland. Convenient stopping point for trans-Atlantic ferry flights and aerial supply shipments from Liberion to Europe, but otherwise uninvolved in the war. Has the same name as it does in real life.
- Our Witches at War official website
- Bacon Comics "The World of Our Witches at War" page
- Our Witches on the Web: The Unofficial Headquarters
- alt.fan.ourwitchesatwar FAQ
Categories: fictional geographies | fictional histories | alternate Earths