The year is 1430 AD. This is Europe. It is not, I suspect, the Europe which you know, but rather our Europe.
It is hard to believe that our worlds diverged so recently - until only a few years ago, someone from our world would have seemed completely normal to you - perhaps a bit antiquated, of course, but that is to be expected. But now, the differences are staggering.
It was only seven years ago that Mount Vesuvius erupted, and that the incredible force behind the eruption tore a rift through the world, leaving our Europe inexorably linked to Hell. It was not long before the first demons began to appear, horrific creatures, more capable than any man, which began to wreak havoc across the landscape. Some simply destroyed. Others tempted, offering power, or pleasure. They all brought darkness.
Alongside them appeared vastly increased numbers of witches and sorcerers, who, granted access to the raw energies of Hell itself proved more powerful than ever.
And yet, what had gone before continued - the war between the French and the English did not cease. Suppression of the Hussites continued. The efforts to drive the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula were not halted. And in all of these cases, when manpower proved insufficient, sorcery was likely to be employed.