The Grand Duchy of Ventimiglia is a small, mountainous country bordered by Germany and the Czech Republic, with a population of just over 70,000 people, and a land area occupying roughly 470 square kilometers. Grand Duke Thornmallow is a gifted warlock and a brilliant scientist, but a mediocre ruler; Ventimiglia's fortunes have been mixed under his rule. While he successfully kept Ventimiglia out of the entanglements of the World Wars, it was at the cost of a Soviet occupation lasting nearly 70 years. Thornmallow did not care: he allowed the Soviets to handle the drudgery of administrating his country while he occupied himself with his studies. The years since the Soviet withdrawal have been difficult for Ventimiglia, requiring Thornmallow to take a more active role in its governance. He has overseen the creation of an elected Parliament, and has drafted a Constitution granting the Ventimiglian Parliament specific and carefully circumscribed authority (reserving all other powers to himself).