Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Othebea, Holy Empire

The Holy Empire of Othebea

"The Roses Guide Us."
Alignment: LN
Capital: Guidthorn
Ruler: King Garcus III
Government: Monarchy
Demonym: Othish
Adjective: Othebean
Languages: Rosic, Othish, Jarnish, Rani
Religions: The Twins, The Machine, Singer of the Song

Othebea (OATH-thee-be-AH) believes itself to be the chosen of the Twins, and it has long been the birthplace of that faith.  Othebeans are a traditionalist people.  Its empire emerged as an extension of a missionary attempt to spread the Church of the Twins.  Now it is becoming an older political power, after having lost control of Ith and colonies in Ainesia during the Revolution Wars.

History

The region Othebea had long been home to various kingdoms, most of whom warred with one another.  These myriad noble houses fought for land throughout the peninsula, often their squabbles led to them being dominated by outside powers, like the Tomasian Empire.  Othebea itself began when the Church of the Twins first emerged from Langrose.

Othebes was the first Herald of the Twins.  She was also a mortal Sabizi girl.  Her new faith sparked a fire that the region had been longing for.  She offered an escape from the constant infighting of the nobles and royalty.  Her following took control of several cities, and Othebes ascended after naming the first King of the Twins' chosen land.  Othebeans believe that Othebes has entered a slumber, remaining in sleep until Othebea has need of her again.

The Revolution Wars
Othebea would eventually spark crusades and conquests.  It fought to spread the Church of the Twins, believing the message of the Summer Rose and the Black Rose needed to find purchase in foreign lands.  In some lands, they were welcomed.  In others, they fought down dark cults that worshiped demons or foul things forgotten by time.  Othebea acquired lands, including Ith and several colonies in southern Ainesia.

Ithic Magi stifled under the yoke of Othebea, especially Othebean restrictions on magical research.  The Sorcery Tax, which taxed specific material components for spells, led to public outcry.  Othebean Knights over reacted to a set of illusions of protesting Wizards, attacking them despite orders to the contrary.  This sparked a series of wars throughout Ith and southern Ainesia.

The Revolution Wars ended for Othebea when it had to give up control of Ith, in the Treaty of Lutetia.  Ith became a independent state, while Ainesia continued to roil in its own Revolution.  The Othebea of the current age is led by a middle-aged King, who looks to the past failures of the Revolution Wars with deep regret, envisioning a new age where Othebea might find a new path through which to help the world find the salvation of the Twins.

Government

Othebea is a constitutional Monarchy, with religious and secular power invested in its Monarchy.  The Monarchy is advised by various bodies, but almost all laws and policies in the current era are approved by the Othebean Parliament.  The Othebean Parliament consists of three bodies: the Council of Vicars, the House of Commons, and the House of Lords.  The Parliament is headed by the Prime Minister, who forms the government that the King uses to administrate and rule.

In eras past, the King or Queen of Othebea had absolute power.  But conceits against Lords, Vicars and Common folk led to the monarchy having to recognize power in the Parliament.  King Garcus has the power to dissolve the parliament at any time.  No Othebean monarchy in the last three centuries has deigned to use this power, allowing Parliament to into a stable civic institution.

Geography

Othebea is surrounded by sea on three sides, and it shares a isthmus with Ith.  Ocean and seas separate it from Rani and Bor.  A series of thick mountains stand between it and Ainesia.  Northern Othebea is dominated by ancient woods, which have long been scattered by logging.  Southern Othebea is marshy and full of wetlands.  A few other mountains are scattered throughout Othebea.  Four rivers crisscross Othebea, which interconnect via canals to create a network that most Othebeans use to move around.

Othebea also has strong influence and control over neighboring states.  Bor and Rani are little more than vassal states at this point, although Othebea uses little direct control over them.  They are independent in their policies and actions, with Othebean ships dominating their ports.

Inhabitants

The major human tribes that settled Othebea are the Rosac, Sabizi, and the Jarn.  Othebea also has a sizable Tiefling population, a result of Othebea's royal decrees in their favor.  In the southern marches of Othebea are many Ursyklon ruins, surrounded by Othebea's own native tribes of Ursyklons, including many converts to the Church of the Twins.

Religion

The Church of the Twins is a major part of Othebea's culture.  Even though the Othebean Government espouses some religious equality, the Church of the Twins is still the state religion.  It is home to the Holy City of Langrose, considered sacred because of it being where the Twins' shared Herald Othebes the Burning had been born, and the center of the Church of the Twins since its founding.

Other religions in Othebea have known a long history of suppression, sometimes generating crusades or witch hunts against them.  As such, anyone in Othebea who doesn't worship the Twins keeps their faith to themselves.  The Twins take a important place in the daily culture of Othebea, leaving most outside that faith drawn to hiding in the shadows out of a mixture of fear and embarrassment.

In Crux

Perhaps Othebeans are the most numerous of immigrants into Crux proper.  The Church of the Twins remains the most popular faith among common folk.  Othebea has had a strong influence on all aspects of life in Crux, especially in trade and sea travel.

Othebean Immigrants to Crux are strong advocates against false and dangerous faiths.  Othebean arcane spellcasters eagerly come into Crux to study at the University, while missionaries almost always stop through on their way westward to Maliph or Ainesia.  Some come to fall in love with the City of Curses, drawn to aspects of it enough to stay.

The Rose Quarter is a important district for Othebeans, as it is where they have the highest numbers.  Their culture has defined the Rose Quarter, celebrating annual holidays like Kingsday and Oathsday.  Its a cleaner neighborhood, some wealthy enough to support charities to various causes throughout Crux itself.