The Circle Sea
Orenia (pronounced: o-ren-ea)
- a prosperous island nation with big dreams and surprising success
- invaded a region over 10 times it’s size and… won, occupying the land for the last 50 years
- recently de-stabilized by the death of the emperor: three brothers, two sisters and one vizier vie for control of the imperial city
- local governors maintain/expand their provinces while awaiting for the results of succession
- rebellion grows, but more on a province level than countrywide
- strong naval tradition means strong navy and merchant-navy
- officially doesn’t use slavery and can choose to free slaves on it’s lands, however has strong feudal system with many people living as penniless serfs/servants
- Big on: Tea. Rice. Fish. Rice-wine. Soya. Myriad of local foods. Silk.
- environment: mostly temperate, but so big it has every environment
three main cultures:
- Imperial City
a veritable city of gold. strictly off-limits to non-Orenians. The imperial family are treated as living gods. built on/in/around a mountain.
- Orenia Island
Consider themselves “true Orenians”, the best of the best culture. Strong sailing tradition.
- Greater Orenia/the Orenian Colonies
Several cultures taken over, analysed and built up to the “Orenian standard”. Ruled by local governors (mix of ‘natives’ and Orenians) who report to the Imperial City. Some local traditions survive, but most are removed and replaced with Imperial Bureaucracy.
Orenia Island is pretty much fantasy-Japan (with a slightly high tech/magic level than the surrounding lands). Greater Orenia is pretty much fantasy-China, originally fragmented into lots of little kingdoms. Orenia used a network of spies/agents to learn about them, set them fighting each other and weakening them, paving the way for a very successful invasion and period of expansion/occupation.
Orenia Island is certainly an incredibly wealthy country and merchant/trading hub for all of greater Orenia, certainly the busiest ports in the known world. There certainly can be elements of Venice, trading hub/meeting place/seat of learning, but it’s overshadowed by being the seat of the Empire and a great military power.
> 100 year ago
The Orenian navy dominates the eastern sea and occasionally raids the coastal kingdoms. These raids and a small number of high-level adventurers are the only interaction between Orenia (Island) and the rest of the world, as they have a policy of seclusion.
The mainland kingdoms are 100 separate kingdoms with wildly differing traditions and peoples. They are in a continual state of alliance/rivalry/war.
between 100 and 75 years ago
A new leader comes to power and formalises the Orenian standard. Orenian agents, converted slaves and bound Fey start investigating and infiltrating the coastal kingdoms.
between 75 and 50 years ago
The Orenian agents destabilises the mainland kingdoms, the Orenian navy dominates all of the coast and new Orenian army invades the mainland. The coastal kingdoms fall like dominoes, adopting the Orenian Standard and accepting Orenia-loyal governors. The leader transfers control to his son, who decalares himself the 1st Orenian Emperor and forms the Orenian Empire.
between 50 and 25 years ago
The Orenian army (bolstered by nationlised troops) sweep over a multitude of nearby kingdoms, instituting the Orenian Standard. The old leader dies in seclusion, ending this age.
between 25 years and 1 year ago
The Orenian expansion continues, but slows dramatically. Some kingdoms voluntarily convert, but others hold strong and remain inderpendent. The Orenian empire consolidates it’s power and focuses on maintaining the empire, reducing strife and building stability.
1 year ago to the current day
The Emperor is killed by supernatural assassin, in a manner that prevents resurrection. The Emperor’s 3 sons, 2 daughters and 1 vizier all via for control of the empire. The colonies keep quiet, waiting for a new leader to take control. The Orenian armies keep harassing and invading the nearby kingdoms, only few hold out.
Orenian characters could be anyone, from imperial loyalists to escaped rebels, from high-born prince(ss)es to lowly serfs, from Orenians who trace their lineage back 10 generations to those invaded and nationalised in the last year.
Where did you come from? Orenia Island? the long-term colonies? the recently converted colonies?
Why did you leave Orenia?
When/why will you return to Orenia?
What are your feelings about the Imperial family?
What are your feelings about the Imperial Bureaucracy?