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“The land is overlaid by the soul. As we refer to the Northern Provinces and our fair capital, Allacasta, as different beings but know them both for Orrium, we refer to our noble Houses and humble households as distinct beings when they are all interconnected. One need only consult the Bloodlines to know this - the lowest workman can trace her lineage to a monarch, if given long enough. The lines may be faint and faltering in places, but they hold true. We are all Orrium.”
— An excerpt from ‘In Defence of Empire,’ an Orrin treatise on familial souls.
Orrium sits across the Qeltan sea, larger and hungrier than Esharia. It grew from a handful of small, coastal settlements to a vast, unified country thanks in large part to the leadership of Endarim,1) warrior-priest and philosopher. His ideas had an uncalculable impact on Orrin culture, shaping their outlook for years to come.
Orrium’s throne currently sits empty - although not for long. Emperon Odalis Leocadio d’Allacasta has been killed in a hunting accident, and their scholarly, peace-oriented politics with them. Their mother, Alba Leocadio, is poised to retake the throne, having formerly abdicated in favour of Odalis. Most of her previous reign was spent steadily expanding Orrium’s borders. Her projected return to power has been met with a mix of anticipation and terror from those on both sides of the sea.
The Emperon is supported and advised by a council made up of the Hearts of the most established noble Houses. The position of Councilmember is a highly advantageous one - if all goes well, you won’t remain there for long.
Anyone who has travelled, spoken to an Orrin immigrant, or read an Orrin text will know that the family unit is central to Orrin culture. Orrins conceptualise the family as a single spiritual entity - people don’t have souls, but make up part of the soul of their family. Nowhere is the soul of the family more fully embodied than in the family’s leader - its Heart of House.
Orrium follows the same religion as Esharia. However, it is heavily filtered through their spiritual beliefs on the nature of family. They tend to prioritise the forces shaping a place over the spirit of the place itself. Far more than Esharia, Orrin citizens hold a great respect for ancestral homes, and see the land as tightly interconnected with those that inhabit it.
Beyond that, the intricacies of Orrin house politics are a little harder to grasp. You are likely to have heard tales of families that spread, assimilate, and devour. You may be aware that, among the upper echelons of society, heirs are raised in complete isolation from the rest of their family. You may know that in Orrium, your position in society is dependent on how closely related you are to the Emperon.
If you live towards the edges of Esharian lands, you might even have encountered one of the Bondless - monastic figures who have been severed from their family souls. They might have asked you questions about your parentage, your spouse’s parentage, and how long you have lived in this area. Upon hearing your answers, they make a few notes and move on to your neighbours, asking the exact same questions.
Word has trickled into Esharia of two recent massacres in Orrium - one killing 38 people, the other 63. There are whispers of state involvement, although this has been publically denied by the Council. It is said that these massacres targeted a group called the Reparationals. Who these people are or what they stand for is unknown to Esharia at this time.
Soon-to-be-Empress Alba Leocadio d’Allacasta
Her previous reign was controversial both within and outside Orrium - although mostly outside. When it comes to diplomacy, she rarely leaves Allacasta, instead sustaining communication with carefully-chosen Councilmembers.
Councilor Theodosio Barros
The current Orrin ambassador for Esharia, and the official mouthpiece for the Empress’ views thereupon. Barros has thus far shown himself to be intensely traditionalist and almost comically prone to flattery, as well as having a keen eye for potential dissent.
Councilor Maria Puig
Official aide to Councilor Barros, Puig appears to have risen to her position through sheer force of will. She is charismatic, roguish, and more than a little prone to melodrama.
Esharian merchant ship The Demure Gentleman discovered a stowaway upon docking in Hashat, and failed to apprehend them for questioning. On two occasions, a hooded figure has been spotted in Ialcar palace. This is surely a coincidence.