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Osannia is a young fief with little history under that name. Osannia was cut out of the Isslian prefecture and still holds the former capital city, Ellyius. The actual nation was founded in 1851 after the Isslian Civil War. The name Osannia was lifted from the name of the gate guarding the Hammerfist (which is now known only as "the Gate") and means "Gate to Deglos" in Romini.
Main article: History of Osannia
The modern Kingdom of Osannia is a relatively new nation in Avlis and Osannia is a new name for this region: it was known as the Prefecture of Isslius during the Kurathene Empire, the Isslius Province under the Kurathene Republic, and simply Ellyius (after the major city) during the time before the Kurathene Republic. The origins of Osannia center around the founding and development of Ellyius, now the capital city of Osannia. Ellyius was one of the first settlements founded before the Fairy War. Situated on the foothills of Galdos, Ellyius provided a commanding view of the country side and was quickly designed into a hill fort, the architecture of which is still visible to this day. The Illian family, who agressively dominated cattle herding, quickly became a leader of the region. The Illians were the main Ellyius representatives to the Kurathene Republic and Ellyius provided many troops to aid the Republic during the Fairy War. Though one of the greatest contributors of soldiers to the Republic--when peace finally arrived--Ellyius found itself on equal terms with the other settlements of Kurathene, much to the chagrin of the Illian family. This new Kurathene Council also brought in the idea of Provinces and the creation of the Isslius Province. The founding of the Council initiated a rather coarse relationship between the Illian family and the Kuras leaders. Ellyius courted the new military commander, the church of Toran, in hopes the church would provide some favors to Isslius. It was during this time that the temple of Toran was built in Ellyius.
The Great War brought more importance to Isslian troops, but the orcs' great evocation almost spelled certain disaster for Isslius when it wiped out the Illian leaders of the time. Anarchy broke out within the Isslian borders as other families struggled to take control of Ellyius. Joral Kuras eventually ended hostilities with his own troops, placing the Illian family in control once again; however, Joral Kuras placed a foreign family from northern Kurathene to represent the Empire, the Percivians. Under the new Kurathene Empire, the Percivian family was named the Prefect of Isslius with the Illian family now holding the title Consul. This move angered the Illian family, but they were now too weak to attempt a coup and conceded control to Joral and the new Prefect. Both families attempted to undercut the other, causing a persistent rivalry that still exists. Some 20 years after Joral Kuras died and the Kurathene Empire ceased, Lord Revel Crullath assassinated the new Illian monarch, sparking the Issilus Civil War.
The Isslius Civil War saw hostilities between the Consular and Prefectual families (Illian and Percivian, respectively) and forces loyal to Revel Crullath, including Brekon soldiers. When the dust had settled, Crullath had proven to be a more powerful foe then expected, carving out almost two-thirds of the former Prefecture of Isslius, encompassing all of the current Crullathian Empire and what is now known as Servator. The Illians and Percivians agreed to a fragile peace and ruled the remains of Isslius jointly. A new name was chosen, taken from the gate that protected the Hammerfist Rift: Osannia. Osannia translates roughly from Romini into "Gate to Deglos/Galdos." This very fragile peace would only last a hundred years when Davicus Percivian, then the Prefect and married to an Illian, had a highly publicized affair: a slap in the face to the Consular Illian family. Braccien Illian, the Illian Patriarch, sought help from Crullath and began the Osannia Civil War.
The Osannia Civil War ended after a few years when Amelia Percivian, the Percivian matriarch, used an old artifact given to the Percivians by Joral Kuras. This amulet was supposed to protect the fortress in which it was used, but instead it caused a great explosion. This explosion, possibly seconded only by the orc evocation, destroyed much of the Percivian and Illian families and ravaged southern Osannia. Crullath quickly withdrew, not wishing any further losses from an insignificant conflict and the neighboring fiefs of Valorian and Medec assisted in propping up a lesser Illian noble as the leader of Osannia. As the singular leader, Bastian Illian announced Osannia would now become a Kingdom, permanently removing the Percivian family's title. This would mark a period of reclusiveness and reconstruction as Osannia recovered from a multitude of wars.
Government and Politics
The central insitution of Osannia's government is the Osannia Monarchy, an absolute monarchy ruled by the Illian family. Though originally founded directly after the collapse of the Kurathene Empire in 1825, the Illian monarchy at that time lasted a mere 22 years when Lord Revel Crullath assasinated the first, and last, Illian monarch at that time. The modern Illian Monarchy was founded in 1969 with the help of Valorian and Medec.
There are no recognized elections, but the founding of the Royal Council in 2126 was considered a great leap of faith in the other noble families of Osannia. The Council is a conglameration of the nine largest noble families in Osannia (not including the Illians). The Royal Council has no law-making or law-enforcing powers, they are merely advisors assisting the King in decision making. The councilors are renowned for bickering and arguing when meeting in the Palace and back-stabbing is a way of life.
Osannia’s heavy worship of Senath offers a ripe environment for political maneuvering. Nobles always try to gain more prestige in the eyes of the King, in hopes either they (or members of their family) will be appointed as either an instructor at the Academy, as a Knight to the King, or grooming their children to marry into the royal family.
Foreign Relations and Military
Main article: Military of Osannia
The Kingdom of Osannia, until recently, has had little more then rudimentary contact with foreign nations. Only the barest form of trade relationships persisted with its neighbors and Osannia had no contact with non-neighboring nations. This reclusiveness started after both the Isslian Civil War and Osannia Civil War, when internal focus on stability required all of the Kingdom's resources. During this reclusive period, Osannia relied on Medec's open trade policy, selling its goods on the open market rather then targetting specific buyers. Osannia is cautious of Servator, the rather new "nation" could bring prospects of returning Isslius to its Toranite roots, but Servator's large military and agressive stance brings many concerns on if they will march soldiers into the Kingdom. Osannia has not officially recognized Servator as an independent nation. Osannia's rather tumultuous history with Crullath gives the monarchy some pause in working with the Empire. Crullathian assasins killed one of the earliest Illian monarchs, but later assisted the Illian family in regaining control during the Osannia Civil War. Little contact was made since that time, but rumors indicate the two nations may have entered trade discussions. The Kingdom has maintained little contact with its only other neighbor, Valorian. The Illian family, and most of the Osannian people, are cautious of the rather one-sided views of the Gorethite theocracy. Relationships between the two nations recently degraded when Valorian soldiers were identified fighting alongside Servator in Crullath.
King Agis, with little patience and even less experience with foreign diplomats, assigned Crown Prince Corbin, a recent graduate of the Illian Martial Academy, to all matters of foreign policy. Since this move, Osannia has had trade discussions with Servator and Crullath, though no firm deals were made. Osannia has remained quiet on the recent topic of a Kurathene Gentleman's Agreement, a so-called "rules of war." Prince Corbin's major stipulation is the lack of clear guidelines on enforcement and punishment.
The military of Osannia comprises 115,000 active foot soldiers in four legions, with a similar number of troops in reserves, to be called upon in times of need. Osannia's military acts as police, border guards, escorts, and soldiers. The military has not faced foreign enemies since the Osannia Civil War, over 300 years ago. Service in Osannia's military is voluntary, partly due to the militaristic nature of the Kingdom's people and their heavy worship of Toran. Military duty is considered both an honor and an obligation. Most officers have graduated from the Illian Martial Academy, a school focusing on military tactics, operations, and leadership. The Illian Martial Academy is possibly the most prestigious and well-known military academy in all of Kurathene. The Academy was founded in the year 79 and only briefly experienced a period of interruption after the Empire's collapse.
Geography and climate
Osannia is a smaller fief dominated by rolling plains and the foothills of Galdos’ mountains, covered in tall grasses with few trees. Ellyius, Osannia’s capital, is situated at the foot of cliff, overlooking the Hammerfist Rift, a large valley running west-east through Galdos and Deglos to the the Wastelands. Warm summer air rapidly cools in the mountains, blowing back into Osannia. The continental climate of eastern Kurathene provides Osannia cold, wet winters with snow and hot, dry summers with very short spring and fall seasons. On the average, temperatures dip below -7°C (20°F) in the dead of winter and often reach above 32°C(90°F) in the middle of summer.
Northern Osannia is dominated by the foothills of the Galdos mountains in the east and the so-called "forests" of the west. (These forests are not much more then a large copse of trees.) Southern Osannia was almost completely razed by Amelia Percivian in 1968, including most of the once great wall built to block Drotid's armies, affectionately known as "The Anvil." The past 200 years proved to be a time of rebuilding and resettling this once prosperous land. Reconstruction started from Ellyius and moved south, towards Servator. Almost a third of the wall is rebuilt and a few temporary wooden walls are placed in the remaining gaps to block the undead that now meander in the Rift. The heavy, year-rounds winds coming from the Hammerfist provide ample energy to drive the numerous mills dotting the countryside in Osannia. Western Osannia is marked by rolling hills and plains covered in fields or tall prairie grasses.
Flora and fauna
A major feature of this region for many years is the dense population of cattle, one of Osannia's greatest resources. Through years of selective breeding, many of the regions now boast their own breed of cattle. Osannia is now famous for the Osannian Angus, solid black cattle that are hardy, undemanding, adaptable, mature at a young age, and have a high yield of very tender meat. Osannian Angus are good natured in comparison to other Kurathene breeds, providing easy herding either on a free range or on a ranch. This breed was primarily bred by the Illian family for easy rearing and high quality meat. Steaks are part of almost every lunch or dinner in Osannia and the Ellyius Stockyards even features a restaurant devoted to quality steaks, allowing customers to choose their cow directly from the pasture, though at a rather high cost.
The lands of Osannia are populated by typical Kurathene animals including bear in the mountain regions, Kurathene falcons, oxen, wolves, and Kurathene gazelle. The Isslian mine has long been plagued by Grey Renders and other aberrations that are attracted to the prospect of easy dining on miners and ore. Osannia is unique in that it has bred a domesticated version of fire beetles. These beetles are bred for their bellies and this farm produces a large part of the basic reagents required for gunpowder.
The diverse climate caters to a diverse population of plants. The unique, and major natural resource of Osannia, is the Osannian Beech, similar to Ferrell beech, except that Osannian Beech is slightly taller, with darker leaves, a less twisted trunk, and a larger crop of fruit. The wood itself has the same properties of Ferrell Beech, providing a strong wood for weapons and a very ornamental wood for fine furniture. In addition to beech, Osannia hosts almost every type of typical crop (wheat, barley, and corn) and a large variety of plants with potent alchemical or herbal properties. This diversity has yet to be exploited for trade, but is highly used by Osannia's Nurses for the creation of healing products.
Osannia is not a rich fief, relying on lumber, agriculture, herding, milled products, and a few precious metals as its major exports. The foot hills and plains are dotted with farms where the patrician ranchers raise cattle and sheep. Though still recovering from destruction, the valley leading to the Hammerfist Rift grows wheat, barley, and corn. The Rift winds provide an almost unlimited supply of energy to power the many windmills in the valley. During safer times in the Hammerfist, as part of an economic project, Deglosian gnomes helped the farmers modify the mills to grind more then grain. The windmills were now able to switch out their standard grinding stones for dye grinding wheels, water pumps, fulling wheels for treating textiles, and (on rare occasions) wood saws. Though quick changes are not possible (sometimes taking two weeks), this versatility allows year round use of the mills and provides the mill owners flexibility in their final products. Windmills are owned by patricians only, whom rarely own farmland, but import raw materials (often from nearby fiefs) and deliver processed flours, dyes, textiles, and sometimes wood for sale. The depleted Isslian Iron Mines in the northern outskirts of Ellyius were long ago drained of their resource, but further digging not long ago unearthed veins of silver and gold. Osannia earns additional income through its Martial Academy and through betting at the Great Arena.
Ellyius is home to the largest arena in Kurathene. This great battleground is older then the Illian Martial Academy and is maintained to its original splendor. Gladitorial combat provides year-round entertainment for the masses, with battles mostly pitting man against wild beast. The truly glorious and revered Gladiators are those who volunteer to fight other men. These battles often pack the arena, with crowds perched on the nearby city walls to view the sports heroes duel. At least once a year, and sparing no expense, the King will setup scenarios for the gladiators. In one, the stadium is filled with water and a faux ship is assembled at one end, while sand and barricades at the other, offering a splendid ship-to-shore battle with cannons! Another scenario is a mock forest, a poor attempt to build a replica of the fabled forests in T'Nanshi. Some of the gladiators dress as elves with fake, pointy ears and bows. The Arena is also often used for plays and even public executions, which the King performs himself.
Fire Beetle Farm
To the south of Ellyius and situated within the nearby cliff, lies the only known fire beetle farm in Avlis. Through many years of trial and error, a local, industrious family managed to domesticate the fire beetle. The long and arduous process cost no fewer then ten lives over the years, with the final result being a group of female-only firebeetles that need no males to reproduce. The beetles were selected for fast breeding and docility over large bellies. This farm shovels in waste from the nearby Ellyius sewer system and trash from the city as a source of food and an outlet for the sewer system (Osannia has no readily available lakes or rivers). The farm is well protected, especially from male fire beetles, which ruined large crops in previous years. The royal family makes sure to place extra guards nearby due to the very precious commodity used to produce much of the Kingdom's gunpowder.
Osannia maintains a strict, class-oriented society, as Toran dictates. Humans are all but the only race in Osannia. Though bordering Deglos and Galdos, the only gnomes and dwarves seen in Osannia are the undead ones that wander in from the Hammerfist Rift. Other races will be tolerated, but can never reach any level of prestige or power in Osannia culture. Though not seen in centuries, Shaahesk remain kill on sight due to their raids into Kurathene during the 8th to 10th centuries. The architecture and design of Osannia reflects the personality of its people, one of order. Ellyius' ancient and spartan style dominates with houses arranged in perfectly straight lines, immaculate streets, and little intricate detail.
Valok is tolerated, thanks to Crullath's help during the Osannian Civil War, though few (if any) citizens openly worship Valok. Worship of Aarilax or any chaotic religion by Osannians is prohibited and punishable by banishment or death. Due to the increasing undead attacks from the Rift, Dagath is becoming a popular deity of worship. Cha'reth has also gained a large following due to the founding of the Nurses by Anaa Illian. All other religions are either present in small numbers or nonexistent.