chanceTheria, The Free City
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credit to Tee (Map and Lore Write Up)!

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The snowy mountain tops of Osrona is one of the most difficult areas for the city to police effectively. For centuries, before the ports were constructed, the northwest pass through the mountains was one of the few safe routes for trade and migration with the rest of the continent. Unfortunately, this also meant that the pass's remoteness west of Osrona was a prime target for banditry.

A peninsula, once an island covered largely by sea, juts from the west of Osrona's landscape, a craggy, rocky spike of mountain that curves into dramatic peaks after the rolling hills of Essharan countryside. The high altitude and prevailing ocean currents cause volumnous amounts of snow on the peak -- some theories say the continent would have far more snow during the year if it weren't for the mountain range in the way.

The mountain's official name is the Tarian, but the founding of Theria is dated at 694AC, during the Bastard Rebellion. Two groups of opposing soldiers, fleeing the battlefield, escaped by hiding in the forbidding range of the Spike. There they waited out the war and began to build homes and dig quarries; numerous refugees flooded the area and quickly bolstered the city's population.

With such a sudden and unexpected increase in population - people abandoning their very rulers and homelands - came with it the need to govern them. The initial groups of soldiers became Theria's first rulers, a congregation of warlords from various mercenary bands.

However, the government of early Theria was, as history would show, was in constant flux as the bands of warriors fought for dominance. Though a bizarrely simple form of 'might makes right', after several generations this arrangement was noted for its remarkable stability with prominent figures emerging within the harsh snowy lwastelands. Of course, this stability entirely was based on one thing -- the ability of the current government to enrich its citizens by any means necessary. For the most part, this has meant, over the course of centuries, to raid the peninsula's nearest neighbours. Naturally this meant the caravans from the continent dwindled, and then ended; the mountain passes were buried and never cleared. Osrona rose in prominence while the other city-states were equally buried under Essharan military prowess - Theria, however, was fiercely proud of its independence and had no particular fear of any enemy force.

Modern Day
The current government is a coalition of representatives from the mercenary groups. In general, whatever government is currently in power has the ability to change any laws, though their popularity will quickly dwindle if they make too many changes. For the most part, the government stays out of the life of most citizens, who are typically there in the first place to avoid being under the eye of authority figures.

The Council of Warriors is the unifying factor, each having a seat at the table and a vote in matters of dispute (though it can often become violent). To join, a person must lead a sizeable band of mercenaries that dwell within the Free City and this naturally requires popularity and support. Their voice is as large as the group that rally behind them. This is made of up of foreigners outside of Esshar, escaped Rhoynish slaves, or just those that grew up in Theria and adapted to its harsh conditions. 

Notes
  • Theria is a hub of th alchemy trade in Esshar. The Tarian Range houses in its depths a wide variety of exotic (and sometimes hallucinogenic) plants and mushrooms that are difficult to find elsewhere.
  • The citizens of Theria generally value independence above all else, despite the chaos that this often brings. Though some citizens prefer the Essharan Kingdom's form of government, many simply don't care at all.
  • For the right price, almost anything can be bought in Theria. If money is involved, most citizens will look the other way. Generally, a few coins will allow even First Light into the city, though in uniform is probably a bad idea.
  • Theria is an entertainment hub despite its relatively remote location. Travellers from all walks of life are welcome here, so things tend to be an eclectic mix of cultures - Rhoynish being the most common.
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