Osrona, fondly referred to by its people as the Shimmering City, is the capital of Esshar and has been the dominant power in the region for over a millennia, establishing a vast empire on the west of the Continent of Aegis. There are many cities, towns, and villages under the direct rule of Osrona. It was founded (along with Esshar in its entirety) in 284AC by the Archmagi Mikhail Petrakis.
The City of Osrona and the Kingdom of Esshar were founded by refugees near the end of the second century, and its people have an eventful history that traces all the way back to the beginnings of the world. The empire of Astya was where it started, the first civilization during the Mythical Era, roughly five millennia ago to date. This was a time when magic was in full bloom, and many of the more proficient magi were demigods in their own right, able to perform what by today’s standards would be considered miracles.
There were two in particular that, despite the heightened flow of magic of the time, still stood out among the rest. Amalia Elaide and Mikhail Petrakis. They both held the rank of Archmagi, the highest honor the empire would award someone with… And while held in similar esteem by the people of Astya, they walked very different paths; Amalia’s interests were in the natural world, the animals in the forest and the spirits. Mikhail’s was the past and future, but never the present, a disciple of the timestream.
Amalia’s interests would eventually turn from wildlife and towards creation. She used the fear of men as fuel for power, pulling their nightmares out of sleep like the clouds pull water from the ocean and turn it into rain. She called them demons, her own special kind of creature, a new breed of beast - far more predatory, deadly, and intelligent than any other. The council of lords that ran the empire saw this as a great advancement, and at the command of Amalia, the demons conquered many countries, helping to expand the reaches of Astya. Eventually, however, the witch set her sights on complete dominion, wanting total control of the empire rather than sharing it with the council, but her ambitions were directly thwarted by Mikhail Petrakis, exposing her hidden agenda.
This led to the Civil War of the Astyan Empire. The first great war. Many provinces sided with Amalia over the empire, admiring her ruthlessness and power, or just considering her the safer bet. While a valiant fight was put up, the armies of the witch were eventually destroyed. She was said to perish in battle, though some sources claim she survived in some form or another. Her sister, Miya, also continued to live in secrecy among the Astyans. Peace returned to Eternia, for a time.
It wasn’t until many centuries later did the witch have her revenge, in the form of a demon. One of her own creations, one of the first to rise. Over the years, Mordred had ascended to the highest form possible within the demon evolutionary chain and moved to wreak havoc on Astya, decimating its cities, devouring its people. The demon was a mountain of moving flesh, and it destroyed the country completely, land and all. Just twenty thousand Astyans were rescued by the High Angel Malztiel after the elder Archmagi, Mihail, called out in distress, his voice reaching across the spirit realm and toward the heavens. What was left of the peoples of Astya were taken to a new land, the Continent of Aegis: To the far east of the world, across the Restless Ocean. It’s there they start over, led by the Petrakis bloodline, after being welcomed by the natives of the land - the people of Magnolia in particular - and given self-governorship of a small province on the western coast.
Over a millennia and a half has passed since then, and the new Kingdom, Esshar, is the most prominent power in the region.
Osrona and its respective territories are a constitutional monarchy, ruled by the Petrakis family since its foundings. The Stellus, the Head of the Church, and the Lightbringer, the General of the Military, also act in leadership. It is a council of the various leaders of the state, with each possessing equal power. A triumvirate.
The head of the Petrakis family cannot be removed unless they willingly retire. To be crowned, the heir must be of age (eighteen years old).
A new Lightbringer is introduced if the Radiants call for it. A new Stellus is introduced if the Priests call for it. In the event that there is not a Lightbringer or Stellus, the First Light and Faith act as independent councils.
Nobles enjoy increased status and privilege, with nobility only being granted to a family if the three leading figures are all in agreement.
The Order of the First Light works alongside The Faith to ensure the city and its respective territories are prospering. Requests for nobility are purposely ignored; a person does not ask for the title, they are granted it.
Most people in Osrona follow The Faith. Practice of dark arts is strictly forbidden.
- House Astor: The ancient house of Astor has been seen as protectors since the refugees of Astya first came to this land. The founders of the family held great pride in being defenders, using their lives to ensure the longevity of those around them. To ensure their lives were not traded, many children born under the banner of House Astor - be in directly into the bloodline, or into a close vassal family that has pledged , are taught to hold and use a sword before they are taught how to read. Of course, as one of the Three Great Houses, this does not mean that the Astor are uneducated in any way, simply that they find more merit in their actions rather than within their words.
- House Grimmore: Proud and unyielding in their role, the members of the noble family of Grimmore are clever and worldly. They are primarily Ambassadors and Emissaries to foreign countries, and handle most diplomatic meetings. Although not openly spoke of, the Grimmore family also handles the intelligence operations within Esshar. They deal extensively in private information, and usually have a multitude of spy networks set up within the city. House Grimmore is always the first to know of any secret plans or events. It is also up to House Grimmore to keep tabs on the various countries surrounding Esshar, and they tend to be very knowledgeable about the surrounding territories. They are incredibly worldly, and it's not uncommon for a member of House Grimmore to have traveled to at least one foreign country before they turn ten years old.
- House Pelleaux: The great and noble family of Pelleaux is a clan of overseers, academics, and researchers housed within the highest echelons of Osrona's society. They are chiefly known to administrate the largest magical school located inside of the city, though their influence does not end there. In the halls of businesses, research conservatories, and the bureaucracy of the city, it is not uncommon to find a Bluecloak - a name commonly given by the masses to a graduated member of the family - striving to improve the work set out for them.
- House Salis: The Salis noble family is distantly related to the house of Grimmore by blood, due to a marriage between their two houses in the year 966AC. The Salis family ever after became a Vassal house tied to their more noble cousins, serving them well throughout the ages as well as cementing ties every few years by marrying among themselves again. The Salis, even before their ties to Grimmore became cemented in blood, were close and frequently offered their services. Namely, espionage and of course assisting them in battle tactics when necessary.
- House Queen: The Queen House is relatively new in the sense of relevancy. Improvement is the name of the family's game at large. Having been conscripted of it's patriarch's deeds for the whole of Osrona they strive to look towards efforts to propel the academics, research, and revelry of the nation on one hand whilst also ensuring the military is well trained and equipped for times that it may be asked upon to aid. Trade, and mercantile roots could also be seen as they aren't usually afraid to interact with those of lower lifestyles. Often and commonly referred to as the down to earth and easily approachable; "People's Nobility"
Essharan marriages mostly begin late into the evening, on a cloudless night where the couple can swear their eternal vow 'under the stars', ordained by a priest or priestess of The Faith. The constellation of Leonaus is the brightest and the closest in the region, and it's customary for a couple to give their first child a middle name selected from one of the eighteen stars. The festivities continue until dawn, with the bride and groom present. After the sun rises, they are expected to leave to commemorate their partnership.
Marital bonds between the same sexes is commonplace and does not carry the social stigma that it might in other countries. It is rarer among nobles as there is more pressure to maintain their bloodlines, but does occur occasionally.
If it is a noble couple, children produced out of wedlock are considered bastards and do not inherit the name of nobility.
Throwing multi-colored confetti up into the air and towards other people is customary during celebrations.
Festival of The Eclipse
A commemoration that's held for the dead during a solar eclipse, where fragments and wisps of the spirits can be seen dancing down from the sky. On average, it happens once every thirty years in Esshar, and while this varies, astronomers have developed the means to predict the day with certainty. Citizens will wear elaborate masks or paint themselves with skull imagery.
Priests and priestesses of the church will join hands in prayer, performing the 'Song of the Soul', a ritual where their spirits reach out and sooth the passing dead. Not forgetting the fallen and acknowledging them on a personal basis is an important tradition within Esshar.
This celebrates the founders of Astya after they migrated from their destroyed homeland to begin life anew in Esshar. Eggs are painted and hidden to be hunted and found, with some given special markings that are rewarded with prizes. Theatre plays of these historical events are acted out on stage for all to watch - known Magi are also encouraged to join in, practice, and take a role.
The Grand Bout
A nation wide tournament that began at the turn of the millennia, a week long event of feasting and games. Great beasts will be captured from the shadow lands for participants to face off against, though the true highlight is the tournament of magi, where riches await the fortunate. Those who show promise in their showings might even be offered tutelage under a renowned figure.
- Elijah Soleis: He first came to prominence at the age of sixteen, when the notorious Syndicate attacked a noble gala that the First Light were acting as the security of. Elijah fought and captured the crime boss Soiree, who then exploded into shadowy mist. Afterwards, he was a leading figure in the charge against the Syndicate and ultimately helped to rid their influence from Osrona in a direct attack on their headquarters. In his prime, he fought in the Battle of Ester Island and defeated five of the most powerful demons in Esshar, to which he subsequently became Lightbringer. He was an innovator of the Gentle Blade technique, an ability that showcases refined control of holy magic by blunting the sword in light to avoid fatal blows while magically strengthening the metal, striking directly at the magical circuit. His weapon of choice was Caledfwlch, a sacred blade that was blessed by the Angel Malziel. He retired at age sixty five, after over fifty years of service.
- Nerin Altin: His career began at the age of fourteen, during the times of Syndicate's most rampant activity. The workings of the dark - it is something that he battled the entirety of his life, rising from Cadet to Knight through trial of battle even before reaching adulthood, then seeing his rise to Exarch through notable activities that included putting a stop to myriad Syndicate agents, Occultists and Witches. Eventually rising to the rank of Radiant, Nerin dedicated his entire life to purging all of Osrona's enemies with fervor like no other, for his loss of brothers, close friends and a sister fuelled eternal dedication to eradicate them all; as a master of Energy Magic and Bone Magic, as well as unarmed techniques, he utilized Way of Willpower, Resonance Drive and attacks of excessive brutality, rumored to be able to shake foundations of whole block with but a fist. While his own body was a weapon to him, a renowned engineer and artificer Agrien Vandroy constructed his power-gauntlets, 'Shock and Awe'.
- Marisol Altin: She is love personified. Unlike many, she was a pacifist acolyte that sought to assist others. After being initially rejected by Father al-Aziz, she was accepted into the First Light by Exarch Nemein Sparda, where she'd use develop her talents in the Art of Alchemy as a means to supply soldiers in need. It was just the first step in Marisol's journey as a healer. Upon oath, she swore that she would fight if and only if they truly had no one else... But as the years had passed, she realized that there is no such thing as 'holding' still in the face of darkness. She was a master of Light and Shadow, understanding the two sides intimately with exceptional self-control. Most notably, Marisol was one with the Fae, able to channel their magic to support those that she loved. She continued to delve deeper into the workings of White Magic when the demon threat loomed overhead and threatened society as a whole. In her elder years, she joined Osrona Academy and served as the head mistress for a time.
- Erika Salis: At the age of fourteen, this young noble was promoted to knighthood by Radiant Atrosus Vandigan due to her skills in medicine and her thirst for justice. She married Eustace, a lowborn from Sudbury, who eventually received the title the Butcher of Osrona. She was known for her frequent solo patrols and stalking of graveyards in an effort to combat evil no matter where it was, beating several Demons and Witches - including the death of Blake Augustus, the only person she had ever killed. Her mastery in the holy arts and exorcism (cleansing of the Occult) was unparalleled.
- Robin Queen: The Shining Radiant. Robin had been through countless trials and battles, and always seemed to find the light in every situation as he cleansed the outlying lands of corruption and defended mausoleums of the Astor line, and an elden Duran crypt for a majority of his life. Coveted mentor of many other swordsmen and Light/Cosmic Magic users of Osrona. Pioneer of the Astral Blade, and regarded as one of the strongest swordsmen alive at the time as the initial wielder of Starburn which he used to slay the ascended demon, Versail.
- Claude Pelleaux: