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|Current Emperor||Malachi Freyr Orlis IV|
The Orlis Empire is one of Empyria's two large sovereign states. It spans all of Ortesia except the Valefar Plains to the west, as well as the east side of Aurnica, where it is bordered by Wywick.
Although a relatively young country, Orlis has quickly become known for its magitech. The mountains of Salamander's Teeth in its north are full of magesilver deposits, which have allowed its mages to experiment and make great advancements in many fields. Their magnum opus is the high-speed train network that connects all of the empire's major cities.
Orlis is a hereditary monarchy. It is ruled by an emperor, and when they pass the title is inherited by their firstborn. The emperor is advised by the high council, a group of nobles who can propose and write laws for the emperor to approve. In theory, the high council has members from every Orlisian state, so as to properly represent all of Orlis' citizens; in practice, this quota is often filled by nobles from the capital who happen to be related to governors of faraway places.
The continent of Ortesia used to be home to many small independent states, each composed of a single city or a few cities in close proximity to each other. Orlis was one such state, located near the southern edge of the continent. It was close to a First Age ruin full of magitech weapons, which allowed it to overpower and conquer other nearby states.
At first, Orlis was more of a hegemony than an empire; due to difficulties in transportation and communication, it was impossible for it to manage the day-by-day politics of the cities it conquered. Mostly, being under Orlis rule just meant having to pay taxes. Several cities even joined the hegemony voluntarily so they would receive military protection from other states.
As technology improved, Orlis exerted more and more influence on its vassal states. This especially peaked after the discovery of large magesilver deposits near Phenex - wanting to control the flow of the valuable resource, Orlis imposed exorbitant trade tariffs on the cities in north Ortesia. About 150 years ago, a series of failed revolts from other states led to Orlis tightening its grip and becoming a true empire.
In the past few decades, Orlis has spread and claimed territory in Aurnica. this brought it into conflict with Wywick, as both countries wanted exclusive rights to the abundance of ruins and artifacts on the small continent. A series of political conflicts and wars ensued until eight years ago, when Orlis destroyed the Wywish settlement of Barnett with newly developed war machines. Wywick surrendered and is now in the process of ceding its Aurnican territories to Orlis.
Orlis is currently in the middle of an era of post-war prosperity; technologies invented during the war have spread and become available for public use, leading to a boom in digital magitech. However, monster attacks have mysteriously spiked at the same time. Town guards are so overwhelmed that many have resorted to hiring adventurers full-time to pick up the slack.
Location: South Ortesia
Notable Landmarks: Orlis Royal Palace
Leraye is the capital and crown jewel of the Orlis Empire. A planned city designed to awe travelers, its architecture is all imposing arches and stained glass. The royal family and their most trusted noble advisors live here.
Location: Salamander's Teeth (north Ortesia)
Notable Landmarks: Salamander's Shrine, Phenex Tech
Phenex suffers from the worst of Ortesia's infamous weather anomalies: although located in the middle of an icy mountain range, temperatures in Phenex are warm to boiling the whole year round. Approaching travelers will be blasted by a wave of heat about 2km before reaching the city, comparable to stepping out of an air-conditioned house on a summer day, and things just get worse from there.
The mountains near Phenex are rich in magesilver, making it an excellent location for the production and manufacturing of magitech. The city's skyline is packed with factories and obscured by smoke. Salamander has taken a great interest in magitech as well, and had a personal hand in the founding of Phenex Tech, a highly exclusive mage academy.
Location: South Ortesia
Although formerly a small trade port, Aym Harbour flourished after the war and has now become a bustling resort town. It fills up with tourists during the summers, many of them students of nearby academies looking for something to do during summer breaks.