Oire

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Oire is a barony of the Turamzzyrian Empire.

Crest

  • a golden sheaf of grain encircled by a grape vine on a field of silver

"Little has been recorded of the barony of Oire other than the passing seasons, demarcated by the agricultural cycle of harvest and planting. As such, the people of Oire hold Imaera high within their prayers and daily lives, and to her they have given the honor of representing them on their crest. As well to her, they give thanks for her blessings upon the many fields of grapes that are used in the production of the famed Oirean wines. So proud and protective of their wines, the relatively peaceful barony nearly went to war against the far stronger County of Seareach when a Seareachee merchant attempted to smuggle out a cutting from one of the most prized grape vines to establish a wine industry to the north. This plan ended in an astonished Seareach border patrol turning over the merchant to a small army of Oirean militia that had chased down and surrounded the merchant not far into Seareachee territory."

— Culoney of Hendor, The Crests of the Turamzzyrian Empire

Geography

"Oire is on the west coast of the Empire, nestled between Torre and Seareach. The lands are rich for farming and cattle, but offer little else in the way of natural resources, and the area is one of the poorest in the Empire. The shore in Oire is mostly crags and cliffs, making shipping difficult. Only small port villages and towns have cropped up along the ocean. Oire enjoys mild, temperate climates with only occasional large storms sweeping up from the south and west.

Oire is a quiet little barony that draws little attention from the rest of the Empire, and the people like it that way. The culture is mostly agrarian, with the wars and political intrigues often plaguing other human territories having almost completely bypassed Oire. The Villaunnes have been the ruling family for several generations. While none of the barons or baronesses have come to prominence within the Empire, they have been generally much loved by their people. The Villaunne family maintains a long tradition of being fair-minded rulers who are truly dedicated to their holdings. This is reflected in the general contentment level of the citizens of Oire.

New Myssar is a large, sprawling city in the hills in the center of Oire. The city is simple, comprising mostly traders from the surrounding farms and grazing lands. The city is not opulent, and offers little to visiting dignitaries, so it is rarely traveled to. The troops there are few and poorly maintained.

The mostly simple people of Oire do have an overwhelming sense of pride where one thing is concerned, and that is their wines. Oirean vintages, in particular the luscious Oire grenache and the ruby-hued Oire port, are appreciated throughout the Empire and they frequently grace the tables of nobility. The citizens claim to have the most sophisticated palates in all of Elanthia and their children are raised from a relatively young age to be able to appreciate and discuss various wines in depth."

— Deinirius Antroydes, A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Customs

"Due to the mostly rural nature of Oire, the seasons play a large part in the daily lives of the people. Oleani, Phoen, Imaera, and Lorminstra are the most revered of the Arkati. Many of the roads and farms have small shrines where frequent offerings are made. The city of New Myssar has two large, and surprisingly ornate, temples dedicated to Oleani and Imaera. Weekend farmer's markets and small faires are commonplace throughout the summer months where the hardworking people get a chance to enjoy some fun.

The most important celebration of the year is the Rite of Spring, which is held on the first day of Ivastaen. The normally easy-going and somewhat reserved citizens throw all caution to the wind for this raucous (some might say debauched) festival. The Rite celebrates the union of Oleani and Phoen, love, and fertility. Large feasts are held in all the towns and villages, with food and strong drink in abundance. Music and dancing are a central part of the celebrations, and bards often travel from all over to participate. As night falls, couples and groups wander into the fields and woods for trysts under the spring moons. Children conceived on that night are considered to be especially blessed."

— A Traveler's Guide to the Turamzzyrian Empire

Cults

Maidens of Ivas

In the fairly ordinary and uneventful barony of Oire, the Villaunne family maintains a long history of fair rulership, and the most well known thing about the region besides their famous wines is their ability to avoid the manipulations and trappings of the political landscape that plagues many of the other nobles and imperial lands. However, that is not to say the Villaunne does not have their share of sins, regardless of how small in comparison to the rest of the Turamzzyrian Empire. While unproven and never acknowledged by the Villaunne family, it was decades ago that the then Baron's wife was discovered to have been an adultress, caught in affair with one of the Baron's own maidens in the keep. In a fit of rage, the Baron was said to have murdered his wife, and would have done the same to the maiden had she not escaped in the chaos. The official statements indicated that the Baron's wife had grown ill and unfit to make public appearances, and weeks later, she died from the sickness. But few in Oire believe the story, and taverns and small farmsteads were ripe with gossip regarding the wife's infidelity and the sultry maiden. But nothing was ever confirmed, and any and all investigations into the matter were covered up. Years later, the Baron himself took his own life, his young son inheriting the baronial throne and working hard to put the lives of Oireans first and foremost. The people of the barony found these efforts to their liking, and the brief stain on the name of the Villaunne family was soon forgotten.

A wealthy merchant from Vornavis had sailed the western seas for a majority of his life, for the sea had always held his heart in more ways than the coldness of his wife and their bed back home ever could. He had never sired children, the spark of his once passionate marriage flickering into smoke as his wife, after the passing of her father, grew distant and forlorn. The life of a sea captain's wife only made her loneliness even more surmountable. But while the merchant sailor held a deep love for the sea and his trade, he would one day become enraptured in the arms of a lover deep in the dark halls of a brothel in Brisker's Cove. He fell madly in love with the seductress, her body covered in majestic ink, each mark holding a story she would recount to him as they lay naked after each tryst. Her hair was a deep color of seaweed, and for him, she always smelled of the ocean. The captain had found his true love, a woman who embodied the passions of his life at sea, and generously fulfilled the desires of his flesh. So it was that one day when his crew stopped for the night at Brisker's Cove, he returned to the brothel as was his routine, but he also begged for the green-haired woman's hand in marriage, to sail by his side as the beautiful pearl that had captured his heart. The woman refused to accept his proposal until he returned with the heart of his wife, claiming she could not trust in his loyalty until the strings another woman once held were severed. Weeks later, the merchant captain returned to Brisker's Cove after tragically murdering his wife in Vornavis, carving out her heart and bringing it as his act of loyalty. When he arrived back at the brothel, he learned that the green-haired woman was gone. The guilt of the murder and the sting of the double betrayal is said to have caused the captain to drown himself, still clutching the heart of his wife before succumbing to the depths of the sea.

These are the beginnings of the Maidens of Ivas, two women of no connection outside of their worship of Ivas and the long string of victims they created throughout their lives. It was by a chance meeting in The Swale that they became aware of each others' existence, and their alliance--tho some dare say relationship--was born. From these two women spawned a history of Ivas worship and converts, as their arts and pleasures expanded, especially along coastal cities and ports where their talents thrived. As the Maidens grew from two to twelve to thirty to a hundred, so to did their depravity. Many brothels operating within seedier towns of the Turamzzyrian Empire are owned, or at one time had some ties to, members of the Maidens of Ivas. Some have not been content to the confines of pleasure houses and so many have set about traveling the lands, sometimes in large caravans. It is not unheard of for them to be spotted amongst the camps of imperial soldiers during times of war and other conflict. While many of the Maidens of Ivas do not resort to murderous results like their founders, there are always some who push their devotion to the next level."

— Lord Brieson Cassle of Highmount, Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire
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