Orel
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Capitol: Ordana (population: 78,000)
Population: 3,277,000 (84% Thann, 7% Eloysians, 4% Ralani, 2% Aeryn, 3% other)
Demi-humans: 232,000 (60% dwarves, 22% elves, 7% halflings, 11% gnomes)
Humanoids: few
Government: Monarchy (currently ruled by the Korannen Dynasty)
Current Leader: King Lorien Korannen II
Coat of Arms: a halved field of bright red and dark blue, with a golden crown above a white sailing ship in the center.
Exports: trade goods from Bronze Coast, ships, mercenaries, cloth, metal goods, crafts


Commonly called the 'Gateway to Corwyn,' Orel is a land obsessed by wealth, and the mercantile capitol of the continent of Corwyn. In the kingdom's four vast seaports are found gigantic markets where goods can be found from across the continents of: Corwyn, Avokhar, Za'har; the Seven Cities of Brass, as well as the island nations of Al'Kethai, Ilsenene, Malvatis, Rhaygos, and Styr. Because of Orel's dominant position as the essential 'middle-man' in sea trade, the merchants of Orel have become obscenely wealthy over the centuries.

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For thresimple reasonj, that these Orellian merchants get a percentage of every trade good that goes in or out of one of their seaports.

The Kingdom of Orel is located in the Heartlands region of Corwyn. Orel's northern borders with the Kingdom of Alveron are the Trusk Mountains, its southern borders are the sandy shores of the Gulf of Alesard and the Sea of Orel. Orel's eastern borders are the Cimbar Hills; that open territory is jointly controlled by both Orel and Alveron. The kingdom's western border with the elf-realm of Melinare are the Forlorn Mountains.

Orel is the leading sea power on Corwyn and boasts the largest navy in the known realms, with 79 heavy warships and hundreds of smaller vessels in her service. Orellian warships are easily identified by their armored teakwood hulls; painted dark blue and trimmed with bright red, and their white silk sails. Orel’s chief rival and ancient enemy is the kingdom of Thûle, who on many occasions has warred with Orel over the control of the Sea of Orel and its rich trade. Orel has always maintained a status of neutrality when wars plagued the northern regions, but the kingdom is lawful, and will come to the aid of the White Alliance if it feels it necessary. The capitol city of Orel is the large seaport of Ordana. The kingdom of Orel is ruled by the powerful Oramar, the most richly detailed and complex chain of nobility of any kingdom on the continent. Politically, the kingdom is divided into 36 Grand duchies, 111 counties, and 335 baronies. The Oramar, an all-powerful group, has the real control of Orel, and many believe the monarchy is nothing but a figurehead for the common folk. This is not entirely true, for the king of Orel maintains exclusive control over the army and navy, and all Oramar members pay him tribute. Orel has a small peacetime standing army of only about 15,000 troops, but maintains a very powerful navy to patrol the Sea of Orel and protect her vital seaports. In fact, the Orellian navy even maintains bases in other realms, such as the island kingdoms, to project her power globally. In time of war, Orel can field up to nearly 70,000 troops through mercenaries, noble contingents, and conscription. Being a sea power, Orel has few land fortifications, they include: Castle Arianna, Lady Ophelia’s Keep, and Wymerly Keep.

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Life & Society


Most Orellians make their living through some sort of mercantile enterprise. If anything, Orel is a nation of wealthy merchants and traders, and here anything is for sale. The standard of living is far better than in any other country in the West, and the opulent palaces and villas of the Oramar boast of the fabulous wealth of the country. The four major Orellian seaports along the Vhan Myr Coast are thriving centers of trade, and most of Orel’s population lives in or depends on these cities for livelihood. Orel’s wealth and prosperity derives from its strategic location, as it becomes the middle-man for all incoming goods from Avokhar and Za'Har, and all outgoing Corwynian goods. About the only home-made products the Orellian produce are their famous ships, with golden teakwood hulls and sturdy rigging. Orellian carracks are sold to nations all around the world to ply sea lanes and weather violent storms. Orel also exports its experienced seamen and marines as mercenaries, a task for which they are well suited. Other than trade routes and a few scattered fruit groves, rural Orel is no different than any other western nation of the Heartlands.

GEOGRAPHY


Blackspur Hills: small hilly region which stretches east to the western banks of the River Cyr. the fortress of Lady Ophelia’s Keep is located in this region.

Cimbar Hills: large wooded hilly region located in far northern Orel. Within ithin these hills is the small Orellian Freehold of Kreska.

Gulf of Alesard: deep basin that runs west from the Sea of Orel. At the northern mouth of the Gulf is the Orellian city of Ormath, and deeper within its recesses is the smaller city of Olthad. THe Gulf is home to the enormous shipbuilding empire of Orel.

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IMPORTANT SITES


Castle Arianna: Magnificent fortress that serves as the royal seat of the Orellian Monarchy, located on a tall hill overlooking the city of Ordana. Within the castle is the Golden Throne.

Ekkryn Sound: site of the largest naval battle in Corwyn history, which took place in 371/5.

Eslynne Keep: Large southern military outpost of Orel, near the border with Eldara.

Golden Throne: the royal seat of Orel, located in the Great Hall of Castle Arianna.

Lady Ophelia’s Keep: Large eastern border outpost in northern Orel, guarding the border with Alveron.

Morathad: (population: 57,000) major city and busy seaport in the kingdom of Orel. This is the second city and trading partner of Ordana. The city is currently ruled by Grand Duke Avon Verigo.

Naskan Bay: Site of a crucial naval battle which took place in the year 1264/4.

Olthad: (population: 36,000) large seaport and fourth largest city in the kingdom of Orel. This large city also serves as an important base for the Orellian Navy. Olthad is currently ruled by Grand Duke Athar Haskin.

Oramar Road: This road runs west from the junction with the Stoneway at the fortress of Westgard Keep, west to the city of Ordana.

Ordana: (population: 78,000) capitol and largest seaport of Orel. Ordana is currently governed by Grand Duke Eldard Avenhar.

Ormath: (population: 43,000) third largest city of the realm of Orel, located at the northern mouth of the Gulf of Alesard. Ormath is currently governed by Grand Duke Orlen Thollë.

Stonehedge: site of a bloody battle in 1254/4, which ended the Second Eldaran Civil War.

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LOCAL HISTORY


The history of Orel arises from a long tradition of greed, mercantile enterprise, and enlightened self-interest. To understand Orellians, one must know their history. Orel was originally part of a much larger kingdom called Eldara. By 1246/4, the Eldaran nobles of Ordana were very unhappy. These nobles, called the Oramar, were led by a powerful noble named Duke Rygar Alesard. Alesard knew that Ordana and its sister cities along the coast were the most profitable and wealthy of all the duchies of Eldara, but were also the most heavily taxed. With the ailing royal court in Eldarand, and the vast riches of her sea-trade, the city of Ordana declared itself independent from Eldara and several other coastal duchies joined her revolt. King Hagar II of Eldara was determined not to allow his most successful territories to break away and a bitter civil war ensued. For three long bloody years there was a second civil war between the Thannish peoples of Eldara. Rygar was ultimately victorious at the Battle of Stonehedge in 1248/4, and soon established the new kingdom of Orel with himself as the first monarch. Within a few short years, the young kingdom under the Alesard Dynasty was soon under attack by her rival Thûle, who sought to conquer the fledgling kingdom and control her resources. This conflict, called Rygar’s War, lasted from 1273-1274/4, and the final Battle of Naskan Bay was the first of long series of humiliating naval defeats for the Thûlians. The Orellians grew stronger and wealthier by the year after defeating their Thûlian rivals. From 1256 thru 1279/4, the Orellians sent a armies as part of an an alliance with Alveron, Eldara, and Rhodara to defeat the hated Vilzari and end the Incursion Wars. Orellian forces helped defeat the Vilzari at the fateful battle of Relanoth in 1279/4. Only four short years later; the Rhodaran king Gayorg invaded Orel in 1283/4, The War of Annexation cost Orel dearly; she lost many soldiers, ships, as well as Rygar’s son; King Robar. After that war ended, Orel has never again engaged in land combat, instead relying on her her powerful navy for defense of the seas.

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Orel’s later history was not entirely peaceful, as she has historically had to fight for control over the Sea of Orel, and the command of the Vhan Myr Ocean. Beginning in the Fifth Age, the Orellians have often been forced to wrest control of the sea lanes from their Thûlian rivals. The first of these conflicts was the First Sea War, which took place between 370- 371/5. Orel was ultimately victorious at the Battle of Ekkryn Sound, but the Orellian King Royce III was lost at sea, ending the Alesard Dynasty. The Oramar chose the noble House Xantheras to succeed the Alesard line, under its first king; Balthizar. It is said that with this succession began the waning power of the Orellian monarchy, along with the ascension of the Oramar as the supreme ruling power in Orel. By 440/5, the Thûlians were again threatening Orellian naval interests. For the next two years the two fleets hammered away at each other until the Thûlian fleet was finally cornered and destroyed at the Battle of Thronar Islands in 445/5. With this stunning victory in the Second Sea War, Orel entered a period of complacency. The Thûlians only bided their time. In 523/5, the Thûlian navy surprised a large Orellian naval squadron and destroyed it, beginning the Third Sea War. It wasn’t until 525/5 that the Thûlian navy was finally crushed, and Orellian losses were extremely high. This was the last conflict between Orel and Thûle for many centuries.

In the late fifth century of the Fifth Age, Sorimmar began to sow dissension between Orel and his nemesis, the Ravinian Empire. A series of sharp economic dispute gradually led to outright fighting in the Merchant’s War of 594-596/5. Even the mighty military of Orel was hard pressed by the gigantic power of the Empire, and for a time it seemed Orel was doomed. But in a daring move, the Orellians sent a large fleet south around the Cape of Black Ice and back north up the Wyn Myr into the Sea of Ralas, where it surprised and annihilated the entire Imperial southern fleet. The battle of Quellarë Straits ended the fighting and secured an Orellian victory, but the bitterness that remained meant that the Oramar would never allow the entry of Orel into the Ravinian Empire.

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Orel was spared the brutal slaughter of the Cataclysm, but it suffered financial disaster as a byproduct of the carnage. As the Sixth Age began, Orel had peace until 381/6, when it was again attacked by Thûle in the Fourth Sea War. This time the Orellians struck back ferociously, destroying the Thûlian capitol at the Battle of Durendar in 384/6. The Thûlians again tried to conquer Orel in 485/6, but this time it was nature that defeated them, not the Orellians. The so-called War of Storms lasted from 485-491/6, and saw the entire Thûlian fleet destroyed by terrible storms and gales. Much of the Orellian fleet was lost as well, along with King Agathar II, the last monarch of the Xantheras Dynasty. The Oramar appointed King Brynthar Zheren to rule the country and for a time Orel enjoyed peace and tranquility. This peace was shattered when Morgoth invaded the West in 670/6 beginning the War of Crows. Orel fought on the side of the West, and defeated the enemy naval forces in the Battle of Morathad in 674/6. After the War of Crows ended, Orel began to enjoy peace again, but not for long. In 729/6, Üthrar and Thûle allied together and invaded the country. The War of the Broken Crown was long and bloody, and saw the entire city of Ormath destroyed. During this terrible siege, King Bryce Zheren was slain and his dynasty ended. King Larkin Korannen succeeded the Zheren family, and since then, the kingdom has been ruled by his family. Since that time, the Orellians have engaged in an ever increasing domination of the eastern seas. The last conflict with Thûle was little over 25 years ago, called Lady Jeyne’s War. This latest war raged from 1210-1211/6 and resulted in another humiliating defeat for Thûle.