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All the important details on the Ivorian Empire.

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Ivorian Empire Lore
Index

The Empire
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History of Yithiral
When the Ithecal clans scattered, only one remained in its full strength and pledged to continue their support to her - Chrysova. Though the other clans still left on the island eschewed her company, she had not lost faith in them, and so she took the few left loyal to her and drove them east to the Mouth of Ivorian, and had them build her a fortress at its highest point that could defend the island against invaders seeking to conquer her land. With her help, they formed a hierarchy of soldiers to rule as the governing body of the city, with senior soldiers acting as judges in trials and designing the laws that were then enforced. With this simplistic system and Ethelynda sat at the head, the fortress prospered and developed until it became a city whose population nearly surpassed that it houses today.

The arrival of the first human travelers was a major turning point for the city. Many immediately distrusted them, at first leading to discrimination and many travelers being turned back at the city gates, and as the migration continued and more humanoid races made it into the city itself, many shops refused their patronage, employment and housing opportunities were practically non-existent, and many Ithecal guards turned a blind eye to Ithecal-on-human violence. This extreme mistrust pushed the migration on to different cities further inland and while extreme pressure from Ethelynda eventually led to the signing of the Humanoid Protectorate Act, a set of laws that curbed outright discrimination on all non-Ithecal species wishing to enter the city, those that did so were generally treated with mistrust and cynicism, keeping humanoid-Ithecal relations at an all-time low as constant debates on security and crime rates rang through the Euralcal judges and military leaders of the city’s government.

These concerns became founded in reality with the coming of the Collapse. Several agents belonging to a group known as the Magentus Coterie managed to infiltrate the ranks of senior soldiers and launched an attack from the inside, managing to wipe out several of the high-ranking military officers in a sneak-attack and nearly managing to assassinate Ethelynda in the process. Even though the coup had been thwarted, without most of the high command of the city remaining, the entire population turned into turmoil. Ethelynda was unable to control the millions of panicking civilians from fleeing or rioting in the chaos, nor were the remaining high-status guards able to curb a wave of anti-humanoid attacks as Ithecal blamed both humanoids for their suspected role in the attack, and their own government for allowing it to happen by allowing them protections. One man, a private investigator named Patriam Ersalm, was able to draw the matter to a close, single-handed, by hunting down and exposing the perpetrators of the attack.

With the backing of the Neoterak Lygurite, the elusive Ancarth Tximite and a small army of affiliated Platikar brought together under Maxius Vryst, Lygurite gathered enough of the high command to restore order by creating a new system of order separating senior military officers into different groups, known as the Arms, while setting up his own secret military police to ensure that what happened would never happen again, known as the Inquisition. With all Arms connected underneath the Imperiatim, the Integrum was formed, uniting Yithiral once more. For this, when Lygurite petitioned its ascension, even Chrysova was forced to bow under the pressure of its peers and suck up its personal humiliation, acknowledging Lygurite and ascending it to Venerakis, Lygurite Urates. A new ruling class of Yithiral was born.

Of course, not everyone agreed with these new changes. Although Patriam held the public appeal in the palm of his hand, perhaps the most surprising complaints following the creation of the Integrum came from Max Ex Jedrek Thethis. Exalted of Ethelynda, previously a Euralcal and second-hand to the ruling Aethesti of the Ivorian Militia, now the only known Aethestium Primus, commander of the prestigious 'Invictus' First Legion, Jedrek stood as the most decorated soldier in the history of Yithiral, the then-highest standing field commander, with a flawless record and a following of elites that he'd trained with since their green days and now stood willing to follow him wherever he went. He put forward that Patriam's new governing body was stealing power from Ethelynda, removing a significant portion of her command and handing it over to his Inperiatim. As support grew, he even dared to claim that he wished to usurp Ethelynda entirely and transform her into nothing but a powerless figurehead, held on a pedestal and admired but without any true ability to control the influence of Yithiral. This provided significant trouble for Patriam; with the Integrum still young, fractures forming during its development could develop into serious problems in later arcs, or shatter the entire structure.

Therefore, he banished Jedrek and his senior under-lieutenants, from not just Yithiral but the island of Ivorian in its entirety. Protests and claims that Patriam did not have the power to banish from the island itself - which, in truth, he did not - were quashed and hidden for the good of Yithiral's stability. In this, for the first time, Patriam faltered.

Jedrek and his under-lieutenants left peacefully. Despite their mistrust for Patriam and his regime, Jedrek was still loyal to Ethelynda above all else. His concern for her made him reluctant to raise a hand against the city she had built and loved so dearly, and despite the fact that they still followed Patriam's orders, many of the fellow Aethestium leading the remainder of the Arm Militum were still old friends of Jedrek. Though he left peacefully and without a word of protest however, he still raised serious concern with even Ethelynda herself. When he left, he took the entire First Legion with him. 200,000 of the finest soldiers in Yithiral left on a small fleet of ships provided by Patriam, sailed out to sea, and when they were a sufficient distance from the city's highest watchtowers, he turned the fleet around and landed on the eastern fringe of Ivorian. Unknown to many, caverns and caves at the roots of the mountains outlining Ivorian could be used to re-enter the island, a hidden trick few but Jedrek himself knew. The path was incredibly dangerous, given the hidden beasts that lurked within, but though Jedrek suffered casualties, the shadow-beasts were no match for the prestigious First Legion.

They emerged south of Ethelanum and split into two forces, one of which laid siege to the city immediately, and the other marching across the fields towards Talonir. Ethelanum's vestigial military became very quickly overwhelmed under a rapid advance, and the city defences, while normally able to defeat armies five times over the size of the First Legion's detachment, found it incredibly difficult when the force of 100,000 split itself into small elite teams, most often under 100, and spread itself over the outermost walls of the city to pressure its weakest points. Talonir, though much better prepared for a siege and given plenty of warning by the first attack, was left reeling from the first crusade into its woodland borders, and many more followed it; Jedrek, like many others, had learned of the Fool War in history books, and took its lessons to heart, attacking both relentlessly and tactfully in order to counter the scouts hidden through the upper canopies that could cripple armies with well-timed strikes and surprise raids, but still lacked the sheer numbers of the First Legion, and quickly became overwhelmed as their camps and hiding spots were trampled.

Both cities had no choice. Once assured that the First Legion had not been sent purposefully by Yithiral, they called for Yithiral's help in repelling the invading force. Ethelanum, Talonir, Cathirus and Yithiral together signed the Ivorian Pact, and in return, Yithiral sent its full military presence into all three cities, driving out the First Legion in what is still called the bloodiest battle in the history of Ivorian. The First Legion was defeated, driven back out of both cities, Jedrek was assumed to have been killed and his forces scattered. Following the Pact, the three became the Ivorian Empire, a new nation with Yithiral as its capital.
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History of Ethelanum
With the departure of Warleader Ras, the remaining Venerakis knew that siding with Ethelynda, even without believing in the ideals she touted, would put them on the other end of an inter-species war that could bring an end to them all. Not many could endure such a future. Venerakis Dortrean Phlax chose complete separation, moving inland and north to the base of Dwarf Mountain when Ethelynda attempted to gather her last loyal people and move them east to the Mouth. They grew corn, wheat, valuable crops as well as vegetables and fruits, all while domesticating chickens and cattle.

With such fertile land, unmarred by the steep cliffs of the fishing village and free from the dense forests of Talonir, crop fields ate up the land. Families gathered at a trading outpost to exchange crops and foods for more diversity, and with more and more families flocking to this rapidly expanding land, the outpost soon became a village of its own, and then a town, and then a city. For once it was the farmers, who still held the largest claims of land and the widest fields, who gained riches and status faster than any others - soon naming themselves Merchant Lords, by virtue of exorbitant wealth and vast amounts of owned land and labour. The Venerakis, the city's government, became little more than an empty name, puppets dangling from the strings of lesser Neoterak, but even this was not enough to feed the rising greed of the lords. With a new city came new rules, and the Merchant Lords assembled a council plotting to do away with Dortrean Phlax entirely and remove the one power perceived greater than themselves, even in fiction. Before the plan could be finished, one family, the Telwyn family headed by Delvaan Telwyn, thrust itself above all others and boldly sold off their farms, the source of the wealth of all Lords, in order to buy nearly all of the land that the city stood on. Holding the one meeting point of all commerce and taxing all visitors and tradesmen for the privilege of entering and selling off their goods in the market, the Telwyn's used their extraordinary leverage to name themselves Merchant King, above all Lords, buying their way into the Crest Families of Dortrean Phlax and not only restoring the Venerakis power strangle in Ethelanum, but cementing it by ousting the conspirators and traitors. Many were run into the ground, there children forcibly married into the lesser-held Platikar under Dortrean Phlax to bind their bloodlines' loyalty. Some few were bought out entirely, their holdings vanished, priceless pieces stolen, barns and farms sabotaged until they were forced to sell the last bits they owned to feed their children. One clan, their name forgotten, were made Forbidden in a particularly vile act that scared the remaining few into hiding or obedience. The Lords bowed, one way or another.

This began the Telwyn Dynasty, which peaked when Delvaan's son, Urma, created and then took the Gold Seat, sitting at the top of the ever-expanding halls of the family heritage. Urma only took his place for ten arcs, but during that time, he brokered deals between nearly every farm in the region, cemented fair taxing, and appealed to the plights of smaller farms by investing in them using the surplus of crops taken every arc. His plans worked better than expected; as farms grew in size and produce, he taxed them accordingly, and soon the city banks were practically overflowing. Commerce flooded, progress boomed, to the point that some people started becoming suspicious of his prowess in negotiation. Rumours spread quickly on unchecked lips, claims that he had connections to outsider sources, even that he was secretly marked by Charmadarst. Because of his good nature, Urma, and indeed many of the Merchant Lords as well, regularly went without any kind of guard or mercenary protection, and so he was assassinated in his sleep by a relative of a disgraced Lord, as revenge for his brutal betrayal.

Urma's son, in loving memory of his father, took the Gold Seat but refused to take the title that came with it, believing that his father should be remembered as the last Merchant King, since no one else would be able to match his prowess. This tradition continued down the years, even as other crest families succeeded the Telwyn's; although many came to disapprove of Urma's son's decision, believing that the reason that no other Prince could match his success based on the fact that they could not ascend to his position.

Some ninety arcs later, as the vast wealth stockpiles created by Urma began to dwindle under the bumbling hands of increasingly-ignorant Princes coasting on the fame and fortunes of their clan's name, one particularly ignorant and arrogant Prince called Yamala decided to declare open war on Talonir, and Ranculos Mythra by affiliation. Such an act was openly condemned by all other Venerakis for its idiotic reasoning and self-destructive nature; he believed that by invading and conquering Talonir, he would triple the wealth of the stockpiles and cement control over two-thirds of the island's resources to tax. He called this act the Reclamation, but it would later be known as the Fool's War. Yamala spent vast amounts on weapons and armour to raise the Scythes from their meagre numbers into a significant militia reinforced with conscripts. What he thought would be an easy victory against a small village filled with under-equipped, poorly-trained savages with little better than stones to throw, turned into a complete bloodbath with barely a handful of casualties on Talonir's end. The entirety of Ethelanum's military force were wiped off the face of the island as they became separated under the dense foliage surrounding Talonir and picked off individually by teams of scouts and guerrilla soldiers who knew the land, who knew how to hunt, and who were vastly underestimated.

Yamala's blunder was so immense that he became the first Prince to be ousted from the position by force instead of voluntarily stepping down; by his own family, no less. With no army, the city reserves nearly empty, masses of unruly commoners and new threats arriving in the form of the First Legion of Yithiral, Yamala's actions led to the necessity of the Ivorian Pact between Ethelanum and Yithiral, providing soldiers to support the Gold Seat and the city's well-being. Though the actions of Yithiral means that the Gold Seat still stands, it has new occupants. The steady list of blunders under the leadership of Dortrean Phlax eroded what Telwyn's Dynasty had so carefully nurtured, and Yamala was the final nail in the coffin; though the Venerakis still held what power only a Venerakis can wield, its coffers sat nearly empty and its public reputation in the sewers, so it lost its frail grip on the Gold Seat and it fell to a Neoterak clan rumoured to hold loose ties to Ranculos Mythra. Currently, Mikka Salasan stands as the Merchant Prince, first of the Salasan Dynasty, and has been for the past four arcs. His current standing with the population is stable, although there are still a healthy number that regret the formation of the Ivorian Pact and repeatedly suggest new methods for escaping through secret clauses or outright refusal, due to the unreasonable amounts of money paid every day to the rapidly-developing city for the upkeep of soldiers.
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History of Talonir
There have always been clan rivalries, even between those of the Venerakis. Ranculos Mythra started life as a separatist movement and it never truly lost those roots. While Warleader Ras was busy leading half of the Ithecal race straight into the arms of Raskalarn, and the remaining Ivorian clans were either throwing themselves into an inevitable defeat or fleeing as far as they could with their tails between their legs, Raksal "Rampage" Rynkor gathered all that would listen and took them deep underground. So deep into the forests that they vanished in the eyes of the other Venerakis, and their very existence was a disputed legend for almost fifty arcs.

The founders of Talonir found it in a dense forest fit for foraging, filled with wild boar, deer and many other wildlife fit for hunting. The founding explorers couldn't possibly undergo an adventure into uncharted lands without knowing a thing or two about wilderness survival, and while they didn't exactly take to the temperate forest like ducks to water, they quickly adapted to their new homes and developed a small close-knit community.

Unlike the fishing village of Yithiral, or the plain-lands of Ethelanum, Talonir's residents had real predators roaming their lands, preventing their population from growing too large... or their residents growing too stupid. The dangers of the forest could never truly be eliminated, even by its own residents. Despite this, even as the village grew into a city by every right, it never developed walls to hold those predators out. Trees were only cut down to provide the wood needed to build houses, never to clear space; frequent hunting and travelling trails created clearings of the underbrush, and there never rose any need to put down stone or paving along them.

Some say this refusal to yield to the desire to seal themselves off from nature, to survive in its midst even when they could have tossed it aside and blockaded themselves within their city walls like so many other nations before them, was what garnered the attention of Karem early on in the city's beginnings. She visited quietly, without fanfare or audience, to offer advice and solutions where she saw them. Karem never grew beyond that. Statues were never erected in her honour, and religious worship never became overzealous. She became a friend to many in the population, a strange visitor but a visitor all the same, invited to sit at lunch or for a quiet walk. She offered advice, but never forced her opinions upon the blossoming city. She supported its people only when they truly needed it, and even then, it rarely seemed like she did anything at all.

Once they'd adapted, they found the woods plentiful. Unique woods could be shaped into furniture, fruits and berries the likes of which nobody else could find, animal hides and ornaments made from teeth. As they dug deeper, they even found iron in the mountains, and blacksmiths became plentiful, crafting bows and swords and other weapons. Trade with Ethelanum was bountiful in rich woods, and and Yithiral's militia relied entirely upon Talonir's excavations into the Stonelands. Few left the forest-city, but many came, seeking wealth and prospers of their own, and the people grew suspicious and wary of the outsiders. Rifts between the Old Blood and the New Blood appeared all over the city, even sparking racial conflict between the Ithecal and Humans of the city, over disagreements between social standing and religion. Without the existence of walls or any other restraining measure to keep the influx from entirely overwhelming the once-humble origins of the city, it soon became a bubbling pot of conflict between long-standing families and the ambitious newcomers looking to take a slice of this profit for themselves.

Backed into a corner, the Old Blood gathered under a new secretive council that was never given a true name, and never truly gained any sort of 'office' or official station like those given to Yithiral and Ethelanum. The Old Blood of Talonir never considered it worth the effort. Instead, these new nameless leaders and alliances of Old Blood families gathered underneath them begun consolidating power through land, influence and businesses, binding tightly to one-another through marriages and shared business ventures. These groups ruled through nothing more than the sheer size and power that they consolidated, gaining majority votes by pressuring lesser businesses and families. Ultimately, the previous system, a small council under a mayor of sorts, collapsed under the weight of an overflowing population and racial tensions rising higher than any conventional leadership could possibly handle. Whatever ashes remained were scattered shortly afterwards with the arrival of the biggest affront yet - the Fool War.

The tensions within the city were well-known by Ethelanum, arguably the largest cause of it, and capitalised upon with the arrival of a large force to Talonir's outer borders. Of course, the arrival of an immediate and very visible threat to the entire city was just the kick that most needed to forget their petty squabbles until they'd at least know for certain if they'd draw breath come the morning. Not only that, but what was meant to be a very bitter and brutal war for the far-larger and arguably more organised city of Ethelanum became a proving grounds for the Old Blood as they sought to cement their authority, not just in terms of the land, money and influence that they had already monopolised, but through military strength as well. They did so in spades.

Ancient techniques more akin to hunting for prey than fighting in a war, splitting forces into small tightly-knit teams similar in structure to that of the various families that made them up, combined with intimate knowledge of the forests edge and experience moving through it, allowed teams to appear from every direction during the approach, splitting the larger force into smaller manageable groups and ambushing them individually, utterly overwhelming them before moving to the next group.
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History of Cathirus
Ethelynda's existence prompted fanatical worship and reverence from the moment the Ithecal were created, but their stubborn and proud nature limited it to cults and fringe groups. It started as a temple here or there, a few Platikar clans breaking away from the central curve and seeking an outcast lifestyle. Originally Ethelynda herself shunned them; any nurturing of Immortal-loving, or worse, Immortal-fearing behaviour would just lead to the same problems faced by all the other races, after all. The separation of Warleader Ras, however, left Ethelynda with only a fraction of her former force, and few of even those truly followed her anymore. Estranged from the Venerakis, these fringe groups were unfazed; in fact they grew, as many fled in confusion, became lost in the split. It became the first Mass Influx as lost Ithecal, Clanless or otherwise, scattered south as the Venerakis spread west, east and north to create their cities and their governments, to prepare for the battle to come.

They all started out as loose villages and clans, bound together by only their beliefs, led by mayors and chiefs and spiritual guides. They had no heritage to fall back on, they held no resources or government like the others. Not even Ethelynda herself could spare the time to visit them, at first; she sent a follower to act in her stead, as her voice, known as Shieldbrother Uthurn. He became their first true leader and guidance, banding the villages together, prompting them to work together; creating the first true church to bear Ethelynda's name, the Church of the Scalebound Shield. Surrounding villages gave mixed responses, many of them had simply wished to escape the bubbling plot that had become the war of wills between two rival Immortals, a battle they wished to play no part in. But the church gave them what they all lacked, believers or no, and that was purpose. Power. Control. Authority, even when borrowed, was still authority, and to those forgotten souls it was intoxicating. In the eyes of his followers, Shieldbrother Uthurn became Shieldfather, his followers sent back to Ethelynda's home in Yithiral to become anointed in her power. Yithiral itself called for more of these men and women, naming them fierce and fearless. Nobody could ever fight like the Brothers and Sisters of the Scalebound Shield, for they did not know what it was to live for one singular purpose, to survive solely to serve.

The Fool's War between Ethelanum and Talonir sparked the Second Mass Influx. Ethelanum Scythes, forgotten in the field, families of low-born and even the higher-bred merchants and dignitaries fled the crumbling field-city as the Gold Seat cracked and crumbled before them, throwing the city into turmoil. Talonir, even while overwhelming in its victory, showed its fair share of exodus, as Ithecal butchered Ithecal just beyond the city's reaches, burning what they couldn't take, razing whatever they could find down the path. It was this, the first and only true war to take place on Ivorian, that brought with it the greatest influx of Ithecal south... into the newly-claimed territories of Cathirus. With their manpower, what had started as a church became a grand cathedral, with a high priest at its head and a long line of Ethelynda's chosen taking residence as its leader and guide, often under Ethelynda's direct tutelage. The church controlled everything in the city, its sermons spread wide into the lands beyond... and when Yithiral's Reformation struck and the Third Mass Influx began, Cathirus was ready.

Missionaries spread across Yithiral to coax the lost and the disenfranchised towards Cathirus in the wake of Patriam Ersalm's 'hostile' overtaking of Ethelynda's own city, and brought back word of the changes he employed to Cathirus. The system that had once required a level of worship to Ethelynda to reach higher points of government, gone, allowing heretical non-believers to reach positions of power in the government - the almost total eradication of military rule in the city, the separation of government and military control - led to universal condemnation across Cathirus. Their personal military force, the Grand Zealotry, even prepared to meet with Jedrek Thetris in the wake of his exile from the city in order to join in his attacks against Ethelanum and Talonir, and eventually Yithiral itself, in retaliation for acts against Ethelynda. The only thing that could, and indeed did stop them from doing just that and potentially turning the tide of the battle in favour of the Yithiral First Legion, was a message from Ethelynda herself.

She saw what losing would mean. Ethelanum and Talonir both stood no chance, and Cathirus, while extremely well-armed and numerous, had not a single Venerakis clan to its name. It would never gain the respect it deserved, from its enemies or its fellow Ithecal, even should it wipe out the competitors. The only hope, not just for Ethelynda's future but for the Ivorian Ithecal themselves, was the demotion of their Immortal and the destruction of the First Legion. To this end, reluctantly, the forces of Cathirus fought side-by-side with the Yithiral Arm Militum to end the First Legion, and later swore themselves as part of the Ivorian Empire to avoid disgrace and expulsion from their expanding trade deals and unifying goals.
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Timeline
401 - The first expeditions become stranded on Ivorian.
403 - The stranded adventurers create the first wooden huts that would become Kintara.
408 - Shortages of food and supplies start to weigh on the population of Kintara.
409 - Some of the original villagers part ways, creating their own settlements branching away from the fishing village.
414 - Ethelanum is established, complete with its first and only Merchant King.
415 - Talonir is established and the founding families make up the first Chief Council.
424 - The first Merchant King is murdered, succeeded by the Merchant Prince.
472 - Many members of the fishing village sacrifice themselves in the protection of Ethelynda.
473 - Under Ethelynda’s guidance, the construction of Yithiral begins.
476 - The Headquarters is completed, at the centre of the city.
478 - As the city's limits are cemented, heated negotiations begin with Ethelanum and Talonir.
479 - The city walls are finished.
480 - The Talonir Crusades begin, but are immediately stopped with the return of Ethelynda. All trade with Talonir comes to a standstill and new relations are sought with Ethelanum to compensate.
486 - The first Yithiral ship leaves the newly-built docks, complete with a reinforced hull.
500 - Relations open between Yithiral and Ethelanum, after many trade agreements and negotiations. An influx of humans into Yithiral follows.
510 - A high-profile assassination attempt on Ethelynda is made. She survives, but the leader of Yithiral and several high-profile Ithecal are killed.
512 - Under the command of a new leader, and the discovery that the assassination had been aided by human members of the military, the Arm Superior is founded.
567 - Discovery of a temple devoted to Karem in Talonir sparks heated debate and trade relations break down.
601 - The Ivorian Pact is made between Yithiral, Ethelanum, Talonir and Cathirus.
635 - The Ivorian Pact is transformed into the Ivorian Empire.
673 - A third assassination attempt on Ethelynda is made. The attackers are dispatched immediately and there are no casualties.
674 - The South Watchtower is erected.
675 - The Southwest Watchtower is erected.
676 - The West Watchtower is erected.
word count: 357
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Immortal's Presence
At the dawn of the Empire, Ethelynda's presence was constant and overbearing. She didn't just sculpt the Ithecal into her perfect image, she sculpted the entirety of Yithiral, from the walls inwards. She acted as their ruler, passing judgement in courts and planning military stratagems with commanding officers. She designed the original Ivorian Militia, a simplified marshal rule, and even took the Aethestium in charge as her lover.

With the Collapse, the city felt less safe. New soldiers replaced the old, new soldiers not placed there by her, and the city itself changed around her until she started finding new comforts elsewhere. Now, she still visits, and she still holds powers greater than anyone else in the Empire, but she still doesn't wield the control she once did. Whenever she visits, she's escorted by a personal guard of several elite soldiers provided by the Doctrine, all often marked by her and entirely loyal to her service and protection. Her children, however, are the largest part of her presence - ruling various factions within Yithiral, guiding and directing the focus of the Empire from the snake's head.

Some make the outlandish claim that Ethelynda's Mortalborn have more influence than the Immortal herself, but in truth, they're not far off. Ethelynda's presence in the city has dwindled significantly over the past few hundred years, and even in her visits, not many of the common folk see her. Her Mortalborn are the ones seen passing through the streets, working tirelessly in the service of the Empire, a vigilant of the people and the protectors of the good and innocent. What they lack in divine power, they more than make up for it in simple popularity amongst her followers.
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Ivorian Empire Lore

Geography
Fairly round with a small scattering of islands peppering its borders, Ivorian sits just to the right of the centre of the Orm'del Sea, with its single stretch of coastline pointing towards the right continent. The sea-life that cluster around it are unmistakeably dangerous to both the hull of many venturing ships and the crewmen on board; turtles with shells built harder than rock and giant molluscs with sharpened cones can shatter all but the most resistant hulls, and the fish are no easier to avoid as they willingly crash through ships to snatch a piece of timber for their evening meal. Harsh winds, frequent storms and deadly fauna, from the outside of the island it would look as though every facet of Moseke herself has designed the island to be completely inhospitable for any weary traveller or eager adventurer. But then, this is the reason that the island wasn't discovered sooner. Many settlers are turned away at the door of Ivorian, unable to endure the freak weather conditions that have sent more than a few unprepared travellers to the bottom of the ocean.

However, those that find the one safe haven of the island will find a surprise in store; for a sizeable island, the only coast to be found anywhere is a tiny, secluded indentation sequestered away between two steep cliffs and hidden beneath another miniature island to its front. The rest of the coast consists entirely of sheer mountains and jagged cliffs dotted with maze-like caves and perilous rocky ledges, forming a thin inpenetrable ring around the rest of the island that many climbers would find impossible, even without the fauna that inhabit it. From the shore, it's yet another steep climb up a tall hill, bottle-nosed by the unwelcoming geography of the land.

Once inland, within the island itself, however, many could be forgiven for believing that Ivorian was made of nothing more than a loose scattering of a few temperate biomes thrown together haphazardly. A thick knot of steep mountains to the west, housing yet more untold secret cave systems and quarries, but also producing a small river that runs down into a wide, rich lake to the south. In a reversed 'c' shape stretching in a loop around the north all the way to the south-west lies a stretch of fertile plainlands, rising and falling in mild hills and sprinkled with a small helping of fruit-bearing trees and grasses that are ripe for both grazing herds and growing an abundance of crops. Sitting in the middle of the island, invaded upon by the mountain range, sits a woodland. The outskirts are sparse, but the deeper territories grow much thicker, ranging from smaller elm to larger oak trees, chestnuts and mountain pine. Deep within it, anything from the mysterious Velox to dwarfed Ivorian Rhino thrive, providing a plentiful hunting ground for residents and natural hunters alike.
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Climate
Yithiral
Placed directly on the only stretch of shore on the island Ivorian, Yithiral suffers far more than many of the other cities in the Empire due to the sporadic weather. While the tides occasionally bring with them warmer airs or cooler breezes, helping to temper the more extreme conditions throughout the seasons and bringing with them a high humidity to the air, this moisture has a tendency to run dry during the hottest and coldest times of the arc. This happens most notably in Cylus, when the bare cold is enough to freeze even the strongest of warriors if improperly dressed and caught without shelter, and in Saun, where the scorching heat causes droughts. These dry spells are almost immediately followed with short periods of intense rain, however, which steadily dry over the course of the arc until another dry spell hits. Most winds hitting from any other direction than inland from the ocean are buffeted by the steep mountains sitting at either side of the city, meaning that the city has accustomed itself to the consistent rhythm of raining seasons and dry spells, and prepares itself accordingly.

Ethelanum
Pressed to the coast but blocked by steep cliffs and mountains, Ethelanum does not enjoy the same inland breezes as its closest city Yithiral, nor does it benefit from an enclosed geography enjoyed by Talonir and Cathirus. Conditions are exceptionally dry for most of the seasons, much more so than any other city of the Empire, and as such the city suffers from heavy droughts during the Hot Cycle, tempered by donations from the capital. Winds brought by powerful storms buffeting against the cliffsides occasionally bring harsh winds through the city, carrying with them a refreshing saltiness and high humidity that is seen surprisingly rarely for a city so close to the ocean. The rainy season, Ashan, practically smothers the city in rain for the duration, and this slowly dries over the remainder of the arc, with only the occasional shower in Ymiden and Vhalar topping up the water supply before the cold snap of the Cold Cycle hits.

Talonir
Sheltered within a very thick forest, many of the extreme weather conditions that hit the three other cities are hardly ever felt within Talonir. During the raining seasons, moisture is absorbed by the trees, slowly trickling back into the air during much of the Hot Cycle to combat the low humidity. In the cold weather, most of the trees wither and the city loses much of its protective barrier, but sparse evergreens thrive in the environment for a time, making sure that the city is not left completely vulnerable. The harsh winds that batter Yithiral and Ethelanum especially are absorbed by the dense woodland, mellowing dry hot winds and the chilled air into an occasional mellow breeze that only rarely manages to reach the city at all. The only danger comes in storms; infrequent bouts of thunder and lightning can quickly strike and bring down even the oldest and tallest of trees, causing catastrophic danger to the city. Even when rare, the entire city is forced to bunker down every storm and hope for the best.

Cathirus
Similar to Ethenanum, the city is slightly further from the shore but still exposed to the elements. Further south than any other, however, the heat of the Hot Cycle is lower in comparison to the other cities... and the cool of the Cold Cycle is more prominent. The snows of winter linger for longer on the outskirts of the city and in the past, combinations of cold and dry weather have proved deadly, freezing all available water sources and ridding the air of moisture simultaneously.
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