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a Returned of OphiraOphira

Government Style: Constitutional Republic
Ruler: Caliph Tariq Silkinti, the Molten Sheik
Population: Roughly nine million
Capital: Kanat
Alchemy: State Controlled, common
Ritualism: State Controlled, very rare
Inscription: State controlled, very rare
Forge Magic: very rare, mundane smithing only
National Symbol: Eagle carrying a scroll on a white and gold field

The History

Thirty-one tribes converged to form the great nation of Ophira. The tribes, long separate and squabbling, came together under the spear-banners of Kacivat, Haragoz and Rasneddin. The three, each of the Ejderha tribe, had led the great offensive that subdued fourteen tribes, and decimated six more. Only after the public evisceration of the chieftain of the Akbaba tribe, one of the ten tribes left, not counting the Ejderha tribe, did the remaining tribes call an Ateshkes, or truce meeting, with the three leaders of the Ejderha tribe. It was at this Ateshkes that the ten remaining tribes gathered and spoke of assembling under the spear-banners of the Ejderha. The other nine tribes rejected absolute control by the three spear-elders of the Ejderha. Kacivat, Haragoz, and Rasneddin knew that should further war break out, many that now swelled their numbers might instead fight under their opponents' spear-banners. Instead, the three spear-elders agreed to a truce, as long as the Ejderha remained in charge of the formed nation. After ten days of deliberation and work, one for each of the tribes present, the document known the Hukuk Kaydirma was created.

This work laid out the Ophiran Caliphate. In it, it gave the Ejderha the rights of rulership over the other nine tribes, though within limits. Each of the other nine tribes, if they felt they were being unfairly treated or were pressed upon more than others, had the right to approach the non-ruling tribes and submit their grievance for consideration. If the nine tribes found the issue was grave enough, they could remove the caliph from power and instate another from the Ejderha tribe in his or her place. If the cause implicated the Ejderha tribe in its entirety, the nine would select a caliph from their own ranks. While not a perfect solution, all ten tribes eventually agreed to this. The Hukuk Kaydirma was changed only once in its long history. Eventually, the tribes had married and intermingled enough that only seven true tribes were discernible, three having faded away entirely. These tribes made up the council advisory positions that served the caliph.

In more recent times, Ophira faced the most pressing struggle of its history. Caliph Devimsi Silkinti was a man obsessed. Ophira was dying and nothing could be done. Devimsi had all of the alchemists and ritualists in the nation working constantly to bring rain and prosperity to the nation. Having failed, Devimsi sent scouts far and wide, in search of mythical creatures, hoping to use them find an answer to the nation's woes. At the time, stories of fighting to the west were spreading across the land, claiming that darkness waged war against the world. In Ophira, this had yet to be seen, and was largely discounted as rumor. Three scouts, Ghaliya, Hasim and Shihab, were dubious of finding anything, but went anyway. Time passed, and the caliph assumed they had failed. Eventually, they returned carrying not one, but two creatures, different in form, but both of mythical origins. The caliph's work still failed, even with the addition of the two creatures. However, a strange man arrived in the castle, offering aid. This man, calling himself Shahnaz, offered to solve the caliph's problems. Days passed, but eventually Shahnaz emerged from the rooms where the two beings were kept, bearing an exquisitely crafted gauntlet of copper and strange leather. This, he said, would aid the caliph. After that, the man left, never to be seen in Ophira again. As Shahnaz assured, rain fell and Ophira began to flourish once more. However, as time wore on, the caliph grew more and more crazed, seemingly unable to quench his thirst for power and expansion. His son, Tariq, and the three scouts decided that the caliph had to be stopped before he did even more harm to the nation. Tariq and the others slew the caliph one night, though the battle was pitched and fierce. Stories of the battle, retold in later years by palace guards, spoke of thunder and lightning inside the palace that night.

Tariq at first was seen as a traitor and met with disdain. However, his good works and constant care for the Ophiran people won them over, and the remaining tribes and advisors came to follow his lead. Tariq was, they said, born to lead, and was the one destined to restore the wealth and prosperity of Ophira. As Tariq and Ophira recovered, rumors of war in the west grew so strong that they could not be ignored. Tariq and his three allies began to organize the forces of Ophira and move west, to lend aid if it was indeed needed. The land had not recovered from the ravages, and the weather still caused trouble for all, but the nation had hope once more.

The People

The majority of people in Ophira were farmers and hunters, with some being miners. Others were tradesman and craftsman, or direct servants of the Caliph. Most craftsman did not have access to the raw materials that the rest of the known world had, and Ophira had to trade for many goods. As such, they made weapons and armor of fine quality, but the art of forge magic was almost unknown, and its few practitioners did not have the means to pursue it. Others were alchemists, ritualists, or scribes under the authority of the Caliph and the advisors. Alchemists were by far more common, as ritualists were very secretive, and it was almost impossible to force them to work together as a cohesive unit. Scribes were plentiful, many of them Royal Scribes. The rest of the nation were spear-warriors, or spear-elders. Spear-elders were those warriors that had mastered the art of the spear, glaive, and halberd, and taught those that wish to learn. A spear-elder was a force to be reckoned with, single-handedly taking down entire units. Spear-warriors were those that followed their ways. This style was almost unheard of in the rest of the world. Entire forces of spear-warriors acted and fought as one in battle. This made them frightening to even well-trained forces, and devastating to those that were not. Spear-banners were among the most prized possessions of these spear-warriors.

Most followed the rule of the Caliph to the letter; to do otherwise was to court disaster. They grew more and more restless as Ophira faced trials, however, and small rebellions and skirmishes were increasingly frequent. The guards and military suppressed them violently. The Caliph's advisors had no thought of overthrowing his rule in such desperate times, preferring to remain unified and fight for the nation. Before this time, the people felt free to address their grievances with the various advisors to have their issues heard. It was a nation that worked to serve its subjects, and to create a land to stand alone and face the outside world. The murder of Caliph Devimsi Silkinti by Tariq and his conspirators threw the nation into turmoil. Those that supported the slain caliph were pitted against those that desired change. Many died in the ensuing struggles. Even after peace was restored, there were those that would not support Tariq, despite his broad popularity. These people withdrew to the Bastion of Eagles, hoping to serve Ophira far from the rule of the new Blood Prince, as he was known by those that distrusted him. However, still more grew to love Tariq, and to trust in his every decision. To these people, Tariq was a savior and a hero.

Faith and Religion

The faith of Ophira was split in two main groups: those who followed the wisdom and traditions of the original spear-seers of the thirty-one tribes, and those who revered the Speaker of the Thousand Suns. The Speaker of the Thousand Suns was primarily a children's story in which a man became the embodiment of the sun itself. Light and flame flowed from his mouth and hands as he condemned those who would rise against Ophira. He slumbered throughout the ages under the desert sands, but he vowed to return whenever Ophira was in danger. While many in Ophira would utter quick prayers to the Speaker, most also offered prayers and gave thanks to the forces of the land. The spear-seers believed that the myriad forces of the land, the dust and sand of the desert, the water and blood of people, were all the same, and were governed by very potent spirits. Ophirans thanked the spirits of water for rain and for births. They thanked the spirits of the flame for providing food and for revealing mysteries. They thanked their ancestors for their bodies, recovering from ills, and healing after injuries. Death was the purview of their ancestors as well. The forces of dust and sand were often both thanked and cursed. With the rise of Tariq, the open worship of the Speaker of the Thousand Suns rose as well. Tariq was a devout believer in the person and his ideals of protecting and serving Ophira, even from beyond the eyes of mortals. The two religions were interchangeable in Ophira, and no one was concerned with separating the two.

What makes Ophira great?

Ophira was a land in the throes of the early stages of being a nation. The ten tribes that survived to form the land still existed and played a very real part in the rule of the government. Ophira was a nation that supported its people. The Royal Scribes, Alchemists and Ritualists all found support within the land, growing the future tradition of knowledge and learning. The spear-warriors of Ophira were some of the toughest warriors in the world, and while they had not yet formed into the fearsome Sand Spire, the styles of spears and lances existed even in this age. The wise men of the desert existed in this age as well, being in tune with the land, and offering wisdom and guidance to the people of the new Caliphate. Ophira was a land that had been tested with their Era of Dust, and come through hardened and focused. The Molten Sheik rallied the nation of Ophira under his banner and leadership, and strengthened them into one cohesive unit, rather than many disparate parts. His close advisors, Shihab, Ghaliya, and Hasim trained and sharpened the Ophiran people, readying them for the Great War and the era afterwards. Ophira is a nation on the verge of unity and enlightenment. People that enjoy a dynamic of old versus new and tradition versus progress should look to Ophira for ideas.

What makes Ophira less than desirable?

Ophira was a land of dust, pain, and guilt. The father of the Molten Sheik was slain by the four people now running the nation. The slain Caliph was responsible for much of the pain and suffering in the Caliphate, as well as many of horrors that were unleashed upon the Caliphate. His legacy required apologies and reparations to the people of the Caliphate, a burden that fell upon the Molten Sheik. Learning to trust the new Caliph was a slow process, as many saw him and his entourage as nothing more than common murders. The average Ophiran was still recovering from the Era of Dust, and famine, disease, and mistrust were at an all time high. Enemies from the North, East and South threatened the nation, and the Great War of Shadow loomed in the West. Ophira was a harsh land, with harsh people. Those looking for solidity, a close knit society, and high culture should not look to Ophira.

Theme & Costuming

Ophira was a land with desert tribe roots, and the beginnings of a centralized government. The warriors were fierce and disciplined, being ordered in a world where not much order existed. Alchemy and mysticism were prevalent in society, with the mystery of each amplified by the state's control. The average person was very superstitious, and looked for the wisdom of the Caliph to soothe and guide them. Ophirans were passionate beyond all else, and woe to those that stood in their way once their minds were made up. Ophira draws much from the desert tribes of the Middle East, as well as such works as the Arabian Nights. This is a traditional land of desert, swords, and sorcery.

We encourage Returned players to wear tattered, stained, or dusty clothes when they rise out of the Grim Prison. However, Returned wear whatever clothing they can come across thereafter, possibly recreating the styles of their forgotten homelands. Ophiran style was mostly loosely wrapped robes, similar to desert tribesmen. Face coverings were ubiquitous, due to the constant sand and dust. The sun symbol of the Speaker of the Thousand Suns was very common imagery in jewelry and sashes.

Cultural Advantages

Returned hailing from Ophira pay two fewer points for Spear, Glaive, or Halberd, though they only receive the price break once, regardless of how many skills they purchase.