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  1. Orenian Orphnage Opening! 'The Orenian Empire opens its first Orphanage, welcoming those kinder whom wander the streets of Oren or anywhere aimlessly. Food, toys, bed, and education will be provided.' -Avriel Monet Located on Anastasia Avenue 1
  2. Imperial Analysis Ebs Telrunya, Elven Scholar Introduction The Holy Orenian Empire has come to dominate social, economic and political life among the Descendants. The Empire was born out of the wreckage of the old order so decisively repudiated by the Phoenix Rebellion. Godfrey I’s ascension as Holy Oren Emperor was not especially controversial to mali observers at its time, though the Silver State of Haelun’or was more sensitive to political headwinds in the Kingdom of Renatus due to their long standing alliance. Over and over, the Empire and its Emperors have redrawn national boundaries, reformed government and social institutions and waged war. It is necessary to admit that the Empire has seen a blossoming of scholarship, literature, philosophy and culture unrivaled amidst the other Descendant races. The elves, dwarves and orcs as well as their respective government have struggled to respond to the changing tides. There have been numerous wars between the Empire and its peers as well as not shortage of armed struggles within the Empire, over the succession or otherwise. The Empire at its peak fields massive armies that the rest of the Descendants struggle to meet, even when uniting off of their forces. Yet, there has been very little serious attempt by those on the outside to understand the Empire. Those among the longer lived races tend to treat the antics of humanity with less seriousness than they deserve. This failure to take the Empire seriously has led to no end of trouble. The analysis contained herein is an initial attempt to observe the Empire on its own terms and understand it better. It was conducted as background on a larger work still in progress, yet it is hoped that the analysis will stand on its own merits. Design In order to render the following analysis as comprehensible as possible to laymen, the simplest design has been employed. Two datasets were created, one containing the Emperors of the Holy Orenian Empire and the other, slightly more abstract, containing all of the Imperial Successions. For each observation (either Emperor or Succession) data was collected for a number of variables, which will be expanded on below. Of note, when the term average is employed, it is taken to mean the median, as in, that half of all observations are less than the figure stated and half above. For the first dataset, Year α (First Year of Reign), Year ω (Final Year of Reign), Length of Reign (taken by subtracting Year α from Year ω), Year of Death, Age at Death, each Emperor’s Dynasty, the number of Legitimate Children, and each Emperor’s Ethnicity. For each Emperor’s Dynasty, the four possible entries were Horen, Carrion, Chivay, and Novellan. This may be a controversial move, but it was decided that those Emperors of the cadet branches of House Horen such as House Helene or Cascadia would be considered as being Horen Emperors. Novellan, though, is being treated as a separate dynasty, as though its Emperors and Empress trace their lineage to House Horen, they are also equally tied to House Carrion, creating something entirely new for the Empire. Ethnicity was a little harder to parse. The vast majority of Emperors have been Heartlanders, though some of those were the products of unions with Highlanders. For lack of a more obvious solution, ethnicity has been passed through the male line, which results in all of the Horen and Chivay emperors being considered Heartlanders with the Carrions being Highlanders. This leads to the current Emperor, John VIII, being coded as a Highlander from his father. Finally, in those cases where the year of death is not known for a given Emperor, that Emperor will be excluded from any analysis. Turning to the second dataset on successions, all are binary variables, meaning that each variable has either a positive or a negative response. The variables are whether a succession is the result of a Death, the result of an Abdication, whether the crown passed within the same dynasty, whether it passed to either a son/grandson/daughter of the previous Emperor, whether the succession was caused by or was during a dissolution of the Empire and finally whether the succession was preceded by, concurrent with, or followed by a political crisis. The last of these is the trickiest to explain, as what qualifies as a political crisis is highly subjective. Roughly, what it meant by a political crisis for the purposes of this study is that a succession was brought about by political pressure by factors internal or external to the empire, that the succession kicked off a contested or even uncontested passing of the crown, or that the succession lead to the dissolution of the empire or the fall of the current dynasty. This is a broad definition and is certainly an area that could use further refinement in follow up research. Findings There have been 27 Emperors of the Holy Orenian Empire (including the 3 of the Empire of Man). Of those, 18 (two thirds) have been of House Horen or its cadet branches, 4 of House Carrion, 3 of House Novellan and 2 of House Chivay. Only 6 (two ninths) have been Highlanders with the balance of 21 being Heartlanders. The Emperors of the Holy Orenian Empire have had on average 3 legitimate children. John I was the most fertile, fathering 7 legitimate children. 7 Emperors have died without issue, though 3 of those were unwed at the times of their premature deaths. 26 of 27 have been men, with the one woman being the mother of the current Emperor, Anne I, who coruled with her husband, Joseph II. The median length of time spent on the throne was 7 years. In total, Emperors have spent 307 years in office, the largest share of which was Peter III, who reigned 47 years (~15%). Of the 20 Emperors who age upon death is known, the average lifespan was 57 years. The oldest recorded Emperor was Aurelius I at an impressive 107 years, and the youngest was the boy Emperor John IV. The average number of years lived following their ascension was 17, with the longest lasting Emperor being John II. Three Emperors were driven from office the year of the ascension: Boris I, John IV and Robert II, the latter two of which were in the Year of the Four Emperors. Turning to Imperial Successions, there have been 32 instances of Imperial succession, though not all of those resulted in a new Emperor taking the throne. The “ideal” succession is that where the Emperor dies and his next closest male issue, either son or grandson, succeeds to the throne. That has occurred only 12 times, ~38% of the time. A further 5 times a succession has been within the same dynasty, for a total of just over half. The remaining half resulted in a change of dynasty, were the result of the formation or reformation of the Empire (6 times) or resulted in the dissolution of the dynasty (5 times). A succession has been caused by the death (14 times) or the abdication (11 times) of the current Emperor. Finally turning to the before described Political Crises, 20 of the 32 Imperial Successions were preceded by, occurred during, or were followed by a climate of political crisis within the Empire, nearly two thirds of the time. As could be gathered from the prior description, the year 1585, the Year of the Four Emperors, had 3 succession crises, the most. 1467 comes in second, with two successions and three Emperors. Conclusions The most striking finding of the study is the paucity of “ideal” successions. Instead, the succession of the Holy Orenian Emperor is more often characterized by discord, political crisis. While there has been a recent run of mostly peaceful transfers of power, this has been the exception, not the rule. The succession of the Imperial Throne appears to be incredibly unstable, and there is a ~15% chance of a succession resulting in the dissolution of the Empire, and that increases to just under 20% when excluding those successions classified as ascensions to the Imperial throne due to the constitution or reconstitution of the Empire. However, excluding those same cases would produce a rate of 27% for the passage of the crown from father to son or grandson, better though still not spectacular. The average reign of the Emperors, seven years, seems to be incredibly short, though there is no data for other political systems to relate it to. This provides an interesting opportunity for follow up research, though records for all others exempting the Grand Kingdom of Urguan might prove impossibly fragmentary. Comparison to the Grand Kingdom of Urguan might be particularly instructive, as Oren and Urguan have alternated as the most powerful polities among the Descendants. Another route for future study is a deeper analysis of the political crises surrounding the factitious Imperial Successions, as there might be some way to form a qualitative schema that could bear revelations. Perhaps a keener or more informed researcher could find proscriptions for a successful Imperial reign or orderly succession, either by the avenues suggested above or a more detailed examination of each Emperor. There is hope that this analysis will produce enlightening discussion and further research on the Holy Orenian Empire, both by those without the Empire and those within it. If any reader would like a copy of the data utilized in this study or has some relevant commentary, please do not hesitate to contact the author. Attached to this report is an appendix containing some particularly revealing figures created for the edification of the reader. Appendix I Average Age at Death Average Length of Reign
  3. A Time of Suffering and Warm Steel A missive is published throughout the cities of the Holy Orenian Empire, emblazoned with the coat of arms of the Vuiller family A painting of the Imperial State army marching into battle at Elysium. A time of suffering. During the hardships our people now endure, these times of Nordling aggression, it is of utmost importance that we lend our aid to our comrades. This begins with understanding the conflict at hand. Who do the men and women of the Imperial State Army fight in this war, and what are they defending? The heathen Chieftain of the Nordlings, Sven, has selfishly ordered a war that he was doomed to lose from the start. Why has he commanded that his people should suffer, when they have no chance of coming out victorious? Why have so many Nordling rulers dedicated themselves to hostility with the Holy Orenian Empire? Envy. It is the envy of a clan whose ancestors turned their backs on our prophets and God Himself. These are descendants of men who fabricated a faith from what scattered fragments of the Canonism they could find, mingled with the ravings of drunks and madmen. They have built the house of their people on shifting snows, while ours rests on firm bedrock. This circumstance infected them with a perverse kind of logic: though they claim to be mighty and honorable, they must cower and scheme to achieve any success compared to us. Thus, the Holy Orenian Empire is wicked because it is mighty and honorable. Our very existence is an insult to these folk who desire what we have so much, but cannot have it. The Nordling government demanded a ransom from our Empire for the mere fact that a man was arrested in the course of criminal ravings, and forced to kneel in the process. They considered it a violation of their national pride, and demanded either gold or blood. But what a fragile pride is this, that for such a minor incident, an entire nation can be sent to their death in battle? It is doubtful that most Nordlings truly feel this war is justified, but their leaders are so barbaric that the populace fears punishment from their own ruler more than Orenian steel. An entire generation is now sent to their doom to satisfy Chief Sven’s fragile ego. And what does he have to be proud of? Our people live in prosperity, obeying the faith of their fathers, with a patrimony extending back to the dawn of the world. His people live in huts of mud and driftwood, worshipping a dead tree. It is tragic that Imperial justice is so necessary for these poor tribes, but one must strike the dog that bites him, even if it is gaunt and starving. Our Empire did not ask for this war, but we will see it finished; we must free the Nordling people of the chains forged by their Chieftain’s envy. Even if we defeat the hordes this time, unless their outlook is fundamentally changed, the same war will recur over and over. a painting of the young Rev Vuiller while writing the missive, painted by one of his triplets. The importance of Godans teachings While our children are catechized at an early age, Nordling leaders have denied their people the salvation of God’s teachings. In the first few years of an Orenian child’s life, they are already baptized in the waters of Gamesh, beginning to pray, and bearing witness to sacraments. These children are taught God’s promise that the world shall belong to the virtuous, who love him. In contrast, a Nordling child is taught that the world is a dark, fearful place with only a few cinders of warmth to huddle around. The Nordling ‘god’ is neither omnipotent nor omniscient; how is a youth to trust such a deity, if it cannot make him any binding promise? These fundamental differences between Canonism and the Red Faith are why the Empire will win this war. Canonist soldiers fight for a greater cause, and have no fear of the reward that awaits them after death. Some of our most notable saints are martyrs of battle, who gave their life defending the teachings of the Holy Scrolls. We see evidence of God’s plan all around us: the apparitions of St. Harald (who was my own grandfather), the miraculous intercession of the Archangel Michael at the last battle of the Inferi war, and even the founding of our own Empire by Ex. Godfrey. I would wager that much of Norland’s envy, and therefore their troublesome behavior, would be rectified by bringing them in line to the True Faith. While they do not live in a way we are accustomed to, the particular culture of any region is not important to God. The governments of Oren, Haense, and Luciensburg may differ greatly, but they are all Canonist states, and so they exist in mutual peace and prosperity. Our Imperial State Army demonstrated their dedication to this effort in the Elysium Offensive. First, they modeled mercy by allowing any who would not fight to flee. Second, they offered a Canonist baptism to any who would accept it. Some did take the sacrament, but sadly not enough--too many fear what would become of them if they accepted God’s gifts, for Chief Sven is a wicked and vengeful ruler. But our cause is still a noble one, and many more will convert once they are freed of his infernal yoke. All who seek redemption for their sins will find it in the house of God, and because we are not ruled by a pagan tyrant, the house of God is welcome to all in the Holy Orenian Empire. No matter how great the horde the Nordling chieftain sends to our walls, no matter how many cities they might siege, they cannot win. It is said best in the Scroll of Auspice, 2:45 “And though they are many, the strength of GOD does not serve the wicked.” It is true that the virtuous may suffer and fail temporarily, but His promise is they shall prevail in the end. If even a single believer perishes in quiet solitude, the gates of the Seven Skies will open to him with thundering clarions. We fight so that those gates of heaven may be open to all the world. When you hear the sound of battle horns and warm steel on steel, know this: we are ready, and we have no fear. God save the Emperor, God save the Empire, and God save the Orenian people! Signed ~ Rev Vuiller
  4. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ "I'd rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud." ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ [!] A letter addressed to both Jacker Gendik and the citizenry of Providence is nailed to the front of the tavern, with multiple copies nailed elsewhere about the area. Would it be that a swine refuses to roll in the dirt? No, I say. A beast born in filth that lives in filth will lie in it and be absolutely content. With this knowledge, I honestly expected nothing less than the revolting swine named Jacker Gendik’s refusal of an honorable duel. Such a person should not consider themselves a man with this delinquency and disgrace towards Chivalry. Chivalry is but one of the few ways that a true gentleman can show the sincerity of his worth and the bleeding of his heart. To disregard the concept of chivalry is a dishonorable act, which promptly disgraces one's character; for if one is to not defend the honor of both himself and his lady then by default he is damning both her character and his own as well. Under a normal circumstance I would not desire to waste the bat of an eye on such a disgrace but being a man who still would hold chivalry close to his heart I have no choice but to make this farce known among the good people of Providence that you would name yourself among. I would plead to the divines that whomever may lay eyes upon this would feel the same way, as you have not only soiled your worth and spat on your soon to be bride, but you have also spat upon the proud people that you reside among. Would you really stand in the way of the person you claim to love to the degree of beginning the sanctity of marriage without proving you are worth more than the measly slimy coward that we all see you to be? As any form of man, I think not, but I see now you are no man, only a slug residing on the rear of a deceased swine. You've butchered the concept of Chivalry, tossing my proposal to duel you for your relinquishment of Faux Amati's hand in marriage down the drain along with any sense of your honor and pride. A prideless man deserves no woman. A prideless man deserves no glory. A prideless man deserves nothing short of bitter shame and regret. You deserve not her hand in marriage, nor any woman's, for you have dishonored Faux Amati immensely with your cowardice. Why should a graceful woman of her standing resort to rolling around in the mud with somebody such as yourself, Jacker? That of which she won't do, she values herself far too much. I demand that you either duel me as I insisted, or you dissolve your intentions to marry Faux immediately. Oh, and Jacker? Good luck 'forming the beast with two backs' without a spine of your own. Humbly signed, Peter Schewitt
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