The Himlonde and the Everyperson
Orithor, located in the southeast of Lothienye, was originally a small trading outpost founded by some ambitious traders from Helleras. They soon outstripped their humble beginnings, and found themselves to be happier as a self-sufficient entity than the stooge of another merchant city. Thus, they declared independence and haven’t looked back since.
Their ruling body is the Senate, with access gained by paying one’s life savings to the city, which is then redistributed to the needy of the city.
Amongst this governing body is a singular member: the Everyperson. They are chosen each year from the populace at large, to represent the citizens whose vested interests are not connected to those already in the Senate. The Senate meets every other week in the Himlonde, the traditional seat of power in Orithor, as well as the site of the original trading post.
Orithor, as opposed to its parent Helleras, is a city that glories in the individual. It cares for their basic needs, but what that person achieves beyond that is by their own wit, skill, and of course, luck. As such the Senate is a constantly changing kaleidoscope of cliques focused on various pet projects, though far more calmly negotiated than that of Rimiro’s government. There are few famous powerful merchant families or guilds in Orithor; fortunes can be won and lost overnight only to be found again the next day. There are some such families that do exist, the most fmaous being the Lykurgus and Dauphin lines. They tend to keep out of public affairs, aside from the Lykurgus family offering its library to the public and the Lykurgus network.
The Sacred War
The Sacred War left Orithor largely unaffected, seeing as Orithor never threw itself behind a side, preferring to sell arms and supplies to the highest bidder. Nor did any side want to drive Orithor into the arms of their opponents. The city prides itself on not engaging in a war unless it is attacked first. Various Interventionist blocs were formed over the course of the war in the Himlonde, attempting to throw their support behind either the Assemblage or the Peacemakers. There attempts were beaten down quite handily each time, even after the conquest of House Starglass. Volunteer mercenary companies were raised from time to time, especially after the Peacemakers entered the fray, but they were typically small and supported by individuals with deep pockets. Few returned.
When the Lykurgus network was first proposed, the Himlonde offered up Orithor as its apolitical center. It did not escape the notice of the other cities that its inventor Pistil Lykurgus, a gnome wizard, was from Orithor. She claimed the war itself as her inspiration; if something so horrible could reach into the hearts of the citizens of Lothienye, why shouldn’t something as benign as a portal network reach into the hearts of the city-states? She hails from a long line of reclusive scholars. It is known that she has a brother, but the family chooses its associates carefully, and they are loath to leak more information than necessary to the general public. Despite this reputation for secrecy, the Lykurgus family manages the largest library in Orithor open to the public.
The library started as the Lykurgus family’s private library, in a secluded section of the cavern. Unlike the rest of the undercity, this section had stalagmites and stalactites which were veined with a glowing mineral, which allows even humans to read in the library, without additional assistance. The library itself is carved into these natural pillars, leaving the mineral in, and filling the inside with books. Until a few generations previous, this was the reserve of the Lykurgus family only. There were rumors, of course, but none confirmed. No one has discovered why exactly the library was opened, aside from being a good show of civic duty.
The newest of the wizard colleges in Lothienye, the Lykeion has long struggled to be viewed as legitimate by its counterparts, especially those at the Seminary of Voices in Ellorwis. Befitting Orithor’s status as a neutral trading city, the Lykeion is a fairly cosmopolitan school, with representatives from all races on Lothienye and several of the surrounding city-states. Reflecting Orithor’s love for the individual, students are encouraged to make their own way through their studies; they are allowed a mentor, and to collaborate to a degree, but in the end each student must earn their degree on their merits alone. This can lead to the wheel being reinvented several times over, but it has led to more innovations than are found in Ellorwis’ Seminary or Sirisea’s Collegium – another point of contention between the schools.There are a few mentor-student chains almost like lineages in the Lykeion, but they are far and few between. Many students see them as relying more on the importance of the legacy to advance than by improving their abilities. If a student can demonstrate aptitude for magical studies but is unable to provide the funds to afford the tuition, there is a fund set aside by the Senate, similar to the fund that provides for the basic needs of Orithor’s citizens.
There are 11 Arch Mages; usually there is one for each school of magic, plus some specialists. Reflecting the Lykeion’s diverse nature, the Archmages are composed of four gnomes, three humans, an elf, a dwarf, a svirfneblin, and an orc. The archmages are as follows:
Tisri Ebnus: Conjuration Archmage, dwarf male
Brancent Eowulf: Evocation Archmage, human male
Hile: Archmage at Large, human male
Loralyassa Pegason: Abjuration Archmage, human female
Ercorin Kaspos: Divination Archmage, gnome male
Gracevyre Littleknight: Enchantment Archmage, svirfneblin female
Unaora Silvershaper: Illusion Archmage, forest gnome female
Panaser Lotix: Necromany Archmage, gnome male
Janrath Urthadar: Transmutation Archmage, orc female
Alitranna Glimmergaunt: Archmage at Large, elf female
Nihana Xyroroe: Archmage at Large, gnome female