The city of Ormond is a major city in the Helikan League, located on the south coast of Western Tanoron. A major trade and religious hub and a population centre, the city is known for its idyllic beaches, pleasant hills and plains, the First Temple of Essena and for its people's tenacity and work ethic.
The majority of the population of Ormond are Tanorite. There is also a sizeable Avadian presence, with small Heartlander and Sapphran communities as well. The most dominant faith by a huge margin in Elementalism, particularly followers of Essena, however followers of the Avadian religion are also present. Solarity is tolerated, but viewed with suspicion.
Ormond is an oligarchy governed by a council of the most influential nobles in the city. They nominate an Archon from amongst each other to oversee the governance of the city, but they are largely a figurehead, and the council are seen as the real force.
As with most Tanorite cities, the city is defended by thick, solid stone walls about eight metres high. Watchtowers are regularly posted along each wall. Anybody accessing the harbour must also pass through an internal wall.
Industry & Trade
As an access point to Arikanda from the Beyan Archipelago, trade is quite extensive in Ormond, with Avadian traders having even established a trade enclave in the city. Along with Denato it is one of the major trade seaports of Arikanda.
Having been given the relatively recent opportunity to rebuild in the last couple of centuries, Ormond is a city with a lot more advanced planning than many of the older Tanorite cities. While the remaining chunks of the old city still follow the haphazard system of planning, the new portions of the city post-Ashstorm are built on a grid pattern, with a number of roads crossing each other at right angles. The Helikan highway system also cuts into the city walls through two great gateways, forming the main west-east carriageway running through the middle of the city. A sophisticated sewerage system consisting of clay pipes that uses water to empty into cesspits also exists. Fresh water is channeled into the city via a raised clay pipeline system from the Marois River into tank-like reservoirs.
The city of Ormond was founded just shy 2500 years ago as part of the expansion of the Tanorite people. Beginning as a simple farming village, its excellent conditions for farming and its position on the coast drew many people from surrounding villages to it over the centuries, to the point where it eventually became a town and then a city in its own right. It even became influential enough that the Essene Templar set up the First Temple of Essena on an island offshore, a key indicator of the city's prominence. For most of the late Dawn of Man, it was a solitary power, although its prestige and wealth eventually drew it into a series of skirmishes with nearby the city-state of Mirrelum, and Ormond was briefly conquered as a part of the Mirrelum-based Tanorite Imperium in the second century TE. Ormond's greatest threat, however, came not in the form of rival city-states but in the form of a natural catastrophe when the the Ashstorm broke out in the Calinan Sea in 212 TE. In the aftermath of the volcanic eruption in the Beyan Archipelago, great tsunamis lashed both sides of the Calinan Sea. One of these tsunamis hit Ormond directly, completely destroying the city's waterfront. Even the First Temple of Essena was not protected by the onslaught, and while the most important parts of it survived, many buildings were irreparably damaged. By the time the waters had receded, almost eighty percent of the buildings in the city had been destroyed, with thousands dead or missing. There were calls to abandon the city in the aftermath, believing the place to be cursed or to have incurred Essena's wrath to the point where even the Essene Templar could not stop the devastation. However, the reigning Archon of the time, Archon Therraun, refused to allow this. When the council threatened to have him dismissed, he took his case directly to the people, making an impassioned plea appealing to the spirit and character of the people of Ormond to rise again and overcome this terrible catastrophe. With their support, he then ordered that reconstruction begin immediately. The council, faced with the wrath of the people, had no choice but to comply. Through diplomacy, Therraun appealed to the Exarch of the Essene Templar, who committed resources into helping tend to the wounded and lay the dead to rest. Thankfully the walls protecting the city had been largely unscathed, preventing raiders access to the city during the period of reconstruction. Therraun also took the opportunity to re-plan the devastated parts of the city, installing new infrastructure to supersede the ancient, far less efficient systems. It took the rest of his life to do it, and he had to face assassination attempts and noble rebellions along the way, but by his death in 248 TE, the city had been rebuilt, the population had resurged, and the city was arguably more powerful than ever before. Where most cities would be seen as cursed and ruined by such a disaster, Therraun and his supporters had shown Ormond to be impossible to stop, rising again after a devastating sundering that would have ended most cities. With the formation of the Helikan League, Ormond has risen to greater prominence than ever before, serving as one of the first charter cities of the League. Under the expansion of the League, Ormond has become a major power with in it, to the point where a couple of the rare High Archons not from Helik have been selected from Ormond. Its one-time hostility with the Kingdom of Mirrelum has become more of a friendly rivalry as the two compete between each other to become the second most influential city in the League.
Ormond sees a large influx of visitors each year; firstly, it is the home city of the First Temple of Essena, and pilgrims who visit the First Temple often stay in the city and see its sights. It is also one of the most important ports in the Helikan League and is a fairly close voyage to Port Avadia, making it a useful transit point to and from the Beyan Archipelago.
Like most Tanorite cities, Ormond's buildings are mainly built from oven-blasted clay bricks, painted over in reds, whites and yellows. Domes are quite prominent in the roof of many buildings, and quite a few multiple-story dwellings are common as residences. Some of the more expensive buildings have been crafted of limestone, such as the Archon's Palace and the Council Circle, both built on high ground.
Ormond is built on the edge of a bay on the Calinan Sea, allowing for easy coastal access. A single island can be found in the bay, where the First Temple of Essena sits. About three kilometres to the west of the city, the Marois River empties into the sea. Like much of southern Tanoron, the area around Ormond consists of gently rolling hills and plains, and farms and vineyards are a regular sight.
Ormond is known for its farming industry, with wheat, lamb, beef and milk common items in abundant supply. Grapevines can be found extensively throughout the outskirts of the city as well, which is used in wine.