The Occitane Gazette

Good Morning Sentient Creatures, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we will be bringing you a special treat.  Some of you who have been with us over our Alpha and Beta test period will remember that we showed examples of our in game newspaper.  The goal with this newspaper is to post one after every event, and we hope we can maintain that goal as the year progresses.  For those who may have missed our previous installments, please feel free to peruse them now:

Gazette 1

Gazette 2

Because it has been quite some time since we have posted one, today we bring you two new in game newspapers.  The first is set from a few years prior to game start, and the last is set for last month.  Please enjoy the Occitane Gazette!!!



The Tribes of Barlethan

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

Today’s post will wrap up our series on the 13 Republics of the Confederacy of Allied Republics.  The Tribes of Barlethan are unique in that they represent a varied group of I peoples and cultures, rather than a single political state.

Republic Name: Barlethan

Capital City: Barlethan

Tribes of Note: Barlethan, Storm Crow, Sha’uru’s Children

Major Commerce: Agriculture, Lumber

Minor Commerce: Textiles, Mining



Barlethan is the largest republic in overall land mass with parts of it spanning both Lerna and Calydon.  Curiously, despite the fact that most Tribals are very skilled in the arts of Alchemy, none of them seem willing to part with it outside of their own people.  Fortunately the lands of Barlethan are rich in other natural resources that makes them excellent trading partners with the other republics.When the Silverthorn Empire was dissolved and the Confederacy of Allied Republics began to form, the elders of Barlethan recognized a golden opportunity to ensure the protection of their way of life and that of every other tribe in Lerna.  They convinced the rest of the Republics to recognize all of the tribes under a single banner and in return they would pay taxes to the confederacy like any other member Republic.  The following are some of the most famous member tribes:


Barlethan: The largest and most technologically advanced of the tribes.  They are also the most politically powerful and were the architects of having the tribes recognized in parliament.  They are also the most well educated alchemists in all of the Republics. They also bear the most resentment from smaller tribes who are not numerous enough or powerful enough to have a seat at the tribal council of Elders.


Storm Crow: The Storm Crow are known for their affinity to animals and are the best Falconers in all of Sha’Uru.  They are also known for domesticating and training hunting dogs and horses, and are excellent fishermen.  They prefer soft leather garments over cloth and are extremely good at tannery.


Sha’uru’s Children: Whether they took their tribal name from the religion, or were the originators of the religion, it is unclear, but this tribe, above all others holds very strictly to the tenants of the Children of Sha’uru.  They are naturalist and tend to live in the most remote parts of the world.  They are also well known for their horticultural knowledge, especially when it comes to herbs.


Ignar: Ignar is a mountain tribe comprised of miners and metallurgist (Primarily Blackmiths, but Tinsmiths, Goldsmiths and Coppersmiths are common as well). Of all the tribes they are most likely to have metal beads among their tribal beads.


Clovis: Clovis live in the fields and plains and are primarily sheppards and herdsmen.  They are especially fond of goats and may still have one or two goats on their farms even if they primarily make a living from raising sheep, pigs or cattle.


Brotherhood of Nahyar: The Brotherhood of Nahyar is an especially combative tribe that is known for raiding neighboring tribes and espousing more militaristic values than the other Tribes of Barlethan.  Many members of this tribe use their 7 year journeys to hire themselves out as mercenaries.


Sisters of the Moon’s Splendor: This tribe is unique from among all of the other tribes of Barlethan in that it is comprised entirely of female-identifying members.  Naturally this makes them the best farmers of the Janus plant in all of Sha’uru, as they use the Potion of Sunrise and Sunset to ensure the continuation of their tribe. The only males that live within their tribal lands are children who are encouraged to take their 7 year journey as soon as they become sixteen years of age.  After their 7 year journey, males who were born to this tribe must make the choice to either marry into another tribe or to rejoin the tribe as a sister through the use of the Potion.


Agrinion – The Crown of the Empire

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

Our Confederacy of Allied Republic series is almost up with the penultimate installment today!!!  Behold, Agrinion, Crown of the Empire.

Republic Name: Agrinion

Capital City: Konin

Cities of Note: Opole, Silezia

Major Commerce: Manufacturing (Shipwrights), Agriculture

Minor Commerce: Mining, Shipping

Description: If chester is the Jewel of the former empire, then Agrinion is the crown that supports it.  Agrinion is the largest republic comprised of a single landmass (if we go by total land size, then Barlethan is the largest). Agrinion also has the largest population, the largest standing army, and the largest navy in all of the republic (and second in the world).  They are the only fully independent Republic for raw materials and food.  The major export of Agrinion is lumber and ships.  The Agrinion River begins here before flowing south into Chester, and unlike the Chester end, the river is cleaner and more vibrant.   So why is Agrinion still a member of the Confederacy and not its own independent country?  There are two reasons for this.  The first is the Konin Chamber of Commerce.  The governing body of the city of Konin elects the governor of Agrinion itself and is comprised of the most powerful merchants in Agrinion itself.  These merchant barons are constantly plotting against each other and the only thing that consistently unites them is the removal of any Governor who seeks to put forward a motion of independence.  If Agrinion declares independence, the governor would then be the de facto ruler of the new country, and the council would lose the power they have amassed.  Outside of the council themselves, the common folk have been crying for Agrinion independence for generations as they consider themselves above the Confederacy.  It would be possible that perhaps Agrinion would have achieved independence if not for the second reason, the lands of Agrinion are the only ones in the world where the mineral Aurum is scarce.  Because of this, Agrinion relies on trade to acquire a significant supply of the mineral that fuels all steam technology.  The southern city of Silezia has a large harbor and several ship factories that produce everything from schooners up to large tankers and steam ships.  In the north west, the mining town of Opole is known for its gem mines and abundance of iron.

Surlund, Silks and Pearls

Hello Everyone!  Today’s post will be a short and sweet installment in our Confederacy of Allied Republics series.  Today we are talking Surlund.


Republic Name: Surlund

Capital City: Sharjah

Cities of Note: Antalya, Manama

Major Commerce: Oil, Textiles

Minor Commerce: Alchemy, Fishing

Description: The republic of Surlund is the furthest south and east in all of the Confederacy of Allied Republics.  Their southern border is directly neighbored by the Goblin Kingdom in Calydon, and they are an important trading partner for both resources and alchemy.  In fact, much of the Alchemy that is shipped from Surlund to the other republics originates in goblin labs.

The city of Antalya is infamous for their weavers, and exports beautiful garments, tapestries and rugs.  Fine Antalyan Silk is much sought after in markets all across Sha’uru.  The textile factories also produce garments and cloth of linen and cotton.

In the far eastern shore, the city of Manama is a bustling port city that primarily deals in fishing and shipping interests.  Nautical scientists in Manama invented a suit and helmet 10 years ago that allows deep diving into the sea while attached to a pump apparatus housed on a boat above the diver.  This technology was quickly put to use by the pearl local pearl divers, and today Manama pearls are the world’s best. It is rumored that the diving technology is currently being applied to perfecting a submerging aetheric ship, though no such ship has been seen.  

The capital of Surlund, Sharjah, is located on the center north shore of the republic, to facilitate travel to and from Chester and Agrinion.

Zlatoust, Artifice and Avarice

Good Afternoon Gentlemen, Ladies and Sentient Creatures,

Today we continue with our Confederacy of Allied Republics series with the last of the eastern Republics, Zlatoust.

Republic Name: Zlatoust

Capital City: Kurgan

Cities of Note: Murmansk, Grozny

Major Commerce: Artifice, Manufacturing (Aetheric)

Minor Commerce: Mining, Fishing

Description:  The denizens of Zlatoust are regarded as the most dour and serious people in the entire Confederacy.  The republic was founded by humans who claimed to be descended from first human magi, taught by the Afla Nisse in times immemorial.  Discipline, secrecy and calculating logic are cultural traits for the Zlatoustian people, espoused as helping to shape their minds so that they may hone their craft.  Even the art, literature and theater of Zlatoust tends to be dark and dour in nature, dealing with themes of death, loss and depression.  So it comes as no surprise that Zlatoust has developed a reputation as a home to dark and evil occultists, despite a complete lack of proof.  Likely this reputation is born of jealousy; as Zlatoustian hedgemages produce the finest magical artifacts in the Confederacy, second only to the Afla Nisse themselves.  

The hedgemages and scientists of Zlatoust are also the best academics of Aetheric Sciences in the world, with the city of Grozny being the largest producer of Aetheric Stabilizers and Aetheric Disruptors.  The Groznian Crystal Farms, deep within an expansive series of caverns are one of the few magical places in the old world that still hold some of the wonder and beauty that they did in times immemorial.  

The Black Spire of Murmasnk on the northern coast is a school of occult learning that models itself as a reflection of the Collegia Hermetica, in fact many of its most famous students end up joining the ranks of the Hermetics.  The Arch Magus Dimitri-Donovan Zima has been the governor of Zlatoust for the last 15 years, ruling from the Governor’s Keep in Kurgan.  He is one of the few Hermetics that is regularly seen outside of the tower.

Republic Spotlight: Remsford

Sentient Creatures, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we continue our republic spotlight series with the biggest, little republic in the Confederation of Allied Republics.  Today we talk about Remsford.

Republic Name: Remsford

Capital City: Cardiff

Cities of Note: Newport, Bangor

Major Commerce: Manufacturing, Mining

Minor Commerce: Shipping, Fishing.

Description: The republic of Remsford is the smallest in the Confederacy, as well as the most contentious.  In the early days of the empire it was a known refuge for pirates, outlaws and ne’er do wells that were escaping justice from the imperial capital.  The lands were nominally considered part of Chester until the start of the Orc Wars.  At that time, the emperor granted an infamous outlaw known as Remsford the Black sovereignty over the area and the title of Baron in exchange for uniting the people to assist in the war effort.  Remsford the Black renamed himself Baron Jonas-Corey Remsford and began a five year long press gang campaign in order to bolster the Imperial Army known at the time of the Black Hand.  The people of Remsford were now considered citizens of the empire, so Baron Remsford could not simply slaughter those who refused to sign up.  However he did have the power to levy and collect taxes for the Imperial Crown. He raised taxes to an exorbitant rate and gave those who could no longer pay a simple choice, enlist or suffer the penalty for tax evasion.  Those who refused to enlist had every bone in their right hand pulverized via maul and released.  The injury was grievous enough that most were crippled for life with a mangle hand, assuming they didn’t lose the appendage outright.  Ever since then Remsford has had quite the history of political upheaval  that has carried on to this day both within the Republic itself and those just outside of it.  To the East and Southeast of Remsford is the Gulf of Sidra which shares most of its coastline with the Goblin state of Pocheoa.  To the Southwest are the Grayscale mountains which demark the eastern border of the Forged Kingdom.  Having to contend with the Dur for mining rights, the goblins for fishing rights, and the descendants of their oppressors to the north has made the people of Remsford surly, contrary and pragmatic.  With modern times the labor force of Remsford has shifted away from farming and fishing towards manufacturing, as it is simply easier than attempting to eek out a living from the rocky terrain.  Labor Unions and political parties replaced the pirate crews and robber bands of the olden days, and the people became extremely proud of their labor and goods.  The republic capital of Cardiff is on the southern coast, as far from Chester as physically possible.  It is built on the ruins of Remsford the Black’s old pirate hideout.  To the north is the main shipping hub of Newport, controlling the southern half of the Eastern Blackwater Strait.  Bangor is the largest mining town in Remsford, located at the very center of the Greyscale mountains to the southwest.  The highest peak of the Greyscale mountains within Remsford’s borders is found there, and although it’s official name is Tobehn’s Point, the locals refer to it as the Point of Contention, as the mining rights deep within the mountain are constantly being contested by the Vuono Dur.


Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,


Today we get back on track with the rest of the human republics.  Today we deal with Parma, on the Southeast shores of the Blackwater sea.


Republic Name: Parma

Capital City: Novara

Cities of Note: Catania, Ancona

Major Commerce: Tourism, Trade

Minor Commerce: Law Services, Cuisine


Description:  Parma is located to the south of Greisslund and directly north of the Durish lands, as such, the entire Republic tends to be a cosmopolitan mix of Durish and Human denizens. Parma is unique in that it is the only Republic that does not produce anything as part of its major commerce.  The other republics tend to joke that major export of Parma is bureaucracy, as the proximity to the other major nations of the world have made magistrates, barristers and customs officials a necessary part of everyday life.  The Novaran Archival Repository is the largest record keeping body in all of the Confederacy, as all of the other Republics are required to send copies of their inter-republic and international legal documents  to the Parman capital.  This is so that visiting merchants and nobles from the Nisse and Durish lands can access the public documents without having to travel to the more remote parts of the human lands.  Parma is also known for its top rated restaurants, hotels and inns, as well as opulent seaside resorts.  Its proximity to the border of both the Vrachos and Vuono Dur communities also means that it tends to be a haven for runaway Gnomes, which creates a strange juxtaposition of beautiful marinas who’s piers are also home to vagabonds and runaway Gnomes.  

The Bloodless War of House Ayanz

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,

Today’s post is a little bit of Oranous Dur Lore to whet your appetite, and also give you a sense of how recent the Oranous are as a sovereign people.

The Bloodless War

The Oranous Dur have existed as their own culture for only 68 years, prior to that all of the great houses of The Oranous Dur claimed membership in the nation of the Vuono Dur.  Their separation and insistence on being their own sovereign nation within the Forged Kingdom  came as part of the Bloodless War of 1799.  The Bloodless War was so named because it was fought fiscally rather than physically.  It was started by house Ayanz and some of its lesser allies, who had grown tired of the heavy taxes levied on steam technology and aurum ore.  Many of those supporting the cause of house Ayanz began to remove the heavy metal adornments of their beards and replacing them with feathers instead, to symbolize the removal of a great burden for a symbol of freedom.  The year long period of boycotts, company espionage, and raucous pub crawl protests eventually lead to the signing of the Brass Accord between the Oranous, Vrachos and Vuono leadership.  

Though the Oranous are the more brash and hasty of the Durish people, the seeds of discontent that lead to the Bloodless War were sewn over 200 years prior, with the invention of the very first steam powered machine in 1606.  Jethro of house Ayanz invented a machine that used steam in order to pump water from underground lakes and rivers throughout Mount Grausaule.  

The technology was quickly developed to pump water for mining purposes, which catapulted Ayanz and its allied houses into prominence.  Over the course of the next 190 years, the technology was refined by house Ayanz with the invention of the steam locomotive engine in 1781 and the first sky ship in 1796.  This progress came with a price, which was the ire of both the older Vuono Noble houses and the Vand Nisse shipping conglomerates.  

The Tribes of Barlethan Style Guide

Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,


First, we want to quickly thank everyone who showed up to Metatopia for our final Beta test.  The data we gathered was pretty helpful and we look forward to putting it to good use.  Additionally, in to service members of the community that require accessibility accommodations, we have added the email to our site.  Should you have additional questions, suggestions or needs regarding accessibility, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.


For today’s post I’ve decided to scrounge up some imagery on the internet in order to better portray some examples of costuming for the Tribes of Barlethan.  The different communities that claim membership within Barlethan vary from region to region.  The two things that unify them all is that their community at large shuns city life and high steam technology.  They prefer to live in the vast rural places of the northern continent using simple mechanical tools that allow them to work the land.  They are also masters of alchemy, as this is the highest expression of using the bounty of nature in order to produce wondrous effects.  Beyond that, individual member cultures vary vastly in style and dress.  Some prefer to wear only furs and leathers, while others prefer hand woven cotton and muslin.  The beads that denote their tribe of origin is the one universal they all have in common (though that could also vary in design and color),  Below are some examples, I hope they inspire you to play a Barlethan at our game.

The Wayfaring Seekers

Good Afternoon Sentient Creatures, Gentlemen and Ladies,


In today’s lore drop we are going to start talking about the Wayfaring Seekers. We’ve had quite a fair amount of information about some of the Republics in the human lands, but we haven’t talked about the humans with no homeland, or more accurately, all of Sha’uru is their homeland.  The Wayfaring Seekers have been around for a little over sixty years, but their free style of living and wanderlust has been infectious throughout the lands of the Republics.  The movement was founded by Matt Starling, a charismatic young occultist who was sick of everyone accepting the decline of the magical arts.  Born Peter-Loras Vodelair to a wealthy Occitane family, Matt forsook both his inheritance and his former name on the evening of his eighteenth name day to make his own way in the world.  He held to the belief that the decline of magic could be restored through the use of an artifact known as “The Keystone” that was rumored to have existed in ancient Sha’uru.  As he wandered the world, he inspired others to join him in his quest, and over the course of twenty years his views had caught on throughout the Republic to the point that many politicians began branding Seekers as vagabonds that sought to corrupt the minds of impressionable youths.  In the summer of 1824, a group of constables attempted to bar Starling and his followers from entering into Brighton.  The summer had been particularly hot, and the band had camped along the Agrinion River just outside the city while a few of them attempted to enter the Brighton seeking supplies. A combination of the head and political upheaval riled up by the aristocracy against the wayfarers had stirred the people to the point that the authorities feared what would happen should Starling and his people enter Brighton.  This angered some of Starling’s band and things turned violent.  Starling himself attempted to calm everyone down, but an unknown assailant threw a rock at his head, triggering a full scale riot.  Starling knew that eventually the city folk would come for the rest of his people, so he attempted to make his way to the camp to warn the rest, but was shot near the banks of the Agrinion River before he could reach the camp.  The death of Matt Starling and ensuing riots unified the Wayfaring Seekers in a sobering way.  They realized that if their movement was to survive, they needed to have friends and allies and foster a message of peace and friendship.  The Seekers began to develop trade routes and connecting caravans as a way to both foster allies and set a network of informants across Sha’uru, should any news of The Keystone arise.  In honor of Starling’s death, the practice of tattooing themselves with a compass rose became universal amongst the Wayfaring Seekers.  Forty four years after the death of Matt Starling, the Wayfarer’s numbers have grown considerably, and they can be found traveling throughout world.