Mine of Osnia
The Temple of Havat
Golden Palace of Mat'et
|East Rhiness Mining Company
Rhiness is one of the many border countries that Arlandria calls it's neighbors, often times a rival. It's capital is based out of the heart of the White Jade Lake, although it has several cities and towns that fall underneath it's banner in the surrounding areas.
A land rich in crystalline caverns and mines, it boasts an economy built around these exports, with Arlandria greedily eyeing these vast mines that seem disturbingly endless. The archdruids themselves seem keenly interested in researching these mines, but they have been blocked at every turn by the Sultan Orsun III, keen to protect these mine's from rivaling border kingdoms and Arlandria.
This has led to some tension between Rhiness and Arlandria as of late and a few border skirmishes, but no outright war has been declared. Rhiness has, however, stepped up military patrols along their border, their crystal-encrusted soldiers roaming the countryside in the name of security.
The geography of Rhiness is fraught with peril. Its capital city lies in the heart of a vast crystal lake, so named not for the fact that it is made of crystals but that the lake itself actually contains vast, if minuscule quantities of quartz and jade crystals, giving it a unique property when the sun hits the surface just right. Nicknamed White Jade Lake by the locals, as the sun crests the horizon the lake turns the normally beautiful dawn glow of reddish orange into almost an aurora of colors each day the sun rises or falls.
Normally quite calm during the day, when the shadow rises, local fisherwives tales talk of a serpent within its depths that, either protects the capital or imprisons it, depending on the myth. Most locals fall in the category of protection, simply because they've never truly felt as if the lake serpent is actually alive and trade flourishes in the city.
There's local legends, rumors and the like that it's not actually imprisoning the capital or nation itself, but something far deeper and darker still in the lake. There's been attempts to dive beneath the lake as far as five thousand leagues and yet no one who has attempted such dives has ever returned back alive. Whether it's from the water pressure at that depth that even an aquamancer cannot contend with or the serpent itself is hard to tell.
All the same, ask anyone from the kingdom and they'll tell stories of the serpent and its supposed name. The problem is, every name given is different and unique, but merchants and traders who have seen it have given it the uniform nickname Ghairoia, so named for the local language's words for 'serpent' and 'sea.'
From beyond the capital city of Rhiness, known as Averossa, the actual geography is made up largely of rich farmland, jungles, and numerous crystalline lakes that hint at heavy deposits of jade and quartz in abundance not found elsewhere. These vast crystal mines are where the nation gets its largest exports, collections of gemstones so common that the nation can scarcely keep ahold of them at the best of times.
One of the most famous of these is known as Mine of Osnia, so named after a miner named Osnia delving into a large underground mine got his fortune in the trade and got to name it. The mine itself is absolutely filled with odd gemstones and crystalline structures that the East Rhiness Mining Company tends to already have all of its orders booked by Arlandria pretty much for the whole year.
Other locations of interest include an entire Forum made out of blue jade, The Temple of Havat, devoted to the unique gods and deities of Rhiness, plated purely in red quartz, and The Golden Palace of Mat'et, named for its gold plated and domed appearance, dotted with statues of golden bulls and elephants.
The culture of Rhiness is complicated. Sincerity is valued as one of the highest virtues within Rhiness culture. The difference between one’s words and one’s actions are paramount. If one’s actions follow one’s words, they’re a cut above the average person, and if they do not, they’re below them.
Their government is functionally led by a single leader and their spouse, usually known as a Sultan.
Rhiness is an artistic country. It’s known for creating astounding pieces of crystal framed paintings, glittering with gold, silver; Rhiness creates paintings whose very work is encrusted in gems and jewels of all kinds and sizes, meant such that when the sun hits it just right, the painting takes on an luminescent look, radiant beyond all measure. Shysters from the kingdom can easily imitate the best works from famous artists and find their home in various noble houses from time to time, but that's why lapidarists are often prized here, for they can tell the true from the fake.
Additionally, there is a yearly contest near the end of the Solstice celebration that the last mining contract for the East Rhiness Mining Company goes up for auction with Arlandria foregoing the usual contract in favor of a series of games and marathons that each border country and, rumors say sometimes even Isegrad send champions for.
Collectively known as The Jade Tournament, being held in Rhiness' capital, these series of games finds their contests competing in melees, archery contests, and jousting tournaments until a champion is decreed. Given a title and distinction in addition to the contract, Rhiness gives the champion an honorary citizenship and passage through its lands. Many noble houses trace their lineage back to their forefathers being successful in the tournament, though most of these noble houses are themselves either Rhinessian in nature or the border kingdoms.
Unlike Arlandria and Isegrad proper, the actual makeup of Rhiness is quite a bit more unique. Though wildkin make their home here frequently just as much as a draconian, human, or aurien, faerla are a surprisingly uncommon sight, despite sharing borders with Arlandria. It may simply be due to the culture or differences in how magic is seen here, but faerla are a rare sight within Rhiness' borders.
These citizens, however, are often seen wearing threads made of fine Arlandrian spidersilk, its guards sporting various sets of armor imported from Arlandria. Most of these are made from druidic-infused materials. Bizarrely, however, what they do with their armor is inlay them and their bodies with vast networks of gemstones, surgically implanted by well known Gem Chirugeons, that oversee the complicated process of inserting gemstones directly into the leylines of the body and replacing certain parts with magically suffused particles that directly enhance their performance on the battlefield.
The basic idea from Rhiness is that by having a chirugeon implant gemstones inside of one, they are enhanced. The most royally minded often get tears of red onyx implanted in their forehead, due to the rarity of the gem.
However, the process to obtain a smattering of this magical power begins only first by the implanting process. That's the basic process all guardsmen and soldiers of Rhiness undergo.
But there are rumors that those wanting to supplant themselves with gemstone magic can attain something beyond. It's a Lost Magic, a form that only a few know about or study it. It' said that a practitioner of this art is capable of erecting crystal trees that spread spiking quartz, fire explosive bolts of trailing quartz, formulate weapons made out of crystals to strike with it in an instant or cause their opponent to inhale dust that turns their lungs into pure gemstones and form wings. Whether they can fly or not is up in the air.
Few have actually managed to master this level of gemstone magic to such a degree and still few are those who attain this lost magic. Rumors abound about it and stranger still, there's even a persistent rumor that some of Arlandria's higher ups seek it out, though for what reasons remain to be seen.
Channeling one’s magic through this type of method does have some severe drawbacks, notably catching the attention of spirits. Some say aligned to long dead eidolons, if users of bloodspire's are to be believed; not to be confused with bloodthorn, but bloodspire, a horrid amalgamation of bloodthorn and fairy tear.