Name: The Kingdom of Odessa
Adjective Form: Odessan
Government: Odessa is a monarchy. Supreme executive power is held by His (or Her) Majesty the King (or Queen), currently King Aden III. Legislative authority is held by the King, as well as the Landed Council, which must approve any legislation related to taxation or force of arms.
The People: The people of Odessa are a diverse lot, ranging from freehold farmers in the Odessan Lowlands to the rugged mountain folk of the Resian Ranges, as well as a great number of mercantile types along the expansive coastline. Still, some common threads run through Odessan cultural identity. They see themselves as self-sufficient traditionalists, upholders of the ancient Imperial traditions of stoicism and practicality, an image often stereotyped by others as being rather bland and unoriginal. Odessans possess a deep pride in their cultural and governmental traditions, and a deep reverence for the monarchy (though not always the monarch).
History: Odessa possesses a particularly long and proud history, dating its independence to the Third War of Fracture, which ended in 1152 BI. The Odessan Royal Family can claim descent from the Wistarian Dynasty of the Empire, as well as direct blood ties to the elven Teldandilion Dynasty of old.
For centuries, even before the Elven Exile, an alliance bound the elves of Sidhe to the people of Odessa. After the exile of the elves and the creation of Sidhe-Praxen, the nature of the alliance shifted into a more explicit and binary arrangement, with the elves ruling the waves supported by Odessan force of arms, particularly their well-trained yeomanry and heavy infantry. Since the general retreat of the elves from mainland affairs, the Odessans have subsumed Elven naval supremacy and currently boast the world's largest, best trained, and most advanced navy. Additionally, although the Odessan military is relatively small, it is fueled by the powerful Odessan longbow and led by skilled, highly trained Field Marshals. Their reliance on archery has also historically been a strength in naval combat: Odessans eschew the classical strategies of ramming or boarding, and instead rely on attacks at distance with Flame Arrow spells provided by Ship's Wizards.
The Odessans have a long history of conflict and animosity with the people of Celstia, as the various Celstian ethnic groups were dominated by the Odessan crown between the Third War of Fracture and the Celstian Revolution (312-293 BI). In the first few centuries after Alexandria, Odessa engaged in an intense rivalry with the newly formed Alexia, especially during the Alexian Renaissance. Post-Renaissance, their rivalry cooled, until - over the past century - Odessa was able to more-or-less dominate its eastern neighbor, due in large part to unrest and instability caused by Valley of Dust-related famine.
Economy: Odessa is a massive nation that covers almost the entire of the western mainland, running north south from the Quiram Woods to the Pwelldyn Valley. The Odessan economy is large and diversified, and the power of the Odessan fleet means that Odessan traders are common in all of the nations of the world. They possess bountiful resources of all kinds, and odessan textiles, particularly those of cotton and wool, are highly prized, as is Darkwood from the Dragonhearth Forest and Odessan Yew, which is second only to the Elven Tropicals for the crafting of bows.