Oreme’s earliest history is mostly lost to time, but its creation myth describes the discovery by the first Oremian settlers of an ancient fortress atop a sea cliff, built by mysterious benefactors, which provided them safety and extremely fertile ground from which to farm.
The earliest historical document of the city however is a decree that formally announced itself as an autonomous protectorate in the year 201BR (Before Revolution) in the Bachenaux Calendar. By this time a large hamlet had been built around the ruins that had existed on the high cliffs of the river Orr. Initially a small fishing and farming community predominantly of Elvish and Human stock, the city grew rich on trade its connection to the river networks of the continental interior. The earliest city census records show that there were well over fourty seven thousand people in residence, with over two thirds majority of those Elvish, followed by Human and a smattering of other races aside.
Its closest neighbour, a now forgotten and expunged kingdom, held nominal dominion over the settlement, receiving yearly tribute and favourable trade agreements. Its governance was handled by a council of city oligarchs who were charged with administering the day to day affairs and laws of the city. By the time of The Glorious Revolution in 6BR, Oreme’s population, already swollen beyond capacity, suffered major food shortages and plague that contributed to its decision to remain a neutral in the revolution’s efforts.
Quietly however, the city had chafed at the yoke of its protectorate status and mismanagement by the incumbent king and provided material and trade support through proxies to the Bachene rebels, named for the town of its origin, and later namesake of the republic. By the end of the revolution, with the five kings put to death, Oreme formally announced its intent to be an independent city state.
Due to the process of reconstruction and centralisation required to turn five Elvish kingdoms into one people, and one nation- the newly formed Bacheneaux Republic tolerated the city’s declaration for over a thousand years. During this time the city’s fortunes waxed and waned with the world, with only a few notable historical events including the great feat of construction of the Bridge of Oreme that finally bridged the gap between the two halves of the city in 598-603AR (After Revolution), and the installation of the Grand Trebuchet in 762AR.
In the Bachenaux year 1047AR, the first formal envoys of the newly formed Kingdom of Erhart, arrived in the city. A newly unified nation that spanned the whole of the newly christened “Isle of Erhart” promised large trading opportunities that the Oremians were eager to exploit. The Bachenaux, who until this time had been content to allow the city, as well as others along the western coast of the continent to their own devices, were immediately threatened by the sudden appearance of an absolute monarchy. Worse still, the Erhart spent the next few hundred years in a slow but steady campaign of political and diplomatic pressure in reorienting these city states into their sphere of influence.
It was not until the city of Amarielle decided to become subjects of the Erhart king that this threat galvanised the senate into action and a long-term plan was drawn to ensure that the Bachenaux people would never again be ruled without consent. Over the next few centuries the great powers of Erhart and Bachenaux would earn grudging respect for one another both in politics and on the field of battle, though that is another story.
Oreme had during this time adopted many of the traditions and cultural influences of the Bachenaux Republic. Elected town councils and officials had long since replaced the oligarchic system of governance in the city over a gradual transition, and had been, unknown to the citizens of the independent city, long since thoroughly infiltrated by the bachenaux intelligence service, the silver chalice.
It was through these mechanisms that the senate of the republic enacted its plan. Over a period of twelve years, the Bachenaux embarked on a political campaign to cement its grasp over cities it had once considered to be de-facto vassals. Then, in 1587AR, it formally invited all remaining cities, including Oreme, to join the republic.
In a period of time called “The Velvet Revolution” cities voted, elected or chose to join the republic in the greatest political upheaval of the time. Of the fifteen cities that had been extended the offer, fourteen assented in overwhelming support for the idea, including Oreme.
What was not known, was that this outcome had been pre-determined. Through vote meddling, blackmail, intimidation and murder, one of the largest political efforts of the Republic was a resounding success, and astounded the Erhart. Oreme formally entered the republic in 1590AR and was given a senatorial seat that year.
In 1678AR during the height of war between the Bachenaux and Erhart, a surprise invasion carried out under cover of night almost resulted in the capture of the city. It was only by the action of watch commander Leon de Seisrioux that prevented the city from falling directly into the clutches of Lord General William Wincer by successfully holding the great fortress of Oreme and securing the only viable path to the city- the great bridge. With the city split in two, divided by the river Orr, a year later it was the site of the signing of the Oreme Peace Accord, with the Bachenaux ceding control of several of its territories, including half of the city, which would enter into custodianship of a governor appointed directly by the king.
With the city effectively cut in half, those citizens who lived in Erhart controlled territory were stripped of their voting rights and formally inducted into the heavily regimented class system of Erhart. Various extra-judicial crimes were committed by, but never formally recognised by the Erhart government as they modelled the city to their tastes and quelled potential rebellion. Construction of a fortress was commissioned, with several city blocks evicted and demolished, to house the governor and act as a defensive structure in the event of another conflict.
Meanwhile, tasting the bitter ashes of defeat at the hand of the Erhart had deeply affected the morale of the citizens of Bachenaux-controlled Oreme. It was not until the full terms of the Peace Accord were made public though, that this descended into civil disobedience. Part of the accord were several territorial considerations ceded to the Bachenaux Republic, including returning fertile and resource rich lands far from the city. Public sentiment turned from dismay to outright anger- many families had been separated by the decision of the senate, with seemingly no concern given to the civilian population.
Riots broke out in the town square and several Bachenaux officials were murdered, including the governor who was hung from the great bridge. It took the city watch five days to restore order, and a further decade to heal the divide between Oreme and the Republic. There are still many citizens of Bachenaux-Oreme who are embittered by the treaty and there is evidence for a sympathy for separatist movement within the city.
In 1753AR, Charlie Roughhouse arrived in Oreme to compete with Bachenaux’s reigning boxing champion, “Thunderclap” Jaque Le Forgeron.