Anastasia O'Rourke, Countess of Halstaig

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Anastasia Cassia O'Rourke
anastasianew.jpg
"The Distort Countess" by Rayehm Wynsehn, c. 1793
Countess of Halstaig
Tenure: 15th of The Amber Cold, 1791 - 23rd of The Amber Cold, 1828
Predecessor: Padraig Pious O'Rourke
Successor: Iduna Anne O'Rourke
Magistrate of Providence
Tenure: 24th of Sun's Smile, 1814 – 23rd of The Amber Cold, 1828
Predecessor: Bram Cardinal Providenti
Successor: Philip Aurelian
Race: Adunian
Born: 11th of Snow's Maiden, 1770, Owynsburg, Commonwealth of Kaedrin
Death: 24th of Harren's Folley, 1828, Providence, Holy Orenian Empire
Spouse: Carter Komnenos II (m. 1800; died. 1813)
House: orourkecoa.png O'Rourke
Father: Padraig O'Rourke
Mother: Illaena Elendil
Military Service
Allegiance: OrenianFlag.png Holy Orenian Empire
Years of service: 1786 - 1826
Rank: Lieutenant Grenademaster
Unit: Imperial Grenadiers
Wars/Battles:
Awards:
  • Knight Commander of the Order of the Lion

Anastasia Cassia of Halstaig also known as Azariah of Halstaig was a renowned warrior of humanity, Countess of Halstaig, and lady of many firsts in city government during her lifetime. She was born on the 11th of Snow’s Maiden, 1770, of the House of Rourke, was born in Owynsburg, Kaedrin. She lived a reality peaceful life until age thirteen when she left home and picked up proficiency in marksmanship and dueling. For a time, she went by the name Azariah and assassinated people for coin until she was caught by the Haeseni Royal Army who then delivered her to the Imperial State Army. After some compromising with Joseph Clement, Duke of Helena she was forcefully conscripted into the I.S.A in 1786. During the span of the next five years, she reunited with her family, ran for Alderman, and become a city clerk of Helena until her father's untimely passing in 1791.

Following her father’s passing, she was made the Countess of Halstaig, having been the eldest child of her sonless father. Anastasia continued to climb the ranks of the Imperial State Army while fighting in the Inferi War. In 1796, when the descendant population evacuated Arcas, she established a small town on the Daeperician Archipelago. Upon arriving on Almaris, Anastasia with the help of her grandfather, Jonah Stahl-Elendil constructed Erin Hall in the new lands of Halstaig. In addition, she returned into the world of politics, becoming the first female Alderman of Providence and first female Speaker of the City Assembly. After eight years in the city assembly, Anastasia left and become the Head City Clerk of Providence.

After a six-year period had passed, John VIII, Holy Orenian Emperor had made Anastasia the first female Magistrate of Providence and thus she resigned from Head City Clerk. Over this period of time, Anastasia partook in the Sedan Rebellion, the Providence Cold Front and Tenth Nordling War, all of which, led her to become a Lieutenant in the Imperial State Army. In 1826, Anastasia resigned from the army and moved west, back to her lands of Halstaig, only to die two years later during an assassination attempt.

Childhood; 1770-1786

Anastasia O'Rourke was born into House O'Rourke to Padraig O'Rourke & Illaena Elendil. For the first few years of her life, she was moved between Aeldin & Arcas. Being constantly moved around gave her precious little time to make friends in either realm which led her to lock herself in her room, reading & writing until she would fall asleep. She started to become more introverted & rejected the idea of going outside.

In 1783, the young Anastasia was awakened by a crude knock at the door by a house servant who came bearing a request for her presence downstairs. Peaking through a window in her room, she spotted a well-maintained carriage bearing the crest of an Aeldin house. Knowing full-well what this meant, she climbed out of her second-floor bedroom to the ground, seeking to escape. Almost seconds after her feet touched the soil the sound of a door splintering rang out from her bedroom prompting Anastasia to flee.

By nightfall, Anastasia found herself lost in the woods. Without a compass, she settled down, slumped against a tree to sleep the night away. The next day she was harshly awoken by the sounds of horses. A norlandic patrol had spotted her. The riders introduced themselves & befriended the young girl, asking her questions about where she was from. Not desiring to return to her home in Kaedrin she lied & said Curon; a former kingdom of Oren that was dissolved over a decade prior.

Feeling sympathetic for her, the Norlanders took her back to their home in Morsgrad & raised her until the age of sixteen. Through these three years, they taught Anastasia how to fight, hunt & ride. During this period of time, Anastasia picked up a job as a sell-sword; a sword for hire. On the 10th of Sun's Smile, one of her assignments took her to Helena, the capital of The Holy Orenian Empire where she was to distract the guards of the city so a small raiding party could kidnap an imperial nobleman. She was successful in doing such & due to that success, she was hired to do the same thing multiple more times throughout the same year until she was captured by a Haeseni soldier & handed over to imperial authorities.

Once in custody, she was given the choice of death or joining the Imperial State Army by Joseph Clement, The Duke of Helena. Without a second thought, Anastasia chose the ladder. She spent the next two years in basic training which she completed with ease having already been profecient in combat since a young age.

Political Career; 1788-1814

After completing her basic training, Anastasia was pushed by her father to pursue a political career in Oren. It took a bit of convincing but Anastasia finally agreed. In 1788, she made her political debut by running for an alderman position in Helena. With ten sign-ups for election candidates, making the 1788 alderman elections the largest city assembly elections in Helena history, the competition was fierce. Two months later the voting process took place & to Anastasia's surprise she had won the first seat with forty-one thousand votes.

For the next seven years, she served on the city assembly, raising to the rank of Deputy Speaker appointed by Desmond Morgryn. When the descendants were forced to evacuate Arcas, Anastasia ran again in Providence, Almaris in the elections of 1797. Once more Anastasia won the first seat in the City Assembly with forty-thousand votes. During the first city assembly meeting in 1798, Anastasia ran for speaker of the assembly which she won with five out of seven votes. In 1803, when Anastasia's seat as speaker of the assembly was up for election she chose not to re-run instead throwing her support behind Olivier Halcourt. Two years later in 1805 Anastasia retired as alderman of Providence thus ending her mainstream political career.

In addition to her political career as an alderman, Anastasia served as a city clerk for both Helena & Providence. In 1795, one year before the descendant's fleed Arcas, she was made Deputy City Clerk. Upon arriving at Providence, she retained her position as Deputy City Clerk. In 1808 when Annabelle Kelmenour resigned from the position of Head City Clerk, Anastasia was voted in by the Providence City Assembly to take up the mantle as her successor.

The Inferi War; 1777-1792

Throughout the 1780s & 1790s, demonic forces pillaged the desert island off of Arcas known as The Korvassa. During Anastasia's time as a private in The Imperial State Army, she engaged in a multitude of skirmishes, battles & sieges with these foes. Her first battle came as The Seige of Vanmark where she was assigned to what was essentially a suicide squad led by Velhrun Darkwood. Large mammoth creatures patrolled the outskirts of the city & the objective of her unit was to climb aboard these massive beasts and divert them away from the main force whether by death or redirection. The attempts to board the mammoths failed with many soldiers in her unit ending up dead or heavily injured. Anastasia's unit continued to engage the beasts until the norlandic naval force arrived off of the coast of Vanmark and was able to obliterate the mammoths through cannon fire. After the battlefield was cleared of all hostiles, Anastasia sought to attend to the wounded.

Her next few engagements with inferi forces came through small skirmishes on the south coast of Arcas & scouting expeditions into the demonic territory. During this period of time, one of Anastasia's friends; Viktoriya was captured by inferi forces. Viktoriya's husband, Alaric DeNurem; the head of the military intelligence brought Anastasia, an imperial fire mage & a band of mercenaries to free the imprisoned Vik. Initially, the group attempted to negotiate with the inferi but the attempts at bringing the situation to a peaceful resolve were shot down. Hostile methods were tried shortly afterward & unfortunately for liberators, they were pushed back with no success from their initial mission.

In 1787, the allied descendant forces chose their next offensive target, Vitenna. Within a few weeks, siege preparations began to take shape on the beaches of Vanmark. On the 12th of Sun's Smile, infantry from both the Holy Orenian Empire & the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska mobilized on small landing crafts along the Vanmark shore. At 17:00 the allied infantry made their move. Norland & Dwarf artillery were able to open up a breach in Vitenna’s western walls which the allied infantry stormed into. Anastasia was one of the last through the breach but she was immediately met with inferi forces. Through the fray demonic hellhounds were released, one of the mutts was able to rip a chunk of flesh out of Azariah's left leg, rendering her unable to carry on the fight for some time while she underwent medical treatment.

After a temporary fix, Anastasia was sent back onto the battlefield. When she rejoined her comrades on the frontlines, the allied infantry forces had been able to push their way into the palace grounds. The fight continued all the way up into a large gargoyle was shot out of the sky, landing on the bulk of the descendant infantry force. This caused the infantry to retreat back to the shores of The Korvassa. Even with the retreat of imperial infantry, the battle could be considered a victory as the majority of inferi forces occupying the fallen city was destroyed, leaving the Doghouse no longer be a threat to the allied armies.

In the following year, Anastasia received orders that placed her at Foward Camp Sabari; an imperial fortress near the front. At her new station, she took part in many scouting missions in the Korvassa that paved the path for the eventual Second Siege of Al-Faiz. Unlike the other sieges Anastasia took part in, she only played a minor role as a cannon loader upon the HIMS Duke of Marna.

After the Second of Seige of Al-Faiz came The Final Battle where the descendants laid siege to the main inferi encampment. The Imperial State Army served as a flanking force among the allied armies. Their object was to sweep around Al-Faiz & hit the encampment walls from the west. The siege proved to be the hardest engagement in the entire Inferi War. For much of the siege, Anastasia resided in make-shift medical tents to treat various wounds sustained by the descendant armies. She only joined the front-line action towards the last week of the battle.

When the war was over Anastasia returned to Foward Camp Sabari where she spent the new few months hunting down remaining inferi forces with the assistance of Elvenesse infantry. On several occasions, these monster hunts brought her closer to death than any of the sieges she fought in.

Reign as Countess of Halstaig; 1791-1828

On the 15th of The Amber Cold, 1791, Padraig O'Rourke was discovered dead in his office in Helena. Anastasia only was able to greave for a few short hours before she was visited by the Duke of Crestfall, confirming her as the new title bearer of Halstaig. Nervousness immediately struck the young woman, fear of failing to lead her house haunted her dreams. These fears went on to provoke the young woman to fall into a state of depression where she developed a colder outlook on the world. It took her almost two years until she was able to pull herself out of her depression however, she kept her cold attitude. Around this time, Carter Komnenos II started courting the Countess.

In 1796 when the descendants arrived on Almaris Anastasia set to immediate work on re-establishing her house. Due to the lack of O'Rourkes it proved to be a difficult challenge at first. However, with the support of her grandfather, Jonah Stahl-Elendil, Anastasia was able to gain support in building her county, Halstaig. Multiple drafts for the design of Halstaig were made until a final one was settled upon. With the help of her brother, Patrick O'Rourke who returned from a voyage to Aeldin in 1799, Halstaig was able to be built with haste, being the first noble estate completely built in the Empire. After the estate was complete, Patrick & Anastasia went on to create the majority of the western highway with the assistance of their cousin Dimitri Orlov.

"From Humble Beginnings" (circa 1810), by Miss Nora James of Halstaig. The portrait depicts Anastasia with her eldest daughter Iduna Anne

The Sedan Rebellion; 1811-1813

With tensions rising in Oren over the eviction the Sedan Manor faced, Anastasia was recruited into the Corroded Company, a detachment of the Imperial State Army that specialized in road combat. For the first two months in the company, Anastasia helped with the construction of a fort on the southern imperial highway along with creating fortifications for the town of Redenford which bordered Sedan. The following month on the 2nd of Tobias' Bounty, the sedanites stormed the imperial capital of Providence which led to a series of small skirmishes to follow. For the rest of the month of Tobias' Bounty, Anastasia fought in multiple skirmishes with all of them seeing an Orenian victory.

Oddly enough after all the fighting that took place during Tobias' Bounty, the month of Sun's Smile remained relatively quiet. No skirmishes were to be found across imperial lands & Oren took this time to reinforce their defenses. Once Sun's Smile had passed, the month of Harren's Folly filled in as a replacement for all the missing action of its prior month. On the 13th, Oren & Sedan had its first major battle which came to be known as the Battle of Southbridge. To Anastasia's disappointment, the division which she led was rerouted to a fortress on the southern highway to watch for sedanite movement & by the time a message was sent to her of the battle it was already over.

In 1812, Anastasia took part in several small border skirmishes with sedanite troops which led up to the Battle of Robert's Folly on the 17th of Godfrey's Triumph.

The Providence Cold Front; 1810-1813

Starting in 1810, an unnatural cold front hit Providence & the greater Holy Orenian Empire, causing many hinterland farmers to rebel against the Empire. As these rebels posed a minor threat to the Empire, Anastasia ignored them due to the ongoing Sedan Rebellion until 1813, when a rebel fleet was discovered anchored off of the coast of the Empire. After a scouting party was sent out to survey the enemy fleet's numbers, it was announced their flagship was a thirty-six gun, Man of War; a major threat to Oren's shipping routes.

On the 16th of Tobias's Bounty, Anastasia had traveled to the Grand Kingdom of Urguan with one of her old friends, Alistar Brashton to join the crew of the dwarven sloop, the U.S.S Armakak's Coffer; one of the three ships which later went on the assault the Orenian rebel fleet. For the next day, the Armakak spent its time sailing from the dwarven port on the southern shore of Almaris to Henry's Wharf on the eastern shore where the rest of the Orenian fleet sat waiting. Upon the arrival of the Armakak, the allied fleet set course and engaged the rebel fleet in what came to be known as the Battle of the Kahaen Sea.

The Tenth Nordling War; 1818-1823

When the Tenth Nordling War broke out, Anastasia rejoined Corroded Company and took part in several raids against the Kingdom of Norland & in specific, the Duchy of Elysium. On the 1st of Sun's Smile, 1818, she had led a successful raiding party in enemy territory alongside three other commanders. Returning to Providence afterward, the Countess received several letters from the Canonist Church, demanding she repented for her sins. Confused as to why the Church had sent these letters, she turned to her personal advisors who informed her that Norlandic propaganda made it out that the Orenians had slaughtered children. Anastasia proceeded to then ignore the Church and toss the letters into a fireplace in Halstaig.

Anastasia engaged in several more skirmishes and minor battles with the Norlandic host, notably the battles of The Elysium Encounter and Operation Maiden's Rescue, both of which ended in Orenian victories. On the 4th of the Grand Harvest, 1821, Anastasia rallied almost one thousand Adunians to join the fight in the Battle of Outer Arentania which ended up as yet another Orenian victory. Afterward, the emperor, John VIII had scolded her for providing her own custom armor to equip her rally with.

The Risorganist Scheme; 1826-1827

In 1826, a political ideology known as Risorganism spearheaded by members of the Church of the Canon emerged in Oren. Risorganism encouraged and pushed for soldiers of the Imperial State Army to have a louder voice in Imperial politics along with removing the non-partisan clause all soldiers must follow. However, in 1827, Cardinal Gawain, the vice-chancellor of the Church of Canon published a novel titled Rebels in Oren [1]. The novel mocked the Adunian race & culture which did not sit well with the Adunian community in Oren yet it became rapidly popular with the Church and its most loyal supporters, even receiving praise from the High Pontiff.

No less than months later, the Risorganist published a manifesto, detailing their political ideology. In particular, the Rigsorganist manifesto address the Harrenite Curse where Adunians was quoted to be "afflicted by Iblees to demonstrate an urge for deception". Furthermore, the Risosorganists suggested that Adunians become second-class citizens are treated the same as Kha's and Wonk's. Outraged with the Risoganists and the Church of the Canon itself, Anastasia in combination with leaders of other Orenian Adunian clans such as Napier, Elendil, Armas & Wittenbach published an official response [[2]] where they called upon Emperor John VIII to address the issue and consider adding Protector of Adunians to his official title. Unfortunately during the Emperor never publicly made a response to the Countess's missive.

Death; 1828

In 1828, Anastasia returned to her home in Providence to find it under attack by foreign mercenaries, claiming they were looking for Akello Cenobia; one of the Countess's personal advisors. The Countess attempted to redirect the mercenaries, claiming she saw Akello minutes prior in another resident section of the city. Unconvinced, the mercenaries proceeded to burn down the home, revealing the location of Akello who was hiding in the basement of the home. A battle ensued, leaving many members of both sides severely wounded. The Countess, herself gained several shades of ice, lodged into her back and neck from a mercenary mage. This left her gravely injured. Despite her condition, she was able to depart from the battlefield to find medical help. However, when her son, Auden Thein O'Rourke went to search for her afterward, the Countess was nowhere to be found. After a year had passed with no sign of the missing Countess, she was presumed dead and thus her daughter and legal heir Iduna Anne O'Rourke assumed the position of Countess of Halstaig and Matriarch of House O'Rourke. At the Emperor's Court of 1828, she was publicly announced as dead and was then proceeded to be knighted posthumous Knight Commander of the Order of the Lion for her extensive military and political work within the Empire.

Titles, Styles and Honors

Military Ranks

Holy Orenian Empire

  • OrenianFlag.png 1786: Recruit
  • OrenianFlag.png 1787: Private
  • OrenianFlag.png 1789: Private Specialist
  • OrenianFlag.png 1791: Corporal
  • OrenianFlag.png 1793: Senior Corporal
  • OrenianFlag.png 1795: Sergeant
  • OrenianFlag.png 1811: Lieutenant

Honors

Orders

  • 1828: Knight Commander of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Imperial Order of the Lion

Medals

  • Red Star 4th Class
  • Red Star 3rd Class
  • Red Star 2nd Class
  • Bronze War Eagle
  • Petrine Heart
  • 10th Nordling War Campaign Medal
  • Sedan Rebellion Campaign Medal
  • Inferi War Campaign Medal

Titles and Styles

  • 1781-1791: Lady, Anastasia Cassia of Halstaig
  • 1791-1814: The Right Honorable, Countess of Halstaig
  • 1814-1828: The Right Honorable, Anastasia Cassia O'Rourke, Countess of Halstaig, Magistrate of Providence
  • 1828-Present: Dame, Anastasia Cassia of Halstaig, Knight Commander of the Order of the Lion

Armorial Bearings

The Arms of Anastasia and the House of Rourke: Quarterly, first and fourth sterling, on an argent cross, second and third, on an eagle auric. Overall a sable shield finish on an argent pecan tree.

The Countess of Halstaig's arms were granted and confirmed in 1827 by the Adunian Artisan, Rayehm Wynsehn. Originally the Countess had used the arms of her father and grandfather; a sable shield on an argent pecan tree. However, during her reign, the House of Colborn adopted the same arms as their own. Annoyed with the Colborn decision, the Countess commissioned Rayehm Wynsehn to design a new coat of arms for her and her family.

Issue

Name Birth Death Marriage
Gareth Padraig O'Rourke 7th of Sigismund's End, 1803 Alive Lorena Anastasya Carrion Firstborn son of Anastasia & Carter. Moved to Aeldin with his grandmother during his childhood, thus losing his right to inherit the County. Later returned to Oren and wed Lorena Anastasya Carrion-Tuvyic, daughter of Tuvya-Konstantin Carrion-Tuvyic and Josephine Natalya Othaman. Together they have produced two children, Lyanna Lucia, and Calahan Antonious.
Auden Thien O'Rourke 7th of Sigismund's End, 1803 Alive Unwed Secondborn son of Anastasia & Carter. Refused to take on the role of Heir to Halstaig, believing his sister would do a better job.
Iduna Anne O'Rourke 16th of Horen's Calling, 1804 Alive Elias Asul'onn Firstborn daughter of Anastasia & Carter. Made Heir of Halstaig upon her brother's absence to the title. Married Elias Asul'onn, an adopted Haeseni noble. Together they have sired one child, Theodosia Illaena.
Maeve Rose O'Rourke 5th of Owyn's Flame, 1806 Alive Unwed Secondborn daughter of Anastasia & Carter.