A Tour of Osteria

As the tour guide mentioned when we were learning about the history of Osteria (if you missed that stop, you can always go back), the world of Osteria is set in the Pacific Northwest (specifically British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon) in the far future.

Before we jump into the tour, it might be handy if you have a smattering of knowledge about Osterian geo-political history…again, don’t be scared, I’ll try to keep this from being overwhelming.

  • Osteria was once a single realm with one ruler (the Solon) with smaller loosely defined regions.
  • At this time, the gods spread their influence over all of Osteria, but some gods found certain areas were more favorable to them. This is how the world of Osteria is in Domna.
  • Due to the difficulties of all the regions being ruled by one person, Osteria eventually divided into twelve clearly defined lands.
  • The lands were divided into districts and ruled by a city central to the region. One of these city-states is called a polis (plural: poli). This is how Osteria is in The Osteria Chronicles.
  • Each polis is overseen by one of the twelve Olympian gods or goddess. This patron god, if kept happy, sees to the well-being and prosperity of his or her polis. If not, well, best not to think about it.
  • Some areas of Osteria have chosen not to worship the gods of Osteria (The Twelve) and have become independent of the poli. These areas are called kingdoms. Kingdoms are still part of the realm of Osteria.

Phew, now that you (hopefully) understand the difference between a polis and a kingdom, let’s start the tour!

The Landscape of Osteria

Located on the western edge of the former North American continent, Osteria is characterized by a wide range of land forms.

If you traveled Osteria from from west to east, you’ll see the following: the coastal areas along the Western Ocean, the Low Mountains, a fertile valley along the Illamos River, the Great Mountain Chain that’s dotted with volcanoes, grain-growing plains, and an eastern desert.

Other features of Osteria include a cluster of islands off the northern coast, the Col River that flows from far eastern Osteria to the Western Sea, and the Graveyard (the treacherous crossing where the Col meets the sea).

And with that map in mind, let’s take stroll through Osteria

The Twelve Poli of Osteria

ARYANA: This polis of Ares is a land of tough warriors who are raised from childhood to fight for their polis. Aryana’s only culture is that of war; the people make no art, write no books, and grow only the most basic of foods. While sheep are kept for slaughter, most other food is obtained by raids on other poli. Areans pay little heed to truces between the poli and are constantly on the offensive. Aryana is the easternmost polis. It borders Demos.

ASTORIA: This polis of Poseidon sits along the coast to the north and south of the mouth of the Col River and the Western Ocean – a tumultuous stretch of water known as the Graveyard due to its nasty currents, hull-ripping rocks, and a monster that lurks underneath. Astoria breeds some of the top horses in Osteria. Astoria borders Tillaceae to the south.

ATHENOS: This is the polis of Athena, the goddess of fairness and justice. Everything from the buildings to the topiary in Athenos is balanced and symmetrical to represent equality and justice. In addition to being the seat of Osteria’s high court, Athenos is the most modern polis in Osteria where engineers devise technological innovations such as solar panels and indoor plumbing. Athenos sits in northern Osteria with Vancuse as its neighbor to the north, and Seattica as its neighbor the southwest.

DEMOS: The polis of Demeter supplies grain to the other areas of Osteria. This grain production has brought great wealth to the polis, but also spells disaster when crops fail or leaders fall under the influence and threats of the neighboring Areans. The capital of Demos is Troy – a city surrounded by supposedly impregnable walls. Demos shares its eastern border with Aryana, and its western border with Cedonia.

BENDRIA: The rugged polis of Apollo is full of sun. The rich landscape is characterized by high deserts, extinct volcanoes, hardened lava flows, and jagged rock formations. You’ll find this vast polis in the south central area of Osteria.

ILLAMOS VALLEY: The polis of Dionysus was carved by the Illamos River and is filled with rich soil to grow fruits, nuts, vegetables, and, of course, grapes for wine. As his main preoccupation is his grape vines and steady wine production, Dionysus pays little attention to the politics in his polis. Illamos Valley is just south of Portaceae and these two poli share a strong bond.

The Illamos River at sunrise.

CEDONIA: The polis of Artemis is characterized by the wild beauty of the Hooded Mount, the Col River, forests, and lakes. Most people live in Cedonia City which lies upriver from Portaceae and downriver from Demos. Cedonia City is powered by the ever-present winds that course through the gorge carved by the Col.

The Hooded Mount is in the background.

HELENA: The polis of Hephaestus surrounds the most volcanically active region of Osteria’s Great Mountains and shares its southern border with Portaceae. The people of Helena are renowned for their metal working skills and for their lack of desire to travel beyond their home polis’s borders. A sword of Helenian steel is the most prized weapon in Osteria. 

SEATTICA: The polis of Zeus is located far north of his wife’s polis of Portaceae. This distance leaves Zeus free to pursue his favorite pastime: beautiful women. This also allows the Osteria Council, whose seat is in Seattica, plenty of time to undermine the gods.

TILLACEAE: Polis of Hermes and land of cattle that provide much of Osteria’s dairy products and beef. Located just south of the polis of Astoria, Tillaceae borders the Western Ocean and is characterized by rich fields at the foothills of the Low Mountains. This insular polis has no central leader and tries to stay out of Osterian politics. 

VANCUSE: The polis of Aphrodite is the furthest north of all the poli. Its distance and beauty makes it a favorite getaway for those Osterians who can afford the travel permits to escape their daily lives. As Aphrodite is loved by Ares, her polis has never faced the wrath of the Areans…yet.

PORTACEAE: The main setting for The Trials of Hercules is the polis of Hera. With Portaceae City as its capital, Portaceae is blessed with abundant rain and a mild climate. Portaceae and Seattica have had rivalries in the past for which polis is the most influential and prosperous in Osteria.

The Solonian Palace

The Kingdoms of Osteria

Colchis: Far to the north and east of Osteria, Colchis is a harsh land ruled by a harsh madman. Featured strongly in The Voyage, this heavily fortified kingdom is the only place in Osteria where slavery still exists and where centaurs are hunted for sport. Because of their hash treatment by humans, you don’t want to come across a Colchian centaur if you make the mistake of entering the Colchian Forest.

Amazonia: This island, one of many in the northern region of Osteria, is home to a band of warrior women led by Lyta. The women refuse to be overseen by any of the gods.

Minoa: This wealthy kingdom in the east of Osteria split off from the polis of Bendria. Instead of the gods, Minoans worship the bull. This kingdom during the Osteria Chronicles is ruled by Minos who is a hearty eater and is well-loved until events in The Maze bring his kingdom to the brink of war.

The Docklands: A small yet vital kingdom that was once part of Seattica. This is where most of Osteria’s ships are built. Along the waterfront stretch a line of docks, each run individually, where boats may be hired. The people of the Docklands are the most skilled sailors in all of Osteria, including Perseus, captain of the Argoa.

Other Areas of Osteria

Mount Olympus: Mount Olympus, the primary home of the gods, is a gathering place for them to lounge and gossip. Located to the west of Athenos, Olympus is surrounded by wilderness and is inaccessible to mortals. On Olympus, winter never comes and the cliff-side gardens are filled with flowers and fruits year round.

The Califf Lands: This popular area to the south is not part of Osteria, but a separate land. Known for high fashion and cutting edge style, the rich of Osteria love to hire people from the Califf Lands to dress them for special occasions.

The Chasm: Far to the east of Osteria, in a deep valley carved by the River Styx, is the Chasm. The realm of Hades where only the dead may enter…usually. Since the dead crave living flesh, mortals who enter the Chasm risk becoming snacks for them.

Phew, that was quite a journey. If you’re ready to hop off the bus, I wouldn’t blame you, but if you’re…

Eager for the Next Stop on the Tour…

Just click the helmet or choose from the list below!

  • What inspired and influenced the world of Osteria? Click HERE to find out.
  • Want to meet the gods and a few Osterian creatures? That would be HERE.
  • Curious about the myths behind the books? Head to THIS PAGE.
  • If you want to discover more about the series, you’ll want to go HERE
  • If you want to go back to the beginning, Pegasus will take you there.

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The Books of Osteria

Domna: A Novel of Osteria

The Osteria Chronicles

If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your FREE short story from Osteria!