Ofir or Ofier is a landmass in the region known to Nordlings as "beyond the seas" near Zangvebar, south of the Nilfgaardian Empire. It consisted of various fallen empires, kingdoms and tribes, which were unified by malliqs before the 1270s.
Legends of Origin
Apart from advanced areas, Ofir includes primitive tribes which still recount bygone eras in tales. One such myth tells of a time when sky and steppe fell in love and gave birth to the first mare. This mare, seeing how weak humans are falling prey to dangers, began to nurse them. They fed on her milk until growing strong enough to saddle her, becoming warriors. This is why Ofiri value horses highly and call them "noblest among all beasts".
During the rich history of Ofir, many empires rose and fell, succeeded by rich kingdoms. At one point, a crew of Skellige pirates led by infamous Yustianna repeatedly raided both Zangvebar and Ofir before returning home with the loot.
Eventually, prior to the 1270s, the realms of Ofir became more or less unified under the rule of malliqs.
In 1272, Malliq Nibras entrusted his loyal merchant Dulla kh'Amanni with diagrams for a fantastic gear item. He was supposed to present it to local ruler, King Radovid V, as a gift, possibly to establish diplomatic relations. Dulla's mission had however a secret goal: the emissary was supposed to find Malliq's son, Prince Sirvat, who disappeared during his travels.
While the second goal failed – Sirvat was found dead slayed by witcher Geralt – the diplomatic mission proved more successful. During final phases of the war, the elite Ofiri mercenaries supported Northern Realms in war against Nilfgaard.
Ofir lies south of Nilfgaard and the southern edge of the Continent in the area known as beyond the seas though some Nordling scholars including Markus Hohlenberg believe Nilfgaard and the Far South are one landmass due to an isthmus made up of deserts and savannas. Inhabitants describe it as a land of vast steppes, forbidding mountains, untouched wildernesses and crystal-clear lakes and it is populated by striped horses, camels, elephants, tigers and cobras.
The weather in Ofir is much warmer and sunnier, creating a very different fauna such as legendary white horses with black stripes. The sky has a different shade, apparently less colorful in comparison with the North.
Despite the distance, Ofir trades with Northern Kingdoms via the marine mercantile route. The refinement of their products (e.g. decorated weapons, silk clothes, precious jewels, vases, spices, and carpets) makes them valuable and sought-after goods. In 1272, they also introduced the mysterious arcana of runewrighting to Nordlings. Ofiris tamed various animals native to their land such as tigers, elephants and eagles. They decorated their animals like their tigers with gold and jewelry. Additionally they shipped war elephants to the Northern Kingdoms so they could fight with them against Nilfgaard.
The empire is diverse in the range of people which are remarkably tolerant towards each other and foreigners. Most of them live in great cities like Dulla's hometown which would, according to him, make the City of Golden Towers seem dull in comparison. This city is an enclave of mages, medics, mathematicians, and philosophers. Ofiris usually like to cover their heads with turbans and chaperones. High-ranking soldiers wear pointed golden helmets.
For the main article, see Malliq.
For a full list, see Category:Ofiris.
Of all values, Ofiris hold honor in the highest esteem. Swearing upon honor is a serious promise, and they'll go to great lengths to not fail. One's honor can also rise if they undertake a risky task backed by glorious intent. Examples of such are discoveries, explorations or knowledge-expanding. Many Ofiri wear bracelets with runes meant to bring good luck inscribed on them. The king is known to keep several concubines, who wear typical harem outfits, but the current one only calls upon his favorite concubine.
Lands of Ofir have different deities and beliefs, depending on the region. They believe that important matters should be discussed outdoors with gods for witnesses. In contrast to the Northern Realms, the faith doesn't conflict science, and many clerics are great scholars valued by people for wisdom.
In one Ofiri region, a monotheistic cult centered on deity called just God is popular. His clergy, the Runewrights, believes God speaks through symbols which humans are able to interpret only as imperfect runes, glyphs, and other signs. All magic is said to come from this being. As the cult is pantheistic, its followers view God as both the creator of and the world itself who never ceases to expand. Some faithful go deeper, preferring the term "Universe".
- In the Bible, Ophir is the land from which King Solomon received a cargo of gold every three years. Researchers identify it as either present-day Yemen, Afar region in East Africa, Rajasthan India or fabled land.
- In Warriors of God, the narrator believes it to lie in Afar Region, situated south of Nubia and Kush in modern-day Ethiopia. In the real world however, there is no significant proof connecting medieval Afar people with ancient Ophir apart from the similarity in names. On the other hand, the region does indeed possess some recently discovered gold deposits.
- CD PROJEKT RED based the depiction of Ofiris on few different Middle Eastern cultures.
- Notable influences are Ottoman, Persian and Arabic. Furthermore, runewright's description of his profession shows resemblance to Jewish Kabbalah mysticism as well as to Islamic Sufism: word arranging and the power of letters, monotheism and a written record of the world creation. Their greetings and blessings fit this too.