Ursus, formally known as the Empire of Ursus or the Ursus Empire (Урсус Империя) and previously called the Hippogryph Empire, is a Terran country. The largest country in Terra which borders Kazimierz, Leithania, Sami and Yan, Ursus is famed for its military might and the physical prowess of its mostly Ursine inhabitants. It is a monarchy with the Emperor as the head of state, although a power struggle between the "old guard" aristocracy and the military leaders is happening behind the scenes.
Ursus is particularly infamous not only for its militaristic and xenophobic attitudes, but also for its cruel, atrocious treatments towards the Infected – the most oppressive in Terra – in which they become the target of pogroms carried out by the Patrol Unit. Those who managed to survive or avoid the pogroms usually end up being sent into Originium mining camps on the vast Northern Tundra alongside political prisoners. They are subject to forced labor until they either die from their Oripathy or are systematically killed for the overseers and guards' entertainment. When the Originium mine becomes exhausted, the remaining prisoners will be executed before the mines are destroyed.
The Ursus language is similar to the Russian language in our world. But somehow, both have distinct grammars and accents even though both are mutually intelligible enough with each other.
- A great empire formed primarily by the Ursus peoples. It is known for its vast territory, harsh environment, and military might.
- A great empire with a mostly Ursus population. Its vast lands lie in the extreme north, and though it sits on a great wealth of mineral resources, much of its territory remains undeveloped. Under the leadership of the previous emperor, Ursus stepped down the path of industrialization and militarization, rapidly building its power by launching wars against neighboring countries. However, with its defeat in a war against Higashi and the igniting of tensions between the army and the nobility, Ursus finds itself in the midst of a turbulent societal revolution.
Long before the nation was called Ursus, it was called the "Hippogryph Empire" ruled by the eponymous Elderly race. But around a thousand years ago, in Terran Year 31, the current Ursine regime, the Ivanovich dynasty, was founded after the Ursus people overthrew the Hippogryphs who failed to defend the country from the hordes of the Nightzmoran Khagan. The Ursines' pride and ferocity drove them to conquer vast territory in northern Terra. The northernmost border of Ursus is considered the 'Border of Civilization', beyond which lies terror unknown to most of mankind.
Under the leadership of the previous emperor Vladimir Ivanovich, Ursus won a grand victory during the Battle of the Four Emperors where it allied with Victoria and Leithania to annihilate the mighty Gallic Empire in the year 1053, leading to the rise of Ursus' militarism. The empire had ten wars against Kazimierz known as the "Ursus-Kazimierz Wars", the latest of which resulted in Ursus occupying much of Kazmierz's territories for around ten years before finally being repelled due to internal strife in the wake of emperor Vladimir Ivanovich's death. At the same time, Ursus' expansion led to its encounter with the eldritch demons inhabiting the icy Northland. With its supreme military, Ursus acts as a border to contain them and even uses their fragments to build up an invincible army, spearheaded by the "Emperor's Blades." The Ursus' might is acknowledged by many with the following line:
|“||Five groups of shieldmen can slaughter a squard of knights;|
Four Royal Guards can wipe a settlement off the map;
Three Wendigos can conquer a small town;
Two army groups can decimate a duchy;
One sovereign can throw the world into chaos.
|—The testimony of Ursus' might|
However, Ursus' expansionism is not without cost. Its immense military put a huge strain on the economy and the population, especially once the spoils or war can no longer sustain further conquests. As the empire expands, it also suffers many defeats, leading to the decrease in morale. One such devastating defeat is the death of some twenty Emperor's Blades in the "Valley of the Setting Sun." In its homeland, many citizens begin to be unhappy with Ursus' militaristic policies and their own poor conditions. The Ursus leadership needs a scapegoat to take the blame; this scapegoat has become the Infected. Such action distracts the Ursines' attention away from the leaders' corruption, and encourages persecution of the Infected by passing various laws. This also accelerates the ongoing persecution.
A war against Higashi known as the "Bloodpeak Campaign" in the year 1072 is the turning point of the Ursus history. Originally, the war on the east was meant to be a distraction of its inner political conflicts following Emperor Vladimir's illness and Ursus being unable to hold its annexed territory from Kazimierz. However, not only Ursus suffered a heavy loss onto Higashi, but also Higashi even successfully invaded Ursus as retaliation. Even Kazimierz took the opportunity to recapture its lost territories amidst the failing conquest in the east. Worst of all, Emperor Vladimir died sometime afterwards.
Following the failed invasion of Higashi, Ursus experienced the "Great Rebellion." Nominally started by a drunk soldier who injured a nobleman, it escalated to a civil conflict between the two factions of the royalist Fifth Army and the old guards' Sixth Army. In the midst of the chaos, the Fourth Army betrayed the nobles and allied with the royalists. Together, the two divisions completely annihilated the Sixth, bringing a severe blow to the nobles. A large number of high-ranking officers are purged from the Ursus military, weakening their overall strength though they remained a formidable fighting force. While the Rebellion did not completely purge the old aristocracy of its warmongers, its aftermath gave rise to the dominance new generation of nobility who were seen to be more moderate and progressive. It also inspired others to rise up and fight for the rights of the Infected, such as Buldrokkas'tee's son.
Until now, the conservative nobility, many of them under some influence of the Deathless Black Snake, continued to scheming to lead Ursus on a new warpath, believing that conflicts will makes Ursus stronger while allowing the persecutions of the Infected. The Chernobog-Lungmen incident, initiated by Reunion and backed up by the Third Army, is one such conspiracy, aiming to drive Ursus into another conflict. Even the current Emperor of Ursus, Fyodor Vladimirovich, is severely constrained in his potential reach, despite his pacifism and his wish to end the Infected's plight. On the other hand, the new nobility represented by the State Council with Islam Witte at its helm are working to reform the empire, concentrating on consolidation of the Emperor's power and development of industry trade across the empire.
- Fyodor Vladimirovich
- Tatiana: An Ursine civilian who was forcefully turned into Infected by the vengeful Reunion during their occupation of Chernobog. Being tortured by them psychologically and physically, she mistrusted the other Infected. She and Guard encountered R.I. who were infiltrating Chernobog. After initial hostility, R.I. provided her basic treatment.
- Ivan Iziaslav: An elderly Ursine Infected who contracted Oripathy after working on the Originium mines. He took care of Talulah alongside his wife after she fled from Kashchey. Ivan handed himself to the patrolmen while they launched an anti-Infected pogrom on his village. In order to keep Talulah and Alina safe, he was murdered on spot after demonstrating his Arts before them.
- Ivan's Wife: Ivan's unnamed wife who took care of Talulah and showed concern towards her attitude. After Talulah and Alina were forced to escape the village, her fate remains unknown.
- Vladimir Ivanovich: The previous Emperor of Ursus who, despite his natural born illness, led his nation for the empire's expansion to the south with his brilliant tactics during the Battle of the Four Emperors, turning Ursus into a militarily powerful empire. However, he was also responsible for the failed conquest of Higashi, the corruption and stubbornness of the old aristrocrats, and the persecution of the Infected before his sudden death.
- Deity Grypherburg: The capital of Ursus; the place where the imperial palace and the State Council is located. To some old guards, it is the holiest place in Ursus.
- Azazel Clinic: An underground clinic for the Infected run by Hellagur that was entrusted by his Higashian close friend. During the Chernobog uprising, they refused to share information with Reunion, leading itself to the building's destruction by the mobs. However, the organization is luckily preserved thanks to Hellagur's friendship with Buldrokkas'tee. Currently, the clinic is working together with Rhodes Island.
- Pine Valley Retreat: A sanatorium in central Ursus where Grand Duke Vanya stayed after becoming a political victim.
- Northern Tundra: An unhospitable, frozen region lying on the north of Ursus. This is the place where the Army set up concentration camps for the Infected and the battlefield against the eldritch beings from the Northland.