|“||A great empire formed primarily by the Ursus peoples. It is known for its vast territory, harsh environment, and military might.||”|
|—Loading screen tip[note 1]|
Ursus, formally known as Empire of Ursus or Ursus Empire, is a country in the world of Arknights. 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 Tundrae 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 thousand years ago, Ursus was founded after the people overthrew the rule of the Hippogryphs. The Ursus' pride and victory caused the new empire to quickly expand across the northern tundra which threatened its neighboring countries. Under the leadership of the previous emperor Uman Ivanović, 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, making Ursus into a militarily powerful empire. The empire also had ten wars against Kazimierz known as the "Ursus-Kazimierz Wars" where Ursus managed to occupy much of Kazmierz's territories for around ten years. At the same time, Ursus once encountered 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."
Ursus was vastly different from its appearance in the Main Theme. While it still treated the Infected harshly, they were not callously persecuted but were confined into quarantine zones. However, after Ursus' constant loss in wars, their morale suffered, and the Ursus leadership needed a scapegoat to take the blame; this scapegoat became the Infected. Such action distracted the Ursus' attention away from the leaders' corruption, and encouraged persecution of the Infected by passing various laws.
A war known as the "Bloodpeak Campaign" is seen as a turning point of the Ursus history in which the nation attempted to invade Higashi. Not only Ursus suffered a heavy loss onto Higashi, but also Kazimierz took the opportunity to recapture its lost territories admist the failing conquest in the east, especially during the Dawn of the Golden Plains. Worse of all, Emperor Uman died sometime afterwards. Seeing his successor to be "incompetent," the ultranationalists who dominate the nobility asserted their influence over Ursus' politics and executed the more moderate military leaders. This weakened the Ursus military, though they remained a formidable force to be reckoned with.
The conservative nobility, whom most of them are the legendary Ageless, continues to lead Ursus through a warpath, believing that conflicts will makes Ursus stronger while allowing the persecutions of the Infected. Even the current Emperor of Ursus, Fyodor, is basically powerless who acts as a figurehead despite his pacifism and his wish to end the Infected's plight.
At one time, Ursus experienced the "Great Rebellion." Started by a drunk soldier who injured a nobleman, it became 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. The Rebellion did not completely purge the aristocracy and the warmongering guards, but its aftermath gave rise to a 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.
The persecutions towards the Infected eventually gave rise to the Reunion Movement, which initially waged an armed insurgency against Ursus and liberated a large number of the Infected from its terror. However, one of the old guard nobles, Kashchey the Ageless, saw Reunion as a perfect tool to further Ursus' supremacy and formulated a scheme to manipulate it into a "self-destructive path" by "dominating" its leader Talulah and guiding it though a more militant route.
Reunion later instigated a full-blown uprising in the nomadic city of Chernobog, a hotbed of the Infected persecution, and successfully took over the city. Due to Kashchey's schemes, the Ursus military did not send forces to quell the uprising, nor did it attempt to retake the nomadic city later. To the old guard nobles, they viewed Chernobog's fall as an opportunity to "make Ursus great again."
To prevent an inevitable war between Ursus and Yan, Rhodes Island conducted a military operation in Chernobog to halt its impending collision with Lungmen. However, the Ursus Third Army, under the command of an Emperor's Blade, infiltrated the nomadic city following Patriot's death and killed a large number of Reunion soldiers. Despite the Army's interference, R.I. managed to stop the clash between the two cities and defeated the vile Ageless, foiling his schemes and forcing the Army to quietly withdraw.
In the aftermath of the Chernobog-Lungmen incident, both Yan and Ursus formed a joint team to investigate the incident and concluded that Reunion was entirely responsible, defusing the tense situation. Fearing reprisals from the Emperor's Blades which remained loyal to Emperor Fyodor, many of the old guard nobles committed suicide to avoid capture while some of them went into hiding.
A Walk in the Dust
In Terran Year 1080, Lillia, a survivor of the Sarcophagus massacre in Chernobog, met Kal'tsit and wanted her to take part in an assassination of Grand Duke Vanya, the leader of the Fourth Army. Together, the two disguised themselves as nurses in Pine Valley Retreat, the sanatorium where he stayed. But with the arrival of Islam Witte, they had no choice but to quickly accomplish it. Given permission by the guard, Kal'tsit entered the bedroom alone and secretly injected neurotoxin into the old man. The Grand Duke willingly accepted his fate, lamenting how he was now a powerless man who faced persecution by his political rivals, before thanking Kal'tsit for helping him end his miserable life.
Children of Ursus
The Vignette story depicts the events during the fall of Chernobog where the Ursus students of Peterheim High School, who would later found the Ursus Student Self-Governing Group, had to went through a hellish experience to survive, with the trauma causing them to fell into various stages of PTSD. Some fell into self-blame for the death of their fellow classmates while others gradually overcome it. After careful consideration, Amiya decided to allow them to take part in any Rhodes Island operation.
Ursus Student Self-Governing Group
Ursus is known for its notorious Imperial Army. Each division of the Army is led by a nobleman who gives order to the soldiers. However, the Army is never united. Some support the current Emperor and his reformist State Council while others stubbornly want to retain Ursus' brutal tradition of military conquest.
The following divisions are the most notable:
- Third Army: Under the joint leadership of Grand Duke Baikal and Viscount Kerque, they were the ones who secretly manipulated Reunion and infiltrated Chernobog in order to ignite a war with Yan. Upon their failure, the leaders committed suicide and the fate of this Army remains unknown.
- Fourth Army: Led by Grand Duke Vanya, they once carried out a massacre onto the Sarcophagus researcher. They were also responsible for guarding Ursus' border. During the Great Rebellion, they betrayed the old guards and sided with the reformists.
- Fifth Army: One of the supporters of the reformists, they fought against the old guards' Armies during the Great Rebellion.
- Sixth Army: A member of the old guards, they were responsible for starting the Great Rebellion. It was later annihilated by the joint forces of the Forth and Fifth Armies.
Aside from the Army, Ursus contains special operations forces. One is the Emperor's Blades who carries out the will of the Emperor of Ursus. The other is the armored Wendigos, a group of Sarkaz from Kazdel that is known for their brutality and toughness.
The following Operator was born in Ursus but is affiliated with other factions:
- Tatiana: An Ursus 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 Ursus 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.
- Fyodor Ivanović: The current Emperor of Ursus who is a pacifist despised by the warmongering nobles.
- Uman Ivanović: 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.
The following Reunion members were born in Ursus:
The following enemies are part of the Ursus Imperial Army:
- Deity Grypherburg (Saint Grypherburg in JP server): 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 Tundrae: 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.
- Updated with the release of Episode 09 in the CN server.