Trionesse is the elvish name for the ancient forest in the center of the map, now called the Ruined Forest. The green border shows the forest boundary at the time of the Catalysm. The brown border shows the approximate present boundary.
While the elves would have it that they only seek the Imperial boundaries of their forest, they were never content with the old boundaries which left out regions they considered part of the forest, namely the west bank centered on the town of Bittan and the "notch" along the river in the north at Langton as well as the river valley in the north at Ladda. These omissions were the result of negotiations with the ascendant early Algorand Empire in the 3200s and persisted for the entirety of the Imperial Age.
Aside from annoyance at the missing lands, the Trionesse Forest was a successful elvish domain, the closest to the Algorand Imperial capital of Celebrent farther to the northeast. It benefited from proximity to the heart of the imperial lands as well as travel along the coastal imperial road, provided ample markets for Elvish natural produce and craftwork in return for ample supplies of Imperial goods as well as Dwaro goods channeled through the capital city.
Though the present elves choose to forget it, Trionesse engaged closely with the Imperials. Trionesse contingents served frequently with the Imperial Army at the rim and individual Trionesse elves held high positions in the Imperial army, government, and even, occasionally in the College of Wizards. These ties to the center brought influence and wealth, the latter through both trade and Imperial salaries sent home to the forest. Both Ladda and Langton became home to "Imperialized" elves who wanted to retire near Trionesse yet wanted to enjoy an Imperial style of living and at the Cataclysm both towns had elvish mayors.
The ancient green boundary was marked by white limestone markers. These markers remain, for the most part, although both humans and elves have moved and destroyed some of these markers to further their current territorial ambitions.
The boundaries of the Trionesse are shown in brown on the map but this boundary is fluid as both elves and humans vie for dominanace.
Immediately after the Cataclysm, the elves reclaimed the areas around Langton, Bittan and Ladda. Several hundred years later, in the 5400s humans seized most of what is now the Rimark. In the last one hundred years, humans have pushed the elves back at Iarlakolm in the southeast and along the Hvalsey and Wilska axis. Naturally, this has caused some angst and anger among the elves. Raids across the border are common and pitched battles are not unheard of.
In Imperial times, the elvish population of the forest was about 20000, sustained by elvish magic that enhanced forest productivity. Present population is about one third of that now due partly to most of the forest being blighted and the fact that the old elvish magic is far less effective than it used to be.
Rulers and Organization
Like nearly all elf forests, the Trionesse is a monarchy. Recent and current rulers are shown in the table below.
|Ruler||Queen Ciarda||King Coyle||Queen Aselma|
|Dates||5683 to present||5309 to 5683||4991 to 5309|
Queen Ciarda is a dark haired elf of cold beauty who is determined to hold back the human incursions and take back lost lands. A niece of the stately but ineffectual King Coyle, the elvish assembly chose her for her fervor demonstrated in battle during the last decades of the Coyle reign over Coyle son Morven and several other nieces and nephews. Morven has not accepted Ciarda's rule well. He is count of Girvyn in the south.
Ciarda holds court year-round from Ghleanna except for a visit of one month each to one of the towers. King Coyle had withdrawn for most of the year to Girvyn in the unblighted south of the forest and only stayed in Ghleanna a bare minimum. Each tower is held by an elvish count (see the section on the towers below).
Elvish population has never been high and with their slow birthrate, the elves avoid head-on confrontation with humans as much as possible. To minimize brute encounters, even the steel-willed Ciarda agrees to the need to maintain some relations with the humans, at the least so that she can play one king off against another to relieve pressure against the elves. To that end, she maintains an active spy network including some human agents, and has diplomats at most halls. She tries to avoid humans within her own lands but as part of diplomatic contact can not avoid some human presence which she tries to confine to Ghleanna where she dazzles them as much as is possible in that faded city.
Ciarda balances her diplomatic velvet glove with iron force where necessary. Her present efforts are focused on retaking Kilasta and holding the boundary everywhere else.
Elvish rangers are the best in the region, very knowledgable about the local land and able to move without trace. Elvish channelers work with the rangers and make use of extensive nature and water spirit contacts in the region. The borders are watched by small groups of rangers, sometimes with a channeler. These groups number typically five to eight members and are charged with monitoring human activities, not fighting humans although they will pick off humans where possible if there is an incursion.
These ranger bands are based at the towers in the land, with five to ten bands per tower. The towers also have a heavier infantry force of around 20 with more channelers and usually some wizards. This constitutes the bulk of the standing Trionesse forces. In times of need, most of the adult male and female population will muster as well.
There is no elvish cavalry but individual elves have been known to ride forest-creature mounts such as unicorns and bears.
The spirits deep within the current Trionesse domains are exclusively bound to Elvish channelers as they have been for millenia. At both sides of the present borders, some spirits still hold exclusively to elves but more accept channelers of human or elvish blood since it is in their own interest to have priests with whatever side rules that land. Moreover, spirits experience the world through their priests and ignoring human channelers cuts them off from much of the world.
Nonetheless, the balancing act is delicate and as the borders shift, there have been times, especially in the last few hundred years where human and elf channelers have had to sever connection to a spirit or had the spirit sever the connection.
Additionally each of the seven trees of Ghleanna had a spirit. (See Trionesse Spirits for details.)
Ghleanna is the ancient seat of the Trionesse Forest. In Imperial times, it was a glorious city hosted on seven ancient Thuile trees towering over 800 feet into the air each linked by bridges at many levels and with magic ramps that acted as escalators. One tree fell during the indunations of the Cataclysm and two more succumbed in the early years following so that at present, two of the seven original trees lie fallen and one is dead and abandoned, though still upright. The remaining trees have had their elvish dwellings pruned back substantially, partly because of the lower population and partly because the elvish magic that made moving between the different levels easy no longer functions.
Under Coyle, Ghleanna grew shabby and partly abandoned but Ciarda has restored it by moving most elves back to the city, trimming the whithered parts of the trees and removing any abandoned structures.
The Elves live in structures high in the tree at the 300 foot level. As this is quite a climb without magic assist, there is limited travel between the main levels and the ground. At the 100 foot level, Ciarda maintains a second "palace" level (the main one is with the rest of the elves high up) used to entertain visitors and as a staging area before the court leaves Ghleanna. Though smaller than the main one, this palace is far more ornate, intended to awe visitors. No fool, though, Ciarda has seen to it that the ostentation is in the form of ornate work and not portable wealth such as gems and gold; no sense in giving the greedy humans cause to invade.
The lower palace has several small apartments for ambassadors. There are also two medium sized halls on the ground for those visitors who do not like to roost in trees. There are also extensive ground level gardens and some elvish dwellings in low trees.
Stone towers constructed during the Empire serve as stout markers and border posts of Trionesse. These towers are all over 2000 years old and were constructed by Dwaro stonemasons. Magic served to assist mobility in the towers but was not fundamental to their stability so all towers surived the Cataclysm.
|Raonaid||Countess Grainne||Made of pale granite, constructed as three conjoined circular towers, each 50 feet in diameter, 100, 150 and 200 feet high.|
|Airleas||Countess Allene||Square tower, 200 feet high, 80 feet across|
|Girvyn||Count Morven||Slender, circular spire, 250 feet high|
|Muthuile||Count Kerwin||Central circular tower, 150 feet high flanked by two smaller half circle towers 100 feet high|
These towers are some of the few intact stone structures in the region and make quite the impression on the people of the land.