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Trinacria
Trinacria Crest
Region Number 125
Realm Kingdom of the Carmine Sea
Population 790,000
Resources Whale Ivory, Vallotake
Imports Wood
Religion Pagan sun worship

Trinacria is a region in the far south, part of the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea. It has a close historic relationship with neighbouring Tuhiland.

GeographyEdit

Trinacria is dominated by a massive freshwater lake. To the east lies a massive glacier. To the south is the high mountains. In the north lies a rocky promontory called simply "the Hammer".

The Hammer is a tall promontory of pine-covered marble stretching east and west across the northern end of the province. Its northern slope tumbles into the sea. It is where most of the human population live in wooden lodges inside wooden fortified towns. The rocky mount separates the fresh water lake from the sea. Small mines provide stone and poor quality metal sufficient for the needs of the population.

The Sky Below is a the massive freshwater lake that occupies the middle of the province. The water is so clear that it reflects the sky almost perfectly. The lake teems with fish, some large enough to prey on humans foolish enough to swim in the frigid water. Small fishing communities line the shores. A species of long-necked freshwater whale also occupies the lake, and is known to attack fishing boats. The lake can be treacherous, as icebergs appear and disappear frequently. Along the shore prowl large numbers of white bears who feast on the fish, and a handful of larger bear-dogs, though they have been hunted almost to extinction on this section of the coast. Foxes and other scavengers are in abundance as well.

The Shield Wall is a stretch of land that divides the fresh water lake from a higher, glacial lake. It is narrow with a large cliff face along its southern side. Large sections of the wall tower with crystal clear ice, showing off the glacial lake above.

Much of the region is covered with ruins of older stone settlements, long since destroyed and abandoned. Particularly notable is the Shard of Winter, the remnant of a tower which is probably still the tallest building in the region, although completely uninhabited. The stonework is excellent, with scarcely a gap between blocks, accounting for its survival, at least in part, where so many other buildings have collapsed. Marks in the stone suggest that it was once clad in another material, with fragments of whalebone found nearby. According to the elves, this was once a place of great scholarship, long since ruined.

PeopleEdit

The population of Trinacria are mostly human hunter-gatherers and fishermen, small, hardy and brown-skinned. Some cave elves live in the western and southern highlands, mostly of the Liusti tribe (known as Glacier Elves by humans). Tensions run high with the Blood Drinkers of the neighbouring Coldwell when the land along the eastern shores of the Hammer becomes accessible during the summer, for they are not beyond eating humans for their iron rich blood.

There is no provincial organization, with each community looking after themselves. Bear hunting with spears is a popular past time. Often, the hunter who brings back the largest trophy is chosen to lead the village for a time.

HistoryEdit

The humans have little knowledge of their region's history, for enough of their attention is occupied merely by surviving each day; some elements of it have passed into myth and legend. The elves have a better recollection, though nothing is written down, and folk memory is unreliable. The land has been known by various names, most notably in recent times Mittesona, an elven name meaning Land of Sky Blue Waters, though Trinacria is apparently the older name, and is now again in general use. It is not clear why the elves have adopted their own name for the region, since their folk histories recall the former name. Perhaps it is because they prefer to forget.

Centuries ago, Trinacria, the Land of Three Wisdoms, was a place of great learning and wisdom, renowned across the south for its scholars and libraries. Believed to have been founded as the furthest outpost of an ancient elven kingdom established far to the north, after the collapse of that kingdom it retained its independence and became a power in its own right, the holdings of the Republic of Trinacria covering the current region and most of Tuhiland, as well as the coastal region of the Coldwell.

As the elves tell it, Old Trinacria died in the space of less than a year. In the late second century – the date itself is disputed - Kell migrants from the north swept into the kingdom and overran it. Some say the Kells sacked the region and left nothing standing; others that they were pursued by further soldiers and the subsequent war destroyed everything of value. Whatever the case, apparently over the course of a single winter, Trinacria was utterly ruined. The remaining Trinacrians fled to the wilds, while the Kell, themselves starving and unable to fashion a living on the Hammer without the infrastructure that had supported older settlements, retreated yet further to the south-east. If the Salterri ventured this far south, they apparently found nothing of appreciable value, and turned their back on the land. The people call this time the Long Winter, although in the local dialect the word for "winter" and "night" is the same.

By the early fifth century some of the people had returned, but the land was inhabited again, but the culture of old Trinacria was almost completely lost. Wandering among the ruins of their former glorious civilisation, the people were forced to hunt and gather for food, the soil now so thin as to support little in the way of agriculture, remembering little of their heritage. Elven expeditions from the west reported little worth salvaging, and contact between them and the humans now roaming the region remained minimal.

In the 430s the Kell returned, this time from the south. Large numbers of the people simply fled northwards before them and were never heard from again, while the rest did their best to avoid the Kell army on its march and later retreat. An expeditionary force from the Kingdom of the Carmine Sea entered the territory some twenty years later, but happened to encounter another Kell army heading northwards, and though the Kell were eventually defeated on the shores of Tuhiland, it was another ten years before the northerners returned, finally imposing some measure of control and civilisation on the region once again.

ReligionEdit

Religion in Trinacria is almost identical in pattern to neighbouring Tuhiland. The elves are largely pagan, while the human population follow a cult devoted to light and the sun. There is no central organisation of the cult and there are some differences in practice between communities, but all share a deeply rooted fear of the dark: both the caves in which the elves reside, and the dark of night, which at this latitude can last for many months at a time during the winter. Also common to all followers is the belief that a chosen one will appear to deliver the people in their hour of need, known as the Defier of the Dark.

ResourcesEdit

From the long-necked whales in the Sky Below, and populations of even larger whales on the northern coast, the people of the region are well-provisioned for whale ivory, which is sold, carved or scrimshawed, for decorations, or unworked for local use. In some parts of the region it is even used as a building material.

Occasionally, shards of a mysterious material known as vallotake are found floating in the Sky Below, which are believed to originate from deep within or even beneath the Hammer. Very occasionally, miners stumble across a small seam of the substance. It appears to have roughly the same consistency as hard cheese and is no more than warm (usually cool) to the touch, but gives out a bright light comparable to that of a flame, but consistent and unflickering. If cut or broken into pieces each piece continues to give out light, albeit sometimes slightly more dimly. If viewed through glass or water under the right conditions it can seem to adopt the colours of the rainbow. It is highly valued by the people, especially during winter.

The Hammer does not produce enough wood to build significant fortifications or more than basic lodges.

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