“I first came to Trennon from the East, making my way upon the back of an ass from Valen with a convoy of merchants and traders with their armed escorts. The safest way to travel in the Territories is in groups. Lone travelers vanish from the road as quickly as the wildflowers do from the steppes. I had heard so much of Trennon on my sojourns through Tyrantium. Each of the city-states in the Territories is unique, almost as if they are the wayward children of a forgetful guardian. Trennon, if it could be summarized, is the brooding child that likes to be left alone in his room, lost in his thoughts.
From the city’s own records, I have pulled everything that I can from the city’s Archives and compiled the adequate notations for my own historical accountings of the area. But, for a simple and less cumbersome reading, I will provide you with the annotated history of Trennon. While it is a fascinating story of common people attempting to build a power, it is also the tail of stunted potential in the face of democracy. Human nature is always the sharpest dagger in the arsenal of fate and Trennon’s back is scarred with its betrayal.
Trennon was first established as a camp of runaway slaves from Tyrantium, escaping from the fortress known as Death’s Rock where the Bloody Viziers would use their slaves to conduct numerous experimentations of the effects of magic upon humans. These destitute and often maimed fugitives fled into the harsh swamps at the base of the Rathmin Mountains where they may or may not have been welcomed by Elethyn colonists who lived in the swamps. Regardless of whether Trennon’s founders received aid from the Elethyn, the first records we have of a community in the swamps are from Vizier dispatches claiming that Elethyn are seducing travelers near the swamp, drawing them into the murky waters to their deaths.
Regardless of the validity of these legends, the first settlement was established in the swamp under a democratic ideal. However, due to the nature of the founder’s past, militarization was quickly grown and raids were struck out into the foothills of the Territories, avoiding the Steppes and the gaze of Death’s Rock. The marauder camp slowly began to develop and construction on the central island along the Yavas River where it hits the base of the foothills and heads East. The settlement continued to accumulate local shepherds, hunters, and fugitives who searched the swamps for bog iron ore before drawing enough attention to bring down the wrath of the Bloody Viziers.
Trennon was burned to the ground, but the significance of the settlement caused the Viziers to start an outpost where slaves were sent to establish the Yavas Mine at the Rathim Mountains, which endures to this day. The quarry was the source of the stone by which most of Trennon is still built. Using the river to ship the stone to the settlement, it began to thirve under Tyrantine oversight. However, as war ramped up with the Thanes of the North and the Malonese Expansion, Tyrantium began its slow decline and progress was left in the hands of the locals and not dictated by distant tyrants.
As far as I have investigated, it might be said that Trennon’s mines and quarries helped build most of the Territories, especially those that were highly influenced by what is now Fenkland’s cultural extensions. Because of this, Trennon has experienced a sort of liberal freedom that very few of the other city states have. Their authorities and governors were little more than puppets for the amorphous council of rulers, a form of silent governance in the shadow of Tyrantium’s oppression. Their iron fueled Tyrantium’s legions and their stone built the city states, leaving Trennon with a strong voice, especially as Tyrantium’s empire dwindled and eroded.
When the Territories were offered their independence, Trennon accepted it without question. They secretly agreed at a lower taxation rate, as I have discovered in the Archives of their city, but this is in exchange for stone and iron. Such lower taxes have been negotiated elsewhere among the Territories as well. Over the course of their supposed independence, Trennon has been the subject of three Holy Conquests from the Faithful, all three times they were occupied as the defenders of the city have preferred ransom and surrender over death. They have also waged their own wars, declaring war upon Dorothea twice, both of times they razed the Ruined City and carried off large amounts of wealth. They have also battled Umberlyn in the field several times, but both were negotiated to a peaceful end by Tyrantium.
For the past hundred years, Trennon has taken a less active role in the Territories, seeking stabilization and expansion of their own city. Their isolationist mentality has drawn the wrathful gaze of Tyrantium who is experiencing the economic repercussions of Trennon’s power in demanding more for their stone and iron.
However, having walked the streets of Trennon, I do not think that Trennon is looking to extort Tyrantium or shirk off the responsibilities of their floundering nation. Trennon has the pulse of potential running through their streets. With natural defenses around the majority of the city, it is an example of people looking to make the most of their offers. Fiercely independent, and extremely proud of their city, the Trennon natives stand at the steps of true greatness. They are culturally strong, art is budding, literacy is beginning to grow, and trade is more viable for the young than war. The majority of the city’s districts are dedicated to occupations and craftsmen rather than religious or idealist sectors. It is promising.
I imagine that my children will live to see a day when Trennon is a larger mark on the map than those around it… “
Excerpt from A Treatise on the Empire of Tyrantium by Professor Geraldo Marivio
(This page was torn from a dusty tome in the Collegium)