The Independent City-State of Tricorus
About thirty years before the first arena was built in Mordant, a small band
of smugglers began a shanty town along the shoreline north of Bonsur, where the
borders between Bonsur and Osksi were iffy at best. From this town, the
smugglers were able to get goods from the Bonsur trade route and smuggle them
into Osksi, bringing back Osksian goods. Run by a man who was known only as
Gridardon, "the Shark," the shanty town slowly grew in size and gained a large
following in the underground community--for there was no law. Criminals from the
various kingdoms throughout the Federation, if they did not like the swampy
locale of Niania (a nearby city of thieves and assassins), often found
themselves taking shelter there. It was called then merely "the Lair."
As the years passed, the Lair gained in popularity and strength, until the
people there began to take on legitimate trade as well as smuggling. Osksi noted
the money flowing through the small town, and sent their own smugglers and
businessmen south to direct and control as much of the business that they could.
More respectable people, usually leaving something unpleasant behind, came to
settle near the Lair. A stab was made at farming, but the land, being rocky and
not very fertile, was unsuited for it. As the population grew, so did demands
for housing and general merchandise. Realtors claimed empty land and sold it to
people coming to the Lair to "start over." Merchants, thrilled at the thought of
"missing" the high import/export taxes of Bonsur and Osksi, flocked to the
little town. Gradually, the rule of the smugglers fell away, and with them went
the Osksian tampering.
Gridardon had figured early which direction things were going and cleanly
"jumped ship" in midstream. His businesses went legitimate and he easily set
himself up as one of the most prominent men in town. His fingers were in trade,
merchandise, real estate, and eventually city politics. Knowing that the Lair
was becoming a real town, he formed a city council from his own men, some
carefully selected businessmen, and failed farmers that he'd backed in whatever
new business they'd attempted. Having set himself up in power, he called the
first real city council meeting where he was unanimously elected the first
Governor of the city, which was then named Tricorus (a Latin-based word meaning
"three-horned," for the small three-peaked mountain nestled against the eastern
edge of the town; it was named by an early traveler from Earth).
The Tricorans then petitioned to join the Federation as an independent
city-state (as Gridardon wished to sit on the Council himself), but Bonsur and
Osksi immediately objected. The township of Tricorus sat neatly on the border,
with houses, farms, docks, and stores on both sides. They had to be either
Osksian or Bonsurian, and Osksi was a bit more insistent. Tricorus was made
vassal to the Osksi Empire, and an Imperial Governor was assigned to the town.
This development was not at all to either Bonsur or Gridardon's liking.
Bonsur wanted the Tricoran revenue (they certainly didn't have any aspirations
to be an empire but they did like the idea of having an outpost on the
border--to keep an "eye" on Osksi) and Gridardon wanted HIS town back. Gridardon
had the city hall torn down and rebuilt on the Bonsurian side of town, claiming
independence from Osksi and loyalty to Bonsur. He had the support of Bonsur and
a good portion of the Tricoran population. To ensure it, Gridardon had a city
wall built on the north edge of the town from Three-Horn to the sea to block out
the Empire. Osksi didn't respond to this at the time, because they were involved
in a trade war with the Mordanti Confederation and Tricorus, due to several bad
years in the fishing industry, had temporarily become a financial liability. The
wall came to be known as the Shark's Barrier.
For many years, Tricorus blossomed as an ally of Bonsur. A branch of the
Great Eastern Route was routed through the city, and they benefited from this
trade as well as from their own stubborn sea existence.
Finally, Osksi decided they wanted Tricorus back. After a few brief
skirmishes, arguments, and shouting, Osksi managed it--but not before Gridardon
disappeared. He was believed dead, and no one came forward to change that
notion. Once the Shark was out of the way, Osksi had no trouble reorganizing the
scattered people of Tricorus under their rule, and sent another Governor (the
first had disappeared under equally mysterious circumstances), Roh Syndalwine by
name. Syndalwine ruled as Imperial Governor from 483 to 506.
Due to the barren, rocky soil, Tricorus is essentially a desert town.
Drinking water is brought in from springs in the Langrani Hills to the north,
and the capricious Three-Horn creek to the south, while water for other uses is
taken from the freshwater Trier Sea. Tricorus is a tough, stubborn, and
generally "lower-class" sort of town. The seedy areas are extremely seedy and
even the upper class areas generally aren't frequented by the "nicer" people of
Bonsur or Osksi. Most of the Empire thinks of it as a penal colony ("What? Go to
Tricorus?! Please, anything but THAT!"). Not too long ago, Tricorus finally
"entered Alastarian society" by building their OWN arena and training their OWN
In 504, Tricorus started a movement to return to Bonsur's side of the border,
but nothing more than murmurs were heard. A brief rebellion was quickly stifled.
Osksi often forgets about Tricorus due to their quarrels with the Mordanti
Confederation, but the Rirorni war made all forget about any inter-city
rebellion. What Tricorus wanted was a man like the Shark to lead them to their
original ideal: an independent city-state in the Delarquan Federation. At the
end of the year 506, Tricorus staged a full-scale rebellion blossoming from the
battle called the Siege of the Blue Dolphin (a local inn). One of the rebel
captains, Rafyien Kael, was proclaimed leader, and, after some discussion, Osksi
agreed to Captain Kael remaining on as Provisional Governor.
The year 507 into 508 brought real war to Tricorus. The rebels, hungry for
the freedom they'd been allowed to taste, battled through a siege caused by the
unrelated disappearance of Governor Kael. When Kael returned, he rallied the
underground rebellions and the final battle of the Tricorus Independence was
fought and won on the grounds north of the Barrier on the morning of 27
Frostrule, 508. The jubilant winning rebels crowned Governor Kael as Rafyien the
First, King of Tricorus.
In the year 509, Tricorus was implicated in the theft of one of the Swords of
Mantor. The true conspirators (Osksians) were finally uncovered and defeated.
Unfortunately for the town, Rafyien Kael vanished in the final battle with the
thieves. No new ruler has yet been appointed or acclaimed.
Tricorus is sandwiched on a strip of flat land between Three-Horn mountain
and the Trier Sea. Three-Horn mountains is really a series of treacherous, steep
limestone and shale hills, dating from a time when the Trier Sea reached up a
little higher. The triple peaks reach an elevation of 1500 feet at the highest
peak. Tricorus is relatively exposed--but the mountain at its back gives it
strength. The Shark's Barrier, a wall made of quarried stone from the far side
of Three-Horn, stretches from Three-Horn to the sea across the north border of
town. South is bordered by the capricious Three-Horn creek, which originates up
on Three-Horn, cuts down through "the gorge" and back out and down into the
Trier. In 508, the Jinda Dam is built, creating the Jinda Reservoir, dedicated
to the building of a series of canals to improve farming in the Southern Reaches
The soil is rocky, difficult, and treacherous--the Southern Reaches, with
help from Adantri allies, is passable farmland. The Jinda Reservoir is a popular
lakefront, with small homes on the upper cliffs, Tricorus side.
The foothills of Three-Horn, edging the southeast side of town, are generally
uninhabitable and difficult to even navigate--Tricorans like it that way. The
road to Bonsur and Talcama leads out of town through here.
Organized Crime in Tricorus:
The mainspring of Tricoran existence. After Gridardon disappeared and his
assets went up for grabs, the underworld of Tricorus thrived under the rule of
several individual, small-time crime lords. Slowly, as the years passed, one
rose above them all, slowly pulling all the strings he could reach into one
hand. This was Otto Orceater (possibly part orc himself, it was rumored he'd
eaten one or both of his parents--it was a rumor he did nothing to dissuade,
although a great deal of it may have been conjecture). The Orceater ruled the
nighttime in Tricorus as surely as Osksi ruled the day. It was also rumored that
the Orceater was the one responsible for the disappearance of the Shark, a
possibility no one is left to confirm.
Sometime in 502 (no one is sure of the exact date), the Orceater disappeared.
Most said he simply took his vast wealth in soluble money and retired. Others
said more sinister things. It was at this time that Captain Kael began to emerge
as one of the crime lords struggling in the void the Orceater had left. What
Kael lacked in capital he more than made up for in followers. He was a member of
the anti-Osksi faction, a land and ship-owner, and a Lord Protector of the Isle
who chose to actually rule the land his Lord Protectorship granted him. He also
took over the lands granted to his guild through the Lords who served under him.
By the end of 504, Kael was known to own perhaps a fourth of the land and
buildings in the city of Tricorus proper. How much of this is true is debatable.
No one is certain where his great wealth came from, but there is no doubt that
by the time of his crowning in 508, Kael was perhaps the richest man in Tricorus.
There is also no doubt that he did not come by it honestly.
Trade in Tricorus:
Tricorus is on the southern branch of the Great Spice Route, a bi-annual
caravan of traders from as far east as Ferencia (and perhaps even further) that
travels through to Lirith Kai.
Tricorus' main exports are glassware (both lead glass crystal and more simple
glass; sheet, or large pane "float" glass is a specialty) and Tricoran Gold
Brandy, which is a delicacy all over Alastari. Tricorus' shipbuilders are second
to none. The shipwrights of Tricorus specialize in small, light, fast clippers
and merchant vessels (perfect for smugglers and pirates, as well as legitimate
dealings). Secondary to this is the import of lumber from Xochithlan (a contract
that was voided by the Rirorni War of 503, when the great Xochithlani forest was
destroyed by the invaders) and Mordant.
Tricorus also depended heavily on Osksi and Bonsur for vegetables; in the
year 508, this began to change.
Agriculture in Tricorus:
The soil in and around the city of Tricorus is rocky, somewhat alkaline, and
difficult. Most "farmers" in the area barely scratched out a living with minor
crops, barely above the level of subsistence. However, in 508, in the months
after the defeat of Osksi, Adantri assistance provided Tricorus with the will
and the knowledge to improve this, and allow Tricorus the chance to be more
The Jinda Dam, across Three-Horn creek, was completed in the summer of 508. A
canal system to distribute the water from the reservoir was completed not too
long after. Unfortunately, the dam was destroyed during unpleasantness between
Tricorus and Osksi surrounding the theft of the Sword of Mantor. As yet, there
are no firm plans to rebuild the dam.
People in Tricorus:
The former governor of Tricorus, who was overthrown in late 506, GOVERNOR ROH
SYNDALWINE: A lean, pale, elegant man who sometimes does not move for several
minutes at a time, like a reptile waiting for some outside stimulus. He's very
bright, a schemer, reasonably loyal to the Osksi Council of Lords, and mortal
enemy to Raf Kael.
LORD CAPTAIN RAFYIEN KAEL, a.k.a. Rafyien I: A tall, warrior-sailor, a
businessman of some prominence within Tricorus, a former protégé of the "Shark,"
and a Lord Protector. He's broad, heavy-shouldered, Delarquan-dark skin and
bright green eyes. He has a fierce loyalty to his city. He served as governor
reluctantly, but would not step aside until someone he approves of was
appointed; accepted his crowning as king with similar reluctance, and only at
the insistence of Gemra of Bonsur, who pointed out that the Delarquan Federation
would not accept a Republic at the Consulate. He is currently missing.
CHARLISSA RENE STONETROLL a.k.a. "CHARLIE" Charlie is a young female troll
who works in the Tricorus Dark Arena. She is a bright young troll and can be
something of a smartass. However, she has a motherly streak and feels a genuine
sympathy for the poor schmucks she has to squash and is quite willing to "make
it look good" and sneak them out the back door of the arena.
ARENAMASTER RAHJ, once a smuggler, then a warrior in the Osksi arena; fought
his way to immortality and decided to be an Arenamaster rather than fight for
Greywand--it was a heck of a lot safer (and had more perks). Cynical, friendly,
easy-going, likes his job and most of the managers, friends with several
warriors, no real feeling for Osksi anymore. Will fake a death or rescue someone
from death for a nominal fee; open for negotiation at all times. Born in Bonsur.
Black hair, black beard, blue eyes, dark brown skin.
ADELA RIAN: Lady Protector, former warrior of the Grey Angels Guild,
currently employed by the Tricoran Dark Arena. Wife of Dr. Dylan Rian, mother of
Angel and Devon. Devoted, loving, friendly, caring, motherly; pale brown skin,
brown hair, blue eyes.
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