Dominion Era/Tretallë (Culture)/Di'Trigallârë
This page discusses a part of the lore of the Dominion Era Tretallë. If you are interested in seeing the Tabletop RPG stats associated with this race, visit: Tretallë (Stats).
|Dominion Era Tretallë|
|Istfet, The Strangers, Invaders, Deathriders|
Imperial Standard of the Tretalleri Dominion
|Land of Origin|
|Continent of Origin||Termalttë|
Di'Trigallârë represent a portion of the Tretalleri born with the relative misfortune of being born with the spark to use magic. Their position in Tretalleri society, their alien appearance, and the relative wariness with which they are treated with the general populace stems from the taboo against the arcane arts among the Tretalleri people. This caste of Tretalleri society was brought into being by the proclamation of Imperator Cilritanë a'Detvida in Y.D. 43 Although the Bound might appear to be a repressed and discriminated sector of the Dominion, many historians would argue that they were never such.
Despite the evident advantage of using the arcane arts to gain the upper hand in warfare, the Tretâllë, known best for their tendency to war and conquest because of the principle of the Divine Imperative to Conquest, shun magic almost entirely in all of its forms. Blood magic is the only notable exception. Individuals blessed with the Gift of Blood Magic are considered among the upper echelons of Tretalleri society, and are freely allowed to practice their art.
Although there are no documents that directly indicate the reasons for the taboo against the arcane arts in the Dominion, scholars and historians conjecture that the taboo against the arcane is the result of a distrust against magic that is ingrained in the Tretâllë by their cultural history and the memory of the many years they served and toiled under the Elledŷnnë. The only documentation that there is on the matter of the taboo exists in the form of proclamations made by Imperators over the history of the Dominion. Of note is the ban on the carrying of magical items of individuals who are Tretalleri or who possess Tretalleri heritage codified into law in Y.D. 43, at the same time as the proclamation, by Cilritanë, that created the institution of the Binding.
Despite the taboo within the Dominion against the arcane arts, the Dominion has only once attempted to quash the arcane aspects of other cultures. It was a harsh lesson learned quickly in Y.D. 1035, when the third Imperator of the Dominion, Leneri a'Zo-Hanyll attempted to apply the ban on the arcane arts to the Seýfë. This attempt was quickly followed by a bloody rebellion and one of the Dominion's most bitter defeats in its early history. The Imperatrix Leneri then decreed that magic is open to practice for any individuals who do not possess Tretalleri blood, so long as it was done under the supervision of Di'Mordë Tamarilë, the Society of Arcanology which was beholden to the Laws of Arcanology. The Laws of Arcanology are a set of rules and guidelines that Cilritanë wrote about, toward the end of his life, since he had realized that perhaps one day, the use of magic might become so prolific and powerful that the Dominion would have no choice but to begrudgingly accept it.
Since the days of Leneri, the Laws of Arcanology have been expanded upon and improved by Imperators. The most prominent of these editors to the Laws of Arcanology is the Imperator Korenn a'Zo-Hanyll, who, in Y.D. 5302, overhauled the wording of the Laws of Arcanology and defined precise boundaries and conditions that would apply to the practice of magic in all its various forms. Many cultures benefitted from the introduction of the Laws of Arcanology, in fact. Of note are the Fireshapers of the A'drekh, who flourished more under the Dominion than they ever did under the feudalistic tribal system that the A'drekh had abided by prior to their integration into the Dominion.
The strictures surrounding the practice and use of the arcane arts in Tretalleri society were loosened during and after the reign of Dalran a'Callan in ca. Y.D. 26400-26900. Dalran had, in his childhood, borne witness to one of the bloodiest acts of aggression between the Dominion and the Silvered Realm. Many Tretalleri border towns would have fallen if not for a number of brave souls that took up Elledŷnnë weaponry and used their magic to defend the Dominion border. Although the brief war was won by the Dominion, these honourable soldiers returned to the capital and submitted themselves to the justice of the Grand Hall of War. Despite being given an option to spend their lives in exile, the soldiers instead decided to face death. This event affected Dalran well into his reign, which led to him loosening the strict laws governing the use of magical items by members of the military.
Despite Dalran's proclamation, arcane items are still treated with a lot of wariness, and a court martial awaits any soldier daft enough to take up a magical weapon while the Dominion is not officially at war with the Silvered Realm.
It is worth noting that the Tretâllë view the possession of arcane abilities and items to be abominable only when the individual possessing these things is Tretalleri. There is a sort of double-think at work due to the strange paradigm of the Dominion, forbidding the use of arcane magic by the "chosen" people of the Stranger, but allowing it in everyone else. A Tretalleri individual might find no problem in entering a shop with magical illumination as long as the individual behind the counter is not Tretalleri or Elledyn'ni. Conversely, the moment that a Tretalleri individual notices that another Tretalleri individual is manning such a shop, it would not be long until that particular shopkeep is brought before a court of law and sentenced to some sort of punishment.
Because the predisposition against the arcane is so indoctrinated in the Tretâllë, individuals who realize that they are capable of performing magic, or individuals who begin to manifest magical abilities, generally volunteer themselves to the Binding so as to avoid bringing shame to their House. In fact, this volitive surrender to the will of the Dominion and the Stranger is considered the noble and "right" thing to do. Most Trigallârë, upon returning to their homes, find themselves awash in admiration—if also wariness.
The Bound who come into the Binding of their own volition are consistently praised for doing the noble thing. As such, they carry themselves with pride and confidence. The Bound also tend to internalize their position as walking symbols of the power of the Dominion. They believe themselves to be the embodiment that the great Tretalleri realm, chosen by the Stranger to dispense His will and judgment unto the world, can contain and control even the most volatile and dangerous of things: magic. There is an air of moral superiority that hangs around the Bound, although this is often attributed by scholars more to the perception of the Bound by the Dominion at large rather than an individual believing themselves to be higher than everyone else, since the Bound are also taught the value of humility and spending one's life in the service of the Dominion.
As a result of the culture surrounding the Bound and their own experiences as life-long servants to the greater good, the Bound invariably build their lives and their identities around the idea of serving the Dominion. Oftentimes, particularly elderly Bound individuals find themselves inflicted with psychological stress due to their inability to properly serve the Dominion as they did while they were alive. Part of the funding that the Bound Circle receives is in order to care for these individuals, providing enough money to cover the costs of healthcare, funeral arrangements, and, if the Bound wishes, assisted suicide.
Crises and Prevention
Suicides on the part of the Bound were rather common in the beginning of the Dominion, when programs for the welfare of the Bound hadn't quite gotten off the ground yet, and the psychological strains that came with the position were not entirely understood. Modern psychology notes three periods of highest risk for suicide among the Bound, and the Grand Rookery, with the cooperation of Imperators and the Twin Courts, has put in place measures that seek to curtail the occurrence of such suicides.
The first, and perhaps most obvious period of crisis immediately follows the Binding. The process itself is incredibly traumatic, both physically and psychologically. Physically, the Trigallarë is wracked with pains as their body adjusts to the new physiology granted by the Binding. Psychologically, even the most enthusiastic of volunteers to the Binding feel some sort of dissociation from their selves and the identities that have shaped them as people. This psychological crisis is exacerbated the longer an individual has lived prior to the Binding. It is widely thought that the reality of the situation is daunting for many, but that perhaps the factor that leads to this crisis the most is the fact that the body is changed so much and in such a fundamental way that the Bound no longer feel like they are themselves any more.
In order to prevent the suicides of individuals who have only just come into the Binding, there are entire villages on the border between the Dominion and the Desolation that serve as temporary retreats for the Bound that have just come fresh from the Binding at the Shrouded Peaks. There is much care taken to make these places as calming as possible while providing necessary instruction for the newly Bound, as well as activities that stimulate and entertain the mind to keep thoughts from straying too far in the direction of self-destructive thoughts.
The second period of crisis, another that was quickly identified by the Grand Rookery, happens near or around the age at which the average Tretalleri individual would pass away. It is still not understood why, exactly, the Trigallârë live longer than the average Tretalleri citizen, but it is a fact. Trigallârë tend to live one and a half times as long as the average Tretallë, and one consequence of this is that the Trigallârë often have to watch everyone that they ever cared about pass into the embrace of the Stranger. To combat this problem, the Grand Rookery gave the Bound Circle the authority and the responsibility to follow the status of the loved ones of the Trigallârë and give the Trigallârë what are known as "Moons for farewell" which constitute two Moons that do not count toward a Trigallârë's yearly allowance of free time, where they are given the opportunity to spend time with and perhaps say goodbyes to their elderly loved ones.
The third period of crisis was discussed briefly in the above section. Having devoted their lives entirely to servitude for the Dominion, particularly elderly Trigallârë find themselves aimless and without purpose when their bodies deteriorate to the point where they can no longer go about doing the duties that they had become so used to doing. It causes somewhat of an identity crisis, and many are simply unable to do even the simplest tasks in advanced age. The solution that the Grand Rookery proposed to the problem was two-fold.
The first measure allows the elderly Trigallârë some dignity in death, giving them the right to call for a Di'Marrë if they wish to terminate their lives before nature takes its course. There was a major theological dispute that followed the proposal of the first measure by the Twin Courts, but after the High Priest of the Faith of the Nine brought the matter forth to the Pale Imperator Jareýd a'Doroven in Y.D. 6413, the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all involved by then-Prince-of-Ravens Nael a'Torhin.
The second measure gives the elderly Trigallârë something to do in giving them work as tutors and teachers, either for children or younger Trigallârë who have yet to learn all the ins and outs of their position. many take this second option over the first, believing there to be something still worth living for in serving the future of the Dominion.
Di'Galteri, lit. the Bound, as the Trigallârë are known in the vernacular, are about as close to slaves as can be found within the Dominion. One of the few laws imposed by the Dominion on all cultures and realms that are under its umbrella is the ban on slavery and any economical system that is based on free, unpaid-for work of individuals who may not have consented to such a situation. The ban was instated by one of the kings of the Kingship of the Bone Trees, which was carried forward as part of the first charter of Dominean Rights and Freedoms that were declared unrescindable by the first Imperator of the Dominion, Cilritanë a'Detvida.
The Dominion's laws are rather strict on the matter of slavery, a practice that is considered abominable by the Tretâllë due to having to witness centuries of slavery at the hands of the Elledŷnnë. There are, however, comprehensive provisions for indentured servitude, and it is under the class of indentured servant that the Bound fall, however they are not simply indentured servants. They have numerous freedoms that normal indentured servants might not have. For example, the Bound are not expected to remain at their "master's" property at all times for the duration of their servitude under that particular master. Unlike indentured servants, as well, the Bound do not require the consent of their masters to leave the confines of the property.
The freedom of movement that the Bound enjoy while under contract with a particular master is subject only to one constraint: in one year while serving a master, the Bound must live at that master's property four Moons out of six. Furthermore, unlike normal indentured servants, the Bound are not truly beholden to the masters that they serve. Those individuals have simply purchased their services for a predetermined length of time. The Bound are directly indentured to the Dominion itself. Their services and their time are merely up for purchase from the Imperator, if one presently occupies The Ivory Throne, or from the Twin Courts through the Bound Circle.
In Tretalleri society, the Bound are treated to the same respect that would be afforded to a member of the High blood. Some members of Tretalleri society in fact see their status as equal to the High Blood, although there is an ingrained wariness in the public perception of the Bound that hasn't faded in all the years of the Dominion. Furthermore, there is an implicit message that accompanies a Bound person's ability to be present in the public eye. This freedom to dwell among the general populace says "I was born wtih magic. I accepted this burden. I did the noble thing and submitted myself to the judgment of the Dominion and of the Stranger." Because of this, the Bound carry themselves with pride and confidence in what they are and what they represent.
One thing of note is that the Bound are not restricted, in any way, from participating in public life. If there are events that they want to attend on their free time, they are allowed to. If there are individuals that they want to court, they may, if the other individual consents. The Bound are allowed to form their own families, although it is understandable that the Bound tend to shy away from this topic due to the widespread knowledge that the Bound live rather longer than the average Tretalleri individual. An interesting result of the nobility so often associated with the Bound is that a Bound person's House is automatically considered valid for elevation to the High Blood, if it isn't already in the High Blood.
Furthermore, the Bound are seen as the walking symbols of the power of the Dominion. They are a sign, made flesh, that the Dominion can contain and control even the most volatile of things—the vicious and uncontrollable force of nature that is magic. To a lesser extent, the Bound who wear uniforms with House crests—an evident sign that they are presently serving under a private individual—are also representative of that individual's generosity and benevolence. This is because of the payment that is made to the Dominion by the individual that wishes to purchase the services of one of the Bound, the Dominion takes only three gaerâl for each llyrâl paid for the Imperial treasury. One gaeral goes to the Bound Circle, and the rest, five gaerâl, goes to the family of the Bound individual.
There is a significant amount of disappointment associated with Bound individuals who do not come into the Binding freely and must be taken to it. These are few and far in between, but whenever Bound individuals resist their status as Trigallarë, they are rarely, if ever, seen walking among the public. They are most often assigned work in the military, either to assist in delving for metals for use in weaponry, or bolstering the back lines, for example, by setting archers' arrows alight with magical fire. These Trigallarë, and Trigallarë in general are not allowed to use their magic directly for combat and must instead use it to help soldiers be more effective in combat instead.
Furthermore, by assigning the resistant Bound to the military, rebellion is curtailed due to the fact that the military quickly and decisively deals with insubordination. The Dominion, however, is not cruel. These Trigallârë are given the right to visit with their families and loved ones, or to simply take time off, for one Moon for each year that they serve with the military. If these Trigallârë are deployed elsewhere, away from their homelands, these "vacations" accumulate and can be claimed by the Bound at any point once they return to their homeland, or whenever they wish to.
The Binding is both the name for the institution and the process that was established early on in the history of the Dominion by Cilritanë a'Detvida in order to dampen, register, and help control the magical abilities of Tretalleri individuals who are born with the spark that allows them to wield magic of the arcane variety. In the early Dominion, the Binding was a very risky process. It was done only by the most skilled of Di'Mârrë and involved a lot of risks. The mortality rate for the Binding, early in the history of the institution, was at best 40% and at worst 60%. It was a very expensive endeavour that was a significant drain on the Imperial treasury, but a cost that was carried and accepted by all Imperators that followed Cilritanë, because the taboo against arcane magic was so strong that it was considered a worthwhile price to pay.
Before a culture of acceptance and nobility was built around the Trigallârë, whatever recognition they might have received for having done the right thing was pretty much post-mortem recognition. In the early years of the Dominion, and particularly under the rule of Imperators that were more radical against arcane magic than others, the Trigallârë were abandoned by their families as soon as the Binding was performed. Thankfully, as the Dominion matured and the theology and rhetoric surrounding arcane magic slowly mellowed into a passive antagonism at worst and apathy and wariness at best, the Trigallârë were slowly elevated to the position that they hold in modern Dominean society.
The Binding is a long and painful process, and even the modern Binding has retained some elements of the older version. During the days of the Kingship of the Bone Trees, a discovery was made that indicated that Tretalleri blood, when exposed to a large amount of iron particulates, changes colour from red to blue. Further experimentation at the beginning of the reign of Cilritanë, who had been one of the first to notice the magic-dampening effects of iron—effects that were remarkably similar to the ability of elledtrillë to absorb magic—revealed that the red blood was just as effective at dampening magical abilities.
Once this was confirmed, the first Bindings were performed on a group of Tretallë who were infamous for their brand of banditry, using magic to get what they wanted. The process that the first Bindings followed only saw minor refinements in the six thousand years that followed, prior to the discovery of the Cloister of Trials, the unearthing of the artifact known as The Stranger's Embrace, and the construction of the Temple to the Stranger. First and foremost, the candidate for the Binding is secured with elledtrillë at five points, the wrists, the ankles, and the neck.
What used to follow next was a long and painful process with which a Di'Marrë repeatedly drew blood from the candidate's body and exposed it to a bucket of iron ore. The entire ritual took a few hours, during which time the candidate's blood was extracted, exposed, filtered, and then returned repeatedly until such time that the blood began to turn red. When the blood turned red was when the candidates typically began to feel the true pain of the Binding, and it was not uncommon for the candidates to thrash while the Di'Marrë worked. The elledtrillë that secured the candidate absorbed any accidental magical outburst at this pivotal moment in the process. Once the Di'Marrë was satisfied with the colour of the candidate's blood, a break would have been called, and a few hours allowed to pass, during which time it would become clear whether the candidate was going to live or die.
If the candidate survived, the Binding was declared successful and while the candidate slept on in a coma induced by the physiological changes taking place, they would be tattooed with ink that used iron filings and iron oxide, creating a lattice that prevented the discharge of magical energy except through the wrist or, if the proper instruments were equipped, through the palms of the hand.
The Embrace of the Stranger
Known in Tretalleri as D'Metyperrë Di'Lertanys, the Embrace of the Stranger was an artifact unearthed at around the same time that the Cloister of Trials was discovered. The Embrace was found not far from where, allegedly, the Ivory Throne was first found. Like the Ivory Throne, it was in the form of a chair. However, unlike the Ivory Throne, it was neither tall nor imposing.
The first individual who sat in the Embrace discovered its purpose and found himself, rather distressingly, punctured by hypodermic needles in multiple spots on his body. The Embrace then started to filter his blood and he felt energized, if a bit violated, after the ordeal was over. His name has been forgotten to history, though truthfully the fact is that he never wanted to be known for the discovery of such an uncomfortable seat and simply sold it to the highest bidder who, in this case, just happened to be the Grand Rookery.
It was soon discovered that the Embrace could be used to filter blood and renew it in the same way that Di'Marrë often did with some daring individuals. It was also discovered that the risks associated with the Embrace were negligible compared to the manual process that Di'Mârrë were used to. Furthermore, a compartment was found, soon after, that could hold a single piece of iron ore. Researchers looking into ways to lessen the pain of the Binding and to lower the mortality rate were surprised to find that the Embrace could turn blood red quickly and, seemingly, without risks to the health of the individual.
Although the Embrace is still studied in depth by Di'Mârrë who work for the Grand Rookery, there is still no clear indication as to how the Embrace works. However, it proved to be invaluable to the Binding and was moved into one of the secret chambers of the Temple to the Stranger, where individuals born with the spark for magic were taken and became Bound.
The Binding brings with it a number of physiological changes that Tretâllë might find rather discomfiting at first. The reasons for many of these changes are rather unknown to the Dominion, but research is consistently ongoing in order to pin down the reasons for the change.
First and foremost is that the Bound realize that they don't need to breathe as much as they used to, and thus have lower breath rates than most other Tretalleri individuals. Their skin also takes on a slight pink tinge and the vessels in their eyes turn red instead of blue. Another obvious physiological change is in the lifespan of an individual. Tretâllë who have been exposed to the Binding tend to live much longer than their mundane counterparts. They also tend to have much greater endurance in terms of exerting themselves. Muscle gain is much improved, and overall strength is greater.
Other changes like the ability to think faster and the ability to process and evaluate environmental stimuli on a broader scope are associated with the Binding as well. These benefits began to arise once the Embrace was used widely for Bindings. In fact, there was a brief push from the military sector of Tretalleri society to subject soldiers to the part of the Binding that changes blood from blue to red, due to the widespread belief that this was what conferred the benefits. However, it became quickly apparent that doing such a thing, given that the Embrace was a single artifact that the Dominion did not have the means of reproducing, was simply too expensive and inefficient and the idea was dropped, but not before a fervent rush to find another Embrace of the Stranger was initiated by the military.
Although the Trigallârë are indentured servants whose contracts are held, in perpetua by the Dominion government, one of the amendments to Cilritanë's proclamation made by the Twin Courts, a few years after their founding, was an amendment that provided for the creation of an organization to oversee the Trigallârë. The Bound Circle, Di'Galtë Mordë in Tretalleri, is this organization. It is through the Bound Circle that all the affairs of the Bound are attended to. Furthermore, the Bound Circle has representatives in the Court of Crows, usually a delegation of three of the most experienced and most able of the Bound. These three Bound serve directly under the Pale Imperator, or under the Grand Rookery in his absence. They are a guarantee that the Trigallârë have some political clout that can ensure that they are not unduly hurt by anti-arcane propaganda that the Dominion might employ during times of war with the Silvered Realm.
The Bound Circle employs not only Trigallârë whose service contracts are fulfilled by the Imperial treasury, but also other Tretalleri individuals who are either in need of work or are interested in working with the Trigallârë for whatever reason. Because of this, the Bound Circle is split into four different branches, all governed by the Higher Circle, the three Trigallârë who are the representatives of the Bound to the Court of Crows.
The Circle Civil handles the servitude of the Bound in the public sphere. The Circle Civil manages the contracts struck by private individuals and certain members of the Bound, it ensures that a Bound individual is given the required amount of free time as stipulated by Dominion law, ensures that private individuals follow through with their payments for the service of the Bound, and investigates any allegations of possible abuse. The Circle Civil has a priority line with the Ivory Guard, the law-enforcement contingent of the Tretalleri military.
The Circle Martial handles the servitude of the Bound in the military, as the name suggests. The Circle Martial handles the affairs and finances of the Bound that are in the army, keeps track of the assignments of all the Bound that are in the military, advises commanders on the matter of whether or not the Bound are necessary for a particular endeavour or not, ensures that discipline is dispensed in a non-abusive manner, provides and allots money to cover the costs of upkeep for the Bound and the allowance given to the Bound, and finally, but perhaps most importantly, oversees the dispensation of medical attention to the Bound both for physical and psychological needs.
The Circle Scholastic oversees the affairs of the Trigallârë that are under the employ of the Grand Rookery, being used either as subjects for research, or as assistants for certain other branches of study. Any researcher that wishes to use the service of a Trigallârë must first seek the approval of the Circle Scholastic, even if the funding has already been approved by the Grand Rookery. This typically involves a comprehensive write-up about the procedures in which the Bound will experience or will have to assist in. Furthermore, any such approval comes with the condition that one of the employees of the Bound Circle, is subject to the condition that the researcher or research team be accompanied by a third-party chaperone under the employ of the Bound Circle.
The Circle Judicial is a smaller branch of the Bound Circle. If a dispute between a contractor and a Bound person escalates to the point that the proclamations of all lower local courts have been appealed, the Circle Judicial is the first higher court that sees the case. Typically, this is where disputes end, but if the judgment is appealed and the appeal is granted, the case is elevated to the Twin Courts. The Circle Judicial also handles disputes between Trigallârë.