Senohan is a major city-state in the world of Wilkeen, built into and around seven great trees called the Seven Wards. Located in the Dauine Valley ('day-ew-een), the trees sprouted around the Uaine Lake ('ew-ayn) and grew to magnificent heights under the careful tending and supervision of the First Druids. The Dauine flows from the mountains in the south and fill the lake, and from there flows westward. The trees' trunks, on average, reach up to about 20 storeys high, with the crown of the canopies reaching 30-40 storeys high. Senohan is protected by mountains on the north, south and east but otherwise has open land to its west. The buttress roots of the Seven Wards connect in a rough ring to form a defensive wall around the city itself.
The majority of Senohan is built or carved into the trunks of the seven trees, especially on the sides that face inwards to Uaine Lake and the other trees, though some neighbourhoods, marketplaces and larger civic structures are built on the ground. Dwarven citizens, in particular, live close to the ground, either in stone dwellings or in networks of tunnels dug into the petrified roots of the Wards.
"The King is dead. Long live the King." - Senohan city motto.
Senohan is a monarchy, ruled by the ghost of its long-deceased king, though the king is served by a council of elected representatives, called the Court of Interests. Two elected officials from each of the main species groups, as well as officials from Senohan's guildhouses, make up the Court of Interests. They advise the king on the political and economic situation of their particular area and help to draft legislation. Two separate councils inform the Court and the king about military and city-wide economic matters.
Non-represented species Edit
Not every species is represented in Senohan’s Court of Interests, however. Centaurs have no representative in the Court, despite the government's recognition of their key role in securing the borders outside Senohan's walls. The Sevenguard, the troops who patrol the areas outside of Senohan, have recently taken to lobbying for centaur interests as most of its members are centaurs. However, this has angered the non-centaur members of the Sevenguard who feel that their interests as wardens and protectors are being ignored in favour of issues that only affect centaurs. The government has repeatedly refused a centaur representative as the vast majority of centaurs live as isolationists outside Senohan; they refuse to partake in most civil affairs and are mostly unaffected by the city's governance as it stands, anyway.
The elemkin's struggle for representation in the Court is hindered by the fractious nature of their organisation. As sylphs, naiads, dryads and efreeti all want different things, the movement to secure a seat in the Court of Interests has taken a long time to mobilise. The variety of needs of the four main elemkinds and their inability to establish a coherent set of demands has led to very low support in-Court for their representation. The extremely low population of all elemkin compared to any other race has also contributed to the slim chances of gaining a representative.
Half-breeds (such as half-human/half-elves) also face difficulty in establishing a seat on the council, though this is mostly borne from prejudice from both parent races. Half-breeds are universally reviled as abominations and their inability to procreate only compounds their illegitimate status. Both humans and elves already feel they give undue precedence to the voices of their half-kin and believe that because of their sterility they should be given no stake in the governance of the city.
Half-human/half-orcs are in a less-enviable position as even orcs have no established representative in the Court of Interests. Similar to the elemkin, the Courts' decision to withhold representation to orcs is ostensibly based on their low population, while the sterility of half-orcs blocks their attempts at representation. Vocal orc supporters, however, claim that the Courts are instead prejudiced against orcs due to their previous conflicts and that refusing to allow an orcish representative is just another step in a long-line of policies designed to disenfranchise and push out orcish citizens.
Due to the relatively central nature of Senohan compared to most other nations on the continent, Senohan's economy is primarily based on the export of trade goods produced by the members of its many expert guilds. Cargo is shipped to the other major cities either by the Dauine or by dragon caravan. Due to Senohan being inaccessible from two directions, as well as the inherently risky nature of land travel across the continent, most trade uses these two forms of transport. A subterranean trade route through the Sciabnen mountains (see-'ab-nen) once connected Senohan to nearby Halodistan (hal-'oh-di-stahn), however it was destroyed along with the ancient dwarven cities of the Sciabnen during the Great Disjunction.
The bounty of natural, medicinal plant-life and the expertise of the numerous druidic circles that inhabit the area of Senohan mean that the city is one of the continent's largest exporters of both mundane and magical medical supplies.The abundance of skilled dwarven smiths manufactures a steady stream of high-quality weapons and armour, while craftsmen of most other races create elegant and highly sought-after ceramic and wooden goods.
Senohan is also a net-exporter of food, particularly of fruits and nuts. Due to the unsafe conditions of the land, most of the farmland is located high in the canopy of the Wards, or on the outer branches, in order to maximise the crops's exposure to sunlight, though maintaining subterranean fungus farms is growing in popularity with the more earthbound species. Some food, particularly meats, must be imported from other countries but, on the whole, more food is shipped out of Senohan than brought in.
Being so close to the site of the Great Disjunction (with the magic-fearing Halodistan being the only other city in reasonable proximity), Senohan has a strong culture (and industry) related to expeditions into the mountains. While many of the expeditions are related to arcane research and attempting to understand the cause of the Great Disjunction, an equal amount are based on treasure-seeking in both the ruins of the great dwarven cities as well as the quickly-abandoned settlements that arose around the crevices immediately after the catastrophe.
The defence of Senohan is a multi-faceted endeavour that faces both mundane and supernatural forces. Different groups each handle a particular threat, either operating independently of other others or as a smaller part of a larger superstructure.
The Sevenguard Edit
The Sevenguard is charged with protecting the lands outside Senohan from monstrous threats, maintaining control of the few safe forest havens and scouting for signs of possible incursions from the western plainlands. While the Sevenguard is technically open to recruitment from all constituent species in Senohan, over 75% of the Sevenguard is comprised of centaurs. Mostly this is due to the fact that most Senoese centaurs already live outside the city walls and that most other species are reluctant to venture outside. Centaurs are also the best suited species to serve in the Sevenguard due to their naturally fast running speed and adaptation to travelling along the plains that make up most of Senohan's western borders.
Smaller groups of non-centaur members patrol the small patches of forest and woodlands, often stopping by druidic circles to exchange information and supplies, or to banish undesirable inhabitants. As many areas of significance to the multiple druidic cults in Senohan are used infrequently during the whole year, the Sevenguard does their best to keep them as free of monsters as possible during their vacancies.
A subset of the Sevenguard escorts trade ships along the riverbank until the Dauine reaches its confluence with the Greater Daunar.
The Stormguard Edit
The Stormguard is a highly specialised organisation of wizards and druids who protect the Seven Wards from lightning strikes during storms. It consists of only the most powerful magic-users and membership is considered a great honour for both the individual and their family. Due to the potentially catastrophic results of even a single a lightning bolt striking any one of the Seven Wards, only the most promising apprentices and acolytes are offered a chance at recruitment and only the best of those ever gain full membership.
While most of the Stormguard's time is spent monitoring weather patterns and predicting inclement weather, the most important task they undertake is during storms themselves. During storms, the Stormguard separates into three groups, informally known as the commune, the heart and the rim. The commune helps the archdruid in meditation who predicts the origin of lightning stikes. The commune then telepathically relays this information to the other two groups and directs the organisation as a whole. The heart flies up into the heart of the storm (hence the name) and is responsible for directly engaging with the power of the storm - their sole objective is to redirect lightning bolts that would strike the city through their body and towards their partners in the rim. The rim hovers high above Senohan's walls and redirects lightning bolts from the heart to safely to the ground, at a considerable distance away from the city.
Generally, the Stormguard is largely unconcerned with military matters and rarely becomes involved with Senohan's conflicts. However, they have turned storms to the city's defences when possible by directing errant lightning strikes into the midsts of besieging enemy forces. The Stormguard is credited with breaking at least four long-term sieges in this way.
Notable Organisations Edit
Senohan has a population that ranges in estimates between 900 thousand and 1.2 million citizens and is comprised of a number of different species that, at the very least, try to get along with one another. While all figures are approximate, the general demographic split of Senohan between the major species is as follows:
Other includes the non-represented species such as fey, centaurs, elemkin, orcs and half-breeds.
Senoese is the demonym for citizens of Senohan, regardless of species, but Senohanese is used abroad to refer to trade goods brought from Senohan.