Map of the Trenst basin with link to Trenst city

The Trenst Basin

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This area is so vast that each pixel of this map covers nearly 26 square miles. It is as large as the Highlands in area, reaching from the southern icecap to the lower forties in south latitude, halfway around the world. This map is over seven thousand miles east to west, almost four thousand north to south.

This is one of the farthest points on the surface of Kassidor you can possibly find. The Vesh Basin is actually exactly opposite the Yakhan on the globe, but Trenst is probably more difficult to get to. The north edge of the eastern half of this basin is four thousand miles south of the south edge of the Vesh Basin.

While the vast areas of the Highlands have only two or three climate zones, the Trenst basin has as many different climates as Earth or Centorin. The Karedarzin river winds across the middle of the map. The climate along the river is moist lowland and gets a bit steamy as you approach Trenst and the swamp. The air there is so thick there is no horizon. Parts of the north have a climate like the northlands of the Highlands basin. The misty wood is in the forties (F) on Winter Morningdays, fifties (F) during Afternoondays. Parts of the Illygi Valley around Gordune approach Borlunth in depth, with a white, pink or orange sky, no perceptible change of temperature with the day or week. All the polar climates are represented, and there is horizon spanning tundra that can take weeks to cross by air.

The racial mix in this basin is almost as varied as the climate. The western Fronzhorps are one of the ancient traditional homes of the Trolls while the Dwarves lay claim to the northern Fronzhorps. A great Dalthite kingdom of the Megnor race flourished to the east of what was then Lake Myassa. East of the lake, the basin floor had thousands of ethnicities, but since modern times began, they have re-engineered themselves into a much more centrist mold. The general consensus is they are probably mainly Nordic and Megnor, but the genetics market is very lively, has been going on since the Earth year went positive, and has a population of devoted followers.


History

While much of the remainder of Kassidor was having all those grand civilizations causing wars of legend, the Trenst Basin was lightly populated with hunter-gatherer tribes, each with customs adapted to their climate zone, speaking 1400 different languages and having never heard of a written language. The population varied from low, to very tenuous. Striders considered humans one of their spicier delicacies and would enjoy them in spite of the need to pick a few of their quills out after the meal.

In 3068bc a military exploring party lead by Admiral Trenst sailed down the Karedarzin from the city of Qwomst in the newly-annexed Karedarzin basin. They eventually found themselves without food, their ships leaking badly from shipworm, hung up in a vast trackless swampland on the edge of a fresh water sea. The swamp was full of canoe tribesmen living in nets tied to the trunks of the trees. They were hostile but there is nothing scientifically conclusive about cannibalism among the swamp tribes of that time.

The party's test of survival was legendary and really needs a chronicler to do it justice. They had to capture women from the canoe tribes to continue their line. Their equipment became so abused they were almost reduced to the level of the tribesmen by the time their first sons were grown. It was fifty four years from the time the Admiral's rafts left Qwomst till their base was contacted by Dempala again. The Admiral did not live to see that contact, but the post was named in his honor.

Four hundred Earth years later, that post was one of the largest in the Empire's military. The primitive tribesmen for miles around were enslaved by a totalitarian state like nothing the human race has known since North Korea. The Commandants built great stone causeways thru the swamp and two great fortresses on great piles of stone, drained by windwheels constantly turning. A square mile of balloon hung a fort five miles above the post. Their slaveships dominated the lower Karedarzin and the primitives were gathered in boatloads to feed the war machine built on pilings among the swamp. They experimented freely on humankind because there was no effective native population to check them.

In 2599bc the Commandant of the Trenst outpost defied the orders of the Valinor Throne and seceded from Dempala. He had counted on a valiant attack on the command of the space forts of the time. Unfortunately, after days of intense fighting, that attack failed. The results of that failure are the deep round pools in the Tovast and Trenst rings of modern Trenst and a war known as The Fall.

Those crater walls finally put some solid ground in the mouth of the Karedarzin. The islands so created became homes for the pirates, black markets and petty warlords that were common in the area while most of the remaining planet was going thru the Troubled Times. This basin wasn't all hunter-gather paleolithic, but the Amazon Basin in 1900ad was more developed than this all thru the Troubled Times.

In the late troubled times a few towns on those islands got large enough to have a semblance of civilization. They still had a warlord to report to, but he had a marble palace and attractive women around him now instead of a series of tents surround by big men with ugly weapons. There was a cultural scene developing and commerce between some of the towns on the islands was starting to come under treaty.

At this point in time a new face shows up among those betting on the more hypered-out prize fighters. He begins two careers, that of a sports gambler, and that of a chippongga player. The nascent Trenst scene did not know that he had begun a career thirty generations ago as a genetic scientist.

It wasn't till he became famous as a chippongga player in the early 40's that the major financial players in the area recognized the big guy with the real money that they had been dealing with for generations. It was his hands that gave him away.

Brancettrabble has only increased his influence over the basin since then. He was the first to embrace and enhance the changes started by the Kassikan. He saw that he could play that game, and maybe even win.

At this point in time the Centorin military, using all the technology at their disposal, is not able to get a fix on Brancettrabble's castle. No instruments will read it out. He admits it's in the Kendre and that it covers about a square mile. The Empire's military is no more anxious to challenge Brancettrabble on this, or any other issue, than they are to challenge the Kassikan.


The Karedarzin

The next basin up river is named for the river, even though five sixths of the water in the Karedarzin river and ten thousand miles of its length is in the Trenst basin. The Karedarzin flows strongly thru this basin and huge amounts of water power are extracted at every city on the way. It is the tides that drive the river however and not its course down hill. For six hours the locks stand open at the tide's height. For fifteen they let ships down to the west. For six hours the locks stand open at its ebb, and for fifteen hours they let ships down to the east, raise them to the west.

For many stretches the river is forty to fifty miles wide. Beyond Engbembus it has not been dammed, though the city of Trenst derives a lot of energy from dragging propellers in the flow of many of the main channels. Two thirds of the basin's water power comes from the tides in the Karerdarzin. Most of the other third comes from the locks that take it down out of the Karedarzin basin.

The river has been a god for most of the tribes that lived along it for most of this basin's past. Most have all their holy ceremonies along the river. This basin has never really come out of its primitive past, it has added a modern veneer, but many make pilgrimages to the river every year, and in much of the basin it is considered unholy to let a child grow to adulthood without immersion in the river. For some it is a year's journey on foot, each way.

The river is the lifeblood of the basin's economy in more than just tidal power. It fills nearly a million square miles of lon ponds, it carries five sixths of the basin's freight. Nearly a billion people live within a week's walk of its shore. Today the river is lined with temples, palaces of the wealthy, high rise apartments, parks and many other human uses for just about every inch of every bank. Where there are farms along the banks they are usually small and narrow with homes overlooking the tidal plain.

To a visitor from Earth or Centorin, it looks like the sea. Even the Navorken with the close horizon of Centorin still looks like a river. On the banks of the Karedarzin, there really is no horizon, the air is thick enough to bend light into a slightly smaller radius than the radius of the planet. The land just recedes into the distance until it is lost in the haze. The refraction makes it seem much farther, but the density of the air causes one to see only half as far on the banks of the Karedarzin as on the banks of the Navorken, so the river looks like a muddy sea that stretches into the distance forever.


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