Golden Trees of Seren
The Golden Trees of Seren are located in Serenael in the Navarr territory of Miaren. Custodianship of the Golden Trees grants an Imperial title; a seat on the Imperial Bourse; and a seasonal bounty of valuable weirwood
In the heart of the Miaren are the ruins of Seren, destroyed a millenium ago by the Vallorn and slowly reclaimed after the liberation of that territory. The area is still a little dangerous - even with the vallorn gone some plants grow in eerie ways in the heart of Miaren. Indeed, the massive weirwood trees of Seren - the largest in the Empire - are sometimes said by the ignorant to be a result of the vallorn's unnatural fertility. The Navarr tell a different story.
In addition to their great size, the weirwood forest of Miaren differs from other such groves in the colouration of its leaves. They are known as "the Golden" because of the year-round autumnal shade of their leaves - while they fall in winter, in Spring the new leaves that sprout are already yellow, bronze, or brown. Another theory that was popular at the Lyceum was that this was the permanent residue of a potent ritual used during the liberation of Miaren to weaken the vallorn - while the magic did not affect the vitality of the weirwood trees directly, inexorable magic marked the trees with a permanent touch of Winter magic.
The trees themselves grow in a great swathe of timberland that occupies a third of the old Terunael city ruins. When the weirwood groves were liberated, there was heated debate in the Imperial Senate as to how they should be allocated. At the time, the Navarr senators were firm in their belief that the weirwood groves should be given into the custody of their people. A more pragmatic senate under Emperor Giovanni, however, saw things differently and chose to make the weirwood trees an Imperial resource. This has lead to friction in the past - there are groups of Navarr who take the fact that strangers are defiling lands literally watered with the blood of their dead heroes.
One old and much-repeated story told by the Navarr concerns the last stand of the Serenael (the citizens of Seren). The story tells of a courageous band of heroes, said to be the greatest that Terunael had ever assembled. They had turned Seren into a city of wonders, their might bringing peace and prosperity to the people. Many versions say there were one hundred and forty-four heroes, and agree that they were the brightest and the best of Terunael. The city was known not only for its colleges of philosophy, history, magic, and poetry, but also for its military academy where the strategists and captains of Terunael studied their various arts. When the vallorn came, the heroes of Terunal fought to keep it contained long enough for the scholars, students, and civillians of Seren to escape.
The story speaks of a mighty battle fought through and beneath the Vallorn; of a desperate last stand; of magicians, warriors, and hunters arrayed in the glory and splendour of Terunael, shedding their last drop of blood to try and overcome something that could not be defeated.
The fanciful tale claims that as each of those doomed heroes fell, they were bathed in light from above, shining gold as it reflected from armour. And where the light shone, a weirwood tree grew. Majestic, these weirwood trees stand tall and proud, taller than any other weirwood known in the Empire, and known as the Golden because their leaves show a never-ending touch of Autumn. Rather than being twisted by the vallorn, they stood untouched by its malignance down all the long centuries before the Empire cleansed and reclaimed Miaren.The story is mythical, but there is some evidence in support of it. When Seren was reclaimed, there were several buildings that matched the fictional depiction of the colleges and academies where heroes were trained. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that the weirwood trees were not twisted by the aberrant corruption of the vallorn or its miasma. The generally accepted explanation is that the same property that causes living weirwood to resist the touch of magic preserves the plants from the direct influence of the Vallorn. Regardless of the truth, the Golden Trees of Seren remain some of the largest and healthiest weirwood trees in the Empire.
The Bourse Seat
The Seat has no particular responsibilities; they simply receive a bounty of weirwood which is theirs to do with as they will. If the Golden Trees were to be threatened in any way, it would be the responsibility of the Seat to deal with those threats. Likewise, if any particular opportunity were to arise related to the Golden Trees, the Seat would expect to be consulted as to how that opportunity might be resolved.
Seat on the Bourse
Custodianship of the Golden Trees comes with a seat on the Imperial Bourse. For the most part, this Seat comes with no additional responsibilities. It is an Imperial title that grants the right to participate on the rare occasion when the Imperial Bourse as a body is required to make a decision.
Bounty of weirwood
The Seat has control of a source of weirwood and receives Bourse certificates to represent that control. They can dispense this resource as they choose. Production is 28 Imperial wains of weirwood every season.
As with all weirwood Bourse seats, the holder of the title is determined during the Winter Solstice. As an Imperial seat, any Imperial citizen may participate in the auction and hold the title.
|Winter Solstice 2019||Arlais of The Silent Tide|
|Winter Solstice 2018||Watkin|
|Winter Solstice 2017||Adelajda von Temeschwar|
|Winter Solstice 2016||Thalia of Netherwatch|
|Winter Solstice 2015||Reznik von Temeschwar|
|Winter Solstice 2014||Ilia Miroslav von Danzig|
|Winter Solstice 2013||Tobias Shanks|
This title is currently vacant. The table to the right shows the citizens who have been elected to hold this title in the years since Empress Britta died.