Overview

The Canterspire Circle (or more correctly, Circles) are located on the slopes of the Operus mountains in the Urizen territory of Morrow. Custodianship of the Circle grants an Imperial title; a seat on the Imperial Bourse; and a seasonal bounty of valuable weirwood

The Resource

The lower slopes of Canterspire are marked by strange circles of weirwood that grow rapidly despite the barren soil. All the trees grow in this circular pattern; despite a great deal of research no rational explanation has ever been found for this phenomenon. There is some agreement that whatever it is, it is not magic - even allowing for the fact that magic rarely has any effect on living weirwood, there is no sign of any lingering enchantment or aura that can be discerned by the magicians who study the groves. The workers are careful never to "break" a circle - they never take more than half the trees in a given ring at any time. This is not mere superstition. In the early days of Imperial control, three-quarters of the trees in one of the rings were felled by mistake, and no new weirwood trees have grown in that area since. Indeed, nothing has grown in the vicinity to this day - the half-dozen ancient trees still standing are mute sentinels over a roughly circular area of empty, open soil.

Between the trees, little grows save grass and a particularly rich snow-white heather. Some farmers graze small herds of sheep and goats between the rings, harvesting the heather to make fine yellow dyes for which the region is justly famous. The hills around the weirwood trees are notable because of the rich groves of beggarwood that prosper there - providing a dark ring of faster-growing trees that completely encircles the Canterspire Circle. Several of the local spires have the rights to one grove or another, and this enhances their reputation for quality cloth and leather.

According to local stories, when Urizen joined the Empire the spire responsible for the weirwood groves enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to cede their control to the Empire. The Spire of Golden Wood arranged a very equitable deal with the assistance of Emperor Giovanni and to this day control some of the richest farms and beggarwood groves in Urizen, in return for which they offer magical support and hospitality to the workers who maintain and harvest the Canterspire Circle. They are known more for their prosperity than for their magic, although the consummate excellence with which they prepare their signature yellow dyes, and their mastery of herb lore, are well known and well respected.

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