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The Qoniira Tetrarchy[2][1] is an ancient, hidden civilization that once comprised five cities in southern Tal'Dorei on the Rifenmist Peninsula,[3] including the cities of Niirdal-Poc[4] and Niirdal-Sarqet.[5] Their culture is ancient even to other ancient civilizations of Exandria,[6] and is widely believed to have fallen when the Calamity hit.[7]

Geography

The tetrarchs established their cities with mathematical precision, guided by a constellation of the night sky — Surrac's Shield, a four-starred diamond with a fifth star in its center. The constellation still shines over Rifenmist and southern Exandria in 836 PD. Long before the the Divergence, when Qoniira civilization reached its pinnacle, tetrarchy fromed from four great satellite cities, surrounding their central heart — city of Niirdal-Poc.[1]

The cites are filled with statues from the height of the Qoniiran Tetrarchy. Some statues have been known to move under the light of the stars, illuminating hidden runes upon their bodies.[8]

Niirdal-Poc

Main article: Niirdal-Poc

The capital, nexus of Qoniira tetrarchy, and the only remnant of its former glory.

Niirdal-Gan

Located to the north of Niirdal-Poc, Niirdal-Gan was the agricultural hub of Qoniira. Some farmers have opted to live outside the basin and tend to these still-fertile lands. They are few, for magic is able to supply food for most people of Niirdal-Poc.[9]

Niirdal-Teek

This outer city, east of Niirdal-Poc, was an academic center of the Qoniiran civilization. Most of the city is one vast university that once was populated by over 30,000 people.[10]

Niirdal-Sarqet

Main article: Niirdal-Sarqet

Niirdal-Sarqet was a center of faith for the Qoniirans, south of Niirdal-Poc. All that remained of the sacred city is a vast, floating cube called the Hexahedron of Sarqet.[8]

Niirdal-Hup

Niirdal-Hup was the military centre of Qoniiran state, taking form of a fortress-city to the west of Niirdal-Poc. Of all the ruined cities, only the Niirdal-Hup was reduced to dust.[8]

Society

The Rifenmist Jungle sunk Niirdal-Poc into a deep basin, and its thick canopies shield it from above, while its intertwining boughs hold the heart-city tightly in its embrace.[9]

During the second war between gods, isolated themselves from the world, becoming a self-sufficient society. Its inhabitants only occasionally travel outside their basin to trade with Orroyen tribes or, in mythically rare instances, with the town of Byroden. Its people live contentedly within Niirdal-Poc and few are permitted by the protective, ancient magic of the Qoniirans to enter their city.[9]

Demographics

One of the Qoniira cities (possibly Niirdal-Poc itself) had a population of around one million at one time.[11]

Government

At its peak, each of the four peripheral cities of the Qoniira civilization was ruled by their own elected tetrarch, who gathered together in the capital of Niirdal-Poc to make the group decisions at a time of grave importance. By 836 PD and 842 PD, all four tetrarchs occupy Niirdal-Poc, the only one that avoided the fate of its sister cities,[12] and daily meet in the Hakredic Dome.[8]

The tetrarchy is a hereditary office, but citywide elections are held between eligible heirs to determine which heir should take up their parent's mantle. Elections are also held when a tetrarch's line ends without heirs, providing conspirators a chance to succeed in their palace coup.[8]

Religion

The Qoniira are neutral toward any sources of magic, not caring about the difference between good gods and Betrayer Gods or between natural and humanoid-wrought magic. They respect and honor it all,[13][14] invoking the names of the Prime Deities for blessings, and of the Betrayer Gods for curses.[8]

History

The foundation of the Qoniiran heart-city Niirdal-Poc were laid by the eminent elephantine people, and places for new settlements were scouted out by catfolk.[1]

During the Age of Arcanum, the Qoniira Tetrarchy grew from a loose coalition of towns led by clerics of the Wildmother, arcanists, and druids who spoke with the jungle around them.[1]

When the Calamity struck and Qoniiran civilization was at its peak, it opted out from the war and isolated themselves from the outer world, rather than take sides in the conflict. Around this time, unknown type of magic arose throughout tetrarchy, desolating all the tetrachy cities, with only Niirdal-Poc avoiding the disaster. Even in 836 PD, centuries past the Calamity, the Qoniirans do not understand the nature of their plight.[15]

As of 836 PD, cartographer Tyriok Gadsworth was aware of all the cities of the Tetrarchy and included them on a map requested by Seeker Odessa Tal'Dorei.[16] The cities did not appear on his map from 812 PD.[17]

In 842 PD, Shaun Gilmore identified the rune that appeared on the mesa that suddenly rose near the Flamereach Outpost as belonging to the Qoniira. He tasked an adventuring party to find a bit more of this runic writing in the ruins of the Qoniira civilization so that he could translate it.[18] After a journey of more than two months, the party, who would later be known as the Crown Keepers, found their way to Niirdal-Poc, where the rune was translated as meaning roughly "place of burning".[19]

Trivia

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 115.
  2. Dariax pronounced it "Quniera" at one point, but when more informed parties like the DM are talking, the transcripts spell it Qoniira.  See "By the Road" (E1x04) at 2:52:44.
  3. See "A Glorious Return" (E1x03) at 1:51:26.
  4. See "The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) at 0:22:14.
  5. See "Beyond the Heart City" (E1x07) at 1:08:47.
  6. See "A Glorious Return" (E1x03) at 1:54:55.
  7. See "A Glorious Return" (E1x03) at 1:55:20.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 117.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 116.
  10. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 116–117.
  11. See "A Test of Worth" (E1x05) at 3:12:29.
  12. See "The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) at 1:32:32.
  13. See "A Glorious Return" (E1x03) at 1:55:01.
  14. See "The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) at 2:10:53.
  15. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 115–116.
  16. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn.
  17. See Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting.
  18. See "A Glorious Return" (E1x03) from 1:51:26 through 1:57:05.
  19. See "The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) at 1:08:37.
  20. Aabria's Instagram Story takeover on May 20, 2022 for Exandria Unlimited: Calamity.
  21. See "The Gift Among the Green" (E1x06) at 0:22:53.
  22. See "A Glorious Return" (E1x03) at 1:52:14.

Art:

  1. Official map of the Qoniira Tetrarchy, by Andy Law from Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
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