Like All Good Neighbors
Tír Tairngire: shir sha-irn-gi-rā
Primary Languages: Sperethiel (official), English (unofficial)
Administrative Districts: Northern Coastal, Mid-Coastal, Southern Coastal, Willamette Valley, Southern, Eastern, Special Militarized Administrative Districts (disputed southern border and Crater Lake)
Government Type: Elected republic
Bordering Countries: Salish-Shidhe Council, California Free State, PCC
Geography: Varies considerably, from temperate rain forests in the west to arid high desert in the east; the Cascades are a range of active volcanoes
Notable Features: Crater Lake, Mt. Hood, Steens Mountains, Willamette Valley
In 2029, the Salish-Shidhe opened its borders to all metahumans, not just those of Native ancestry. The Sinsearach elven tribe formed shortly after that, claiming territory in the south. In 2035, a portion of the Sinsearach tribe calling itself the Cénesté declared their takeover of the southern portion of the Salish-Shidhe lands, renamed it Tír Tairngire, and immediately revoked their NAN afiliation. For the most part, this was a peaceful split, although the forced relocation of non-elven Salish citizens ignited several small military conflicts. A very high rate of UGE births in the former state of Oregon resulted in a high population of elves in the fledgling nation, and liberal immigration policies swelled the population further. e Tír was established with an autocratic monarchy and a rigid class-based system. Despite this, immigration continued at a high rate as elves flocked to the “Land of Promise.”
In 2036–2037, Tír forces invaded Northern California to Redding, but a high-casualty guerilla war forced them back to Yreka. A disputed zone was established and is maintained between the two
countries to this day. In 2053, the Tír again attempted to take the territory, focusing on the Shasta Dam; the great dragon Hestaby and her associates repelled the forces. Relations with the Tír’s neighbors became very strained. Hestaby later joined the Council of Princes, amid protests, although over time she became a popular media figure in the nation.
Further events, including the death of Dunkelzahn, the closure of Tír’s borders, trade limits, and a crackdown on political parties, caused the nation’s economy to begin to fail. In response to political oppression and economic decline, the Rinelle ke’Tesrae—loosely translated as Rebels of the Spire—formed in 2058.
While the economic situation worsened, the Rinelle anti-government faction gained more ground. The final straw was the second Crash, which wiped out much of the remaining communication systems
and sent the Tír citizens into a panic. Wide spread chaos and riots sparked an emergency meeting of the Star Chamber, and the remaining Princes bowed to public demand, stepping down and making way for a fair and open election.
The new government consists of a representative elected council (the Star Chamber, or Se’Ranshae Elenva), with legislative powers, an elected High Prince with a five-year term (two-term limit), and a High Council of ten elected positions. e previous nobility retained their personal residences and their titles, but have no part in the government unless duly elected.
The first open election was held January 5, 2065. Larry Zincan, an ork Prince on the Council, was elected High Prince. Hestaby, also a current Prince, was elected to the new Council, as was Rex, the sole Sasquatch on the Council. None of the other previous Princes were elected.
In the last seven years, the economy has gained strength, with new laws that favor corporate investment and a more open border policy that has increased tourism.
Cara’Sir, commonly called Portland, is the largest metropolitan area in Tír Tairngire. It also has the most diverse population, with almost thirty percent of residents being non-elven. For several decades, Portland was walled off from the rest of the Tír, used by the government as a filter between its nation and the rest of the world, as well as a dumping ground for non-elves, malcontents, and even criminals (as Tír citizens with a Criminal SIN were frequently released from the prison system into the city). When the Tír government shifted imports and exports to Seattle, Portland went into an economic tailspin. Despite being the nation’s capital and home to numerous Tír-based corporations, the unemployment level skyrocketed (the city government’s imposition of taxes of more than sixty percent on those remaining employed didn’t help, either). This made the City of Roses the perfect breeding ground for the Rinelle ke’Tesrae. Riots escalated, as did the high-casualty suppression response by military forces, some of which killed hundreds of residents. The city was under martial law until the newly elected High Prince Zincan revoked it on January 2, 2065. Despite corporate investment and heavy government subsidies, Portland still struggles with crime and an unemployment rate of more than fifteen percent.
Since the Rinelle’s victory in 2065, the infamous wall has come down in multiple locations and travel into and out of the city is unrestricted. In addition, one of the first acts of High Prince Zincan was to refurbish and reopen the port on the Columbia River, once again making
Portland the hub of the Tír’s import/export trade. While the Tír has not yet signed the Business Recognition Accords, it has shifted to a much more favorable environment for businesses, bringing new economic growth to the city.
Based at the juncture of two large rivers, Portland has thirteen picturesque bridges that span the city, and the snow-capped vista of Mount Hood is visible from almost any point in it. e West Hills rise more than 305 meters above the city, and are home to high-class neighborhoods
and the famous Forest Park, the largest Awakened wilderness park inside a North American city limits. Portland is also a hub for tourism in the Tír, with numerous local-based tourist attractions—from tours of elven wineries in the Willamette Valley to excursions to the various
magical phenomena in Forest Park—drawing visitors from around the globe. e downtown core is designed for walking, with short city blocks (20 blocks to a mile) and the friendly Mounted Patrol peace officers patrolling the streets. Other tourist attractions include the Tír Museum of Science and Industry, a hands-on museum where visitors can see some of the cutting edge applications in science, from biotech to advanced VR environments, the Tír Zoo, complete with a large paranormal animal exhibit and a focus on showing animals in their native environments (using magical illusions to create the landscapes), and the Botanical Gardens, where visitors can walk through the largest parabotanical gardens in North America. e city is also well known
for “diet” restaurants that provide illusory food, allowing customers to enjoy all the sensations of a perfect meal without any calories or guilt.
Portland is also home to the Tír’s largest corporation, Telestrian Industries. Other Corporations, including Charisma Associates and Universal Omnitech, have a large presence in the city as well. The city is also home to numerous start-up companies, and the Tír government has created a flourishing startup environment by providing business grants and an unusual economic “protection” program for innovative new companies. Primary industries include biotech, envirotech, advanced computer and Matrix research, and manatech. The sizeable port on the Columbia River can handle large freighters, and has expanded dry-dock facilities for shipbuilding and repairs. Several universities are based Portland, from small private colleges to large universities, many of which have departments of thaumaturgy, and the city is gaining a reputation for being a leader in higher education.
Malek’thas, or Salem, was the seat of the Tír’s capital until it was moved to Portland in 2040. It still contains numerous civic and government buildings and functions, from the central licensing departments to the Tír liquor control board, as well as the Tír’s SIN processing and storage facilities. Salem is also home to Willamette University, a smaller university that specializes in law and civic planning; it has a program dedicated specifically to sapient non-metahuman rights, and hosts an annual non-metahuman global rights conference sponsored by
the UN. Salem is also built beside a river, with an extended waterfront area with parks, museums, walking trails, and interpretive centers.
The city is best known for the Tír Tairngire National Fairgrounds, a large complex that hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from Centaur races to music concerts. It has permanent gardens and displays, as well as convention halls, a race track, concert and performing arts complex, a livestock pavilion, and a ten-thousand seat covered sporting arena. The National Fair in late August is a major tourist draw. Serentaneyo, commonly known as Eugene, is a mid-sized city in the central Willamette Valley area, an area dominated by agriculture.
The University of Tír Tairngire is located in Eugene, and is well known for its postgraduate programs in applied and theoretical thaumaturgy. The campus is a mix of neo-modernist buildings and ivy-covered brick buildings, and has extensive botanical gardens and fields for research and student application. The campus also houses a small paranormal animal zoo, with extensive multi-sensory illusions providing realistic environments. TTU has a popular viticulture degree program, and several of the nation’s top winemakers and brew masters have graduate
degrees from the university.
Numerous corporations and startup companies have taken advantage of Eugene’s reputation for being the “smartest city in the Tír,” by setting up biotech, agritech, manatech, and environmental science facilities in and around Eugene. The city is also well known for its Awakened population, and numerous shops, theatres, clubs, and restaurants cater to the Awakened community, and those interested in arcane matters.
Mount Hood is a peak in the Cascade mountain range, one of several that erupted during the Great Ghost Dance. Since then, the mountain peak has been observed to have grown beyond the pre-eruption elevation, and has grown the most of any of the erupted peaks. Mount Hood is a symbol of the Tír, its snow-capped peak clearly visible from Portland. The mountain was named a national heritage site in 2063, making all the land on and around it a national park. The mountain itself is a magical hotspot, with a constant high background count. Numerous resorts operate nearby, offering year-round skiing, hiking, and other activities. The forests that flank the mountain are well known for the remarkable re-growth of pre-Awakening deforestation,
and are now pristine stretches of apparent old-growth forests.
Crater Lake is a unique geological location, a deep lake in the crater of an extinct volcano, with a small island—named Tesetelinestéa (no translation given)—in the lake. While it used to be a major tourist draw, in recent years the Tír government has closed it to the public. A militarized cordon is set up around the mountain, along with a no-fly zone. Rumors that the Tír uses anti-surveillance equipment designed to block satellite and other distance surveillance only heightens the mystery. Officially, the Tír government has stated that unstable geothermal issues, linked to recent eruptions of other Cascade Range mountains,necessitate the closure. However, no signs of volcanic activity have been reported; at a distance, the mountain appears stable.
- Tourism is a major part of the Tír’s recovery. Charisma Associate’s Experience the Magic branding campaign has been hugely successful. From hosting a pixie tribe to the Awakened Theater programs in Ashland (complete with flashy magical special effects and audience participation), the Tír is considered “the” destination for anyone who wants to have a hands-on experience with magic. Throw in pretty elves and all the hyped-up culture the Tír pushes, and it practically
- Dr. Spin
- Of course, that’s the image the Tír sells. Outside the tourist enclaves, unemployment is sky-high, the country was left bankrupt by the previous Princes, and the government’s trying desperately not to sell out to the corps and yet still feed everyone. The megas are piling on the pressure on Zincan to sign the businessaccords, but the nationalists—backed by the Tír Ghosts, who are still adamantly loyal to the ex-Princes—are pushing back. Education at the national schools, like UTT, is still heavily censored (you don’t even want to know what they teach for history in the primary schools), admissions are still so racist it’s disgusting, and student-led protests are common. The Rinelle are still active, especially the rabid splinter factions that hate the new non-elven tourists, residents, and corps—and really hate Zincan (Zincan’s survived so many assassination attempts it’s almost a national sport). The “elven-purity” racists clash daily with the “metahumans welcome, humans not” racists. In some ways, the civil war is over, but the real fighting has just begun.
- Doesn’t help that the Tír’s neighbors’ attitudes range from distrust to outright animosity. The Salish-Shidhe haven’t forgiven the elves for running off with prime land. The PCC and Sioux both have relocated tribes that have a historical claim to parts of the Tír (and neither like having such a militarized neighbor with such a messed up government). After several invasions and a long-lasting militarized zone, northern CalFree hates the Tír with a passion. In fact, the only government that likes the Tír is Seattle, and with the Tír reopening their port, even that friendship has grown strained.
- Kay St. Irregular
- You know that both the Salish-Shidhe and the PCC (and of course the Sioux) were watching the revolution, just waiting to see if they’d be able to grab some land. The PCC especially is on an expansion kick … and I’m betting they’re still watching the Tír closely.
- Something to remember about the Tír is that there is a mandatory two-year military service requirement for all citizens, after they turn eighteen or graduate from secondary school. This has kept the Tír’s military fairly full and the Tír’s neighbors cautious about trying to overtake them, even during all the turmoil … (of course, it also came back to bite the Tír on the ass—when you send in troops to subdue a neighborhood of malcontents, and those malcontents all have military training … yeah, you get the picture). So, the NAN may be watching, but unless they’re working behind the scenes (um, totally possible), I doubt they’re going to be moving in anytime soon.
- Turbo Bunny
- And just because the Princes stepped down from running the government, doesn’t mean they’re out of the picture. Zincan is a folk-hero, even to the elves in the Tír. He’s caring, and has a heart the size of Mount Hood, and he’s got more than his share of guts—but when it comes to manipulation or sheer ruthlessness, he’s an infant compared to the ex-Princes. And even though he’s had treatments, he’s old, and I know his age played into his election, at least from the ex-Princes’ parts. IMO he’s just there to get people calmed down—and I think he knows it. I’d be surprised if he ever had an original idea in his life. The powers-that-be are content for now to allow the people to have the illusion of self-governance. They learned that you can’t maintain a feudal society in this day and age (no matter how much experience you’ve had with it in the past), and are regrouping—but they’re not gone. Anyone who thinks Zincan is the real power is greatly mistaken.
- Well, they might be regrouping, but they’ve lost a lot. The Tír still has “classes,” as the nobility were allowed to retain their titles. However, those that were leeches, or abused their power, were more often than not targets of the Rinelle. The majority of the population couldn’t own property, start businesses, travel outside their own city (much less outside the Tír); even the information broadcast on the trid and via the Matrix was heavily censored. Now that’s all changed, of course. The nobility had to deed over the land to the tenants occupying it (without compensation, unless you count “not being dead” as fair payment), the Tír created a Small Business Administration, which provides grants to citizens who want to start their own business, be it a B&B on the coast or a Matrix programming studio, and any citizen can travel anywhere.
- Any citizen that’s an elf, at least. Non-elves still get a bunch of extra scrutiny by the cops. And tourists—yeah, they may say it’s a friendly tourist place, but you’ve got to go through a half-dozen hoops to travel, from ID checks to registering your itinerary with the Tourism Board. Travel into “Awakened” areas (which is seventy-five percent of the fucking nation) requires a tour guide. The Tourism Board paints it as a hospitality perk, but those of us in the shadows know they’re using it to keep tabs on the rabble. Running in the Tír is still a
pain; borders may be open to legitimate, registered traffic, but let me clue you in a bit on how it works. You cross a border (or land at one of the airports) and you go through customs—which includes matching your ID via biometrics, taking your fingerprints, and taking a cheek swab to have on file. They keep their own database of Persons Of Interest, and also cooperate with Interpol, Knight Errant, and the surrounding nations’ police (Salish-Shidhe and PCC, primarily). They’ve got mages and/or spirits at all the checkpoints. And while they don’t use brain-rape spells on normal tourists, don’t be surprised if a mage is using mojo to scan the crowd for certain buzz-words or hostile intentions.
- If you want to avoid this third-degree, you can always run the border. That’s a pain in the ass, but possible if you’ve got a great rigger. Between the patrolling spirits, the paranormal critters, and the legendary border patrol (who, yes, will still question you, dope you with laés, then dump you naked on the other side of the river—laughing their skinny asses off the enTíre time), and a full array of drones and sensors, if you don’t have a good guide and great gear, you’re better off going through a public airport. The three main ways around this:
Boise is still a three-nation city, with a fairly porous, or at least bribable, border between the Tír and the Salish-Shidhe (the PCC part of the city has a lot of issues with the Ute rebels, and security is off the charts right now). You can try the coastline—it’s rugged enough and the weather, especially in winter, is rough enough that sensor and coast-guard patrol coverage gets spotty; I’d go for the central coast, since the southern coast has a lot of issues with CalFree pirates. And finally, there’s always the eastern deserts. It’s mountainous, there’s almost
no water, and almost no population, and little patrols. It’s likely the easiest place to travel, but the other side of it is Ute-territory in the PCC, and things are pretty rough there, so I don’t know if you’d want to go that way. Of course, if you’re an elf, you can always pay the Ancients or the Laésa to get you in or out of the city.
- Turbo Bunny