The Cnoica (NOI-ka) is an expanse of wilderness in northern Eadland. It forms a natural buffer between the Heartland of Eadland and its northern mountain range, the Wendelcairns.
The Cnoica was first settled during the Unspoiled Age by Gyta tribes. The forests, mainly pine, became home to the Jenespukka, Kilin, Duu, Sumuu, and Tayoma tribes of the Wodegyta, which remained the predominant inhabitants throughout the subsequent ages. As the Alps expanded into northern Eadland, a great number of Wodewose settled the Cnoica. They cohabitated with the Wodegyta and would later unite with them in the Skjold Federation of Alp and Gyta tribes.
The Cnoica remained relatively untouched during the First War. However, when the Stedda began their slow conquest of Eadland and drove the Ulder into the wilder regions, the Cnoica become contested. Ulder refugees, mainly clans of the Seacht and Carndane Federations, fled to the forests and hills of the Cnoica and fought the Alps and Gyta for supremacy.
When the Etter came to Highfane, the Ulder, Alps, and Gyta of the Cnoica achieved an uneasy alliance. There were several skirmishes in the Cnoica, mainly between warrior-slaves of the Etter and ranging bands of Alps, Gyta, and Ulder, but the terrain of the Cnoica does not lend itself for pitched battles. Although the Etter reared several forts in the Cnoica, they never managed to bring it under their control. However, Hidden Folk and bandits plagued the Cnoica throughout the Age of the Etter, often paid for their foul deeds by the Etter. The Fellgyta and the Bergewose of the Wendelcairns often lent aid to their forest kin in these times.
By the time the Etter dwindled, most of the Ulder and many Gyta that had once lived in the Cnoica had been captured and enslaved. With their overlords gone, many of these former slaves returned to the Cnoica. The Etterkin and Ettergyta among them were persecuted by the Ulder rulers of Eadland, but the relations between the other inhabitants of the Cnoica and the Ulder had become strong, founded in their previous alliance against the Etter.
When the Sorman conquest of Eadland began, the Ulder were once again driven into the wild. Many of the Seacht Federation returned to the Cnoica. The old alliance between them and the Alps and Gyta was strong enough to allow peaceful coexistence. During the latter days of the Age of Conquest and the Age of Strife, the Ulder founded several towns in the Cnoica.
The southern part of the Cnoica consists mainly of pine forests. Due to the Cnoica’s proximity to the Wendelcairns, many streams and rivers of meltwater run through it, making it lush and rich with game. Toward the north, the land rises and forms the foothills of the Wendelcairns. Although copses remain, the trees are sparser there and the land drier. Rivers and streams snake ever southward to lower land, sometimes forming small lakes or carving glens and straths in the hills.
The Cnoica remains relatively cool throughout the summer despite its northern situation. This is mainly due to the mountains that shield it. Snow falls relatively early, usually in fall, and the Cnoica remains blanketed with snow throughout winter. In spring, the snow melts and the meltwater swells the streams and rivers on their way south, often causing floods. As in most of Eadland, spring and summer remain rainy and cloudy.
Langost: a ruined outpost of the Etter, close to Liathglen.
Liathglen: a small village of the Ulder.
Scailough: a small Ulder settlement.
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