Based on Tallcastle's description as a special pre-Darkness trading ground, it's a safe bet that trade there highly ritualized. That description also tells me that while the Trader Princes may have built a structure or two and renewed ancient trade pacts, someone else started them. Given the tensions between Aldryami and Heler / the Helerings, I'd argue this was a site for the Dokali, linked to Oak woman.
/// That's cool. So in the middle of Tallcastle Land, there is this huge Sacred Oak Tree to which people have been sacrificing for centuries. I don't why it's not surrounded by elven Forest, probably some consequence of godlearner meddling, as with the Goddess Switch.
For several reasons (Elves, Ditali, their distance from the Wenelian Road), I see Asharans from Tallcastle emphasizing ritual exchange and diplomacy at least as much as pure commerce. In Sartarite Orlanthi terms, Tallcastle's Ashara feels more like Autero Goldentongue than Garzeen Middleman. A good Asharan would blanch at such a comparison of course.
/// Well, they're not going to burn you at the stake for that, Communication is sacred. Perhaps this House sees itself as having a major role holding back the Forest ? You say interesting things about the Browns fearing return of the Green, and the House is called Ochre on Green. Could they have a role in preventing the Green from coming back ? A special "weed-killer" wich they supply to the brown ? They are tolerated by the elves because of this crucial supply. No more goo, no more brown friends - Tallcastle will be overrun by the Forest in one day. And the inventory is getting low...
I also agree "Claustrophobic" is a good word for life in Tallcastle. Rigid would be another one. I suspect there are several very specific agreements Green On Ochre has with the Aldryami, regarding agriculture and other aspects of life that are taken for granted elsewhere in Maniria. There is an irony that the most rule-oriented Trader Prince house gets that character not from its Malkioni heritage, but from its dealings with (what Rokari would identify as) Krjalki.
/// Another thought : they're so far off the Wenelian Road because, in fact, Caselain never went there. It's the House's Big Secret : it was one of his followers, perhaps lost, who met the elves. Perhaps it was an accident, perhaps God ordained it - but he found out about the "agent orange" the Brown need to keep the Green out.
The idea about insecticide was great, but perhaps in fact the OoG trade in a special insect, obtained from the Gorakkiki uzfolk, which eats/affects only Green elves ?
So many possibilities !
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