The Black Nation of the Starry

Night, The Star Nation,

Ruled by the Riaffaccii


Many of the Tualárach suffered badly in the war and did not recover in splendor and population to their original levels. The Riaffaccii, although not an agressive Nation, were neighbors to the Ash, the most violent and anti-human of the shapeshifters. After the truce, the Rowan became the sponsors of the Riaffaccii and the remains of the family specialized in crafts and music rather than in horse breeding or war like their neighbors the Druaccii. Nor did they have the great resources of Massona or Belva at their disposal to make them wealthy. Yet they became the victims of the Zelosians without lifting a hand against the invaders.


The heart of the Nation of Stars was the hill fort, Nava, around which was a small plateau hemmed on the east by the Avena and on the northwest by the Nava River which cut into the Wood. The ferries at Nava were the only place to cross the great river. From the little hill of Nava, the lands fell into sharp folds to the northwest and dense woods to the south and west. These were the territories of the Ash. In this map, you see the Birch country in clear green, and the Ash country is gray green, and the lands of the Black Rowan in orange and the Yew in darker green. The Ash were not hostile to the humans as much as they were intolerant. Nava was in an ideal location to oversee the shipments of gold, tin and copper that came out of Massona. It was also located in the Wood, but not far enough in the Wood that supply channels could be cut off, as in the case with Massona. For this, and other more personal reasons, Marsyas coveted Nava and brought grief to that Nation.

After the Corr of the Avena, where most of the warriors of the Horse People lost their lives and Marsyas himself was lost, Korutos saw the sense of building a fortress in the now deserted Nava. He also build a new road straight through the territories of the Ash to Massona, a thing that enraged them beyond anything else that had happened. Korutos lost troop after troop on this road guarding the metal.


Here is a picture of the hillfort of Nava. Bob Gallanis who played the character of Marsyas o Gallanis, was hell bent on capturing Nava. Bob was obsessed with the idea of attacking the Wood in an unconventional way. Despite losing his memory, he still ruled over Marsyas's deeper mind. In all the previous games the Zelosians had attacked the Wood down the Trader's Road. Raol, in forming the Veldonaccii alliance, blocked and thwarted their passage through Darva and the Green Nation. Marsyas, hoping to protect the gold shipments coming out of Massona, wiped out Correna and Darva with the help of the Druaccii, greedy for power, and then turned his eyes to Nava. First he thought to bargain for Nava, but in seeing Morga Riaffacca, he conceived a lust out of proportion to her person, not realizing that he was acting out a relationship he had wanted on Earth.

The Riaffaccii were completely unprepared for war, yet they had been blessed with Queen Sionna, a seer of the first magnitude. Morga had also befriended a shapeshifter who had been sold into slavery to the Druaccii who now lived deep in the Wood. When Marsyas killed Morga's husband, Duvan, she escaped to Combe Charria with her son, Manwen, leaving the little Nation wide open for Korutos to build up into the great fortress.


This family tree is bare, with few children other than the princesses. They were much more involved with their patrons, the Rowan, than is normal for humans. Although they made the king sacrifice according to law, it was nothing like the sacrifices of the Red, Gold, Dunn or Ochre Kings.

Sionna was possessed of a great gift of foresight, so much so that she became obsessed with the hunllef, a whirlpool phenomenon studied by the Rowan. She grew fatalistic and obsessed with her daughter's role in the future. She allowed the presence of a shapeshifter in her court because of her foreknowledge of Morga's tragic fate. She knew that the only way her line would survive was through the generosity of Combe Charria. Although the Riaffaccii court was a bit grim due to Sionna's sadness about the future, it was a place that drew in craftsmen from all over the Nine Nations. Nava was a beautiful village that was protected by its cliffs, but open on the hill itself as a collection of small houses.

Through Lucia Shields involvement with a Rowan man, the Riaffaccii played as great a role in the war against Zelosia as did the Veldonaccii. The fate of Lucia's child and grandchild was due in a large part because of the Riaffaccii. It was because of the Riaffaccii that the Rowan joined with the White Holly against the Marsh resistance. The Riaffaccii were also victims of the Moon Massacre, caught as they were in the fighting as they tried to deliver Morga's children to the Veldonaccii. Even after Korutos had turned Nava into a fortress, he ceeded the fort to Morga's adopted daughter, Kileen and brought down the Zelosian Invasion through Lucia's grandson, Brian Shields.

© 2014, A.R. Stone

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