Chasing The Snaketail

Odwald Bynothas

Kingdoms of Amalur

A scholarly text describing the gnome contruction of the city of Adessa and the role tyrenium mining played in the collapse of Apotyre.

A History of Gnome Exploitation in Apotyre
by Odwald Bynothas


When I see about the monumental task of chronicling the tragic history of Apotyre, a windswept, burnt, and desolate land, one of broken backs and broken hearts, I knew that the tale ahead of me was not one of lords and ladies, king and queens. No. The story of Apotyre is a tale told in the trenches, excavated from the deepest mines where the shadows never sleep and the men are buried with their pickaxes beside them. It is a story as harsh as the land that spawned it.

Chapter 1: Hail, Tyrenium!

Tyrenium! Its fine violet splendor is familiar to us all, sparkling from the fine picture frames and jewelry boxes of our homes, glowing in the amulets and statuary of Adessa's great halls. What many forget is that the ore known to the men who mine it as "violet flash" is a recent discovery. Less than a century has passed since the first scholars of the ancient gnome Academy led their exploration crews to the vast wastes of Apotyre, following an unseen magical aura to an overlook of the Snaketail River. Much has been made of the importance of tyrenium in the construction of Adessa, but since its discovery, the precious purple ore has become even more synonymous with the philosophical notions - of beauty over substance, price over true worth, and most importantly, the plight of the poor against the powerful. Every piece of tyrenium carries with it a legacy of agony that began in the sands of Apotyre.

The first ever mention of tyrenium was in the published works of Scholar Joson, a quiet, headstrong gnome who would go on to sit on the founding council of Adessa's own Basilica Gnostrum, and who acted as the inaugural research fellow for Motus Mining Interests. In his description of the first wells dug in the region of Apotyre, Joson makes serveral passing remarks about a "pleasant reflective stone -- perhaps a metal -- that appears to glitter like the scales of a snake." He was of course referring to unrefined tyrenium, also known as trec, which in the early days of Adessa's creation was disposed of in large, poisonous drainage pits in efforts to reach deeper for the graystone that was sought for basic masonry and construction. Not even the gnomes of the Academy could have guessed that this useless byproduct would turn the world on its ear, and go on to become the most precious natural resource in known history.

The great Tyrenium boom was about to begin...