Rosnai

ARCHO Heritage Site
Ruins of Medieval Rosnai
Name as inscribed on the ARCHO Heritage List
Ruins of Rosnai.jpg
Aqueduct of Rosnai

LocationRetikh, Trellin
TypeCultural
ARCHO subregionAhéri-Ethlorek states
Inscription history
Inscription2014

Rosnai (Urbont: Rosz Nakú) was a garrison town in the Vekra Retiqa, founded by Pelnan colonists in the early 8th century to secure their northern frontier. It was conquered by Trellinese armies under Kederm I in 843, and remained an important garrison town until it was slowly abandoned in the 13th century.

The site has been maintained as an officially-designated heritage landmark since 1954, with a visitors' centre established nearby in 1973. In 2014 it was designated as an ARCHO site under the name Ruins of Medieval Rosnai.

Toponymy

The name of Rosnai derives from the pass in which it is located, known in Urbont as Rosz Nakú (from High Velaric Roshi Naiukon, 'Pass of the Frozen Water'). When it was first visited by Velaran explorers c. 400 AD, the high peaks of the Vekra Retiqa, visible across the Serëtanz, were snow-capped. This sight was so unusual for the Velarans that the ridge on which they stood took its name from their view and was preserved as such on maps. As Trellinese-speaking Pelnans occupied the area, the name shifted to a transliteration, Ros Naika. This was interpreted to mean the 'Fortress of Nai' and gradually contracted further to Rosnai, its present name.

History

Rosnai was founded around 700 AD as the most northerly settlement of the County of Pelna. Its location gave it control over traffic along the upper Serëtanz, and it was consequentially heavily fortified early on. Due to internal crises and a manpower shortage in Pelna, however, Rosnai fell in 843 after a protracted siege conducted by the King of Trellin, Kederm I himself. The citadel was repaired and garrisoned fully by its new occupants.

Under Trellinese rule, Rosnai was a key fortress on the Retikan and Pelnan - later Velaran - borders. Much envied for its strategic location between the mountains and the Serëtanz, it was besieged unsuccessfully several times by Velaran armies after their conquest of Pelna. The town was the most common staging point for Trellin's campaigns against its eastern neighbours, and several generals made their names here either defending the citadel or laying waste to enemy territory. The most famous of these became King Pethmil IV during the Year of Five Kings; in his absence, while he was at Mar'theqa, the town was invested by a Retikan army. The siege was lifted three months later when word was received that Pethmil (who had since abdicated in favour of Ri'erha II and gone into exile on Tenedos) was returning to destroy the besieging, starving army.

The town was besieged only three more times in the next two centuries, diminishing in strategic value as the Trellinese frontier moved eastward. It was gradually abandoned through the thirteenth century and was little more than a ruin already by the time of Temuir II, who ordered its garrison dissolved.