Thanks for the link - which I think is pretty close to the Wiki:
Poe wrote:Following the Elves’ self-imposed exile, the trolls were slow to return. By the time the tribes began to return, they found themselves sharing the lands with new competition, humans.
At first the trolls tolerated the humans’ presence, as it was clear they were just barely surviving after being abandoned by the elves. They soon came to regret that decision as the humans began to rebuild…
...this implies, though it doesn't outright say, that the humans were in a primitive state when the trolls showed up. It also makes sense given the gradual push-back you mention.
If the humans came north with a civilization (and "modern" forms of governance and military organization), I don't think they'd be pushing the trolls back slowly over "centuries." More likely there'd be bloody campaigns, Troll Wars, punitive expeditions, "great battles" that really decide issues, etc...but if the humans were organized on old-fashioned tribal lines, as the trolls themselves (usually) were, they could be engaged in constant but extremely low-level warfare for centuries, with only gradual shifts in who controlled which territory.
(By sheer coincidence I was rereading this
when you started this thread - which illustrates over and over (1) just how constant intertribal warfare can be, and (2) just how inefficient
it can also be...)
The uneasy peace you're talking about could date back to the unifying Hiawatha/Bismarck figure I posited in my original post -- maybe we could call him "Clovis" (Wikipedia tells me that "Clovis" is just a Latinized form of the German form of "Louis" - and that this is why "Louis" is such a popular name for Kings of France) -- who by whatever means got enough control of the united tribes to ensure that one of them wouldn't start any fights that all of them had to finish, and that there'd be no more unorganized land-grabs (though there might be a few organized
ones...as when a new mine is discovered on troll territory and the Clovians simply must
Also, if the humans started primitive, chasing the same game animals as the trolls did, but later on turned to mining and trade, that would explain how the uneasy peace became possible...since they would no longer be in direct competition for the food supply.
Graybeard wrote:Incidentally, one thing we do know about the Confederacy is that they have far more advanced non-magical weapons than Farrel or Veracia do. What implications does that have for Clovius? Seems like it would be one of the places that would go to some lengths to have such weapons available, if the trolls break the truce.
I quite agree...and the introduction of such weapons might well have played an important role in tribal unification as well (which may've included the Clovian equivalent of the Musket Wars
) -- and more recently in the trolls deciding to respect that "uneasy peace" when the humans got around to announcing it.
In other words, before firearms and unification, the trolls might occasionally raid, kill a human or two, break or steal some stuff, and leave. The only retaliation would be a similar raid by the affected tribe or sub-tribe, who did such things all the time anyway (as fits a great deal of human history). After unification, firearms, and the adoption of more modern military attitudes by the Clovians, such a raid would (1) result in unacceptable troll casualties, and (2) lead to a serious, gunpowder-armed punitive expedition. From the human point of view, after the troll-Delphiniel war described in the link, letting Clovians pull random raids on the trolls runs the risk of provoking another such thing...so the Clovian government prefers to enforce the peace on its own people as well as the trolls.
If you agree with my proposal for what Clovius looks like, the government should probably include a council of elders (dating back to the times when the tribes had stronger separate identities), with an executive chosen by them as the Witan chose the Anglo-Saxon kings...maybe selected for life, but not necessarily succeeded by his designated heir, since the Council would be looking to ensure the next ruler had the necessary diplomatic and military qualities, generosity to themselves, and devotion to their "Clovius First" mindset. In a nod to the English, we could call it the Common Council, with the ruler called, let's see...(getting thesaurus)....well, you can't go too far wrong with "king."