- 1. History
- 2. Stat Caps
- 3. Patron Diety
- 4. Unique Trait
- 5. Capital City
- 6. Physical Appearance
- 7. Society and Government
- 8. Religion and Tradition
- 9. Law and Punishments
During the Imperial Era, Alyrians were relatively welcoming to the Vhalurians, while have a noted conflict with Tyrean peoples. However, the relationship with the Vhalurians changed when Christoff Caliborne led an army against them, demanding Alyrian surrender of lands where temples had been erected to worship Arianthynt. The Great Council objected, deciding to ally with Mhordul tribes in an attempt to repel the forces of Caliborne. The alliance with the Mhordul proved nearly fatal to their society.
The general belief was that Alyrians shared a common enemy with the Mhordul tribes and that if they managed to unite, the combined force of Alyrians and Mhordul could protect much of the forestry and townships in Alyrian lands while also protecting settled land by Mhordul tribes within Alyrian territory. However, it soon became clear that the Mhordul were just as menacing to the Alyrians as they were to the combined Tyrean and Vhalurian forces.
While the Mhordul did a fair job of repelling invading forces, they had little regard for Alyrian sovereignty, and began to forcefully mix the bloodlines by exploiting Alyrian women and Alyrian compassion. In desperation, the Great Council made an arrangement with Christoff Caliborne, trading vast amounts of resources and land in exchange for assistance in repelling the Mhordul threat.
The Mhordul threat was not easily repelled, having made use of Alyrian, Tyrean, and Vhalurian military technology by this point. The Mhordul Conquest was already beginning, and tribes were already forming massive armies. In addition, the Vhalurians and Tyreans had split, leaving the Alyrians with less land, and not much of a military force to withstand Mhordul raids.
In response, by 1055, the Alyrians began using their minds to battle where their military could not succeed. Instead of resisting Mhordul advances in their territory, the Great Council began making law that celebrated and embraced migration for Mhordul people.
Nearly half of the Mhordul people saw this as a gesture of surrender, but the other half saw it as a gesture of weakness which encouraged the eradication of the Alyrian people. The cunning maneuver, orchestrated by Scion Fionna verch Ossian, fragmented the Mhordul war effort, inspiring tribes to split apart and battle against one another. The Alyrians supported the side of their best interest in their own territory, eventually annihilating the threat of invasion by aggressive Mhordul tribes.
Alyrians also formed diplomatic ties with the Azhuran and Khemetar people. For the next fifty years, ending in 1150, the Council of Voiced reluctantly promised to supply the Ataloa with a generation of slave labor. In gratitude, the Azhuran Ataloa provided necessary supplies to repel the remaining Mhordul in Alyrian territory and, for a price, assist in the rebuilding of Alyrian civilization. To pay for Azhuran assistance, new Scion Caddoc ap Cedric agreed to create a common language for the Khemetar people, so they could build more comprehensible trade negotiations with the other races. The common language was created by Nathanan ap Torin, the Khemetar paid for the Azhuran assistance, and the Alyrians led the races into the Common Era.
2. Stat Caps
3. Patron Diety
4. Unique Trait
5. Capital City
6. Physical Appearance
Alyrians are first and foremost noted for their elegant dress and masterful presence. They are generally characterized by their fair complexions and pale hair in fiery red or gold hues. Women stand just about as tall as men, both reaching to an approximate six-foot height with willowy yet powerful muscles upon a light to medium bone structure.
The facial features of the Alyrians betray their sense of honesty and integrity, with wide, brilliant blue, green or hazel eyes, lush lips forming wide, pleasant mouths, softly squared jaws and full, angled cheekbones. Their faces may even take on a slight ruddy complexion after time in the sun, out from under their forests, or perhaps after a night of drinking and dancing.
Alyrian women, upon reaching maturity, adopt a complex braided style for their hair. Men, on the other hand, only seldom tie up their hair in ponytails or braids, since they take great pride in keeping it long, as a sign of manhood.
As a general rule, Alyrian men have very thin facial hair, which usually do not allow them to grow beards until a very late age. That is the only reason why it is not common to see a young bearded Alyrian.
7. Society and Government
7.1. General Facts
Amongst themselves, Alyrians are a rather easy-going people, curious and eager to learn everything they can. They value foremost the ability to speak well and to know and remember as much as possible, since they believe that true understanding of the world can only be achieved through knowledge which can be readily accessed and linked within and by the human mind. Misfortune, to Alyrians, is explained by the lack of comprehension of one’s path in life.
Another important thing to Alyrians is the sense of what is proper, i.e., knowing when to laugh, when to cry, when to be serious and when not to. They lack a strict protocol, because they believe men should have freedom in life to act as they will.
When it comes to dealing with foreigners, however, on first contact, Alyrians are known to be very cautious. It takes a lot of effort to gain their trust, but once that is done, one can be sure that a friend is made forever. In a similar fashion, an Alyrian is unlikely to forget an offence made to them, which makes them an admirable and restless foe.
Alyrians are fond of presenting their guests, especially foreign ones, with valuable gifts. That has, basically, two main functions: the first one being asserting their own value through the worth of the gift, and the second one being the creation of a mutual pact of guest-friendship among families. That way, should a member of an Alyrian family who has given a gift to a foreigner ever face the need for shelter, food, or help, that foreigner’s family is expected to offer such things, along with gifts to aid them in whatever enterprise they might be attempting to perform.
The Alyrian governmental structure is utterly dependent on the Council of Voices, a council comprised of influential individuals of great importance throughout Alyrian society. They advise the Scion, help decide the fate of the nation, and handle social and criminal violations. The Council of Voices meets often and is comprised of the Scion, the Blaenor, the Grandmaster Artisan, the High Druid, and any existing Saets.
The leading position in Alyrian society is filled by an individual often referred to as the Scion of the Moon. This is an ancient and everlasting tradition, explained by the Elders and kept alive in the heart of every Alyrian:
In times of great darkness, when the sun fades away and the moon is the only light that shines in the starless sky, a Scion is born.
That individual is destined to lead the Alyrians. Every crucial decision such as declaring or ending wars and sending away armies or diplomats is made solely by the Scion, whose tasks also include presiding over important rituals and offerings. In times of diplomacy the Scion is the speaker for the Council of Voices, putting forward the needs and desires of their nation to the foreign powers.
Every year a Blaenor is appointed by the Scion. It is not unusual for a Blaenor to be reappointed year after year when their work is irreproachable.
The Blaenor is responsible for the whole of the army, being the one that promotes and demotes its members, as well as leading them to war and to training missions in the Scions stead.
The bulk of the army is comprised of foot soldiers, divided into melee and ranged fighters, but treated in the same way as far as rank and importance is concerned. Their training is focused on being able to use their environment in their defence, which has proven in the last centuries to be the safest way to defend their homes. For that reason, they are taught to use the forest around them to their advantage, either by making traps, or simply by fighting from higher ground.
Mounted combat is not unknown in Alyrian society, even though that certainly is not their speciality. Most mounted units fight upon Forest Striders, due to their ability to move quickly in the woods.
Army Ranks in order of importance:
Blaenor: The right hand of the Scion in all matters that pertain to the army. This is a role that is always needed and will always be filled.
Arwyr: Equivalent to the status of a Captain, the Arwyr's word is respected and followed without question. He is there to help the Blaenor and serve as a voice for the Alyrian army.
Milwyr: Milwyrs are fully trained and competent soldiers. They are the most common rank and compose the bulk of the Alyrian army, often branching off into two factions: ranged and melee, though both are seen as equally important.
Newyddian: A new recruit and the lowest rank. They are considered in 'training' and may still be deciding which weapon to specialize in.
Every enlisted man or woman is given a suit of armour and a pair of weapons equivalent to their rank.
Alyrian commercial activities are probably the most non prolific ones on the land. That is most likely due to their attitude of great caution towards most of the other races. Therefore, Alyrians are known only to trade with those they completely trust or when in dire need of a natural resource or manufactured good.
They are especially reluctant to give away any item crafted with Greenheart, their most precious and admired wood. In fact, it is more common for an Alyrian to offer such items as a gift to an allied sovereign or lord than to trade it. That is how much they value their Greenheart.
Crafters in Alyrian society are also known to embellish their creations with very intricate embroidery or runes. Other than that, Alyrian weapons and armour are usually lighter and built to have perfect balance and improved speed.
Alyrians are very fond of all sorts of manifestations of art, but music and poetry more so than any other. For that reason, some of the best and most renowned bards come from their land, even though a good amount of their production is deemed way too long for most of the other races.
Children who show interest in learning the crafting arts begin their education in this area at the age of twelve. They are taught their chosen craft by a Master Crafter who tutors them individually. In exchange, the pupil helps the crafter to the best of their ability with daily work in their shop.
Once they have learnt all that is necessary for them to work on their own, they are given the title of Adept Crafters, which allows them to have their own establishment and sell the goods they produce only to other Alyrians. They are also expected to contribute ten percent of their profits to the national treasury, as well as donate a seasonal amount of goods to the army.
Those who fulfil such expectations will find themselves being promoted to Master Crafters after a due amount of time, which is decided by the Master Crafter who apprenticed them. At this time, they will gain the right to sell and buy goods to citizens of other nations. In addition to the duties they already had as Adept Crafters, they will also be entrusted with the education of youngsters who have decided to become crafters, and are expected to take on at least one apprenctice
All of the trade fields have only a single Grandmaster among them, who is annually appointed by the Scion and responsible for officially promoting and demoting crafters, as well as collecting taxes and donations.
In Alyrian society, there is no such thing as nobility. However, they do have a system that allows certain individuals to obtain a position of great prestige, even though such prestige is individual and not passed down to or shared with their family in any occasion. This usually happens when a Blaenor, or any other person that served the city for a long time, retires due to old age and is still considered to be wise. The Scion may then bestow upon them the title of Saets, which will grant them a position in the Council of Voices, where their advice will always be heard by the Scion. From that moment on they are always referred to by their title if their name is ever to be spoken (Saets Fearghus, for example).
It is a rare thing for an Alyrian to become Saets before reaching old age, but it has happened before to individuals of great wisdom and knowledge.
Saets, as well as any other person in Alyrian society, are never referred to as lords or ladies, for it denotes an idea of noble superiority. This, to an Alyrian, is something completely alien and untrue, since they believe that no man can be nobler than the next one, due to the fact that they are all children to the gods and brethren in that sense. The only things in which a man differs from the next one is his knowledge and his way of living, for which he may or not be respected.
To the Alyrian mind, marriage is a very serious and personal matter. However, unlike most cultures, Alyrians hold no public ceremonies in order to get married. Although there is no real tradition or law on this matter, young couples usually visit the nearest waterfall by the moonlight, seeking the blessings of Arianthynt. Afterwards they communicate their union to their friends and loved ones, and from that moment on, they are considered to be married.
Separations are not unheard of but they are not overly common. When that happens they are usually conducted amicably and without great distress. There is no real disregard towards separation. To an Alyrian, two people should only be together if they truly love each other. If this changes or the couple find that they were mistaken, a separation is often seen as the correct thing to do.
However, attempting to remarry too often is frowned upon and might even result in exile due to improper behaviour. Marriages are considered to be a blessing by the Gods and for that reason they should not be taken lightly. While sporadic mistakes are certainly forgiven within the Alyrian society, recurrent offences are met with serious repercussions.
7.7. General Attitude Towards Other Races
Alyrians and Tyreans have much in common, both physically and psychologically. They both share a great interest and curiosity for what is new, even though Alyrians take a more intellectual approach to such curiosities.
Commerce between the two races has been very substantial in the past, since it is kept alive by the tradition that they both uphold of sharing and exchanging of gifts. For this reason Alyrians find Tyreans one of the most pleasant races to deal with.
To be noted: A well-known stance that often separates the two races are their different views when it comes to slavery. The ideas and principles behind owning a slave is abhorrent to an Alyrian, but normal to Tyreans. If the topic is broached it can often lead to heated discussions.
The Vhalurian way of living, with its methodical and unmeasurable care for human organizations, is often seen by Alyrians as unnatural. They cannot understand such a need, as Alyrian's believe that individual freedom of every man and woman is one of the most valuable things that can be had.
However, it is not beyond an Alyrian to admire the passion Vhalurians have for their nation and how fiercely they defend it, even though it can be seen as somewhat of a mindless behaviour.
Alyrians share only minor - if any - similarities with the Azhurans. Most of their traditions are seen as offensive by Alyrians, especially their human sacrifices and slavery. Azhurans are seen by Alyrians as a barbaric and fallen people and they generally tend to find no pleasure in talking or doing business with them.
The desert people fascinate Alyrians. If they would only store their knowledge in their own minds instead of in books, the Alyrians would be able to have never ending conversations with them. The Alyrians do not overlook the fact that the Khemetar are well known for their slavery and place a high importance on material wealth, but recognize the fact that they can learn a great deal from the Khemetar and see them as exotic and fascinating.
To Alyrians, the Mhordul can barely even be called humans. Mhordul have the most barbaric and reproachable manners a nation has ever had. They are brutal and feared creatures who will kill for no reason other than for their sheer love of bloodshed. For that reason, they are killed on sight if ever caught close to Alyrian soil without presenting a peace flag. On the rare occasion a Mhordul wishes to be civil, they are heard out by the Scion and his council, solely on account of a Mhordul's brute honesty and clear vocalization of their intentions.
7.8. Naming Conventions
Common male names for Alyrians are: Bran, Brennus, Brian, Caley, Calhoun, Casey, Cass, Cathal, Ceallach, Conall, Conn, Craig, Culley, Daigh, Devine, Dolan, Donn, Doran, Dow, Dumnorix, Eachan, Fearghus, Finnegan, Fionn, Gaeth, Gair, Gallagher, Galloway, Gwent, Haley, Imar, Innis, Irv, Keelan, Keenan, Keller, Kelvin, Kenneth, Labhraidh, Labras, Leannan, Lonn, Mardbod, Murdock, Ossian, Quinn, Raegan, Ryan, Riddock, Sean, Trevor.
Common female names for Alyrians are: Aideen, Aine, Anna, Arianwen, Blair, Brenda, Briana, Caireann, Ceinwyn, Colleen, Dealla, Dervil, Devany, Eachna, Eavan, Ethna, Eithne, Elatha, Eleanor, Fionna, Grania, Gwynne, Isleen, Kaitlin, Keena, Liadan, Lynn, Maeve, Mell, Myrna, Naomh, Neala, Nessa, Nevina, Nia, Nila, Nola, Ryann, Sinead, Taillte, Tara, Tullia, Una, Vanora.
Alyrians use a patronymic for their last names, formed with the word ap, or verch for women, plus the name of their father. For example: Fearghus ap Lonn and Ceinwyn verch Irv.
8. Religion and Tradition
Alyrians have a profound respect and reverence towards the gods and this is perhaps best illustrated by the importance of their holy men and women, the Druids, in their society. A High Druid’s word outmatches even that of their military officers, with the exception of the Bleanor, who enjoys the same amount of prestige as they do. They are trusted with the education of every Alyrian child up until the age of twelve, whence they start to learn the basic aspects of Nature and how everything in the world has its function and place in the great order of things. However, their utmost duty is a religious one.
Druids preside over all rites in honour of the gods and are often led by the High Druid. Druids are the spiritual leaders of their people and therefore play the important role of interpreting and explaining the signs sent forth by the gods. These omens present themselves to men in various forms, such as the flight of birds or prophetic dreams. Through the interpretation of dreams and prodigies, Druids advise their people and aid them in making important decisions.
During feasts and celebrations in honour of the gods, animals are often sacrificed by a Druid. After killing the animal, usually a sheep or a cow, the Druid skins the sacrifice and then burns their fat and bones, whose fumes ascend to the skies as an offering to their gods. Nothing is thrown away or ill used in Alyrian culture, especially during spiritual rituals. After the offering of bones and fat is made, the animal’s meat is cooked and served along with a great feast and the celebration continues with dances, poetry, and games throughout the day.
As holy men and women, Druids are a force to be reckoned with, since they are able to channel the power that their gods entrust them with to perform miraculous deeds, usually related to healing the wounded and curing diseases. In such occasions, they frequently perform a minor ritual, followed by a quiet prayer to their gods. Such rituals are usually simple gestures such as sprinkling salt around a building to protect it from evil or cleansing a wounded warrior’s forehead with water from a pure fountain.
The members of the druidic circle are known simply as Druids, and among them the wisest and most devote of their organization is selected to rise to the position of High Druid. When that happens, the High Druid becomes responsible for the education of young Druids, whom they are to teach further aspects of life and nature.
Alyrians and Khemetar share a common interest for knowledge, but, unlike Khemetar, Alyrians do not rely upon the written language to ensure that their teachings will be preserved through time. Instead, Alyrians have remained as an oral culture, even though they do have their own alphabet, which they employ in more mundane tasks, such as the management of their natural and monetary resources.
Alyrians believe that knowledge is a living thing and therefore should be kept inside men’s mind, where it can evolve and blossom. For that reason, over centuries Alyrians have created highly developed mnemonic techniques, which allow them to store an unmeasurable amount of knowledge in their own minds. Their bards are known for being able to sing long poems that go on for hours, sometimes days, without aid from any sort of written texts.
9. Law and Punishments
Foreigners are frequently baffled by the apparent lack of a legal code in Alyrian society. However, what most do not understand is that the importance given to good sense and prudence in their society is a more than good compensation for overly specific laws.
Nevertheless, Alyrians do abide by three simple and comprehensive rules, known as the Golden Laws. They are as follows:
- Always show and demand respect towards the Gods and their work.
- Serve and protect your city and both its people and tradition against any and every manner of endangerment, as long as the first law is never broken while doing so.
- Never cause harm to another human being, be it with words or actions, direct or indirect, unless such harm must be done to uphold the previous two laws.