Endrykas Codex

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Not found on any map, Endrykas is a large migrating tent city wherein the horseclans of Cyphrus gather to trade and exchange information. [Lore]

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Endrykas Codex

Postby Prophet on June 21st, 2016, 2:13 am


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The Drykas people are a blend of many different races. The word Drykas applies more to a lifestyle than a single race but those who adhere to this way of living think of themselves as one people.

Humans*


While Drykas are leery of any and all outsiders, humans are viewed with an even stare. In the world of the horseclans, a man or woman is only as good as the contribution provided to the greater good. If one can prove valuable, a savvy ankal will seize the opportunity to welcome that person into his pavilion. Humans and their subraces that are just passing through Endrykas are judged by their purposes. Merchants and traders are well received. Teachers and scholars are treated well but are far less popular. Roaming hunting parties or warbands are generally corralled and shuffled along if not outright killed during initial contact. The Drykas are generally of the mindset that danger perceived calls for immediate action. In these cases, The Watch, which is the ever-vigilant buffer between Endrykas and the rest of the world, strike swiftly and efficiently.

* This includes any race that is human in appearance; Myrians, Isur and all sub-races of humanity.

Other Races


    Akalak: The big blue warriors are well liked. Women fancy them and men long to test their mettle against the giants. Riverfall is always a highly anticipated trade venture.

    Akvatari: The Drykas rarely, if ever, encounter these strange beings and most Drykas would have no knowledge of them. The Sea of Grass is far too dangerous for the winged beings. That being said, most Drykas would assume them to be some kind of Zith half-breed and kill the Akvatari on sight.

    Charoda: The aquatic race would be scarcely known upon the plains. Their odd appearance would make them a target to the wary horseclans.

    Dhani: These shifters would be treated with caution if their race were ever revealed. It's highly likely that most Drykas would gather numbers to remove the snakefolk; either from the city or from the realm of the living.

    Ethaefal: While in human form, they would be treated as any other human. Since many Drykas worship Leth and Syna, Eths would be treated fairly well so long as they proved to be useful.

    Eypharian: These southern neighbors would always be socially accepted among the Drykas for the most part. It is rare that one would be included in a pavilion, however. The exotic race are treated with respect but their 'mutation' keeps them on the outer circle.

    Jamoura: These great beasts would be hunted and killed. The massive bodies of fur make them out to be a threat even though the nature of the apes is quite the opposite.

    Kelvic: Kelvics are widely accepted and included throughout most of the clans. Since they often bear human children and have the ability to bond, their companionship is highly sought after in Tent City. Being such a diverse species, the animal type matters a great deal. Predatory kelvics cannot bond with striders and will often spook livestock. However, that does not mean they are not included if they can prove to be skilled in some fashion. It does mean that they remain walahk, or striderless, which is a lower standing in society. Please ask your ST if you have any questions regarding how Drykas would react to your kelvic.

    Nuit: Once discovered for who they are, Nuit would be killed. The unnatural long lives would strike the Drykas as going against the cycle of life. Some Nuit are very skilled at disguising their true natures and thus could pass for human or another accepted race and interact but this would not last forever so any masquerade would be 'at your own risk'.

    Pycon: Some Drykas will love these little guys and some will hate or ignore them. It boils down to if the clay lifeform can show some merit or an ability to keep up with the fast pace of life in the grass.

    Symenestra: It's doubtful that these frail beings would venture into the Sea of Grass. Given their fangs and claws, most Drykas would view the Symenestra as a type of Zith which would lead to an early grave for the pale-skinned race.

    Zith: The vermin are killed on sight.

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Endrykas Codex

Postby Prophet on October 4th, 2016, 1:11 am


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The Sea of Grass; it’s almost misleading in its name. It’s true that grass covers pretty much everything. It’s true that when Zulrav breathes the stalks and strands bend and move like waves in the ocean. Like the seas ruled by Laviku, the Sea of Grass can be very treacherous and not just because of the creatures that inhabit the realm. The terrain itself can be a nightmare even for seasoned travelers and adventurers.

The main feature in Cyphrus is what is known as a steppe; an ecoregion known simply as a grassland plain with little to no trees except those near rivers, streams and lakes. While this would elude to an endless horizon, it is far from the reality that the Sea of Grass is comprised mostly of rolling hills, plateaus and all types of valleys. Valley may seem like a simplistic term but knowing the subtle differences could be life-saving. Listed below are some common types of landforms.
  • Vale – a shallow valley with a river running through it
  • Dell/Glen – a small, secluded and often wooded valley
  • Cove – a small valley closed at one or both ends
  • Hollow – a small valley surrounded by ridges or mountains
  • Combe – a deep, narrow valley
  • Gully - is a landform created by running water, eroding sharply into soil, typically on a hillside and resemble large ditches
  • Ravine - is a landform narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streamcutting erosion. They are typically classified as larger in scale than gullies, although smaller than valleys.
  • Marsh - a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species.
  • Mire - a wetland terrain without forest cover dominated by living, peat-forming plants.
  • Bog - A type of Mire: a domed-shaped land form, is higher than the surrounding landscape, and obtains most of its water from rainfall. It is also nutrient poor.
  • Fen - A type of Mire: is located on a slope, flat, or depression and gets its water from both rainfall and surface water. It can be nutrient-rich.

It is not uncommon to come across fissures in the surface of the soil or to wander into a marshor an arid stretch that goes on for miles. The Sea of Grass is as diverse as the people of Mizahar yet it always seems to conform to its own patterns. Travel it enough and one will start to notice patterns in how the terrains shift. There are countless types of grass and herbs, roots and vines. Some are good for many things while other may kill a person. It would take many lifetimes to study every specimen.

One final note on the Sea of Grass: There are forests but they are few and far between. There are large outcroppings of rocks as well as all types of ruins. A completely different world used to exist in Cyphrus and there are traces of it everywhere if one knows how to look. In the same token, there are dangers in every glen, nook, valley, and bush just waiting to devour an unsuspecting victim.

This is the Sea of Grass…tread lightly.


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The Watch

Postby Prophet on November 12th, 2016, 2:25 am


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Be brave. Be fast. Be ready.


The Watch is concerned with one thing and one thing only: preserving the Drykas way of life. By riding swiftly and with purpose the members of the Watch respond quickly to anything which could potentially threaten their lifestyle. While ensuring the safety of the people by riding patrols and scouring the Web is a primary function, the Watch also lends its services in many other ways. Life in the Sea of Grass is hard and so are the tasks associated with everyday life. The men and women of the Watch are a constant presence in the city and are approached for their aide in all manner of things. A watchman may end up spending his day tracking down stray livestock or assisting in the birth of a child. It's also a common sight to witness the Watch helping distribute water and food. One may even find a group of watchmen settling a dispute between neighbors. There are no limits to the job and it is one held in the highest regard. The Watch dedicate their lives to ensure that Endrykas is safe and that all of their fellow Drykas are taken care of. Whether this comes in the form of fighting off some kind of threat or helping an overwhelmed mother get her wares to the market, the Watch has it covered.

To be in the Watch is a great honor. Watchmen are to exemplify all that is good in the harsh world of Mizahar. Strength, patience, discernment, fortitude, selflessness, wisdom and temperance are all words that could be used to describe the members. Corruption and weakness are human traits but if discovered among their the ranks, the Watch will pull these unsavory aspects out by the roots and cast them into a righteous fire. One has to be willing to give everything for the Drykas people. That is the only way to truly serve.


Organization
The Watch is separated into five distinct ranks: Sayeth, Rayvekh, Yakhta, Tavehk and Ra’athi.


Sayeth – Means “Shepard”. The Sayeth is the highest position in The Watch and supreme authority on how the members are utilized. Extensive experience and strong leadership qualities are required of any holding this position. They are responsible for distribution of pay and securing funds, which come from the various clans in the form of donation. In the event of a full blown attack on Endrykas, the Sayeth would be responsible for organizing the city in defense, though much responsibility is delegated to other high ranking members. Their word is final in all Watch matters. When selected for the job, it is held until the health of the leader makes them no longer able to perform duties. A new Sayeth is elected by the Rayvekh with a simple majority vote once an old Sayeth steps down or is dead. There are no laws in place denying a female the post, but to this date none have been able to claim it. The current Sayeth is Cyrus Windreaver.

Wage: 40 GM/day


Rayvekh – Means “To Ride Point”. The Rayvekh are experienced and skilled members of The Watch. Those who have risen to this rank have not only honed their skill sets to be skilled riders and webbers, but have established themselves as respected leaders who have forged their reputation in the Sea of Grass. They take the responsibilities given to them by Sayeth and execute them to the fullest of their ability. Responsibilities include leading reaction teams, training Yakhtai and Tavehk, or take particularly promising members under their wing. When disaster strikes the Tent City, the Rayvekhs come together with the Sayeth and the Conclave to handle the situation. Within this rank is a raised position called the Troha or “Second”. This particular Reyvekh sits as the right hand of the Sayeth, acting as their enforcer and liaison between The Watch and the clans. The Reyvekh Troha is appointed by the Sayeth. They hold uniquely powerful and influential title.

Wage: 35 GM/Day (+3 GM For a Troha Title)


Yakhtai – Means ‘To Ride Tail’. These Drykas have begun to ascend up the ranks in the Watch, displaying leadership as well as showing honed skills in a particular area. Best defined as specialists, these men and women are considered the experts on their particular field of practice. They led groups of a dozen Tavehk in patrols and investigations. The Yakhtai are the main trainers of the Tavehk. Yakhtai who are Troha to Reyvekh are paid more and considered Yakhtai Troha.

Wage: 30 GM/Day (+3 GM for a Troha Title)


Tavehk - Means ‘To Ride Flank'. They are the rank-and-file members of the Watch, but all of Endrykas knows they are so much more than that. They are the majority of the membership and are more than able riders and combatants. When one is in trouble, they can expect that a group of Tavehk will be riding to their aid. Tavehk are often asked to be Troha to Yakhtai and thus are called Tavehk Troha.

Wage: 20 GM/Day (+2 GM For a Troha Title)


Ra’athi - Means ‘Mass’. They are full members but considered also to be still in training. These are the ultimate protectors of Endrykas and are constantly being tested by their leaders to find their limits and ready them to one day be Tavekh and higher in their own rights.

Wage: 10 GM/Day (+2 GM For a Troha Title)


Requirements for initial Watch Admittance:
  • Bonded to a Strider
  • 26+ Skill Points In Riding
  • X Skill Points in a Weapon Of Their Choice or Combat Magic
  • Y Skill Points in a Useful Skill (Webbing, Herbalism, Medicine, Animal Husbandry, Tracking, etc)
    X + Y = 52+
  • Recommendation from Pavilion’s Ankal

In order to advance in the watch there are two major criteria which are examined. Is there a recommendation and is the prospect talented enough? Regarding recommendations, in order to ascend to any of the higher ranks, you must have someone of the position you seek vouch for your competence. Taking the position of Sayeth requires a majority of the Rayvek's support via a vote.

A Note About Pay
Since a PC is required to be of competent skill for acceptance, the regular wage modifier does not apply. Should one reach Expert in two of their three required skills as a Ra'athi, the 1.5 multiplier will be applied. Every promotion after Ra'athi does not allow for a modifier.


Tactics

While the Watch are not solely a fighting force, they have developed various tactics that they utilize in certain situations. Given animal names to match the characteristics, they are easy to learn but the nature of Pavi makes it nearly impossible for an outsider to understand.

  • Eagle - Scouts. A single rider or a small group may scout ahead. This is used almost always with passes through the Web. Watchmen will first scour the Web for information and then physically go track their markers or targets. To ride Eagle one must be fast, smart and patient.
  • Boar - Full charge. It's simple. When threatened, a boar will wait until it feels it has the highest advantage and then charge. This is rarely used since stealth and precision are better tools in the Sea of Grass but the option exists. Boar riders are powerful, aggressive and always ready to pay the ultimate price for their people.
  • Wolf - Circling flank. Wolves are crafty and vicious. They stalk their prey from the shadows and wait for the perfect time to strike so that there is no defense. Often used to eliminate dangerous predators, Wolf riders are masters of their fear as well as their weapons.
  • Bear - Standing firm. Bears stand to show that they will not be moved. They will often not attack so long as one does the smart thing and turns around. To use the Bear formation is to create a wall of warriors. The objective is not to be aggressive but protective. Bear is last line of defense and is filled with the bravest souls; those willing to fight through pain and stubborn enough to stay alive until the enemy decides the battle is not worth the cost. This tactic was used on the beach when the pirates returned.

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The City Unique

Postby Prophet on November 12th, 2016, 4:15 am


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The light of day crept through the untethered flap of his tent. The man rolled over on his fur-covered mat and grabbed some clothes. Once dressed, he moved towards the light and tossed the heavy canvas aside revealing the bustling city of Endrykas. The man moved away from his pavilion enough so that he could stretch by reaching his hands into the sky. His eyes scanned the steppe and took in all that there is to see.

The camp of his family is of medium size. There is one large pavilion and three smaller tents placed so that the space between forms a diamond-shaped yard. The shelters are spread out with nearly twenty feet between each one and this creates a perimeter which contains the mostly tamed animals like the chickens, goats and horses. The zirbri move about on their own with the watchful eyes of the herd dogs keeping them from wandering too far away. The brightly colored woven tapestries blow in the majesty of Zulrav’s breath as he makes the steppe aware of his presence.

Fifty yards to the south is another camp. This pavilion has matching colors but different insignia. It is larger with two main tents and five smaller ones as well as a lean-to that serves as a windbreak for the herd of zibri which numbers close to a few dozen. Women were prepping a wagon for some kind of trade run while the men were dressing their kills from a recent hunt. Further south from this family was another camp and another, each strung out in a line and all bearing the colors of their clan.

The man felt his back tighten and so he planted his feet shoulder width apart and stood upright. As he twisted at the waist from side to side, his gaze left the line of tents that created his clan’s spoke and traveled across a slight valley in the grass to another line of pavilions that bear a different color. The distance is so far that he could not distinguish the features of the people who are bustling about in the early morning rays provided by Syna.

After he twisted a few more times, several groups of Drykas led their striders into town. There is plenty of space between the individual camps to allow for this with ease. Beaten paths show the flow of traffic and in some places, the grass is gone entirely. Now that his blood was circulating properly, the man decided to go to the Wind-Knotted Gates to see if any new caravans have arrived. He grabbed his yvas and carried it to his strider. He greeted the great animal fondly then after whispered conversations and secrets, he chuckled. The man seated the leather riding apparatus upon the horse’s back and with practiced ease, he mounted and steered his companion out of the camp.

They headed along the line formed by the pavilions of his clan. The closer he got to the center of town, the closer together the camps became. Every clan had an unspoken rule that the more important families set up camp near the heart of Endrykas. The largest pavilions in each clan are clustered here but their herds are usually away from the city being constantly tended by riders and watch dogs. The number of head is simply too large to keep them in any one place for more than a few bells so the cattlemen drive them around the city until it is time for the city to move along. The man notices a large gathering along the Amethyst clan’s leadership tent so he takes his time and works his way over to discover why there are so many people in one spot.

While the spokes and pavilions are spread out away from the heart of the Tent City, its center is teaming with life and purpose. The task of navigating through crowds of Drykas, most on horseback or standing with a strider is harder than it looks and requires patience. There isn’t a single blade of grass within one hundred yards of the giants poles tied with ribbons. The Wind Knotted Gates are always given a berth and they are always the core of the wagon wheel that is Endrykas. The man was near the gates now and being tall in stature on the back of his stallion, he could look out in every direction and see the color-coded rows of pavilions as they stretched up and down the grasslands.

Some places he recognized and some he did not. While a general order was kept in each setup, the Tent City was different every time it was raised. There was beauty in the unique arrangement but there was also chaos which reflected the Sea of Grass perfectly. The man found this to be fitting of his people and smiled to himself. The pleasant thought came at the most opportune time since he seemed to be stuck in some kind of gridlock caused by two men arguing over the cost of some woven baskets.

The Watch arrived quickly. Three men and a woman rode up and immediately dispersed the onlookers who were itching to see a fight. No altercation was had and everyone was sent on their way to continue with his or her own tasks. The man gave his strider a gentle nudge and used his knees to steer the great animal past the Conclave and over to the road that lead out between the Amethyst and Topaz clans. Hundreds of Drykas jostled from their yvases against one another in a great mass that seemed to live and breathe on its own. The man encouraged his mount to move closer so he could understand what was taking place.

Furious signs of Pavi mixed with shouts, cheers, swears and the frantic waving of arms all filled the air in this group. It took dozen chimes for the man to finally realize the purpose of this dense gathering; it was a market. Men and women came with wares to trade or sell or money to buy items. The cacophony was caused by everyone talking at the same time. It was fast-paced trading on a first come, first serve basis where riding skills and balance where just as important as having the right goods. The man remained near the edge of this for some time and then decided it was time to go home for there were chores to do.

As he rode, the air lifted his wraps from his neck. The breeze kissed his skin along with the warmth of the sun which created a welcome hot and cold mix that brought his dermis to goosebumps. He whispered a prayer to the god and goddess then turned his mount outward. His boot heels told the stallion to run as fast as he could away from the city’s beating core and towards her gently swaying fringe. Once free of the tight spaces, he was able to navigate back to his pavilion without having to stop. He waved to those who saw him and acknowledged a Watch patrol by steering around their position. When his modestly decorated camp came into view, the man reflected upon all of the things he had seen today and thanked his gods for his life. Most of all, he asked them to bless his home; the city unique.


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Endrykas Codex

Postby Prophet on January 16th, 2017, 1:08 am


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Endrykas is sometimes referred to as Tent City. Because the horseclans are always on the move, permanent structures do not work with their lifestyle so they adapted. The Drykas live in a very specialized tent called a pavilion. It's a full-sized structure capable of fitting in multiple families and their belongings as well as being completely customizable in terms of appearance and arrangement. It is important to note that pavilions are made to be sturdy but also easy to assemble and disassemble. There are many variations of pavilions. While many look similar from the outside, the homes of the Drykas are as different as the people they shelter.


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Structure & Materials

Pavilions have seven, flat walls and a tapered roof that has a hole in the center to allow smoke from the fire to escape. The walls are toed out at the bottom slightly to prevent air pockets from upsetting the beams as well as to help push the fierce grassland winds over the structure. The fabric is similar to canvas but is made of tightly-woven grassland fibers. The colors vary but tend to be light overall to avoid holding too much heat from the sun. The general color of a pavilion will almost always reflect the clan of the family. Drykas, being masters of knotwork, display many forms of artwork on their homes which include animals, symbols of the gods and mementos of their family.

The construction of the wall interiors is rather simple. Nine beams to make seven sides and an entrance flap. The space between is filled by a prebuilt panels which are topped by flat boards that attach to the roof beams and help create stability. Some are accordion panels where fiberboard is folded back and forth on itself for easy storage. When it's stretched out, it creates a firm base for the roof of the tent. Long flexible reeds are used horizontally to reinforce the walls against strong winds. This type of wall panel is mostly used for smaller pavilions. The larger pavilions have walls made of scissor panels. These are formed by taking long thin boards, lining them up in rows and overlapping them at right angles then attaching the ends with special hardware that holds them in place but allows for movement. These panels have boards going at right angles to one another when opened but collapse to conserve space for travel.

The roof is supported by the walls and two or three taller poles in the center. The roof has an opening usually made by a wooden ring that looks like a wagon wheel. The tall poles hold this up and wooden slats are attached with a variety of methods. Some pavilions use metal anchors while most use a form of woodcarving that creates intricate notches which lock the two pieces together. It is not uncommon to see different methods applied within the same pavilion since repairs are not always done by the same person.

Pavilions can be combined with other tents and lean-tos to allow for extra storage, animal housing and many other reasons. The flexibility of the wall panels allows for the additions without much effort. In this way, the structures reflect the nature of the ever-changing city.


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Layout

Like the construction, layouts of pavilions vary but there is a general pattern which is followed. There's an area for food storage and preparation which is typically kept away from the entrance. There are sleeping areas, storage for crafting and possessions and many other options. Most pavilions have children so there are designated areas inside the structure for play. If there are multiple families, the heavy fabric used on the outside is used to make drop partitions. These create separate rooms and are remarkably good at blocking sound.

In the center of every pavilion is a firepit. A collection of stones make a ring where all of the cooking is done. For some craftsmen, this is a very important area so much of their layout might be centered around this. Many Drykas have cast iron kettles or pots, griddles and other cookware. Some have tripods used to suspend these items and some use simpler methods. Regardless of the kitchen's setup, there is always a clear line to some kind of common or sitting area where families eat and guests are entertained. It could have cushions lined up upon a fur rug or the family may have small stools or chairs around a short table.

Like all things Drykas, the hearty people of the grasslands put a little bit of themselves into the world around them. Wraps and paintings, woven totems and fancy feathers line the walls and hang from the rafters. Archers might have multiple bows lined up along a wall. Healers might have a cloth of dried herbs stretched out behind their storage for reference just as hunters might display various trophies. The possibilities are endless but everything conforms to one unbreakable rule; it has to be easy to pack and move.



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