From Mizahar Lore
The Horseclans of Cyphrus
|Weight||120 - 250 lbs|
|Lifespan||80 - 100 years|
|Major features||Pale to Tan Skin, Light to Dark Hair, Wildly Elaborate Tattooing|
|Population||10,000 widely scattered|
|Most common in||Endrykas|
|Reputation||Horseman and Fighters|
|Racial bonus||+10 Riding|
The Drykas are the fierce horsemen of the Cyphrus Grasslands. Nomadic and highly territorial, the Drykas believe that Cyphrus was gifted to them by all the gods, and take their stewardship of the region very seriously. They know the Sea of Grass so thoroughly it is said that not a single footstep can be made within the land without them becoming aware of the invasion and moving to investigate. Outsiders claim the Drykas have woven powerful magics throughout the Grasslands that even the grasses themselves are part of, entwined together as if in some giant loom. And in their perspective, every single living creature upon the Sea of Grass is important, has a place, and is sacred. They waste nothing, and consider their horses as if they were just as important as any other member of the family. The Drykas believe all life is sacred, interwoven, and has a purpose. If it steps outside of the weave though, or breaks one of the strict Drykan laws, then it is fair game for elimination from the circle of life. Few outsiders understand the Drykas, and that is why travel across Cyphrus is terribly dangerous. Masters of glyphing, the Drykas people believe their whole existence can be explained in one of their powerful interwoven knot-works. Weavers, metalsmiths, and warriors, the people of the Sea of Grass truly own their element.
It is said that the God of Winds, Zulrav, once raised his voice in song and combined it with Semele's in a symphony never before heard on Mizahar. Within this union a claybank stud colt was born of the wind and earth in a song that did even Rhaus proud. Where the colt first put his hooves to the ground and ran, the earth flattened out and grass sprung up thick and lush creating the Sea of Grass. And from this colt who grew into a fine strong stallion sprang the rest of the Cyphrus Striders – a proud noble breed of horse. Rakivas, as the stallion came to be known, eventually chose a rider, Serifal Drykas. And together they gathered followers. Rakivas founded a herd and Serifal attracted companions… which bonded to each other. From those mares and stallions and their riders were born the Drykas and the Horseclans of Cyphrus. And like Serifal, the people who eventually populated the Grasslands were from strong Alahea stock, which simply meant their blood was touched by magic. They taught magic to their children, and their children's children, until the Grasslanders were a force unto themselves, using arcana in unique and interesting new ways. Unlike some of the rest of the world, The Drykas held tight to their ancient magics – the gift of their ancestors – and saw it through even the Valterrian, holding magic near their hearts.
They, unlike so many other Alaheans, were able to survive the Valterrian because they held to their old ways, interwoven with their horses, and were carried safely away from the danger when the world collapsed. Once confined to a limited amount of land, mostly underground, they kept their horses close and saw their brother and sister spirits through the worst of it – emerging only when the world had calmed and Ivak had been confined. They found the grasslands changed. Rather than a simple plain confined in a far off corner of Alahea, the grasslands had expanded into the Sea of Grass, dominating the landscape in a country that had vanished forever as it once was. To their credit, and even more so to the great heart and commitment of their people, when the whole of Mizahar went underground, so too had the Drykas. Only, they took their great-hearted horses with them. Surviving nearly two hundred years underground, the people sacrificed so their horses could live. And the creatures themselves, held safely once more in their mother's womb, thrived. Instead of grass, they ate luminescent lichen and strange floating plants that thrived in underground lakes, and to this day the purebred striders still hold a faint luminescent glow to their coats when they will it. This gives them the ability to be seen or to be invisible as the conditions merit it.
There are no actual physical stereotypes for the Drykas. One might be dark with warm brown eyes and another might be fair with pale blue eyes. They do however unite themselves in their love of tattoos. Even though one is born of the Drykas, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one will bear the tattoos common of one. The Drykas only get tattooed when they get chosen by one of their striders as a rider. Age has no factor. A child can be chosen anywhere from the time they learn to walk to the time they die as elderly members of the clan. It all depends on the right horse coming along at the right time. Once a Drykas earns their ‘windmarks’ as the tattooing is called, they become a full fledged member of the clan.
The Drykas share a love of long hair. Most women begin growing their hair at an early age and rarely if ever cut it. They tend to hang ornamentation from tiny individual braids hidden in their hair or wrap spiraling silken ribbon around individual strands called ‘wraps’. Wraps can be added to remember loved ones, battles, childbirth, hardship, or even death. Wraps often end in beadwork or charms dangling loosely. When a woman or man does wear their hair up, it is often in a complicated knot-work pattern that represents age, individual pavilion, or rank. The higher status a woman or man has is often indicated by the increasingly complex amount of braids in their hair. Slaves are not allowed to wear braids, wraps, or wear their hair anything but short and loose.
Men wear their hair long as well, but they are not adverse to pulling it back with leather straps or ornamentation woven into knot-work ornaments to depict warrior status. They often go clean shaven though some will have trimmed beards or goatees. Some of the younger warriors might have mustaches, but full beards are frowned upon as dirty and unsightly.
The Drykas often wear colorful clothing decorated in complicated knot-work that is stitched or embroidered. They favor jewel tones and rich warm or cool colors that area often striking in their intensity. Masterful dyers well knowledgeable in the plants that bring out the most vivid dyes, the Drykas have been known to grow wealthy on trading just their powdered dyes to other cultures.
Fond of jewelry and other ornamentation, the Drykas are well decorated. The wealthier a pavilion is, the more complicated the ornamentation of its members become. And the decorating does not stop with the people either. Collars on dogs and their large hunting cats are often decorated with individual pavilion knot-work and colors, while their horses often sport braiding of manes and tails that reflect their owners status. Tack is often tooled with knot-work signifying ownership and affiliation.
The Drykas are fiercely passionate people. They live fast and hard, and to those that know them they are somewhat uninhibited. They are open with their emotions and for the most part extroverted. They argue loudly in groups, make great leaders, and tend to voice their opinions without keeping their thoughts to themselves. They think nothing of saying what they think and are extremely open about their fears and motivators. Because of this openness, the Drykas are sometimes seen as reckless, but that is not entirely true. The Drykas are not braggarts nor overly aggressive. They are raised to be bold thinkers and often question authority or leadership as if constantly testing those that lead them.
Those among the horseclans that are stupid or reckless often die quick deaths at a relatively young age. They are incredibly quick with their blades and often start learning weapons at a very young age. Parents teach their children not to start fights, but to be ready to defend themselves if one happens to be in the vicinity when a fight breaks out. Beyond being bladesman though, the Drykas are some of the finest horse archers that have ever existed. Bows and spears are some of their preferred weapons, though all sorts of arms and armor are found among the clans (always decorated).
The Drykas favor enemies they can see and confrontations they can view all sides of.
Reproduction & Aging
Like normal humans, the Drykas are considered mature at sixteen years of age and are often free to marry then. The Drykas have a normal lifespan of around 80 years, though most of the members of the horseclans live far shorter lives due to the harshness of their environment. Their lives are harsh, as harsh as the Grasslands themselves can be. Wild fires burn out of control. The Wind blows endlessly across the Sea of Grass. Food can be plentiful and scarce. Water can be nonexistent or overabundant, flooding the grasslands and turning it into an actual sea itself. Having on average two to four children, Drykas women are considered very protective mothers that often let their children stay with them in their pavilions until they themselves marry.
Death is common among the Drykas. What is uncommon is for a body to be recovered. The Sea of Grass is notorious for being a rough environment - full of predators, sudden weather, drastic grass fires. Often times, there is no body to recover. When there is, however, the Drykas have a special way of laying the dead to rest. They leave the body out on the grass, arms folded, head tilted back so that the dead can see Syna, Leth, and Zintila's stars. If wood is available, they will leave the corpse on Scaffolding. Offerings are often laid about the body. It is expected that animals will scatter the bones and take the body back into the Grass. The spirit will always return to the web if the Dyrkas was indeed tied to the web. What's left is just a simple form of meat and bones, of no real importance when the spirit can be found with very little work within the web until it is born again.
The horseclans of Cyphrus are divided up in a very specific way. The Seven Clans take their names after the seven precious gemstones that are found in locations throughout The Grasslands. Diamond Clan, Opal Clan, Sapphire Clan, Ruby Clan, Emerald Clan, Topaz Clan, and Amethyst Clan are the names of the seven clans. They each wear their own clan colors and tend to have their own traditions. The horseclans are further divided into pavilions comprised of family units. Pavilions are named after the elaborate and rather large portable tent-like structures the Drykas dwell within. Whole families live together in the same pavilions and young couples only move into their own pavilion after their family's pavilion reaches its capacity or they start having extensive children. Pavilions comfortably house ten to twenty people and a scattering of youngsters without feeling cramped. They are made of tightly woven weatherproof cloth stretched between sturdy beams. The pavilions are divided up into multiple 'rooms' designed for different purposes. Cooking is done in kitchen rooms over open fires with flaps in the roof to release the smoke. Floors are generally covered with rugs with furniture that is always designed to break down easily for travel. Seating is usually at floor level on cushions. Pavilions have sections that roll back that provide shelter for horses during windstorms. If a family loses its pavilion through fire or other sorts of destruction, it is considered the worst of luck. Without their shelters, it is incredibly hard for the Drykas to survive.
- Opal - The Opal clan sports the iridescent pearly white of the most common of the gems. When a member of any clan seeks healing, members of the Opal clan are the first to be sought. Opal clan members pride themselves in their knowledge of grassland herbs, as well as their healing abilities. Many of the Opal clan healers heal all types of wounds and diseases with a powerful magic both carefully respected and nurtured. Several honorary members of the Opal clan are healers of the Opal Order, and have been added to the Web as a safety net that assures Endrykas citizens a healthy, disease-free life. Opal healers have been known to train in speed riding, tempering their horses to urgent travels when a cry for help is sent out through the Drykas Web. Various diseases of the body, mind and spirit are treated in Opal Healing Pavilions called Harmony Houses.
- Diamond - The Drykas look to these warriors in times of need, for Diamond clan men and women are often skilled in the physical arts of weapon wielding and wrestling, an especially useful skill for bringing down an opponent without making a sound. Diamond clan members wear a variety of whites and silver jewelry to display their clan colors. Families of the Diamond Clan are also typically known to use white furred dogs, cats, and foxes when hunting and training. Such animals help keep guard over the warrior as he/she trains in the Sea of Grass. A legacy fulfilled by many Diamond clan members is that of the stormwardens; they communicate with the winds to strengthen their combat abilities, especially with staffs, swords, and bows. Warriors of the Diamond clan are known to have close relationships with Zulrav the wind god, who returns a great power to them for their commitment.
- Ruby - Ruby clan members mix reds into their clothing. The men and women of the Ruby clan are often skilled crafters. They spin and weave clothing, build wagons and tents, craft clay pottery and tools, and are generally known for their industrious ambitions. A majority of the Drykas pavilions are built by the Ruby clan, who are undeniably knowledgeable about the physics of windstorms, pavilion design, and exquisitely carved knot-work patterns. The Ruby Clan has a legacy to supply Endrykas with ingenious pavilion designs to combat the elements and knot-work totems placed around the city to display the exquisite carving that connects to the Drykas Web. Many members of the Ruby clan also dedicate their lives to becoming Glyphers, as their skills in carving lends to their ability to harness magic into scrolls, stones, and wood.
- Emerald - Emerald clan members sport various greens in their clothing and jewelry and among the Drykas, the Emerald clan boasts of the best hunters. Emerald clan hunters often support Endrykas with the game they hunt and many of Emerald clan families specialize in butchering, skinning, cooking, and drying meats. Hides pulled from animal corpses are traded with the leather worker families in exchange for armor that will protect them as they hunt. Their hunting dogs and cats are among the best and many breeders of each are from the Emerald clan. Only beasts of the highest intelligence and capacity for commands are bred among these families, who take pride in their ability to connect with and direct the animals they hunt with. Naturally, the wilderness goddess Caiyha inspires the Emerald clan to fully respect the cycle of life. Drykas families, especially those of the Emerald Clan, say a blessing of thanks to animals under Caiyha's watch that are consumed to help feed a family and keep its members healthy.
- Topaz - Represented by a golden gem of little value elsewhere, members of the Topaz clan are clad in various shades of gold and yellow. The Topaz clan is known amongst the Drykas for horsemen who define and enforce the laws, philosophies, and social standards of the Drykas. Their influence is often the last to be heard when decisions are on the table for discussion at Stalk Meets. These egalitarian thinkers are the voice of equality amongst the Drykas, defending the rights of all humans and animals alike; to them, no person or animal is to be disrespected or mistreated. Many Topaz clan members use their analytical nature to protect the city from crime and anarchy by spending their lives as guards who roam Cyphrus responding to discrepancies in the webbing that alert them to unwanted visitors in the grasslands.
- Sapphire - Members of the Sapphire clan often tie blue cloth around their heads, and their jewelry often holds several of the gems in question. The Ankals are well-known for their skill as Webbers, in fact, much of the Web laid down by the Drykas is thanks to the Sapphire clan. Many reimancers also are born from these families and are known for their intuition and ability to learn magic. Common among all Drykas and not just that of the Sapphire clan is a set of principles based on loyalty and connection within a family-like community. The power of this connection increases communication between families on a spiritual level, able to communicate from even far distances as long as they are part of the Web.
- Amethyst - Members of the clan prefer to wear various shades of purple amongst their normal clothing, displaying a signature sash around the waist with purple knot-work beautifully embroidered by families specializing in tailoring and weaving. The horses of the Amethyst clan are renowned for their size, strength and speed, and are often specifically requested by traders who must venture far and require the speed. This clan is known most for their horse breeding and grassland navigation; they are without a doubt the 'sailors' of the sea of grass. Zulrav, who represents a spiritual compass of the Drykas, guides their horses by their faith in finding their way no matter what. Families descended through the clan have a navigational advantage over anyone they are running from or tracking. The ability to swiftly travel across Cyphrus is gifted to those families in the Amethyst family who use travel as a means of business or personal venture, and wherever these families travel, Zulrav's energy is also within them to keep them steered when they are injured, delirious, or lost.
Pavilions and Hierarchy
Each Pavilion has a patriarch in charge of the entire household, called an Ankal, who rules his family unit with an iron fist. Males may have one or two wives but only rarely three with the first wife being in charge of the rest of the women in the pavilion. The Drykas protect their women fiercely because life on the Sea of Grass is harsh. Mortality among young males is high, commonly caused by accidents in hunting or predation via glassbeaks or young velispar. This phenomenon often leads to a surplus of females in comparison to males, which is why the men often take multiple wives. Wives live in their husbands' pavilions and are not allowed to marry within their same pavilion unless the male is completely unrelated. Marriage is considered sacred among the Drykas, though unmarried females and males are well able to hold status within the pavilions as well. Status to those not married to the Ankal is established through the value of their skills and acknowledgment of the Ankal. If a person is a good hunter, skilled healer, has extensive knowledge of horsemanship or dyes (30 points or more in a skill) are often treated with reverence. Reverence includes prominent places at the table during meals, choice of foods, sleeping places near the fire, and an abundance of proffered resources like clothing, jewelry, etc. Those unskilled are often assigned the more demeaning tasks in and around the pavilion. Children are worked hard but shown leniency. They are expected to be skilled at a specific trade or craft when they hit sixteen or else they are expected to marry well. The family of the young women often provide a valatia (or dowry) for the young woman to aid her in finding a suitable husband. Valatia often includes horses, trade goods, skins, jewelry, weavings, dye secrets, or even precious gemstones and metal. A young woman that has her own pavilion is considered wealthy and very rare since most women do not usually inherit in Drykas society. Pavilions can be incredibly old and the most common way to acquire one is through inheritance via death. Crafting new pavilions often take years due to their enormously complex and extensive nature.
The Pavilions come together on a regular basis to pass news, trade, and socialize. This meeting spot is referred to as the city of Endrykas. City, however, is a loose term because the pavilions are constantly migrating and their meeting spot changes on a routine basis. In general, Endrykas follows a set migratory route called 'The Run' which is roughly a large circular route (counterclockwise) around the Sea of Grass from the Stardowns in the south up towards Riverfall in the west to the Cyphrus border in the north and finally back down the eastern coast towards Stardowns again. Because of the web, the Ankal always know where Endrykas is located at any particular time. Outsiders have an incredibly hard time finding the city without a webber among them as a guide. In that regard, Endrykas is one of the most secure places in Mizahar where people gather. Enemies must successfully invade The Sea of Grass without detection, and then find the city itself, and then approach without detection. As long as the web carefully woven over Cyphrus is in place, this is all but impossible to accomplish. It is probably the one benefit the Drykas enjoy on the Sea of Grass with all its savage predators, harsh wildfires, and intense snowfalls.
Foreigners Among the Drykas
Since there is no actual physical characteristics that link the Drykas, it is a well known fact that foreign infusions of blood often help keep the Drykas from being inbred and strengthen the horseclans overall physically as well as mentally. As long as a foreigner can adopt the customs and laws of the Drykas as their own, they are treated no differently than a purebred Drykas among the horseclans. Often, they contribute unique skills and are able to expand the overall awareness and knowledge base of the clans, so they are welcomed with open arms. Drykas males often marry foreign females and their children have equal status among the horseclans as do those who are considered by outsiders as 'purebred'. There is no such concept in Drykas society. If you live on the Sea of Grass and a Strider accepts you, you are family. The horses, as always, decide. And if a Strider accepts a foreigner, then they are automatically woven into the web and become part of it at their birth. Children are especially protected, regardless of racial origins, and raised with strict cultural instruction.
The Seven Laws
The horseclans of Cyphrus are united under a solid set of common laws. The laws do not differ among the clans but instead remain firmly seeded in seven simple yet unbreakable laws.
- Windmarks are earned, not owed. Full clan status is awarded to only those individuals who have earned their Windmarks. And as such, those bearing windmarks will be welcomed, protected, and provided for by the pavilions and thus the clans. Those without windmarks have no status and are owed nothing by either pavilion or clan.
- All Drykas will work equally hard in their areas of expertise to provide for the benefit and security of all.
- Strider horses are sacred. To harm or abuse a strider is as serious as harming the clansman who's bonded to it. Cruelty towards a horse is grounds for exile - on foot.
- The clan is sacred. Obedience is due to its Ankal. All Drykas will be there when the clan needs them.
- Dignity is sacred. When a fellow Drykas is wounded or incapacitated beyond recovery, the clansman must be ready to assist them towards reincarnation and a better, stronger, younger form.
- Respect and defer to the word of your Ankal. Infighting will not be tolerated. All disputes should be taken to the Ankal who will facilitate or negotiate a resolution. The Ankal's word on all disputes is final.
- The Web is sacred. No Drykas will alter it maliciously or instruct a non-Drykas as to its usage. All Pavilions are responsible for sharing equally in its upkeep and maintenance.
The Drykas speak a language called Pavi. Outsiders swear their animals understand this language as well. Common is not uncommon to be heard spoken throughout Drykas encampments as well. Pavi is a very visual language, having verbal portions and a great deal of vocabulary that is gestured. For that reason the non-verbal portion of Pavi is often called Grassland Sign. Outsiders find PAvi very difficult to learn because the whole of the language of Pavi includes both the gestured and spoken parts. To say something in Pavi, one often accompanies the spoken form of the language with a gesture. For example, "I love you." spoken in Pavi might be accompanied by the sign for affection or the sign for anger, worry, frustration, etc thus changing the meaning of the words spoken. Whole conversations between hunters can often take place in grassland sign, but it is definitely a shorthand emotional emphasis type of signing and can not mimic whole sentences. Pavi has no written form, because the Drykas themselves are great lovers of poetry, storytelling, and theater and thus oral traditions. They do not often carry books because they find their portability undesirable for a mobile culture. Most of their history is oral as are their stories and folktales.
The Drykas often name their children after natural elements. Sometimes they take a family name, but often they will take a first name that is meaningful to them. This might be a special battle they witnessed when young, or the name of their first strider. First names are very meaningful to the Drykas and they take them with honor, sometimes changing them throughout their lives. If they have not had any significant events in their lives, they often simply go by their first primary name (the ones their parents give them) until they marry or a second name finds them. As for a last name, these are taken from the name of the Pavilion the Drykas hails from. If they are from the Redsun Pavilion (the Redsun being a Pavilion of the Ruby Clan), then their first name is their chosen name (which may change, remember) and their last name is Redsun. The Drykas character might also introduce themselves as Stephan Redsun of the Ruby Clan. If a female Drykas marries and moves from one Pavilion to another, the Pavilion in which she resides becomes her last name.
- Acha Tallgrass
- Ywana Silvertongue
- Ghal Rainsong
- Nibil Longstride
- Sula Livingstone
- Ortias Moontears
- Kavinal Braidedmane
- Zavik Sunrunner
- Tsavin Nighthowler
- Avikal Treeshadow
Families are close on the Sea of Grass. Families that fight together stay together. Often fathers spend a close amount of time with their sons and daughters knowing that they have a finite amount of time to pass their knowledge on to their own children. Women often fight side by side with the men, hunting, fishing, and cooking. Men and women share equally in tasks, often cross training in various art forms. A man might weave and sew and be considered gifted at it the same as a woman can be considered a superior swordswoman and sent on patrol to care take their lands. All Ankal are required to know webbing and often connect their family members to a family web. They are also responsible for attaching their pavilion to their clan's web which in turn is connected to the overall webs throughout the sea of grass. The Ankal is also responsible for siring a male heir or appointing a related heir that he in turn is responsible for teaching Webbing to in the event that something befalls the current Ankal ensuring a replacement is available. There always needs to be a backup male that can step forward and take over the family. Surviving spouses that are skilled can retain a high status in the pavilion household so long as their skill has value. They also have the option (if they are age appropriate) of marrying the new Ankal. However, if the replacement Ankal is already married, his wife or wives will instantly gain a higher status than surviving spouses of the former Ankal. Ankals' can be displaced via combat, even if the challenger is a son. However, families are tightly knit among Pavilions and there is a stigma attached to sons that usurp their father's roles and assume the Ankal position. A pavilion is considered 'tainted' or 'cursed' if such a thing happens, because it means the family was not strong enough to work through their differences without combat. Women do not generally inherit property or titles unless there is no male heir. Male heirs are the first born sons to their fathers, regardless of the married or unmarried status of the mother. Children must be acknowledged by the fathers (or proven true offspring by other means - i.e. divination, an Ankal's declaration) as actual offspring to inherit. Same sex relationships in Drykas culture are considered taboo (and can curse a Pavilion) since children are of utmost importance to a Pavilion and its continued existence.
The Drykas are not farmers, nor do they trade much for food. Instead they are hunters and gatherers. Their days are taken up moving from place to place, gathering foodstuffs and tending their herds. Along with their horses (both Striders and Seme's), the Drykas raise wooly cattle called Zibri. They rarely eat the cattle, unless winters are exceptionally hard, depending on them more for their milk (to make cheese and yogurts) and wool for spinning and weaving. The Drykas are astute hunters of rabbits and even occasionally take out large predators like glassbeaks. The Drykas raise both dogs and large hunting cats that the children often take out to hunt with. Dogs catch squirrels, rodents, and prairie dogs. The Cyphrus hunting cats often kill deer, elk, and antelope. The Drykas have a very diverse diet. Because of their extensive knowledge of plants and their widely varied diet, the Drykas people as a whole are considered incredibly healthy. There never seems to be a shortage of food, even in the winter, because they are clever about knowing what to eat when. They are great caretakers of the land as well. Because of their migratory habits, they often graze vast patches of the grasslands down just prior to winter, especially in the areas they will be returning to in late winter. This might seem counter productive to the outsider, but the Drykas understand that horses and cattle can starve on tall grass in harsh weather. It takes more energy than the animal acquires, often times, to digest the upper portions of grass that are very low in nutrition. Once grass is grazed down just before winter and has a chance to grow up several inches or even just a short foot before the first snow falls, it is tremendously nutritious and gives their herd animals far more energy for the work involved, keeping them fit and fed through the cold seasons.
Because of their extensive knowledge in herbalism, The horseclans of Cyphrus often produce exceptional healers. Their sages and wise men are among the finest. However, almost no knowledge is written down among the Drykas. Perhaps their only written records are the breeding records and stud books. Each Pavilion keeps meticulous records in those regards of both horses and cattle.
And while their daytime is filled with work, their evenings are filled with song, dance, eating, socializing, and embroidery. They mostly weave fabrics and carve leather in the evenings until the light grows too bad. Then everyone files away to bed only to wake early and begin work again. Life on the grasslands is harsh but really filling.
Weapons & Equipment
The Drykas have no specialized weapons or weapon styles. They are master horsemen and tend to learn to fight from horseback. However, they are famous for their archery, and have produced a few historic swordsman and women from their ranks. They are known to use spears, pikes, thrown weapons and are handy often in dagger fights. Drykas warriors never wear metal armor for metal is rare on the grasslands and often is cost prohibited. They'd rather save their metalwork for their jewelry and harness decorations. Instead, they use toughened leather (often from their own cattle) that's layered with resin repeated times until it's as hard though lighter than the metal gear seen more commonly in Sylira.
The Drykas use what is called a Yvas on their horses rather than bridles and saddles. A yvas is what equates to a girth with an attached breast collar combination hung with hooks and topped with a small flat hand grip that lays along a horse's shoulders. The Yvas is often placed over a colorful pad that acts to protect the horse from the rider. The grip fits over a strider's withers which holds the yvas in place. It almost looks like the type of thing vaulters used on their draft horses, though it is more functional than a vaulter's pad. The horses can free themselves from them if they got separated from their riders, and do not have tack to entrap or tangle them when they are running loose. The yvas has ring tethers on it for handling a set of wither bags and a waterskin, and is often decorated in knot-work beading that identified the horse and rider as part of a specific pavilion.
Religion is a very open thing among the Drykas. They worship a wide variety of Gods and Goddesses, paying homage where homage is due based on the situation at hand and the skill or gnosis involved. Healers of Rak'keli are as common as Stormwardens of Zulrav. They pay special allegiance to Semele, Zulrav and Caiyha, often thanking Lhex as well. They pay no particular attention to Laviku, other than to honor him as Avalis' mate. They enjoy Rhaus' music and Eyris' wisdom. On the whole, most of them have at one time or another given a nod to a deity based on the need answered or chaos caused. Their faith is celebrated in their knot-works, in their music, and indeed in their stories. Various Pavilions tend to follow various gods and goddesses more strongly than others based on that particular pavilion's history and origins.
Active Drykas PCs
|Men and Women of the proud horse clans.|