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Myrian

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Myrian

Savages of Falyndar
Height5'-6'" (males), 5'4"-6'4" (females)
WeightVaries
LifespanRelatively long - 100-130 years
Major featuresTattoos, piercings, dark skin and eyes.
AbilitiesStamina, dexterity, fighting, weapon skills, poisons.
Population15,000
Most common inTaloba, Falyndar
ReputationViolent Savages
Racial godsMyri, Makutsi, Syna, Leth, Caiyha, Navre, Dira, Kihala
Racial bonus+10 Tracking


The Myrians are a savage tribe of humanoids that inhabit Taloba, the capital of Falyndar. Vicious warriors ruled by the Goddess-Queen Myri, they are harsh people dealing with a harsh environment. Blood sacrifices and ritualized cannibalization are regular and completely accepted practices. They ruled Falyndar before the Valterrian, and will stop at nothing until they have reclaimed Falyndar as theirs once more.


Contents

History

Pre-Valterrian

Hundreds of years before the great cataclysm that rent Mizahar apart, the tropical south was filled with several disjointed tribes that were constantly at war with each other. All of them were humans, at any rate, vast, feral tribes of savages that fought each other over family, pride, and respect, for land and for resources, and some for the sheer joy of fighting. For the most part, the tribes were equal in numbers and strength, but one began to stand out, not because of greater numbers, but because of a change in leadership and the effect that leadership was having on how the tribe was run.

That chieftain was called Myri… Myri the Merciless. She was ambitious; she had long-ranging plans and vision, and the cunning patience to put it into use. She gave no quarter, and prisoners were offered one chance, one choice. Join her tribe, or die. One by one, Myri’s tribe began to conquer the others, uniting them under her rule. Some surrendered and joined the growing empire willingly under Myri’s terms – she rarely negotiated. As the years went by, Myri’s goal of conquering all of the jungle was slowly becoming a reality. It was not without its drawbacks – many refused to accept leadership by women, and Myri would, one by one, kill those who denied her rule, sparing those who accepted it. It is estimated that thousands died over the course of this bloodied conquest.

Every single one of Myri’s now vast tribe helped to build Taloba, named after her mother. Elders, women, men, and children all worked to finish construction of the vast new capital. Even Myri, who had been proclaimed the Queen, could be seen out there hauling stone and helping to raise pillars. She did not exempt herself, and it was her blood and sweat mingled with those of the tribe as finally, finally, Taloba was completed. While not all of the tribes lived in Taloba, it was ideal for many – it was close to the Kandukta Basin, the major trading hub, by a Watchtower, and did not require the giving up of their wild culture to stay in. It was meant to hold a large number of people, to be a fortress if they ever needed to fall back to it.

Myri, over time, became revered as a goddess, and many called her the Goddess-Queen. Her people, wanting a single name at last to show their unity and their allegiance to their Goddess-Queen, decided to call themselves the Myrians in tribute. The Myrians successfully kept the jungle closed to other races, driving out or destroying those that were not deemed absorbable, or were simply too different for their tastes, and developed a fearsome reputation for bloodshed.

Post-Valterrian

The Valterrian devastated the villages outside of Taloba, and indeed, plenty of the buildings in the capital were destroyed. The numbers of the Myrians were diminished, despite Myri’s orders to retreat to the capital. Many did not make it. However, they hadn’t gotten far by hiding, and soon took their tigers and began the reconstruction of Taloba, the gathering of survivors, and reconnaissance – new races had taken up in Falyndar, none that they had ever seen before, and the warlike Myrians simply would not have it. One by one, the Myrians hunted down and destroyed them, purging their jungle home of these new invaders. The Tupahi, Ukantsu, Waorori, Jollai, Pepao, Gwanah… all were destroyed.

While they now seem to tolerate the Dhani to the northwest, and have made several attempts on the Charodae of the south, leaving them with only a very small bit of land that they flee every time the hunting party comes, the Myrians are focused on rebuilding, repopulating, and reclaiming Falyndar as theirs. With Myri on the throne, her people are confident that their Goddess-Queen will steer them to glory once again.

Biology

Physical Appearance

The Myrians are race of humanoids that are built for warfare and rugged living. They are fairly tall, ranging between 5’ to 6’4” or thereabouts, but being under 5’6” as an adult is quite rare. The females tend to be somewhat taller than the males, although not by much, and they weigh on average anywhere between 125 – 250 pounds. They are, for the most part, fairly stocky and in quite good physical condition. They are extremely dexterous, able to climb easily, and have very few physical impairments that a human normally would. They are stronger than a normal human, even though they do not appear to be particularly bulky.

The Myrians have tawny skin, ranging from a deep tan to a rich bark-brown, with hazel, green, or brown eyes. They usually have long hair that is usually brown or black, although the darker shades of red are rare. Hair is usually worn long, except in the case of those who have had it cut as a sign of shame. Those with long hair usually wear in warrior’s knots, mohawks, braids, and the like. It’s not uncommon to find trinkets of all sorts in a Myrian’s hair, some taken as tokens from enemies – teeth, bones, personal effects, and so on and so forth.

The Myrians are great users of tattoos, and excellent artists. These tattoos are awarded as signs of accomplishment and to indicate family ties, such as the Slitted Throat -- they have a tattoo across their necks imitating a slitted throat. Some of these are greatly artistic, but have their own meaning – for example, when a Myrian has demonstrated successfully bonding with a tiger, they are usually awarded a band of stripes, similar to the pattern of their beast, on their body; or especially proficient fighters may seem to have ‘claws’ emerging from their skin. Piercings are common, usually in the ears, although some warriors have pierced their lips, noses, and other sections of their body to display bones and other fearsome decorations.

Clothing

Myrian clothing varies greatly, according to rank, profession, and age. Cotton, or linen, is most common, seeing as it’s far too hot, usually, to wear anything else. White is the norm, although it isn’t unusual to see some dyed cloth. Common daily wear garments of choice are shifts, loincloths, and vests, sometimes with elaborate stitching and designs. Most formal wear have very elaborate necklines. Shoes or boots are rarely worn by the civilians. Priests and priestesses would generally wear longer robes. Warriors, particularly those on guard duty or training, wear leather armor – archer’s arm guards, boots, vests, belts pants, and loincloths. Mail armor isn’t as common, but it’s not rare – it’s more expensive, but attainable, often relics or passed down along families or seized in battle. Helmets are unusual, but when they are worn, they never cover eyes or ears due to their belief that a warrior must be able to see and hear at all times without any obstruction.

Psychology

Image:Scroll2.png "We will gladly devour those who would subdue us."
- Myri, Goddess-Queen

The Myrians are vicious, warlike, and by the standards of outsiders, very, very savage. Outsiders tell stories from before the Valterrian, and indeed, many after are used to scare children into obedience: “If you don’t behave, the Myrians will eat you!” All Myrians know how, or learn how, to use weapons from an early age. It is part of their education – along with traps, spying, and combat tactics and strategies. They are staying true to their roots – the Myrians were born of war and conquest, and Myri demands that all of her people be proficient in it.

The Myrian community is in many ways similar to one large family. Everyone is provided for, and laziness is not tolerated whatever. Families often live together in the long longhouses. Marriages are not normal, but they have a looser concept of it. The men move from their family’s longhouse into that of their new partner’s. If the relationship doesn’t work out, the man may well find himself being sent back to his old dwelling.

They dislike outsiders, but an exception is made to Kelvic who come to Taloba and prove themselves, and/or become attached or bonded to a Myrian. Outsiders are usually watched and trailed when they come to the city, and are treated with suspicion and distrust. It is quite rare for an outsider to stay long and unheard of for them to attempt to settle in the city. It is for this reason that the Myrians alone guard the Watchtower of Taloba, and are more likely to employ a stab-first, question-later approach.

Myrians engage in ritualized cannibalization of their enemies before and after battles. Blood sacrifices are preferred, and Myri’s tradition of giving no quarter remains. Without special intervention, enemies are slaughtered as sacrifices to the gods, often to Myri herself.

Reproduction & Aging

If left to live to a ripe old age, a Myrian woman can live to be up to 120 years old, although, the men rarely reach 100. Few ever reach these ages. By the age of 25, Myrians are done growing. Reproduction generally starts around mid-20s, and large families are encouraged and highly desirable. Many women may continue having children until their late 30s. Multiple births are not uncommon, but triplets or more are unusual. Successful pregnancies carried into the 40s are relatively rare, and by age 50, the Myrians are infertile. The age breakdown is as follows:

  • Years 1-10: Child
  • Years 10-15: Adolescent
  • Years 15-30: Young Adult
  • Years 31-50: Adult
  • Years 51+: Elder

Society

Social Structure

The Myrians are matriarchal - that is, the women are in charge. At the top of the hierarchy is the Goddess-Queen Myri, and then there is her Council of Nine. Below that are certain ranks given - War Leader, Watchmistress, and so on. All titles, all ranks, must be earned, and men can never receive powerful positions. There are no castes or pampered aristocrats. All Myrians spend at least three years in the formal military, and many stay at least loosely attached to it. On the whole, the Myrians are remarkably law-abiding, not that there are many laws... but it's a bit more difficult to rob someone who has every intention of killing you for it.

Language

Most Myrians understand and use the common tongue, but the old language is still used amongst themselves. Furthermore, the Myrians have another language for a specialized use -- it is used to communicate during battle or on ambushes, hunts, and the like. It involves bird calls, whistles, and other animalistic sounds. Myrians at different perching locations in Falyndar may use what they call Tiger Roarers, wooden instruments strung on a rope, that, when swung, creates a roaring sound and is useful for cross-distance communication.

Names

Myrians have two names: their given name and their family name, used to help keep track of who is who. The given name is chosen by the mother, and the family name is hers - the Myrians believe that lineage can only be passed through the mother, because that is the only line that is guaranteed.

The name reads as [given name] of the [family name]. The family name is the shared name, and tend to vary considerably, whereas most given names are quite short, such as:

  • Aira
  • Ethgri
  • Sala
  • Tuk
  • Pekwa
  • Zuuk

The family names are considered clan names. These names tend to be somewhat descriptive of what their ancestors may have specialized in. Some of the clans of Taloba include:

  • The Blooded Fangs
  • The Broken Spear
  • The Changing Moon
  • The Cutthroat Shadows
  • The Jagged Blade
  • The Patient Shadows
  • The Poisoned Arrow
  • The Scattered Bones
  • The Shorn Skulls
  • The Slitted Throat
  • The Tempered Steel
  • The White Water

Full List of Myrian Clans

Family Life

The Myrian are matriarchal, and families are fairly loose. Names are passed along by the mother's line, and so is property. Men cannot inherit without special permission and extraordinary circumstances. That isn't to say a mother can't give items to her sons. The older a woman is, the more status she has. Each of the families has its Elder, which is the oldest female. They, for the most part, rule their family. While mothers have first decisions over their children, the other female family members come next.

Everyday Life

Laziness is simply not tolerated by the Myrians. As far as they are concerned, there is always plenty to do, and very little excuse for not getting things done. Everyone does their share, from little children to the elders. Daily life generally means going about one's daily business - training in weapons, learning different skills, crafting, patrols, bartering, and so on. Common trade skills are tattooing, tailoring, leathercrafting and tanning, pottery, gathering, hunting, fishing.

Religion

The Myrians are polytheistic. They worship the following:

  • Myri – War, Victory (Goddess)
  • Makutsi – Rain (Goddess)
  • Syna – Sun (Goddess)
  • Leth – Moon (God)
  • Caiyha - Flora and Fauna (Goddess)
  • Navre – Cats (God)
  • Dira – Death (Goddess)
  • Kihala – Life (Goddess)

But Myri is their primary deity, and it was they who boosted her to the ranks of the Mizaharian gods. Several festivals and days of worship are offered to each god or goddess every year, and include rituals, sacrifices, food, dances, and so on, asking for their favor. The Myrians also practice ancestor worship – each residence has an altar, and ancestors are often prayed to and included.

While the Myrians engage in ritualized cannibalism of their enemies, they do not eat their own. Instead, a funeral pyre is prepared, following a day of celebration for the funeral. Songs, dances, stories are shared, and when the sun sets, the bonfire for the funeral pyre is prepared. Unless there’s a battle, or for close family members (perhaps twins), it is rare that there is more than one funeral on any given day. Upon death, Myrians are usually claimed by Myri herself, reincarnating them as her people. The rumors say that she struck a deal with Dira, the Goddess of Death, to ensure that her people were returned to her. Most are reincarnated - but the most savage, the most devoted, often become members of Myri's Shadow Guard, the spectral servants of their Goddess-Queen.

Arts and Culture

Diet

The Myrian diet has evolved from their thousands of years in Falyndar. Their bodies have adapted to and allow for the ingesting of many poisonous plants and species that inhabit the region. In a pinch, a Myrian can survive on a diet of blood for up to a week.

Dance

Dance plays a big role in Myrian rituals and celebrations. They have two types of dancing – interpretive, and fire. Interpretive dance is used to for plays, to tell tales, to remember histories. Plays and scenes for the gods are common at celebrations for the gods. This includes the war dances that warriors perform before a battle. The war dances are often accompanied by heavy, pounding music, and tend to vary amongst each Myrian – it is a coming of age ritual for each to design their own war dance. The second type, fire dancing, includes using items – such as poi, fans, hoops, and torches, lighting them on fire, and using them as props, or as the dance itself. Both kinds can be used to tell a story, and often, Myrian history is passed down through these cultural channels.

Music

The Myrian instruments of choice for music include all kinds of drums – from small ones that can be held to large ones that stand alone, rattles, bells made of clay or copper, flutes and pipes of bone, reed, or wood, conch shells, and what, with very little humor intended, they call ribs… often made out of part of a skeleton, and used as an xylophone.

Crafts

Another part of Myrian culture is craftsmanship. They love working with hides and pelts. They believe in not wasting resources, and so every part of an animal that they kill is used, in some way or form. The Myrians are experts in leathercraft – from making buckets from legs to armor or garments, to making slings, climbing braces, and other things. Trinkets, tubes, bands… nothing goes to waste. Pottery is also important, as glass is considered to be far too fragile for their taste. Glass is used only rarely, often as a luxury item from back from trading posts.

The Tigers

Myrian Tiger.

Enormous beasts with fearsome, saber-sized teeth and enormous claws, the Myrian Tigers are bred and raised by the Myrians. Reaching over 18 feet long and six feet at the shoulder, they weigh around a thousand pounds each. The Myrian mounts are fierce behemoths well-adapted for travel through a hostile jungle. Not everyone can ride them, and it is usually left to those who prove themselves to their elders, to the tigers, and to themselves. These riders proudly claim themselves as part of the Bahadur.

The Tskannas

The Tskannas are the great beasts of burden of the Myrians, used for hauling and heavy labour. Massive, six-tusked pachyderms, they were a gift from Caiyha to the Myrians.


Active Myrian PCs

Myri's People
heightKaie of the Cutthroat ShadowsWarrior. Hunter. Traveler.