|Homeland:||Isles Continent - Prycon|
The Pryconians are a very "human-like" race, with their heights and builds varying so widely that no true standard can be named, though if one had to ask for and be told an average, they stand between five and a half and six feet in height and weigh around a hundred and fourty pounds (lifestyle changing these figures greatly). They resemble anthropomorphic raccoons, with fur colours ranging from gray to brown to black, and many others besides, and eyes of green, blue, brown, yellow, and even purple. Cultist Pryconians look just as Temple Pryconians do as far as build goes, but their fur or eyes take on reddish hues.
The Pryconian Empire began back in the Age of Gods, but the race's true origins span back before they became what they are today.
In the neutral territories of Menes, north of Tor and the Coalition's constant warring, stood a small collection of tribes and villages made up of both Hespero and Feline inhabitants. Despite no clash between the races, there was still warring between each of the individual settlements, which raged on for years.
A single man of unknown race stepped forward, though; rising from one of the warring clans, he slowly began to gain followers by enforcing stronger laws to prevent outbursts and fights. First his own clan became isolated from the fighting, then the man began to spread those laws further and all but cease it in a large area of the neutral territories. By the end of the man's life, he had successfully ended the warring and united the territories under a single banner, and he died those people's king.
Upon his death, the gods (namely Tarrea, as it was her who convinced the others) saw it fit to reward this soul, by joining him with the Spirit of Law to form the god Donacles. This new god's first act was to lead the people of the neutral territories north, to form a new nation upon the Isles region of Aesira. The combined Hespero and Feline peoples founded a grand city at the heart of the continent, naming it Prycon, and thus was formed the Pryconian Empire. Within the space of just three generations, the two races unified totally and were changed by Donacles into what are now the Pryconians. Not a fusion of their two ancestors, but a brand new race.
Prycon's first leader was elected by its people, a man who was to be known as Emperor Nihil Sacarus, and he ruled fairly throughout his life. But Nihil's only heir, Laocoon, was born with albinism, making his fur almost entirely white. When Laocoon ascended to the throne, he had two children, a son and a daughter; the son was also albino, and as he was the only male heir, soon took the throne in his father's stead. As this process continued, it became known that those who were born as white as the moon were chosen to become the next ruler of the nation.
Over the next millennium, Prycon grew so large that it had to build several outlying villages to house it population, which eventually grew into more cities. This process repeated itself, on and on, until the Empire was formed, spanning almost the entire Isles.
The Pryconian Empire controls roughly a quarter of the livable world. At first simply expanding their influence over their island, their numbers continued to grow, and so did the need for housing and agricultural land. By the early years of the First Age, they had taken control of almost the entire Isles region. They have since expanded further, now commanding colonies along northern Menes and the islands surrounding. The Lutras are, for all intents and purposes, citizens of the Empire, living within its boundaries, but are as of yet exempt from military service, taxation, and many of the other obligations the Pryconian population is held to.
The Fire Cult and members thereof still live within Pryconian lands, but are much more localized to specific areas; along with their main settlement within the northern volcanic mountains of the continent, there are several smaller towns and villages that have been almost entirely converted. Cult settlements within the colonies are few are far between, but wandering Cultists often find themselves relatively safe in such places.
Social and Family LifeEdit
Both Templar and (surprisingly) Cultist society put a high value on rank and social standing. Who you are and who you know are very important, on top of which what you do. The son of a wealthy businessman has more social standing than the son of a pauper who grew his own business from the ground-up.
At the top of this heirarchy is the Emperor and, by extention, the rest of the royal family; the right to the throne is unique to this one bloodline, and the mark of one who can become emperor is the suffering from the royal family's hereditary albinism. Under them are both the generals and the priests, who govern the two most influential parts of their society: the military and the Temple. Next come the upper classes and well-known families, which consist of those who have wealth and reputation from birth; those who become rich and reputable within their own lifetime usually lack any good standing with the upper-classes. The rest of Pryconian society falls under this, social position falling into various lines and links depending on the exact time and place.
Pryconian language began as a blend of the Hespero and Coalition dialects, but in time was slowly replaced by their current tongue, known as Lryo. It is a very complex language, often employing several words where most languages would use one in order to define context, familiarity or other notes behind what is being said. To further add to this complexity, Lryo has two main dialects: polite and casual. The polite dialect is used when speaking to a superior, or someone with whom you are not very familiar, though also when speaking publically; as a standard, this is the dialect one uses by default, as it shows some level of respect. The casual dialect, however, is employed only in private between family and close friends, and is on some levels insulting while on others a very deep compliment.
There are four words for "friend", each with a slightly different subtext:
- The first - iaro - refers to someone with whom you are reasonably familiar, just enough that formality is no longer mandatory. It can be approximated as meaning "aquaintance".
- The second - ianys - refers to someone you know fairly well, and is only used when used mutually. When someone uses this word in reference to you, and you do not reciprocate, it is considered a huge insult.
- The third - konys - is a sign of respect, typically used in reference to a select few individuals with whom you share a good deal of trust. It needn't be reciprocated, but rarely isn't.
- The fourth and final word - konto - is used exclusively in referring to family. Not in the context of actual blood relatives like parents, siblings or the sort, but rather people whom you feel a kinship for. This is a term almost never used, saved for a select few who have truly earned it. It can be approximated as meaning "brother".
So to call someone a friend, you would say "[pronoun]tos ena X ka yso" (meaning "you are a/an X to me"), where the X is replaced with the specific term of friendship.
Pryconian spirituality has been divided for several hundred years between two main factions. The original, the Temple of Donacles, has been around for as long as the race has existed, while the Fire Spirit Cult appeared in 119A1 and has been gaining power ever since.
The Temple of Donacles Edit
The Temple (the followers of which are called Templars) revolves around the worship of the god Donacles and the maintaining of law. Officially, Donacles is the god of ALL laws, good or evil, from a promise between friends to the world-changing edicts of great nations; but the Temple has, for a long time, made their own laws for their own benefit, claiming them to be decrees of the god. Most of these laws are benign or beneficial - making a few unwholesome activities illegal, or helping to enforce law and order among the citizens of the Empire - and so is seen by many as necessary and even good, in spite of the lies and scheming.
Almost every citizen of the Pryconian Empire pays homage, or at least lip service, to this faith, even those who don't care for the laws. Since, at the heart of it all, Donacles is still their patron and progenitor.
The Cult of the Fire Spirit Edit
The Cult of the Fire Spirit (the followers of which are called Cultists) worships the mortal avatar of the Spirit of Fire, and teaches the enforcement and protection of personal liberties and individual freedoms. While the cult doesn't outright oppose laws and lawfulness, they believe that such things are simply a guide rather than a rigid set of rules, and that a law can be tossed aside at any given moment if its enforcement is seen as unjust or inappropriate to the situation. An individual is drawn to joining the cult because they find the laws of their society too constraining, though many are also drawn in by (naturally) the ability to command powerful elemental fire magic that is granted to many cultists.
The Fire Spirit is the only non-divine entity that is openly worshiped on Aesira, though he (his usual mortal avatars being male, though not always) believes that once he amasses enough followers, he'll ascend to godhood; he promises his followers that, once this happens, they will join him in his realm upon their passing into the afterlife.
Relations With Other RacesEdit
The Pryconian Empire has a rather "do nothing" alliance with the Lutras islands and the Coalition; while the Empire trades with these two nations, there are no real political ties or military alliances. There are, however, several cases of both Felines and Lutras appearing among the general Pryconian population, though they are both few and far between.
- Notable Pryconian Characters: Yan, Laocoon Sacarus III.
- The Pryconians are totally unaware of their true origins, believing their race to have been in existence since the start of Aesiran history.
- The most powerful and diverse spread of magic-users are from the Empire, which even has entire academies dedicated to the study of the art.
Dungeons and Dragons 3.5e AdaptionEdit
- Medium: As Medium creatures, pryconians have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Pryconian base land speed is 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: A pryconian can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish colour and detail under these conditions.
- 4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level, since pryconians are versatile and capable.
- +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Gather Information checks: Pryconians get along naturally with all people.
- +4 racial bonus on Profession checks: Pryconians are raised in the ways of their family’s trade, and seem to perform excellently in any vocation they choose to take. In addition, Profession is treated as a class skill regardless of class.
- Automatic Language: Lryo. Bonus Languages: Any (other than secret languages, such as Druidic). Pryconians mingle with all kinds of other folks and thus can learn any language found in an area.