Cybaria, and the Dragon Heresy
History and Culture:
The Kingdom of Cybaria lies on the slopes and foothills of the Cauldron, and lays claim to the very crater of the volcano. The clan of Cybari had a long history within the Temples of the Sacred Stars as guardians. They were established as House Cybari, the first Noble House appointed by Lord Tambrec, to keep watch on the crater of the Cauldron and the great dragon Charrat trapped within.
Cybaria expanded northward slowly, as Tambrec and his Holy Order cleared the land to the sea. Several silver mines were discovered among the jagged Dragon Mountains, some already under the control of Elven and Troll lords. There were a great many conflicts between Cybari nobles and those Faerie folk who had not pledged their help against the great dragon. Once the borders had been established the people of Cybaria settled quickly, becoming subsistence farmers in the more remote regions. Cybaria has done little with the natural resources in their harsh environment, and the greater cities of the shores are too far to control them.
For nearly a century the kingdom stayed a steady course, watching omens from the Cauldron and keeping the goblin raiders of Ordo at bay. Then those temples nearest the rim began to see a different message in the rumblings of the great volcano. A few priests began to whisper of heresy, but they were soon drowned out by the cries of rebellion. Charatt promised power to those who would aid him escape.
Those priests who chose to ally with Charatt became the Ibarites, and they smashed temples to opposing gods as their armies ran their way down the slopes of the Dragon Mountains. While they have not truly converted all the folk of the higher regions, most main cities are taken over or in siege. These Ibarites also see none of the Faerie sovereignty, battling to control the silver mines, forests, and any other wealth.
Most Cybarian folk tend towards the very tall, and are built strong - men average 6 feet or more and women just under that. Men are usually broad shouldered, 190 - 210 lbs, women are usually built stocky and average 130 - 150 lbs. They are usually pale to ruddy in complexion, with brown/reddish brown or black hair and brown or black eyes. Green eyes are uncommon, as are blue, and there are very rare instances of violet. Blonde hair is almost unknown.
The people generally wear heavy woolen clothing and furs to protect themselves from the cold climate, though those in the lower altitudes will wear lighter clothing in the summer. Dark green and deep red are favored shades, as are black and silver. Wool and fur cloaks are very common.
The new Ibarite church is rapidly gaining hold over most of the territory, and where they have it they keep tight control. While they did follow the Tambran genealogy, the Ibarite way traces the line through the mother. Monogamy is the norm, though those within the Cult abide by different rules - men may have 2 wives, and women may maintain as many husbands as they like.
Slavery is not particularly common in Cybaria, but the practice is becoming more popular as the Cult endorses it. Those who can afford them either maintain them or likely will soon.
Common Character Types:
Ibarite Priests - The disciples who have converted to the Cult of the Dragon tend to center their lives on the temples dedicated to the order, attending to the word and deed of Charatt. Many of them spend the years of deep training required to learn Sorcery, and become formidable magick wielders. Those who wish to be Sorcerer's must follow the Dragon Path, an exacting and difficult way of life that can cause some differences of opinion.
There are 2 schools within the Cult - the Moon school and the Storm school. The Moon school is the most common type, and they usually tend to the daily matters of the temple. They are also used most often as messengers and 'errand boys'. Their magick specializes in transformations and conjurations. The Storm school fills out most of the leadership positions, and those who show promise are often taken to the temples closest to the mouth of the Cauldron. The Storm school specializes in divination and the evocation of spirits.
[Both schools use the same foci: blood, gems (especially rubies and emeralds), precious metals (especially silver), images and symbols of the great dragon Charatt, holy water, and Astrology. Any effect rated at 3 or higher must be performed at night or the D# is increased by 2. Also, during any storm magickal D#'s are decreased by 1 due to Charatt's influence as the storm god. The Moon school's Major Spheres are Life and Matter, while their Lesser Spheres are Connection and Time. The Storm school's Major Spheres are Connection and Spirit, while their Lesser Spheres are Forces and Matter.]
Storm Knights - Those disciples who do not have the talent or fortitude to become Priests join the warrior order of the Cult. While many do become little more than grunts or shock troops for assaults on Temples of the Sacred Stars, a few have become noted generals and lords.
[While there is little to distinguish a Storm Knight from any other warrior, most tend to wear dark and showy armor of medium weight and carry large and impressive weapons. A few have been known to exhibit unusual powers from the Supernatural Merits and Flaws, which are considered blessings (?) of the Dragon.]
Priest of the Sacred Stars - Not all in Cybaria have converted to the new ways of Charatt. Many of the cities in the north remain loyal to the Holy Order, and some few nearer the seat of the dragon's power still fight against the Cult.
[The Priest's are detailed in the Tambrect section.]
Templar - The Templar knights are to the Holy Order as the Storm Knights are to the Cult of the Dragon. They are not as common on the slopes of the Dragon Mountains, as most of the Tambran forces have been forced to level land. But many do remain in the northern territories of Outer Cybaria, and it isn't uncommon for them to volunteer for missions in the mountains.
[The Templars are detailed in the Tambrect section.]
Shadow Lords - There are rumors of an underground association conspiring against the Cult of the Dragon - dispossessed nobility, false priests, even a few of the Faerie folk may be among them. While no overt action has been attributed to them, the high Priests of the Storm have been keeping a weather eye open to information leaks and treachery within the ranks. Some few farmers consider them heroes, as do those whose temples have been smashed for the glory of Charatt, but none would harbor a fugitive who dares conspire against the great dragon.
[Shadow Lords must keep their membership in the organization secret. There is indeed a particular conspiracy among them, but many are loath to share even the slightest secrets, for fear of treachery. Most members are those nobles whose Houses have been razed in favor of the new order.]
The Faeries - Trolls and Dwarves are quite common in the mountains, though the Dwarves rarely interact with Mannish folk. Some Elves and their Hobbit and Pooka wards live in the forests and mountains, but they rarely have any love for Mannish folk who try to despoil their homes at every turn. Some few Dryads can be found in the forests as well. Sluagh are very common around the smaller farm communities, but they rarely have dealings with humans outside their immediate locality.
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