Hykyrans - The Terror of the Seas Mar 11, 2019 18:59:40 GMT
Post by WildlingKing on Mar 11, 2019 18:59:40 GMT
Hykyrans – The Terror of the Seas
It is contested whether the first habitants of the Great Hykyr arrived there from Aleria or Herianos. However, what is known is that between 4000 and 2000 BFK several tribes from both Aleria and Herianos migrated and settled to the island. Hardly anything is known about these early Hykyrans or their culture, but some stories originating from this era remain in the Hykyran folklore.
During the late 19th century BFK several Kyrian colonies were established on Great Hykyr and the smaller islands of the Hykyran Sea, the most notable ones being Ceveum, Cyros and Lece. Over time the Kyrian colonizers integrated with the local tribes, heavily influencing the Hykyran culture, as well as introducing new technology to its agriculture, metalworking and boatbuilding. The Hykyran colonies were nominally vassals of the Kyrian Empire, but over centuries the influence of the Sea Emperor over them decreased. By 1000 BFK the Hykyran city-states were de facto independent, their allegiance to the Kyrians being a distant memory. Already in these times the Hykyrans had a reputation as backwater pirates, though they were rarely a threat outside of the seas immediately around Great Hykyr, since the strong war fleets of the Kyrians still dominated the Silver Sea.
During the 10th and 9th centuries BFK the Hykyrans spread to Aleria, north-western Saraca and the Senian Coastland, conquering land from the local tribes and establishing new settlements. These new territories with their resources brought great wealth to the Hykyrans. However, they were far from unified, and the from 8th all the way to 3rd century BFK conflicts between the Hykyran city-states were constant. While this constant warring held the Hykyran civilization back in some aspects, it also pushed them forward in the art and technology of warfare (naval warfare especially). Hykyrans invented the bireme (a two-decked war galley) and were the first to start manufacturing iron weaponry in large scale.
It was during the late 2nd century BFK that the Hykyrans begun to fully realize their potential, as more and more successful and lucrative raids were carried out on the shores of Saraca and Crenea. Seeing that the Kyrian Empire was in an unstable state, dozens of Hykyran kings and warlords banded together and attacked the Silver Sea with full force around 60 BFK. First they invaded Crenea and Lakyria, sacking their many Kyrian settlements. Then, in 56 BFK the army of Hykyran raiders captured Idia and Zinia, making their base right next to the heart of the empire. This was a threat the Sea Emperor couldn’t ignore, and so in 55 BFK a massive Kyrian fleet sailed to face the Hykyrans in a legendary naval battle off the coast of Zinia. Hykyrans were victorious, crushing the Kyrian fleet and then proceeding to raid Kyrea itself. This was a blow the Kyrian civilization never truly recovered from.
Having now become the dominant power on the Silver Sea, the Hykyran warlords begun to aggressively raid and invade Lekeia, Saraca, Harkia, Caparia, Achia, Gazyra, Balaria, Abara, Sernea, Mydan, Sindonia, Latara and Fynia. These violent incursions played a large role in the Age of Collapse, even if they were ultimately just one of many causes for the widespread chaos of that era. Of course, a city can be sacked only so many times before it is devoid of any wealth and eventually even people, so during the 1st century AFK most Hykyran raiders begun to either settle down on the new lands they had conquered for themselves or returned to Great Hykyr with the wealth they had managed to plunder. Of course many Hykyrans also still continued to commit to the life of reaving, and Hykyran raids remained a fairly common threat around the Purple Sea and the Silver Sea all the way to late 2nd century AFK.
One of the last great Hykyran raider warlords was Hynnas the Feared, who was born in 131 AFK as the first and only son of a notorious raider named Ruzar the Restless. Hynnas grew up into the life of raiding and spent his youth reaving around the Purple Sea and the Silver Sea. Being more aggressive than most Hykyran warlords of his era, Hynnas made himself great wealth and fearsome reputation, finally deciding to settle down in Great Hykyr in 171 AFK at the age of 40. However, he did not stay idle for long, driven to unite all the Hykyrans under his rule. With his fame and prestige he was able to quickly gather a large following, and by 180 AFK he had conquered the northern half of the Great Hykyr. However, his attempts to conquer the southern Hykyran city-states failed, as they allied against him. King Hynnas died to an illness in 192 AFK and was succeeded by his son Baldasar the Bold. Instead of south, the successors of Hynnas turned their gazes to north, conquering lands from the northern Senian Coastland, southern Niatia and the isles between them during the 3rd and 4th century AFK.
While the Kingdom of Hynnasia directed its wars of conquest to the north, the city-states of southern Hykyr begun to embrace their role as mercantile powers. After all, they had become effectively the gateway between the new Hardagan Empire to the west, and the Herian world and Barvian Empire to the east. Since the 5th century AFK the Hynnasians have been conflicting with the Lupians, while the Hykyran city-states of Saraca have waged wars with the Kingdom of Saraca, and the city-state of Balam has occasionally clashed with the Hardagan Empire.
Culture and Religion
There are two major deities that the Hykyran religion revolves around: Father Barran and Mother Sibina. Worship of Father Barran is believed to originate from the early Hykyrans, whereas the worship of Mother Sibina was brought by the Kyrian colonists. Barran is depicted as a muscular man with four arms and a head of a bull, and he is seen as the god of war, strength, fire and craftmanship. Sibina on the other hand is depicted as a corpulent woman with four teats, and she is seen as the goddess of peace, compassion, earth, water and agriculture. Hykyrans believe that to live a good life and join the gods in afterlife one must find balance between the virtues of these two deities. However, it is also commonly believed among Hykyrans that different lands are ruled by different gods, which is why most Hykyran raiders who settled on foreign lands generally integrated into the local religions rather quickly.
Hykyrans have no clergy or temples. Instead Hykyran settlements usually have an open square dedicated to the gods, with statues of both Barran and Sibina standing in the middle. By these statues offerings and sacrifices are made for the gods during times of need or celebration. It should also be noted that Hynnasians have deified the founder of their kingdom, believing that in their conquests they are guided by the Spirit of Hynnas.
Hykyrans have a reputation as pirates, perhaps for a good reason, but they are also skilled craftsmen and keen traders. More than anything else Hykyrans value freedom, and they take great pride in their principles of equality, where the worth of a man or woman is determined by their competence and skills rather than their heritage. There are of course exceptions to this, the most obvious being the ruling bloodline of Hynnas, and even beyond that it is obvious that some are born with more wealth and opportunities than others. However, there is no noble class, and it is at least more likely in Hykyran states for a common citizen to rise to a high status than in most other civilizations of Midvas. Of course, this does not apply to slaves.
Constitution and Economy
Before the Age of Collapse Hykyrans lived mostly under monarchy, either hereditary or elected, the Great Hykyr being divided into many petty kingdoms. However, the massive raids of the Age of Collapse brought so much more wealth and influence to so many Hykyrans that the old hierarchies were inevitably questioned and ultimately abolished. Of course, Hynnas the Feared saw this as an opportunity to bring all Hykyrans under one crown, but he didn’t quite reach his dream.
Today Kingdom of Hynnas is ruled by a hereditary dynasty descended from King Hynnas the Feared. It is a very militaristic regime, with the foreign Hynnasian colonies being governed by military commanders. The independent Hykyran city-states on the other hand are generally governed by elected monarchs or ruling councils, usually formed from military officers, members of merchant guilds and sometimes elected representatives. Most of the Hykyran city-states could be seen as oligarchic, with a couple leaning more towards democracy.
Enslaving a fellow Hykyran has always been a taboo in the Hykyran culture, and today it is outlawed and punishable by death in most of the Hykyran states. However, captives taken during raids to foreign lands have traditionally been enslaved by the Hykyrans and this is still true. In fact, the slave markets are a huge part of Hykyran economy, which is why most Hykyran authorities see pirates (who capture the slaves) as useful despite their bad reputation.
Aside from slave trade, the most important part of Hykyran economy is their weapons manufacturing, Hykyran weapons being considered some of the highest quality in all of Midvas. When it comes to agriculture the Hykyran states are mostly self-sufficient, but they also import a lot of goods from Hardaga and Herian world.
Hynnas is the capital of the Kingdom of Hynnas, located near the eastern coast of Great Hykyr by the river Trisa. With a population of around 150 000 it is the third largest of all the Hykyran cities, and by far the largest of the Hynnasian cities. The settlement was originally founded during 18th century BFK, back then known as Ilynos. However, it remained a small and insignificant town until King Hynnas the Feared made it the capital of his new kingdom during the late 2nd century AFK. After King Hynnas’ death the city was named after him, and on its central plaza stands a 30 feet tall bronze statue in his likeness. The line of Hynnas still rules the kingdom, the current King Zacharas II being the 21st Hynnasian king.
Lece is a city-state controlling a large portion of the southern Great Hykyr, and with a population of over 300 000 it is the largest of all the Hykyran cities. Lece was first established as a Kyrian colony during the late 19th century BFK, but the colonizers were quick to integrate with the local population. Since then it has effectively been the center of Hykyran culture and economy. The city-state is governed by a ruling council of 50, each member serving for life. 20 seats are reserved for the wealthiest citizens, 20 for the highest-ranking military officers, and 10 for representatives elected by citizens in public assemblies.
Treali is a Hykyran city-state located on the north-western tip of Saraca, and with a population of almost 200 000 it is the second largest of all the Hykyran cities. Treali is best known for its massive slave markets, where hundreds of slaves are sold daily for the highest bidders. It is a busy and wealthy port city, but it has a grim reputation especially among Saracans, since many of their brothers and sisters captured by Hykyrans have ended up there in chains. Treali is governed by a king/queen elected by a council of 60 wealthiest citizens (who are generally slavers).
Balam is a Hykyran city-state located on the island of Balesa on the Blistering Bay, and with a population of around 90 000 it is the fourth largest of all the Hykyran cities. It is a lively port city with busy trade with the Hardagans. However, what Balam is best known for are its infamous pirates. The city-state is governed by a ruling council of 40 members, each elected by the citizens.
Climate, Landscape and Wildlife
The Great Hykyr is the largest known island in all of Midvas, the distance from its southernmost point to northernmost point being over 250 miles. It has a mostly hot and dry climate, and a diverse landscape with snowcapped mountains, semiarid plains, rocky coasts, pine forests and fertile river valleys. When it comes to wildlife, Hykyr has a rich variety of birds, mammals and reptiles, but not many big predators.
The many islands of the Hykyran sea are mostly hot and arid, Ceveum and Nura also being volcanic. The Senian Coastlands are rugged and verdant, producing lots of olive oil.
Lastly, Alera and Saraca have a burning hot climate and mostly rocky terrain unsuited for agriculture. As for wildlife, elephants, boars, gazelles, lions, jackals, vultures, vipers and cobras are all common in Alera and Saraca. However, the most notable beast of the region is the Saracan Longhorn, a species of wyvern that can be found in both Alera and Saraca. Saracan Longhorns mostly stay away from humans, but fiercely defend their territories. They get their name from the long spear-like horns on the noses of the males, which they use mostly when fighting for mating rights. The scales of the Saracan Longhorns vary from dark brown to light orange, and with an average wingspan of 28 feet they are a medium size wyvern species.