Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Undyrkyn

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The Undyrkyn are commonly known as the “lesser” races, mainly comprised of “monsters”. These “monsters” decided to turn down their tribal ways and coincide with civilized rules and structures. The Undyrkyn are commonly made up of the three of the more intelligent “monster” races, the Goblins, also known as the Gyblakyn; the Minotuars, or Donmyrkyn; and the Orcs, or Urukyn. This change came around during the beginning of the industrial age of man, and they are the youngest group of races to conform to civilized life. The Undyrkyn have only been a part of society for the last two hundred years, ever since the United Countries Civilities Act of 1634, but would not be considered complete citizens of cultured races until the Undyrkyn Civilities Act of 1802. Because they are so new to society, the Undyrkyn are often looked at with disdain by some of the older races. The Elcarikyn and the Duskoralun are more accepting of the Undyrkyn. The Undyrkyn got their name from the Undyrcar, where the largest of the tribes has been found, after being driven underground after the fall of Undyr Thorymyr and the end of the Age of Terror.

The Undyrkyn are often known as the races who have turned their backs on the old tribal and general barbaric behavior that was so prevalent during the times before human industrialization. The number of Undyrkyn tribes were decimated with the invention of the handheld firearm. Instead of being slaughtered as a people, the three Undyrkyn races declared themselves civilized and worked to make a place for themselves in society. Most Undyrkyn serve as craftmen and laborers, the goblins finding a niche in household domestics mainly, but the most prevalent of jobs for Undyrkyn have been aboard ships, docks and other naval vessels. This does not apply to Minotaurs, who are naturally unfit for sea life. Most Undyrkyn also make up a large portion of the military, with Orcs and Minotaurs making great foot solders and city guards, while the goblins excel at scouting and informants.

Despite the turning from their barbaric lifestyles of the past, there still remains bands and tribes of Undyrkyn who refuse to conform to civilized life. Many of these tribes have been pushed into the Undyrcar, but there still are groups of them that ransack the land, though above ground are the most noticeable in the Serylyn Forest and in the Great Spine. While the Undyrkyn are no longer tribal, there are two major established colonies of Undyrkyn on the islands of Minos and Uru. Minos and Uru was the last major hotspots of tribal activities, before a group of Undyrkyn established colonies on those islands, and transformed the last major tribes into towns, but have kept tribal traditions. Once colonized, Minos and Uru were found to be rich in metals and fertile land that have sustained the Undyrkyn economy on the islands.

The first mention of the Undyrkyn appear near the last hundred or so years of the Mortal Wars between the humans and the elves. Lore states that the sorcerer Undyr Thorymyr used them as foot solders and slaves until the end, and he was driven into the Undyrcar for his crimes against “humanity” and basic morality. It is unclear whether Undyr created the Undyrkyn, as he had claimed, or just controlled them during the mortal wars, and the Age of Terror when he returned. The Undyrkyn claim they were created by the Curydyn Mog’Roth, but because of their average short lifespans, records do not show definitive proof of the Undyrkyn creation. The next major appearance of the Undyrkyn is during the Age of Terror, when the then lich Undyr flooded the United Human Empire with waves of his undead and Undyrkyn solders, leading to the fall of the spread of human expansionism, and the war that lasted nearly two hundred years until he was defeated by human hero Thoran Hallar, the first King of Thorance.

To learn more about the Undyrkyn struggle for recognition, please read “A Brief History of the Undyrkyn Struggle for Recognition as Civilized Peoples“.

Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Dwvarskumar

The Dwvarskumar, or humans like to call them “The Dwarves”, are a mainly subterranean species of Altynadyn, which are the races the elves do not credit themselves with creating in some way. The Dwvarskumar mainly reside in the eastern mountains of the Great Spine. The Dwarves are an industrial and hardy race, who’s height doesn’t gain above the average of four feet tall. They are strong and have gained the reputation as being one of the most deadly of the races to go toe-to-toe with. Most Dwarves live in large subterranean cities, usually built beneath mountains and can range miles below the surface. They are one of the few civilized races who will actively brave the Undyrcar, or the massive collection of tunnels and caves threaded throughout the Great Spine. Largely uncharted, the Undyrcar is shared with the Dwarves, monsters, horrors and the only other civilized race that actively lives beneath the Great Spine, the banished Duskoralun. Gnomes are also known to frequent Dwarven cities.

The Dwarves generally separate themselves into two categories: the Jornvarskar and the Thurdimar. The Jornvarskar are the Dwarves born and raised in Dwarven cities. The Thurdimar are known as “city born” and are usually born outside of Dwarven lands, in the mixed race cities above ground. Though physically nothing is different about two variations of Dwarves, the Jornvarskar are typically darker in skin and hair. The Thurdimar tend to have lighter complexions than their homeland brothers. Jornvarskar generally see the Thurdimar as weaker and less deserving of respect than the mountain born, but that more of a cultural bias than actual fact.

Dwarven society is a general mixture of clan, class and kingdom. Family groups are broken up largely into clans, which are represented into certain classes, such as merchants, nobles or smiths. Most members of the clan rarely venture outside of their class, where learning the skills of their trade is often a closely kept family secret. Generally most families and clans marry into their own class, so as to keep their traditions alive. Apart from clans and classes, Dwarven politics is ruled by a king, who is advised by the leaders of noble clans. Kingdom is passed down from father to sons, who are groomed from an early age to rule. Very few times have there been a change in the ruling clan, but if a king dies without an heir, an overthrowing of the ruling clan is possible, where the noble clans will struggle to claim the throne, though this has only happened very few times in Dwarven history.

The Dwarves are a very technological people, viewing magic as weak and unnecessary, often quoting an old Dwarven proverb: “Why do with magic, what good old muscle and grit can do just as well?” With this mindset, most Dwarven magic is reserved for priests, clerics and healers. Enchanting has begun to crop up in Dwarven society, especially in the clans of the smithing class. They claim it as enhancing the already made weapon or tool, as long as the smith does the enchanting as well. Magic is not prohibited in Dwarven cities, but its use outside of healing major wounds and religious practices is very frowned upon. This view of magic has always been a large rift between the Dwarven and Elven relations, in a mutual separation between the races, and the Elven influenced west. Humans, however on the east coast, have decent relations with the Dwarves, and most of the eastern countries have trade agreements with the Dwarves.

This being said, Dwarves are a very close knit race, and limit the number of visitors that can pass into the Dwarven Kingdoms per year. The exception is Stonehall, which has been set aside for business and trade. This keeps the cooperation between Dwarven and Human merchants for transport. This is the main entrance from the overworld into the subterranean kingdoms, but other passages exist in the Undyrcar, to those brave enough to venture into them. At this time, the northern country of Jorn holds the only connection to the Dwarven Kingdoms, and trade with the Dwarves make up most of the Jorn’s economy. There are talks, however, of opening a passage way near Dodgington in the works, which would mean easier access to Dwarven exports and trade, but it would devastate the Jorn economy.

Religion in Dwarven society mainly revolves around their ancestors, viewing them as guides for future generations. They all, however, look at Jornthurar, the first Dwarven King, as their main god, the Patriarch of all the Dwarves and inspiration for their hardworking lifestyle. Jornthurar is known for establishing Jorndomar and wrestling control of a section of the Undyrcar from the beasts, monsters and the old “Undyrkyn” who ruled there. There has been an increase in the worship of the god of smithing and technology, Cogdura, who is more a product and god of the Gnomish people, but the crafting class has been more believing in Cogdura and giving him more worship than Jornthurar, viewing Cogdura as more relevant to them than the ancestors, and has been growing more and more as of late.

Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Peryaldyn

The Peryaldyn, Peryphylyn in their language, are what humans commonly refer to as pixies. Pixies are the smallest of the “civilized” races, measuring at an average of six inches tall. Their wings are similar to translucent dragonfly wings, but pixies, unlike dragonflies, only have one set of wings. Pixies have the most diversity of all the “civilized” races, ranging in hair, eye and skin colors of all kinds. These colors can range from bright blue to green and human tones. This distinction of coloring has no effect, however, culturally or otherwise in the fey community.

The Peryaldyn is the longest living race, and the most illusive. Pixies are considered a phenomenon in the cities, due to the Peryaldyn’s strong cultural ties to nature, though some pixies still live in “Doxydal”, which is a blanket term for all of the other larger races, cities for various reasons. The Peryaldyn are known for making the best spies, mainly because of their size and flying abilities, but also the race’s penchant for using illusion-based magic. Despite the spying reputation, Peryaldyn are often known to have very cheerful dispositions, though that is a general stereotype of the Peryaldyn. Though known for their size, it is often a grave mistake to underestimate one of the Peryaldyn. Most pixies rely on illusion, nature and conjuration magic to suppliment what they lack in size and physical strenth, as well as speed and ranged weapons. Being great pioneers in botany and herbalism, their ranged weapons are often tipped with deadly poisons.

The Peryaldyn mainly live in the great central forest that spans the middle of the continent between the two major mountain ranges. The Peryaldyn are governed by kingdoms and courts, the favored of the King or Queen becoming lords. Currently there are two courts of Peryaldyn in power, the Serylyn and Unserylyn courts. These are often translated by humans into the Seelie and Unseelie courts. The Serylyn court is often referred to as the Day, or Sun, Court, because of it’s stance on working with the Doxydals. The Unserylyn Court, known as the Night, or Moon, Court tends to take the hands off approach to the larger races, and the Unserylyn Court has been known to harbor a lot of the more malicious and tricksters of the two courts. This often gives the Peryaldyn a reputation for being practical jokers and con artists. Both Courts, however, enlist the help of the Forudyn, the forest elves, and have done so since the mortal war, where humans rebelled against the elves. The Forudyn do not interfere with the affairs of the courts, but act as delegates and protectors of the pixies from other Doxydals. For doing so, the Forudyn receive gifts and services for their protection.

Both the Peryaldyn and the Forudyn worship the “Mother Earth” nature goddess, known as Pery. It is said that the Peryaldyn were made from her, and so they took her name into theirs as a sign of worship. While the Peryaldyn have no organized religion, Pery is their figurehead, and they all, or at least the pious ones, abide by Pery’s rule to honor and respect nature. Her rule is to live with nature, and not just seek to control it. This is the chief reason why most Peryaldyn buildings, even in some Doxydal cities, are made from living wood and plants, shaped by magic and kept alive by feeding on Pixie Dust, which the Peryaldyn create naturally, and has magical growth properties for plants, and can even rejuvenate dead plants. This plant and pixie relationship is symbiotic. The plants get a steady supply of nutrients and the Peryaldyn get shelter. Pery is said to have no one form, but to be the earth itself, and is the only god not to be considered on the Astyr plane. Pixies say that if she has to appear to mortals, she usually comes in the form of either a Spriggan or as a dryad, as these are some of the only creatures created from plant life and magic.

Magicka Mechanica Cultural Study – The Umedyn

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The Umedyn, and by lesser extent the Astyrdyn and Curydyn are beings of spiritual nature. The Umedyn are beings that do not reside in the mortal realm, they are akin to what humans call “angels” and “demons”, but it is more complex than these concepts. The Umedyn are sentient entities, at least the major ones, and are broken up into three categories: The “Gods”; The Astyrdyn, or the god’s “servants”; and the Curydyn, or those Umedyn who actively meddle in the affairs of mortals. The Astyrkyn are the children of men and Astyrdyn, and are often known as “angel spawn”; Alternatively, Curykyn are the spawn of men and Curydyn, who actively meddle in the human world, these are often referred to as “devil spawn”. Generally there are more Curykyn in the world than Astyrkyn. It seems, however, that no matter who the Astyrdyn or Curydyn mate with, no matter what the race, they are born to appear to be half-human. This fact has lead some scholars to believe that humans are not creations of the Elvydyn, like previously believed, but are the spawn of the Umedyn directly.

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Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Elvydyn

The Elvydyn, otherwise known as elves by humans, have three major racial distinctions: the average Psylynumadyn and to a lesser extent the non-homeland born Imaloridyn; The wild Forudyn, or “forest elves” as they are commonly known; and the banished Duskorylun, commonly known as the “dark elves”. All of the Elvydyn are structured with the same slender builds and agile bodies, the major distinction between them are their abilities and skin coloration. The Psylynumadyn and Imaloridyn are almost indistinguishable, with fair skin and a range of common hair and eye colors, many of them are magically and artificially colored. The Forudyn are often more tan, slightly smaller, with darker hair and eye colors, mainly in the brown, black and greys. The most distinct of the Elvydyn are the cursed Duskorylun. The Duskorylun have near blue-black skin, with the lightest being more darker greys. The Duskorylun hair ranges from a silvery-grey to bright purple tinted grey, black hair is rare. Duskorylun eyes are often red, with the rare colors being purple, silvery grey and blue. Aside from being the second oldest aging sentient race, the first being the Peryaldyn, or Peryphylyn, also known as the pixies, they are also the most influential, and their religion is the most widely accepted and practiced, with their dogma the most believed.

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Magicka Mechanica – A Brief History of the Undyrkyn Struggle for Recognition as Civilized Peoples

The first mentions of the so called “Undyrkyn” first appear at the tail end of the Age of Might, around -200 T.C. when the Elven necromancer Undyr Thorymyr began his campaign of authoritarian assault on the known world. We know that period of nearly 200 years today as the Age of Terror. The end of the Age of Terror was appropriately dated 0 T.C., or Terminous Centura, when the man known as Thoran Hallar lead a small band of his followers into the Undyrcar and defeated the then undead sorcerer, also known as a lich, that was once Undyr Thorymyr. This group would then establish the kingdoms that would later make up the countries we know today. Continue reading “Magicka Mechanica – A Brief History of the Undyrkyn Struggle for Recognition as Civilized Peoples”

Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Lytherkyn

The Lytherkyn

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The Bird-like Lytherkyn, or the Sweal’Ter as they call themselves, meaning “(Song) Wind Riders” are perhaps the most xenophobic of the Bystalkyn. The Lytherkyn are the most remote of the Bystalkyn, their villages and cities reside in the central and western mountain range, where natural canyons and high altitude lakes are formed. Most of the Lytherkyn cities are built up on canyon cliffs and rocky outcroppings, making it near impossible for the other races without wings, or at least a levitation or teleportation spell, to reach them. This, quite frankly, is how they want it.

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Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Elcarikyn

The Elcarikyn

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The reptilian-like Elcarikyn, or the Byreshik as they call themselves, meaning “Scale-kin”, are the most feared and, in most cases, misunderstood of all the Bystalkyn, and if it were not for the Duskorylun, or dark elves, they would be the most feared of all the races. Most of this fear is attributed to their resemblance to snakes and reptiles. The Elcarikyn actually more resemble alligators and humanoid dinosaurs, but this really does not help their situation any, and the Elcarikyn are even banned from the most xenophobic settlements, and some are actually actively hunted by men for sport. This is highly illegal in most countries.
The Elcarikyn are the second-most autonomous, and second least nomadic of the Bystalkyn, being only out settled and stationary by the largely xenophobic bird-like Lytherkyn societies. Most of the Elcarikyn settlements and cities are located in the western-most swamp and marshlands of the Byre along the westernmost coast of the continent, although small communities of the Elcarikyn can be found in the southwest archipelago and central forests. Their nearly amphibious nature makes them great fishermen and sailors, where most of the Elcarikyn outside of their homelands can be found.
Elcarikyn soceity is probably the most purely democratic of the Bystalkyn societies, making rise to power in their settlements less bloody, but more subtle than the other beast races. Despite the distrust the Elcarikyn are given, most of them are taught not to give in to racial stereotypes and bias. Because of their mainly unbiased nature, all races are welcome in any of the Elcarikyn settlements. This tolerance has endeared them with the Duskorylun, or “drow” elves, and the most concentration of Duskorylun can be found in Elcarikyn settlements and neighborhoods of larger cities. The most common towns are found along the coastal areas and marshlands, and most Elcarikyn buildings are placed on stilts in the swampy waters, and long dock-like pathways along the coasts. The swamp-land towns usually have their buildings surrounding large treetrunks, with platforms and walkways in between each neighborhood.
Elcarikyn society is run by elected councilmen and women, who decide the goings on in their respective towns. As such, most of the Elcarikyn’s largest settlements are run like city-states, and a large conference of the council elect representatives will meet if there is an issue concerning a large portion of the Elcarikyn settlements and city-states, but most are autonomous in how they run and operate. Any member of the settlement can run for an office or council seat, which term lasts about three years. It is not uncommon to see Dyskim, or the “warm-bloods” on an Elcarikyn council, and it is even more common to see Duskorylun in the councils as well. A council seat opens up when a council member dies, making the council elections sporadic and often very common place.Not all seats open at the same time.
The Elcarikyn believe in an entity they call the “Spirit Dragon”, which is named “Byre’stom”, and speaks to them through what they call, the Oracle, a high priestess who is highly gifted, or as the Elcarikyn like to claim, blessed by Byre’stom, in divination and have been said to tell great prophecies. The councils send their representatives to the Oracle in Dyskyr once a year to convene and receive advice for the year to come. It is said that any priestess of any race can be an Oracle, but only those of Elcarikyn descent have been to this day. There are some “cults” of Elcarikyn, however, believe in a more shamanistic way to communicate with Byre’stom, and they are not sanctioned by the Oracle at Dyskyr. If the cultists are to be believed, after taking a Staskyka, or what is roughly translated to “Spirit flight”, they say they can come face to face with Byre’stom himself and he will test them. If they pass his test, they will be granted the powers of Byre’stom, and they will be granted the powers of a dragon, to fly, breath molten fire without magic, and if it to be believed, the most powerful of these “Dragon disciples”, or Stomskoresh, can take the physical form of Byre’stom himself as his avatar.
Most Elcarikyn city-states have their own militia, to be used in times of small conflict and city defense. They are usually used for clearing out monster dens and bandit encampments, as well as doubling as city guard auxiliaries. The milita can be gathered, however, if there is a threat to the whole of the Elcarikyn city-states, if claimed by the Elcarikyn major council, or the forum, necessary. The Elcarikyn Forum then elects the most esteemed militia leaders of the officers to control the congregated military assembled. This is rare, however, as most city-states can fend for themselves. The military collective is only called in times of dire war. Violent fighting among city-states is extremely rare, and most inter-city-state conflicts are delegated by the Forum, or if they cannot come to a decision, the Oracle is delegated to for an answer. It is a grave offense for a city-state to use it’s militia against another city-state.

Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Astrenakyn

The Astrenakyn

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The wolf-like Astrenakyn are perhaps the most integraded of all the Bystalkyn, or beast, races. In they’re language, they call themselves the Kukoru-Quin, or “Fang Blood”. For all the fear they inspire by their looks, not as regal as the lion-like Thumakyn or the Bird-like Lytherkyn,they are not are not as distrusted as the reptilian Elcarikyn. The Kukoru-Quin treats the non-bystalkyn, the  Durapak, or “Those without fur”, with concern, if not a little pity, for not being born with sharp teeth or great claws. Astrenakyn usually live on the outskirts of the cities and villages, mainly towards the central forests. The largest concentration of Astrenakyn are located in the country of Vasturn. Most make their living as hunters and trackers, as well as guides and mercenaries. There are a few Astrenakyn that build and maintain villages, but these are mainly trading outposts and resting dens, or their Korumak. The Astrenakyn view anywhere they claim as their main lodging or base to be their Korumak

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Magicka Mechanica Cultural Studies – The Thumakyn

The Thumakyn

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These Bystalkyn (Elven word for the beast races in general) are largely semi-nomadic caravaners, going from trade stop to trade stop over periods of time, before returning to their home cities and villages. Being the largest and strongest of the Bystalkyn, they have known to act as guards or monster hunters, if it doesn’t interrupt their trade routes or time spans.Being caravanserai allows them to move products from city to city and are often known for bringing news from other places, as well as foreign and rare items. Being the main source of trade for most of the smaller settlements around the eastern continent, they are the most trusted of the Bystalkyn.

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