Cymeria

General Information

Name of Founder: High Elder Kanan Azarov

Status: Monarchy

Origins

Harkania, the northernmost province of Cymeria was first discovered by the ancient Cymry after fleeing Atlantis. In time, their numbers increased, and they expanded their lands to the Great Southern Sea although they spread no further east than where the remains of long eroded mountains could be found forming a natural border between Cymeria and other lands.

Menfolk immigrated and settled the land during the height of mankind’s population drift north. The race now known as the Celts are descendants of the Iberians who first settled in the region and interbred with Vanir who ranged down from the north.

Other Names

  • Land of Thunder
  • Realm of the Stormborn
  • Cymru

People and Population

Indigenous Peoples: 2.3m (+/-)

Population Distribution

  • Celts (1.5m): Lowest concentration in Harkania March, otherwise fairly evenly distributed throughout the Cymerian marches.
  • Cymry (500k): Highest ratio to Celts in Harkania March (roughly 3:1), next largest population is in K’harsten March.
  • Ddraig (2500): The Ddraig are located on Bassilth, a large volcanic island off the southern Cymerian coast. Although nominally claimed by Cymeria, it was not settled before the Ddraig’s inhabiting it. Fewer than 1% of the Ddraig of Bassilth dwell on the Cymerian mainland.
  • Rachmani (200k): Reside exclusively in the Great Chasm that forms the border between the marches of Torrenth and Lothia.
  • Wyr (1800): The majority of the Cymerian Wyr live in the valley of Caer Draenár in Harkania March. Less than 1% reside full time in the other six marches.
  • Other (100k): There are other races and descendants of other races that have settled in Cymeria over the centuries, such as the Mar’kathi who live in the D’hassan Highlands.

Primary Language

Gaelic (Celtic, Scots Gaelic): A derivation of Heniaith and a variety of Iberian languages.

Other Languages

  • Saesneg (Common Tongue, English): Saesneg is actually more common than Gaelic, but is not considered the national language although it originated with the Celts and is derived from Gaelic, Heniaith, Vanisk Tunga, and others.
  • Heniaith (Old Tongue, Cymrian, Welsh Gaelic): The ancient and archaic language of the Cymry. It is sometimes referred to as Cymru.
  • Other: There are smatterings of other languages spoken but mostly within population enclaves such as the Wyr and Mar’kathi.

Cultural Information

Customs & Beliefs

Go to Cymeria: Traditions, Beliefs, Superstitions.

Religions & Cults

Go to Cymeria: Traditions, Beliefs, Superstitions.

Y’Carthu (The Purge): y’Carthu is considered a cult and the only one of significance operating within Cymeria’s borders. They are an organization of anti-arcane everything people. The majority are Celts, but there are members from other races including Cymry. Y’Carthu is organized into cells whose membership is unknown by members of the other cells. Their stated goal is to end all magic use and exterminate all magic users in Cymeria although the leadership is starting to promote their agenda in other nations.

Notable Persons Houses / Clans / Families

House Stormdanovich: Ruling House of Cymeria.

Clan Windwalker (Clan Chief: Rhyfel Thoreson Windwalker): One of the oldest and most respected clans in Cymeria. The current Reolwr (clan ruler, chieftain, laird) is the former Seneschal of Cymeria. His son, Hawke Windwalker, is the current Ryndar of the Morrighan.

House ap Nuallyn (Warders of D’hassa)

Environment

Location and Borders

Including coastal barrier islands and several larger outlying islands, Cymeria’s total land area is approximately 152,000 square miles. Cymeria is possibly the largest single country on the continent of Aereth. With the recent addition of Bassilth as an official protectorate, it rivals Aquilonia and Stygia in total land area.

Cymeria is located in the western region of the continent of Aereth and extends from the Cambrian Mountain Range in the north and south to the Great Southern Sea. It is bordered on the north by Nordheim and Aquilonia to the east. Its northern border and much of its eastern border are physically made up of the mountains of the Great Cambrian Mountain Range, usually simply referred to as the Northern Cambrians. To the south and east lay the boundaries of Stygia, a dark and forbidding land. Cymeria’s northwest border is the Great Northern Sea, also known as the Ocean of Storms. It is bordered in the southwest and south by the Great Southern Sea.

There are also numerous barrier islands along all the coastal regions of Cymeria, the larger ones are lightly settled. Several leagues off the coasts of Coedwig and Torrenth Marches is the large volcanic island of Bassilth. It has been added to Cymeria as a protectorate nation.

Geography & Topography

Cymeria is characterized by numerous mountain ranges, the majority being located in the North surrounding the region known as Harkania March. The main, least broken mountain range that separates Cymeria from Nordheim is the Cambrians. The overall elevation of Cymeria is somewhat higher than the lands lying to its east and south, although the Marches of Harkania and K’harsten are collectively known as the Highlands.

Other, smaller mountain ranges dot the landscape with vast plains and forests lying in and around them. There is enough arable land that the clearing of forests has been minimal. The majority of these smaller, seemingly random or broken mountain ranges, were likely part of the Great Cambrian Mountain Range. They have been eroded by the elements over time or were separated from the parent range by massive geological cataclysms.

There is a massive volcanic, geothermal and seismically active region that lies South and East.

The topography of Cymeria varies widely as does its climate.

Cymeria starts in the great Cambrian Mountain Range that mostly encompasses and forms the borders of the region known as Harkania March. Due north and marking the highest mountain on the continent of Aereth is An Teallach which rises 30,000 feet above sea level. Lying to the south of An Teallach and surrounded by numerous lesser peaks is Mynydd Arcanus (Mt. Arcanus). This mountain peaks at approximately 18,000 feet and is considered the heart of Cymeria as this is where the Throne of Ages is located.

The Cambrians descend to lower elevation mountain ranges and rolling foothills and to a wide valley that is mostly surrounded by more of the Cambrian chain. The Harkania region boasts the overall highest elevation and is referred to as the Highlands. Numerous rivers descend from the Highland region including the mighty Gwyfal that flows into the Conwy River systems in the east.

East, the region known as D’hassa March is marked by two arcs of the Cambrian range known as the Snowdon Mountains. The Snowdons separate two valleys that descend to a grassy plain which extends to the border with Aquilonia in the east. This makes D’hassa the primary access to Cymeria from Aquilonia, thus a very strategic region.

West and central Cymeria is characterized by rolling hills and plains, dotted with mountain clusters and their accompanying foothills. To the south and southeast, the land becomes primarily low and mostly flat rising to another small group of mountains on the southern coast.

Bassilth Island is a very large volcanic island that is now the westernmost province of Cymeria. It is a rugged landscape with many active volcanoes and jagged cliffs rising out of the ocean. The ocean plummets to its deepest points in and around Bassilth and massive karst formations guard the island’s few beaches. There are almost no safe accesses to the island by sea.

Climate

Northern Cymeria (Harkania, K’harsten, Northern D’hassa): Climate ranges from subarctic in the highest mountain elevations of the Cambrians to northern temperate throughout the Highland region of Harkania, K’harsten, and the far northern valleys of D’hassa.

Western Cymeria (Harkania Lowlands, West, West Central, Central and Eastern Cymeria): These regions have a temperate climate.

Southern Cymeria (South Coedwig, Lothia, Kothis): In southern Coedwig, where the Carneddau Mountains regulate the climate is a small region with a Mediterranean type climate (in and around the Dinas Afon area). The remaining deep southern regions of Cymeria are mostly subtropical.

Tropical Microclimate (Great Rift, Torrenthi Chasm): Due to the immense heat from this highly active volcanic region and its geothermal features, as well as the constant humidity from the Chasm Falls, there is an area of dense tropical rainforest that stretches from one end of the rift to the other. The forest becomes less tropical jungle and more temperate rainforest as it climbs the south side of the rift.

Bassilth Island: Tropical, but experiences many different climates, depending on altitude and weather. The island receives most of its rainfall from the trade winds on their north and east flanks (the windward side) as a result of orographic precipitation.

Flora and Fauna

As Cymeria is less densely populated than other lands in Aereth, there is a plethora of wildlife. It also flourishes due to the overall take only what you need mindset of the population.

Indigenous only to the highlands of Mawrth Harkania is a wild horse breed known as the Dikaya. There are variants of the breed throughout Cymeria, but the highly prized purebred animals range only in the northern climes.

Impacts

The climate and geography of Cymeria have contributed to the hardiness of its people. With its range of topography and temperatures, Cymeria has plentiful areas for the growing of food and farming animals for food.

The Torrenth Chasm isolates the marches lying to the south of it, but despite that, Lothia and Kothis are profitable due to their exotic produce and moonglobe mines.

Government

  • Form of Government: Monarchy
  • Current Ruler: High Lord Mikhael Kanan Stormdanovich
  • Ruling House: House Stormdanovich

Hierarchy & Structure

High Lord: High Lord is the title given to the hereditary ruler of the country. For historical reasons, the Cymry prefer not using titles such as king, emperor, queen, or empress. The High Lord’s status and responsibilities are equivalent to that of a king or high king of other countries.

Technically, High Lord and High Lady are the positions. The titles are Highlord and Highlady.

High Lady: The wife of the High Lord is considered a regent who assumes full right to rule in her husband’s place as need arises. She also holds a permanent position on the High Council and is instrumental in the governing of Cymeria. The High Lady would assume leadership and rule upon the High Lord’s death should the Heir still be under ruling age (less than 18 years of age).

Ryndar: The Ryndar commands the High Guard (aka Morrighan) and has the responsibility of protecting the High Lord and the ruling House.

Seneschal of Cymeria: Commander and highest ranking officer of the Cymerian Guard.

Warder of the March: The Warder of the March is the equivalent of a governor or steward for his or her particular march. The position of Warder is hereditary, confirmed by the Ddyrchafael.

Marshal of the March: The Marshal of the March is almost always a ranking 2nd Marshal of the Cymerian Guard. He or she is the military commander of a march. Although stationed in a march, they do not answer to the Warder of the March for major military orders although they do work with the Warder on general policing duties or for the assignment of Engineers, Medics, etc.

Lairds and Chiefs (Chieftains, Reolwr): The head or chief of a clan (Laird or Clan Chief) is usually the leader of an area within a march. Most clans are organized around a central residence or keep belonging to the Laird. He generally handles local disputes and basic administration of this region.

Thanes and Rytsars (retired Ryndar): Often the heads of clans as well as the Laird or Chief of the region surrounding their primary hold or keep.

Guilds: Guild Masters and Mistresses are the heads of the various craft and professional guilds and act as representatives of those organizations.

Councils and Ministries

High Council (Ruling Council)

The High Council, sometimes called the Ruling Council, has some legal power and was created to counterbalance the power of the High Lord and assist him in seeing to the needs, issues, and concerns of his people. The council consists of both appointed and elected members. The High Council can propose laws and once enacted see them disseminated to their March.

The High Council is a standing body. During their term of office, the council members are given apartments in the castle of Cymer’gorthwr (Cymerkeep) which stands at the point where the two forks of the Gwyfal River merge in the capital city of Dinas Ulchedir.

Their terms of office last for two years. A Councilman or Councilwoman cannot be immediately re-elected to succeed themselves. They cannot make a career out of being a politician. The only perks are having a residence and basic living needs provided for which ends when their term ends.

The High Council is also tasked with overseeing the various formal ministries that handle a number of the other departments of government. Ministries include, but are not limited to: Education, Health, and Welfare, Justice, etc.

Appointed Members: Advisors and persons that the High Lord has appointed to a specific seat. Traditionally held seats are the Seneschal who may or may not also carry the seat of Military Adviser, a Political Adviser, the High Lady, and the High Lord’s Ryndar. Other seats are appointed by the High Lord based on the needs of the times.

Elected Members: One man or woman from each March is elected to serve a two-year term on the High Council.

Warders Council

This Council is not empowered to rule but acts as advisors and representatives for their respective Marches. Because their primary responsibility is to oversee their March (a Warder is essentially a governor), the Warders Council only meets once every three months and the location changes with each March hosting the Council. They unofficially meet during grand Gatherings as well.

Clan Chiefs are responsible for collecting taxes levied at the local level. They send the revenue and accounting ledgers to the Warder of the March who then disseminates the information and revenue appropriately.

Taxation

No large government can operate entirely tax-free. Cymeria is no different in that regard. Taxes are collected yearly based on a reasonable percentage of revenue and profit. Subsistence farmers generally are not taxed although larger farms and ranches that make a profit off their products are. Individual laborers are not taxed, but they do pay guild fees, and each guild pays tax based on a percentage of the fees collected.

Taxes are then spent on government services such as the military, education, and health as well as supporting goodwill organizations that see to the needs of those that cannot work or cannot manage to provide for themselves.

The High Lord and Warders’ incomes are not part of the taxes. They are expected to earn their own way like everyone else and do pay taxes to their march.

The Marches

Cymeria is divided into eight regions called Marches: Harkania, K’harsten, D’hassa, Coedwig, Torrenth, Lothia, Kothis, Bassilth.

Except for Bassilth, each march has a steward or governor called the Warder of the March and a military commander with the rank of Marshal of the March.

Recently, Cymeria added Bassilth Island as a protectorate. It is only nominally under the rule of House Stormdanovich. Its ruler is the Obsidian Empress, Maelyn of Darkflame Weyr and her alpha, Kurenai of Dawnrunner Clan.

Harkania

Warder: High Lord Mikhael Stormdanovich
Marshal of the March: 2nd Marshal Brychan Emrys

Harkania is the oldest of the marches and the region of Cymeria that has been settled the longest.

The heaviest population centers are from the west coast to the Harkanian Plains. This is also the largest primarily unbroken region of Harkania.

The Highlands are more sparsely populated due to its rugged and often unforgiving terrain, excluding the city of Dinas Ulchedir which is the most densely populated non-seaport city in Cymeria. The Highland region is where the heaviest population of Cymry is concentrated.

The Wyr hold a high mountain valley on Daranau Eira, within a day’s ride from Stormhold, the High Lord’s residence. This alpine valley is called Caer Draenár. Over a period of several years, the population of Caer Draenár has swelled as many of the Cymerian Wyr clans have relocated to the valley.

Major Cities

Dinas Ulchedir: Located where the two forks of the Gwyfal River converge at the base of the foothills in northern Harkania, Dinas Ulchedir (Highland City) is the largest non-seaport city in Cymeria. It serves as both the capital of Harkania and the capital city of Cymeria. Dinas Ulchedir grew up around the fortress-keep of Cymer’gorthwr (Cymerkeep) built where the forks of the Gwyfal River meet. The castle and city itself span both sides of the Gwyfal, and a series of step waterfalls appear to spring from beneath the city itself.

Duskhallow: This is the nearest village to Stormholm Caer, the home of House Stormdanovich, that offers inns, taverns, shops, etc. It lays just before the great fort of Ddraig Gaer.

Snowvale: TIny village that has grown up around the Sanctuary, fortress of the Theurgy Guild. It is technically closer to Stormholm Caer, and a number of the Keep’s personnel have homes there. There is a tavern, but it is small.

Gwynedd’tref: Large town (or small city) located on a northern inlet of Lake Gwynedd. It is a lake harbor town, primary source of revenue is freshwater fishing and shellfishing.

Maridunum: Village on the western border of Harkania and Coedwig. It and its neighboring Coedwig village of Avalon both have very deep and protected natural harbors. Maridunum’s actual land area is not huge, but it does have a substantial population in the land area around it.

Major Laws

Cymeria does not have a large number of written laws. There are two separate sets of laws, although the actual law might overlap with another. One set is for all of the Cymeria and one set, the Arcane Laws, are specific to the arcane races, most notably, the Cymry.

Crimes committed against the people by raiders and bandits are dealt with directly, harshly, and immediately by the Cymerian Guard.

Right to Trial by Jury of Peers

The concept of a trial by a jury of peers and an impartial judge, as well as legal representation, was proposed by High Lord Mikhail Azarov and eventually written into law. Only the most serious crimes are dealt with by trial. A jury consists of thirteen persons pulled from all Marches except for the one where the trial is held. With that being the case, it does take time to form a trial, and during that time, the accused must be well housed and cared for. If they are the provider of a family, they return home with a contingent of guard to make certain they appear for trial. If their crime was violent or egregious, they are housed in a large cell within the March’s Garrison. The judge is selected from the accused’s home March, but they cannot know the accused or be in any way associated with him or her.

They also must be able to read and write and be conversant with the law. Often, Warders serve as the judge unless they know the accused. Legal representation is appointed or chosen by the accused. This is the time period that saw the birth of the legal profession in the form of the Solicitor’s Guild.

Right to Public Accounting of Taxes

Cymeria levies and collects taxes to keep the government operating, operate and support the military, pay for healthcare, provide food banks against famine, etc. There are no salaries for government officials as this is considered a service, not a career. At the beginning of each year change (in or around Samhain), an accounting of taxes is posted in public places.

Theft

Thievery for the sake of taking something because it is desired is illegal and punishable by law. Stealing to survive is frowned upon because most Cymerians would give someone whatever they needed. It, however, mainly carries a social stigma rather than a criminal one.

Punishment for theft is usually meted out based on the severity and age of the miscreant: Cymerian Guard service, sent to work in the mines until the value of the item(s) has been earned, forced to work off the value of the item(s).

If someone is killed during the commission of theft, the killer is held for murder, and the lesser charge of thievery is dropped.

Rape

This crime carries a strong social stigma as well as being punishable by law. Circumstances of the crime are considered when deciding a penalty, but it is normally quite harsh.

Cruelty

The cruelty laws are designed primarily to protect women and children from abuse but carries over to the treatment of domestic animals and household pets and even to the wildlife on a case-by-case basis.

Wrongful Death

These laws cover charges of causing a death accidentally to premeditated murder. In the case of most accidental deaths due to simple negligence, the punishment requires a period of time working in place of the person killed or a period working in the mines, merchant marine, etc.

Monetarily compensating the survivors is frowned upon as most Cymerians do not feel such a value can be placed on life.

Murder is punishable by death. The onus is on the accused to prove mitigating circumstances for a reduced sentence. This rarely happens. Cymerians view murder as murder. It does not matter if the accused was angry or insane at the time of the crime. They still purposely took a life, so theirs is forfeit.

For arcane specific laws, see the Cymry Arcane Codex.

Military Structure

For details on organization and structure, read the article on the Cymerian Guard.

All Cymerians are required to serve two years in the Cymerian Guard plus six months for training. There are exceptions granted upon petition to the Seneschal of Cymeria. Everyone not granted an exception is expected to report to Harkanus Gaer (Fort Harkanus) in Harkania March at the age of sixteen.

There are two standing military units in Cymeria. The first is the Cymeria Guard. They are the country’s primary military organization. It is a multi-purpose militia where cross-training is the key to their success. Their Light and Heavy Cavalry units are the backbones of the Guard, but all men and women can turn their hand to almost any job. Since the Battle of D’hassa in 3539, they have added more training to strengthen infantry skills so if unhorsed or if a standing infantry unit is needed, they are better prepared.

The second unit is the Morrighan, also known as the High Guard and The 13 (due to tradition and there always being at least thirteen members assigned to guard the High Lord). The Morrighan are an elite unit assigned to guard the High Lord and his family. Their commanding officer is the Ryndar.

Alliances and Adversaries

Tynár-dazûr: The Dwarrow are probably Cymeria’s strongest and oldest allies. There is a staunch friendship between the two countries as well as personal friendship between the rulers.

Aquilonia: Currently under a non-aggression treaty, an uneasy non-aggression treaty that could change at any time.

Aquitaine: There is a truce between Aquitaine and Cymeria. The two nations are natural enemies because of their beliefs and philosophies regarding magic. The truce will likely only last as long as King Aedan or Prince Galahed are in power.

Xia: Trade agreements.

Stygia: Allowed to put in at Stygia’s trade port.

Bassilth: Protectorate under nominal Cymeria rule in exchange for the Ddraig aiding in guarding Cymeria’s southern shores.

Economy

The northwestern corridor offers good grazing, and the inland area of the Rift River grows flax and rice, two of the grain staples of the region. There are numerous olive orchards which export both olives and oils made from pressing the fruit.

One benefit of being in such a geologically active zone is the mineral wealth brought to the surface by various natural geologic forces. Mining and dredging for gold, diamonds, and other gemstones is a lucrative business on the escarpment and along the Rift River.

This has given rise to an economy that is mainly based off trades and crafts. Dinas O’aur is rich with jewelers, diamond cutters, gemologists, goldsmiths, and those that specialize in the smelting of the light crystals as well as those that do the crafting and polishing of the finished product. The trade in crystals is due to the steady coastal traffic between Torrenth and Kothis.

Cymeria’s two main exports are moonglobes (finished and the raw crystals) and the Dikaya horses.

Major Economic Centers

Capital City: Dinas Ulchedir, Harkania March
Dinas Afon: Largest port, Coedwig March