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Stygia

The Land:

Ruuk:

Ruuk, commonly known as the 'Stygian Mage College' is a small settlement built upon remnants of Dark Elven technology. It is the place where many of the Stygian people go to learn about magic.

Dervia:

Dervia is a bustling trade hub in the outskirts of Stygia. The city's market square is always alive with traders peddling exotic commodities and rare goods. The city's many narrow alleyways are home to an array of beggars and thieves, and travelers are cautioned to beware. Many travelers are confused by the winding walkways of Dervia, but a local is always willing and able to lend a hand. The Dervian Emperor resides in a roofless throne room near the entrance of the Dervia, with his trusted advisor. A small park exists on the edge of the bazaar, home to strange flora grown by magic. It is a common place for wealthy Dervs to go to drink wine and discuss social matters. Just outside the city is the Dervian Fighting Pits - a place for locals and travelers alike to engage in combat for fame and fortune - at the risk of their lives. A lot of gambling and bloodshed take place here. All of this in addition to the common amenities of smithies, residential areas, taverns and a graveyard make up the grand and ancient desert city of Dervia, home of the free people. 

The Lowlands:

Stygia's Lowlands are the areas desecrated by the demons that the Dark Elves summoned many years ago. Ruins of both Khazrimian and Dark Elven civilizations linger in the Lowlands.

Death's Door:

When the Dark Elves left Ahnet, the Stygian people and the Khazrimites pushed back the demons they left behind under a temporary alliance. However, there were simply far too many demons for the alliance to take out completely, so they were forced into a canyon that was then sealed off, essentially trapping the demons in an enormous prison. From then, the place was known as Death's Door. Over the years that the demons were trapped there, the land became corrupted. The demons thrashed endlessly at the earth that had sealed them in the canyon, eventually breaking free. Some demons wandered into the lowlands, but for the most part, the years of imprisonment in a foreign land left them unable to retake Stygia. 

Races:

The Dervian People:

The Dervian People (or 'Dervs') are a group of people with the same ancestral background as the Stygians. Where they differ from their long-separated brethren, however, is in their attitude toward other races. The Dervians welcome the races of the Order into the city of Dervia: An ancient stone-walled city of beggars and thieves. Dervians worship a snake God called Jokoda. They believe he provides them with luck, sanctuary, protection from curses and good trading. By nature, Dervs are traders. While they are in constant conflict with the Stygians, the Dervs have been known to trade with them on occasion

The Stygian People:

The Stygian people are a race of desert dwelling nomads that hail from a sub-continent of Ahnet named Stygia. Their lands are extremely dangerous, but over many decades they have conquered the harsh wastes of their homeland. The Stygians have a deep resentment for the Order, and are expert raiders. It is not uncommon to see Stygian riders pillaging Order settlements that surround the deserts of Stygia. Horses are deeply entwined with Stygian culture. Every Stygian settlement contains some form of a stable, and many horses roam free in the desert. 

The Stygians worship two gods: The Prideful Stallion, and The Mighty Burrower, although they refer to them as Aishos and Rakoda respectively. Aishos is, in reality, an Astral Legend, but the Stygian people recognize her as a God. Rakoda is a demi-god worm creature that hails from the center of the world, but again, the Stygian people worship it as a god. Both of these Gods currently reside in Stygia.

Three main magic types are used by the Stygians: Fire, Sand and Shadow. 

Sand Magic is sourced from the demigod Rakoda, whose disciples learn sand magic in the Stygian Mage College. If Rakoda were to be killed, sand mages would lose their power.

Fire Magic comes from a place is Stygia called Skald. Once, when Stygia was ruled by dragons, the greatest of all of them was slain by a giant. His draconic corpse fell on what is now known as Skald. As the dragon's body seeped into the Earth, the land became scorches, and pockets of molten lava erupted from the ground. The dragon's ashes rose to the sky, turning it forever red. The great dragon's one and only child soon found of his father's fall. He set out to find the dragon that had killed his father, and did so. The giant was apprehended swiftly, and to this day, the great dragon's son lays in an eternal slumber upon Skald. Stygian Fire mages are able to channel the great dragon's life force to conjure powerful fire magics. They are extremely deadly.

Shadow Magic is a fundamental part of Stygian culture. It has always been around, before they had fire and sand at their disposal. Without shadow magic, the Stygian people would never have been able to conquer the harsh deserts, carving their own destiny through the arid lands of dragons and giants. 

The mages of Stygia generally study magic at the Stygian Mage College, deep in the heart of Stygia - although, many Fire mages like to actually travel to Skald and conduct their studies there. This method has a 40% mortality rate, but when it is successful, it is far less time consuming, and the power the mage masters is far greater. A small settlement on the outer ring of Skald houses mages who are studying there. 
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