The Sybrenar are one of the most physically powerful races on the continent of Aggradar. Each is an impressive humanoid standing, on average, about 2.1 meters tall (7 feet) and weighing in at an daunting 140 kilograms (300 pounds). They have distinctive reddish skin which is covered in small scales which give the appearance of a spider web-like pattern of lines over their entire body. These scales seem geometric and organic at the same time. The scales of the Sybrenar vary color slightly based on mood. This is particular apparent in the face. The facial scales will glow red when angry and appear pale when calm.
The Sybrenar have slightly bestial faces with sharp, angular faces. They have jutting chins, high cheek bones, large pointed ears and angled eyebrows that give the Sybrenar a rather cruel, almost demonic, visage. Sybrenar have bony protusions at the knees, elbows and shoulders.
Sybrenar have six fingers on their hands and six toes on their feet. Their equipment is modified for this. Not only do gloves have six fingers, for example, but weapons have slightly longer handles to accommodate their broad hands. Sybrenar musical instruments are likewise adapted for 12 fingers.
The Sybrenar can be summed up in a word: arrogant. They are intelligent, powerful, resourceful and aggressive in their pursuit of perfection. The Sybrenar believe that they are the chosen race of the world, destined to conquer all other races and enslave them.
The Sybrenar believe in order, efficiency, rules, protocol and justice. They have a very ordered, although somewhat oppressive and restrictive society. They are generally very organized, anal retentive, etc. They plan everything out to the most minute detail. They follow a schedule and are slavishly punctual. They don't function well in the chaos that ensues without a schedule. However, Sybrenar soldiers are good and formidable opponents, even if cut off from the chain of command or forced to function without direction, because they just follow their last set of orders with fanatic single mindedness.
Sybrenar have excellent mental discipline. They have an overwhelming need to impose law upon chaos. This may, in part, explain the motives of the Blood War. It may not be as simple as racial superiority... they may be driven by a need to impose their law upon a chaotic and lawless "outside" world.
In any situation, the typical Sybrenar is considering his situation from all angles. A Sybrenar will mentally play out scenarios, weight his odds and carefully plan out the optimum strategy. This includes backup plans and escape routes. After a defeat, a Sybrenar will ponder what could have been done better. When a Sybrenar does anything, they try to be very thorough.
Sybrenar tend to be very proud. Especially Sybrenar males. Their pride is taken to extremes. They will not ask for help or aid in most circumstances. In only the most dire circumstances will a Sybrenar admit to needing help and even then, it is usually couched in terms of exchanging labor for labor. That is, a sybrenar will acquire aid but will repay it with equal labor in some other endeavor to save face. It's a complex social issue. To offer help to a sybrenar who hasn't asked for it is a HUGE offense. It is essentially pitying him. To do this, especially in front of other sybrenar, is an invitation to open combat. People have been slain outright for this social blunder.
The Sybrenar worship one god, Guelrilath (GOOL-ri-lath). Father of the Sybren Race, Forger of the World. He led his people here to the lands of Sybren during the Great War wherein angels and devils fought. From the Chaos, he brought forth order. He was the first Sybrenar.
In addition to worshipping Guelrilath, the Sybrenar have practice a mix of ancestor worship and canonization of saints. Certain Sybrenar who do their duty very well and live their lives as model Sybrenar citizens are given the status of Vadak upon the death or posthumously and hence forth are worshiped. Each is responsible for a single element of life and is worshiped in that function. For instance, there is the Vadak of Fighting Skill, the Vadak of Taverns, the Vadak of Poverty, the Vadak of Blindness, the Vadak of Children, etc. There are thousands of Vadak. Their names are written in the holy scrolls of Guelrilath.
Sybrenar are as skilled at magic as humans (roughly 1 in 1000 can study magic). They revere magic as a powerful force gifted to them by Guelrilath to better achieve their destiny. All Sybrenar mages have religious undertones. Sybrenar magic is based on complex system of glyphs and runes. Like the Sybrenar themselves, it is very structured and organized. It consists of 277 glyphs which combine in a variety of algorithms and equations in a type of arcane mathematics which Sybren mages study. This mathematical glyph language is easily identifiable. Complex magical ideas can be translated into and out of this code, but it is of little value for non-magical communication.
The Sybrenar respect the arcane arts, partly for the mental discipline required to master it and partly for the power that it can deliver when properly wielded. Like most education in the Imperium, mages study their craft at a formal school. There are several magnificent arcane academies that produce a steady supply of well trained wizards for the Imperium. Chief among these is the Imperial Academy of Arcane Sciences. It typically graduates several dozen new mages each year that often go on to obtain positions with the government or other organizations.
The Sybrenar homeland is a large peninsula on the western coast of Aggradar. It is relatively flat with sparse forests and wetlands. The Sybrenar recognize no official boundaries to their territory. For them, there is only the "current" frontier and beyond it is land that is not yet conquered. Because of the vast expanse of ocean surrounding the peninsula, the Sybren Imperium experiences very mild seasons punctuated by late summer storms. The sea provides a large number of natural resources
The Sybrenar dwell in large cities and towns. Their architecture is fairly advanced with permanent stone and wood buildings built in carefully planned arrangements. Streets are straight and consistent. Buildings are often five or six stories high with flat roofs. Courtyards and balconies are common.
There are no true racial subdivisions in the Sybrenar race. However, there are some social subdivisions. Many sybrenar don't believe in the Blood War and feel that their government is wrong. So it's not uncommon to find groups or individuals in neighboring nations - Magrakor, Padashi, Esthar and the Iron States. These individuals are considered traitors by the Imperium and cannot return to their homeland. They are, essentially, wandering outcasts. These outcasts are known as surani, which in sybrenar means "unwanted". The soldiers of the Imperium have orders to slay the surani on sight. There are many surani who want to go home when the war is over.
The complex Sybrenar language is based on 87 letters and a grammatical system that varies based on speaker, context and mood.
The Sybrenar are an arrogant race and consider themselves the dominant race of the lands. They believe that they are destined to rule and "inferior" races are only fit to serve. They are currently waging a war against all neighbor nations. They do not like the Magrakians (whom they find sloppy, vulgar, fat and crude). The Hyttar are small, weak and pathetic. Humans are weak and too concerned with art, wealth and other idle pursuits. The Vaullians and saridians are weak and merciful.
The Sybrenar do practice slavery. Only inferior races are enslaved, never a Sybrenar. Slaves have their tongues cut out and their foreheads branded with the mark of their owner.
The Sybrenar diet is primarily carnivore. While they eat a variety of plants and animals as do humans, the consumption of meat is central to the Sybrenar diet. It is a necessary and integral part of their diet. Without regular meat, Sybrenar grow sick and weak. For this reason, a great deal of the central plains are devoted to grazing lands for beef cattle. Sybrenar greatly prefer fresh meat and rarely salt it for storage.
Fish is an important source of protein for Sybrenar. Birds and their eggs are another important source and various kinds of fowl are hunted or raised on farms.
Roughly equivalent to human norm. The Sybren Imperium is Middle Ages technology. They have developed plate mail and crude glass. They have not yet developed the magnetic compass, the printing press or gun powder.
All animals are expected to be useful. The Sybrenar do not keep pets simply for companionship. Rather, every animal fulfills a role. Dogs are employed as war dogs and guard dogs. Cats control vermin. Falcons are used for hunting. Mules and donkeys pull plows, etc. When an animal has outlived its usefulness, it is slaughtered for meat. The Sybrenar have no compunction about consuming the flesh of a horse, cat or any other animal.
Most long distance transport is conducted by ship or wagon. Letters are transported by caravan and rider. For the wealthy, magical means can speed a message across the realm in a day.
Upon death, the possessions of a Sybrenar are claimed by their spouses (if they are married) or their parents (if they are children). If neither case applies, then the government claims the possessions. Such wealth may be housed in government warehouses or redistributed to the populace as needed.
Rights and responsibilities vary by gender, but are roughly equal. Women tend the home, cook, clean and see to the children. Men work in the fields, guilds and government. Men make war, do business and run the civilization. Neither is seen as dominant.
The Sybrenar concept of marriage is not limited to two people. For them, companionship and sex are best shared among many. Multiple husbands and wives marry each other and form communal groups. Partner swapping within the group is normal. Such a spousal group is normally formed when two or more individuals decide to marry. This involves a small ceremony tended to by the betrothed and a priest of Guelrilath. Others may marry into a family group with a smaller and simpler ceremony. Divorce is not seen as a significant concept. When one person chooses to leave the group, they simply leave. There is no ceremony. Sybrenar husbands and wives do everything one would expect, but do it in groups. A typical group consists of 4 to 7 husbands and wives, but may be as large as ten.
The duties of the household are divided up by gender. Women cook food, wash clothes and see to the children. Men work at the guilds and in the fields. Men also perform repairs about the house and do most heavy manual labor. Large families are typical with as many as seven or eight spouses and as many as twenty children.
Children normally live with their parents until age 18 for boys and 20 for girls. At that point, they may move into a guild, join the military, serve aboard a ship, marry into a family or choose some other path. In agricultural areas, it is common for them to stay on and help with the farm.
The Sybrenar gestation period is eleven months. A pregnant Sybrenar female almost always gives birth at home and is tended to by the other wives.
Children are raised with a firm hand. In cities and town, children attend government run academies which see to basic education. In rural areas, children attend small schools run by representatives from the nearest town.
The Sybrenar burn their dead upon large funeral pyres atop the temples of Guelrilath.
All Sybrenar citizens have a rank (see below). This rank is as important to the identity of the Sybrenar as his or her name. It is a part of who they are and what they do. Sybrenar names are two part. In formal settings, rank is given first followed by family name. In informal settings, family name, personal name and then rank. Full titles are always used when addressing someone, as a sign of respect.
All Sybrenar citizens have a rank which indicates their profession and seniority within the socio-political tapestry of the realm. Citizens are rewarded and punished by promotions and demotions within this rank system. All behavior within Sybrenar society is tempered by rank. All actions are done to promote oneself.
The Sybrenar government is a vast and complicated web of government organizations, guilds and political intrigue. Reigning over the countless political ministries and factions is her Imperial Supremacy, the Empress Kalishan. Her rule is absolute. Attending her every word are countless servants, guards and councilors.
The normal day to day functions of the Imperium are run by a 500 member governing body called the Council of Ages. This council, which meets once each week, consists of guild masters, military officers, diplomats and bureau heads. They debate endlessly over legal and political minutia. They churn through mountains of paperwork each day.
In general, the Sybrenar always follow their racial system of rank. Whether it is a ship crew, a military patrol or a bakery shop, the Sybrenar always know who is in charge.
The Sybrenar have a vast and powerful military. They sail the seas in vast warships and roll over the land in armored wagons hauled by sullengar steeds. Sybrenar knights thunder into battle upon those same mighty beasts wearing full armor and with their mounts decked out in heavy plate barding. Ground troops by the thousand cover the hills when battalions move.
Ground troops and officers were a distinctive style of armor which consists of overlapping curved plates of a dull, gray metal. This gives the armor a tight-fitting, organic look. Because of the design, every body part is covered in cutting edges and spikes.
The Sybrenar have a martial arts style, called krumgol, which is taught to all soldiers at a basic level. Officers receive advanced instruction in krumgol fighting techniques. Krumgol takes advantage of the armor design and is very effective. With the combination of krumgol and Sybren body armor, every body surface is an effective weapon.
The Sybrenar are the opposite of the Chaddamarians with regards to magical body enhancement and modification. While the Chaddamarians shun even basic healing, the Sybrenar revel in all manner of biological magic, a branch of magic which the Sybrenar have developed specifically for making more powerful soldiers. Sybrenar soldiers frequently ingest magical elixirs to boost their strength, replace severed limbs with magical ones, replace destroyed eyes with enchanted orbs and integrate magical weapons (horns, blades, etc) into their very flesh. Slaves of the Sybren Imperium are experimented on frequently. To control and track slaves, the Sybrenar cut the tongues out and brand their slaves on the forehead. The Chaddamar find such practices abhorrent. If it were not for the great distance, these two nations would be a war for these differences.
Festivals are few and ceremonies are usually small and formal. Most ceremonies have quasi-religious/patriotic undertones
This website was last updated January 6, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.