The Ruins of Myvolia
The primogenitors of all men basked in the glow of the ascending sun, and they numbered thirteen. To each was given a wife, land and chattel to grow and prosper, and to each the promise that they would be forever protected so long as they freely offered their obedience and filial devotion to those that had created them.
from The Chorus of the First Era, Brother Samson Diego, 212 LE
Mankind is a diverse and divided people.
Though there is some debate concerning their origins, it seems that the bulk of mankind was created in the splendid and bountiful land of Byblios by a host of gods over four thousand years ago. In Byblios, mankind was protected and nurtured, free of war, disease and famine. There they learned to work bronze, erect magnificent buildings and study magic. The great city of Zakhara, the cultural centre of Byblios, also became the seat of its elected government. The Symposium was established by writ of the gods as a place of debate and decision where representatives from each of the thirteen founding families came together to establish law.
For centuries mankind grew and flourished in Byblios. Though some men did leave the blessed lands, to seek new opportunity in the greater world beyond, most saw Byblios as an eternal sanctuary.
They were wrong.
A civil war, brought about by the machinations of dark and terrible powers, rocked Byblios and left the city of Zakhara a ruin. For the first time, men fought men for control of the land, finally causing the gods to intervene, casting the survivors out of Byblios and exiling them forever from that sacred land.
Broken and disparate, the survivors emerged into the wide world, carving out niches for themselves wherever they may. Beyond the borders of Byblios they found other tribes of men, some having earlier left that land, and others who claimed different origins altogether. They also came to know many other races: the elves, the dwarves, the half-folk and the goblinoids. Men were forced to contest with such peoples for the lands that they now sought.
In time, the tribes of man evolved into a variety of scattered kingdoms, struggling and warring with those surrounding them for mastery of the land. Eventually one tribe, the Myvolin, rose to conquer the vast territories of mankind. For more than a millennium the Myvolin Empire forced unity upon mankind, allowing them to cement their hold on the lands that they inhabited. In time, however, the Empire collapsed and soon the fragmented lands of man resumed their ancient struggles.
Though national identities have long supplanted tribal designations throughout most of the world, the old allegiances are still potent.
Though Byblios is gone, its bloodlines remain.
The Thirteen Tribes of Byblios
Primogenitor: Alevandre the Cunning
Primary Location: Wiped out in the Byblian civil war
The Alevandrians were convinced by the dark princes to make war on the other tribes, igniting the Byblian civil war. They were ultimately destroyed during the war with no known bloodlines surviving.
Primogenitor: Centar the Wild
Primary Location: Centaria
After the fall of Byblios the Centarians settled in the deep jungles of the Que’Sambo Basin and the Yun’lou Plains of the northern continent. There they were isolated from the rest of human kind, maintaining themselves as one of the purest remaining tribes of Byblios.
Primogenitor: Cyon the Brave
Primary Location: Cyonia, Vintara
After their expulsion from Byblios the Cyonians settled in the fertile Sabine River valley, founding a powerful kingdom. Eventually they were conquered and enslaved by the Myvolin. For a millennia they were held in bondage and interbred with other peoples, greatly diminishing their tribal purity. Those that now call themselves Cyonian may have only a small amount of Cyon’s blood in their veins. Now they are rather more of a political and religious denomination.
Primogenitor: Descendre the Fair
Primary Location: Descendria, western Welt and southern Gromolikland
The Descendrians settled the central and western portions of the Malakan Peninsula where they have often striven for dominance agains the Thraycians. The Descendrians are olive skinned with dark hair and dark eyes.
Primogenitor: Drelor the Wise (aka Drelor the Hidden)
Primary Location: Dreloria
The Drelorians are among the most ethnically pure of the ancient tribes. They fastidiously record their lineages, something that allowed them to purge all non-Drelorian blood from their civilization after a centuries-long occupation by the Myvolin. Drelorian society is intensely introverted. Non-Drelorians are forbidden to pass the borders of their lands on pain of death. They are a highly religious people, with both males and females wearing veils as they consider their visage, created in the image of the gods, to be holy and unsuitable for public display.
Primogenitor: Evelar of the Gift
Primary Location: Disappeared after the fall of Byblios
The Evelaron were one of the three tribes seduced by the dark princes into making war on the other tribes of Byblios. Among the most powerful of the ancient tribes in magic, the Evelaron escaped the destruction of Zakhara and fled into the world, but where they settled has long been a mystery.
Primogenitor: Galthan the Fierce
Primary Location: The Galthanian Plains of the western Ancient Lands
The Galthanians spread widely across the great plains of the western Ancient Lands. They are a fractured people, living in small villages or in roaming tribes. Many of the cities built along the coast were of Myvolin origin. The Galthanians were often enslaved by the Myvolin and pockets of their ebony-skinned race exist in many places throughout the former empire where they are viewed with various levels of acceptance.
Primogenitor: Kaladon the Farsight
Primary Location: The Isle of Mann
The sons of Kaladon exiled themselves from Byblios long before the civil war that ultimately destroyed that land. Disillusioned with the religious fervour that grew to grip many of the other tribes, the Kaladonins abandoned Byblios to establish a land of freedom and secular enlightenment. Alone among the surviving tribes of man, the Kaladonins have maintained the elected civil government and unfettered institutes of learning that were hallmarks of Byblian culture. The Kaladonins are viewed with both distrust and reverence by other men, such that they were only lightly touched by the Myvolin empire and throughout the internecine struggles that gripped the north in the wake of that empire’s ultimate collapse.
Primogenitor: Myvol the Wanderer
Primary Location: The Ancient Lands
After the fall of Byblios the Myvolin tribe became semi-nomadic, roaming the vast steppes south of the Hokaim Mountains, in the Ancient Lands. Their meteoric rise saw them first conquer and supplant the Cyonians and then over several hundred years found an empire that comprised much of the lands of men. The most powerful dynasty of the Myvolin, the House of Theol, established the Peloric faiths. After the collapse of the empire, the Myvolin tribe splintered into a number of warring city states. The House of Theol has been mercilessly hunted by those seeking to prevent the emergence of a second Myvolin Empire so that those that descend directly from Emperor Theol are few in number.
Primogenitor: Ralathan the Joyful
Primary Location: Kingdom of Sumner, Kingdom of Ilk
The sons of Ralathan were mostly slaughtered during the Byblian civil war. Those that survived settled in the westernmost parts of the Northern Kingdoms, establishing a number of kingdoms along the coast. They are a hearty people, preferring matters of agriculture and animal husbandry to warfare and dynastic struggle.
Primogenitor: Thrayce the Gracious
Primary Location: Empire of Thrayce
The Thraycians are a proud and formidable people. They were quick to settle in the Northern Kingdoms and have been a strong player in the politics that constantly create waves across the Bay of Mann. Highly centralized, the Thraycian government has sought to supplant the ruined Myvolin Empire by establishing a powerful empire of the north.
Primogenitor: Ulnor the Mighty
Primary Location: Kingdom of Angrove, Kingdom of Dewthrania, Grewhanian Principalities, Duchy of Bellweather
The Ulnorans are a prodigious people, establishing kingdoms from the Bay of Mann to the shores of Bangle Bay in the north. A tall, fierce people, the Ulnorans have supplanted many, older races of man, interbreeding with some while outright displacing others.
Primogenitor: Velestar the Bold
Primary Location: Velestria
The Velestrans were one of the three tribes that were seduced by the dark princes to cause the civil war that destroyed Byblios. Unlike the Evelaron or the Alevandrians, the Velestrans survived the war and settled along side the other exiled tribes in the new world. The kingdom of Velestra sits at the centre of the Northern Kingdoms, waging near endless wars with its neighbours. The men of Velestra are known as superb warriors with a prickly pride to match.
Other Races of Men
Primary Location: The Northreach of Parlone, the Duchy of Bellweather, Dewthrania, Northern Angrove
The origins of the Brauman are a mystery, although their own legends speak of a long voyage by sea in the past. It is possible that they were founded by settlers who left Byblios in its earliest days in order to strike out into the wild world. Regardless of their origins, the Brauman have lived in the northern lands for a great many centuries. They befriended the elves while they were yet numerous in the world. In fact many of the Brauman’s cultural and religious beliefs cleave from their close association with the elves. In older days the two races intermingled their blood so that most Brauman hold at least a modicum of elvish blood.
Primary Location: The Northreach of Parlone, Dewthrania, The Kingdom of Ural
Thents are a formidable people of large stature and ferocious disposition. They certainly come from a hardy stock of humanity that predate the coming of the first Byblians to the northern kingdoms. Over many centuries of conflict, conquest and occasional subjugation by the green-skinned orcs of Lodd, most Thents carry some goblinoid blood in their veins. From the stone castles of Ural to the sod huts of the Northreach, the Thents are a varied people, surviving on the harsh and violent frontiers of human settlement.