Cyre/The Mournland

Mournland map

“Weep, oh nations of Khorvaire, for the Jewel of Galifar
is no more. You have finally completed what
you started when you rejected the true and proper
right of Mishann to ascend the throne of Galifar.
With your jealousy and petty ambitions, you have
brought this disaster on us all!”
“Weep, my brothers and sisters, for our homes and our families
have been eliminated in a foul and cowardly way. Do not let Cyre be
forgotten! Do not let the Day of Mourning end! Not until we have
discovered the villain. Not until we have made the villain face justice
for this heinous crime. Not until Cyre’s children are once more safe and
content within their homeland.”
“Weep this day, my fellow Cyrans, and never forget. But tomorrow
. . . tomorrow we begin to hunt down this villain, to demand justice,
and to rebuild beloved, cherished Cyre. Tomorrow! Tomorrow we shall go home!”

—Prince Oargev, Address to the Cyran Refugees
at the Brelish Camp (which would become New Cyre), 994 YK

Cyre at a Glance

Data based on the Cyran census of 992 YK and accurate as of the Day of Mourning.
Population: 1.5 million
Area: 1,020,000 square miles
Sovereign: Queen Dannel ir’Wynarn
Capital: Metrol
Major Cities: Making, Eston, Tronish
Climate: Temperate
Highest Point: Kenn Peak, elevation 7,576 feet
Heraldry: Crown and bell on a field of green, above a hammer and bellows
Founder: Mishann, first scion of King Jarot
National Motto: “What our dreams imagine, our hands create.”

Cyre was the future. At the height of the Kingdom of Galifar, Cyre was a land of arcane dreams made manifest. It came to be known as Beautiful Cyre, the Purple Jewel in Galifar’s Crown, and Wondrous Cyre. To some, it was considered a land of decadence and arrogance, but to the rest of the kingdom, it was paradise.

When Jarot attained the throne of Galifar, none of his children were yet of an age to take over the administration of the Five Nations. Regents and the existing governor-princes ( Jarot’s younger brothers and sisters) continued to govern and served as mentors and teachers for Jarot’s scions. Mishann, the oldest of Jarot’s children, was sent to Cyre to learn at the knee of her uncle and prepare for her role as governor-prince and, eventually, monarch of Galifar. Just as it was since Galifar united the kingdom, just as it would be forever. However, Mishann and the rest of the kingdom would discover that nothing remains the same forever. When King Jarot died, Mishann prepared for the journey to Thronehold to attend her father’s funeral and to take the crown that was her birthright as the eldest scion. Her siblings each brought armed troops to the funeral, and before Mishann could be coronated, Thalin challenged the right of eldest succession.

With loyal knights of the Silver Flame at his side, Thalin asserted that he was the better choice to be king of Galifar. Kaius and Wroann supported Thalin, in so far as they wanted a different method of selection to be put in place. “Why should the oldest and weakest automatically gain the crown?” Wroann asked. Wrogar supported Mishann’s claim, but the other three rejected her. Wrogar was able to stop the scions from spilling royal blood at Thronehold, but the five siblings and their followers departed the island without reaching any resolution to the question of succession.

Before the year was out, the first battles of the Last War erupted, and each sibling eventually declared his or her own ambition to take the crown. As the kingdom collapsed and the Five Nations became five distinct and separate countries, war spread throughout the land. Beautiful Cyre, of all the nations, wound up as the battleground on which much of the Last War was fought. In addition to the troops from Karrnath, Thrane, and Breland clashing with each other and Cyran forces in this region, Cyre also became the place where Darguun, Valenar, Talenta tribes, and Lhazaar pirates came to loot, plunder, or seek land to expand into.

And so it went, with the great wonders of Cyre falling bit by bit with every battle, until the terrible cataclysm of the Day of Mourning finished the sad destruction of the once-shining nation in one fell swoop. No one has claimed credit for the release of arcane energy that obliterated the nation, and no one seems to know exactly what happened on the Day of Mourning. What is known is that something terrible occurred in or around the city of Making, located at about the center of what is now the Glass Plateau, and slowly spread out to destroy the whole nation. Those living closer to the borders, as well as those outside the nation on this fateful day, were able to survive the disaster.

Today, Cyre is no more. In its place is the Mournland, a blasted, mutated land surrounded by a dense wall of dead-gray mist. Cyran refugees have migrated to New Cyre and Sharn in Breland, Dragonroost and Zolanberg in Zilargo, and, in smaller numbers, to communities in Thrane, Karrnath, and Q’barra. Many Cyrans, still reeling from the terrible destruction, find it hard to forgive the Five Nations that have refused to provide them with help. Worse, the Valenar elves slaughtered Cyran refugees fleeing from southeastern Cyre by the thousands as they tried to escape the spreading mist.

A second injustice heaped upon the survivors of Cyre occurred during the Thronehold negotiations.

Though the Day of Mourning was crucial in getting the Five Nations together to end the Last War, no Cyran representation was permitted. “Cyre no longer exists,” Queen Aurala argued. “The refugees have no voice in these proceedings,” High King Vadallia of Valenar agreed. And so Cyre did not participate in the accords that redefined the continent and ended the Last War.

Cyre the Kingdom

Cyre’s last century featured an incredible series of highs and lows. Led by the legitimate heir to the Throne of Galifar, Mishann ir’Wynarn, the country first appeared to be ready to fall to the combined might of Breland, Karrnath, and Thrane. But an inspired bit of negotiation brought the warbands of the Valaes Tairn to Khorvaire to fight for Cyre (or at least Cyran gold), and the other nations’ leaders quickly turned on each other as each decided to take the crown of the kingdom. For six decades Cyre enjoyed success out of all proportion with its size and might. When Shearas Vadallia declared himself High King of Valenar, carving out an empire in Cyre’s midst, it seemed Cyre was once again doomed. Then came the warforged, bolstering Cyre’s forces and giving it the strength to survive despite the toll constant warfare was taking on the countryside.

Still, their fortunes were waning, and many parts of northern and western Cyre became battlefi elds. Step by bloody step, the fighting wound toward Metrol and the few pristine cites left in the south. Rumors abounded that Queen Dannel and her advisors had plans for a major new offensive that would throw back the invaders. Dannel’s uncanny charisma inspired a nation and, despite the losses, spirits were high. Cyre’s martial academies and arcane colleges continued to attract students eager to learn the skills necessary to defend the nation.

Until the Day of Mourning.

Cyre’s complete destruction in a day by a wave of arcane energy is undoubtedly the single most important moment in the last hundred years. Major battles were being fought all across Cyre, with each of the Five Nations losing thousands if not tens of thousands of soldiers as the dead-gray wall swept outward from the interior. While refugees have gathered in Breland under the graces of King Boranel’s mercy, Cyre as a nation is simply gone, lost behind a wall that follows Cyre’s borders with eerie precision. In its place a strangely tranquil wasteland taunts treasure seekers with tantalizing hints of the greatest mystery of the modern age. . . .
What was the Mourning? Will it happen again?

The People

The Cyrans once held the world in their hands. Cyre was on the artistic and cultural cutting edge of Galifar, with new trends constantly starting and spreading out of the nation. Cyrans knew how to enjoy life and the fruits of their labors. Art, music, fashion—there was no constant in Cyre, other than constant experimentation and change. The Cyrans valued an outlook on life that became known as the Cyran appreciation. This described a philosophy and lifestyle that appreciated beauty and magic, and promoted avant-garde and unconventional behavior in art and life in general.

This was seen by the majority of Galifar as remarkable and wondrous until the time of the Last War. Then, propaganda and vicious rumors turned a virtue into an excess. As the war raged around them, Cyran nobles allowed their indulgent lifestyles to take darker turns, and words such as decadent, vile, and immoral began to be used to describe the Cyrans. The Cyran refugees struggle to maintain the Cyran appreciation, even though this continues to cause misunderstandings among the people of the nations where the refugees now live.

Postwar Cyre

Their nation destroyed, their countryfolk scattered, Cyrans tend to be keenly aware of the precarious position they maintain in the Five Nations. Left out of the Thronehold Accords, the Cyran refugees have no status in the Five Nations, with the exception of in the Brelish city of New Cyre, where Cyrans have been welcomed as guests of the crown. Displaced, alone, with few friends and many enemies, Cyrans tend to look out for themselves and their closest kin. They have no love for the other Five Nations, and some barely contain a seething hatred for the “traitors” who rejected Mishann’s right to govern Galifar and thus destroyed the kingdom. This said, Cyrans are not a dour lot. They continue to hold to the ideals of the Cyran appreciation, and though Cyran art and song has become a bit darker since the Day of Mourning, it remains a culture that is visionary, different, and ahead of its time. Cyran fashions range from daring to amazingly chic, though many younger Cyrans have started wearing dark, flamboyant clothing they call “mourningwear” as a way of remembering the country they hardly knew.

Some Cyrans have changed their names and are trying to blend into whatever society they find themselves in. Most, however, hold to their traditions and seek larger communities of refugees to join up with. Those who rally around New Cyre and Prince Oargev see hope for their future—and a time when the rest of Khorvaire will pay for the injustices that have fallen upon Beautiful Cyre.

Appearance and Dress

Whether fighting, dancing, or standing perfectly still, Cyrans possess a poise and elegance that is the envy of all the other nations. Cyrans tend to be slender and long-limbed, with a casual, willowy grace that shines from within. Their hair is often wavy and of medium length, allowed to hang free so as to shift naturally with their movements. Nearly all Cyrans have dark hair, but a few are born with stark white locks—tradition states that such youths are to be encouraged to take up spellcasting, and most do show an aptitude for it.

Cyran clothing is highly diverse in cut and style, but most garments have long, flowing elements—the people like clothing that will catch even a small breeze and ripple with the air currents. Short cloaks are common, as are wide sleeves. The most noticeable element of traditional Cyran dress is gloves. Cyrans favor short, sturdy gloves for work and fighting, and longer, beautifully tooled and decorated gloves for formal wear. Their hands are rarely exposed, and an ungloved handshake is a sign of special trust. Formal occasions are not identified by a change in clothing, but by a sharp increase in jewelry, and often the addition of masks. Festivals and balls always incorporate an element of costuming.
Cyrans simply adore jewelry, and they collect all manner of pieces as their fortunes allow.

Loose hanging necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, particularly those that include small bells or brightly colored feathers, are preferred. The most spectacular of these adornments are their headdresses—elaborate pieces that run from the brow, over the head and shoulders and well down the wearer’s back.

Five Things Every Cyran Knows

1. Where they were on the Day of Mourning. No Cyran will ever forget that terrible day and how they survived as so many others did not. “Tomorrow in Cyre” has become an expression of hope, a reflection of sadness, and a promise to win back what has been lost.

2. Some form of artistic expression. Cyran are artists to their core, whether that art takes the form of drawing, painting, sculpture, song, or arcane spell. Cyrans love to experiment with art, pushing the borders and shocking others with just how far they will go to advance the form.

3. The Cyran appreciation. This philosophy and lifestyle promotes the appreciation of beauty and magic in avant-garde and unconventional ways.

4. What happened on the Day of Mourning. Every Cyran knows what happened on the Day of Mourning and who caused it. They know. And every Cyran will tell you a different version of the events. An accident, a deliberate attack, a cowardly act of terrorism, an act of nature, a punishment from the gods—these are just some of the explanations that Cyrans share in their homes and in taverns.

5. How to perform a Cyran tago. This highly charged form of dance that has been described as frenetic, movingly beautiful, and extremely erotic, is the birthright of every son and daughter of Cyre. It is taught at a young age and perfected at social events throughout a Cyran’s life. No Cyran performs the tago badly, and some perform it with exquisite grace and precision.


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