FOLKLORE




contents

Setting
Here is the world in which all of our characters roam. Cyrileth is a land of faith, guided by a religion based on the stars. Constellations are more than just arbitrary and stagnant. To wolves of Cyrileth, each constellation -- of which there are ten -- represent a god. Each and every wolf is born beneath the gaze of the star (or god) most dominant in the sky. That dominant star is believed to become the wolf's "patron" and, ultimately, impacts the wolf's future. Each constellation represents different core tenants of character that are known to the world at large. For example, those born under the Mother constellation are often benevolent; those born under the Twins may be tricksters. However, these core tenants are merely guidelines, and wolves may or may not fall neatly into the proscribed characteristics.

Each constellation is viewed as a real deity, and wolves of Cyrileth will often pray to their patrons for guidance in times of hardship or trouble. Constellations may convey blessings or curses, and each constellation conveys different in-game benefits. The star religion is certainly the most dominant in Cyrileth, but it is not the only religion there is. Many wolves of this faith are tolerant of other religions, and equally many are extremely intolerant. For more information on the native religion, please see the Constellations page of the guidebook.

While the star faith is the native faith of Cyrileth, a new religion has recently been sweeping the lands and bringing with it its own belief system. The crusader faith, borne from Cyrileth's long-lost sister land, Pyria, is described in more detail below...

Cyrileth
Cyrileth is, traditionally, a land of thieves. Prey is not abundant, predators lurk within the mountains and the forests, and storms are frequent here. Degenerates and criminals were often pushed out and banished throughout the neighboring lands. Most found a home here for it seemed a better sacrifice than death. Some native families may have lost the taste for blood and the pension for glory, yet others may keep the traditions alive. The wolves of Cyrileth have no cohesive religion but most all believe in the power of constellations. Each wolf is born under one, and those of Cyrileth believe that it shapes their future. Some see the constellations as gods, others merely as omens.

Ildhrune
A land that is treacherous yet, in some manner, honest. There are no secrets here, no hidden passageways and nested truths. Ildhrune offers terrors unimaginable, yet all are laid bare before the travelers feet. Some avoid Ildhrune on the basic principle that they prefer life to a mishap that ends in a broken bone or singed fur. Others are charmed by the survivor's instinct that Ildhrune requires. While no generous environment, there is a sense that this wasteland takes care of its own. Invaders from more southern lands lack the prerequisite knowledge to tread safely, especially in the heat of war. Ildhrune contains the volcano, colloquially called "The Angel's Throne." Before, it looked as all the other mountains did. Now, it boasts a crater and a trail of destruction. From the volcano runs the "Hollows," a wasteland of what had once been a prospering forest. Further south from the Hollows is a decrepit forest that is in a state of disrepair. Since the explosion, raging rapids have ripped through the Maiden's Tears like a weeping wound. Since the first explosion, the volcano has been weeping lava slowly. This has created a lava beach to the west the produces wildfires in the surrounding area.
Lands Description
Volcano An aching pit of magma and smog. Includes the sprawling mountains nearby and their thickly grown pine forests. Treacherous. Experiences all four seasons, though snow never accumulates close to the mouth of the volcano.
Lava Beach Volcanic rock extends into the ocean. Rivers of freshly spewed lava lay to cool whilst steam rises along the shoreline. The ocean water is warmer here and the stench of sulfur is in the air. Snow struggles to accumulate during winter.
Maiden's Tears A slanted forest, one that grew in the aftermath of an ancient volcanic eruption. Rivers and creeks run freely over the seemingly lush yet treacherous land.
Hollows Barren and bleak, the plain has an unobstructed view of Cyrileth's bounty. From here, the volcano, the ruined redwood, and the lush south can be seen. Poppies and bluebells grow intermittently among the brush and wild grasses.
Hiâ
Founded by a wolf from the northern regions, Hiâ was underpopulated for most of its known history. Few could handle the frigid cold and the malnutrition that is exclusive to a winter life-style. Unlike most of Cyrileth's other lands, Hiâ came to have the first functioning society. Neglecting their criminal roots, the pack that formed there focused on family and tradition. It is said that the first constellations were witnessed here and that their lore was first transcribed into the tongue of wolves. Those that stemmed from this ancient family would accept strangers into their home for a night's meal. That was long enough for their stories to proliferate and fill all of Cyrileth. A harsh winter wiped the slate clean, but those that remember the ancient Hiâns are filled with fondness and respect. Hiâ is mountainous yet holds small gems such as the alpine lake and the hidden forest. There is an icy waterfall to the far north and a series of hot springs. No matter the time of the year, Hiâ is covered in snow.
Lands Description
Cascades A half-frozen waterfall feeding into frigid arctic. Glaciers float above the dark, inky waters. A small, snow-laden shore welcomes the tranquil onlooker. Seemingly experiences only winter and is always bathed in snow.
Hot Springs Ebon' rock marked with large spires of stone and pools of warm water. Steam blankets the land and warms the body despite the surrounding snow. Curious, brown-haired monkeys bathe in the waters and watch the wolves warily.
Alpine Lake A tranquil, reflective lake that mirrors the sky above. Hidden in a valley, the lake is home to predators and prey alike that wish to quench their thirst.
Hidden Forest A pine forest so thick that snow cannot reach the forest floor even in the height of winter. A refuge for some, a fortress for others.
Da'ira
Da'ira is perhaps the most neutral of the lands. It is the melting pot of Cyrileth, the boundary between those that have taken to thievery and those that have sworn it off. In many ways, Da'ira reigns as a sacred land seemingly too pure to desecrate. The poppy meadow is a beloved land that contains memories of wars fought and lives lost. To battle here is to be a criminal among criminals, and such a title is for a head loosely secured to its shoulders. Those that wander to the earth's edge are filled with so much awe that, in most instances, there remains only the sensation of insignificance. Return to the meadows and follow the hills down to the rock beaches, and there thrives the ocean. Its waves crash against the rock beaches as its greed grows. Then its hunger abates and the tide goes out to reveal gritty sand and tidal pools. Continue to the south and a large, snaking river will lead the traveler to Gêld, to the outside world. And so travelers are faced with a question: leave... or stay? Da'ira whispers the latter, and its rivers flood to hold you there.
Lands Description
Poppy Meadows An unbroken sea of red poppy flowers.
Floodplains A basin tangled in rivers, creeks, and streams. Cattails sway in the wind and crickets can be heard. Mosquitoes pester the wary travel. Prone to flooding in spring and summer. Wolves may shelter in the southern hillside in which there are small caverns.
Rock Beach Where the ocean meets the shore, rocks and boulders lay in place of sand. Erosion has worn small, shallow caverns in the stony slopes bordering the beach.
Earth's Edge A gigantic, monstrous, sprawling waterfall. Wolves may walk the ravine to the waters or stand upon the river-laden edge.
Gêld
More or less the most hospitable land in Cyrileth, albeit even its seemingly docile presence holds certain terrors. Perhaps it is poetic that most who enter Cyrileth follow trails through forests that are bright and inviting. Soon the trees press closer together, the game trails become invisible to strangers. The whispers of the leaves change from that of song to those of secrets. A hush falls over the wood and when at last the traveler breaks free of the pine forest, they see a land that is foreign. Red is the wood to the north. Further to the northwest is what appears to be a gigantic waterfall, albeit the spectacle is not within Gêld's domain. Turn to the southwest, and one will find the caves. Should the traveler risk the stone maze, perhaps they will find the forgotten vista. Gêld is the home of thieves and robbers, murderers and criminals. Most here still appreciate their roots and stay true to their creed. Why? For this is the easiest entryway into the open, virgin world. Tread softly here, for its beauty is little more than a facade.
Lands Description
Pine Forest A twisted forest that is labyrinthine and laden in cobwebs.
Red Wood Once the home of the Eldritch Tree and a brilliant forest bathed in red. Now, the Red Forest is a decrepit grave and all that remains are the ashes.
Caves Snaking throughout the south, the caves lead into the belly of Cyrileth though none have reached the end. Fresh drinking water collects in pools and bioluminescent mushrooms cast an eerie blue glow.
Forgotten Vista An outcropping of stone that overlooks the southern sea. Marked by springy grass along the knolls and boulders, the vista is comforting and peaceful. Can be accessed through the caves or climbed to by padding along steep, grassy trails.
The Unknown
A mysterious continent has broken free from its bonds. Natural disasters have paved the way for its sudden appearance. It is new to the wolves who inhabit the adjacent lands of Cyrileth, but it is not new to the world. The unknown continent is old -- older than many can remember. It was once home to the wolves of the crusaders religion, but they had been cut off from the mainland by heavenly hellfire in the form of rockslides, monsoons, and earthquakes. The unknown continent had been succinctly sealed off from the mainland for quite some time. Now, however, it has shaken loose, and a mountain pass has cleared between the unknown lands and Cyrileth. A brave wolf might wander through that treacherous pass, freshly unearthed from the natural disasters that had swept Cyrileth. On the other side of the mountain pass is a strange new world...

Pyria and Cyrileth were once one continent. However, when the volcano in Ildhrune exploded, it caused earthquakes and natural disasters which cut off the paths between Cyrileth and Pyria. Forced to adapt and survive, the isolated Pyrian wolves created a new belief system that spurned the star-based faith of Cyrileth. The crusader faith of Pyria is rooted in the belief that a mated pair of gods [The God & Goddess] created all wolves in their image. When first the divine married within the aether—the nothingness before earth's creation—their union brought forth the elements. Water flowed upon the stone that Earth provided, Fire burned and Air stoked his sister's flames. So bountiful and beautiful was the aether that the God and Goddess wished to share their paradise with more children of their own. So that their creations might know love and have progeny, the divine created two wolves: one in the God's image, one in the Goddess'. Jealousy burned within the elements' hearts. In an effort to match their parents' skill, they created other elements such as Light and Darkness. The divine marveled over the elements' creations, but did not remove their own. They wished for the wolves to live in tandem with the elements, to prosper and grow. What they feared, however, was that the elements had not lost their jealousies. Still the elements tempt, always trying to stray the wolves from their righteous path.

Wolves following the doctrine of the crusades believe that they must live righteous, sinless lives. Sins are ones that trivialize the God and Goddess' creation: murder, slave trade, etc. Also included are sins related to elemental temptations: greed, gluttony, pride, wrath. These wolves do not believe that any other religion can be correct (even partially). Their way is the undeniable truth, and any wolf that says otherwise is misguided by the elements. The crusades are largely a perversion of the faith which, at its heart, teaches kindness and love for one another. Those that are pillaging have chosen to believe that nonbelievers (among them the wolves of Cyrileth, whose faith lies with the stars) are the crude, possessed creations of the God & Goddess. They are, therefore, free to be killed if they do not "see the truth."

Over time, and after generations of separation, small paths had been carved out of Pyria and into the main world. From there, the crusader religion spread like wildfire, resulting in the sudden influx of crusaders into Cyrileth. Now that the passage between Pyria and Cyrileth has been truly opened, it is expected that even more crusaders will come to challenge the native, star-based faith of Cyrileth...

A map is soon to come.

Pyria
A verdant green landscape lies ahead. Heat and humidity dampen the air, and it is apparent immediately that you are in Cyrileth no longer. This is a tropical landscape, a place of jungles and color and vibrant life. The Labyrinth is a maze of jungle which beckons you forth. The Mangrove River is a dangerous swamp, home to more predators than one. Tide Pools dot the shores, and in the distance, there is a sand bar that leads out into the ocean to the Sacred Isle. Many strange jungle creators frolic in this landscape, most ones that Cyrileth wolves have never seen before. It is an old land that screams of new promise, new hope, new beginnings. But to venture here is to venture into the unknown.
Lands Description
Labyrinth A maze-like jungle thick with foliage.
Mangrove River A winding swamp where giant mangrove trees take root.
Tide Pools A colorful collection of pools when the tide is low; ocean waters when the tide is high.
Sacred Isle A mystical island shrouded in clouds, accessible by a sandbar that stretches from the mainland of Pyria.
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