TeeCollected Lore of the Astyan People

[Image: Mf8KOU_Z_400x400.jpg]

The following are part of a series of books written by historian Agathe Croncelle, and donated freely to the Osronan and Therian libraries. They give an interesting depiction of the historic Astyan people, after extensive studies by the author in numerous ruins and historical landmarks.

Of particular interest to many historians - and other certain types of reader - are well-documented details included in each volume of the original scripts in question, including full sketches of once-powerful Astyan runes that typically surrounded the sites.

[Image: f0a9b0e660a39b5635b3f5b18ec9d133.jpg]


'Time Before Time', scripture on Moonfall ruins, est. 301AC

In the beginning came the Creator; who among mortals is known as Kraus, who came from fire and ruin into nothing. With the Creator came the Divine Ones, and their coming created upon their new world a great and mighty energy.

The shaping of all life began with spark, seed, and stream. From chaos; order, and from order; further chaos, forever entangled in the lifeblood and beating heart of our world, and the relentless flow of Time.

It is written that the first of us took shape in this age, when the Divines laboured and toiled and then watched the growth of the new world's creations. The first of us explored this world with awe and wonder, and grew prosperous and strong through the teachings of the Angelic Host*, and the Children of the Divine.

So was born the Infinite Kingdom*, through Knowledge and Compassion, Creativity and Energy, Curiosity and Power for the betterment of all. So was born the Kingdom of Astya.

* 'Infinite Kingdom' has many translations in Astyan; generally most were an attempt to remind everyone of their ancient lineage.
* 'Angelic Host' is often translated several ways due to the word in question being similar to others in the original Astyan and time having taken its toll on existing writing. A secondary translation reads 'Divine Elders'.


Last Address to the People of Astya, Regent Aurea Petrakis*, c. 282-3AC

People of Astya.

Grim days are upon us. It is true that our ancient enemy, Mordred the Perfect, has returned to our lands. No doubt you have seen the huddled refugees, and worried over the massing reserves of soldiers and Archmagi.

I am here today to reassure my Kingdom that there is nothing to fear. Indeed, it is this fear that Mordred uses against us, dividing our strength. Take heart! We have endured for millenia and we will continue to do so after this crisis has been dealt with. Even now, our most powerful Archmagi begin the necessary rituals to deal with Mordred before the threat reaches us.

While it is true that our armies have suffered against the forces of Mordred, we remain strong and vigilant. Our runesmiths are working tirelessly to ensure every soldier is protected against the Occultic arts; our artificer-magi have developed powerful new variants of our standard battle armor; the barriers and wards protecting our cities remain fully powered.

To those fighting for our very survival, what more can be said about your bravery and selflessness? The Legions*, the Scout Forces*, the (untranslated)? The very world trembles at the coming of Mordred, but the warriors of Astya remain defiant.

So draw your blade! Empower your armor! Know that while your heart still beats, the very lifepulse of Eternia itself flows in your veins. You are the Children of the Creator!

Astya Eternal!

* Note: The original speaker of this speech is in dispute; both an Aurea and a Petrakis were certainly present at the time, but no documentation exists for such a regent despite the wording being accurate.
* 'Legions' is the closest modern approximation to the original Astyan word, which was a generalized term for soldiers with subtle differences between command structure.
* 'Scout Forces' is sometimes mistranslated in other writing as 'Rangers'. This is inaccurate; the Astyan word for Ranger meant more of a nature Mage than a military combatant.


Dirge of the Thirteenth, Pre-Osronan Military Ruins, c. 293AC

Farewell fellow warrior, a long and sad farewell ;
to thee, to thee, eternal light and life;
gone, not forgotten, amid the ghosts of Hel ;
(Last stanza missing)

* Note: Of interest is mainly the reference to Helheim, which did not appear in the modern pretext at all in earlier pre-Essharan writing.  It's possible there's a more archaic term the Astyans used for it that has not yet been translated correctly.
[Image: cb7c96997658311f3020217d6f5a66fc.jpg]

[Image: Zv3z7Ij.png]
Rear Leaflet: The Original Author, Agathe Croncelle, Known Roustabout and Weirdo. Whereabouts Unknown.
(This should probably have gone in in character? Whatever)

Collected Lore of the Astyan People, Vol II
Life and Times

[Image: rome-1024x702.jpg]

This volume makes an attempt to describe the day-to-day lives of the Astyans, with subsections denoting how their livelihoods, beliefs, and technologies still influence Essharan culture today. While much of it is conjecture, many historians note the high degree of accuracy with historical and contemporary records. Of note is a detailed piece on Essharan Architecture and in the forward, instructions for a meditation ritual that allows skilled Time magi to receive brief glimpses into the distant past. 


Attempting to describe the Astyans with any reasonable accuracy is an endeavor in itself.   Most of the existing information is little more than conjecture or folk tales- mythology more than fact. Some precious few of these facts are the best type; the indisputable ones. It's fact that most, if not all, of Esshara's population descends directly from the Astyans, and that the Astyans themselves are one of, if not the, oldest structure-building cultures on Eternia. Their exact origins are so far distant that even attempting to speculate becomes fruitless, and their remaining relics are either impossibly rare at best, or diluted to unrecognizability.

The Astyans were generous, however, in their distribution of ancient ruins. Early scout forces who explored the peninsula, before the main groups of refugees, were each assigned gifted Earth magi in order to raise towers, fortresses, and small towns out of stone and metal. Many of these ruins can still be seen today in various degrees of collapse, and because of the Astyan love of stonecarving, it is from these ruins that we can glean the most information about their people and history.

Remarkably, the more we learn about them, the more we learn how much their influence resonates in Esshar today, and how they might be less different from ourselves than expected.

The following is a meditation system I, the author and researcher of this tome, devised for tugging back the curtain of time and peering into the fog a bit. It requires significant practice and roughly a week of preparation, but can be very instructive. Unfortunately when looking back so far it's impossible to choose a specific timeframe or event, but at least general things can be glimpsed here and there. 

A lengthy description of a Time-focused meditation ritual is described here, using several Astyan runes during the preparation phase. Of note is that several of these runes bear suspiciously close resemblance to known Occultic symbols.
nope, this is the right place for lore submissions
Collected Lore II, cont'd

[Image: 66efc7d131bbaf77a8cf18deb851e6e6.jpg]
By all appearances, Astyan civilian life was a peaceful and productive one. Long millenia of stability and progress had created a people of great advancement; crude perhaps in the technological sense by today's standards, they were nevertheless highly advanced for their time and the people benefited from this in many ways. Standards of hygiene, education, and magical learning* were quite high, particularly by the Astyan 'Golden Age' in the Middle Mythic Era*.

Much of Astya's great might came due to their great capacity for magic of all varieties, and several long-standing programs that encouraged the magical arts to flourish in all avenues of society. Their coinage system was an interesting one; early skill in empowering objects with energy allowed them to use only a single type of coin; and then grant it greater value by enchanting it permanently with a tiny fraction of their own power. By the Late Mythic Era, startling advancements in both runecasting and forging had allowed them to embed an enchantable mesh* into their coins and gemstones - and, later, armor and weapons - which gave rise to an incredibly wealthy elite society of Archmagi. 

Magic was such a part of life and the early flow of magic so strong, that non-Magi were a relative rarity in such times. Despite that, the Astyans treated non-Magi well, and many were given prominent places in society -- but only when subsidized by an Archmage. For small, private sales, generally the barter system was used, with a flourishing trade in homemade magical artifacts used as trading objects. While trinkets by Astyan standards, today these relics are highly valued and extremely rare. 

The Astyans were skilled smiths and artisans, with high-quality forges typically using plasma-based magic*. While their artwork, engineering, and construction were perhaps uncreative by Essharan standards, their extremely high standard of quality allowed their creations to last long after regular maintenance stopped. Typically of highest value to today's historians and explorers are indoor ruins; these have usually been shielded from the elements and typically are avoided by superstitious locals and thus aren't as badly looted as more modern abandoned areas.

While contemporary descriptions in some other cultures depict the Astyans as a relatively dour and humorless people, numerous recovered artifacts, scriptures, and stonecarvings depict otherwise; they held a great love of oratory debate, theatre, and artwork. Indeed, may other cultures 'inherited' numerous Astyan traits; their use of the mysterious spiral motif is similar to some Gehennan* artwork, suggesting an early cultural exchange. 

*Magical Learning: See 'The Flying University; the Astyan Education Model' Vol I, 1543AC
*Middle Mythic Era: Scholars are divided as to when the peak of the Astyan Golden Age began and ended. Generally the start of the Astyan Decline corresponds with the end of the Middle Mythic; usually agreed on around the War of Nightmares.
*Enchantable Mesh: See: 'Academy Archives Script #44881: Astyan Rune-Wiring'; see also 'Osronan Times c.1672 : Fenossi Orchilacum Wiring Patent Declared Illegitimate By Crown, Citing Astyan Historical Origin'
*Plasma Forges: The Astyans had extremely efficient forges, though today's melting temperatures have since surpassed them. Several Astyan methods are still unknown to us, such as the alloying of Nyeshk and Mythril, though today's metals are both lighter and stronger than Astyan equivalents due to better modern impurity removal methods.
*Gehennan Artwork: There are many examples of modern and historical art that lends credence to an Astyan origin, though none is quite as obvious as the Gehennan spiral. Astyan relics carried this design many millenia before it appeared in Gehennan architecture, though its original purpose or meaning is still a mystery.
Collected Lore, Volume III
The Astyan Military

[Image: e81770157b966f2e52c48deca23ec208.jpg]

This book contains much speculation, as warned by the author in the forward. The vast majority of the Astyan military was used to hold off Mordred until the final escape; thus few military artifacts have survived through the long ages and so information about it is spotty at best. Despite that, it's clear that much research was done to compare modern military methods with the known equivalent Astyan ones.

Looking back through even non-Astyan contemporary historical records it's clear that the Astyan military was a predominant part of their long and continued success. Even the spotty literature regarding the Mythic Era has always touted the prevalent warrior culture. As worldwide centralization occurred under the form of governments, the need for military defense became a concern; the Astyans had long since cornered the market however on the development of military research and was vastly more advanced than their peers, who in their general opinion were mere unenlightened barbarians*.

This sense of superiority was compounded by a genuine giftedness in the magical arts that stemmed from their origin in the foggy murk of pre-history - it was clear even to their enemies that the Astyans had vast control and knowledge over Eternia's brimming pool of energy*. Their general mythological explanation was gifts from the 'Divine Ones', though scholars to this day still debate who precisely those were or if they even existed at all.

Our knowledge on the exact structure and makeup of the Astyan army is spotty at best, though it's known there was at least a simple hierarchial structure of civilian militia*, common soldiers, elite heavily armored infantry*, and advanced scout forces. All in the Astyan military had to be magi, and generally the stronger one's natural gifts, the higher levels of veterancy one could achieve. 

[Image: fantasy-warrior-weapon-army-armor-sword-...24x640.jpg]
Astyan Heavy Infantry, restored stone etching, c.255AC

The Astyan military model focused primarily on small, powerful, mobile units over large battlefield deployments. These elite companies had long histories often spanning thousands of years but had far less independence than today's mercenary companies and were funded and equipped entirely by the Crown. Unfortunately only knowledge of these company's existence has been found, and none of their actual names or legacies, but some current archaeological sites have borne promising results.*

Each company was generally from three to ten elite magi, lead by an 'Archmage' or 'Warlord', two of the highest military ranks one could achieve. 

Generally, an Astyan military target would be scouted by a scout company to build a solid foundation of attack and defense points; these scout forces would join the main attack or defense force at a pre-arranged time. Their tactics were predominantly based on both hit-and-run by the light forces, and hammer-and-anvil maneuvers by heavy infantry companies. These heavy infantry were equipped with highly advanced armor for their time, capable of being worn for long periods and both enchantable and maintainable by common soldiers in the field. Unfortunately, knowledge of their construction was lost in the fall of Astya.

It's possible both men and women served in the Astyan military equally*, though artwork from the era is scarce and typically does not show any signs of gender in their depictions of warriors in armor.

[Image: more_realistic_armor_concept_for_sororit...7PVNoVlNlI]
Astyan Scout Armor; possible female variant, restored stone etching, c.249AC

Numerous Astyan military funeral sites have been found in the Essharan peninsula; many of them the last resting places of Astyan scout forces who initially explored the continent and had to tame whatever nameless beasts already lived there. Their funerary rites were quite simple, with one of two methods being used: either stone-cairn burial with numerous runes and inscriptions surrounding the site*, or cremation into long-lasting ceramic urns. In all cases examined so far, there has been inscribed a dirge or poem near the burial site; though it's not mentioned in any historical writing, it's likely this tradition goes back well into the Early Mythic.

[Image: art-demon-bitva-cepi-voin.jpg]
" Astya Eternal", Preserved painting found in manor ruin, c. 1244AC, Time-magic survey dated c.95-105AC

* Numerous Astyan literary references are found in the Late Mythic Era regarding Astya's neighbouring Kingdoms, most of whom they considered young and brash upstarts and conquered them whenever possible. However, after the Astyan Decline, their military might waned significantly and the Astyan border continued to shrink over the centuries.

* It's disputed highly exactly how much stronger Magi were during the Mythic Era; legends tend to be exaggerated over time. Despite all this a thread of constancy remains through non-Astyan sources stating that the Astyans were, in fact, particularly gifted in all forms of magic, much to their great envy. Several references exist to "streams" in Astyan literature, though what they could be referring to specifically tends to be unknown.

* Use of Militia: Only in the Astyan Decline did the use of civilians for military purposes begin; before that, all militaries were elite cadres of extremely gifted Magi and no 'rank and file' whatsoever. However, the urgent and frantic defense against Mordred and his demonic hordes required the mobilizing of every part of Astyan society, and these low-echelon troops were given whatever was on hand to defend themselves with.

* Elite Infantry: The Astyans took great pride in their heavy infantry forces; these were despite the armor, quite powerful Magi with many years of training before they entered the battlefield. This extreme discipline allowed their mere presence on the battlefield to cause many foes to scatter. Many of them rose through the ranks to become powerful and influential Archmagi; unfortunately during the Astyan Decline and the final battles, roughly 98% of the entire elite company units and millennia's worth of equipment were lost.

* Equality: Scholars have been in hot dispute about this issue for many centuries. It's obvious that many Archmagi in the military were women, and many prominent leaders were as well. However, exactly how many were in the military structure itself is unknown. Several 'possibly female' variants of their standard armor are depicted in some artwork, though the sources of these too are disputed.

* Runes: Though many of the funeral runes surrounding Astyan burial sites have been deciphered, many have not. This author personally has studied many in the Vale of Moonfall and the only thing of note besides the lovely poetry was the regular use of what I can only assume were runes drawing on the power of Time. Unfortunately non were active after so many millennia but it begs the question of what their purpose was. To keep time from desecrating the site, perhaps?
Topic Options
Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)