The Cyrenic people, forged from disparate tribes of dwarves in Southwest Galisea during the Yulani Period. During the later Yulani Period the tribal groups came together in the face of Yulani incursions into their territory during the late Yulani. After the fall of the Yuan-Ti, the peoples came together to establish a unifed state in the Kingdom of Cyrenica. The new state, embarked on an an extensive period of cultural unification turning an alliance of tribes into a single ethnic group. Cyrenican culture has influenced, and been influenced by the cultures of its neighbors, particularly the various Aeillan civilizations, the Grecci gnomes, and the Cyrenic brother civilizations of the Volger and Indric dwarves who occupy nearby mountain ranges and have long served as allies, and in latter years bitter rivals to Cyrenic civilization. Each of these states have influenced the religion, cultural tradition, and ethos of the state, though few have had as profound attitude to Cyrenican peoples than the Aarumites, who have, as a result of their seizure of the Nabari Plateau, and frequent attempts to sack Cyrenic cities have engendered a defensive, and indeed slightly paranoid attitude among certain Cyrenic communities, particularly in the north. The Cyrenic people have never truly shaken the influence of extended familial structures, known as the Cyrenic houses, who often interfere with certain civic events. In practical terms however, there have been efforts made by the Cyrenic state to break down these houses in favor of a more influential state, particularly under the guidance of House Aurelian which seeks to establish what is effectively a nation-state. Other cultural values include decentralized relgion (something all dynasties have tried to put an end to but to no avail), industriousness, and commercialism.
Feminine names Feminine and Masculine names are quite similar, though feminine names tend to end in vowel suffixes, mostly -a, sometimes -eo, and rarely -e Common feminine names include: Gaia, Lucia, Marciana Publiana, Quintana, Titiana, Sextana, Aula, Decimana, Gnaea, Spuriana, Maniana, Serviana, Appia Numeriana, Vibia
Feminine and Masculine names are quite similar, though masculine names tend to end in consonant suffixes, most commonly -an or -us . Common masculine names include: Acilian, Valerian, Lucius, Marcus, Quintianus, Sextanus, Vipacian, Aurelian, Decimus, Ulpius, Publius, Licianius, Vibius, Hadrian, Caius, Pilatus, Domitius, Julius
The Ilosi have a tripartite naming structure, with the third behing a familial name, often based on a traditional family profession, or a perceived trait when the family was formally founded. These house names are often ancient dating back over a thousand years at least. Common family names include: Alba, Agricola, Bassa, Camillus, Dolabella, Flava, Maro, Piso, Vitula
In addition to family name and given name, a Cyrenic person also choose their own surname upon reaching adolescence. This name is often similar to a given name, and generally in line with the gender of their given name. The proname is often considered the essence of the person who selects it and is the most important name, not to be spoken except by close friends and family members.
Major language groups and dialects
The Cyrenic people speak the Cyrenic language largely exclusively. Thanks in large part to their mountainous home, and the collapse of their imperial territory, few Cyrenic people spend an extended period of time outside of their homelands, preferring instead short term trading missions to immediate neighbors. As a result, there are few minority communities, and therefore few Cyrenic peoples that have become accustomed to speaking another language.
Shared customary codes and values
Cyrenic peoples favor obedience to authority in most of their dealings, alongside productivity. Respect for traditional authority is seen as necessary to maintaining the social cohesion upon which Cyrenic society is built, and indeed the only thing securing the Cyrenic people from the destruction and barbarism of the Aarumites, and other more loosely organized societies that came before them.
Average technological level
The Cyrenic peoples helm what is perhaps the most advanced state in Southwest Galisea, with a highly developed civil infrastructure, ready access to gunpowder, and has even achieved a certain level of primitive industrialization. Cyrenic engineering projects have served to bring water to agricultural centers, and cities throughout the city, and have been important templates for the great works of Aeilla in particular. Cyrenica is the point of origin for the invention of gunpowder, and dwarven artisans have created some of the finest firearms in the world, though they have been surpassed by Aeillans in terms of raw firearms manufacturing capability. Their development of manufactories and watermills have also been extremely effective, and been a model for other states to follow.
Common Etiquette rules
Cyrenic etiquette relies on ancient traditions, and inter-house codes, meaning that etiquette rules are often complex, specific, and deeply entrenched. Cyrenic peoples are expected to not talk over one another, refrain from direct eye contact, and maintain a control over their emotions, and indeed these forms of being polite are expected to maintained at all times, and to varying extents regardless of social station.
Common Dress code
The Cyrenic people do have a fairly functionalist dress code, with people generally expected to dress in a manner appropriate to their profession, and nudity being deemed as dressing inappropriately for one's station. For some professions, notably in entertainment and sex work, this can mean little, or even no clothing, but for nobles, smiths, and others with specific requirements, dress codes can be complex affairs with ancient rules in place about them.
Art & Architecture
Cyrenic peoples are functionalist when it comes to the creation of their craftwork. Stonework and metalwork are the most common forms of art, with ornate and beautiful works of Cyrenic handicraft serving as highly sought after objects for their beauty. Among these are musical instruments such as harps, and keyboards, which are often used in concert with Cyrenic voices to create music which serves as the second most prominent artform in Cyrenic culture. Architecturally, the Cyrenic people favor stonework, with large impressive facades being common, particularly at city entrances.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
Cyrenic custom is religiously and familialy oriented, with festivals around deities, other divine beings, and family traditions, particularly birth, and death rites being by far and away the most important traditions respected in the Cyrenic culture. Secondarily to these are those surrounding the foundation of a new business, and anniversaries to the formation of the Kingdom of Cyrenica.
Birth & Baptismal Rites
A birth is highly celebrated with the house of the father throwing massive feast in his honor, followed by the house of the mother throwing another. It is at this second feast, where the the most important activities occur, most notably, the naming of the child, wherein the mother and father make the final decision about to which house the child will be dedicated, and the name of the child. Both of these things are highly important, and indeed contentious affairs, and especially in the upper rungs of houses, and in the nobility, a significant amount of politicking goes into house dedication and naming.
Coming of Age Rites
Cyrenic coming of age rites include two parts, the ritual of names, and the ritual of purpose. The former comes as a Cyrenic person reaches adolescence. In this ritual, the select their proname, which is something they carry with them for the rest of their lives, and is considered a deeply personal element of their core being. The second comes upon finishing whatever apprenticeship they had been sent to, and is often an indicator that a young adult is ready to pursue their profession, their purpose, as a fully adult member of their house.
Funerary and Memorial customs
Cyrenic funerary traditions are generally elaborate, as to the Cyrenic people, ancestors live on as guardian spirits to their descendants. Deceased Cyrenic people are often cremated, and a small amount of ash and bone is collected into a small jar. These jars known as spirituvasae, are placed into special halls of the dead, to serve as vessels for the spirit of the ancestor, who it is believed can be approached for guidance, and can be invoked to protect their descendants from danger.
In Cyrenica, there are three major taboos. The first of these is blasphemy, as disparaging divine beings is considered an invitation to those partaking in it, to be punished by those beings, and indeed, invite disaster for those around. The second, idleness stands opposed to those for whom life has no purpose, and who develop no skills, nor contribute to their community. The third and final is rebelliousness, those who seek to upset the established order had best be able to demonstrate the superiority of their system or else be severely shunned for their threat to order.
Traditional masculine Cyrenic Beauty favors the strong, the hirsute. Cyrenic men are expected to remain strong and to maintain a stocky athletic body type if possible, as well as maintaining thick, if well groomed, body and facial hair. Beards are traditionally expected to be worn, with elders who have largely left the hard work of their professions behind in particular seen wearing long thick, and fastidiously cared for beards, often woven with fine metalwork and jewels at formal events. Traditional Cyrenic femininity beauty similarly prefers the strong over the weak, with stocky athletic builds being favored over thinner builds. Cyrenic women are generally allowed to build up body fat moreso than men are, and strong, and slightly chubby builds are favored most. Though the idea of Cyrenic women wearing beards is a myth, Cyrenic women do generally have thick body hair, especially in comparison to other, non-dwarvish peoples, and this is seen as beautiful.
Traditional Cyrenic masculinity favors industry, strength, courage, as well as excellence of skill. Cyrenic men are generally expected to be protectors and providers for their house, and as a result must be prepared to work, or fight for the good of their house, and to face death with dignity and courage. Similarly Cyrenic men are supposed to work towards becoming experts in their field devoting themselves utterly to whatever craft or skills that have decided to pursue. Traditional Cyrenic feminity favors intelligence, courage, dignity, and grace, with Cyrenic women often being guided towards less physically oriented professions than men. That being said they are likewise expected to act as good envoys for their house at all times, and to live bravely and boldly. Though not as heavily emphasized, Cyrenic feminity does value excellence and women are often expected to pursue skills with no less devotion than their masculine counterparts.
Cyrenic courtships are short, with marriages arranged by more highly placed family members. Though it has slowly become rarer over time, it is not all that uncommon for people to be married to somebody they have never met. It is more common however, for there to be a brief courtship process before marriage for elders to see how the couple interacts with particularly unsuitable partnerships being discontinued before inevitable disaster.
Relationships are generally multilateral affairs, with multiple couples, their children, and some of their parents living together in small subunits of the great houses that Cyrenica. Such groups are expected to be tight nit and interact regularly, and indeed elders are often needed to help raise children of parents often working extensive hours. Though in most houses, romantic relationships are to be considered monogamous, polyamory is practiced in certain great houses.
The only state with significant Cyrenic presence is the Kingdom of Cyrenica which is dominated by the Cyrenic people. Outside the Kingdom of Cyrenica, there are few large and influential minority communities with the Cyrenic peoples generally limiting themselves to trade with the outside world, aside from the odd artisan coaxed to a foreign land due to the offer of extensive pay and patronage from foreign rulers.
Recommended DnD (5e) Traits:Note: These are rough guidelines, and not strict rules for those wishing to roleplay as Cyrenicae.
Play as a Dwarf using the Hill Dwarf subrace:
- +2 to Constitution, +1 to Wisdom
- Choose proficiency with smith's tools.
- Hit point maximum increases by 1, and by another 1 per level.