Lykran Ethnicity in The Calinan Sea | World Anvil


"Let this be inscribed on the annals - for your sins against your neighbours, for your sacrilege against Holy Venderus, for your attempt to bring the world under your heel, your people will serve us and they will serve every person they attempted to subjugate themselves. You are now - all of you, your chief, your nobles, your warriors, your workers - the property of the Kalriv state."
-Var Radac, Chieftain of the Kalriv, to the defeated populace of Lykrus, 1193 DoM
  Lykrans are a sub-ethnicity in the Kalriv Empire, and the residents of the city of Lykrus in north-eastern Kalriv. They were one of the first peoples to be conquered by the Kalriv in their tribal expansion, and while they are considered Kalriv citizens in the eyes of the law, both many Lykrans and many southern Kalriv consider them to not be true Kalriv- although their reasoning for this differs. To southern Kalriv, they are rebellious at best, profligate, degenerate and slaves at worst. To themselves, they are a people who have been ground down by Kalriv oppressors for centuries, who in spite of it all refuse to give in, fighting tooth and nail for a place as equals in the Empire - or away from it.  

History of the Lykrans

Prior to 1193 Dawn of Man, the Lykrans were one of many dispersed tribes of the northern Sapphire Coast. They were one of the earliest Sapphran tribes to become permanently settled in the transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, settling on the northeastern coast around 4000 DoM. They took to working copper tools only just after the Kalriv, and by the start of the second millenium DoM, they had expanded into a thriving city.  

A pre-Kalriv slinger, wearing traditional Lykran attire
  During the first half of the second millenium DoM, the Lykrans expanded further inland, their population booming. To meet the needs of their people, in addition to farming they took to absorbing other towns, either by annexation or outright conquest. They bolstered this further by engaging in raids throughout the plains of the northern Sapphire Coast, and it was here that they clashed against the rising Kalriv tribe. Seeing the Kalriv moving in from the south and the Lykrans from the east, the smaller towns and cities threw in their lot with the Kalriv, who declared war on Lykrus. The Lykrans fought fiercely, but by 1193 DoM the superior Kalriv army had besieged Lykrus and compelled it to surrender.   After defeat, the Lykrans were forcibly subsumed into the confederation of tribes that had joined the Kalriv - and had extremely harsh terms pressed upon them, partly to sway the other towns to their side, and partly to make an example and suppress any future dissent from them. The Kalriv chieftain, or Var, rendered the entire Lykran population - nobles, priests, warriors, workers, and even many of their subsumed towns - as property of the state, and jointly with the High Solar, instituted them into the Slave caste, a penitent caste beneath the existing structure of Guardians, Solars, Forgers and Labourers.   While many other conquered tribes either kept a significant portion of their people as free Kalriv citizens or were freed after relatively short runs of penance, the Lykrans spent over a millennium as slaves, with freeing them considered to be sacrilege. The void left by Lykran nobility was filled by Kalriv Guardians and Solars, and labourers were brought in from surrounding territories. It was only in 22 TE that a particularly liberal High Solar convinced the Kalriv Chieftain to legalise Lykran emancipation, and even this came with stern cautions from the authorities, and unfriendly and untrusting eyes from other Kalriv citizens.  

Lykrans Today

"It's been 1600 years. You don't think it might be time to let it go?"
-Calliano of Avadia to a Kalriv noble on the status of the Lykrans, 469 TE
  For the last 400 years, Lykrans have been existing in a limbo between being valued Kalriv citizens and a slave underclass. While many Lykrans have been freed and have entered the Forger and Labourer classes, they are still disproportionately slaves to other Kalriv. The Lykrans fortunate enough to be freed are still generally eyed with distrust from other Kalriv, with over a thousand years of enshrined disdain still present. Even the free Lykrans face heavy restrictions from Kalriv society - while acceding to become a Solar or a Guardian is extremely difficult for the average Kalirv, it is outright illegal for anyone of Lykran origin.   Lykrans are often seen as innately untrustworthy and criminals - and this sadly becomes a self-fulfiling prophecy, with discrimination and poverty rife among those who aren't slaves. They are considered to be a people forever stained with the actions of their ancestors. In spite of it all, Lykrans carry on, and their determination and work ethic is second to none - those that won their freedom are determined to never, ever lose it again.


Major language groups and dialects

The Lykrans were believed to have spoken a dialect of Sapphran somewhat different to the one the Kalriv speak. However, the Kalriv have completely suppressed the teaching and use of this dialect, and all Lykrans must now speak Kalriv Sapphran. Similarly, any Lykran names that may have differed from the Kalriv standard are long gone, erased from history.

Shared customary codes and values

Among most Lykrans, a sense of quiet defiance that sheds just shy of being enough to justify reprisals is encouraged. While the Kalriv have taken their names and their language, Lykrans still feel a sense of identity and common cause among each other. The ideal of the hard working Lykran, who toils and carries on under hardship while refusing to break or bend against the Kalriv is still subtly worked in to Lykran youth from birth, and after centuries this seems unlikely to change.   While it appears that Lykrans did have their own gods and faith in the past - believed to be similar to the Druidism of the Heartlands or the shamanism of the Wessuth - the Solar Faith has been enshined in their culture for millenia, and it appears that they practiced their own form of veneration of Venderus without the Kalriv-centric dogma of the south. Today, most Lykrans are of the mainstream Solar Faith, paying lip service to the exaltation of the Kalriv - with many leaning towards the breakaway True Venderan faith.

Common Dress code

Before their subjugation by the Kalriv, Lykrans had a distinctive style of dress. Unlike the southern Sapphrans, they were given to wearing warmer clothes and trousers. The traditional Lykran clothing is a white long-sleeved blouse, usually supplmented by a sash or waistcoast, with black trousers and boots. While this manner of clothing is suppressed in the central Empire, it is seen as virtually impossible to suppress in Lykrus and in surrounding Lykran population centres themselves.   The choice to wear these outfits or not to is a significant statement - wearing Lykran clothing makes a strong statement about one's identity but is also frowned upon and draws undue attention from other Kalriv. Conversely, shedding these in favour of the Kalriv tunic or mantle will lessen unwanted attention, but can cause murmurs of class traitorism among their fellow Lykrans. Slaves, naturally, have little choice but to wear tunics, vests and rags.

Major organizations

Lykrans are forbidden from forming official organisations or assemblies of their own, with most Kalriv seeing it as a recipe for an uprising. With that having been said, the high percentage of slaves and ex-slaves among the Lykrans has seen them being very prominent in rebellious organisations such as Liberty's Eclipse.  

Mikos Terelian, an escaped Kalriv-Lykran slave and mercenary
  Some Lykrans leave the Empire altogether, seeing it as a lost cause and instead try to seek their fortune in the southern Sapphire Coast or the Heartlands.
Parent ethnicities
Related Locations

Cover image: by World Anvil


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