Annyrion

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 Cool and damp, and garbed in a verdant, velvet mantle, this new country was a harsh mistress composed of windswept moors, dank, deciduous forests and vast ranges of ancient mountains weathered into bleak highlands. Moreover she was an untamed land – home to capricious Fey lurking in their enchanted realms where the laws of nature hold no sway, and to the enigmatic Elder Races dwelling within forests of giant plants fallen from the world of the gods. Savages skulked in bramble-woods, primitives prowled the snowy mountains, demons cavorted across the howling granite wastes, and voracious beasts preyed on one and all.

Arriving in Annyrion from the distant continent of Zephyr through the portal gate of Karickfern, the exhausted, starving Wyldfolk would make their final stand, for they could go no further. Thus they determined to carve out a new homeland for themselves or die trying, there among the ruined outposts of the former Tartos Empire, battling the seething hordes of Banebrood who were the twisted legacy of that once proud culture.

These armies of men-beasts and mutated mortals were the direst of threats the Wyldfolk faced, for they outnumbered the refugees a hundred-fold. Such abominations were heretofore unknown to the Wyldfolk; they named them Fomorions and Firbolg, and swore upon the Seven Sacred Torcs oaths of eternal hatred.

The Wyldfolk are now the dominant culture in Annyrion, but their grip is tenuous and slipping day by day.  The Wyldfolk have developed a close bond with nature, more so than other mortal peoples, and in return the life-force of nature has gradually come to accept them. More than most. The Wyldfolk are divided have three major subfactions: Tribal, Fiannor nomads and the nature extremists known as the Tuathan.

God-Forests – more than a dozen godlands hit Annyrion when the world of Godangar was destroyed.  These were previously part of the Garden of the Gods on the Asrae world of Goddangr before it was smashed.  These small lands carried plants which were gigantic in comparison with Calydorn plants.  Where they landed, the seeds scattered and forests of these giant plants grew up around them, stretching for hundreds of miles.

Feylands – Six sizable lands were trans-located to Annyrion during the sorcerous catastrophe during the Halcyon Age – Lyela, Muriadh, Goriadh, Findiadh, Faliadh, and Sinnreadh. So too were hundreds of small pockets a few-score miles wide.

The vegetation of these lands is that of the Aethernatos realm of Nhaar, from which they originate. Plants grow in various shades of purple, while flowers are predominantly green and blue. Because they lack one of the 12 Keraunoi emanations which combine to form the Material Plane, these Fey realms possess a dreamlike and insubstantial quality. The laws of nature do not always apply within; gravity, motion, and dimensions are variable. Water may run upstream; rain may fall into the sky; and opposing winds can create standing walls of air. Even time is variable; days can last for months or months can last for days.

 

Primary Cultures of Annyrion

Tribal Wyldfolk

Wyldfolk Tribal culture can be divided roughly into three types: Highlanders, Lowlanders and Fenfolk.  At one time the two cultures were defined by where they lived, but now it is possible to find exceptions such as the Annyr living in the southern Prymorthian Mountains who live at an altitude greater than that of Gromponia, but are still considered Lowlanders in every way. Some dispossessed bands of Highlanders also roam Badadden and Magh Doradh, but they still consider themselves Highlanders.

The Highlanders Live among the mountains plateaus and hill ranges of Annyrion, and worship the deity Grom-Graoch who is the son of the Vanitan Gärd and Shannenis goddess of Fertility.  He is god of the mountains and Patron god of Gromponia, where they worship him almost to the exclusion of all other gods.  Because Grom-Graoch is half Vanitan, he is a loner.  He looks down from his misty mountains with a harsh and unforgiving stare.  He appears as an ogre with a musk-ox mask and furs, wielding a claymore.

Lowlanders primarily worship the god Mabdhus.  Mabdhus is a brash, loud and boastful god, with the courage and strength to back his claims.  In personality, he could not be more different than Grom-Graoch. He is always portrayed riding a chariot, wielding spear and sword.

Fenfolk live in the vast swamps, fens and marshes of Annyrion and worship the goddess Brannia Annua, who is considered the greatest hunter of the cosmos. She can take the form of various beasts and can speak with all animals.  Brannia demands respect for animals and punishes tribes who over-hunt.

From the Lowlanders, Highlanders and Fenfolk of the Tribal Clans to the nomadic Fiannor clans of the prairies, internal strife is common, and only the Druids provide a modicum of political cohesion.

 

Fiannor Wyldfolk

Of all the Annyr tribes and cultures, the Fiannor are the wildest and most unfettered, living free beyond the borders of the tribal settlements. Their untamed wanderlust has turned them into nomads who live by driving their herds of cattle across the bleak heath-lands, brooding moors and solitary meadows.

Although some Fiannor fight on foot, the culture consists predominantly of mounted warriors riding Horned-Lynx and Fiann-Elk, supported by Ogres mounted upon the Black Buffalo.

Such a collection of beasts, together with all the mounts and cattle, forms a veritable mountain of meat on the move.

Not all Fiannor are herders; for a portion of each tribe is specialized instead as hunters. These frontier folk, known as the Fyagair, live for weeks at a time in the virgin wilderness and have developed their own unique traditions.  The Fyagair bands’ primary role is to safeguard the tribe,

for example the fleet-footed Scabhta Hunters scout ahead beyond the perimeter of the herds, while Ogre Beast Hunters track and slay those larger predators which represent a threat.

The epitomy of feral freedom are the Wylders – loners who live exclusively among the animals, such as the Bainean Huntresses who run with Sabrefangs or the Bear-Brothers who run with Greybears. These primal hermits live so close to nature and revere the goddess Andobha so deeply that they prefer the company of animals over people. Wylders are able to commune with their adopted pack and often hunt alongside them.

 

Tuathan Wyldfolk

Fully a quarter of the Wyldfolk turned their backs on the Druids and the gods altogether, embracing instead worship then cosmic creation Goddess Dhannya. The Tuatha de Dhannan, or Children of Dhannya believe in a greater goddess they call Dhannya who gave birth to the cosmos and who was slain by the Arch-emperor of demons.

While her consciousness was snuffed out at her death, fragments of her shattered god-soul were splashed upon the Nine Worlds. Much of this essence merged with the life-force of nature which permeates all living things; and so these non-sentient fragments of The Goddess have lived on within particularly verdant regions of the Nine Worlds.

The sub-continent of Annyrion is said to contain one of the largest portions of the dead goddess – unconscious but divine nevertheless – and the Tuathan are devoutly dedicated to its sentient reawakening.

During the first century after their founding, the Tuathan evolved a threefold culture with one sect epitomizing each aspect in the circle of nature – Life, Change and Death.

Elder Races

The enigmatic Elder Races were the first born of all the cosmos’ denizens and dwelt in Annyrion millennia before even the Dawn Gods awoke. They remain today in the Westerwilds of Annyrion in a region named Tir-Ainmiara – a land of impenetrable forests composed of giant flowers and cyclopean plants fallen to Calydorn during the destruction of the god’s world.

These Elder Races also dwell within the deserted heathlands, copse thickets and mountains all across Annyrion. Wary and reclusive, they maintain an active distrust of Mortals. They include: the badger-like Mustelors who rival Ogres in size, the aggressive fox-like Vulpines, the

amphibious shelled A’gwaark, Cacklars who are feathered but flightless humanoids, diminutive Gnomes and others of a more predatory nature.

 

Niads

These creatures are the most prevalent elemental race of water and were the undisputed masters of Annyrion during the Elemental Age, with vast networks of canals and lakes criss-crossing this sodden, rainy land. Even before the coming of the Wyldfolk, the Niads had been driven back into the lochs, rivers and coastlands by the Tartos Empire, and today only mysterious ruins stand as testament to their former glory.

The refugee Wyldfolk found in the Niads a race of graceful and enlightened beings equally eager for allies against the menacing onslaughts of the Banebrood, Trolls and Demons, and so it was that long-standing alliances were forged with many of the Niad realms.

 

Fey

The Fey are enchanted creatures born of the otherworld beyond the material plane, known as the Mytherion Realms.

By and large, Aetherions are tall, slender race who are near immortal. Their history on Calydorn is long and multi-faceted, having been the freinds and teachers of mortals durinp the golden Age and then the most terrible enemies of mortals, even invading heavens of mortal gods with their armies and been cursed with infertility therafter. today Aetherions possess several powerful realms including the golden Kingdom of Medea and the Malentians and Malurians.  Most Aetherions are aloof and detached compared to mortals, possessing an alien psyche and values. Indeed, Aetherions come from beyond the Material Plane and are magical in nature.

What makes the Fey uniquely different from all other Aetherions on Calydorn is that they (like the Wyldfolk Tuathan) have joined their souls to the eternal anima of Nature and worship or venerate the cosmic creation goddess Dhannya.

The catastrophic meddling of human sorcerers during the Golden Age shattered the wall of the material plane, scrambling the Material Plane, and the Aetherion plan of Aar, thereby thrusting the Mortal and the Fey races into unexpected contact. Hundreds of small pockets of the otherworld were displaced to Annyrion, along with six major realms, all of which are known as the Witching Lands. Many of the Fey were loath to leave these garden-paradises and glittering cities, and so they remained – enigmatic beings guarding their hidden glens and misty lochs.

Conversely, countless Wyldfolk lands were trans-located to the other side, where legend has it, the descendants of the mortal inhabitants survive to this day. Bard tales recount famous quests, romances, duels and wars with the Immortals, but for the most part the Fey shun the material taint inherent in humans. The capricious mentality and devious magic of the Fey taught the Wyldfolk a wary, superstitious respect for these beings, whose forms are as varied and fluid as their emotions, appearing as tiny fairies, knee-high Pucks or waist-high Gremlins. Best known of all are the Sidhe – Aetherions of the Otherworld. These graceful beings possess a mentality which to mortals is amoral and utterly incomprehensible, and yet also beguiling in its mystery.

The Sidhe (pronounced Shee) regularly steal mortal children.  These they raise in their realms and breed with to keep up their numbers, since all Sidhe suffered the Aetherion infertility curse. Many of these changelings are taken to the Mytherion Realm of Aar.  Few Changelings have ever attempted to return to mortal society; they seem to integrate fully into Sidhe society.  Half-Sidhe hybrid children are even more strongly subject to The Binding, and must return to the fey-lands at least once every decade.

The Elder Races are closely attuned to the Material Plane, and do not feel at all comfortable in the Enchanted Lands, and so are uncommon there.  Elemental Races, whose elemental attunement is manifested through the Material Plane also cannot bear to endure long periods in these lands.  Demons, like the Sidhe and Fey races, feel at home in such places.  Mortals seem able to abide the enchanted nature of the land for long periods, although eventually they are overcome by a need to return to mundane lands, unless they have been raised there since a child.

 

Regions of Annyrion

Tir Annyr: This is the heartland of the Tribal Wyldfolk, containing the most populated lands.

  • The Highlands of Gromponia, the Myrtle Moors, and the mountains of Culchain contain semi-united clans of Highlander Wyldfolk.
  • Lowlanders dwell in the treetop villages of the Morvyn Forest and in the mound settlements of Bhannbara and Badadden
  • Fennfolk inhabit the lowlands and marshes of Pendrynnis, Illenys and Valáis.
  • Towards the centre is situated the vast tree-covered Godland known as the emerald Plateau – the sacred capital of the Blessed Synod of Oaks until it was recently devastated by a Mortan ethership attack.
  • The wilderness between the Wyldfolk nations of Tir Annyr is roamed by Fiannor and teems with dangerous beasts and Banebrood bands.
  • The windswept heath-lands of Brennath and Caithmara are commonly frequented by small Fiannor tribes and the Elder Races.
  • Threatening all of Lártyr is Mystrotha, a permanently fog-shrouded region that is inhabited by a powerful kingdom of Shadow Trolls.

Northcape

Once dominated by the powerful realm of Conannderin, this is now a land under siege. Although the ocean current keeps Northcape far warmer than the same latitude in Nordgaard, the region is still a cold one enduring cool summers and long winters during which demons from Frostmark raid the northern coast across the winter ice sheet.

The threats to existence here are so severe that all types of Wyldfolk cooperate together in alliances rarely seen further south.

  • Gwynlanneth is a nation of Highlanders who live alongside the Elder Race of Gnomes.
  • From the east arrive boatloads of Skannfyrd settlers from Nordgaard, and the region they control is now referred to as Skanntyr.
  • In the west, the land has turned to barren waste as far as Belrayne, where the undead from the Seagrave Isles stalk the dread waste. Vast numbers of Death-Cult Tuathan have migrated here to combat the undead blight which is killing and reanimating nature in a sick parody of itself.
  • The rest of Northcape is largely populated by Tribal Wyldfolk while Fiannor roam the windswept plains

 Undermarch

  • The Undermarch is a warm region with long summers and plentiful rainfall. It consists primarily of the windy Aishlinn Prairie, upon which lives the greatest concentration of Fiannor Wyldfolk nomads, competing with vast hordes of Banebrood centaurs.
  • Along the southern coast are the swamps of Kyrabaigh, inhabited by the Fenfolk boat-nomads. These lands are warm and humid where nature grows with tremendous speed
  • In the south-East, a vast chalk cliff 5,000 ft (1,800 meters) high forms the current border with the hated Mortan Empire.
  • Cadcarion and Mhelorn are forested lands inhabited by Wydlfolk Highlanders and Elder Races.

 

Westerwilds

  • The Culchain Pass mark the boundary to the Westerwilds which are a wilderness largely unmapped by the Tribal Wyldfolk, but well populated by Tuathan Wyldfolk, and also home to the Niads and Elder Races. It is a mysterious and dangerous land.
  • In the Culchain Pass dwell the Annyr Tinker-Folk who follow the ancient Dreamweaver ways, and the half-Sidhe, half-Mortal Feylings.
  • The Niad realm of Loch Lorich is all that remains of the ancient Niad empire which covered Annyrion during the Elemental Age.
  • The Gairdin de Neamh (Garden of the Gods) is the very heart of the Tuathan culture on Gorn.
  • Further westward are the adventure-lands of Kilgremlich, inhabited by bandits, reavers and outcasts of every type.
  • Tir Ainmhiara is the land of giant flower forests wherein the Elder races still thrive.
  • Along the west coast stretches the vast demon realm of Cynfurrin; a desolate and horrifying land where no sane person would ever tread.

Outlands

Though inhabited predominantly by ethnic Wyldfolk, these lands no longer follow the traditional ways.  Milysium, Annyricum, Dhannyricum and Sháynor were assimilated by the Mortan Empire several centuries ago, while the lands of Mhelorn, Ambhian, and Findaidh are contested regions along the border.  In Albaricum the descendants of the Gnostic Cabal have regained power over the largely Wyldfolk population.

Fhomoria

Like a festering wound at the centre of the sub-continent of Annyrion sits Fhomoria, a land of dark forests teeming with Banebrood, spewing its filth out across the neighboring lands.

This land of dense forest lies at the centre of Annyrion. Formerly named Grunmeer, the region formed the western bastion of the Holy Tartos Empire. The Beastspawn of Fhomoria have few Mongrels, perhaps because the intense anima of nature coursing through Annyrion causes them to breed true. In the south of Fhomoria lies the Godkill Crater, said to have been formed during the Everkill War when the Dawn God Sabraxos impaled the Asrae goddess Mirrianda. Today the massive crater is a place of living terror where blood seeps from a ground that moans in agony.

The land is ruled by the Manticore King Blackmane who is purported to be the mightiest Banebrood shaman alive. The plains of the Aishlinn Prairie are contested with the Wyldfolk by the Centaur herds who owe allegiance to Blackmane. Fhommoria is populated predominantly by stag, boar and bison breeds.

Witching Lands of the Sidhe (Shee)

Cosmic meddling by the Wu-Wei Empire Sorcerers caused many parts of the Material Plane to become scrambled with parts of the Mytherion Planes, causing whole lands to be transferred.  Many of the Sidhe subjected to this unwanted translocation left their lands and returned to the Mytherion Realms from whence they came, but the Lyelans were loath to abandon their glittering white cities and carefully nurtured lands, and so they remain.  As with all Sidhe, those which remain too long on the Material Plane (100 years) can suffer the Binding – the transfer of the person’s core to the Material Plane, trapping them here forever, and so they must make regular returns to Aar, where they practice a regimen of instubstantiating.  One large realm and five minor realms were translocated to Annyrion – Lyela, Muriadh, Goriadh, Findiadh, Faliadh, and Sinnreadh.  Besides these lands are many small pockets a few dozen miles wide which are located all around.

The vegetation of these lands is that of the Mytherion realm of Aar, from which they all come.  The plants there are generally various natural shades of red, and flowers are mostly green and blue.  Such realms have an enchanted otherworldly quality.  Because everything within them lacks one of the ten Kerounoi powers, the land has a slightly insubstantial appearance.  The laws of nature common on Calydorn do not always apply – gravity, time, motion, and spatial dimensions are at times variable.  Water can run upstream; rain can fall into the sky; opposing winds can create a physical barrier; fire sometime leaves what it touches unburned; days can last for months, and months can last for days; items which existed in a location days before can sometimes re-appear; and magic is powerful, but less predictable.

Attempts to invade the Enchanted Lands are met with effective magical resistance, confounding invaders by altering reality – armies have found themselves marching in a straight for days, only to find themselves back where they started one year later.  In rare cases, the Sidhe will engage the enemy with magical force, or as Fadeshift Warriors – fighters trained to stretch and warp reality to a small degree, blurring their exact location in space and time, and moving in bursts of super speed.  Intruders are unwelcome, although occasionally, those without malicious intent have been welcomed.

The Sidhe regularly steal mortal children.  These they raise in their realms and breed with to keep up their numbers, since all Sidhe suffered the Aetherion infertility curse. Many of these changelings are taken to the Mytherion Realm of Aar.  Few Changelings have ever attempted to return to mortal society; they seem to integrate fully into Sidhe society.  Half-Sidhe hybrid children are even more strongly subject to The Binding, and must return to Nhaar at least once every decade.

The Elder Races are closely attuned to the Material Plane, and do not feel at all comfortable in the Enchanted Lands, and so are uncommon there.  Elemental Races, whose elemental attunement is manifested through the Material Plane also cannot bear to endure long periods in these lands.  Demons, like the Sidhe and Fey races, feel at home in such places.  Mortals seem able to abide the enchanted nature of the land for long periods, although eventually they are overcome by a need to return to mundane lands, unless they have been raised there since a child.

Annyrion through the Ages

Elemental Age

  • Elder Races populate Annyrion, and the Jotuns have settlements in the Westlands.

Age of Immortals

  • Niads settled the rivers and lakes of Annyrion.  The fens of Pendrynnis and the swamps of Kyrabaig were the major powers.  In the Westlands arose the Niad realm of Tur-Na-Taon.  These Niad kingdoms built hundreds of canals across the lands to link the various wetlands and rivers into a giant waterway.
  • Dwarves also settle many areas of Annyrion, pushing the Elder Races into the Westlands and the wilderness areas.
  • The Aetherions settled a kingdom of Shenanmar on the south-west coast of Annyrion, north east of Milysia.  This was one of the Five Utopias.

Dawn Age

  • The Ithyan Race expands in Zephyr; the Annyr become a separate cultural group with their own language; a people closely tied to nature, who are accomplished at taming monsters
  • The demon wars rage on, and the Annyr are a key force in Zephyr, fighting alongside the Aetherions and the gods.

Halcyon Age

  • Time of the Aetherion 5 utopias.
  • Mortals began to arrive in Annyrion – first were the Peuktran and then the Tartos. They were mostly hunter-gatherers, later developing into proto cultures.  The Aetherions assisted them, especially the Holy Tartos Empire which stretched from the Mammoth Plains of Tartovaria to the Westland of Annyrion
  • The Dreamweaver Culture spreads through the Holy Tartos Empire to Annyrion.
  • The empire breaks apart, Annyrion becomes the Tartos Kingdom of Grunmeer
  • When the Everkill War began, the Aetherions turned on the Mortals of Annyrion and massacred them.
  • The Baneplague turned most mortals to Banebrood, becoming common all over Annyrion, focused around Fhomoria which was the major centre of population.
  • During the Everkill War, tens of thousands of Annyr flee Zephyr via a worldway gate, arriving in the Eastlands of Annyrion.  Menos MacDrak leads them to victory over the Banebrood pushing the Brood (Fhomorions) and the Marauders (which they name Firbholg) into the forests and mountains, and assimilating the Peuktran.
  • Annyr tribes spread Across Annyrion,
  • The Asrae Pantheons fight the War of shame.  The Annyr are drawn into the war against the Skannfyrd, known as the Battle under the Trees – (Cath Goddeanu).
  • Wars between Mabdhus, Grom-Graoch and Andobha. Avatars are common in Annyrion and heroes perform great deeds.  Highlander and Lowlander cultures solidify.

Golden Age

  • The meddling of the Wu-Wei sorcerers causes the translocation of lands from the Arphanatos realm of Nhaar to Annyrion, including Lyela which replaces the marshy land of Skellin, thereby removing the worldway gate to Zephyr.
  • The Gnostic Cabal rise to power in Zephyr and invade Gorn in great fleets, occupying the southlands and Eastlands of Annyrion, establishing their capital in the Dhannus Valley.  The Annyr are driven into the wilder places, especially taking refuge in the thousands of fens, marshes, swamps and bogs of Annyrion.  In other places they become vassals of the Cabal.  Many Annyr fight for the 3 great empires as mercenaries during the Destiny Wars

Age of the Second Dawn

  • Malentians conquer Annyrion, defeated the Anointed King Caelum at the Battle of Brennan. The Malentians ruled Annyrion for 500 years until the Asrae caused the Seven Woes, destroying the Malentian and atheist empires.

Dark Age

  • The subcontinent was in Chaos. Banebrood ran rampant; Baphagor-Zaan burrows out of the ground and founds the demon Kingdom of Hate in Cynfurrin which grows to conquer much of the sub-continent.  Civilization collapsed in all places except the Culchain Pass where the half-Fey Prince Finfaryon rallies the refugees.

Classical Age

  • Demi-god Uther Songsword becomes anointed hero of the Annyr, driving out, conquering and converting the Cabalists to pantheists.  His armies hunt down the remaining Malentians.  The modern kingdoms of the Annyr are all established.  Uther leads his armies into the Feylands in order to find and free the translocated mortals in the Mytherion Realms, but is never heard of again, although legends speak of an empire he established in the Mytherion Realms.
  • 4 Annyr kingdoms become pre-eminent – Gwynlanneth, Gromponia, Bannbhara, and Conannderin, which fight numerous wars.
  • Nemed Period – Bannbhara conquers most of Annyrion and is finally crushed by the Fiannor and the Cabal descendents of Khabaltir. The Council of Elms is formed.
  • Cromlech War – the Druids Council of Oaks and Elms fight a war for domination resulting in a standoff.
  • Formation of the Tuathan who abandon the Annyr gods, embracing the eternal circle of life, and the power of Dhannya which resides in nature.
  • The Creideamh War (War of Faith) – The Druids form an army and invade the Tuathan realms, but these heretic Dhannyan Pneumatists gain their independence.

Shadow Age

  • Dhannyan Pneumatist movement emerges in Annyrion, becoming known as the Tuathan.
  • Syratha McMourn – the prophesied Heroine – fails to kill the Avatar of Theophon.
  • Skannfyrd take half of Albaricum, and invade Annyrion Northcap.
  • Mortan Empire Captures the Dhannus Valley, Shaynor, Milysia, and Hyraxia, converting the Annyr of these regions to atheists.
  • Mortan Empire conquers Albhreen, (renaming it Albaricum) and Annyricum.
  • Constant raids by Frost demons and invasion by Skannfyrd weaken Conannderin. Ghost ships crash upon the western shore, unleashing hordes of undead, and bringing the Withering Waste which consumes half of the land within 50 years.  Conannderin collapses as a nation.

Present

  • Lucius Julius leads a revolt against the Mortan Lichlords, gaining control of the legions in Khabaltir.  The faithful legions withdraw. Albaricum is overrun by Skannfyrd.
  • Malentians land in Milysia and Hyraxia, enslaving the Mortan-Wyldfolk living there.

 

Nomadic Races

Makaar – Makaar are an Elder Race resembling humanoid Mongooses. In Annyrion they are goat-herders and traders.  They often employ hounds to help shepherd their herds and to aid in defense.  Tribes of Makaar can be found in almost all areas of Annyrion.  Some traders even work on the outskirts of Banebrood Fhomoria.  Due to the Makaar’s virtual monopoly on international trade, they are appreciated for their exotic goods, but are widely distrusted as cattle-rustlers and thieves.  They have a good relationship with Tinkers.

Wyldfolk Tinkers – The Tinkers are descended from Wyldfolk who arrived on ghorn a millennia before the main Wyldfolk exodus from the continent of Zephyr. The Tinkers came to Annyrion before the migration of the Annyr, during the time of the Dreamweaver Council, Their language is closely related to wyldfolk Goydal, and their legends say that they came from across the western sea (aboard several ships).  They survived the Baneplague and war, presumably because they were a nomadic people with little contact to civilization, hidden by the vast forests which then covered most of Annyrion.

Tinkers honor the Asrae, but they consider themselves as guardians of the Dreamquester tradition of the Dreamweaver Council.  Villagers often go to Tinker Mystics to have their dreams interpreted, or to pay for the Mystic to improve their life by performing some action in the Dreamworld.  Others pay for Dreamweavers to create an especially vivid and pleasurable dream, or make someone dream nicely of them.  Tinker influence is discouraged by Druids, but nevertheless tolerated, except during periods of extreme zealousness, during which Tinkers are sometimes persecuted.

Tinkers are physically the same as other wyldfolk, but they are immediately obvious by their dress – the cover themselves in a plethora of finely crafted leather and bone decorations.  Each wear a score of armbands, bracelets, necklaces and belts, many of which bear dozens of tiny leather thongs ending in finely carved pieces of wood or bone.  When they move, Tinkers make a pleasant tinkling sound.

Women wear nets of fine leather over their hair and faces.  Beneath all the ornamentation, they wear clothes of bright green and blue.  Tinker Wagons are similarly decorated with intricate designs and often draped with and bone chimes.  Among normal Annyr, tinkers are the butt of most jokes.

Gaesatae – Fanatical human warriors who fight mostly naked.  Expert in the throwing-spear, sword and shield. Dedicated to the god Danaiden, these warriors become frenzied before entering battle.  Both male and female Gaesatae bands exist, but no mixed bands.  Their origin lies back in the ancient past of the Annyr race, when these warriors were barbarians.  High King Hengus MacDrak made them his personal bodyguard, and although the tribe became semi-civilized, they retained their nakedness in battle.

Galloglaich – are Ogre mercenaries of dual Annyr Myrgaerder origin, coming from the islands in the Trondmeer and Sea of Ormet, where the two races have intermingled.  Armed with the claymores of the Annyr and the armor of the Myrgaerder, with the addition of throwing axes, these fearless warriors are much sought after.

Fiannor – Tribes of Fiannor can be found in most open grass, heath lands and moors.  Although some Fiannor fight on foot, the culture is essentially composed of mounted nomads.  A typical tribe numbers around 50-200 people.  Most have about 80% of the people mounted on Lynx or stags, and the other 20% are mounted on Buffalos.  Tribes which contain more ogres have 50% or more buffalos.  Every family has several ponies, donkey or mules for carrying their belongings.  Fiannor live in tents.  The frames are made of yew wood, and the outer cover is of leather.  Wealthier families have an inner layer of wool.

Poorer families sleep in a single tent with an earthen pit fire, while wealthier ones have 2-3 tents and a metal oven heater.  Nomadic Fiannor roaming through settled lands are firm worshippers of the Annyr Asrae pantheon, but those in the wilder areas such as the Aishlinn Prairie also have shamanistic worship of local nature spirits.  At times, their wandering may take them across farm or graze land of settled peoples, in which case, armed conflict can occur, although established traditions exist for interaction, which lessen such conflicts.

These traditions include that villages must allow tribes to stay for up to 3 days on any land which is not ploughed, but no closer than 1 mile from the village.  In fact, the arrival of Fiannor tribes near a village generally results in an impromptu festival of 2-3 days, in which trade and festivities occur.  Fiannor resources are furs, ornately carved leather and ivory items, animals and meat.  Villages normally trade woven cloth, metal items and alcohol.

Sky Nations 

Sylphs – The skies above western Annyrion are controlled by the Hurristurm Aviarchy, which is a conservative realm of zealous Purists-Path worshippers, who follow the Way of Storms.  They are a very militant people living in a highly organized and controlled society.  They pursue a political policy of isolationism from all other races, so contact with the Wyldfolk is rare.  The Tuathan Morrigan Crow-Riders are an annoyance to the Sylphs.  The air-caravan trade routes centered on Fidnyr must be careful not to pass the Bluepine Mountains, which demark the boundary of Hurristurm’s control.  This Sylph realm extends north and west across the Azure Ocean as far as Barangia.  Since the Wyldfolk have learned to respect Hurristurm air-space, the aviarchy’s main enemies are the demons of Cynfurrin and the Nightsky Empire over southern and eastern Annyrion.  In the past there were numerous wars against their neighbor kingdom to the east – Cerulia who are similarly conservative following the Way of Breezes.

Nightsky Empire – This is a realm of skylands controlled by the Children of Umbra – primarily Nocturns, Gloomwyrms, giant bats, and other monsters.  It extends from the Bluepine and Stormbreak Mountains south and east across the Eastlands and Southlands of Annyrion, as well as across northern Mirrormeer and the Tartoberg Wald. It is ruled by a Demigoddess who is daughter to one of the new Stygian Gods.