The Races of Avendar, Chapter III: The Srryn
An excerpt from the Races of Avendar, an in-game text found in the school of heroes, this chapter covers the srryn.
srryn: Section 1 The srryn are a race of cold-blooded, bipedal reptiles. Covered with tough scales and born with whip-like tails, they are cunning warriors who often use their natural speed and strength to good advantage. They mainly dwell in swamps, lowlands, and deserts, and are well-known for their long history as itinerant raiders of nearby settlements. srryn leadership often comes with age, predicated on the assumption that no incompetent would survive that long. Despite their primitive trappings, the srryn are one of Avendar's oldest races, with their rise coming shortly after the Sundering. The earliest written records of the srryn come from the aelin, concerning their proclivity for raids and measures taken to combat them. The aelin viewed the srryn as utterly hopeless primitives, and considered them a nuisance at best. According to the srryn, all reptiles were born to a powerful but disinterested mother-deity called Fenthira. This goddess laid many eggs throughout the world of Avendar, and from each sprung different evolutions of reptilian life. One such egg was called Sythtys, which became a great swamp south of the Dantaron river valley. srryn: Section 2 Powerful srryn rose and fell, but one of particular power was called Sythrak. It is said that it was through Him that the srryn race discovered the magics of Fire. This single event changed the course of both srryn and Avendarian history, as it transformed a race of primitive, bickering warlords into a force to be reckoned with. Cowing the humans who lived around them with the power of their newfound magic, the srryn began a series of campaigns to unite their reptilian factions. As they clashed with more powerful and well-armed humans, the srryn reached something of an impasse. An exchange was brokered between humanity and the srryn: the metal weapons and armor of the humans, for the fiery magic of the srryn. The two races turned their attention to the longstanding master-race, the aelin. The srryn and their human allies came against the aelin with the suddenness of an inferno, and reduced many of their cities to ashes. The massive destruction and countless deaths heralded the beginning of the War of Fire, the most destructive conflict since the Sundering. srryn: Section 3 At first, it seemed the mighty aelin civilization would fall quickly, as one by one their cities were overrun. Once the aelin realized the nature of the threat, however, they rallied their republic to face the invaders. Using their swordmastery and the relics of the fallen alatharya, the aelin followed with a series of counterstrikes, pushing the srryn to a stalemate. The stalemate, however, was an untenable one. The srryn and humans were both virile races, swelling in numbers quickly. Furthermore, their magic was strong and plentiful. Meanwhile, the aelin took time to renew themselves, and their success depended on the rapidly fading power of ancient artifacts, inferior weapons, and force of will. In the end, the srryn lines did not break until entirely new forces came into play. humans not allied with the srryn joined with a daring minority of the aelin, and following the words of an alatharyan prophecy, embarked on a journey to the far north to awaken the sleeping god, Jolinn. The magics of Water would lead to the War's end, with much of the world left in ruins. The srryn were driven back, many of them to Sythtys, where they hid themselves from the victorious aelin and humans. srryn: Section 4 The rise of the Republic of Earendam left the srryn an isolated race. Sythrak, whose magics had kindled their collective will to dominate, was forced aside by His brother, Sitheus. He, in turn, encouraged, the srryn to not give in to the easy temptation of quick victory, and instead hone their skills for a renewed push for supremacy. They did so, content at first to occasionally raid or waylway what travelers were fool enough to enter their domains. In the early days of the War of Night, the srryn kept Republican forces occupied in a lengthy and punishing campaign under the direction of Sethyltheus the Elder. Ultimately, their role was trivialized by the unprecedented power of Void, which left twin marks upon the srryn race: first, it proved that they had truly fallen from prominence as Avendar's foremost aggressors; second, it revealed new possibilities through which to subjugate the weak. Sythrak, angered by both His marginalization and the perceived failure of the srryn during the War of Night, returned to Sythtys with a vengeance. He challenged Sitheus, proclaiming that the saurian lord was too weak to overcome fragile warmbloods. The two battled, and the immense fury of their attacks caused fire to rain down over the swamps for months. In the end, Sythrak's rage was greater, and He utterly destroyed Sitheus' body. He banished the fallen lord's spirit from Sythtys forever, and proclaimed Himself as the mire's true master. srryn: Section 5 In the ages since, srryn have integrated themselves more fully into Avendarian society. With the expulsion of Sitheus from the swamp, many srryn have found themselves more willing to live outside of their most famous racial home. As well, new sects of srryn have arisen in the southern wastes, and in the areas bordering the Crimson Sands. If anything, the conflicts have made them stronger and more diverse. Because of the conspicuous actions of some srryn in the service of the human city-states during the modern era, the race has garnered, as a whole, a bit of additional respectability. They can be found as gladiators, shopkeepers, or guards, or on the fringes of human society as bandit-kings. No longer universally feared, the srryn are still distrusted, and by no means ignored by the other races of Avendar.