28K+ lore, not including leaders. Llychlyn
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- Nation name: Llychlyn
- Race: Children of Fanw
- History: It is said that long ago, while the world was still and silent, Fanw was elsewhere, far away in a comfortable place with others similar to herself, yet different in many other ways. Yet, such a thing was not to last, as a great calamity came crashing upon their old home, and despite their best efforts, they were forced to abandon it, and new not of the others fates. Slowly, they would travel to this world, and years would pass as they got closer and closer. However, as they did the world started to sprout with life, growing more and more lush and filled with forests and animals. When they came across this world, it had become active for a long time, stirring with life despite a recent calamity. It reminded her of their old home, and they came to the lands now known as Llychlyn before finding a small, starving family of primitive people, yet those who had potential. They were similar to herself in appearance, yet they lacked certain traits, and had strange ears that made it harder for them to hear. Additionally, they strangely used their strength and durability to rush down prey and stab them with spears instead of utilizing that strength to shoot powerful bows or throw heavy javelins. Initially they were hostile to Fanw, and wanted her to go away, however, she spoke to them and managed to break through to them, got them food, and treated them well, teaching them many things, most treasured of which was the creation of the bow.
- Over time, she came to see them as adopted children of sorts, becoming much more protective of them. Creating homes for them and teaching them how to build them, how best to hunt certain animals, how to skin them, how best to cook and so on. Eventually going so far as to grant them plenty of blessings and slowly making them better mentally, improving their senses and reactions, along with gifting them an affinity and natural calling with sacred ranged weapons, those being the javelin, the throwing axe, and most importantly the bow. And, eventually they became the modern Children of Fanw known today. Thanks to these blessings and gifts, prosperity came and eventually, Fanw felt as if her children had become prepared enough to live on their own. So, Fanw left to wander the wilds and explore the rest of the world and its other mysteries. Yet, she would still constantly check on their children to make sure they were doing well, even if they'd not see her too often, and occasionally, they would give guidance to them in a number of ways, however they'd not get too involved. At least, for a while...
- With the rising population of Children of Fanw, separate branches of clans started to form, the first two being clan Howell, made up of the original Children of Fanw, and clan Wynn, who split off after a major disagreement over a number of things lost to time. Slowly, with time, more and more clans would form and eventually, the population of Llychlyn would be at a decent number for an area populated by plenty of tribes. Things went well for a while, however in time, this would change. The more populous and prosperous families eventually started using their numbers and the more easily gathered food and supplies for authority and their own gain, one might even say they did this to the point of it being purely selfish and greedy. Naturally, this led to the Clans starting to form alliances with each other, and becoming dependent on the larger clans and, with all the major clans having rivaling interests, opposite of cooperation, competition, and to a minor extent, strife ensued as the Children of Fanw were divided. However while this would go on for a time, things would change when a hunter from what was considered a minor clan, clan Cadigan, was approached and blessed by Fanw, being given the bow known as Ergydcaled. She was granted this and given a holy quest from Fanw, to unify the clans of Llychlyn and bring in a new age of prosperity.
- They would gather twelve others from some minor and major clans and bring them under their banner, being their loyal and most trusted companions. Slowly but surely, she would have unified the clans and formed a proper tribe after many trials, talks, and even a duel in archery and a marriage. She would have succeeded however, and under her fair and just guidance, for the many years she reigned as queen Llychlyn would prosper, and a proper city and civilization would start to take shape. However, they and their most loyal companions, especially Elwyn Llewelyn, would still head out occasionally and explore the lands at the edges of their home. For this time, things remained calm, peaceful, and most importantly prosperous. However, after many years, the old queen vanished, and Elwyn was given the task of finding Fanw and returning the bow to her, which he did. What exactly happened is the cause of much speculation however, it has led to the belief to some that they did not in fact die, and have joined Fanw, to return with her when Llychlyn needs it most.
- The next leader of Llychlyn was Queen Eheubryd Cadigan. The first daughter of the old queen. She was much more of a scholar than a ruler, and clearly showed that in their actions. They weren't too confident in their ability to rule at first and they'd actually have rathered their younger sister and only sibling, Blodwyn, take the throne. They kept such things secret however early on, only expressing them to people other than her sister and closest friends before she grew more confident. Most of their initial rule was spent on creating plans for architectural works, both grand and modest, ordering their construction soon after. And some time after that their focus shifted to spreading knowledge to their people and funding the sciences, both mundane and magical.
- Their most trusted advisor was, interestingly and fitting enough, Blodwyn, they tried to keep a good number of advisers with them when needing to make important decisions for obvious reasons. However, Blodwyn’s position was a powerful one, and in a sense while she cared for her sister and would never even consider overthrowing her, she would use her power and influence just by the family name to help and focus on some of the things Eheubryd didn’t really focus on. That being the military. In a sense, she commanded everything martial, and Eheubryd commanded everything civilian. A tradition that has carried over to the next rulers of Llychlyn, their first born children.
- An important moment in the past was the creation of a ship called the Llong Clan Llewelyn Teithiwr, or LCL Teithiwr. With this ship, exploration, the old trademark of Clan Llewelyn, would be done, and the lands to the south, east, and west would be discovered. A part of this, shipbuilding would soon become a part of clan Llewelyn as well, with many fishing vessels from the town Lunedannedd being created, along with other vessels, usually merchant ships or warships built for Clan Wynn or Llychlyn’s navy. Another important moment, which happened earlier, was when Clan Nist became a Brenhinol clan with assistance from Clan Howell due to the creation of “Blessed Steel”
- In modern times, the country is ruled by Gwenith Cadigan, first daughter and child of Eheubryd, and Gwynfor Cadigan, first son and child of Blodwyn. The succession ceremony went fairly quietly without any trouble, and while Gwenith has a scholarly disposition similar to her mother, they have focused a bit more on the economy rather than science, funding Clan Llewelyn’s shipyards to produce many more merchant ships as well as encouraging the growth of Clan Nist’s ‘blessed forge’ which in recent times has changed significantly, adapting to some new technology. Overall, not too much has changed however, yet a few alliances, some out of convenience and a greater threat, some out of both nations genuinely liking each other, has formed as the nations in the south and east go into these strange, ruined lands of a time long past, searching for relics, and fear over them rising. Initially Llychlyn was content to stay, yet the rumors meant something had to be done, and after roughly seven hundred and fifty years of peace at home, proper war has broken out.
- Military History: The Military of Llychlyn after it was united was generally organized into four separate types of soldiers, two of which had a variant. These types of soldiers were Gwaywffyn Mynydd, Coeden Fwyell, Helwyr Saethwr and lastly Meistri Rhyfel. The Gwaywffyn Mynydd and Coeden Fwyell had a sub set called Gwaywffon Ifanc and Bwyell Ifanc respectively, both being initiates to the soldier type. The Gwaywffyn Mynydd were equipped with moderate armor and spears, while Gwaywffon Ifanc were equipped with light armor. Meanwhile, Coeden Fwyell had axes, shields, and heavy armor while Bwyell Ifanc had axes, shields and moderate armor. Helwyr Saethwr were archers, equipped with large war bows and given moderate armor that wouldn’t inhibit their ability to use their bows, with a sword or axe in the unlikely but still possible event that they end up face to face with an enemy in striking range rather than at a distance. Lastly, the Meistri Rhyfel interestingly enough were not uniformly equipped. They were masters of both bow and either spear or axe, wielding both in battle, and commonly they were the ones trained to command and lead the soldiers below them into battle. They were equipped with whatever they desired, but it was almost always the best equipment with a few exceptions should they have grown attached to their older weapons or armor. They usually were at least two hundred years old, though there were a few exceptions. Usually they served as generals, the guards of generals, or generals right hand men/women. Few were of their number, but they were the best of the best in Llychlyn's army.
- Back then, when someone joined the army, they would start as a Gwaywffon Ifanc, and if they stayed in the military, they would eventually be given a choice to keep their weapon and become a Gwaywffyn Mynydd, or become a Bwyell Ifanc. Once a Bwyell Ifanc, if they stay long enough they will be given the chance to become a Coeden Fwyell or a Helwyr Saethwr. This was so that only the strongest, most trained were their archers, but not as trained as the Meistri Rhyfel. Still, out of all the soldiers in any meaningful number, the Helwyr Saethwr were widely considered the most useful and best soldiers in the military. Gwaywffyn Mynydd, Coeden Fwyell, and Helwyr Saethwr, after living long enough and becoming skilled enough, could become Meistri Rhyfel, with all the benefits that entailed, though obviously it was only given to those who were deemed worthy and skilled enough. It's important to mention that Ifanc listened to the orders of Gwaywffyn Mynydd, Coeden Fwyell, Helwyr Saethwr, Meistri Rhyfel, and generals, while Gwaywffyn Mynydd, Coeden Fwyell and Helwyr Saethwr were equal in rank to each other and only listened to Meistri Rhyfel and generals, and naturally, Meistri Rhyfel only listened to the generals, who only listened to the King or Queen.
- This was revised with Blodwyns control over the military, instead of forcing new soldiers into one path that slowly branched out, they’d let them choose to either become Gwaywffyn Mynydd, Coeden Fwyell, or Helwyr Saethwr, with the training and requirements for them being changed and the term Ifanc being commonly used to mean recruit. Additionally, all soldiers would regularly partake in drills, spars, and some military exercises. The aspects of all training however, would be given to all soldiers, as Gwaywffyn Mynydd training commonly instilled unity and trust on one's fellow soldier, to rely on them and that all operations rely on the parts of it, like how one couldn’t fire a bow without the processes needed to create the bow and the arrow in the first place. Meanwhile, the aspect from Coeden Fwyell, to trust one’s own abilities and to rely on oneself would also be used.
- This has stuck with the military ever since, instilling Soldiers to trust in their own abilities and make sure they are honed enough to rely on them should they be forced to split off or away from fellow soldiers, while also instilling a sense of unity and the knowledge that no war can be won by a single person, for even the greatest of warriors needed brave soldiers by their side to win the day.
- Another key thing the military had with Blodwyn was ‘Blessed steel’ although this was much less due to Blodwyn’s own efforts and more due to a member of Clan Nist, Rhodri and one from clan Howel, Arwen. The metal created after imbuing iron with animal bone, a number of herbs, and a large number of rituals, which to this day are kept a tight secret of Clan Nist and Clan Howell. The Blessed steel was found to hold a sharper edge than normal steel, as well as more durable. The main issue with it being it is hard to produce. Quality rather than quantity.
- Meanwhile, when it comes to the sea, for a time, the varying clans could have warships, especially clan Wynn, along with the actual government. However after the role of a Navy was proven vital, this was changed by Blodwyn, who changed it so only Y Llynges Frenhinol (The Royal Navy) could have access to warships, however warships built by clans before the ruling as well as ships under construction or ordered before ruling could be kept. Additionally, they gave out some minor repayment for this, even though letting them keep the ships was enough.
- Lastly, when firearms were introduced, originally, Clan Howell was vehemently opposed to them, claiming that they were unholy and unfit for use, while some clans argued that they, like crossbows, were fine yet not as holy as the bow. The crossbow having caused a similar debate to this much earlier, yet nowhere near as large or as heated. For a number of years this debate went on and on, yet in the end a compromise was made after a Clan Howell priest claimed that on a ritualistic hunt they met Fanw, and she told them that muskets were not unholy and she really didn’t care what ranged weapons were used, only that if they were used for hunting that they be able to create a clean kill that wouldn’t cause waste. Not many people believed him, but a decent amount did, especially Clan Tudor.
- The compromise in question allowed muskets in as supporting role, initially being a variant of Helwyr Saethwr, however as the muskets came to be more accepted, and the world around Llychlyn changed, they’d eventually be reformed, and due to the similarities in formation, would come to replace the Gwaywffyn Mynydd, the term now applying to them. What happened to the Helwyr Saethwr and Coeden Fwyell is a bit more complex. As, initially, the Helwyr Saethwr were made into skirmishers, given a bow and arrows as a secondary with a rifle as their main weapon. Yet the military couldn’t really find a role for the Coeden Fwyell for some time. At first they considered using them for that strange cavalry thing other nations had, but this idea was swiftly shot down due to the casualty rates modern cavalry seemed to have from the information available at the time. Then, they’d consider having them used for those who control cannons and mortars, yet this was unrelated to what they were trained for. Eventually, after talks with the Helwyr Saethwr and Coeden Fwyell portions of the military, they would become skirmishers while the Helwyr Saethwr used artillery and mortars, along with rifles.
- This system has been in place for some time now, with Gwaywffyn Mynydd being used primarily for defense, while Coeden Fwyell are used as offense or an elastic defense. The fact the Coeden Fwyell are used for offense as well might seem paradoxical, yet the belief is that the looser formations means they will be less likely to be hit, and while they can’t hold ground like Gwaywffyn Mynydd can, they certainly can force the enemy out of it or at least deliver a large number of casualties to them while taking relatively few losses themselves.
- Ironically, the thing that honed Llychlyn’s blade the most was forign wars fought between other nations, as early on, Blodwyn took great interest in getting herself involved on one side more favorable to Llychlyn and helping with her tactical and strategic advice, along with some extra supplies. Additionally, and somewhat amusingly, every soldier is taught as many languages as possible, one might think that this is in order to better work with allies. It's not, that's just a bonus. In reality it's actually in order to give conflicting orders and cause confusion within the enemy's ranks if at all possible. Lastly, one might wonder what happened to the Meistri Rhyfel, and the answer is simple. Nothing. They still have very little uniformity in what they are equipped with, and commonly the only similarity between them and other Meistri Rhyfel is their status, essentially as officers, that and their uniform has become the only other thing more uniform.
- Culture: The Children of Fanw tend to prefer meat over grains, fruits, and vegetables, but can eat and enjoy the latter, especially with the former. They usually enjoy eating a single large meal in the middle of the day, or two meals, one at the start of the day and one at the end, usually with their family or friends depending on their situation. They are quite family oriented, with plenty of named clans formed with the marriage of one person from each family. However, they aren't adverse to speaking with other clans. The parents and older members of a clan tend to be very protective of their young, though this to an extent lessens slowly as they become older. They take the loss of a clan member very hard, and also will try to take revenge if the loss is caused by murder, though this doesn't usually apply to battles in war unless they have a very good and reliable source of info. Despite this, they are quite friendly to people of other races and clans unless they are lied to or have personal or clan related reasons not to like them. They tend to value honesty, competition, family, cunning, tradition, artwork, cooperation, craftsmanship, martial prowess, skill, hard work, perseverance, and knowledge. Though, while such things are a social norm to value, others may value some of these more than others, value a few things not listed, not value them as much as most others or any combination of the three, as expected from individuals.
- The Clans that exist in Llychlyn are usually separated into three categories, Ciwed, Teulu and Brenhinol. They are Minor, Local, and Major clans respectively, however, this is not necessarily a strict hierarchy, as while most Teulu and all Brenhinol clans always have some power, Ciwed clans can fairly easily become Teulu clans and given enough time Brenhinol clans as well. Originally, the terms were made to distinguish the size of a clan rather than its status. A Ciwed sized clan is usually just a clan with at most thirty living members, just as the term used to mean, but generally speaking they are fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and as such the term can also be used to describe a fairly modest or peasant family, but often times can easily become Teulu clans, sometimes called newid clans, though they sometimes are unable cement themselves as proper Teulu clans and return back to being Ciwed clans. Teulu clans use to be clans that had forty to seventy living members, however nowadays the term refers to a clan that is of some importance to the local area, such as a clan that has most of a towns smiths or carpenters, or a clan that has a very skillful and well known hunter, or simply someone who is in charge of the local area. Usually, these clans are the ones that are most well known in, and commonly are an important part of, their local community. Lastly, Brenhinol clans used to be clans that had over seventy living members, though the term now means a clan that is extremely important, though usually such clans are normally quite large. Usually, they are dedicated to something in particular, such as the military. An example would be clan Howell, which is dedicated to Fanw, discerning the signs and omens given by her, and simply managing the temples that exist and keeping the records of the ancient stories of Fanw and the creation of Llychlyn.
- Fanw is the Goddess of hunting, Ranged Combat (Though a majority still believes it's just archery), and Stature (Both meanings of the word). It is believed that they take a form similar to the Children of Fanw, with the ears, tail, nails and eyes that her children have, specifically with long brown hair and amber eyes and always with a bow in hand or put away. They are considered a fair and kind goddess who cares for their children and who makes sure the woods are plentiful with food and teaming with life. However, it is believed by quite a few that, in defense of her children, she will take away quarry that hunters would go for in the area of a threat, be it invaders or something else, and instead will fill the woods with predators, far more aggressive than normal, and that should things get desperate, she herself will manifest to defend her people. Not everyone believes this entirely, though it is certainly comforting to a degree. Something all followers of Fanw can agree on however, is that she almost always is manifested in the world and wanders its woods and wilds, calmly hunting and living a simple, but fairly peaceful existence. It's said that mortals who meet her will find her helpful as a friendly guide so long as their intentions are pure and well meaning, making some small talk and sharing some food from any local animals that she hunted before sometimes informing them of something important to them, such as the location of something they had lost and were looking for, or how to deal with something that has been plaguing them. If the person is ill willed, they usually will simply leave such people alone, though sometimes it is said they will try and convince them to change and guide them to a better path.
- It also should be noted that, despite not being a nature/forest god, she does have issue with people completely chopping down entire forests with no intention of any kind of preservation, after all, if you remove the forest, you remove the animals that lived in it that you could have hunted. Though, the removal of chunks of forests for some development is fine so long as it's not a quarter of the entire forest and the new plains can still support small game or something of the like. Additionally, Despite beliefs otherwise, she doesn't view weapons like muskets, slings, or crossbows as lesser weapons, even if some of her followers will still argue among themselves claiming otherwise, in fact, in her manifested form, one can find practically every kind of ranged weapon somewhere on her person, from throwing axes to the classic bow, though the weapons in question are only the kind of ranged weapons that are used in the local area, so no one will see her with a crossbow somewhere no one has them or something similar.
- The Children of Fanw believe that signs of things to come are shown by Fanw in dreams, in smoke, or in changes in the natural surroundings. If the sign is directed to warn or tell one person something in particular, it will be shown through that person's dreams, usually being a sign that specifically affects them or their life unless they are of high importance in Llychlyn, in which it might be a sign of things that might come to Llychlyn or the Children of Fanw in general. Meanwhile, when sacrificing bones to fire during a ritual, Fanw will occasionally show a sign to everyone in the group nearby. Sometimes, Clans use this to try and discover what will happen to them in the future, especially Clan Howell, who use this extensively to try and learn of things to come to both them, the lands near them, and the nation as a whole. Lastly, when a major, unnatural change in the natural surroundings of animals happens, it is generally believed it is a major sign from Fanw of either great things to come, or something terrible bound to happen. Usually, this is fairly easy to discern, as it tends to be either a massive influx of quarry and prey animals suddenly being found by hunters leading to an incredibly food filled day bound to lead to plenty of feasts and celebration of things to come, or the reverse, with almost nothing being found for a single day, and the forests going unnaturally and eerily quiet. These omens are treated with extreme celebration or absolute horror and worry as they are extremely rare and their implications for life for the Children of Fanw are generally speaking drastic.
- Race Lore: The Children of Fanw are humanoid creatures that resemble Fanw's common form. If one was to hide their traits, they would look almost indistinguishable from a human. They have small claw like nails that don't get in the way of their dexterity but can easily become quite sharp if a bit of care is given to them, two wolf like ears atop their head, and a wolf like tail where you would expect. They tend to have hair colors that are a shade of white, grey, brown, black, orange or red and tend to have blue, brown, yellow, orange, or red eyes with yellow the most common, though green is possible if rare. They are fairly tall, commonly standing at seven and a half feet tall on average, with the shortest and tallest without dwarfism or gigantism being six foot ten and nine foot five, and the theoretical shortest and tallest one could be is three feet and two inches and twelve feet and six inches respectively. Interestingly, their size seems to not affect their speed or agility. Naturally as one might expect with their size, they are fairly strong on average as well, said strength to better be able to throw things or to draw more powerful bows. They have good senses of smell and hearing along with, as one might expect, superb eyesight that allows them to make out things in the distance, even in the dark. Interestingly, their bones are quite durable, possibly due to their size, and they take quite a bit of force to break normally. Lastly, they enter adolescence after sixteen years and adulthood after forty two years and are quite long lived, but will still succumb to old age eventually. Despite all of this however, due to their bodies abilities, they require more food than most races, roughly between twice and thrice as much as the average human, and the long time it takes for them to grow to maturity, combined with twins being a major rarity, triplets being unheard of, and pregnancies lasting for about a year and a half doesn't exactly make them the type to have an exploding population... Lastly, they tend to do poorly in particularly hot weather without lots and lots of water, and are more susceptible to heat stroke than other races, yet tend to do much better in the cold and are less susceptible to hypothermia.
- The Children of Fanw are on average when it comes to intelligence, but are especially talented in the knowledge of ballistics, hunting, team tactics and general cooperation as one might suspect considering their lifestyle and culture. This leads them to be natural sharpshooters and ambushers especially when combined with their eyesight, which alongside smell are above average. They tend to have above average memory as well allowing them to retain their knowledge in old age and makes them take longer to get rusty at some things. They have good hand eye coordination and a very good sense of special awareness. This is due to their lighting reflexes, more specifically the ability to process things in only 20ms, in fact this is actually practically the entire reason why they are considered agile and dexterous, as with their reaction speed they can quickly make corrections to their movements which make it appear as if it’s completely natural agility rather than just reaction speed. It also should be noted that particularly high pitched noises can disorient and hurt them.
- Flaws: The biggest flaw about Llychlyn is just how far into quality over quantity they have gone into. This isn't necessarily out of choice, as due to their population and how long their race can live, along with how their birth rates are quite low, they have to in order to make up for that lack. Additionally, and partially responsible for the above is the amount of food required to feed them, as they eat twice the amount an average human does at least. And at worst, thrice as much. Lastly, to a much minor but still important flaw, they do a bit more poor in hot weather than most.
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