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The Phoenix

 

The Phoenix people have always been a more nomadic group of Syndar, always interested in different cultures. They are a curious group by nature. They carried their goods with them and traded for anything they needed, staying mostly in the North while the Syndar and Humans fought out their differences. After the Battle of Grayfield when peace was established, they started to move further to the South seeing what there is to see and meeting these new Humans. The beginning was touch and go as feelings were still sensitive to the mingling of different races.

When they came to the May’Kar desert, the Humans there were more open and friendly to the Syndar as a whole and so the Phoenix concentrated on that area of Faedrun. They traded for what they needed, but because they stayed in the area, the May’kar people started to depend on their repeated arrival with much needed and wanted items. Within a few decades the Phoenix took the desert as their permanent home.

They used their thick canvas tents to keep out the sand. They set them up around a main area that was the common area and held a fire pit. They used their personal areas mainly for sleeping and storage; they spent most of their time in the common area or traveling, visiting anyone who was out there. They set up trade routes and the Phoenix traveled all over the desert and even to some towns on the edge of the Vandregon.

There the Phoenix lived for over 150 years, until the year 232 when the Magis Yara went on her journey of enlightenment. When she was on her trip she became dehydrated, weak and fevered- in that state Solara came to her. He told her that the Undead were never going to leave their lands and were going to overtake her people if they stayed in Fadrun. Solara told her to take his people to safety. That they needed to travel east until they met the edge of the world, to take boats and continue east until they find a new home. He then had a phoenix bring water and food for her to aide her on her way back. When she returned and was nursed back to health she told her people the news that they were to leave their land and find land that was promised to them . Solaras told them to leave soon, but Syndar are not a quickly moving race. They discussed leaving some of the younger ones used raised voices to discuss. There was not a unanimous choice as every Syndar chooses their own paths and hearts were saddened and some even broken.

The trip was the biggest devastation to the Phoenix people in their history; to move almost all of their people and personal belongings across hundreds of miles in hostile territory. Some had never been outside of their village. They had the help of their camels; the beast of burden gave them so much. They lost some of the Phoenix to desertion and various fighting with humans. In Aldoria they had trouble with bandits robbing them and soldiers refusing the huge group of Syndar to pass threw their lands. They had to buy their way across the country until they reached the sea.

The trip was only half done; they needed to cross the sea to get to the land. The Phoenix were desert dwellers, they knew nothing of the sea and how to navigate in it. They set upon the task of finding boasts big enough and men to sail them. In their search the sailors there jested about the large group of Syndar that wanted to take a boat into the emptiness of the ocean. Very few would even consider helping them and even less once they found out they had no idea where they were going.

Only one Captain was willing (drunk enough) to listen to them and eventually chance sailing off into the unknown, but they needed 2 ships to take everyone. They sold almost all of their valuables, belongings and had to part with all of their camels to secure the ships and used the rest of the money to buy any provisions they could to support them on the voyage. They secured a second ship, but no other Captain was willing to sail it. The drunken captain took a handful of Phoenix were taught quickly how to sail and were instructed to stay close to the lead ship. With everyone loaded, most of the coastal town gathered to witness the Phoenix leaving. A joke ran along the group to look your last as this group will never be seen again.
Days into the trip they hit a storm, the ships tried in vain to stay in sight of each other. The ship with a captain was blown south of the original course and the ship without a captain was never seen again. After the storm they were lost, unsure how off course they were blown. Weeks on a ship with hardly any food, hoping they would find the land Solaras promised them- they became sick, some were dying, the healers didn’t know how to handle sea type sicknesses and there was no way to stave off hunger. Some began to fear Solara had left them thinking they were damned. When the unthinkable happened and Yara took ill and died, some even went so far as to take their lives and jump into the ocean. The oldest Magis in training, Raina Then one day with the keen eyes of a young Syndar, land was spotted. They landed, exhausted and sick. They had nothing, the people were still dying until shelter and food could be found, collected and used.

A New Beginning
They found themselves on an island on the Southeast side of Mardrun, the climate was more lush wooded lands with prairies. A small lake fed by a spring in the middle of the island, the Phoenix built their village on the edge of the lake by the outlet so the dirty water would not contaminate the clean. Some of the phoenix took to the new land quickly, building small rooms of wood in the branches of the trees to be off the ground (bird like) for security. Some also built their homes on the ground not comfortable with the idea of heights.
They built a temple for Solaras. Magis Raina used the temple as her home and to also train the new Magis. There are only a few in training; they are assigned a guard who stays with them day and night. It is an old practice that even fewer guards took seriously.

The captain stayed with them for a while, treated extremely well. But after a time he decided it was time to try to get home. The phoenix loaded his ship with all they could and wished him luck on his journey back. As he left he was seen shaking his head with a smile, muttering “wait until they hear this back in Faedrun, I’ll be famous.” *

Wild animals were smaller, being contained on the island. The phoenix changed their diet to include a lot of fresh grown produce with the rich and fertile soil. Rabbits were plentiful on the new land. The phoenix were careful not to over harvest. They found Guineas for eggs and goats were domesticated for dairy and fur.

Without the humans and trading, they became more self sufficient as hunters and gatherers. They are alone on the island; they provided what they needed to survive- metal weapons slowly became scarce, they were forced to make them out of wood- limiting what they could hunt for. They leaned heavily on bow and arrows. When a sword broke the metal was transformed into smaller throwing daggers.

They made a modest, but content life on the island. The once buoyant and outgoing group was now trapped on the island with no one else to talk to and trade stories with. They lived this way for 24 years.

In the spring of the year 261 a couple of Phoenix were out in one of the small boats they had fashioned for fishing, a doll washed up on the side of their boat. They picked it up, it was definitely not made by their people. They sat still listening and watching. They heard voices, very far away- and almost, just almost (maybe it was just an active imagination) they could see an outline of a boat. Because more then one phoenix saw and heard it they took it to Magis Raina who called a meeting.

They knew there were more people, what race and who they were- they had no idea. They sat in council and talked about what they should do. For Syndar it was a fairly fast discussion and quickly decided to find them and meet these new people. But how? They didn’t have big boats; they had small ones they had learned to build to gather fish in the deeper waters of the sea. Would it be big enough? Who would go? What if they got lost?

Several wanted to go and volunteered. Most were younger Syndar who were looking for adventure and had been very young when they left their old land and have not met anyone since. Magis Raina wanted a small party to go meet them and see if they were a hospitable race.

Raina looked out across the meeting area and saw Anariel talking with a larger blue/rainbow colored bird, that are found on the island. She is a level headed, dependable and very polite. She’s inquisitive and understanding of people’s feelings and would represent her people well even if she does get side tracked easily. She better send Laertes with her, he’s older and can help keep her on track. His keen mind and fairness also works in his favor to gain trust with others. Both were seasoned fighters.

But she needed more for a welcoming party. Looking to her side she decided on Celeste. Her most promising Magis in training was highly skilled in healing and could come in handy when traveling. Maybe if any of the people they were meeting was hurt then Celeste could help them and further their favor. And with adding Celeste, Thorn was also added to the list as he was her personal body guard and just last month they had a ceremony to be joined and Raina knew from experience she would not be able to separate them had she wanted to. Which suited her fine as Thorn was a proven fighter and would protect Celeste with his life.

She gathered the group of four to represent her people and sent them off with a brief prayer to Solara for protection and a prosperous trip. As they came near the shore they heard the sound of a small village, they were humans. They called out their greeting and stopped the boat just outside of arrow range if these new people had felt the need to use them and also out of respect. Anariel hailed to them.

They saw the initial surprise from the group when they noticed them, the hustle after to get the one in charge and more people came out to see what was going on. It looked to be a smaller human settlement.

Then assumingly the man in charge came out to the shore he was a taller man, dark hair, dressed in black plate mail with a red bird on the front of it. Also by his side another man came; he was lighter in hair color wearing leather. Both had swords on their side, they talked briefly to each other then told the small boat to approach.

As the boat hit land, the Humans gave the Syndar room to disembark. They stood, watching each other until Anariel spoke. “Greetings, we come from an island not far away. We call ourselves the Phoenix. We have come here to greet you, help you and to kindle a partnership in hopes that we can help each other. I have brought with me Laertes, Celeste, who is a healer if anyone here needs help she is more then happy to see to them. Thorn, who is her sworn protector and myself; Anariel. How may we assist you?”

“Greetings and well met. My name is Aradael and this is Fortinbras our village is known as Crows Landing. If you would like to have your healer… Celeste, can go with my wife, Amalthia to see if anyone is in need of her help. If you and Laertes would like to follow me, we can sit down, break bread and talk.”

The group talked for hours and had many things to share. Aradael was surprised to learn that the Phoenix were secluded on an island, not knowing of the world around them. He told them they were next to a much larger land called Mardrun, telling them of how his people had landed here after a storm and had made their living. He spoke of the Mordok and Ulven that are contained on Mardrun…. He then turned to much darker topics of the Ulven civil war that seemed to be on the horizon and of the Undead showing up on Mardrun in April when everyone had thought they had escaped them on Mardrun.

Laertes and Anariel were shocked to hear that the Undead; the ones they had fled their home lands for, lost over half of their people to avoid had followed them. This was bad, very bad. They had to get back to Raina and soon; she had to be told of this. With thanks to their newly found friends and promises to return, they headed back to the island and called a meeting telling Raina all that they had found out.

“We must do something.”

“It is not our land or our problem.”

“How is it not!? Humans were our friends, our allies!”

“You mean the Aldorians who charged us just to cross their lands?”

“They can deal with it themselves; we should stay here on our island. Solaras gave us this island for our home to be safe.”

“Not all humans were Aldorians, were you not listening- These men who welcomed us were Aldorians- no all Aldorians are bad.”

“We have to do something. If the undead followed them across the water- they will stop at nothing until we are all dead.”

Raina stood up after a while of listening to everyone voice their opinions.

“My children, I know this is a shock to many of us. First to find others, then to hear of whole world we are missing and then to hear that the undead are also here. Yes, we are safe on our island- but for how long? They followed the living here, they will just keep coming until they are stopped. You know Solaras is kind and has provided for us. But what have we done to give back for our good fortune? How would he look at us if we turned our back on our newly found allies? From what we have been told the Ulven are a mix just like the Humans, some are good and some are bad. Don’t we have a responsibility to help those less than us? Solara will lead us gently in a way he feels is best for us, but it is up to us to make the most of it. So we can show him that we deserve to be born again from our ashes.

Also, perhaps if there is more land out there- maybe our lost brothers and sisters are out there thinking we were lost to them? Maybe they made it to the new land. Will we not look for them?”

She looked out upon her people.

“We will help them, but we will not run in blindly. Laertes and Anariel will continue to speak to Crows Landing and gather any information that we can. We will decide who will go out of the first trip to see and gather information. Perhaps we can start a trade with them to get steel and offer them our food and healing supplies. Lets show Solaras we are worthy of his love and attention.”

Over the next few months a small group of phoenix trained and gathered supplies for their journey. Crows Landing has told them what they knew… They haven’t heard much from Grimward, but to still be wary of them. The Lich has been sighted, his power source was destroyed and now a group is going after it to finish it off as soon as they could. The phoenix planned on helping the group destroy the Lich in any way possible, they loaded extras for healing.

With Raina giving them a blessing for Solara to look after them, the group climbed in the boats to head to Crows Landing and from there, the unknown.

When the captain returned to Faedrun no one believed his wild claims of finding a new land. They assumed he was gone on a drinking binge. He died in poverty, with his tales being left as rumors.

Phoenix FAQ
Characteristics- They are considered Serous Syndar. They have “normal” colored skin, no horns, but vary from Syndar to Syndar with small fangs and bright colored eyes. Facial tattoos, clothing is more regal/ dignified they try to emulate the Phoenix and use red, gold, orange and black wispy, flowing clothing.

Origin – The Maykar Dominion

Housing- thick canvas tents. Some were in a traveling caravan

Population: Believed to be around 250-300 members… now closer to 100-120

Life expectancy- average life expectancy is 185 years old, though it has been said that a member of Phoenix, has lived to the age of 201 years old. She claims it is because she had a healthy diet of wirbles (slugs) that has helped her stay so young and energetic.

Politics: They live as a commune, the Phoenix people have been looked down upon by other Syndar for deciding to “cater to the humans” with their caravan when they lived in the Maykar Dominion. Because of this they are not as welcome in the Syndar politics which suit the Phoenix just fine. They care for the survival of their people and care little else for what others think of them.

Life Style/living: They have a main village at one of the oases in the Maykar Dominion and smaller villages around the desert at different oasis. They make a living hunting what scarce game they find using traps and snares and having a group of members who operate a traveling caravan going from oasis to oasis sharing and trading food and goods to humans that live in the area. The Phoenix people are very community orientated, everyone helps out everyone and living is very comfortable. They do have their own heavy tents made of canvas, but they are small, mostly used for sleeping- most of the Syndar socialize in the center of the oasis.
Water: When the water in the oasis would start to get low the Phoenix would gather around the well and channel their energy into the earth while the Magis would ask Solaras for more water to provide for his children. It took a couple of hours, but Solarus always provided for those who believed. Their well would fill, the Phoenix would speak his praise and life could continue.

Raising young Children of the Phoenix are rare; they are cherished and doted on. Because of this, they raise their children as a community. Everyone helps out; there is nothing happier to hear in life then the laughter of a child. Each child is required to take one year of training for magic. When they are 10 they are tested to find which magic runs in their veins and then they are divided up for classes. After one year it is optional for continuing education.

Mating:
Marriage is not common among Syndar. They go through a courtship like humans where they try to impress each other. If they find the other Syndar to their liking, they enter a relationship but there are usually no further steps. But in rare occasions when two Syndar want to join for life it is cause for much celebration. Syndar do not take joining lightly, but still treat it as a blessing. When two Syndar join, they pledge themselves to each other and ask for the blessing of Solara. They have a great feast and the village celebrates the newly joined couple.

Religion – They worship the Sun God Solara. They believe the phoenix is his pet; to be feared and worshiped as an extension of him. When a member of Phoenix dies they burn the body releasing the spirit to Solara, to see if they have lived in his honor and accept them so they may be reborn again. Members who did not honor Solara and live in his ways will not be reborn and their spirit will be lost for all ages.

As Serous Syndar being born from the elements of the earth- the Phoenix believe that when Solaras made them he used fire as his main element. Solara also gifted them with arcane magic. Some do have divine, but most tend to have arcane.

Death rituals- When a member of the Phoenix dies, the Magis reclaims the mana out of the deceased and back to the mana stones meant for members of the Phoenix. The clan gathers at the center of the village, tribal music is played as the Magis prays to Solara to accept their spirit into her and to let them be reborn into this world again. The body is wrapped in a white clothe and nothing else so they can rise from the ashes pure and new. Their belongings are not burned with them and left to help care for the family of the mourning or dispersed to the other members as the family sees fit.

Why we came to Mardrun- Around the year 230 the Magi was on a trip of enlightenment in the desert where the Phoenix commune used to live in Fadrun. When she was on her trip she became dehydrated, weak and fevered- in that state Solara came to her. He told her that the Undead were never going to leave their lands and were going to overtake her people if they stayed in Fadrun. Solara told her to take his people to safety. That they needed to travel east until they met the edge of the world, to take boats and continue east until they find a new home. He then had a phoenix bring water and food for her to aide her on her way back.
Arguments arouse when the Magis told the people of what she had learned. A lot of the people wanted to stay and live life as they always had while others knew the Magis wouldn’t lie. After days of debating and arguing they could not come to a compromise so with many tears, some of the phoenix stayed while most of them left in search for this new land they were promised.
They were used to traveling in the harsh desert and made it across the May’kar Desert easily with use of their camels. After that, the trip became very hard and long for the people of the Phoenix- They had a few small skirmishes with the humans as they made their way across the Aldorian Kingdom. The humans in the May’kar Dominion were nice and welcoming, while the Aldorians were mistrustful and unwilling to help a group of refugees of this size. They lost some of the Phoenix to desertion and various fighting with humans. Once they had made it to the end of the world they were to take a boat across to the new Promised Land. The sailors there jested about the large group of Syndar that wanted to take a boat into the emptiness of the ocean.
Only one Captain was willing (drunk enough) to chance sailing off into the unknown, but they needed 2 ships to take everyone. They sold almost of their valuables and all of their camels securing the ships and used the rest of the money to buy any provisions to support them on the voyage. They secured a second ship, but no other Captain was willing to sail it. A group of Phoenix were taught quickly how to sail and were instructed to stay close to the lead ship.
On the trip they hit a storm, the ships tried in vain to stay in sight of each other. The ship with a captain was blown south of the original course and the ship without a captain was never seen again. After the storm they were lost, weeks on a ship with hardly any food, hoping they would find the land Solaras promised them- they became sick, some were dying, the healers didn’t know how to handle sea type sicknesses and there was no way to stave off hunger. Some began to fear Solara had left them thinking they were damned. Then one day with the keen eyes of a young Syndar, land was spotted. They landed on an island exhausted and sick. They had nothing, the people were still dying until shelter and food could be found, collected and used.

A new beginning
Origin – An island on the Southeast side of Mardrun, climate was more lush wooded lands with prairies. A small lake fed by a spring in the middle of the island, the Phoenix built their village on the edge of the lake by the outlet so the dirty water would not contaminate the clean.

Housing- small rooms built of wood in the branches of the trees to be off the ground (bird like) for security. They are very intricate and beautifully carved. Some also built their homes on the ground not comfortable with the idea of heights, but still has the same attention to detail with the carvings and flowing quality.

Life Style/living: Without the humans and trading, they became hunters and gatherers. They are alone on the island; they provided what they needed to survive- metal weapons were scarce, they were forced to make them out of wood- limiting what they could hunt for. They lean heavily on bow and arrows. But after meeting with Crows Landing they were able to secure some swords after trading was established.

Greetings: Bow your head, close your eyes and say “Siala Kay Nu” (See-alla Kai- Noo) means “With the sun and the moon”

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