High Level Overview of the place
Culture found in land
Originally being a part of Laponia, a fae influence remains, though diminished with time and occupation by Ruslav. Ancestor worship, following from Canid practices and beliefs, is the major form of religious belief. Nature worship is also common, and some Shide gods are venerated in the Valhynia region close to the border with Subir.
After the retreat of Ruslav from the region, some cultural traits of Ruslav mixed with the traits of the Canid tribes that were now dominant, forming a new social order. The country is now characterized by a pack-like structure following from a Canid social order that emphasizes the need for leaders and those with greater status to assist those in need as a matter of not only social, but moral course. The people are generally hostile towards outsiders, but if they accept you as part of their social structure, they will defend you to the death. Many cities were named during the occupation, and while they continue to be used, some packs prefer to use descriptive phrases for each location.
Customs and Holidays
What days matter to the people
Arts and Exceptionalism
- Social Ceremonies: the canid packs each have their own elaborate and distinct ceremonies to celebrate social occasions, from birth celebrations to declarations of war
- Tree Carving: as a means of ritual to keep evil spirits away, elaborate carvings are made into living trees. They can be found in and around villages, particularly those in the east and farther from population centers.
Organization of the Land
How the power structure is divided regional (i.e. Duchies, Baronies, Lordships, etc.)
Domestic Economic Products
- Wood-carved Objects
- Strong Hardwoods
- Worked goods
Scythia attempts to maintain a generally closed relationship with the world at large, but does participate in trade as needed to maintain their nation. They have active diplomatic hostility towards nations that support Subir, most notably Sylvanitor and Laponia.
Subir is considered hostile and the country maintains an active war footing along the river that divides the two nations, where Scythia attempts to make incursions opportunities arise.
Scythia is wary of Ruslav, recognizing that the promises that lead to the initial success of the Ruslav invasion of the territory went largely unfulfilled. Despite this tension, trade still occurs, and aspects of Ruslavian culture can be reflected in the larger cities of Scythia.
History since the Dragon Wars
Sythia was originally a portion of Laponia, breaking away during a series of rebellions from Ruslav in the east and the land that would become Subir to the north. Subir is a hard land with deep forests, tall mountains, and open plains. It shares much of its geography with southern Ruslav. It began as a border region for Sylvanator, where half-fae born in the country would settle due to the restrictions on citizenship. These peoples integrated and clashed intermittently with the indigenous Canid population, which have lived in and around the deeply forested eastern edge of the territory for as long as can be remembered, and the barbarian tribes, whom lived on the plains to the west.
When war broke out with Ruslav, the Canid and Barbarian tribes sided with the Ruslavian troops in what was called the "Cold Rebellion", being promised autonomy and freedom. These groups fought alongside Ruslav and assisted in the conquest of what would become later Subir, but refused to travel farther north than modern day Kapara. They cited dark portents from their shamans about taking war farther to the north as the reason to stop their advance.
During the war, the people of what would become Scythia chafed under an occupation. Having been promised freedom and autonomy, the tribes were instead forced into a social structure that resembled Ruslav. Human and goblin settlers arrived to provide structure for the region as a part of the greater Ruslavian Empire. The people labored to provide iron for some time. A trade port, Obirsk, was constructed at the mouth of the Ob river, providing a means for trade with the world at large. More rebellious sentiment began to appear in the fringes of the country and spread to the city centers.
When Ruslav lost at the border of Laponia, Scythia exploded into open rebellion, forcing out settlers and any groups that dared to disagree. Despite this, some groups from Ruslav, notably several communities of Goblins, sided with the tribes, adopting their ways of living. Once these groups were expelled, Scythia turned towards Subir, attempting to take as much territory as possible, but were met with unexpected, armed resistance. This fighting led to the establishment of the modern northern border, over the Ob river, with Subir.
This included the trade port of Obirsk, which would trade hands between Subir and Scythia several times during the conflict and would become a major point of contention even into the modern era. The port is currently under the control of Subir, with the last major conflict and change of ownership being some 70 years ago.
Major Modern Events
What events will have shaped the experience of characters having grown up there
The physical lay of the land
Temniy Bir, whose name means simply "Dark Forest", is a deep wooded area in the east of the Avdiivka region that is sacred to the Canid tribes. It is an old growth coniferous forest, characterized by large trees and standing dead trees, multilayered canopies with gaps that result from the deaths of individual trees, and coarse woody debris on the forest floor. The name comes from areas where the giant trees are dense and little light seeps down through the canopy, so that even at midday it feels more like twilight. The most notable thing about Temniy Bir is that for an old growth forest it is significantly lacking in ghosts and fae. Where most old forests are full of hostile fae and the ghosts of those who have died there, Temniy Bir is no more haunted than the average wilderness area. One is more likely to run into bandits or wolves than hags. Even with it's relatively mild reputation, locals are still very cautious when it comes to harvesting from this forest, for fear that whatever malevolent forces usually inhabit such places are merely sleeping here, and too much intrusion will wake them up.
Zir Svitu is a mountain in the central north of the Ovruch region that dominates the skyline. The name literally translates to "sight of the world", because it can be seen from just about anywhere in the southern Scythia lowlands when the sky is clear. Some tribes consider it sacred such that those that climb it will change the course of generation.
Across the border in Ruslav, Zir Svitu can also be seen, though only as a sharp peak that stands above the rest. Ruslav has named it Strela Bogov, meaning "Arrow of the Gods". This name has caused some dispute over the years because of Ruslav occupation of the area, and some Scythians view the name as an attempt by (or symbol of) Ruslav to stamp out native traditions and views.
Scythia's climate is mostly temperate, though the effects of the Maelstrom on their weather are less significant than in Sylvanator they still have warmer, wetter weather than would otherwise be typical of their latitude. Winters are typically very wet, with chance for snow increasing as you head north. Summers are drier, but snow-melt from the eastern mountains provide the streams with ample fresh water through the dry season to prevent significant wildfires.