Saturday, 17 December 2011

Ruins of Cynidea

The Cynideans were a civilization that ruled a number of large, hot, dry islands in the south-east of known Kaelaross from BY-1200 to BY 223 when a great dust storm covered the remnants of the civilization with the desert. During their time, the Cynideans were great city-builders, producing temples, tombs, fortresses, palaces and other such monuments. The Cynideans worshipped strange gods alien to most clerics of Kaelaross today - Gorn, Madarura, Usamigaras and Zargon.

Temples: The temples built by the Cynideans were generally above ground, but often had crypts and catacombs below ground.
Tombs: The royalty and nobility of Cynidea could afford their own personal tombs, and these were often as small pyramids, or else dug straight into a rock face. The Cynideans took burial and proper preparation of the body for the afterlife very seriously, with much thought and effort going into royal tombs, including treasured possessions, and vicious traps to protect the deceased from villainous tomb robbers.
Palaces: The kings, nobles, high priests and merchant-princes of Cynidea liked to live big - as well as places inside towns and cities, they often had their own retreats out in the countryside, guarded by a garrison of soldiers and tended by dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of servants and slaves. 

Fortresses: Cynideans often built fortresses at strategic locations, such as outside a city, on a restless frontier or at junctions on important trade routes. These fortresses were usually thick outer walls studded with towers, with buildings and rooms on the inside of the walls, surrounding a central courtyard. There were variants, including forts with central keeps or with concentric rings of walls and building. 
Cities: There were twenty five recorded cities of Cynidia from written histories, yet adventurers and explorers from Bellenos and the other recent empires only managed to find twelve of them. The ruined cities all used to have at least 5000 citizens and slaves - anything smaller was considered a town or village. Although some of the cities are disorganised masses of hovels and huts, the major ones were carefully planned and neatly laid out for maximum grandeur and magnificence. 
Pyramids: Although originally created as tombs for kings of Cynidea, pyramids evolved into more than just a single burial chamber, and often later constructed as vast complexes with dozens of storeys and hundreds of rooms in which priests, servants and soldiers worked. 

In the fifty years before its collapse, Cynidea was taken over by the emerging Empire of Bellenos, which has in turn collapsed during the Summoning. The ruins can be found dotted throughout the islands, including Valcio, the large island on which Tekhumis the Desert Port is now situated.
The ruins so far discovered close to Tekhumis are:

  • The Lost City of Abraxos
  • The Buried Pyramid (where the module B4: the Lost City is located)
  • The Tower of Indissa
  • The outposts of Huskoss, Eckragg and Yippross

p.s. If you're admiring the pictures, they were done by David Roberts of the British Royal Academy on his visits to Egypt and the Holy Land, and they are in the public domain.

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