|Lords of the Dark|
The Matis are proud heirs of an old Monarchy from the haunted woods who seek to restore their lost Kingdom. Highly cultivated aesthetes well versed in forest botany, the Matis are both a romantic and a conquering race. They staunchly believe that, just as every particle of the universe has a function, every homin must strive for his or her true place in society.
The Matis have loyalties and a sense of duty towards:Edit
- The King and Goddess
- Aesthetic achievement
- Class structure
- Magnificence and refinement
Views to other races / factions:Edit
The Matis willingly see the Karavan as faithful servants of Jena who collect resources as offerings for the goddess to prepare for the future on a planet of fresh woodlands and pastures new. But more rationally, they see them as a useful ally whose arms of power they would all too gladly like to learn to wield. Over time, their natural penchant for the powerful and the lordly led the Matis to build up a strong relationship with the Karavan who in turn readily engaged them in their fight against the Kamis. After the Great Swarming however, despite King Yasson's pledging allegiance to the Karavan anew, dissident Matis began spreading doubt within the populous as to Karavan invincibility and their true place in the design of Jena which, in turn challenged the supreme authority of the King! The brunt of the dissention was then put down in 2504 by Jinovitch, a despotic king who instigated the persecution of doubters for heresy.
Nowadays the Matis haughtily see themselves virtually as the Karavan's equal. They forever seek to gain Karavan favor because the Karavan represent an opposing force to the Kamis who incessantly impede Matis manipulation of plant life.
The Matis are suspicious and afraid of being possessed by the weird creatures who oppose the Karavan Guardians. What is more, the Kamis condemn Matis genetic manipulation of plant life. Hence, they were only too glad when the Karavan labeled the Kamis as evil creatures, punishing those who would interact with them. Further to this the Matis monarch passed a law forbidding his subjects to perform "evil-doings" with the Kamis limiting contact with them to their capture and delivery to the Karavan.
More recently, under the rule of Jinovitch, in 2508, the Kamis were overtly persecuted in Matis lands. However, since the accession to the throne of the more liberal king, Yrkanis, the Kamis are now tolerated.
The Matis worship Jena and give her offerings through her disciples on Atys, the Karavan. As well as legitimizing their monarchy, the majority of Matis customs are centered around the worship of Jena which constitutes a veritable religion.
After the demise of the civilizations in the Great Swarming of 2481, many Matis were angry at the goddess for not sending in a Karavan task force in time to save the hundreds of thousands who perished. But under the Karavan's omnipresent guiding hand, today the majority of the Matis people have come to accept that the swarming could have been sent by Jena herself in a display of her wrath at Homin transgression of the divine Law, i.e. Homin excavation of the Prime Roots, and Homins such as the Zoraïs being tempted to adore the Kamis.
- Elias Tryton
Some witnessed the 'apparition' of Elias who appeared in a shaft of light from the canopy during the Great Swarming. Elders claim he is in fact a messenger of mercy sent by Jena to allow them to take refuge in the Prime Roots from kitin onslaughts of the Great Swarming. It is understood that other messengers will come to elevate Matis souls. There were rumors of the coming of a major force before the Great Swarming though the scriptures have been lost.
During the years that followed, some Matis sages founded the Guild of Elias with other Homin races to keep his memory alive. This guild was portrayed by the Karavan as a sect opposing the church of Jena and prohibited. In 2505, during the reign of Jinovitch many members of the guild were condemned for heresy against Jena and burnt at the stake. Since those times the guild has gone underground.
Today the Guild of Elias still resides underground on Matis territory though manages to spread the word of the coming of Elias. The Yrkanis government, following Karavan Law, has banished the guild though in reality they turn a blind eye to be able to glean information to keep in control of the phenomenon.
The Matis had little consideration for the Trykers in the past and even led a campaign to conquer their territory and enslave the population. They held disdain for Tryker indiscipline though have since come to be wary of their wiliness in battle. All Matis efforts to instil a sense of discipline into Trykers have led to heavy consequences. Indeed, to escape Matis domination, the Trykers have time again sided with the Fyros. The Tryker-Fyros alliance is what triggered hostilities between the three peoples and brought about the revocation of the Edict of Four Peoples in 2498.
The Matis, realizing that the Trykers cannot be 'tamed', now prefer to keep on friendly terms with the flighty little Homins rather than risk having them turn to the Fyros again. After all the Trykers are excellent explorers who are nonetheless allied to the Karavan. Since the Peace Treaty of Fairhaven in 2115, the Matis have relinquished land conquered to the Trykers and their mutual faith in Jena has brought the two peoples even closer together.
The Fyros are the inherent enemy of the Matis. In the old lands Dyros the Great, the Fyros Emperor, secured a water route from the lake lands to the desert through Matis territory. This 'intrusion' on Matis territory triggered the start of the war of civilizations. The intermittent skirmishes went on for over two hundred years coming to a head with the Fire of Coriolis. A peace treaty signed at Karavia brought with it a period of relative peace despite discord over Fyros placing national interests above Karavan Law.
The skirmishes that were rife during the reign of Jinovitch have given place to relative peace with the Fairhavan Peace Treaty signed in 2515 by the present Matis King, Yrkanis. Nevertheless, the Fyros moving ever closer to the Kamis has given rise to much agitation within the Matis court many of whom call for a firmer stand against Pyr and their policy of Kami proliferation.
For many years the Matis had little to do with the Zoraïs who have always kept their distance from the on-going conflicts between the other Homin civilizations in the lands of old. However, a period of peace brought Zoraï travelers from behind their boundaries to Karavia where learning was exchanged and beliefs compared. The Matis were thus able to measure the extent of the force of the Kami and learn about the possibility of another 'religion'.
The Matis consider the Zoraïs as high-minded Homins but whose 'pagan religion' must be kept in check. Nevertheless, it was a Zoraï warrior, the father of Mabreka, who saved the life of the present Matis King Yrkanis in 2493. What is more, Mabreka gave Yrkanis asylum in Zora while Jinovitch was in rule and enabled Yrkanis to retake the throne so banishing the totalitarian monarch. Many Matis resent this 'debt' to the Zoraïs which they claim has tarnished their honor and their credibility in the eyes of the Karavan.
- King Yrkanis (Matis)
- Main Psychological Traits
- Magnanimous, true to his word, loyal to his followers and Jena.
- Possesses courteous qualities appropriate to high-birth : prowess of a fighting man, steadfastness, loyalty, constancy in his undertakings, and is honorable in behavior and speech.
- Has a methodical, logical mind, cannot bear disorder.
- Endowed with power of persuasion, sound reasoning. Seen as a moral touchstone among the Matis.
- Considers the Matis as an example to the world. During the dark reign of Jinovitch he is cited as saying (perhaps somewhat conceitedly) : "If amber rots what should fibre do?".
- Main Psychological Traits
- Short Biography
- 2482 - Only son of King Yasson. Born in the Prime Roots during the period of Homin exile. His birth gives rise to new hope in the future at a time when spirits are flagging.
- 2483 - The new Matis capital is named after Yrkanis as a symbol of rebirth.
- 2487 - Despite the general discomfort of reconstruction, Yrkanis is given a courtly upbringing away from the general populace and placed under the tutelage of the great organic architect, Lenardi Bravichi.
- 2493 - At the age of 11 the young prince is allowed to accompany his father who had insisted on giving a royal escort to the Fyros border to a Zoraï contingent which had come to pay their last respects to the fallen Matini Roqvini, the great Matis warrior. In Savage Dunes the young prince's curiosity leads him to an alcove where he is given to believe rare plants can be found. But as he approaches the flowers he finds himself suddenly confronted by three Kipucka Kitins. By chance the great Zoraï warrior, Leng Cheng-Ho is at hand and saves the young prince in extremis but at the cost of his own life.
- 2501 - Briefly meets Mabreka, Leng Cheng-Ho's son who has been sent to negotiate the release of the Fyros emperor, held captive by King Yasson. Mabreka is able to ease the prince's mind as to the death of Leng Cheng-Ho explaining that, by saving the prince, his father died in merit and has thus moved further on along the pathway of the eternal bliss of Ma-Duk.
- 2504 - King Yasson is assassinated, Jinovitch his younger brother accedes to the throne. Yrkanis is urged to leave the idyllic world of the court and takes to the forest with a handful of loyal followers. In the strength of his learning from Bravichi, Yrkanis takes to his new life in the wilds with surprising ease. He soon learns the lie of the land, the ways of the common Matis, and to cut his own meat! Traveling mostly incognito, he uses his sense of persuasion and sound reasoning to rally Matis folk under his banner. He gains further popularity in stealing the ever increasing tithes from royal soldiers to give them back to the poor. Theses tithes are used by Jinovitch to finance the army and consolidate his position in the name of Jena.
- 2506 - After a Matis defeat against the Fyros, Yrkanis makes a bid to capture the crown but fails and is thrown into prison. It is Jinovitch himself who allows for the prince's escape to create a pretext to have the prince killed in flight. But the aged Lenardi Bravichi informs the young prince of the ploy and explains that it was really Jinovitch who poisoned his father. Bravichi helps the prince escape. Three days later the old scholar is burnt at the stake under the pretext of heresy. Yrkanis, then 24, vows to avenge the atrocities of his uncle but for the time being is forced to go into hiding with his band of loyal Homins. Again he makes his presence felt among the common people where he is able to witness the fear induced by the reign of Jinovitch. Meanwhile, Jinovitch claims he has evidence to convict Yrkanis of heresy and issues a warrant for his immediate arrest.
- 2508 - Yrkanis is finally caught in an ambush. On the way to the Matis capital, renamed Jino, he escapes thanks to his band of hearty Homins but this time is given no choice but to leave the Matis lands. To further legitimize his own reign, Jinovitch declares that the 'heretic' prince is dead and offers up the disfigured body of a partisan as proof. Yrkanis is led through the Prime Roots by a Tryker of the Guild of Try then given refuge in Fairhaven by the newly elected governor, Still Wyler, a staunch enemy of the new Matis regime. In Fairhaven, Yrkanis and Wyler plan to muster a force to protect Lagoons of Loria and bring down the Matis dictatorship.
- 2509 - Yrkanis is required to find refuge in Zora. The Tryker deputies would never accept the presence of a Matis prince in Fairhaven while Governor Wyler is out on a campaign across the lake lands trying to stir up a fighting spirit among the people. Yrkanis strikes an agreement with Mabreka whereby trade would be resumed as soon as the prince recovers the Matis throne. In return the Zoraï Grand Sage agrees to help him pass Matis supporters through the Prime Roots to the jungle lands to build up an army. Yrkanis learns about the Zoraï ways though never once his belief in Jena falters. However he does agree to forbid the persecution of the Kamis in the forest lands once he comes to power.
- 2511 - Yrkanis' followers risk their lives spreading the word throughout the Matis lands that Prince Yrkanis is alive and will soon come to rid the forest lands of the reign of terror. They tell that the liberators will wear the Bravichi leaf, avenging streaks and the mark of fervor on their faces.
- 2512 - In response to the Matis invasion of Lagoons of Loria, renamed Jino Waters, Yrkanis leaves Zora with an army to join Still Wyler at the frontier.
- 2513 - On recognizing the colors of the house of Yasson, and the painted faces of Yrkanis and his followers, the vast majority of Jinovitch's soldiers drop to their knees in recognition of their true born king. Lagoons of Loria is thus taken with only little bloodshed. Jinovitch immediately marches out from the Matis capital with his great army of elite warriors and conscripts to quash the mutiny and confront what he calls the 'false prince'.
- 2514 - Jinovitch is killed on the way to the frontier. His army, having received the news of Yrkanis, watches on as he is eaten alive by some prowling kitins. Escorted by Wyler to the capital, Yrkanis accedes to the Matis throne at the age of 32.
- 2517 - Yrkanis marries Lady Lea Lenardi, daughter of Bravichi.
- 2518 - Birth of his son, Stevano.
- 2520 - Attempted coup d'état. Yrkanis resists and has ringleaders imprisoned.
- 2525 - His reign has since been one of wise rule built on loyalty to the crown and Jena, trade competition and aesthetic achievement, so bringing the Matis people round to the prized values of Yasson and Lenardi Bravichi. He has promoted peace and signed the Homin Rights Act. However, time and again there has been call from the growing number of radicals within the court for a tougher stance against the Kamis and their followers.