The Continent of Cyril: Changeling mythology

A hand-drawn map of Cyril

These are a few historical notes and facts about the continent of Cyril, which the story Changeling is set. The world of Changeling has several continents, but the entirety of the first novel is set on Cyril.

Cyril is a large continent to the west of Althaea and north of Kriss, and is the most populated continent yet discovered. Though it is physically smaller than Althaea, more people choose to make it their homes, due to the diverse history of the countries, and less of a chance for random warfare.

Cyril is made up of thirteen territories. Willowfirth is the northernmost land, consisting of boreal forests, ancient mountains and glaciers. It is home to elven clans, and is the only known place where dragons will nest and breed.

Bordering Willowfirth to the west is the small, abandoned territory known as the Necropolis, which was once the country of Voln. Voln was also the name of a volcano in a mountain range that spans much of the territory; the volcano erupted and buried the civilizations, and those who did survive relocated and renamed the area the Necropolis.

Spanning much of the continent between Willowfirth and the heavily populated areas to the south is the Old Lands, which is forested and filled with mountains that are difficult to traverse. The nations to the south long ago gave up trying to claim the inhospitable land, and the area is largely believed to be haunted, due to ruins of the first civilizations dotting the countryside.

At the east of Cyril is a large section of land known as the Fells. With ruthless mountains to the east and swamps to the west, it is agreed upon by most to be a land not worth conquering, and is populated by tribes of barbarians who spend much of their time either warring or trading. The Fells were where the original men of Cyril were from, as evidenced by paintings on the walls of caves, and ancient burial grounds in hallowed areas. The mountains to the east are the Gabal Mountains, and are home to the like-named Gabal Mages. Rather than have a single speciality, these mages share their knowledge to become skilled in each form of magic, making them feared by all. They are governed by the enigmatic Father Zdenek, an ancient chronomancer and necromancer whose purposes have not been known in the over six hundred years of his life.

South of the Fells is Canton, a small nation populated by slavers and thieves. In the past, Loun and Syllan had fought over the nation, with the Lounians eventually winning. They found the land too tough to farm and the neighbouring Fells barbarians too much of a threat, however, and eventually abandoned the land, leaving behind their criminals and captives. These people prospered through piracy and theft, and eventually made Canton one of the most prosperous nations in the world, despite its hedonistic and seditious past.

Clustered at the south of Cyril are the Southern Kingdoms, allied monarchies ruled by chivalry and knights. The most powerful and influential of these is Helmene, a country of deciduous forests and lakes situated in the central Southern Kingdoms, and the largest of the lot. Much of world and Cyril’s history has come from Helmene. Nestled in Helmene’s grip is the Duchy of Cordring. Helmene’s greatest ally is Nallis, a country situated between Helmene, Loun, and Syllan; the Nallisians are famous for their hatred and distrust of mages, as they had long ago been ruled by tyrannical mage overlords. It took two rebellions to free the Nallisians from their magical grip, and they have not welcomed mages since. Between Nallis, Canton, and the Fells, with a panhandle of unforgiving marshes, is Syllan. They often clash with the barbarians of the Fells, but allegiance with the rest of the Southern Kingdoms keeps them safe. South of Nallis is Loun, a land known for opulence and segregated class systems. Nearer to the west coast is Galenor, which is a tentative ally of the Southern Kingdoms. They are heavily influenced by both Helmene to the east and the democratic Wynd to the west, and endured a civil war debating monarchy and democracy for over one hundred years.

The Wynd is a narrow strip of land between the cliff side coast and Galenor. They are ruled by democrats, and try to encourage the Galish villages close to their border to accept democracy. They are excellent sailors, living on the coast as they do, but rely more on their diplomatic skills than warfare, unless the time calls for it.

A peninsula at the southwestern-most section of Cyril, separated from the rest of the mainland by unclimbable mountains, is the Lost City. Legends state it to be a lush jungle, but nobody has set foot there in hundreds of years.

Modern recorded time began in Cyril. Years since are recorded by dynasties of great Helmene rulers; there have been four since the beginning of recorded time. The first dynasty began with King Ulrich I Enge. The Enge Dynasty lasted for approximately six hundred years, during which time trade was initiated with Althaea and the Old Helmenian dialect developed into modern Helmenian, which is spoken worldwide. It was also during the Enge Dynasty when Nallis was ruled by mage overlords and highlords. In the year 515 of the Enge Dynasty, the nonmagical nobles and peasants enslaved by the overlords revolted, but failed. The second revolt succeeded, and magic was made illegal in Nallis.

The next was the Albor Dynasty, which lasted about fifty years, and was begun by King William III Albor. Due to the shortness of the dynasty, nothing of real note was recorded in this time.

The third was the Grothaus Dynasty, which lasted about one hundred years, and was begun by King Henry V Grothaus. This dynasty was notable because Cyril began formal trade with the desert continent Kriss, after the finale of a devastating war.

The most recent is the Burchard Dynasty, which has lasted about five hundred years so far, and was begun by King Harold I Burchard. For the first several centuries, bar the occasional war with Canton, this dynasty was peaceful. However, in the summer of 482, the King of Nallis, Fergus Wymer, was killed in battle, and the throne passed to his oldest son, Heinrich. However, Heinrich abdicated without stating a formal and public reason for his decision, and the throne passed to his son, Godric Wymer. In the fall of 515, Godric’s eldest son, Edric, was killed in a hunting accident, and the second son, Alistair, was made heir. It was made public that Alistair had inherited magical tendencies from a female ancestor, and Godric made an effort to have him formally trained rather than force him to abdicate as his grandfather had.

The oldest known structure in Cyril is the Kelver Fortress in Helmene’s Lake District, near the capital of Auber. It is older than recorded time, but no one is certain who built it.

There are several major languages spoken in Cyril, and the countries they originated in: Helmenian, Helmene; Lounian, Loun; F’lish, the Fells; Sanc’iaith, Willowfirth; Styra, the Wynd; Galish, Galenor. Gabalic, an ancient and secretive language native to the Gabal Mountains in the Fells, is not typically included in this list, as its knowledge is coveted only by the mages of the coven. All these languages are written as well as spoken, save for F’lish, as the barbarians tell their history through stories.

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