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STYGIA (Grand Duchy of)
Location: Continent of Brun, southern edge of the Klagorst territories. WB
Area: 21,300 sq. mi. (55,167 sq. km.).
Population: 12,000 troglodytes.
Languages: Eywan (60% commonality with the troglodyte language spoken elsewhere on Mystara).
Coinage: Yegh (pp), ehra (gp), syd (sp); Klagorst and Brasovian coinage also accepted.
Taxes: 15% income tax, 5% of which goes to the clergy.
Government Type: Monarchy, heavily influenced by the Church of Yeg Shuta.
Industries: Mining (mainly platinum), animal herding (cattle, giant lizards).
Important Figures: Xagash (Archduke, troglodyte, male, F12); Zar'nag (High Kai (Priest), troglodyte, male, Pr13 of Yeg Shuta).
Flora and Fauna: The swamplands of the region are home to giant lizards, some of which have been domesticated by the troglodytes as draft animals and a source of food, and by all sorts of nasty creatures like giant slugs, and a race (that I have never heard of outside of Stygia) of giant albino crocodiles. Some human outlaws and bandits call the southern hills home.
Further Reading: None.
Description by Giulio diSergio-Orsini.
Stygia is mainly a giant swamp inhabited by troglodytes, and dotted with islands of dry land where giant lizards are raised by some farmer. The towns are all built deep inside the swamp, most of them near the shore, where the troglodytes have ports where goods from the north arrive, and others leave, mostly toward the Kerminhae Archipelago. In the southern hills there are several platinum mines. Stygia maintains a truce with the Confederacy of Klagorst, especially due to the power of the Church of Yegh Shuta, which fiercely opposes Archduke Xagash, who is trying to reinforce the monarchy as well as keep his realm loyal to the confederacy.
The land of Stygia is quite barren and cold, but troglodytes like it; they are not so brutal, savage and vicious like their cousins of other parts of Mystara, but they are xenophobic and some of them are more than a little over the edge of madness, for reasons I cannot yet fathom. The troglodytes speak a strange language that is similar only in part to the troglodyte language of other parts of Mystara; probably the differences derive from the higher level of culture the Stygians have gained, and thus their language is more elaborate.
The Stygian troglodytes arrived in the region they now call home some centuries before the crowning of Zendrolion I as Emperor of Thyatis, probably around the 3rd century BC. The troglodytes were apparently of a much lower cultural level then, but they profited greatly from the contact with the Kerminhae. The region was not particularly suited to the troglodytes, being then just a cold steppe much similar to Klagorst, but eventually the troglodytes learned magical techniques that allowed them to change the surrounding environment into a cool swamp. The magics also prevented the waters from freezing during the cold winters, although its temperature is actually below freezing. In the following years (1st century BC) the troglodytes begun to worship an arch-devil known as Charun, Demon Lord of Stygia, and the country took its name from Him. The priesthood of Charun guided the troglodytes in wars against Kerminhae, the first of those being fought in the then unsettled Klagorst region, where the Kerminhae outpost F'ww'aa was destroyed (AC 12). On that spot, several centuries later the human city of Port Fewalskij would be built.
The success of this war, which wiped out the Kerminhae from the mainland, encouraged the priests of Charun, who engaged themselves in other major wars. On the mainland, the hresha-rhak were repeatedly beaten, but the troglodytes never managed to defeat their enemies at sea, so the two nations signed a treaty in AC 276, after which the troglodytes begun to look with interest towards the northern arrival of the gnomes in Szekesh. They could find a use for a race of slaves-to settle and exploit the uninhabited Klagorst region, thus barring the coastal lands from the hresha-rhak indefinitely. After some minor skirmishes that tested the strength of the anarchical Djikarti (AC 343 being the first of them), the troglodytes prepared themselves and marched toward the north, seizing most of Szekesh in AC 429. After that, unfortunately for them, the varkhas arrived from the east, and began to force them out of the region. Internal disorder, instigated by the minority followers of Yeg Shuta and aided by the hresha-rhak, led to the hasty retreat of the Charun priests, and their armies, the relinquishing of their claim on Szekesh, a civil war that ended with the destruction of Charun's priesthood, and the foundation a new theological monarchy in AC 443, with the main divinity now being Yeg Shuta. Followers of Charun, their faith declared illegal, are still present in Stygia, and comprise the Horned Skull, a secret society that wants to take power once more and begin a new war against Kerminhae.
Stygia was now in the hands of the Shutan faction, who established a strong alliance with the Kerminhae, and decided to turn their attention inwards, avoiding conflicts with the surrounding nations, including the Klagorst humans who had begun to occupy that region while they were abandoning Szekesh. The exception to the rule were the varkhan crusades against them, that resulted in several wars, most fought along the borders, although sometimes their enemy lizardkin managed to enter and sack the country. Other important events in Stygian history were its joining the Klagorst Confederacy and its participation in some of the region's wars.
In the capital city of Kragm'aanle the wonderful Temple of Yeg Shuta must be seen! It is completely covered with platinum, and has a strange alien geometric shape, although very different from the hresha-rhak architecture, and not so disturbing to one's senses. It is to be noted, though, that most other Stygian buildings follow more regular and normal architectural concepts, but this temple is really a marvellous feat of engineering, to be counted among the best on the planet.