The City: Also known as the “City of Light,” the “White City,” and “Healing Home,” Reya is quite possibly the most famous of the Three Great Cities. Since its founding thousands of years ago, Reya has benefited from being at the heart of the fertile Golden Fields. Her crest is a silver sun flying in a field of azure and flags and banners can be seen fluttering in the breeze at any time day or night.
Many say that Reya was not so much build but weaved into form by the Gods themselves. The true history on the founding of Reya has been lost over the centuries, but many believe that the high concentration of magical crystals in the area was a catalyst. Being the conduit for much of the magical energies and due to their concentration in the region, Reya incorporates crystals into the majority of its architecture. Large crystals top high spires of alabaster granite or are worked into great gold and white domes throughout the city. Even the sculptures, statues and streets themselves are lined with them. At night, the crystals cast gentle light, illuminating the city with a perpetual soft glow as if constantly under a full moon that can be seen for miles across the vast plains. To many, this brings a sense of comfort as well as wonder. Beyond the buildings rising up out of the ground to astonishing heights, there are also buildings and structures constructed upon small land masses floating suspended in the air by the potent magic that permeate the land. These are one of Reya’s most unique features. Sky chariots and gondolas flit through the air, taking people between the immense wonders; and further up in the sky, floating air ships can be seen setting off on currents of air as the winds fill their sails.
Each city is said to have particular magic’s tied to it, and Reya is no different. The crystals found throughout the city tend to have strong ties to the magic of earth and air, but most especially healing, weather, and divination; so much so that many say that even the rains that fall on the plains have a rejuvenating effect on the land as well as its people and animals; and one could read the pattern of the stars and predict what the Mother is weaving into the future. These ties have made Reya the greatest hub of knowledge and learning. Reya is home to many universities of different disciplines as well as several museums that range from topics of geology, history, and biology for not just Reya, but the world. Reya boasts the largest and most complete libraries in the world and is considered by many to be the heart of memory for all of Pyrone.
In addition to being a center of learning and healing, Reya also houses The Black Star Home; the primary headquarters of the Avenger Guard. Their fortress home is situated towards the heart of Reya near the Palace of the Sun. Within the walls of The Black Star Home can be found the tower of the Grey Tribunal, the Black Star Home itself, the Memory Wall, and the Mausoleum. While the Mausoleum, Memory Wall, and Grey Tribunal are open for any to visit, the Black Star Home, which houses the Avenger Guard who currently serve is closed to the public. Of all the historical and fantastic sites within Reya, the Black Star Home is the most recently to be built.
People: The people of Reya are cordial, friendly, and endlessly curious. A strong desire to learn motivates many of them as they go about their daily lives, and many of the world’s top scholars are found within her borders.
Reyans also have a strong sense of honor and duty to their country. Many people serve the community in one way or another as they feel it is their duty to look out for one another. Reyans value life above all and strive every day to protect it. This is not to say that they are pacifists by any means; but they will look often look to avoid violence except as a final resort. The honesty and trust are two of the most highly valued traits to Reyans. Those who betray either find it difficult to regain them again from friends and family. This reverence for life, trust, and loyalty has manifested itself into a peculiar tradition to many who are not familiar with it. Upon the death of any Reyan, there usually is a final request made. Whether written or spoken, this request is then carried out at nearly all costs by the closest friends and family of the deceased, or sometimes even an individual, as a way of honoring the dead.
The citizens of Reya and the region in general trace their lineage through their mothers rather than their fathers. It is believed that while fathers help provide the spark of life, mothers are the ones whose blood nurtures and creates that life, thus Reya is a society dominated by the matriarch. While firstborn daughters receive the majority of responsibility, the family as a whole shares in the burden. This does not mean that men are belittled in Reya. Men hold just as many important positions within communities or businesses as women do. Lineage, however, is always traced through the mother. This translates to the royal family as well.
Reya is ruled by a singular royal family, commonly referred to as “the Royals” by many Reyans. In practice, the sitting queen in the ruler until the first born daughter comes of age and takes a husband. At this time, the newly married daughter becomes the new Queen and the former queen is referred to as the Queen Mother. While no longer wielding major power in the region, the Queen Mother stays on as the closest advisor and teacher to the newly crowned queen. The Queen’s husband is known as Regent and serves as her second advisor. Only once in Reyan history has there ever been a true King who ruled the country.
While the Regent wields a certain amount of control and responsibility, it is the Queen who rules the country. Many say that there are unspoken laws that dictate how the Queen must rule; but whether there is any truth to the rumor, the Queens of Reya are always benevolent. The do not dictate the lives of the people; rather guide them as a mother would towards self-actualization. The Queens of Reya know that their power comes from the people and that treating them as equals cultivates more loyalty than treating them merely as subjects. For this reason, the people of Reya hold the royal family in as much reverence as they do the city itself; so much so that there is a long standing tradition that any Reyan would lay down their life for any member of the royal family rather than let them come to any harm. This is partially born from an ancient law that states that “no Reyan shall ever raise a hand in violence against any member of the royal family or Reya itself;” a law that has been violated only once in the entirety of Reya’s history.
Religion: Reyans practice the primary religion of Pyrone and worship The Three. While all of the chief deities are represented through various churches, the primary deity of Reya is The Mother. Most Reyans feel that it was The Mother who weaved the great city into existence. Many scholars believe that the tracing of lineage through mothers is due to The Mother being the patron deity of Reya, and in truth, much of Reyan law and tradition is based around the teachings of The Mother. This leads the church to be one of the primary sources of comfort and assistance for many people, second only to the Queen and Royal family.
While most temples and churches in Reya are humble, the major cathedrals are beyond breathtaking. Situated within cloistered compounds, the cathedrals of Reya are marvels of architecture and art. The other buildings that adorn the interior of the cloister are used to house the live in clerics and monks as well as serve as training grounds for the churches security force and paladins. In this way, the church cloisters of Reya are like small cities of their own.
Military: Reyans are devoted to the preservation of life, and the Reyan military is an extension of that belief. In times of war, the Reyan military has been known to ally with the defense forces of the church as well as the Avenger Guard; on its own, however, the Reyan military is possibly the strongest military force in all of Pyrone. While people of all walks of life and encompassing nearly every possible skill for combat are found within its ranks, what sets the Reyan military apart from others is their use of several unique mounted divisions.
While their horseback cavalry is second to none, what draws the most attention on the battlefield is the presence of the Royal Guard. Sitting astride specially bred and trained lions, the Golden Guard serve as the personal bodyguards to the Royal Family as well as special dignitaries. In times of war, they can be seen commanding contingents of soldiers as they charge into battle. The mount and rider train together from a young age and form a closeness that makes them some of the most deadly adversaries on the field. Mount and rider move in deadly fluidity as they wade through the chaos of combat. There are stories of entire contingents that have thrown their weapons aside and turned in retreat at the sight of a full complement of Golden Guard charging their ranks.
As impressive as the Golden Guard are, the Order of the Dragon is equally so. While the Golden Guard are masters of the land, the Order of the Dragon rule the skies from atop their griffons. The ability to control the battle from the air makes them an invaluable asset as well as one of the most formidable combat groups in the whole of Pyrone. The Order of the Dragon trains much the same way as the Golden Guard do; raising their griffons from hatchlings and working with them as equals to the point where there is really no separation between rider and mount. There are those who say that in times long past, the Order of the Dragon and the Golden Guard actually rode dragons into battle; though many believe that this is merely conjecture as dragons are believed to have died out thousands of years ago.
Economy: Reya’s primary economy comes from the farming that takes place within the fertile Golden Fields. Farming communities adorn the landscape in nearly every direction and focus on just about everything imaginable. From grains, to dairy, to great fruit orchards, to wine vineyards and herd animals; the Golden Fields create an endless supply of trade wealth. Within the city itself, Reya is widely known for its artistry, centers of learning, and religion. As with the other great cities, however, the sheer size of Reya ensures that just about any good or service can be found within its walls.