|Realm||Kingdom of the Iron Doctrine|
|Resources||Lumber, Crops, Skarnakan warbirds, Monstrous Rats|
The land of Sympolemou is treacherous and dangerous, blighted with pockets of inhospitable terrain dotting the landscape. Toxic vents, hidden quick sand, and vicious animals are the norm. If one does not actively watch his back, or have someone do it for them, then they are very likely to perish within an hour of traversing these lands. Yet ultimately it is worth it, for the natural beauty and fertility of the land is breath taking. A shining gem masked by blood, danger, and war. As a result of this most Sympol are hunters and warriors, with the rest composing of miners or gatherers.
- Heart of the North: The Heart of the North is the central military and political hub of Sympolemou. The Heart of the North is a set of mountains that combine together to form a naturally isolated valley. Lying in the center of it is Bloodfang's keep, Dark Heart, with several smaller locations encircling around it, and ultimately leading into the mountains themselves. Within the mountains, other clan establishments are settled and expanded upon, with intertwining caves and networks slowly cutting their way through the mountains. But ultimately, as the saying goes, "All roads lead to the Dark Heart" and as a result they all have passages straight to his doorstep. It was here that Bloodfang carved his name into Sympolemou history, and his throne at the center of Sympol life serves to act as a reminder of his unflinching grit and skill.
- The Forest of Bones: The Forest of Bones is a mystery to the people of Sympolemou. Theories revolving around it fluctuate and change as time goes on. All that is truly known is that some great tragedy befell this land, for the bones and remains of hundreds of Sympol dot this forest, with perhaps yet more uncounted. Perhaps there was some great sacrifice to an angry god, who cursed the people their with a ravenous forest that wiped them out? Or maybe it was the sight of a great war, where several clans came together and wiped each other out in a genocidal fit of fury. Whatever the reason may be, only the brave or foolish enter the Forest, for within it lurks monsters and beasts unknown. Few enter it, and fewer leave to tell the tale. Stories of horrid monsters, strange alien beasts, and perhaps most disturbing of all, tales of savage Sympol who devolved into madness and stalk the night like crazed killers all permeate the Forest. However, it is the biggest source of wood in Sympolemou, with trees that seemingly reach for the sky, and leviathan in size. As a result it is common for the Sympolemou to harvest its outskirts, though it is rare to see them stay for long.
- Rapid Run Shore: The shore that stretches from the top of Sympolemou all the way to the bottom of it. It is shrouded in a miasma of toxic gases, boiling hot geysers, and quicksand. If a Sympol manages to somehow get past all of these dangers, the beasts that lurk on the beach and within the water are a different matter entirely. It's moniker was given to it by the few skilled (Though some might claim Insane) Sympol who managed to chart a way through and get onto the shore itself. Only the fleet of foot may pass unharmed, and not without a bit of luck and a good weapon. The small community that lives on Rapid Run Shore are fishermen and sailors, providing the other clams with the bulk of fish they will see in their life. As a result of the perils involved with transport, shipments are rare but bulky, and the arrival of such a delicacy as fish is a cause for great celebration and joy.
The Sympol people are a violent, veteran, and vicious people. They have grown to be more then willing to defend what is theirs and to fight nonstop for what they believe in. Their environment has shaped them into the bloody weapon they are today. A constant pervading threat of the very land around them potentially lashing out has made them distrustful of things they do not know or comprehend, making them slow to trust. However, this has also instilled a great sense of brotherhood, honor, and community amongst them as they all learn from a young age to watch each others back. Social hierarchy is an important concept amongst them, as without chains of command and order, the Sympol people would have died out long ago.
The people of Sympolemou are lanky ratmen. Their mouths are lined with razor sharp fangs, with deadly claws for hands, swift paws for feet, and snouts for noses . Their fur color comes in different shades of brown, red, black, and white. The only part of their body not furred is their pink tails, which are capable of basic manipulation. Amongst their kind, brown furred are the most common, with black furred being the strongest, red furred being the swiftest, and white furred being the wisest. As a result many of the warriors are drafted amongst the Brown and Black fur Sympol, while any duties related to their ancestor spirit religion is delegated to White furred Sympol. There is very little difference between Male and Female Sympol, save that the Females are more sinuous and due to their wartime ideologies are generally put into reproductive roles, unless they are recruited into being a warrior.
The Forest of Bones' immense size provides all the lumber that the Sympol will ever need, and adept farmers have learned how to grow excellent crops even in the harsh magic-scarred environment. The Heart of the North used to provide plenty of iron to the Sympol, but of late that resource has been largely devoured by the Ducal Skarnakan flock: great war-birds with blades for feathers and natural plate armor. Unlike the graceful, majestic Skarnak, which provides an excellent mount for those braves willing to ride one, the Monstrous Rats captured from the Forest of Bones are hulking beasts that accept no rider. They can be coerced, made to push the plow or turn the mill, but attempts to utilize them on the battlefield have consistently failed.
However, the general rarity of fish, and the dangers of outright hunting the monsters that prowl the landscape makes protein hard to come by, and as a result meat and livestock are imported to Sympolemou.
The people of Sympolemou have a strict belief in spirits, particularly that of ancestors and legends. They believe that if you die with Honor as a Warrior you will persist between the worlds as a spirit to guide your children in the future. There blessing and prowess is gifted to those they deem favorable, and a lucky victory or good season is generally attributed to a powerful ancestors blessing.
Spirits' Eve: During the summer solstice, when the sun rises high and the world is ripe for long days of marching, the Sympol people respect their ancestors. The exact origin of this event transpires long ago, to the very beginning of Sympol culture. The people of Sympol migrate, marching with great haste to the edge of the Forest of Bones. It is said that during this day the power of the Spirits is bolstered, and they can intermingle with the populace with great ease. Families bury their dead, celebrate weddings, and honor their ancestors. They pay respect to those who have gone, and those who are to come. However, the biggest event to transpire during this day is the incursion into the Forest of Bones. A party of Warriors brave enough to enter are gathered, equipped with fine gear, and then sent into the forest to prove their glory. Whomever returns alive, or (even better) with the slain carcass of a monster, is heralded as a grand hero and paraded around the Heart of the North as such.
Skriit- 200 years ago: Skriit is perhaps the greatest ancestor that the Sympol people recognize. Long ago, before any can remember, in an age of legend and danger the Sympol people were nomadic. They drifted around Sympolemou, hiding from monsters, scurrying from sight, and scrounging to survive. They were a scattered people, with no order or strength behind them. Yet one day a baby was born, and that baby was Skriit. He looked upon his people, saw the state they were in, and could not stand it. Leaving the shelter of his home, legend says he climbed the tip of the tallest mountain, and raged against the heavens themselves. He beat his chest, roaring out in the name of his people, and was not seen for weeks.
Long after, when the Sympol people forgot him, he returned. Garbed in animal hide and equipped with a jagged bone sword, he rallied his people, inspiring them with stories of his time spent abroad. They took in his stories, processing what he had said, and envisioning this wonderful world out there. Now, during this time the Heart of the North was a den of monsters. Fiends so unimaginably terrible that words fail to describe them. They prowled and stalked each other, eternally hunting anything they could find, and they infested the heart like a virus. Skriit saw this portion of land, and saw his peoples future home in it. With fire and rage he led his people, swarming out of their dens and hideaways by the thousands, and equipped them with crude weaponry. They swarmed over the Heart, clawing their way into its center, and fought tooth and claw against the monsters.
It was a bloody battle, one that lasted for days, and by the end of it the Heart was choked with bodies from both sides. Yet despite the damage, the Sympol people stood victorious, and they claimed the heart their own. Sadly, Skriit died during the battle, singlehandedly holding off a quarter of the monsters force. His body, rent and broken, was interred inside the carcass of the greatest monster that fought that day, and he was laid to rest in the center of the Heart of the North.