Thuria and Beyond
Stygia is a decadent, sinister menace, a black land of nameless horror feared by the Thurian people. Ruled by a dark theocracy devoted to the Cult of Set, its small population is notably xenophobic, and the people are obsessed with the subjects of death and immortality. The population is notably small for a land of its size, for there is little arable land for the people to live on and there is a constant demand for sacrifices by the cult.
The cult utterly dominates Stygian society. The temples own most of the arable land and the administration of the country is staffed by Settish priests. The Stygian theocracy is conservative and closed-minded, and, for ordinary Stygian people, minimal contact with the outside world is permitted.
Mysterious Stygia organises its inscrutable society in a strict class system based largely upon physical racial characteristics. Stygian royalty and nobility are relatively tall people with black hair and fair skin, as were their ancient forebears, the original human inhabitants of Stygia. Below these, the haughty, ruling elite of aristocrats, priests and a powerful merchant class are dusky-skinned, hawk-nosed men. Interestingly, it is this caste which most non-Stygians consider to be “typical” Stygians. The lowest classes of common people and slaves are of mixed heritage, a hybrid of various foreign and Stygian bloods.
By 1000 YT (when our campaign begins), Stygia is a much smaller land than it once was, its power greatly reduced by the rise of rival civilisations and by the terrible defeats endured one thousand years before at the hands of the united forces of the Thurian kingdoms. Even so, the Stygian throne is still occupied by a ruler rejoicing in the overblown title of Emperor rather than by a mere king. In 1000 YT, the Stygian Emperor is Kahmunrah, a young man whose ancestors have ruled the land for many hundreds of years.
A southern realm bounded by the Western Ocean to the west, the River Styx to the north and east, the lands of Kush, Darfar and Keshan to the South. There are forests, marshes, and islands along the western coast, but inland the land is mostly a featureless desert, dotted with tombs and sinister ruins. In the south-central grasslands are the ghost-haunted Swamps of the Purple Lotus. The jungle rainforest begins near the frontier with Darfar and Keshan.
Important cities of Stygia include: