There was a great confusion then in the halls and homes of the people of Aggheron, and many rushed away in chaos from these places, and were overtaken by demons or by warrior gods; Aggheron was slain, and his son Agera became the lord of them.
Agera led them away from that place, and their hardship was great. Many of that band were overtaken, or fled, or were lost, and some took down their houses and made boats and sailed on the Sea of Death, and were not ever again seen.
Agera took his people to the shore, where dwelt the people of Calaton, and Caraton, and Allgghethon, and Boradatha, and Casitha, and many others; these the God Atron had called to the shore.
They dwelt on the shore for seven years, and in this time, Agera died, and his son, Mysa, lifted up and became lord among them. The God Atron put his mark upon Mysa, and all the people saw him as blessed.
But when the Sea of Death came nigh, and many demons were seen in the darkness, Mysa went unto them and said:
"People, the Sea of Death is nigh. Let us take down our houses and the trees upon the people's lands and make boats."
And it was done. But when they did make to disembark from the shore, with the God Atron as their guide, the people of the other lords faltered, and drew back, and were afraid.
But the people of Mysa followed him bravely, and without hesitation. That is why they are called the Mysathoi, Those Faithful to Mysa.
-The Golden Book of Mysa
In Their Own Tongue:
Mysathoi (literally, "those faithful to Mysa" or "Mysa's faithful"; pronounced 'MEE-sah-thoh-ee')
Sons of Mysa (by many people), People of the Center (by many people), Quick Thinkers (by Massagetae), Golden Men (by Northerners), Devils of Mysa (by Three Kingdomers)
Mysia, Kingdom of the Phoenix, Center of Ageratos
Mysians remain, for the most part, the race that they were when Mysa led the Agerai into Ageratos. They are tall, with men being 5'9"-6'5" (175-196 cm) and women slightly smaller at 5'2"-5'11" (157-180 cm), and their builds are slender and long-limbed. They have a medium-tan skin tone, with a tendency towards bronzing instead of burning. They have dolicocephalic heads with long, straight noses and expressive lips, and fine, diamond-shaped faces. Their hair can be anywhere from a brownish-blonde to a hot yellow-gold to a downy, whitish blonde. They have green or hazel eyes.
There are a smaller ethnic group of Mysians, in the northern areas, especially in the Sun's Path Mountains, known as Red Mysians. They have a similar stature, but they have a tendency towards more wide-hipped, wide-shouldered frames as opposed to slender ones, and their hair is typically bronze-red in color.
Both kinds of Mysians are known throughout Ageratos for their great beauty.
Dress and Fashion:
On normal days and times of usual business, Mysian men wear a cuton, a knee-length tunic which is folded elaborately to indicate social status or occupation. The cuton is belted with a hagghien, a knotted cord of silk. Footwear is sandals, erafoni. Weather-dress for men includes a heavy hooded cloak that is sometimes lined with fur, the velcuton, and thick socks called matensi. They may also wear a wide-brimmed hat which is generally made from straw, called an ieston.
Formal dress for men is a long, trailing robe, called a atrocuton, and a waist-length surcoat, or balaithisen, decorated with a family symbol, or simply the name in decorative script. It is traditional to go barefoot at formal occasions.
Mysian women normally dress in an ankle-length dress hyston belted with a similar hagghien to that of men. They wear a shawl over the shoulders, known as a velhyston. Women always go barefoot. Weather-dress for women is the same velcuton as a man, and in addition, they pin up the hems of their skirts to a slightly higher height to prevent them from dragging in mud.
Formal dress for women is a heavy gown, a atrohyston, similar to a man's atrocuton, but without the balaithisen. Most atrohysti are made to accentuate a woman's curves and breasts, and have elaborate trailing hip-capes that give them the appearance of women with rooster tails. As said before, Mysian women always go barefoot.
Mysian men shun jewelry, considering it a feminizing thing to wear, while Mysian women enjoy wearing jewels of tasteful nature; they should not be too large or too small, nor should they be set in gaudy settings. They wear necklaces, armlets, and ear-rings. Mysians do not exalt gold overmuch, as their own personal gold is quite enough. In fact, they much prefer ivory and ebony.
Mysian men wear their hair somewhat long, usually at shoulder length or slightly shorter. It is common for them to pull it back into a ponytail when working. Women arrange their hair in many styles, depending on fashion and preference; for the peasantry, it is common to wear a braid.
Mysians eat a variety of mild dishes in warm broths. Generally, there is some sort of roasted meat, spiced, and mixed with green leafy vegetables and nuts of some sort, all of which are cooked. They are eaten out of shallow dishes which are half-filled with mild broths or stock.
On more festive occasions, skewers of meat, root vegetables, and/or fish may be eaten, and more exotic dishes, such as peacock, hummingbird, and snake.
The general impression of Mysian food is mild and a tinge bitter, and very soupy in character.
Mysian music is generally pleasant and informal, played on flutes, lyres, harps, and other woodwind and stringed instruments. Drums are also popular among the poorer folk, and Red Mysians play the famous Mysian hill-fiddle. The tones are happy and lilting, with an upbeat, irregular fashion.
The general impression of Mysian music is happy, optimistic, irregular, and slow.
Mysian society is male-dominated, patriarchal, and very intellectual. Mysians have a long tradition of philosophers and other deep thinkers. However, Mysian society is very conservative and tradition-bound. Mysian men are expected to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, and to pass on their occupation to their children. This tradition, along with the very conservative nature of the society, makes an informal hereditary caste system the norm in Mysia. Families which have traditionally been blacksmiths are generally always blacksmiths. Women are expected to marry a 'nice traditional' man, birth one or two children, and spend their lives running their husband's finances. Men do not have legal power over their families.
However, those who cannot follow their family traditions and go against the grain are known as hacallasoni, or "north-goers", from the ancient Agerai tradition of sending dissidents northward towards the Sea of Death. These hacallasoni are given a sort of special social status; as independents in a sea of alike people, they are the driving force of innovation and change in a hidebound and change-resistant land.
Beyond these informal "castes", Mysians are ruled by a landed aristocracy, the descendants of the warrior nobility of the ancient Mysathoi. They are ruled by an autocratic king.
Mysians keep slaves; it is an accepted part of life. Mysians treat their slaves, at best, as beloved pets, and at worst, as mindless pack-servants. A Mysian has power of life and death over any slave, though if one kills another's slave, one must pay the value of said slave.
The Mysians worship the Aeons (Aeoni, "endless ones"). The
greatest of the Aeons is the Phoenix, the symbol of death and rebirth, of life and death, and of endlessness, and is the most called upon by the Mysians. There are innumerable Aeons, including regional gods and demideities, but the Six Great Aeons are:
-The Phoenix, Life and Death, He Who Is Reborn, Lord of Light, Great Golden One, the One Without Ending
-Atron, Lord of Heaven, He Who Presides, Lord of Lords, Seer of All, Lord of the Sky
-Metatron, Lord of the Panoply of War, The Great Warrior, He Who Is Like Dread, Terrible Spear-Thrower, Bloody-Handed One, Lord of Fire
-Zoe, Green-Eyed One, She Who Is Most Beauteous, The Lover, All-Pleasuring
-Bythion, the Profound, the Unknowable, He Who Reclines, Lord of Dreams, Lord of Magic
-Atophaeon, the Deep One, Lord of the Sea, He Who Quakes the Earth, The Steed of Water
-Aegghorenda, Lord of the Dead, Master of Wealth, The Gray One, the Lord of Merchants
There is no established 'church' of all of the Aeons. Rather, each Aeon has a temple society of their own, with their own specially-trained Magi (usually with special titles) and own agendas. Temples of the Aeons generally cooperate with each other, though in areas where donations are necessary to keep the temples running, they compete for funding.
Typically, a Mysian takes one Aeon as his or her own patron deity. Many soldiers, for instance, take Metatron as their patron. Each individual has a shrine to their patron deity. But on any given day, a Mysian will probably swear by any Aeon which seems relevant to the situation- if one is hoping to please one's lover, one prays to Zoe, while if one wishes to make a lucrative sale, one prays to Aegghorenda.
Each Aeon's temple has it's own holy book, purportedly written by the Aeon itself, which contains the scriptures of the religion, tales, myths, mystic diagrams and magic for the use of Magi, and guides to special rituals. The greatest holy book in the land, however, is the Alciotari Aeoni, literally, the Teachings of Aeons, which contains the majority of the Mysian religion's central myths and legends. Another very important volume is the Golden Book of Mysa, the story of how Mysa led the Agera across the Sea of Death, and the adventures which they undertook along the way.
Mysian Naming Customs:
The vast majority of names for male Mysians end in -on, however, on rare occasions one can see the more ancient ending -a. Female names end in -i, -e (pronounced "ay"), and -et. It should be noted that the letter "z" occurs very frequently in female names and almost not at all in male ones.
Males- Varon, Sentron, Endoron, Mysa (though it is akin to being named "Jesus"), Mysathon (very popular; "he who is faithful to Mysa"), Atronaron, Cartaron, Hartaca, Bylalon, Iolyon, Asycron
Females- Alyrate, Saggharati, Mephazet, Valet, Icare, Thisare, Atronare, Phoereti, Arazane, Ioistet, Zaite, Zoethe ("she who is faithful to Zoe"; extremely unpopular, because it is similar to the word for prostitute), Cartari, Alcione, Faliet
Men carry on their father's name as a surname. Hagghara, the son of Alcion, would be known as Hagghara Alcion. Women carry on their mother's name (Zoethe, daughter of Bithynet, would be Zoethe Bithynet).
The common title of respect for a stranger is aevoron for men and aevore for women, both meaning "honored one". When one is more familiar with a person, it is permissable to refer to them by their name or as zonaion or zonaie, "loved one". It is considered terribly disrespectful for anyone but a family member or a very close friend to call a woman by her name, whereas custom dictates that one must memorize the names of all men that one is acquainted with.
When Mysians meet, they embrace; this is equivalent to a handshake.
Mysia is not a beautiful land, a land not of extremes, but of tranquil in-betweens. Mysia does not have the highest peaks, nor the deepest valleys, but it does have lovely forests, grassy plains, rolling hills, and verdant farmland. Being the centermost land in Ageratos, Mysia is known as the central land, and the center.
-Sun's Path Mountains: These mean old hills in the northwest of the land border on the higher, more jagged peaks of Arachosia. They are not very high or steep, but they are known as the wildest and most dangerous mounts in Mysia (not a difficult distinction, since they are the only true mounts). With gnarled old woods growing across their lower slopes, and twisting ancient paths and passes, the Sun's Path Mountains are a haven for brigands, bandits, and darker things still. There are relatively few settlements in these mountains, and most of them are hard little bandit-camps or lumber-towns.
-Heartland Plains: The Heartland Plains are the centermost part of all of Ageratos, and also the flattest. These grassy, rolling fields are the home of pastoral Mysian tribes known as the Tytoni, famous for their saddles and cattle-blankets. The plains have many settlements on them, subsiding on trade in their grain, horses, cattle, and Tytoni goods.
-Pamphyna: In an ancient dialect, Pamphyna means "the good land". Pamphyna is the center of Mysian population. It is a flattish, grassy land, studded with copses of forest and small lakes. The region is heavily crossed by roads, and farmland is everywhere. Pamphyna is considered the center of Mysian fashion and culture. The capitol, Hartacon, lies here.
-Ballia: Ballia is a rocky, dry hill-land on the border of Mysia and the Western Wilderness. It is often known by Mysians as the Desert Hills, but, as any Parsian or Gedrosi will tell you, Mysians don't know what a desert is. It is arid, but not so dry that nothing will grow- it is really more of a scrubland or savanna. Ballia has a large population of frontierists and independently-minded folk, as well as the Alocimi, a Mysian tribe known to be fierce warriors.
-Southwood: In the southernmost regions of Mysia, where the River Tarizbon separates Mysia and Izada, the land is covered in a pleasant, green forest known as Southwood. Southwood is a region of plenty and earth-power, where life is well sustained. There are many communities and a large population in this region, but the Herbmasters of Hibara have made sure that there is not too much deforestation. However, in the eastern reaches of Southwood, a forest known as the Shadow Forest looms dark and eerie on the edges of the swamps of eastern Carmania.
-Rose Hills: The border between Mysia and Carmania is defined by the Rose Hills, a low region of low peaks and foothills, intermixed with light forest and, on the Carmanian (eastern) side, the famous swampy rose-lands. The Rose Hills have been an area of large contention between Carmanians, who see all lands containing their roses to be theirs, and Mysians, who say that all of that is religious poppycock and that the hills are theirs by right of conquest.
-Hills of the Ancients: In the northern plains, bordering on the Mountains, there is a long stretch of misty hills, known as the Hills of the Ancients. From time immemorial, these Hills have been regarded with superstition and fear by the populace of Mysia. Farmers who dwell on the edges of the Hills erect stone walls with iron rooster-effigies (the symbol of the Phoenix) in order to ward of the restless spirits of the place. Few enter the Hills, but on the edges one can encounter forgotten ruins of the Ancients.