Full Description
Lyrans are Human. They have the same stats and basic abilities. In appearance, Lyrans are distinct. They are of a very thin build. Their skin is dusky, and with sun it develops a golden mediterranean tan. Their hair color is variable, but blond is the most common. Their eyes are large and more almond shape than known people. Add high cheekbones and the effect can be quite exotic. They do not have pointed ears, they have round ears, though a touch smaller than most people.

The Lyrans come from some land to “The West”. You can detail this out if you need to. They come to the known lands by fantastic flying ships. These ships use sails, balloons, and a touch of magic to travel the air. This is how they come to the known lands. This only enhances their mystery, as no one else has these marvelous crafts.

This also means that no one knows much about their homeland.

History
Long ago, the Lyrans experienced a magical disaster. (It might of effected the rest of the world, if you want to have a minor cataclysm). Thus, while their society has a great deal of magical knowledge (Lyran education includes cantrips), their items are based on non-magical science. Magic is only used as a short-cut, as an aid to make things easier. It is never, ever used as a requirement for something, just in case another disaster and magic goes away.

Lyrans have more magic, via Clark‘s Law. They have a technology equal to the 1890s to 1900s. (This makes them much more advanced than people give our great grand parents credit for.) Thus they produce wonders when viewed by the medieval technology of most fantasy known worlds, without their magic. Add some magics and it appears very impressive.

Lyrans have wizards of course, but they are not as common in their population. They use a system of magic similar to the known one, but more effective. So a fireburst spell which takes four segments to cast and does 2d6, would be done by two segments and do 2d6+2. They have had centuries to refine their spells, and compensate for the messed up magic of their lands.

They have used that technology in more interesting ways, yet at all times keeping in mind the Lyran Mother, the planet in mind. Their society is ecologically minded. (Perhaps related to the magical disaster?). This makes these happy, well balanced people, havereverencence for nature and beauty. So a Lyran building would have an atrium. A Lyran office would have plants and a water feature.

.... So where should we go from here? All of these vauge ideas need to be expanded upon. Am I missing some ramification of these points?

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? Community Contributions (13)-13

You know, it wouldn't be out of place if the Lyrans had steam battle-mechs...

I know, the'd be clumsy, prone to breakdown, etc.

But with the way I see them, they would not want to waste human resources and thus deploy rather less warriors as to minimize losses. If you lose a mech, you lose one pilot. If you lose a contingent of infantry, each dead infanterist is one citizen less - and as they value life, they'd not see their soldiers as expendable...

Actually, the name Lyrans is from a mythological race of sprite like fey. It is not from the BattleTech material. While it was an interesting game, it was the first game that suffered from Splatbook syndrome. Thus it is cursed in my eyes.

Steampunkish Mecha, sort of an early century piece from GearKrieg. They might not be able to bring something that heavy over on an airship, but who knows. Of course, why would they build something like this? You would have to have a serious enemy that has machines that need to be overcome. Given their airships, they wouldn't need it to fight the locals of the known lands.

The Lyrans are still humans, albeit a strongly different phenotype than what we are used to. They have more advanced technology, more advanced magic, and reverence for the Earth. This doesnt seem too much different than the basic elven premise of We have everything you do, but we have it better than you. They seem a bit like Half-elves, they look human but get most of the elf goodies in the process.

In all truth, the Lyrans remind me of the elves from Shadowrun, except without the pointy ears.

but they are human

But the basic is - they can say 'we are human like you. And look how we can live in peace/ improve/ learn' ... one might not say 'but your theories don't work with humans' or 'snobbish elves!' ... the speciesism issue would be laid aside if they wanted to interfere somewhere. So they would not be filthy elven foreigners, but just filthy foreigners. A great difference actually - it is harder to fan up hatred against them (but, given how well they live, though they have earned it, envy would still be a strong factor. And fear)

Leonardo's works might give some inspiration as how for example their cities might look - planned, with excellent sewers, subterranean main traffic roads as not to disturb the city, and also delivery roads to the various merchandizes would be located underground, as to secure a swift and reliable delivery. The surface would be a pedestrian zone, with parks and walkways, fountains and such.

They would have a public school system, and I guess their political system might equal ancient Rome, with every citizen being interested in (and part of) politics, and with political posts carrying no more prestige than say a smith's - it's a work like any other.

As it appears that the Lyrans would not suffer from overpopulation, their society would be focused upon the individual, and humanist, allowing strong personal expression.

As they are suffering from some magical disaster (what was it, anyway? a huge thaumic power plant going boom, Chernobyl-like?) they might have to have developed a very advanced medical science.

The negative effects of the cataclysm could make for frequent disfigurements, or, as the nature of magic tends to find a way for the change to be useful, 'variations'. If the cataclysm was long ago, the traits might run in families ('yes, all of the Cormine family have a fluffy tail. Why do you ask?')

As for the industry, I think they'd prefer quality over quantity ... it could be a quirk of the Lyrans to double- and triple-check everything, make all systems three times redundant, always carry spare pants ). With this tendency, craftsmen of great skill would gain a lot of prestige, though industrialization would still provide the mass-production of stuff like railways.

Still, hand-painted porcellain that simply will not break, unstainable and unterable hand-embroided cloth and family blades that are permanently sharp as well as rifles that will simply not misfire might be found amongst the possessions of Lyrans. Much contrary to our 'use and throw away' way of life, and goes well with their reverence for nature.

This is a good direction

We have a society that is happy to still be alive.

They are a studious and careful people. Once the proper prepareation is done, then they will have free time for as much fun as they can have.

They probably do not have a diety based religion, after all their diety seemed to have failed them a while back. They probably have something like Confuciusism, or a philosophical spiritual system. This would make them seem very odd and without religion to a area with magic using clerics. A serious threat to the status quo actually, as it shows that people can quiet happily live without clerics and Gods.

We could blame some real Elves for the disaster. The Elves of their continent might of just blown up the flows of magical power. (So they might have a dislike for Elves...just a thought). This could of crushed a magical society. It probably did not happen all at once, like a bomb, but more like a terrible storm. This allowed the survivors to hold their society to together and adapt to the new conditions, rather than all being nearly wiped out and building upon the ashes.

Since their society was probably heavily based on magic, their old society fell apart. This gave the survivors a chance to rebuild practically from the ground up. Thus their cities and roads and so on are fully planned. There was no 'organic growth' and evolution of their cities. So you would not find those oddities of street angles, buildings that make no sense, and so on, you would find in a city that developed over time. Since they started from a planned state, it was a simple matter to continuing to keep the planned community going.

Though magically skilled, everything now is based upon technology. So while a skyship might have magic aid its propulsion and lift, technology keeps it floating and propells it forward. Magic just adds to what the technology does.

Here is a list of a few things you probably do not think of being invented by the 1890s-1900s

Bridle bit (for horse)

Looms run by Jaccard cards, early dataprocessing robots.

Zipper

Typewriter

Rubber tires used on bicycles

Carburetor

Diesel engine

X-ray

Radio, Wireless radio telegraph

Cold cereal

Aspirin

Magnetic tape recorder

Rubber heel (for shoe/boot)

Movie projector

Photoelectric cell

Milk safety test

Thermite (industrial material)

Motion picture camera

Fountain pen

Dry cell battery (Ever Ready)

Steel-framed skyscraper

Peanut agricultural science: Important for soil development and crop rotation.

Dishwasher

Escalator

Gasoline powered car. Their cars will probably run on alcohol, rather than petrolium. Etoh is renewable and more in keeping with their society.

Player piano

Submarine: Wanna trade with the seafolks on their own turf?

Just verging upon heavier than air, airplains. This would be an interesting addition to their existing sky ships, which are dirrigables of a more shiplike construction... rather than designed for their own efficiences.

Bolt action rifle: Ah. The Lyran thundersticks. Special magic items, immune to spell defense. Perhaps someone has developed a reverse bullet, or bullet shield spell.

So imagine if your fantasy characters saw people using these items. Would they not be amazed? Wouldn't they wonder why people would want to ride a bicycle instead of a horse? Imagine them seeing a set of Lyrans doing a photo survey or shooting a movie on location. They don't know they are 'science', so they are just another kind of magic. Yet when they do it with magic, it does not work.

Lyrans probably do not trade their technology to these 'other people' (i.e. the neo-medival folks in your fantasy game). Many of these items could be dangerous to their society, changing things radically. These people are very conscious of the effects of their actions. So they would probably have a long term plan for the development and societal intergration of technology (and even Lyran magic system) in their neighbors to the East.

So maybe the Lyrans are governed by a council? Maybe they are run by the Science Council, like all those pulp era stories and serials.

I would say that, and this is just me talking, the point of having Lyrans is so you don't have to have Elves. Elves are probably the least boring of the boring old fantasy races, but they are still boring, and they need a shot of innovation.

So, to my mind, it wouldn't make sense to have Lyrans and Elves in the same world- one they're too similar anyway (because there are similarities), and two, because Lyrans are replacements for Elves.

I see these people as more technologically sophisticated than the known world, by a century or two. Since most of my fantasy games are Renaissance tech (14-16th C), that puts them at least to the 1700 to 1800s. So instead of making the technology of the 1890s, it could easily be the technology of the 1790s. You could have advantages over our med-ren fantasy world, by that time period, more so if you steam-punk some more modern item that can be fabricated at lower technological octives, but were not.

Again, applying Clark's 3rd law, they will still appear more magical than anyone else. Especially if they are not into giving away their 'advantage' over these primatives (OR they feel society is not quite ready for their technology).

chop down those forests, would you?

Well, given how ecologically-minded they are, keeping their tech secret would be more a matter of protecting Mother Earth than keeping an advantage - we all know how much damage technolgy and progress can cause ... look at us, and the world of today.

Think of it. An idiot without any tech can just fumble up things on a very local level - say, destroy one bee-hive, lay a small wildfire, spoil a river through tossing a carcass in it, and that for just a short while.

Give the idiot a gun, and things can change a lot. Give him an oil tanker, a nuke, or a bulldozer, and disaster's incoming.

They see the world as unready for tech, seeing as how greedy and yes, childish, their co-inhabitants are.

I just saw a few pictures today of 'sky ships'. Some of the images were from MERIDIAN, a most excellent comic line from Cross-Gen. Others were more akin to a smallish ship with balloons and sails. They were more Derrigible like. While they had small propellers (being energized by crank), most of the propulsion seemed to be by wind.

I am not sure this is the best way to do this, unless you have a magic user of somekind that can control the wind. Then, flying sailcraft make a great deal of sense.

Every Lyran ship would then have a Pilot, A Captain, and a Wind Whistler. Larger ships would have a couple of pilots and wind whislters, so that the ship will have support on all watches.

Under the master craftsmen, there would be a FarSpeaker - the radio operator. Remember the radios of their technology level are tempermental things, the size of a microwave (if they are small), with all the rigging laced with their attena wires. It takes real skill to operate an early radio.

The FarSpeaker would also work with the Pilot, as radio beacons might be possible.

Now imagine how your fantasy characters would respond to this magic item.

For the 1790's tech list

http://www.saburchill.com/HOS/technology/008.html

http://jgiudice.tripod.com/history/history-timeline.htm

1700-1800 - Industrial factory system developed

1796 - Jenner demonstrates inoculation against smallpox

1752 Lightning Rod

Benjamin Franklin's electricity experiments lead him to a valuable application --the lightning rod, which when placed at the apex of a barn, church steeple, or other structure, conducts lightning bolts harmlessly into the ground.

1776 Submarine

David Bushnell's Turtle submerges by taking water into its tanks and reverses the process to rise. It moves by means of a hand crank propeller. The Turtle is used in an attack on Lord Howe's Flagship Eagle, but attempts to attach a mine to the Eagle's hull fail.

1790 First US Patent

The United States issues its first patent to William Pollard of Philadelphia. His machine roves and spins cotton.

1797 Interchangeable Parts

Eli Whitney contracts to manufacture 10,000 muskets for the US Army. At the time, an entire musket would be made by a single person, without standardized measurements. Whitney divided the labor into several discrete steps and standardized parts to make them interchangeable.

This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process.

For the 1790's tech list

http://www.saburchill.com/HOS/technology/008.html

http://www.mos.org/sln/Leonardo/InventorsWorkshop.html

1700-1800 - Industrial factory system developed

1796 - Jenner demonstrates inoculation against smallpox

1752 Lightning Rod

Benjamin Franklin's electricity experiments lead him to a valuable application --the lightning rod, which when placed at the apex of a barn, church steeple, or other structure, conducts lightning bolts harmlessly into the ground.

1776 Submarine

David Bushnell's Turtle submerges by taking water into its tanks and reverses the process to rise. It moves by means of a hand crank propeller. The Turtle is used in an attack on Lord Howe's Flagship Eagle, but attempts to attach a mine to the Eagle's hull fail.

1790 First US Patent

The United States issues its first patent to William Pollard of Philadelphia. His machine roves and spins cotton.

1797 Interchangeable Parts

Eli Whitney contracts to manufacture 10,000 muskets for the US Army. At the time, an entire musket would be made by a single person, without standardized measurements. Whitney divided the labor into several discrete steps and standardized parts to make them interchangeable.

This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process. This is in process.