Symphyta

Region: The Wylds
Positive Traits: Vigilant, Introspective, Careful
Negative Traits: Superstitious, Vague, Deceitful
Consider This Culture If: You like protective rituals, poltergeists, and dark fairy tales

Overview: The City of Glass, or more accurately, mirrors. All exterior walls and entryways in this sprawling and maze-like City State are covered in large mirrors. People’s outer clothing is decorated in small circular mirrors as well, resulting in a glittering and constantly shifting illusion of movement as they go about their business.

Symphyta is a disorienting place for outsiders to visit, but the alternative is much worse. When the Collapse happened, the land that Symphyta now found themselves upon was a dangerous one. Not content with simple dangers like poisonous gasses leaking from fissures in the sharp bedrock, nor wild creatures the likes of which had never been seen, but there is also a terrible intelligence to the darkness found in the forest around Symphyta.

Traveling by day is dicey enough, when the trees overhead blot the sunlight and wind howls with just-barely-there voices, begging you to stray from the path. But at night, if one finds themselves in the dark wood then they are unlikely to escape alive without a substantial protective light. Even then, the darkness clings to them, wrapping tendrils around their neck and slipping hooks of shadow into their eyes. Counting shadows isn’t enough in Symphyta, because the darkness has learned to mimic the living.

What does work though, is shattering the darkness. By walking through the mirrored mazes of the city, the darkness clinging to yourself will become scattered and lose hold on your actual body when it tries to spread across the hundreds of partial reflections around you. Mirrors on your clothing will confuse and weaken its grip, and the distinctive mirrored double entrance to any building will rid you of the last traces of the darkness.

This protective reflection has become baked into the culture of Symphyta, with complex mirrored movements iconic in their dance, and a preference for geometric fractals and spirals in their artwork.

Religion [Inspiration, Knowledge]: Odraz, the two-faced god of reflection, is the main deity worshiped in Symphyta, but other religions are not unwelcomed. With one face speaking of reality, Odraz’s other face speaks of the reflection, and it is the job of the faithful to combine both interpretations to reveal the truth of a matter. Odraz has its roots in the Janeth Prime origins of Symphyta, but modern worship has changed in drastic ways from what historical texts remain.