David Eddings Codex


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The Cyrgai are (or were) the children of Cyrgon. They are a human race, though they are of a very savage nature. Because Cyrgon fears change so greatly, he wrought the first Cyrgai with an inherent belief that their god knew all truth in the world and had revealed all secrets, and that to believe or act otherwise (in other words, to embrace new ideas) was a grievous and unforgivable sin. As a result, the Cyrgai went to great lengths to avoid new ideas: their currecy consisted of heavy iron bars, which greatly discouraged trade and its capacity to introduce innovation; children who were overly intelligent were viewed as defects and killed; and their city was placed in the center of the desert, where other races would not trouble them (although this sentiment wasn't mutual, as the Cyrgai continually waged war on their nomadic neighbors). As a reflection of their primitive nature and patriarchal society, they would also kill women who bore too many female children or were sterile, as well as warriors who were crippled on the battlefield.

Due to this militaristic outlook, the Cyrgai were the most powerful military force in the world during prehistory, which led them to expand their frontiers by attacking the Tamul, Atan, and other races of Daresia. During this time, the problem of interbreeding came up, as some Cyrgai soldiers would kidnap women of other races and rape them. Any soldier caught doing so was executed on the spot (along with the women), but even so, some mixed-race offspring were eventually born. At first, the Cyrgai were ordered to kill these "abominations" whenever possible; in time, however, Cyrgon saw the value of these children- as scapegoats. He then allowed these children to live and join the army, where they would man the front lines in order to cut down on pure Cyrgai casualties. These soldiers eventually gave rise the the Cynesgan race, for whom the nation of Cynesga in central Tamuli was eventually named.

However, the Cynesgans would prove to be the undoing of their parent race, by virtue of the sense of invincibility Cyrgon gained from their presence. This drove him to invade the lands of the Styrics and the Delphae, which in turn prompted the two races to form an alliance. The resulting magical onslaught virtually obliterated the Cynesgans and greatly depleted the Cyrgai. The Younger Gods of Styricum then placed a seal around the Cyrgai frontiers, which would kill any pure-blooded Cyrgai who stepped over the border.

This prompted Cyrgon to order his children to breed more and more Cynesgans, as only they could cross the seal and wage war on the outside world. The Cyrgai, lacking the intelligence necessary to do otherwise, blindly obeyed Cyrgon's command- even to the exclusion of the Cyrgai women. By the time they realized their mistake, the Cyrgai women were well past child-bearing age. The common belief outside of Cynesga was that this resulted in the extinction of the Cyrgai, with the last ones dying roughly ten thousand years prior to the events in The Tamuli.

In reality, however, Cyrgon interceded and restored fertility to the old women. Most were too weak to survive childbirth, but the Cyrgai nonetheless survived. To protect them, however, Cyrgon encouraged the myth that his children were dead. The Cyrgai then lay hidden in their city and awaited their chance.

After the death of Cyrgon, however, his race grew despondent, confused, and helpless. With the cooperation of the Tamul navy, they were relocated to a fairly fertile island to live in isolation once more.

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