David Eddings Codex


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The Styrics are a race of magicians spread out across the world of The Elenium and The Tamuli. They come in three basic varieties: Western Styrics (who live in Eosia), Eastern Styrics (who live in Sarsos and the Styric sections of the Daresian Continent), and Zemochs (who live, or at least lived, in the nation of the same name that bridges the two continents).

Western Styrics are characterized by a meek and submissive attitude (though it's been hinted that this may be at least partially an affection, designed to avert the agressive behavior of the Elenes; unfortunately, this tends to have the opposite effect), and a characteristic tendency to live in hovels and wear rough, homespun white clothing.

Eastern Styrics are mostly the opposite, being shown to have relaxed and casual demeanor and wear clothing made of silk and valuable fabrics (white is still the prefered color, but others such as blue and scarlet are also popular); this stems from the Tamul overseers of Tamuli, who (through the Atan race) prevent nearly all aggressive and unprovoked attacks on the Styrics and provide them with their own city- Sarsos- in which to live.

Zemochs are generally looked down on by the other two groups (and indeed the other races) due to their seemingly low intelligence, sadistic natures, and usage of forbidden spells (although all of these traits stemmed from their devotion to Azash; after his death, many of them likely returned to the worship of the Younger Gods where possible).

There is also a fourth group, refered to simply as renegade Styrics, who, for whatever reason, have been cast out by the Younger Gods. Some are eternally penitent and remorseful, forever trying to repent for their crimes and rejoin their race (wether or not they are ever successful is unclear, but it is intimated that few, if any, achieve reconciliation); the rest, some of whom are minor or major antagonists in The Elenium and The Tamuli, continue to live in defiance of their former gods and seek self-gratification at the hands of other gods, such as the Elder Gods (who were imprisoned by their younger kindred and gradually stripped of their worshippers and powers; as such, only those who wish to gain power ever worship them, and doing so is to immediately brand oneself as a heretic).

One trait shared by all Styrics is their incredible magical power, a product of worshipping a thousand more-or-less agreeable gods. (Most other races worship either only a single god or a small cluster of them, making the Styric pantheon the largest in the world.) Throughout history, the Styrics have proven themselves superior (at least as a whole race) in battle, being enough to all but wipe out the Trolls and hem the survivors in the region of Thalesia; decimate the Cyrgai (although they were allied with the Delphae at this time, so not all credit can be given to them); and colonize much of Eosia prior to the arrival of the Elenes (although the latter soon turned on them and stole much of their territory). The Styrics are also the ones who instruct the Church Knights in "the secrets", so without them, Elenes would know little to nothing of magic and the power of the Knights would be greatly lessened.

However, the Styrics are not entirely revered. As was said before, typical Elenes are very suspicious and hateful toward Styrics; many other races also view them with suspicion, though to a lesser degree; the Atans hold them somewhat in contempt (as they see the Styrics' use of magic as "turning their gods into servants", and view it as lazy and impudent); until recently, the Delphae viewed them with open hatred; and the Cyrgai utterly despise them and desire to decimate them. The Styrics' main claim to fame- the use of magic- is also questionable, as the Atans, Delphae, and Cyrgai all use magic independantly of the Younger Gods (there has also been speculation, though no real study, that the Elene god could also allow his worshippers to do the same without recourse to the Styric divinities, although as yet he has not decided to do so). Eastern Styrics have also been criticized, both by other races and their own kind, as being false martyrs, denouncing Elenic hostilities and actions while lamenting their own percieved misfortunes without ever experiencing either firsthand. The other races are also often dissatisfied by their percieved self-importance, believing that they treat other races like children (although, as Sparhawk points out, they do come by this claim somewhat honestly, as the Styric race has been civilized for roughly ten thousand years while the other races have only been civilized for a small fraction of that time.)

Sephrenia and Zalasta are (or in the latter case, were) widely regarded as the preeminent magicians in all of Styricum, with their knowledge and power of magic being so far unsurpassed by any others. (There may be some magicians who are more powerful, and in Sephrenia's case, more knowledeable; however, these two combine knowledge and power together in a way few others can achieve, as most others are either powerful OR knowledgeable as opposed to both.)

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