Guide to Drycenia 4, 5 & 6
There are two planets in the Drycenian solar system that are inhabited. These are Drycenia 4 and Drycenia 6. These are not the only planets in the system capable of sustaining life; Drycenia 5 is also habitable but there is no land mass there, just ocean. For this reason, although the Drycenians use the fifth planet, they don’t actually live there.
The Natural Environment
Drycenia 4 is the main inhabited planet within the system and until recently it was the only one. It has the closest orbit to its sun of the three habitable planets; Drycenia 5 & 6 sharing opposite sides of a single orbit, a little further out. It is a hot, dry world with a definite wet season twice a year. Their summers are long and hot and their winters wet and mild. Snow and ice are rarely seen on Drycenia 4. They have only 2 real seasons, a long hot summer and a shorter, mild winter; these two seasons being interspersed with a wet season between.
Drycenia 4 has a fairly mountainous terrain with deep valleys between, upon which their great cities are built. Self contained communities exist side by side with the great towns and cities and these are situated in the mountainous regions. There are jungle regions nestling in the foothills of the highest of these mountains, in the Amliapora region around Mount Lakensfeir, Drycenia 4′s highest peak.
The landmass on Drycenia 4 makes up 64% of the planet’s surface; the remaining 36% being made up of 3 large oceans and 2 small inland seas. The ocean water has a blue/grey appearance when viewed from afar and has a very rich nutrient content which enables it to sustain an exceptionally large quantity and quality of animal life. One of Drycenia’s oceans is known as the Black Water Ocean, due to the colour of the water which gets its hue from the minerals that seep from the rocks on its floor. These particular rocks are found nowhere else on Drycenia and not only give the water a deep, velvety black appearance but they also impart properties that make swimming in the water a rejuvenating experience.
The animal life on Drycenia 4 is exceptionally abundant. As with all worlds the animal life inhabits every region on the planet, be it on land, in the water or in the skies and every manner of creature and species can be found somewhere on Drycenia 4. I will list a few of the most memorable.
Singing Pinka – A tiny rainbow coloured bird that inhabits the jungles of Amliapora. Great flocks of them are seen at sunrise and each sings with it’s own unique song that no other of its kin shares. Drycenians are willing to travel great distances and climb throughout the night to the topmost edge of the Amliaporan jungles just to experience the Singing Pinkas. They are insect eaters, feeding on the abundant supply of microscopic insects the jungles provide.
Colmia – A large docile domesticated animal, bred for its delicious meat. Fully grown adult male Colmias can be six feet high at the head. They are muscular creatures with long, shaggy, black fur. Their hind legs are slightly longer than their front legs, giving them a slightly tipped forward appearance. A large, blocky head sits atop a short, stout neck. Their ears are long and flappy and hang down up to a foot in length. A herbivorous creature, the Colmia is naturally docile and compliant despite its powerful stature and injuries to Drycenian farmers from this creature are very rare.
Dallion – This fish is the fastest creature on Drycenia 4. A very large, sleek fish with a gun metal grey sheen, it can reach up to 4 metres in length and lives in groups of between 15 to 25 individuals. Their jaws have no teeth but are fitted with a continuous razor sharp blade running from one side to the other which they use to pry the shells of their single prey animal from the rocks on which they securely attach themselves. Once the shell has been pried off, leaving the creature itself still adhering to the rock by a very effective muscular sucker, the Dallion’s blade is then used to slice through the base of this sucker so that the creature can be eaten. Dallions are edible but don’t taste too appealing and are very difficult to catch, due to their speed and agility but they are invaluable for their habit of eating just one prey animal which attaches itself to any available surface, often the underside of Drycenian boats and ships.
Polea Beetle – This insect is the source of the most dangerous natural substance on Drycenia. The grub spends its early weeks of life embedded within the bark of a particular Drycenian tree. It builds itself into a hard capsule while it metamorphoses into an adult beetle. This grub, if ground to a mush and mixed with a little blood and heated, becomes a slow acting and terrible poison for which there is no cure as yet. The ancient Drycenians used it to coat the tips of their spears. It is Polea that was used by Vincent Richard Domenico (see the guide to Lilea) to kill the Transmortal Army when he fulfilled the Lilean prophecy.
Jojo – This small, dog like mammal is one of Drycenian 4′s few dangerous predators. They are so named, due to the sound of their call. They live in packs with a strict heirarchy, led by an alpha male who can have a harem of up to six breeding females. They inhabit the lower slopes of the mountainous regions and can spread into the fringes of the jungle region and onto farmland where livestock graze. There have been a few recorded cases of Jojo attacks in the outskirts of the larger cities. They prey on the flesh of anything that happens to stray into their territory that they feel confident enough to bring down. As their pack numbers grow and get out of hand, the Drycenians cull them back to a manageable level, to avoid danger to the people who live near known Jojo territories and to avoid them spreading into the cities. Their grey/brown fur gives them excellent camouflage in their natural habitat where they hide amongst brush to ambush their prey. They are not a fast moving creature but the pack can run down their prey by following them for anything up to a day until they drop dead from exhaustion. The breeding females mate with the alpha male once a year and normally produce one or two offspring at a time. Male offspring are usually ejected from the pack once they reach sexual maturity and these will normally form their own packs by enticing the lower ranking females away from other packs.
The Drycenian People
The Drycenians we know today, came about due to interference by the Transmortal Army many thousands of years ago. The ancient Drycenians were taken from Drycenia 4 to the Transmortal’s base on the planet Vinbuk and used in their early mass transformation experiments. For five thousand years the Transmortals tried, and failed to change the early Drycenians in the desired manner, after which they returned some to Drycenia 4 and abandoned the rest on Vinbuk until they were discovered by Vincent Richard Domenico (see guide to Lilea) as he fought to fulfil the Lilean prophecy. These experiments changed the Drycenians in many ways, the most notable being their life span which was vastly increased so that a healthy Drycenian today can live to be 420 years old.
The Drycenians are short, finely built humanoids. Adult males rarely exceed 5 feet 4 inches in height, with the females averaging a couple of inches taller than their male counterparts. They have a generally pale complexion with a fine, almost waxy texture to the skin which gives them a flawless looking complexion. Their hair ranges in colour from deep chestnut to blue black and is generally thick and wavy in texture. They have slightly over large, bright yellow eyes and those few lucky enough to meet a Drycenian, all say they have an uncannily mesmerising gaze. The most unique feature of the Drycenian, and one which they share with few other known humanoid races, is a pair of long fangs in the upper jaw. These can be up to two inches in length and sit in a corresponding groove in the lower jaw, enabling them to be invisible when the mouth is closed.
The Drycenians’ bone density is such that they are totally unable to swim. If they enter the water they sink immediately and the sensation feels to them, like falling through air would feel to us. Understandably they avoid deep water at all costs.
Being such a long lived race, the Drycenians choose to breed just once every thirty years so as to avoid over population and most families consist of just two children. The Drycenian pregnancy lasts for 23 months, their longevity causing gestation to be correspondingly slow. Newborns typically weigh between 4 and 7 pounds and are born with a full set of teeth and fully formed fangs, all of which are permanent and grow with the infant. If a Drycenian loses a tooth or breaks a fang and has the stump removed, another will naturally grow in its place.
The Drycenian thalamus carries an extra clump of cells called the Thalamic Inhibitor, which prevents them from ever remembering their dreams and also inhibits them from accessing their latent psychic potential which was afforded them by those early experiments at the hands of the Transmortals. The Thalamic Inhibitor was only recently discovered and the Drycenians invented a tiny implant that over rides the Inhibitor and allows them to remember their dreams and gives them the opportunity to explore any latent psychic abilities their early Transmortal heritage may have afforded them. It’s early days yet; the Drycenians only recently discovered the existence of the Thalamic Inhibitor cells so their forays into psychic awareness are still in their infancy. They do however, enjoy a bond of friendship with the Lilean spirit people, due to their involvement with Vincent Richard Domenico (see guide to Lilea) during his efforts to fulfil the Lilean prophecy and during the time when Lilea was plunged into the nightmare known as The Sleeping.
Due to the strange nature of their Transmortal origins, today’s Drycenians have no indigenous diseases particular to themselves. They long ago wiped out all the plagues and ailments peculiar to Drycenia that threatened their lives but they do get sick just like everyone else when they come into contact with other worlds and races. Their medical advancements mean that they are quickly able to overcome such problems without loss of life.
Lilean males remain sterile until after 100 years of age, but they remain vigorously potent until the very end of their lives. They can sometimes be afflicted by a condition known as Chlocal Fibrillation which causes continued sterility. Drycenians have no testicles visible outside the body. Their corresponding organs, called Chlocals, are held within the body, one on each side of the basal root of the penis where it attaches to the lower abdominal wall. The sperm cells, once formed, are transported to, and held within the Chlocals ready for ejaculation. The Chlocals pulse rhythmically to maintain the optimum temperature for the sperm cells to survive. With Chlocal Fibrillation, the Chlocals pulse far too fast, thereby raising the temperature inside the Chlocals too high for the sperm cells to survive. A fairly simple operation to deaden one of the minor Chlocal nerves usually corrects the condition so that the Drycenian can go on to be as potent as is normal.
There are still one or two cases a year of a rare genetic condition called Spelman Syndrome being reported. Named after the doctor who first discovered the cause, sufferers of Spelman Syndrome are born with an extra chamber in their hearts. This extra chamber has no valves, so no blood passes through it and the sufferer feels no adverse effects until the age of 4 or 5, after which this extra chamber, due to the total lack of blood supply, begins to atrophy and decompose. The toxins given off by the decomposition of this extra chamber, poison the blood and can cause death rapidly. Thankfully there is one very easily recognisable symptom of the syndrome that alerts the parents of the child, who can then get them to a doctor for the extra chamber to be surgically removed. Children born with Spelman Syndrome all have the same very obvious characteristic symptom. They all have very bright blue eyes. After a simple operation to remove the extra chamber, the child goes on to live a perfectly normal life, although their eyes always remain bright blue and they have an increased chance of passing this condition on to their own children, should they decide to have any. The cause of the condition is a faulty gene in sector 1848358386 of the seven hundredth section of the Drycenian DNA.
The Drycenians are a most unique race in many ways. They are thinkers, helpers and inventors rather than warriors. The ancient Drycenians were a race of grunting savage cannibals but once subjected to the Transmortal’s experiments, they became a totally different race of people. Not only were their life spans altered, but their minds were changed too. Their level of intelligence went up astronomically and they became very inventive and very spiritual. When the Transmortals first returned the ancient Drycenians to Drycenia 4, what were grunting savage cannibals became, within five hundred years, the most advanced race technologically in the entire galaxy. Those ancient and dangerous grunting savages became the most loving, trustworthy and spiritual of races and they went on to become the stuff of legends, whispered around firesides on summer evenings.
Their mindset is one of openness and honesty with each other and those they regard as their friends and this one concept governs every aspect of their lives. They are also very secretive in nature and keep themselves and their business very closed from outsiders. Consequently, very few other races ever get to meet them but those who do, all agree that they are the most loving and spiritually balanced race they have ever met. They are proud but without being arrogant and appear to be very self effacing. They are fiercely loyal and will happily lay down their lives to keep their word if they believe it necessary. They have a strong faith (see spirituality section below) that governs every aspect of their lives.
Just because they choose not be aggressive does not mean they cannot be so. They are more than capable of being amongst the most fearsome of aggressors but they choose not to be. They choose friendship, trust, honesty and unconditional love above an aggressive stance and they are just about the most highly respected race in the known galaxy.
Drycenian parents treat their children with respect for their own individual mind right from birth. They allow their children a voice in all decision making that affects the family as a whole and they encourage them to stretch their minds through discussion and debate. They encourage the natural Drycenian inventiveness by setting them problems or tasks and asking them to come up with new solutions. At all times they are loving and compassionate parents without being demonstratively gushing. Their love is demonstrated verbally in the most part, rather than by excessive hugging or kissing.
Drycenians are lovers of pleasure but excess of any kind is not in their nature. They love to laugh and joke and their parties are legendary. They have a healthy sexual appetite and both genders engage in sexual activity freely until they choose to enter into a committed relationship at which stage they will pledge their monogamy to each other, and that pledge is never broken. Once they decide on a committed relationship, a simple ceremony is arranged whereby the couple both declare to their friends and families that from this moment on, they commit their hearts and their bodies to each other to the exclusion of all others. When they choose to marry, a ceremony lasting 3 days takes place, during which both families become official bonded. The couple have their hands tied together and must spend a whole day with this symbolic bond binding them together. The traditional wedding gift of the Drycenians is a tiny envelope containing a single seed and the couple may receive many hundreds of such envelopes during their wedding festivities.
As the seed is planted, nourished and cared for, it grows strong and healthy and becomes a wondrous thing of beauty that enhances the drabbest of environments and brings joy to everyone who encounters it, or it may become food to nourish the people, or it may even become powerful medicine to care for those in need and who are suffering. With these seeds the couple are offered the chance to be that beauty, that nourishment and that medicine for everyone they meet and everywhere they go, for all who come to know and love them.
Drycenians are emotional people and express themselves freely. They are happiest when in the company of family and friends or those they feel close to or comfortable with. They don’t thrive well for long periods without the company of those they know and trust.
In work, the Drycenians are hard working, reliable and trustworthy employees and fair and gracious employers.
The Drycenians have no deity that they worship and no religious dogma to follow. They are however, a very spiritual race. What they pray to and look to for guidance, is the universal consciousness. They believe that the universe is a living, breathing entity in its own right and that it is at all times, striving to maintain balance and natural order in all of its creation. They believe the only way it can keep this delicate balance, is if it is allowed to do so without interference from anyone. They believe the universal consciousness knows best how to keep itself balanced and they dedicate their lives to helping it do just that.
In their quest to help the universal consciousness maintain its own healthy balance, and because of their technological advancements that allowed them to be the first race into space, they quickly became legendary and silent observers of humanity. Every time a new world first reaches out its arms to the heavens and begins to spread its wings into space, the Drycenians make sure they are the first alien race their new neighbours encounter so that they can welcome them into the greater universal family and help them to become loving and trustworthy neighbours. They travel the galaxy observing worlds, keeping watch as nations come and go, they shed tears as world wages unnecessary war on world and races become extinct but they never interfere unless the universal consciousness makes it clear that their intervention is necessary in order for balance to be maintained. They never part with their technological or medical advancements before a race is ready for them for they know that to do so would interfere in their natural evolution. There is no world in the known galaxy that the Drycenians don’t observe and although you are very unlikely ever to meet them, the chances are that they know all there is to know about you and your world.
They know that their ancient ancestors were savage and dangerous cannibals who, through the intervention of the evil Transmortal Army and the terrible experiments they subjected them to, became what they are today and they believe that the universal consciousness deliberately allowed this to happen so that they could help keep that delicate and ever changing balance. Out of the ultimate evil came the ultimate good and they see this as a sign from the universal consciousness that their path is their right path.
The Drycenians have no icons, since they have no deity. The only symbol they regard as anything near holy, is the circle and sphere. The universe’s most perfect form and the very symbol of life itself. Everything in nature is circular or spherical; from the tiniest of cells within every living thing, to mighty suns and planets on which a myriad life forms exist. The vessels of the body; the bones, digestive tract, veins and arteries, all are circular in cross section. The pores on the skin and the hairs on the body, all are circular in cross section. Even life itself is cyclical; from birth, to death, to rebirth into spirit and ultimately back to rebirth. The circle and sphere of existence is evident in all aspects of Drycenian culture and they are the only symbols that adorn their temples. The Drycenian temple is a simple structure; always circular and with a domed roof, there is no flash or fancy within, just decoration of circles and spheres to focus the mind on the true nature of existence.
The Drycenians do not fear death, for they know that when it happens, it happens because the universal consciousness deemed it necessary for the balance of all that is, to be maintained and they celebrate the life of the deceased, rather than mourn their death.
The Drycenian Nation is a monarchy. They have a King and a Royal Family and the mantle of Kingship is passed down to the eldest child who wishes to be regarded as heir to the title. If none of the current Monarch’s children wishes to be an heir, the Monarch can elect an heir who makes his interest known. The King of Drycenia is a very approachable head of state and anyone who wishes can talk with him and state their views and opinions without fear of reproach should those opinions be against the current Monarch’s policies or judgements. The King is not the King because of his title, he is the King because his people wish it. It is the Monarch’s duty to earn his people’s love and respect, for they are not obligated to give it and can if they choose, withhold it. A Drycenian Monarch without his people’s love and respect is not a Monarch at all.
There is a body of elected individuals called The High Council and it is they who wield the greatest power on Drycenia. They debate on all matters that affect the Nation as a whole and only when they give their permission for new policies to be put into effect, may it be done. Even the Monarch has to abide by their decisions. Due to the importance of not interfering with natural evolution, such debating can be a lengthy business but the Drycenians know that their stance of non interference that they have with other worlds must also be applied to their own and they live by the rules they set for other worlds.
There is no money on Drycenia and everyone works for the good of the community as a whole. There are no contracts of employment and rules or regulations employees must adhere to and no fear of reprisals for disobedience. People work because they want to work, because they want to serve their King and their community and if they want any time off, they can take it whenever they wish and someone else will always step in and fill the gap.
Crime very seldom happens on Drycenia but when it does, the punishment is appropriate and designed to teach rather than degrade. The only crime for which capital punishment is mandatory, is murder and there hasn’t been a murder committed by a Drycenian for thousands of years. It simply isn’t in their nature any more.
Drycenians are a secretive people, due to their awareness of the necessity for not giving away their advancements in technology or medical knowledge, but when they do make friends with other races and pledge their allegiance, they will stand and die beside them and when they give their allegiance, it is forever. When they extend their hospitality to friends, they really push the boat out for them. Those few lucky souls who have been granted permission to visit the Drycenian home world, all tell of the fabulous welcome they received and the friendliness of everyone they encountered.
Drycenians like sports but they regard sport as fun first and foremost although they can be extremely competitive with each other and high stakes can be wagered on some sporting activities, most notably battle board racing. The battle board is a personal form of transportation that Drycenians use. Effectively just an oval shaped board on which the rider stands, it is operated by a relatively simply joystick. It gives the rider fast travel at three to four feet above the ground and racing has become a hugely popular sport.
There are two basic types of battle board race; the short course field and the long course field. The current Drycenian King, Lomas VII is still the reigning champion of the short course field and has held his title for many years. The object of the race is simple; do the required number of laps and pass the finish line first to win. If you fall off or crash into the posts, you gain a time penalty and if you try to cut the course, you’re instantly dismissed from the race. The short course field is always held indoors and uses an oval shaped course of a set size. The long course field is held outside and uses the natural landscape as a course, which is anything between 10 and 30 miles per lap. The long course field can be a very dangerous pastime and deaths do occurred from time to time.
Drycenians have just one name and there are usually a set number of names that each family uses in rotation down the generations. There is only one Drycenian with two names and she is the youngest child of the current King, Lomas VII. Her name is Halma but she was recently given the additional name of Domenica, after a terrible event that overtook Drycenia and during which, she suffered horribly. Vincent Richard Domenico (see guide to Lilea) saved Drycenia from this terrible menace and the King and his wife Siska, gave their daughter his name in addition to her own, as a way of honouring Vincent.
The one thing above everything else that people say about the Drycenians, is the fact that they are known for having the most fabulously advanced technology. This is true; they are far more technologically advanced than any other race in the known galaxy but they keep their technology secret from outsiders as much as they can. The few things that are known about their technology and medical advancements are as follows.
Their battle cruisers are powered by what they call Pulse Wave Energy, although what this is and how it works isn’t known. Their tours of duty aboard their battle cruisers last for many years at a time and these vast vessels are at all times, their transportation, their work and their home. They are the fastest ships in the galaxy and although the Drycenians are known to abhor violence, they are more than capable of defending themselves and their battle cruisers are very well equipped with arms.
They have the ability to bring back the dead, so long as they get to the body within 72 hours of death. They have a piece of medical equipment which they refer to as The Tank, into which the deceased body is placed. The tank is then filled with a liquid quartz emulsion, which is infused with medicaments to aid recovery. The liquid also breathes for the patient, who effectively breathes the liquid for the duration of their stay within the tank. A special silver garment is worn when in the tank, which reacts with skin cells to make them porous so that the liquid, with its health giving properties can pass directly through to the cells within the body. Once the patient has been brought back and recovered enough to be brought out of the tank, they have to wear a piece of medical equipment on the back of their neck for the rest of their life. This small device is called a Brain Stem Regulator and helps to keep their brains functioning normally.
The Drycenians are relatively small in stature and are therefore, not the strongest people around. When they have a task to perform that requires more physical strength than they naturally possess, they are able to use Casmet Brachial Armour. Worn on the arms like elbow length metallic gloves, the armour gives them the extra strength they need and allows them to perform tasks that would normally be far beyond their natural capability.
Drycenia 5 shares an identical orbit with Drycenia 6; the two planets being on opposite sides of the same orbit around their sun. Drycenia 5 has no land masses and is covered completely in ocean. The atmosphere is breathable and the water contains abundant life forms. The Drycenians use the planet for water sports and recreational activities and have built vast floating complexes of buildings that they use for holidays and recreation. There is some debate as to whether they should build floating homes and towns so that the planet can be inhabited more permanently, but at the present time, the High Council is still debating this matter.
Drycenia 6 shares the opposite side of the same orbit as Drycenia 5 and is very similar to Drycenia 4, although being further out from the system’s sun, its temperature is slightly more temperate and the winters are significantly colder. Drycenia 6 is less mountainous than Drycenia 4 and its valleys are larger. The land mass covers 65% of the planet’s surface; the remaining 35% consisting of 2 main oceans and several small inland seas and lakes. One unique property of Drycenia 6 is its abundant fresh water. The fresh water on Drycenia 6 is a bright green colour, due to minerals that seep from the rocks. These minerals give the water an extremely fresh taste and impart properties into the blood that seem to counteract the effects of the slightly thin atmosphere.
When the Drycenians and Vincent Richard Domenico were fighting to free Lilea from the nightmare that became known as The Sleeping, ancient Drycenian ancestors were discovered on the planet Vinbuk 3. It became clear that the only way to free the Lilean people from The Sleeping and kill the Transmortal spirits, was to detonate a bomb that would make Vinbuk 3 uninhabitable. The modern Drycenians decided that they could not allow their ancient ancestors to perish, so they tranquilised them and transported them to Drycenia 6 for repatriation, where they soon began to flourish and still thrive today.
Drycenia 6 is also home to another Vinbuk refugee brought back from the fight with the Transmortal spirits. A creature close to Vincent Richard Domenico’s heart was also transported to Drycenia 6 to save them from extinction. The creature is basically cat like, about the size of an earth Grizzly Bear, with shaggy grey fur that affords it excellent camouflage in the mountain scree of its natural home. The tail is short and hairless and sports a tuft of long spines at the tip, which it vibrates with a unique sound. The head is big and wedge shaped and, as with all carnivorous predators, it has 2 pairs of long fangs. The Drycenians found no record of these creatures having originated from anywhere other than Vinbuk 3, and as the planet has never been inhabited by humanoids other than the Transmortal Army, their name was not known. The current Drycenian King, Lomas VII asked Vincent Richard Domenico to name the creature, as he had formed such a bond with them during his stay on the planet, and he named them the Drycenian Vinbuk.
These ancient Drycenians are still identical to the ancient Drycenians whose bones are found everywhere on Drycenia 4 in archealogical excavations. There is a 5 thousand year gap in the archealogical evidence on Drycenia 4 where no bones are found at all and it wasn’t until the modern Drycenians met Vincent Richard Domenico and got involved in helping him fulfil the Lilean prophecy, that they discovered the reason for this gap. The early Transmortals settled on Vibuk 3 and visited Drycenia 4, where they found the indigenous humanoids to be violent and savage cannibals. They captured them all and transported them to their new home base on Vinbuk 3, where they spent the next 5 thousand years allowing them to breed to fuel their need for experimental victims. After 5 thousand years it became clear to the Transmortals that their experiments had failed, so they returned those on whom they had experimented, to Drycenia 4 where they went on to become the modern Drycenians. Those on whom they had not experimented, were left on Vinbuk 3 as the Transmortals then abandoned the planet and they flourished and thrived there until being discovered by Vincent and the modern Drycenians.
They are identical to the modern Drycenians apart from having a vastly bigger upper body musculature. Their arms and shoulders are huge and they have great strength. Their hearing is amazingly sharp, more so than modern day Drycenians. They do not have the ability to make proper speech and communicate in grunts and cries and by using hand and arm signals, which they have made into a very complex language. They are extremely hostile and will always react violently to all strangers who enter their territory. When they capture someone who has strayed into their territory, they usually beat their victim to death by crushing the skull with their bare fists. They then usually eat the victim’s brain matter raw, straight from the crushed skull.
Their family groups are monogamous and they usually produce up to 4 or 5 children. The average life span of these ancient Drycenians is pretty short; usually no more than 45 to 50 years and many of their children die before the age of 3. Despite the high child mortality rate, they are thriving and the modern Drycenians are determined to do all they can to help their ancient ancestors to survive and flourish.