The Pyreans are the civilization that ruled before the first age and one day disappeared without a trace. The Pyreans were similar to Vyn under the rule of the Light-Born, but they were also a world empire, with individual cultures on the different continents. Numerous ruins can be found all over Vyn, the most on Enderal, where the "City of a Thousand Floods," the capital of the Pyrean Empire, was located.
Culture and System of Government
The highest authority in the Pyrean Empire was the Highest Being, a child who was chosen every ten years. The belief behind it was that the "divinity" that holds the universe together could be channeled into a child's body through a ritual, and could only remain there until a certain age, at which point a new "vessel" would be needed. Based on the interpretations of the child's visions, the two great priestly castes — the Ishyian and the Dylgar — ruled the Pyrean Empire.
Thus, Pyra, like Vyn under the Light-Born, was an aristocracy.
At the top of each of the two castes were three Sun Priests, who read directly from the visions of the Highest Being and ruled over Pyra. The castes were family alliances, which attached great importance to the "purity" of their blood, which often resulted in cousin/cousin marriages or even incest.
Although they were not directly enemies, there was competition between them throughout the millennia. This manifested itself in attempts to demonstrate their absolute power directly and, more indirectly, through political intrigues. Thus, two different architectural styles can be found in the ruins around Enderal, each bearing the signature of the respective caste.
The Pyreans used crystals from which they drew energy. The crystals served as sources for magic, light, and heat, as well as a source of energy for entire systems of transportation, namely, the "Undertrain."
The Downfall of the Pyreans
There are several theories concerning the downfall of the Pyreans. The most common — and the one deliberately circulated by the Light-Born — is that the Pyreans perished in a power struggle between the two priestly castes and were destroyed by Light-Born-like gods for their corruption. The underlying idea here is to present insubordination and revolt as something that ultimately leads to catastrophe — and, thus, as something to prevent.
This is a falsehood, for what really happened was that both castes were murdered to the last member by an unknown man, who played a role similar to the Light-Born's Shadow God. Then, the Red Madness broke out, followed by a civil war, led by a former general named Jakal (who may, in fact, have been the very same Pyrean "Shadow God" equivalent). Then, they and every other creature disappeared without a trace. The Pyrean downfall is the most direct evidence of the Cycle.
On Enderal (until recently), Arazeal and Qyra, it was a punishable offence to develop or even visit the Pyrean ruins. The reason for this was to prevent knowledge of the actual circumstances that brought down the old empire from coming to light.