Coulqepluex Ethnicity in Qet | World Anvil




To be wealthy is to be righteous, the impoverished man does not work hard enough to succeed— do you?
  The Coulqepluex are a people transformed by baptism in the lake Chluetichlon,? a process that transforms all who undergo it into a more uniform people— creating a distinct ethnicity from the myriad others that undergo the ritual. Theirs is a culture enamored with wealth and its pursuit, aided further by their famed, nigh supernatural luck. Their nation of Rektouzk? is undeniably one of the most influential and powerful within Qet as a result.  

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Coulqepluex: Form

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Coulqepluex: Form
Generic article | Jan 19, 2023

Eternal Luck

The first of the Coulqepluex belonged to the Nouex?— one of three tribes that lived along the shores of the great lake Chluetichlon. These tribes had spent generations at war; a long, bloody conflict that had become a fact of life— one which many thought would never end. And yet, one day— it did, when the Nouex procured gold and gemstones from what seemed to be thin air, and bought peace with the nearest tribe. Together, the two descended upon the remaining tribe, and crushed them with their combined strength, soon afterwards forming the nation known today as Rektouzk. The gold and gemstones— now known as couleuz?— continued to appear, and the Nouex began to change.   It was only those directly involved with the shimmering gold and purple gemstones that began to exhibit strange behaviors at first, such as the miners, and those who oversaw them. In the dark beneath the earth, they performed strange, reclusive rituals— worshipping forces unknown. The few who observed this behavior whispered of it to others, and concern began to mount.   However, as the gems glittered ever so beautifully, and the shores of Chluetichlon seemed as if to sing every night— more and more of the populace began to perform the same strange rites. Soon, people began to baptize their newborns within the bottomless lake's cold waters, yet no order was given, no church formed, and no one had even suggested doing so— it was as if the idea had occurred to many throughout the nation at once. These children would, over the course of their first year, slowly transform.   Their skin would turn blue as their eyes began to shine like gold, and they would grow cold— as if dead. Oddly, this did not concern their parents. Quite the opposite, in fact— many seemed overjoyed with this development. Over the course of several generations those too old to have been baptized slowly died out, leaving behind only the transformed, and the rare few holdouts. It was then that they took on the name they bear today— "Coulqepluex," which roughly means "golden people" or "wealthy people."   As other nations came into contact with the Coulqepluex, they discovered that they possessed uncanny luck— and a knack for trade. In one of these early cases, a foreign king's caravan just so happened to become lost in a storm and arrived in Rektouzk instead of their intended destination. Enchanted by the glittering purple gems and gold, the king quickly formed an economic partnership with the people whose golden eyes seemed as if to calm his mind, and dull his apprehension. Time and time again it seemed as if others were more receptive to the Coulqepluex's words, allowing their influence to quickly expand throughout the known world.   Other people soon began to join their faith, almost all too easily, and baptised their own youth in the waters of Chluetichlon— transforming them in the same way as the Coulqepluex, stunting many of the unique features of their parentage. As they grow older, the baptized wholeheartedly adopt the culture of the Coulqepluex over those shared by their families— often carrying over only the profitable aspects of their heritage. Today, the Coulqepluex are a people comprised of many peoples, spreading their faith and ideals of wealth along the trade routes that snake through the known world like hungry vines. Luckily, no matter where they go— someone is always willing to listen.    

Tradition & Values

Coulqepluex culture heavily promotes the pursuit of wealth in all activities— if your purse is not made heavier in the process, what's the point? As such, everything from art, entertainment, and leisure, to socialization, eating, and even visiting family often involves coin in some fashion. That is, of course, if one ever takes a break from their work. Many Coulqepluex dedicate as much of their time as possible to work, even to the detriment of their health. Those who rest too often are looked down upon.   Wealth is seen as the greatest signifier of one's worth, and so, many invest a lot of time, effort, and coin to display it— through their clothes, jewelry, makeup, homes, parties, food, and more. Some, even, do so at the expense of their actual lives— forgoing proper food or housing in favor of showy clothing or expensive baubles that can give the illusion of success while among their peers. Considering that the mysterious illness known as holi causes the deaths of all Coulqepluex who reach the age of 30, life for many is a race to the top.  
Life is short, and if one does not die wealthy, did they live at all?
— Common Coulqepluex saying
  This attitude strains relations with people from other cultures, as those who subscribe to a Coulqepluex work ethic find it difficult to understand those who do not. This is especially true for those with more hedonistic values, such as the Tollouchi,? who many Coulqepluex believe could be making more money— both for themselves and the Coulqepluex.  

Common Values

  • We believe one's worth is equal to their wealth.
  • We believe everyone should want wealth.
  • We value work ethic over work quality.
  • We see art merely as a commodity.
  • We believe poverty is a personal failure.
  • We believe all profit is moral.
  • We see altruism as a waste.
  • We believe rest prevents precious work.

Counter Values

  • We believe one's worth is inherent.
  • We wish to be happy above all else.
  • We value skilled work over time worked.
  • We see beauty and purpose in art.
  • We believe poverty is a circumstance.
  • We believe that not all profit is moral.
  • We see altruism as mutually beneficial.
  • We believe rest results in better work.


Those unable to bring wealth to themselves or their nation are seen as nothing more than leeches. Altruism, in turn, is greatly frowned upon.  
You only feed the leeches, you allow them to live! You receive nothing in return for your generosity!
Stop, I say, and let the parasites die off on their own.



Within their first month of life, a newborn must be baptized in Chluetichlon, or they will never transform, leaving them to live as what most Coulqepluex see as a curse— Nouex. Thankfully luck is often on their side; the skies and roads will be clear, qukix healthy and uninjured, and even the wind will be at their backs as they make their journey to the great lake.   Many make the pilgrimage to Chluetichlon for this purpose alone, and a bustling transportation industry supports them. While it is ideal for one to be baptized within the lake itself, there are ways for those unable or unwilling to make the journey to still be baptized. Men and women called zetyiltz— literally, water priests— wander the world carrying the precious lake's water so that all Coulqepluex, or hopeful converts across the world, may be baptized.   Some radicals have even gone so far as to secretly baptize children without the knowledge of their parents. Due to the nature of their transformation, many of these forced Coulqepluex grow to resent and even take up arms against Rektouzk. One such case is that of an unknown wanderer simply known as Lio Qepazcolnoul?— literally translating to The Lake Killer— who has been hunting down and killing zetyiltz in order to stop others from meeting their fate.  

Coming of Age

At the age of 11, a Coulqepluex child is considered yiz, or, "viable." This means that they are able to aid their parents in their trade, or even begin their own ventures. Before the sun sets on their birthday, children are expected to sell something. It can be anything, a toy, a painting, a utensil, a rock— as long as they can convince a stranger to buy it, it is believed that their future career will be bright.   Afterwards, play and rest are no longer encouraged, and their parents begin to train them in their own trades— or find them teachers for careers that may be more profitable.  


When a Coulqepluex dies, their body is taken to Chluetichlon. Once there, they are floated out on a small barge, and cast into the cold waters below. Being unable to return to the lake is seen as a fate worse than death, though very few Coulqepluex would explain why that is. Some outsiders claim that their bodies turn to gold after a year, and they simply don't want anyone to claim it— but this is untrue.   For those who are unable to reach the lake before their death, or have no one to carry them there after their passing, zetyiltz will carry their bodies on their return trips— provided that someone informs them of the corpse, and its location.


A popular pastime among Coulqepluex is the future bet. This is an activity where, usually while drunk, people make bold claims about the future and bet on the results. Anything from political events, marriages, and the next sentence someone says, to storms, catastrophes, and life choices can be claimed and bet on. Self-claimed seers sell their services to those seeking to make quick money with these bets, and fights are not entirely uncommon when a bet is lost.   It is said that if enough Coulqepluex were to make the same future bet at once— they could control even the weather.  
"How was I to know that the storm would be early?! You just got lucky!"   "That's the point, friend."
— A Coulqepuex to a friend
  Other pastimes include warped versions of those from the birth cultures of other Coulqepluex, adjusted with ways to earn money. For example, in a Lliaqeu? game of strength— everyone places money into a pool that the winner gets to claim. In another example, a twist on Hontualieu? storytelling sees everyone selling their version of the same story and competing to see which earns the most money.  

Miscellenous Traditions

Greetings & Farewells

Coulqepluex greet one another by bowing their heads while looking at who they are greeting. Farewells are executed in the reverse of this. When a deal is met— such as a purchase, sale, or partnership— both parties will join left hands while standing opposite one another, and bow.  


Time spent eating is time not spent earning, and as such, much of Coulqepluex cuisine and eating traditions are focused on minimizing the time spent both cooking and eating food. Food that may be eaten by others with utensils is often served in cups, bowls, and funnel-like dishes that can be held in one hand, and simply poured into one's mouth. With this convenience, many take their food on the go, and eat as they're between one place and another— or even while working.


Before fighting, many Coulqepluex mercenaries make future bets related to the upcoming battle. How many enemies will they kill? How long will the fight last? What unpredictable luck will aid them this time? Will the enemy defend the bridge, or take the hill? These bets often use the earnings the mercenaries expect to see after their return, and a few particularly crazed outfits even pay their mercenaries based entirely on the outcomes of their bets.


Coulqepluex naming traditions are one and the same with their native language, Qetlec. When one marries they will append their spouse's name to their own. This name is then passed down to their children as family names.   Ex. Cipa and Tihe marry, becoming Cipatihe and Tihecipa. Their child, Calca, is named Calca Tihecipa.   Even if one was born to another culture, and had received a name within it— after being baptized, they will often eagerly adopt a new, Qetlec, name once they are old enough to understand language.   Unique to the Coulqepluex, however, are the motives behind first names. Many parents will devise some method of determining which will grant their child the best chances at wealth when they grow up. Some simply name them after the nation's wealthiest, others attempt to deduce the best name by tracking market data and find the median, and a few will even allow others to name their child— for a price.

Ideals, Love, & Gender


Coulqepluex relationships often take the form of mutually beneficial trade partnerships, rather than loving unions. Loving partnerships are not entirely uncommon, but they are not the norm. After all, getting close with a potential rival can quell most future business problems, and bolster the income of both parties. Many Coulqepluex also wish to pass on their wealth to someone they trust, such as an heir, instead of seeing it return to the state upon their death. This, combined with their short lifespans, leads many to marry in their late teens or early twenties.   Courting typically involves buying an abundance of gifts, taking one another out to parties, and, finally— paying a dowry to the other party. All of this proves the wealth, and therefore merit, of one as a partner.  


Beauty and wealth are inextricably tied together for the Coulqepluex. One's weight, for example, is often seen as an indicator of wealth, and therefore worth— it serves as a sign that someone can not only afford an abundance of food, but also can afford not to do the manual labor that might keep their weight in check. Long nails serve a similar role. Many also adorn themselves with tattoos that depict their great sales, collected currencies, or trade routes they've travelled.   Jewelry is a less permanent display that nearly all Coulqepluex adorn themselves with. Most common are large, flat nose rings of jade or precious metal, earrings of similar shape and make, and beaded necklaces. Many tend to grow out their hair to at least shoulder length, alongside long bangs, so that they have more room to display their adornments, including beads, ties, clips, and metal bands. Men who are able to, will grow long curly beards which are often braided and adorned in a similar manner.  


Many Coulqepluex believe that, so long as an individual is capable of producing profit for someone, they may do as they please. Besides, there isn't much money to be made in limiting one's market to one gender or the other— why do that when you could sell to, and thus profit from, everyone equally? As such, whatever distinctions exist between genders in Coulqepluex society are subtle, and treated with little importance.

Art, Architecture, & Dress


Coulqepluex art mostly exists as a commodity to sell to other cultures, or to be used by other Coulqepluex to flaunt their wealth. Paintings or statues are commissioned by their subjects, songs are seldom used as much beyond ambiance, and writing is used to keep funds in check. Paintings and jewelry are commonly geometric in design, and colorful so as to catch the eye. There are outliers, however; some artists create work with deeper meaning— there is profit in this, too, after all.  


Like their art, Coulqepluex architecture is fairly simple in make. Stone is carved into rectangular, square, or occasionally triangular shapes. For the rich, these shapes often join together into larger, more complex forms. Regardless of their specific shape, their roofs always tilt slightly backwards to drain rainwater, while windows and doorways are fit with small lips at their tops to offer meager protection from the rain. As a show of wealth, geometric designs are often painted and carved onto a building's facade.   Furniture is often foreign, when possible, as another show of wealth, otherwise it is made from sturdy but affordable wood. Expensive artwork and weaponry is often proudly displayed throughout affluent homes, as well.   There are few greater shows of wealth than having one's own home, and as a result, Coulqepluex households tend to be small— only housing one or a small handful of individuals at a time. It is unusual for anyone but close family to live together, and those who cannot afford to live apart often dream of it, and compartmentalize their homes as best they can to emulate living in separate structures.  


Most Coulqepluex wear lengthy loose-fitting white robes with sleeves reaching halfway down the arms, fastened along the left side with metal buttons (which are occasionally made of precious metal). Those who can afford to will dye their robes— and those even richer than them will dye and embroider their robes with geometric patterns. Popular colors are green, blue, orange, and yellow. Wide cloth belts are a popular accessory, and these are often woven with colorful geometric designs. Particularly wealthy, or showy, individuals will don expensive foreign clothes, or fasten superfluous elements such as chains, jewelry, and precious metals into their robes.  

Religion & Myth

Many Coulqepluex believe that coins contain knowledge, and it is not uncommon— especially among youth— for them to ask yes/no questions to coins, before flipping them to determine an answer. These answers are correct about half of the time, which is enough to perpetuate the myth.   The religious beliefs of the Coulqepluex are seldom shared with outsiders. Their rituals are secretive, and those attempting to witness them are often found missing or dead soon after. All that is known is that they revere the lake Chluetichlon, and descend into underground shrines in coordinated groups at seemingly random— abandoning whatever they were doing beforehand. No call is made. No bells, no documents, the timing is simply known to them. Some outsiders wonder if the Coulqepluex even know, themselves, what they do during those rituals. They are extremely eager to convert others to their faith— but cannot provide details beyond speaking of how great it has been for their lives.  


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!   This is now the second time this article has seen a bit of a rewrite haha, three years later! I think it's in a MUCH better place than it used to be, and the metaphor that the Coulqepluex, and Rektouzk, are meant to embody comes through much more clearly! Though, now I have to rewrite almost everything associated with them to match the retcons. Whoops.

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Mar 30, 2020 17:15 by R. Dylon Elder

Here we go. So I fauntly recall this one, but its nice to get reaquainted. They remind me if dwarves in a lot of ways. Their height, and focus on trade in particular. One thing I find strange is how you separate their luck from their knack of trade. you express many times how the luck works but I don't really see hope trade fits. is it part of the luck or something else like their way with words? How does the gens and gold win over the foreign king in a way that he immediately works on trade routes. I guess that could be luck, but riches alone won't make trade flow in most places, especially if there are not many who can afford such luxury goods as gems and such, though again luck is Prolly involved. Maybe more can be revealed in the nation article, as it probably has more of their trade goods. Regardless, what is it about trade that they have a knack for? Bartering? Their cooperation in Competition as specified in the relationships section? All of the above?     I love the discussion on art and. very well done. the focus on using art for trade and how its design is centered around it speaks alot to the culture.     A very nice culture that does stand out from the others I've read.

Mar 30, 2020 17:32 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Luck and trade are linked! Things like stumbling into people who not only have the funds but the want for their goods, winds being favorable for trade ships, having just a little extra stock, etc. They do also have a way with words, I believe this was mentioned a bit in them having few qualms being manipulative.   Winning over the king is part of that luck in finding people who also want their goods, not to mention— exotic luxuries have historically been sought after, and those gems are not normal geological formations to begin with. (Same with the gold even...)   Knack for trade is in several ways, generally they are raised around it and have a culture centered around it— so they're skilled with bartering, navigating trade routes, cutting costs and balancing their funds, etc.   Suppose you bring up some good points here, I could write some here that connects their trade and luck better.   Thanks!

Mar 30, 2020 19:15 by R. Dylon Elder

Since It's linked directly, it doesn't seem to be needed. I got confused on that point. I was thinking of overall economy, not just trade, which is not what discussed. I imagine there is much more to their economy that just that.     Upbringing definitely makes sense, and I feel stupid for not thinking about it.

Mar 30, 2020 21:18 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Nah it's not stupid of you to not think of it! That gets me thinking that I could/maybe should start adding an "Upbringing & Values" section to ethnicity articles.

Mar 30, 2020 21:19 by R. Dylon Elder

Oooo always good to add indeed. Offers a good answer to how people end up being in the ethnicity

Jan 18, 2023 01:07 by Aster Blackwell

So strange, fascinating, and terrifying all at once. I desperately want to know the secrets hidden here.

Jan 18, 2023 01:34 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Thank you! Glad it got the interest hooks in there haha

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