Hontualieu Ethnicity in Qet | World Anvil




We are but one among many, remember to treat the world kindly— and it will show you kindness in turn.
— A father to his son
The Hontualieu are a spiritual people, holding great respect for the world around them. They do not worship any gods— but believe that all things have spirits within them.

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Species | Sep 29, 2021

A Forceful Alliance

Starting out in disparate tribes, the Hontualieu, came to settle the Cipou Canyon?, after the Lliaqeu? drove out the Kyteux.? The many groups among them divided to create several autonomous city-states within the canyon. The Kyteux of Ponouli? place religious significance on their former home, and have waged war against the disparate city-states in the region for hundreds of years.   The city-state of Lliaq,? with its military might, was able to convince the Hontualieu city-states to band together against Ponouli's armies descending from the north. However, Lliaq did not hold up their part of the bargain— sending an inconsequential number of their forces to join the other city-states. As a result, the city-states faced significant losses— though they had repelled the invasion from the north, they now had to contend with another from the west, from Lliaq.   In their weakened state, there was little they could do to stop Lliaq's armies from swiftly taking control, forcing the city-states of Cipou Canyon to form the new nation of Zilopnou.? Tensions between the ideologically opposed groups have only grown stronger over the fledgling nation's short existence.  

A silent protest

Despite their subjugation and mistreatment at the hands of the Lliaqeu, the Hontualieu seldom choose to fight back.   Their armies vanquished, and their settlements commandeered, they protest the conqueror's rule passively with what is too often denied them— kindness.   While the Lliaqeu may see this as the Hontualieu's great weakness, the Hontualieu see it as their greatest strength.  
Kindness is a virtue, and even when the despicable spit upon you— do not spit back. That is merely what they want of us— the loss of our greatest value.
— A Hontualieu woman

Tradition & Values

The Hontualieu believe that all natural things contain souls, be it the ground beneath their feet, the crops they grow, the animals they raise, or the wind blowing through the canyon. As such, all natural things are to be respected. These things willingly allow the Hontualieu, and by extension, all of humanity, to take and utilize them— knowing that one day, they too, will die, and be utilized in turn. While they respect the world without anticipating anything in return, the Hontualieu believe that by offering the respect deserved by the natural world, that they may receive more respect, in turn. This respect may be the difference between a fruitful harvest, and a drought.   Despite this, they do not believe natural disasters, animal attacks, or disease to be punishments— at least, not in most cases. They are simply natural occurrences, each with their own wants and needs.   Like humans, the natural world has its own needs and desires— and sometimes natural elements may argue, play, or converse. Many storms, for example, are believed to be fights between the wind and the rain— which have nothing do to with the people and animals that get caught in the crossfire.  



When a Hontualieu child is born, the mother will try to do so outdoors— believing that if they do not, the child's cluetqep, or guardian spirit, will forever be unable to find them.   Afterwards, the child is embraced by their parents— little to no ritual is involved, as to them, birth itself is a ritual.  

Coming of age

Upon reaching the age of 15, Hontualieu go through the Tokqet a ceremony where the child stands in a small round tub as their family showers them with mud from the Cipou river. The child must then wait in the tub for an hour with their eyes closed, before getting up and washing off the mud in the river. This is believed to firmly plant the child as part of the world.

Greetings & Farewells

When greeting someone, Hontualieu place their left hands on each other's right shoulder— or the left for close friends and family. Farewells are executed with a simple nod of the head.  
Ha, no, child, you do not need to greet each and every thing you pass by— only your fellow man, otherwise you'd never stop!
— A father


The dead are wrapped in a layer of mud, left to dry in the sun, and set upright within graveyards carved into the red walls of the canyon. These mud sarcophagi are kept still with more mud placed around their feet once they are placed.   Clothing and jewelry are taken off before they are covered, and often placed over the statue once dried. Their family, friends— or neighbors, if no one cared for the departed— will carry out the deed. This is believed to return the dead to the earth they came from.

Eating & Taboo

Out of respect for the land, crops, and animals that became their meals— the Hontualieu do not leave food unfinished. If one is going to take something, or worse— kill something— and not make full use of it, they are greatly insulting it.   Those who waste food will be met with disappointed sighs at best, and angry shouting at worst. In most cases, they will typically relent and finish their food, or someone else will eat it in their stead.


Hontualieu are often gifted at telling stories, it is a skill practiced from the moment they are born. Parents tell their children stories of the world around them, of why things work the way do, of their family's past, of their own past, or make them up simply to be entertaining. Before long, the children begin to tell stories among themselves, eventually growing into adults attempting to impress one another with their skills— carrying on this tradition until the day they die.   Story telling can become a sort of lighthearted competition, each will often add their own spin to well-known stories, be it a tweak here and there, a character voice, sound effects, or drastically altering it to suit their tastes.  


Before battle, they will bury their weapons under a light coat of dirt and pray over them for protection. The fallen, whether they be one of their own, or from the opposing side, will be properly buried. If the numbers are too high to viably carry out this task before the bodies begin to rot, they will be buried in mass graves covered with mud.

Ideals, Love & Gender


Unlike some of their contemporaries, Hontualieu culture does not pressure people into marriage. Many pursue it anyway, because they want to— not because they feel as if they have to. Those who do seek out love, look for whoever they are happiest with— regardless of gender or even species, so long as all parties involved are sentient.  
What came from the same, beautiful, world we were born into cannot be unnatural.
— An old Hontualieu saying


Most Hontualieu keep their hair relatively short, only growing it as far as the shoulder. Simple braids are often seen at the bottom corners of these longer hairstyles. Men do not often keep facial hair, though most Hontualieu cannot grow much it to begin with.


One's role in society is mostly left to their skills and interests, not their bodies. The only particular split between genders is that women have the final say when it comes to marriage, as they are the ones who bring others into the world.

Art, Architecture, and Dress


Hontualieu art tends to focus on scenes of daily life, natural beauty, or spiritual figures— especially one known as Auroul or, The Mother— a figure many believe to be the first human, who gave birth to mankind. Painting along the red walls of the canyon is common, and in some places murals span far outside city limits. Weaving and dyeing, are other popular forms of expression— especially with close proximity and ease of access to dyes produced by the Poltoul Dye-works.  


Most Hontualieu Architecture is built from adobe made with the red stone and mud found throughout Ciopou Canyon. Most structures are built with slightly angled walls, though flat walls are not entirely unheard of. Most roofs are built from flat layers of compacted mud and gravel, placed ontop of a viga— a set of timber supports which stick out of the walls. For those with easier access to skilled masons than timber— rounded adobe roofs are a more viable option, and punctuate the skylines of Hontualieu settlements. Other buildings are often found within the cliffsides, some carved into the walls, and others simply set against the cliff as is.   Typical Hontualieu homes are fairly modest in size, with only one to three rooms in total. Most homes are occupied by small families, with extended family often living nearby— though it is not unheard, nor thought of as strange, to live with extended family in a packed home.


How one dresses depends heavily on how much time they typically spend in the sun.  
Someone working indoors will typically wear sleeveless robes with a large hole cut at the back, tied at the waist by a colored cloth belt. Robe colors are commonly either off-white, or an reddish-orange color, iron being a common dye.
  If one can afford it, yellow, blue, and purple robes are not too uncommon, either. Along with differing colors, some robes may have a small split down their front— freeing more skin. Expensive robes will have designs woven into their surfaces.
For those spending extended periods of time in the sun— such as farmers— these robes are joined by colorful capes which are wrapped around the shoulders and tied behind the head— protecting the back and shoulders from the sun's harsh rays.
  Capes are commonly dyed with colors that contrast the robe beneath, pairing reds with off-whites, pinks with blues, and so on. More expensive capes will have more intricate floral or simple shapes woven into their fabric.
  Everyone wears straw, leather— or rarely, metal— sandals made of a simple bottom pad, and a split string drawn through a hole in the bottom and tied behind the ankle. Jewelry and other accessories aren't terribly common— as most serve to make one more uncomfortable. Things such as rings, or thin necklaces may be seen on occasion, however. In some homes, thick metal headbands are kept in cool areas to cool one down once they return from the day's work, though these are rarely worn outside— as they tend to have the opposite effect in the sun.  

Religion & Myth

Most Hontualieu follow the Qetqep faith, believing that all natural things have souls— and as such, must be respected. Many Hontualieu believe that they were born from the earth along the Kloqul of the Cipou river delta. Auroul— The Mother— formed them here from the red mud along the revered river's shores.  

Frightening lizards

It is believed that, once, a great many years ago, there was a demon named Cau. Cau used to be a normal man— until, in his anger— he killed and ate a man for sleeping with his beloved. He became a demon, gaining powers with which he subjugated his small town— consuming anyone who opposed him. Soon, other villages came under his control— and he wished to take the nearby city.   As he tore his way towards the palace, standing upon a wall, demanding the king come out— he was startled by a small lizard that had been resting on the wall. It hissed at him, baring its teeth. Surprised, and frightened— Cau took a step back, and fell off the wall— plummeting directly to his death.
  Before his death, however, the demon had many wives and concubines— his children were warped, and became the monsters known today. It is believed that monsters fear lizards— and those who wish for protection keep symbols of them, worn as necklaces, painted on their homes, or kept on their banners. Some even keep lizards as pets.


Hontualieu naming traditions are shared with those of Qetlec.
  When married, the first names of both parties are combined.
  This name is then given to their children.
  Ex. Calca and Cihe marry, becoming Calcacihe and Cihecalca. Their son is named Qich Cihecalca.

Related articles

Read more about: Zilopnou


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Oct, 2019 00:58

Mmmm... dem headers tho.   So I like how you set up them and... the other ethnic group ( more that in a sec. ) as cousins in a way. They are very different from their cousins tho. Right from the get go you can tell they have different values.   So something I'm running into... I can't pronounced these names. Lol id love to see a phonetic listing or maybe even put the pronounciation in parinthesis beside these awesome words.       " for close friends and family. Farewells are executed with a simple nod of the head" same as before, how did this develop and why? I must know!     Also, godddd the milestones section is awesome. The details and unique cultural elements like the coming of age ritual is gold. I do have a question tho. The lliaq started much earlier in their coming of age. I'm curious. Why is this different between them?     So few people discuss the art of ethnic groups and cultures. It makes so happy I could cry, plus its unique. It stands apart from the liaq who stand apart in their own way.   The religion is just awesome and the touch with Cao is also good.   So at this point I notice the pronounciation there. I'm on mobile so the sidebar is at the bottom. If you do this on every article.... touche... I stand corrected. I do think it could still be beneficial to do the pronunciation in parinthesis beside the word but Oof that was cool to see.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
11 Oct, 2019 02:21

Thank you!
  For phonetic pronunciation, I put it at the top of the sidebar and try to add tooltips for words used in the body of the article! (Though, I cannot do so for article LINKS, as excerpts override tooltips— but those pages do have the phonetics on them, too!)
  How did the handshake develop, and why? I don't explain all the greetings and farewells I write up since, like us and many before us, people don't always know why they carry a tradition. (Also in the interest of time/laziness— I have self imposed deadlines!)
  As for why the coming of age is different between the two, the Lliaqeu are more utilitarian and want their children to begin training as soon as feasibly possible. The Hontualieu see childhood as a longer process.
  Art is important for any group! Though, perhaps I have a bias...
  Yeah! I do set up the pronunciation that way, as well as tooltips (which I assume on mobile you just tap to show). I DO need to actually work on my CSS for mobile! Perhaps there's a way I can set it up to show at the top there? I need to experiment to really see!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
11 Oct, 2019 02:51

Generally, I think you're fine on that. I actually skip anything that looks like a link, so my bad! So sorry. If I tap a link it won't show excerpts so I never bother. They show up differently but I never really tried. My own fault!   And yes, this is true but so few really do that. Art is important.       As far as the greetings and such, I totally get that but I never want to leave an article critique and not suggest as much to expand on as possible. I generally only critique what I'm asked to, or when I'm returning one in kind. Only other time is when I find an article/world that I love. (ie: right now). I don't want to waste it XD       This is true what you say. We often don't know where the handshake came from. We wonder and infer though! There are psychological reasons why we shake hands, and linguistic elements for why we say goodbye. For example. The french have two words for parting ways.       Au revoir and Adieu. One is more casual and used like we say goodbye, but adieu is more for someone you can't forsee talking to ever again. A final farewell, if you will. :)       It's not a major thing though. I just wondered if you had an answer. I mean the lizard symbols that seem to represent the two are inversed if I remember right. gotta inquire with this level of detail.

22 Sep, 2021 21:42

This is easily my favourite article I've ever read. The amount of detail you go into makes these people seem so real, that's something I really admire and want to put into my writing and worldbuilding. Fantastic layout, I love the headers and the little side info (How did you do that by the way), the style itself is gorgeous and fits with the article. You should certainly be proud of yourself!

I hope you have a great day!   WorldEmber is coming...
Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
22 Sep, 2021 23:04

Wow, high praise, thank you! This was an article that really needed a facelift (as well as new info and some rewriting)— and I'm glad it turned out well!   The side info boxes were done with CSS and a Grandmaster+ feature, that being containers.

5 Oct, 2021 18:20

I love these people. They sound like they would be nice to hang out with. I particularly love their funeral customs; I bet the places where all those bodies are located are a sight to behold.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
5 Oct, 2021 20:30

Thank you! And yes, their funeral customs are one of my favorite things I've written for any of my cultures. One of their burial sites is a key location in the campaign I hope to include with the release of the game!

20 Nov, 2021 15:48

I just love this! Their culture feels so REAL! I want to hear more about them!   Qet being a cosmic horror setting, there is very little "this is good" and "this is bad" but the Hontualieu are a very clearly "good" people, a nice break from the grey and grey morality of the rest of the world.   Interesting parallels between the myth is the "Frightening Lizards" section and the Tale of Ytzkla.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
21 Nov, 2021 05:27

Thank you! Don't worry, you'll hear more about them in due time! (Ok, definitely soon since a lot of their articles are early ones that are likely going to be soon in the reformattening queue). I've still got to write a bunch of things about them, like...their religion.   Yes! I believe there's a quote somewhere (I forget which article) where someone notes the irony that they are threatened by something thought to protect...

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