A Divergent Path
The Lliaqeu possess lithe builds allowing for faster dissipation of heat. Their skin has taken an orange-tinted brown tone, almost as if to act as camouflage amongst the orange and red desert they inhabit. Some even appear to possess flecks of slightly different colors at different depths of their skin— almost like dirt. Others seem to have almost unnoticeable cracks along their surface like the dry desert grounds they call home. Their obsidian-black hair grows only from their heads— those with facial hair are rare. They are taller than their Hontualieu contemporaries— typically standing around 5'9"- 6'3"— as they have a longer history living within cities, and better nutrition.
Not only that— but Lliaq was home to some of the world's brightest scholars, and had become a center of knowledge for the known world. Combining this strength and cunning, they were able to realize the goal of their beloved leader Tichan Zilopnou and unite the city-state of the canyon into a singular state.
It's almost no wonder how they thought themselves to be better than their contemporaries.
Shattered prideHowever this only lasted a mere few decades, before The Devouring of Lliaq. The titanic, pale lizard Ytzkla and the armies of Ytzklapon which live upon their back were something no one could foresee.
Now, those who managed to survive have become the very thing they despise— weak, and dependent on the aid of those they had for so long looked down upon.
Greetings & FarewellsLliaqeu greet each other by firmly grabbing their lower left arms, regardless of how close they may be. The firmness of this may be increased or relaxed depending on their attitude towards the other party, however. Farewells are kept merely in speech.
Coming of ageBy the age of 6, youth begin their military training and education. Both pursuits take place within the same schools, where their days are split between academics and training. Once children hit 17, they take their final exams. These exams not only include academic tests— but also tests of strength, stamina, willpower, and focus. These exams take place over the course of a week— during which the children do not return home. They do not take breaks. Sleep is severely limited. Those who fail— by passing out, falling asleep too early, or even dying— are banished from Lliaq.
DeathLliaqeu do not value corpses, a body is just that. Once one departs, their bodies are left wherever convenient. This may be the river, the ocean, a bush, a cave, behind a rock, food for pigs, or burned.
EatingPatience must be exercised when eating, some Lliaqeu even eat with calculated intermissions between bites. If one can master discipline in daily life, they can master discipline when most needed.
WarThe lives of the Lliaqeu build up to what they believe are the inevitable battles ahead. Ample rest, and hearty meals are taken before battles. Stretches, exercise, and war-cries for motivation— the Lliaqeu believe that war is not something to be muddled with superstition. Too often have they won against an enemy by taking advantage of this.
Ideals, Love & Gender
RelationshipsLliaqeu courtship is somewhat utilitarian, as they are wont to marry their classmates— of course, after graduation. Relationships are a means to an end, ensuring the continued success of Lliaq.
BeautyBoth men and women keep their hair short, in fact, many shave their heads completely— making it a daily ritual. Another means through which to ensure discipline remains ever-present in.
GenderWhat good can it do to lessen your potential army? Both men and women partake in training and study, and can rise the ranks according to their prowess.
Art, Architecture, and Dress
ArtLliaqeu art focuses on human subjects, great heroes, myths, feats of strength— everyone from generals to scholars. Man conquers world, not the other way around.
ArchitectureMost Lliaqeu architecture is built from the red stone and mud from throughout the canyon, flat walls are most common— though, sloped walls are not unheard of, as well. Most roofs are built from flat layers of compacted mud and gravel, placed ontop of a viga— a timber support which sticks out of the walls.
For those without easy access to timber, and who are able to track down a skilled mason— rounded stone roofs dot the skylines of Lliaqeu settlements, often dyed in contrast to the structures benath. The Lliaqeu put more color into their structures, with colorful geometric patterns along the edges of their buildings, dying the walls or roofs, and integrating colored tiles along the walls and floors.
DressLliaqeu dress is very similar to that of the Hontualieu, but differing with many wearing coverings on the backs of their necks— be it a cloth tied around, or a metal bracer. This is a way of protecting a vulnerability.
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 on the front— freeing more skin. More expensive robes will have woven designs within.
Capes are commonly a dyed into colors that contrast the robe, 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.
Religion & Myth
Monsters, they believe, were imperfect creations formed from the dry dirt of the desert rather than the delta's shores.
NamingLliaqeu 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. Cuixo and Ponal marry, becoming Cuixoponal and Ponalcuixo. Their daughter is named Macuili Ponalcuixo.
TaboosAnyone who cannot take after themselves is looked down upon, and will not receive aid.
A beloved leaderBy far the biggest influence on the current attitude of the Lliaqeu is the long-deceased Tichan Zilopnou.
Zilopnou was both a renowned fighter, and a philosopher— penning many of the tenets of the effective Lliaqeu faith.
He died in battle, before his dream of uniting the city-states of Cipou Canyon could be realized— and when it finally was, they named the new nation in his honor.
Stay still, simply put, means that one should hold their tongue rather than complain.
Grit your teeth, grin and bear your burdens no matter what they may be. Injury, sickness, loss of a loved one— stay still. Endure.
You shall become stronger as a result, focus on what you gain from the event rather than complaining.
A desert nation of city-states subjugated by the strongest among them. A mix of two opposing cultures, a powder keg ready to blow.
The Devouring of Lliaq
The ill-fated day when the nomadic nation of Ytzklapon led their monstrous deity to devour the city-state of Lliaq.
Former philosopher Tichan (king) of Lliaq, the nation of Zilopnou is named after him.