What is most important is strength— with that you can survive by taking everything you require. To show weakness is to welcome death.The Lliaqeu are a people disciplined in both study and war, who place individual strength above all else. If one cannot lift themselves up— the rest will not be there to help.
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Until recently, the Lliaqeu mainly lived in and around the city-state of Lliaq,? along the Cipou River? Delta. With ample resources and fertile land, their rise to power was no surprise. This, combined with their hardy philosophy and emphasis on self-discipline, led to the creation of one of the strongest armies in the world. Lliaq was also home to some of the world's brightest scholars, and had become a center of knowledge for the known world— famous especially for its grand library Combining their strength and cunning, the Lliaqeu were able to realize the goal of their beloved leader Tichan Zilopnou? and unite the city-states of Cipou Canyon into a singular state— one named after the great leader— Zilopnou.? It's no wonder that many thought themselves to be better than their contemporaries.
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.
Shattered prideHowever this only lasted a mere few decades, before The Devouring of Lliaq. On a day which would live in infamy, the titanic, pale lizard Ytzkla? and the armies of Ytzklapon? which live upon the their back approached from the sea— and devoured the city. Few foresaw their arrival, and those who did were discarded as mad. 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.
Self-discipline and strength are of the utmost importance in Lliaqeu society, those who cannot care for themselves, or are simply seen as weak— are not respected. A strong society requires strong souls, weak souls would only drag everyone else down with them. The elderly and disabled are often left to die, as a result. Most Lliaqeu believe that true strength is a combination of both mental, and physical prowess. If one is strong with one aspect, but not the other— they are still seen as weak, no matter how smart or strong they may be. Lliaqeu are often competitive, looking for any opportunity to prove to their peers that they are, in fact, strong— be it by solving a puzzle, lifting heavy objects, or by participating in games that combine both aspects of strength. If a Lliaqeu's strength is questioned, they are likely to drop what they are doing, and demand that the offending party challenge them.
Tradition & Values
How dare you. I will prove to you that I am not weak— challenge me. I'll climb that cliff barehanded just to prove you wrong. I'm no stranger to mathmatics, either. Your choice.
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 livestock, or burned.
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.
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. Also common are stretches, exercise, and war-cries for motivation. The Lliaqeu believe that war is not something to be muddled with superstition, and too often have they won against an enemy by taking advantage of this.
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— writing 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. 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.
PastimesCueuhe? On the opposite end of the spectrum are games that rely solely on strength, these are often without name. Improvisational by nature, games of strength are often spontaneously called— and depend heavily on what is around the participating parties. For example, a game a strength may be called near a river crossing— the game, then, would be to swim across the river first. Another game, called in a field of boulders, may see its players competing to lift the largest stone. One of the most popular pastimes for Lliaqeu is the sport of youhuel,? which combines both mental and physical strength. The game is played in specially made arenas, with 2-14 players split into 2 teams. Each team is provided a boulder, which is filled with powdered dye. The arena is carved into a grid of grooved lines, which the boulders are to roll along. At each intersection, is a hole, which, if a boulder is rolled over precisely, will push open the singular aperture of the boulder, allowing dye to fill the hole. Whichever team manages to fill the most holes, wins. Players can block and pester the other team as they see fit, but may not touch them— allowing for further strategy.
Ideals, Love & Gender
RelationshipsRelationships are a means to an end, ensuring the continued success of Lliaq. Most Lliaqeu seek out those they believe are strong, and thus, will pass on that strength to their children. Courtship is somewhat utilitarian, most are wont to simply marry their classmates— the process often starts and ends with a single question.
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.
GenderWhat good can it do to lessen your potential army? Both men and women partake in training and study, and can rise through the ranks according to their strength and aptitude.
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. Paintings and sculptures are the most common mediums, though many Lliaqeu also take pride in adorning their weapons and armor— be it by punching patterns into them, painting on their surfaces, or adorning them with colored beads.
An unadorned weapon may belong to anyone, but a personal touch will truly make it yours.
ArchitectureMost Lliaqeu Architecture is built from adobe made with the red stone and mud found throughout Cipou Canyon. Most structures are built with slightly angled walls, though flat walls are not entirely unheard of. Most roofs are rounded adobe, as masons are somewhat easy to find within Lliaq. For those who either lack the skills themselves, or cannot afford a mason's services, their 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. Typical Lliaqeu homes are fairly modest in size, with only one to three rooms in total. Most homes are occupied by individuals, comrades, or small families. Packed homes are uncommon, after all— if someone cannot provide a home of their own, they are weak. Housing them will not strengthen them, only coddle and allow their weakness to persist. The Lliaqeu adorn their structures with more color than their Hontualieu countrymen, 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 easily distinguished by the common practice of donning coverings on the backs of their necks— be it a tied cloth, or a metal bracer. This is believed to protect the place where they are most vulnerable, both literally and metaphorically. These are typically solid in color.
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 are more common, with rings, necklaces, and nose-piercings being the most popular. Bracers are often worn over the back of one's neck, or over the cloth covering it. 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.
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.
The Lliaqeu, like the Hontualieu, believe that Auroul formed humanity from the mud of the Cipou river's shores. However— their beliefs differ. They believe that, as they live on the delta— that they were formed first, and as the first formed, are thus the strongest. Monsters, they believe, were imperfect creations formed from the dry dirt of the desert rather than the delta's shores. Somewhat ironically, many Lliaqeu hold the superstitious belief that superstition can be excised from the body via bloodletting.