Nouex Ethnicity in Qet | World Anvil




One should love their community as they love their family, be it their neighbors, city, nation— or the entire world.
— A Nouex mother to her child
  The Nouex are a people who greatly value community and cooperation above all else. If one finds themselves in need, the Nouex are often the first to help— some will even aid their enemies. Theirs is a culture built through collective effort, wherein no individual rises above the rest. After all, behind every hero is a community that allowed them to flourish.  

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Species | Feb 16, 2023

A Lost Family

The Nouex were once one of three tribes who lived along the shores of the great lake Chluetichlon.? At this time, they had been long engaged in war with their neighbors. Many among them prayed for the conflict's end, begging any gods that might listen. And one day, it seemed as if their prayers had been answered— when a few of their number emerged from a lakeside cave bearing bundles of beautiful glittering gemstones, and gold. These were used to gain the allyship of their nearest neighbor, who then aided them in conquering the final remaining tribe. The resulting nation was given the proud name of Rektouzk,? and its future looked bright.   However, those who had procured the precious minerals that ended their war were hungry for more. They descended time and time again into the cavern and returned with more of the precious minerals, changing with each trip. 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.   Parents warned their children to avoid the miners, others begged for their loved ones to stay away from the caves— and many watched those they care about with newfound fear, and suspicion. And yet, driven by some unknown force— more and more of their community began to practice the very same rites. It wasn't long until the unfamiliar acts performed by these familiar faces began to include baptisms. Their young were submerged beneath the cold waters of the bottomless Chluetichlon, and as they grew older, they would transform— growing cold, turning blue, gaining striking golden eyes, and rarely developing the elbow spikes typically seen amongst their people.   There were no readily apparent downsides to this, but the great cost of their changes would be discovered years later when the first of their kind— the Coulqepluex?— turned 30, and perished to the terrifying illness known as holi. Many swore never to let their children undergo the baptism, and saw whatever had enticed their brethren as a threat to their community— one they would one day root out, and destroy. The Coulqepluex were their family, their community, and whatever was taking their lives from them had to be stopped.   And so the Nouex watched as the Coulqepluex developed a culture distinct from their own— one focused not on communities, but on individuals. A culture that emphasized the size of one's purse over the size of their heart. Many Nouex detested this, and refused to participate in the increasingly wealth-obsessed society of their countrymen. As a result, a wider divide began to grow between the two people— as the Nouex shunned the chase of wealth, and the Coulqepluex lived for it.   Even as many Nouex face poverty, they work to improve their communities with what they have— even aiding the Coulqepluex who may look down upon them. For despite their refusal of wealth, many Nouex lead lives richer than their neighbors.  

Tradition & Values

Nouex culture is centered around community in all its forms. They believe in sharing what they can, be it food, housing, aid, support, or laughter. This, they believe, makes the world a better place— and one should share what they are able to, even with their enemies. Even events are shared, it is rare for one to hold a small, private affair. After all, if there is joy to be had, why shouldn't everyone be invited?   This community focus, however, has lead to a shunning of things that center the individual. These attitudes have been further exacerbated as the Nouex have witnessed the extreme downsides of individualism displayed by their Coulqepluex neighbors. And so, if one were to celebrate their achievements— such as the completion of a great work, the opening of a business, or an anniversary— the celebration would center not just the individual, but also those who helped them along the way. This extends to how the Nouex see their history, and celebrate the heroes of their past.  
Behind every hero is the community that raised them, supported them, and taught them everything they know.
— Common Nouex saying

Common Values

  • We believe we should share all we've been given.
  • We believe that we all belong to a community.
  • We believe all deserve aid, even our enemies.
  • We see the community behind the individual.
  • We value our communities, in all forms.
  • We see hoarding wealth as foolish.
  • We believe we must aid our communities.
  • We value cooperation.

Counter Values

  • We believe there are limits to sharing.
  • We believe we are alone.
  • We believe aiding our enemies is foolish.
  • We see the individual before the community.
  • We value only those close to us.
  • We see hoarded wealth as well earned.
  • We believe we owe nothing to our communities.
  • We value individual action.


The hoarding of wealth and resources is greatly frowned upon by the Nouex. If one has excess, it should be shared with those who have less. This leads to the greatest schisms between Nouex, as some have embraced the wealth-obsessed attitudes of their Coulqepluex neighbors. Some believe they can use their accumulated wealth to serve their communities in ways few Coulqepluex would dare, while others become entranced by the promise of riches— instead chasing wealth for their own purses and no one else's.   Both attitudes have had notable impact on the Nouex, as some of their own have managed to leverage the systems put in place by the Coulqepluex to gain political power within Rektouzk— and push forward laws and actions supported by their communities. A few have even managed to gain the allyship of sympathetic Coulqepluex in the process. Others, however, have joined the worst of their neighbors in exploiting the poorest of their brethren— relying on the desperation of poverty to gain cheap labor for their businesses.  
How can you not see that I am helping them, by paying so little? This will teach them how to survive on their own, and they'll be stronger for it! Believe you me— I have not forgotten my roots.
— A wealthy Nouex



All those available within the local community come to celebrate the birth of a child. After the parents choose a name, all present will welcome the child into their community, and the world. Some may bring gifts, but more common are words of wisdom, or encouragement. It is believed that, while the child cannot yet understand speech, these words will enter their soul— and help them as they grow older.  

Coming of Age

A Nouex is considered an adult somewhere between the ages of 13 and 16. The exact timing of this is determined communally, as, after all— one's parents tend to be biased one way or the other. If the child can convince enough members of their community of their maturity, then they will be given the chance to prove it.   To prove that they are now an adult, the child must do something to support their community. This may be done by giving gifts of food or other resources, or it could be an act— such as helping build a new home, looking after someone's child for a time, or offering medical assistance to someone in need. Once their work is complete, and enough members of the community deem it sufficient, a celebration will be held— during which the new adult is expected to thank their community for supporting them. Often, they are also expected to provide food and entertainment for the event— though it is not uncommon for them to ask for, and receive, help executing both.  


When a Nouex dies, their community will mourn them together. A plain white cloth is placed over the dead body, and a funeral pyre is constructed over them. Once done, all present will place flowers, incense, or colored sticks over the mound, before it's lit. The mourners will share memories of the deceased as the pyre burns, sing, dance, and eat. Once the fire has stopped, the ash is collected and added to a communal burial jar which is held by a trusted community member. Sometimes, pyres may be reused, lit in succession, or hold multiple bodies at the same time— such as when multiple members of the community die within a short timeframe.  


A popular Nouex pastime is the game of Atlex Hueleq, which requires nothing but a ball of any sort to play. Players then compete to see who can kick or throw the ball through various goals in their surroundings. Goals may be as simple as holes made with one's arms, windows, or pots— or as complicated as "the yellow painted circle above the second window of the house down the street." Anyone can join in as they wish, and rules can be added or removed to the preference of the players.   Any communal work can be turned into an engaging, and even fun, activity with the right approach. Many Nouex sing together as they work, timing the songs with their actions to make them more satisfying. This is largely reserved for work that supports one's community— such as constructing homes, cleaning streets, or painting, rather than paid work— which is seen as more dreary.

Miscellenous Traditions


Greetings & Farewells

Nouex will greet others by lightly tapping their right elbow-spikes twice against the shoulders of whoever they're greeting. For family and friends, a third tap is added, often with more force. Farewells are executed by tapping a hand to their own shoulder twice.


Eating is almost always done around others, if one were to eat alone, it is believed that they are shunning their community. Before one begins eating, they must ensure that they do not have a greater amount of food than their company, and distribute excess accordingly.


Before battle, a scout is sent ahead bearing food and gifts for their opponents— on a few rare occasions this has spared the Nouex from the horrors of war, but this is uncommon. If the scout is killed, which they often are, it is taken as a grave insult. This serves two purposes— firstly, as a final attempt to avoid conflict, and secondly, as a way to spur Nouex troops to anger.   Given that Rektouzk has shifted to utilize mercenary armies rather than conscripted troops, however, this rarely occurs in the current day— as seldom few Nouex find this work to be desirable. They are more common amongst lower-ranking mercenary groups, however, into which some Nouex are driven by desperation. Those that enjoy the work seldom practice this tradition.


Nouex naming traditions are one an 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.  

Ideals, Love, & Gender


Nouex often form close bonds with those they spend the most time with— and so, their partners are commonly found among long-time friends, neighbors, or co-workers. As community and sharing are core values to them, there is, effectively, an unofficial shared partnership between all Nouex. Exclusivity is rare among them, which can make marriages with partners from monogamous cultures difficult. Compounding this struggle is the fact that there is no ceremony for marriage in Nouex culture, couples simply stay together long enough to be seen as such.  


Both men and women tend to grow their hair to shoulder length, allowing it to curl upwards at its ends. Light strings or metal bands are inserted midway to separate the back of their hair into two split halves, many will even cut the center of their hair shorter to give this gap a wide triangular shape. For those who grow their hair even longer, it is often tied into two knots on the top of the head. Men commonly allow their curly beards to grow, and separate them into two halves akin to their hair.   Skinny, fit bodies are preferred by many Nouex— with their history and treatment at the hands of the Coulqepluex, weight is seen as a sign of wealth and decadance— it is thus shunned. Fitness is seen as an indication of a hard worker, one who has done much to aid their community.  


All shoulders are needed to support one's community, the Nouex do not arbitrarily split this between men and women.  

Art, Architecture, & Dress


Nouex art is often collaborative in nature, as many believe that when artists come together to create something— their result will be something greater than any of them could have made alone. The most popular medium for the Nouex is chalk, which, in settlements primarily made of stone, can be applied practically anywhere. Some artists, even, take great effort to create their work in hard to find places, making them even more meaningful for the few who come across them. Pieces are commonly symbolic, utilizing colorful collages of shapes with occasionally recognizable subjects— most often being human, or the heart.  
There's a peace to it— creating something I know will wash away.
— Nouex chalk artist
  In recent years, more have taken up painting— given its longer lifespan, and greater ease of commodification. An unknown artist— or artists— among them has painted great works along public surfaces, before hiding the paint beneath chalk pieces. This creates dynamic works of art that change with the weather, which may go undiscovered for months at a time. Given the furtive nature of their work, none have yet to identify them.  


Nouex homes tend to be larger, communal structures that house two to four families at a time. These structures are carved from stone in simple shapes, with geometric notches often carved into their corners for decoration. Many homes will have roofs of wood and straw, rather than stone, as these breathe more easily in the hot summers.   The furniture found within these homes tends to be large, or in large quantities, to support the number of people living within. Tables take up entire rooms, one will typically find stools in place of chairs, and beds are built into bunks that can fit more neatly into cramped spaces.  


Most Nouex don white, brown, or yellow robes that are fastened along their left side with metal buttons. These robes tend to reach only just below the knee, as this is not only cheaper to produce than the ankle-length robes donned by others such as the Coulqepluex, but many feel that these are significantly easier to move about in as they go about their often laborious work.   Simple leather sandals are often paired with wraps up to one's shins, to offer some form of protection.

Religion & Myth

The Nouex do not have a shared religion, though there are a few beliefs shared by many of their number. It is commonly believed that Chluetichlon is the embodiment of evil itself, some even see it as an avatar of bad luck or greed— whatever their particular belief, very few believe the cold, bottomless depths hold the capacity for love or kindness. Some think that the transformation undergone by their Coulqepluex brethren is directly responsible for many of their avaricious ways, and that if they could only find and destroy whatever had hypnotized them beneath the lake— they would rejoin the Nouex in working to uplift their communities.   There are those who disagree, however, and claim that the lake is not to blame for the greed of their neighbors. They argue that it is not the lake, but wealth itself that is evil— those entranced by its allure chose to pursue it, and the transformation of the Coulqepluex only aided their choices. After all, there are plenty among them who shun wealth as many Nouex do— and there are Nouex who live in extravagant mansions, thinking little of those they exploited to get there.  


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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Mar 22, 2024 10:12 by Myth Cross

There are many, many things that are excellent about this Article! From the Art style to the layout and design choices, its quite impactful! The Nouex people are very memorable and the choices made here reflects a deep culture! Absolutely awesome Article!


Tell me stories! Here's your Ticket to the World of Arc Sagas!

Mar 23, 2024 04:29 by Grace Gittel Lewis
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