Nouex

The Nouex are a proud people who often shun the pursuit of monetary gain— having witnessed the ethical downfall of their Coulqepluex countrymen. They form proud, tight-knit communities and fight side-by-side with other groups within Rektouzk such as the Tollouchi against the Coulqepluex status quo.  

Tropical Adjustments

The Nouex are adapted to the dense tropical forests of central Rqet. Their skin color ranges from darker to lighter olive-toned, always growing lighter below their knees and under their green or brown wide-set eyes. Dark brown to black hair that tends to curl at its ends sits atop their heads, and for men, great curly beards grow below. Nouex stand commonly around 4'9" to 5'5". Similarly to their Lliaqeu and Hontualieu contemporaries, they tend to be fairly lithe in build due to their heated environment.   They tend to have shorter, flatter noses, which rest upon rounded features. The backs of their elbows extend outward 3-5" in wide, bony points— somewhat akin to shovels. These can be used for stripping bark, digging, or as weaponry in a pinch. Unlike their Coulqepluex countrymen, Nouex live into their 60s or even 80s on occasion.    

Downtrodden

At first, there were three tribes— including the Coulqepluex, living along the shores of the great lake Chluetichlon. These tribes had spent generations at war, a war finally resolved when the Coulqepluex procured mysterious gold and gemstones— buying peace with the nearest tribe. Together, the two descended upon the remaining tribe, conquering them, and forming the nation of Rektouzk. Shortly after this the Coulqepluex began to change. Strange rituals began to be performed commonly, and newborns were being baptized within the bottomless, cold waters of Chluetichlon, their bodies changing into the familiar visages we see today soon after.   Not all within the newly formed nation were happy to join in these new practices, and, thankfully, were not forced to participate. They were vindicated in their choice when a mysterious, condition began to kill off anyone above 30— holi. Those who avoided the bottomless lake's waters were spared from whatever horrid curse had afflicted the Coulqepluex. This felt like great luck to many of the older survivors.  
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  However, before long, those who had declined baptism at birth became easily distinguishable from those who had. Beyond the obvious differences in appearance— they lived nearly twice as long, and disaster seemed to follow them. Only homes of the unbaptized would collapse in storms, the faithful were safe. Only the unbaptized's crops failed, while the Coulqepluex had an overabundance of food. Monsters only attacked the unbaptized— ignoring the Coulqepluex completely.   As if they were no longer human.   And yet the Nouex lived within their borders. Supposedly attracting tragedy and death. Many Coulqepluex began to see them as dangerous, that something had to be done about them in order to protect themselves— sentiments that their leadership only helped to cultivate. The Nouex bore witness to the changes in their brethren— and actively worked to pull them away from the faith that was clearly cutting their lives short. It was during this time that the term "Nouex" to both describe and separate the unbaptized from the baptized was coined. "Nouex" roughly translates to "People of the shore" in a now dead predecessor to Qetlec. While the Nouex may not find it derogatory today— the intent behind its coining was to degrade them as it was seen by the Coulqepluex to be incredibly humiliating. The term implies that they are close to their god— yet refuse to step in. Of course, to the Nouex, seeing the Coulqepluex dying horrible, slow deaths— there was no shame in the term.  
  Years of rising tensions eventually culminated in the infamous Day of Flooding, a black spot on Rektouzk's history where many Nouex— and Coulqepluex apostates among them— were murdered in the midst of a great rainstorm by a mob of Coulqepluex who had decided to take the perceived issue into their own hands. The storm, too, had devastated Nouex-run settlements, which forced them to choose between the dangerous, monster-infested wilds (This was before centuries of fighting and hunting had diminished their numbers within Rektouzk lands)— or to concede any power they had left and live under Coulqepluex rule.   Some chose the wilds, few survived, most chose to continue living within Rektouzk's cities. These refugees were taken in on one condition— they agree to what became known as the "Flooded Treaty." This was written as a supposed compromise to check the perceived liability and danger of the Nouex— behind closed doors, this was a method through which to consolidate their power, create a cheap workforce, and force them to adopt the Coulqepluex religion. Firstly, they could no longer run businesses or own land without being vetted and approved by the authorities— something that would be incredibly difficult to achieve. Secondly, they could not join the ranks of Rektouzk's guard or military. (It wasn't until much later that Rektouzk began to use mercenaries in place of a state army— which falls under the first rule.) Thirdly, they cannot live within a certain ratio of other Nouex— lest another disaster strike. And finally, they cannot hold office— lest they invite ruin upon the whole nation. (This fourth agreement was removed centuries later after a group of particularly wealthy Nouex bribed politicians for its removal, though potential leaders must undergo a strict admittance process first.) As despicable as the treaty was, they had nowhere else to go, and agreed.   And a long history of being trod upon began in full. One that continues to this day.  
The Nouex continue to disrupt the wheels of capital, think, my friends, how much coin have you lost because they could not accept their lot and continue working til the day's end? Haven't they ever thought that if they simply never stopped working that they would be successful?
     

Traditions

 

Greetings & Farewells

When among their own, or trusted outsiders, Nouex will greet eachother by tapping the outer side of their right elbow-spikes twice. For family and friends, this is joined by a scrape as they pull their elbows back. Farewells are executed with the opposite elbow. When among the Coulqepluex, they adopt their greetings. If a Coulqepluex who is not close to a Nouex were to attempt an elbow-tap, the Nouex will often "accidentally" scrape them with their spike.  

Milestones

Birth

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All Coulqepluex are technically born as Nouex, and it is not until they are baptized within the bottomless lake Chluetichlon that their bodies become what is known as Coulqepluex. Therefore, all Nouex are not baptized within the foreboding lake, and the reasons for this can vary greatly. Some are simply born to Nouex parents, some find their journies delayed or too long, others may even be kept from the lake as an act of sabotage by competing traders.   For Nouex born to Nouex families, they are kept from water on the day of their birth, and are instead sprinkled with dirt. This not only is believed to protect them against the strange powers of Chluetichlon, but also mocks it as well. Some families instead baptize their newborns in bowls of sand, as a more direct mockery of the great lake.

Death

Once passed, the bodies of many Nouex are forcibly hauled away by Coulqepluex guards. They believe that their supposed bad luck stays with them even after death, and that dead bodies apply to the third agreement of the Flooded Treaty. In the dead of night, Nouex will attempt to hold secret burials to get around this— often beneath their homes as nightly patrols may not allow them to leave unseen. It is not uncommon for a Nouex home to have a pre-dug hole in the stone floor for just such an occasion.    

Ideals, Love, & Gender

Relationships

Nouex often form close bonds, partners are commonly found among long-time friends, neighbors, or co-workers. There is, in a sense, an unofficial shared partnership between all Nouex. There is no ceremony for marriage, couples simply stay together long enough to be seen as such.  

Beauty

Both men and women tend to grow their hair to shoulder length, allowing it to curl upwards at its ends. Light string or metal bands are used midway to separate the back of their hair into two split sides, many will cut hair growing in between shorter to give this gap a wide triangular shape. For those who grow their hair longer, it is often collected into two sides and tied into two knots on the top of the head. Men commonly allow their curly beards to grow, separating them into two halves similarly to their hair.   Skinny, fit bodies are preferred— with their history and treatment at the hands of the Coulqepluex, weight is seen as a sign of wealth— and shunned. Fitness is seen as an indication of a hard worker.  

Gender

All shoulders are needed to share the burden of work, the Nouex do not arbitrarily split this between men and women.    

Art, Architecture, and Dress

Art

The most popular medium for the Nouex is chalk, which, in settlements primarily made of stone, can be applied practically anywhere.
There's something peaceful about it— creating something I know will wash away. There's the message too— all of it sends a message, a message we will never stop sending: "The waters wash away beauty."
— Nouex chalk artist
Pieces are commonly symbolic, utilizing colorful collages of shapes with occasionally recognizable subjects— most often being human, or the heart.  

Architecture

 

Dress

Nouex clothing diverges only slightly from that of the Coulqepluex. Most Nouex clothing is plain white, as they cannot afford dyed fabric. Their robes are similarly loose-fitting, and are fastened along the left side with metal buttons (typically iron). Where they diverge is in their length, their robes tend to reach only just below the knee rather than to their ankles. This is not only cheaper to produce, but many feel that these are significantly easier to move about in as they go about their often laborious work.    

Religion & Myth

Many Nouex believe that Chluetichlon is the embodiment of evil itself, others 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. Wealth is similarly distrusted, with many believing that wealth itself is a curse that poisons the mind.
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Parent ethnicities
Related Organizations
Languages spoken

Naming

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.  

Taboos

Wealth is looked down upon, and only something to be used to get by. Flaunting it is especially frowned upon.   Those who do embrace the wealth-obsessed culture of the Coulqepluex are seen by a fair number of Nouex as traitors.  
I am simply getting by! I need all three homes, the first gets too wet in the rain, the second too hot in the dry season, and the third too cold in the cold seasons! Believe me, I have not forgotten my roots!
— A wealthy Nouex
 
 
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Hear us

Ever since the Flooded Treaty was signed, there have been numerous protests, riots, and attempted uprisings by the Nouex to gain equality.   Several of these fail mysteriously— though in recent years there have been astounding successes under similarly mysterious circumstances. Many believe the strange powers of Chluetichlon to be involved.  
Had the thought ever occurred to you that you could use that famed luck to help us instead of destroy us?
— Common Nouex chant
 
  Famous examples include riots that sprung up across various Rektouzk settlements after a Nouex woman became eligible to hold the title of Tichoul— but died of a heart attack on the day of her coronation.
  An earthquake soon followed the riots, cutting them short, leaving the survivors occupied picking up the pieces.   A protest that utilized musical instruments and song to coordinate across the Rektouzk capital was given a boon in the form of high wind, which carried their voices throughout the city. Shortly after, the first major renovation of a Nouex district found more than adequate funding— allowing for .  

The watchers

Coulyon, or, "goldwatchers" are those who are tasked with monitoring and recording the income of Rektouzk's many traders.   Rektouzk's leader, the Tichoul, is appointed periodically by whoever has earned the most in a given timeframe.   As this is seen as menial, dreary work— and the Nouex are largely kept out of the running due to their cultural shunning of monetary gain— this work is commonly left to them.   This creates a strange dynamic where the downtrodden are given one of the most powerful positions within Rektouzk— despite the many rights denied to them.   Several have taken advantage of this in order to appoint more empathetic leaders to preside over their communities. Some, even, have used this for personal gain, accepting bribes and recording lies in their records.   However, they are still ultimately overseen by the Coulchlek Merchant's Guild— and they, too, are often accepting of bribes from other parties— which includes both those opposed to and fighting for Nouex interests.

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