Ytzklapon

Yiht-z-klah-pahn

They came from the sea, riding atop that great pale lizard. Many tried to escape by the roads— but the spiral heads had flown down like birds, and blocked them. I watched from a hill as my host's home disappeared into the monster's gullet.
— A Rektouzk trader
  Ytzklapon is a nomadic nation and religious organization set upon the back of the great lizard Ytzkla?— whom the faithful revere as a god. Ytzklapon exists to serve Ytzkla, who wishes regain their supposed former glory— by devouring all of mankind.

Extra Info

Type
Nomadic country
Capital
The City of Ytzklapon
Leader
Ytzkla
Leader (State)
Ytzklatich
Governmental System
Theocratic monarchy
Current Location
Cipou Canyon
Ethnicities
Ytzklaponeu
 

A Pale Myth

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The Ytzklaponeu? who inhabit the nation believe that, long ago, a once peaceful city was onset by famine, war, and death. Its citizens had begun fighting amongst themselves, and the blood spilled by their conflicts seeped into the earth beneath them, saturating the soil and reaching the lips of the slumbering Ytzkla. Ytzkla awoke, and rose from the ground. They offered salvation to the man who would become the first Ytzklatich ?— a Ytzklaponeu monarch with the ability to commune with the pale lizard itself. This was a reward for awakening the beast. All he had to do was swear loyalty to the pale lizard, and, as a show of his loyalty— sacrifice his family to Ytzkla. An act repeated during each Ytzklatich coronation. Shortly after this, those who remained within the city were either unified under their new banner or sacrificed to the pale lizard's maw.   As the Ytzklatich communed with them, Ytzkla claimed that a cruel and jealous being attacked them long ago— cutting them to pieces and scattering these across the land. These pieces became mankind, who enjoyed a long period of life and prosperity— but this now had to end. Ytzkla needed to reclaim their former self, and would do so by consuming each and every piece. The Ytzklaponeu believe that, in return for their loyalty, they will be spared until last.   For centuries they have wandered across Qet on Ytzkla's back, destroying cities, capturing slaves and anything else they could scavenge; many cultures tell tales of the nomadic nation, and some are only told by the crumbling and forgotten ruins left in their wake. They will not stop until their divine goal is met. Their true history lost to time as they see it unfit to keep record of what lay behind them.    

Governing Structure

Ytzklapon is, ultimately, ruled by Ytzkla themselves— however, Ytzkla does not spend their every moment ruling. Instead, they communicate primarily with the Yztklatich who, in turn, takes these directives and shares them with the nation.   The Ytzklatich is also given considerable freedom with which to lead, so long as they obey Ytzkla first and foremost. Ytzkla themselves appoints each Ytzklatich— causing the spines embedded within them to vibrate suddenly and unceasingly.
Once selected, the new leader makes their way to the Ytzklatolix?— the nation's grand temple— atop the pale lizard's head, where they proceed with the Ytzklatich coronation.   Afterwards, they will select four Tichyiltz— one for each Tolix— who will in turn appoint as many yiltz under them as are needed. To summarize; laws are determined by Ytzkla, entrusted to and declared by the Ytzklatich, and finally enforced by yiltz and the military when deemed necessary.
   

Architecture

The layout of Ytzklapon is centered around the structure of the old city, which was unplanned in its making. Over the years, crumbling and worn parts of this were taken down, making way for a central road along the pale lizard's spine— leading directly to the Ytzklatolix. Beyond this, however, the city is laid out haphazardly to create a veritable labyrinth. Denizens of the city make use of Ytzkla's towering spines— and other landmarks such as the four tolix— in order to make their way through the winding streets.  

Assets, Industry, & Trade

Ytzklapon's borders are confined to the back of Ytzkla. Unlike most of their contemporaries, they simply abandon the territories they conquer— stripping them of what they can before moving on to the great lizard's next meal. Lands ravaged by the nation often fall into the hands of others nearby— provided that Ytzklapon does not find them first. Despite this, they are not entirely landlocked, so to speak— as Ytzkla fills their stomach, they grow, giving more room for the city atop their back to expand.  

Plundered wares

Much of the metals, clays, wood, and other earthen materials used to build the nation and maintain its army are gained only by looting, as the Ytzklaponeu have long since forgotten their methods of extracting them from the ground they seldom touch.
  Somehow, Ytzkla is always on the path to another settlement— never getting lost. Periods between raids rarely last long enough for the nation to suffer.

Self-sufficiency

Some materials— such as silk— were first gained by looting, but the methods of creating them have since been learned by torturing or bribing captured slaves, reading, or extrapolating information. Water is collected from one particularly tall spine towards the center of Ytzkla's back, hollowed out to act as a reservoir.   Soil and seeds, once looted, are planted and grown in tall, terraced farms carved into the bases of some of the lizard's thickest spines.
  The military, alongside slaves taken from their conquests, carry valuables and essentials such as food, livestock, and precious metals up Ytzkla's flattened tail— which serves as a bridge to the world below, and the main entrance into the city.    

Army of the Faithful

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Ytzklapon's military— referred to as Ytzklaxoli— is composed of all able-bodied adult citizens. They train from the time they are children, until the day they die— always ready to bring their god what they ask of them. Wearing their traditional clothing— including the cluetolxli,? the Ytzklaxoli wield short arm-mounted blades called ytzklachli.? These are forged from the spines of Ytzkla, and possess unnatural heat when near their god— allowing them to burn their enemies. These blades, often being cast with a gauntlet— can act as a soldier's defense in place of a shield.   The goal of most battles is to enable Ytzkla to devour as many souls as possible. In order to surround a settlement and stop civilians from fleeing, Ytzklaxoli will don gliders— known as ytzklaxoli culcatin?— and leap from the pale lizard's back. Ytzkla, in turn, will create gusts of wind in various directions to quickly enable the troops to block all notable exits.   Another particularly cruel tactic involves sending a single, gold-wearing individual to act as bait, bearing gifts for the populace somewhere far from the settlement's exits. By the time the trap is realized— it is already too late.  

Religion

The church of Ytzklapon teaches that all of mankind was born from Ytzkla's broken body, and now, must return to their origins. Man is lesser, and they must serve their master until they rejoin them. Sacrifice is common, from incense, and fasting— to one's very life.  

Tenets

The sun shall not shine upon the scripture. The scripture is holy, do not allow the sun nor the open air to rest upon it. For that which is embedded under your skin, cover it. It is for this reason that we don our Cluetolxli.
Hunger not. For Ytzkla's burden is greater. Your sorrow, your pain, your hunger— it is insignificant compared to that which Ytzkla has endured for untold centuries.
Man is naught but Ytzkla's viscera. Remember where we came from. We have enjoyed our time in the sun, now we must return to whence we came.
We are connected by a thread of blood. And we are bound to our fates by it. We are all Ytzkla's children, and to them we must return.
 

Practice & Worship

Milestones

At birth, the mother and father will fast for up to three days to atone for the sin of further diluting Ytzkla's body— necessary it may be. If their armies do not aid Ytzkla, who else will?
  All Ytzklaponeu undergo the klapnot? at key stages in their lives, afterwards donning their cluetolxli. This will be worn for the remainder of their lives.   When one dies, they are brought to a room in the nearest tolix, after this room is filled, their body is fed to Ytzkla.

Prayer & Incense

Incense is common throughout Ytzklapon rituals and prayers, it is believed that surrounding oneself with incense made from crushed spine or skin from Ytzkla is akin to being swallowed by the great lizard— and thus the scents of smoke with a strangely sickening, sweet hint permeate much of the city.
  To pray, one will kneel with their hands closed behind their neck, facing Ytzkla's head. Words of prayer are uttered in guttural tones— as if from the stomach— and low in volume, steadily increasing towards the end.
 

Priesthood garb

The Ytzklatich is distinguished by their exposed shoulders, embedded within which are fragments of Ytzkla's teeth, pointed towards the sky.   Tichyiltz wear pointed copper epaulets to symbolize the teeth of the Ytzklatich. Yiltz simply wear an orange cloth which drapes over their shoulders.

Insensitive Incense

Every now and then, one coughs, or sneezes when exposed to burning incense. Rather than as an allergy or simple reaction— this is seen as their body rejecting Ytzkla.   The affected person must fast, pray, and bear the smoke to rid themselves of this impurity. Should it fester, their fate is left to a yiltz. Commonly this leads to more intense fasting, flagellation, and in extreme cases— sacrifice.
 

Heresy & Sects

No sects deviating from the true faith are permitted, those found deviating from orthodox faith are often ostracized or punished. Apostates are sentenced to death without appeal. Despite this, there are a few apostates who have managed to escape the city, however, most famously— the Tihuetil? and their leader Tihuekla Rol.?
 

Education

Most Ytzklaponeu are taught the rules and expectations of their faith by an elder yiltz, but beyond this, they merely learn what is needed of their occupation. Some yiltz have taken extra care in their education, but these are far and few between.  

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Read more about: Ytzklapon

Comments

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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4 Oct, 2019 11:39

1. I always, always[/I] appreciate an abstract at the start. It helps to get a basic idea, and gives a simple explanation of what we read about later in detail.   2.The pale myth, reads like a myth, which I also appreciate greatly. It's not just a dry retelling of what people believe, I can imagine it being told to the young by a stern but caring teacher. It helps to build immersion after reading the summary at top.   3. I appreciate that lack of record keeping. It makes complete sense to me. The very beautiful metaphorical message of not looking behind you has very practical applications; the folk rest easier without the weight of their nations acts on their shoulders.   4.The governing body section feels very wordy, which ultimately is necessary, and you have done good to link up articles on top of providing a further reading list on the side.   5.What do people say about the religious army? It definitely sounds like a kind of people where if you're loosing and don't think you can escape, the advice would be to die on your own terms.   6. Ah, I am a sucker for very vague, mystical tenets.   7. Those are some taboos. Definitely feel alien to me, but totally within an understandable realm of their culture and history.   Honestly, a wonderful piece of work as always Garrett!

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
4 Oct, 2019 20:22

Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it!
  You are correct, in the cases where they find themselves losing they would try to go out their way— many are content with the prospect of being consumed by Ytzkla even if they cannot return, and are much more likely to keep fighting and keep their enemies in range of the pale lizard than off themselves or race to their deaths.

1 Jun, 2021 00:14

Nicely done, you gotta love cities on the top of giant creatures

May you forever find your way on the journey you set out on and make yourself greater.
The Sagas world cover
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
1 Jun, 2021 19:44
Eternal Grandmaster AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
1 Jun, 2021 07:34

This is absolutely fascinating! I love everything about the concept of a city on the back of a giant murderous lizard, but especially the whole religion that developed around the lizard and that everyone is expecting to die to join back with their body. This is also a great justification for all the human sacrifices.   It's interesting to see the how the lizard twisted the story Auroul to make themselves seems in the right. and I love the ways you've made the city almost completely self sustainable.   I like that you included a section on how births are perceived, as that would indeed go against their religion. Fasting just after birth sounds dangerous, I imagine that it increases the mortality rate for the mother...   I was wondering for a while what was the benefits of forming an alliance for the lizard, but that's because the soldiers prevent the people from the attacked city from flying, right? By accepting to keep them around, that allows the lizard to have bigger meals.   Has anyone ever been able to resist attack from the lizard and their people?

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
1 Jun, 2021 19:50

Thank you! I also really appreciate that you read the Auroul/Ytzkla articles! I debated whether or not to include the true history in this article or to leave it in those, figured it was best to keep it concise this way.   Yes, you are correct— the main benefit is that the soldiers enable Ytzkla to have greater feasts.   I do plan to mention some who have repelled them! I'll mention it whenever I write their articles.

4 Jun, 2021 12:18

Every time I read more about this culture, they freak me out more and more. D: I can't imagine how terrifying it would be to see that pale lizard bearing down on your home.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
4 Jun, 2021 15:50

That's good haha, thanks!

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