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Cloud Clans

Naming Traditions

Family names

Star Names

A distinctive right reserved to the nobles of the four Cloud Hills whereby a family gains the name of a heavenly body and rite to add it to a family's heraldry. Such an honor can be granted or revoked over the generations by discretion of the king for notable acts.

Other names

Deification

A tradition of naming constellations after famous cloud citizens. Such an honor is permanent and even in cases where a family star name is withdrawn, can still point to a star cluster as their own.

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

Kean Reverence

In the past, the clans were a people in close contact with the Keans. Unlike the tyr or the yatei, the clouds served them, fought for them and worshiped them as their gods. The hornkin, in exchange, left for them their hills and shared their writing for which they shared with lesser tribes. Kean cultists who worshiped the lost gods endeavoured to grow closer to them by recreating many of their arts; the most well knowing being the constructed language Eeatian.  

High Hills

The cloud people carved settlements out of the extremely dense mountain forests among the four Ñuñu hills and with the Marañón and Huallaga cross space between them.   Throughout the floodlands, regardless of culture, the high ground is apparent and immensely important. Come the flood season, only the truly desperate are anywhere near the lands' valleys. So much so, that any physical high ground is representative of the owner's right to rule; if for no greater reason than to provide refuse.

Shared customary codes and values

Paternity Eye Test

Parentage is important to the clans for sake of heritage rights. Nobles would tell you of an alarming number of tales where their friends and clan allies fell to ruin and were replaced by false sons and deceptive daughters.   It was long known that the uniquly coloured eyes of a cloud person is anaclitic to the shades of their parents. Therefore, looking into a child's eyes became a method of identifying true parentage. At times; it was obvious, one cannot expect green eyed parents to spawn blue eyed children. However, much like casks of spilled dyes, the clans of many colours have been intermarring and mixing shades with each other and regular brown eyed people that making a distinction has become subjective. It is totally possible for a blue and yellow eyed parents to birth a bluish green, a normal green, or a yellow-green, white or black eyed child.  

Xenophobia

For this reason, many people of the cloud developed a paranoia of foreigners scheming against them and became self isolating up to the current time. Along a similar trend; the eye test- for better or worse- evolved to become a driving force to population control. By exiling former heirs, they created a tradition of exploration by forcing ousted offspring to expand cloud country elsewhere and maintaining the status quo by ensuring fathers had a civil process for rising their chosen successor.

Average technological level

Textiles

Weaving
Normal weaving consists of interlacing two sets of yarns at right angles to each other. The yarns that run the length of the woven fabric are called warp yarns and the yarns that run across from side to side are called weft yarns.
Twining
A very labor-intensive technique imported from across the falls, in which threads of yarn are braided by hand. It gives weavers great control over their product, allowing them to weave intricate patterns of animals and figures from common life and mythology.
 

Writing

The writing style of the clans is a throw back to the time of their Keanian servitude. It incorporates geometric designs, especially checkerboard motifs, with repeated patterns (tocapus) across the surface of the cloth. Certain patterns serve as ideograms and abstract forms of plants and animals carry specific meaning or ideas.  

Music

The clans had lived melodious lives and created a host of songs used specifically for daily life. For example, there are the weaving chants, fishing tunes, bihorn calls, dance rhythms, funeral laments, labour tones, breeding cliniques and the spiral songs for their religious observances.
Log Drums
Short hollowed out logs covered on both ends with tanned hides that are beaten with sticks. The are strapped to the drummer by a sash that allows the drum to rest by the waist. Different logs are filled with water of differing amount, sponges or beads to get various resonances when struck.
Leaf Flutes
These are made of large tree leaves folded into tubular shapes to produce echoing, airy and whistle sounds. The leaves can be folded into square shapes the size of a hand or multiple-segmented folded leaves, as tall as a man, connected via twine and flexible wood fibers.

Common Dress code

Clothes are simple in style, and most were made using either cotton or wool; generally colored in red, green, yellow, orange using earth pigments, plants, minerals, insects, and molluscs to indict which of the four hills the original clans inhabit. In addition to feathers and precious metal decorations, specific designs patterns demark family groups (ayllu), specific communities or their regional heritage that circulate motifs often produced for the state as a tax, as gifts in rituals and special ceremonies like as weddings, births, rites of passage, and burned as votive offerings to the gods.

Males

The typical male attire was a loincloth and a simple tunic (unqo) made from a single sheet folded over and stitched at the sides with holes left for the arms and neck. Under strong ocean winds, a cloak or poncho was worn on top and patterned simply with common square designs at the waist and fringes and a triangle marking the neck.  
Military Tunic
One standard design consists of a black and white checkerboard design with an inverted red triangle at the neck.

Females

Women typically wore a single large cloth wrapped around the body which was pinned at the shoulder and held in place with a waist belt or sash called a chumpi. On top of this a cloak could be worn, again pinned at the front, to protect against the ocean winds.

Art & Architecture

Coral and Stone Construction

Many buildings are characterized by circular stone constructions as well as raised platforms built on the slopes of their four hills. These walls, sometimes decorated with symbolic figures, particularly birds, are the oldest parts of the cloud settlements and upon them are built extensions made of pink and white coral.  

Tunnels of Luya

It is a natural cave system that has been expanded and stylized as a burial site of the most important of the cloud people. The walls within the tunnels are painted to represent stages of a ritual dance and of couples holding hands.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Burial

There are two funeral patterns typical to cloud culture. Both instances involve the dead being wrapped in multiple layers of fine textiles and a small votive figure doll dressed in cloth of the deceased and left in burial chambers.
Luya Catacombs
Here, a sarcophagi containing the dead is placed vertically in one of the caves that were excavated at the highest point of the precipices of the outer Giant's Rib.
Cloud Country Mausoleums
Groups of mausoleums built like tiny houses located in caves worked into cliffs and ditches within the Ñuñu hills among the living space of both commoners and nobles.

Common Taboos

Marriage to Outsiders

The cloud people haughtily believe they are the most attractive people in the world. And they're kind of right.
Pochteca visitor
Thus so, only comparatively handsome people can be counted as suitable spouses. There is a wide spread fear of diluting the clans' beauty, such that unrelated communities express their opinions to those of marriageable age. If a marriage to an outsider is to take place, then the defecting person is exiled from ever returning to the Ñuñu hills.

Common Myths and Legends

The Immortal Kings

Four of the twelve immortal kings of the Floodland stories were of the clans. One of them is rumoured to have acquired his immortality through the flower girl. These individuals have been remembered as the most bloodthirsty in history; and for the times when they came from cloud country was an increase in the civil violence to unprecedented levels.

Historical figures

Cizin the First

The first immortal king of the Floodlands and founder of Cloud Country as an imperially ambitious entity after the demise of the Kean.  

Acahuana the Heartless

A devout cloud country general who greatly expanded the country's territory and later assassinated after 300 years of service in the Brine Marshes.  

Huami One-Half

The revolting head of a cloud clan hill against Cizin which brought years of fighting inside the heart of the country.  

Yumurco the Wisher King

A former governor of the Yatei Hills who successfully rebelled against the Cloud Empire. He is accused to have unleashed the painted plagues that overtook the country.

Ideals

Beauty Ideals

The cloud clans are thought of as an indisputably beautiful people. Their origin tales during the Keanian era describe themselves as being plainly white until the Keans introduced the colours of their world to them. Ordinarily, such a story would have been thought of as being metaphorical, but given the clans are a mix of multiple atypical colours; it is inferred that the hornkins introduced an unknown element into the environment.

Skin

Cloud people are generally of a lighter disposition than other groups of people, which in itself is not odd, except that their skin carries tinges of pink, blue, grey and yellowness.

Eyes

Cloud people are most known for their wider palette of coloured irises that sometimes extend to the whites of their eyes. They recorded such shades as yellow, green, purple, blue, gold, red, orange and any colour in between.

Gender Ideals

Males

Martial Skills
Tests of racing, marksmanship, simulated combat and to see if one could stay awake for a long period were held yearly; with the addition of swimming being tested during the flood season. Men also practiced weaving so they could maintain proper garb during campaigns.

Females

Domestic Skills
Women of all classes are expected to be accomplished at weaving. In this they used the backstrap loom for small pieces and either the horizontal single-heddle loom or vertical loom with four poles for large pieces, such as rugs and blankets.

Relationship Ideals

Monogamous Marriage

Marriage for the common people was always strictly monogamous. There was, however, a time when monogamy was not strictly imposed on the nobility, but as paternity became an issue men tended to only have one wife. All for except Cizin, who always had a company of several hundred concubines throughout his long reign.

Major organizations

Cloud Country
Organization | Dec 12, 2020

Cloud Country

The home territory of the cloud clans that consist of the Ñuñu hills, but in the past included the Haunt of the Marshes, the Mist Shores, the Painted Beaches and the Flooded Slopes along the Bad Step.
Imperial Cult
Organization | Dec 9, 2020

Imperial Cult

A remnant from cloud country's imperial era's worship of the country's immortal king Cizin, from when he was an emperor, and some members of his family with divinely sanctioned authority.   Its introduction was highly controversial as Keanian worship had been the predominate fate since the Keanian era. But as the population turned to the state cult, conservative groups moved away from the hills to practice in autonomous communities along the shoulders of the Giant.

Former Territories

Painted Beaches
Geographic Location | Aug 24, 2020
Mist Shores
Geographic Location | Aug 27, 2020
Haunt
Geographic Location | Dec 17, 2020
Foggy Hills
Geographic Location | Aug 26, 2020

A scatterings of hills in-between Ñuñu and Yates where cultists populate isolated but well known pockets.

Gaioor
Settlement | Jun 2, 2020

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Cover image: Eyes by Luis Mujsant

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