Capital City: Ichtaca
Relative World Location: Isla Tecuani, Northeastern Othonia
Current Ruler / Title: Emperor Xiuhcoatl
Type of Government: Monarcy
Military Structure: palace guard, warrior tribes, border patrols, hunting parties
Guild Associations/Headquarters: Artisans, Homecrafters
Cultural Advantage: Reduced cost buy-in to Artisans or Homecrafters Guild (player's choice), half cost buy-in to the Junglewalker martial school
Association/Affinity: fire, fierceness, determination, dedication
Tecuanitzl is a island, roughly a third the size of Amari'z, located of the northernmost coast of Maerisius. The Great Northern Current brings warm tropical waters from the southern end of the continent and keep the climate moderate along the coast. The island is essentially a bowl of tropical jungle, surrounded on 3/4 of the coast by high cliffs and mountainous peaks. The remaining 1/4 of the coastline on the western side of the island is traditional beachhead, leading into a dense jungle throughout the interior.
The land is lush with vegetation and animal life, and the jungle provides nourishment for its inhabitants in abundance. Coconuts, bananas, mangos, and kiwi are gathered daily, and hunting parties regularly venture out in search of fresh meat. Corn is the primary crop grown throughout the interior regions, and no meal is complete without corn in some form. In fact, the Avatar of Life, Zipactonal, is said to breathe her blessing into the corn to ripen the ears for harvest, so to eat corn in any form is literally to imbibe the blessing of the Avatar. It is both their most sacred food and their most versatile. They also grow beans, chili peppers, and cacao. The majority of people live in the lush jungle in the island's center, however there is a barren area in the southern tip that is home to several active volcanoes.
The inhabitants in that area all fled when the volcanoes awoke, however the common theory is that the sleeping giants are the key to why the island stays so tropical in such a northern clime. Few venture into the mountains that ring the island, for the area is quite slippery and treacherous, with sheer cliffs and waterfalls tumbling precariously at every turn. The cliffs funnel the water into the sea or down into the valley, culminating in one of the most powerful rivers in all of Othonia, the Atzintli Hueyapan.
Two other major rivers flow through the land as well, all eventually winding their way down to the beachhead. The capital city itself is high in the mountains, on the eastern edge of the island. It was built in reverence to the Sun at the highest peak on the island. From the rear balconies of the palace one can see the sea to the east, facing the rising sun, and from the causeway leading into the palace, one can see the the sunset over the sea with the mountains of Maerisius in the distance.
Taca: Tecuanici (Northeastern and Central Tecuanitzl)
Ruler: Emperor Xiuhcoatl
Notable Cities: Chalchiuitl, Chimalli, Yolotli, Huehueteotl, Cozamalotl, Necalli, Tlachinolli
The Tecuanii people, from which the island nation gets its name, inhabit the vast majority of the island. The Emperor has struck a peace accord with Citlamina of the Itzcali people, and has agreed to let them keep their territory unmolested. As such, Tecualitzl is essentially a dual Monarchy. Which ruler one answers to simply depends on which territory you are standing in at any given time. The Itzcali maintain their solitude and reclusive nature, trading only occassionally with the Tecuanii. Based on population numbers and cities, however, there is no dispute that the Tecuanii are the ruling people of the island, and the Itzcali are content to keep it that way. The people of the highlands, near the palace, are generally herdsmen and craftsmen, and have adapted well to the colder mountain climate. They wear warm clothing, knitted ponchos being the most popular garment, and generally gravitate towards a very peaceful existance.
People in the western valley tend to be a more agricultural people. The subtropical climate of the are lends itself well to lighter weight garments and less material. They make up the majority of the jungle patrols, primarily to protect their own farms and roads. Farther out, in the eastern coastal valley, a tropical climate abounds. The villagers there are more laid back and casual than the more serious folks farther inland. They gather natural foods from the jungle, and hunting or fishing parties venture out regularly for fresh meat. Their warriors are fierce when their lands are threatened, repelling invaders through crafty hit and run tactics of jungle warfare and setting clever traps along the roadways. The people of the coastal region take great pride in music, making and playing steel drums and various woodwind instruments made from reeds found along the river and coast. During festivals, they can be seen dancing carefully choreographed routines in traditional grass skirts and flowered adornments. Their everyday garments tend to be loose and comfortable, and made of lightweight materials.
As a whole, the Tecuanii are vastly different from region to region, but their sense of nationality and loyalty to their Emperor is strong, despite their differences. They will defend their island ferociously if invaded, as Maerisius recently found out. Roughly twenty cycles ago, the Explorer's Guild sent a party to make contact with the Tecuanii people. They had long been content to leave the island and its native people in peace, however the recent increase in piracy by the infamous Swordfish fleet led the Guilds to believe that the island could house their base of operations. Hoping to disprove the suspicion, a scouting party was sent to investigate. When the landing party arrived, they were greeted with outright hostility. The naval officers providing escort immediately, defended the Guildmasters. The resulting battle lasted nearly two weeks, with the Maerisian landing parties being dogged incessantly by the Tecuanii's hit and run jungle warfare tactics.
Fearing greater casualties, the beachhead was abandoned and the Guildmasters returned to the ships. Sailing around the island provided only a wall of unscaleable cliffs and waterfalls tumbling precariously into the ocean. Returning to the beach, the Maerisian navy resorted to firebombing the jungle and retreating to the ships under cover of flame. When the stalemate began to endanger their forests, the Emperor sent a peace party to meet with the Guildmasters, and a peace accord was struck. Since that time, the Tecuanii have housed the Artisans and Homecrafters Guild Headquarters.
To visit the Guild Halls, one must journey along the well-patrolled jungle road from the beach to the far side of the island, climb the mountain, and cross the Great Bridge. The great palace of Ichtaca is located on top of a mountain, its city sprawled out down the mountain's face nearly to the valley below. To traverse the city, one must climb a vast array of ladders and stairs, rope bridges and primative elevators. Certainly, it is not for the faint of heart or anyone afraid of heights.
Llamas are used for a variety of purposes and craft goods, and herds of goats and shaggy cattle can be seen grazing beside the shepherds' huts. Corn is the main staple, grown mostly in the valley, and is considered a Gift of the Avatars. To eat anything with corn is to partake of Their blessing. They also enjoy both coffee and chocolate, made from the cacao plant. In fact, until the trade treaty, the majority of the world had never tasted chocolate, coffee, or the various tropical fruits native to the island. Since the establishment of export crops, the Guilds have worked with the local people to set up plantations in order to grow such crops more efficiently and fuel the world's demand for the rare delicacies.
Tecuanii are known for their intricate weavings, carvings, pottery, and adornments. They will seldom let anything go to waste if they can think of a use. Overall, they are a very practical, detail oriented people, who do not believe in doing less than their best possible work when set to a task. Being the newest arrivals in the affairs of world politics, they are viewed as a curiosity, and not currently considered to be a serious world power. Still, they are making progress in adapting to the outside world, just as the world must adapt to them in turn.
Taca: Itzcali (Northwestern Tecuanitzl)
Subcultural Advantage: 1/2 cost to purchase Resilient advantage, 1/2 cost buy-in to the Path of the Unseen Warrior martial school
Notable Cities: none known
Reputation: The city of Chinampas is the only established city within Itzcali. Elsewhere throughout their territory, there are homesteads and farming communities, but nothing terribly organized. Citlamina rules with and iron fist, ruling over a matriarchal monarchy that treats its men as second class citizens. Her first born daughter, Coaxoch, leads the Warrior Caste, while her younger daughter, Teicuih, rules the Priestess Caste. The warrior women protect their territory and sacred grounds fiercely, and patrol their borders in small parties of well-concealed warrioresses. These women are the sole providers and protectors, leaving the men to work the farms and handle household chores. The city's center is a floating, mutli-tiered garden, dotted with water gardens and waterfalls, bridges and parks. At its center is their most sacred temple, devoted to Zipactonal, the Avatar of Light and Life. The Priestesses of Zipactonal tend the gardens and cook the public meals and great feasts for the Palace and various gatherings and celebrations. Overall, they are a very warm and kind people, but they are extremely suspicious of outsiders, particularly male outsiders. Most non-Itzcali males who lay eyes on the gardens do so in chains, if they survive crossing the border. There is only one road in or out of the city, though you can be assured that anyone wishing to cross into their territory will be stopped, searched, and questioned at length. The Itzcali rarely venture out of their territory, and generally perfer to be left to their own devices.
Taca: Zacualco (Southern Tecuanitzl)
Please note: this territory / SubCulture is not open to playable characters at this time.
Ruler: none known
Capital: none known
Notable Cities: none known
The literal translation of Zacualco is "Lost Lands" in Tecuanii. This barren landscape was once lush and green, with villages and temples throughout. When the Guilds first came, some twenty cycles ago, the forest in the southnmost end of the island began to die off. Some blamed the Guilds, some blamed the Maerisian troops that invaded the area, some said it was a Curse. Truthfully, no one knows why the jungle died, for no evidence was ever found. At the time, the locals theorized that perhaps the foreigners brought unknown insects or parasites with them, though no trace of any such creatures were ever found.
Eventually, even the people began to get sick, leading many to believe it was a tainted water source causing the damange. All manner of tests were done on the water and land and trees and people, but no cause for any of the blight was ever determined. When the sickness began to spread, those who were well enough fled the area. Those who stayed clear cut a swath of healthy forest across the island from mountain to mountain, cutting off the southern tip completely. In an effort to save the rest of the island, they burned what was left in the swath, leaving naught but grey ash and smoking timbers where ancient jungle once stood. No one knows what became of the villagers that were left, for none were seen again after the Great Cutting.
Thankfully, their sacrifice was not in vain. The sickness did not spread across the deadened areas, and the remainder of the island was spared. Over time, the active volcanos cleansed the rest of the land, and vegetation began to grow again. Today, the jungle is nearly as lush as it once was, though the canopy will never be fully traversable like the rest of the island. Rumors have begun spreading through the villages bordering Zacualco that dark figures move in the shadows across the Cutting, eyes glowing like embers in the night. Periodically, children will disappear in the night, never to be seen again. It is believed that there may be a cult of Scarlet Maccaws that have taken up residence in the area.