Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nation Spotlight: Umbrachtlan


For centuries, the cult to the god Harichtlan ruled over Technocticlan. The Priests and Priest-kings ruled over the land, offering tribute to the God of the sun and moon. Slowly, worship focused on Harichtlan's Sun aspect, and only in the other human nations was he still seen as the dual deity of day and night.

The priest class eventually became more concerned with their own power rather than the worship of Harichtlan, and slowly began to openly defy his edicts. Harichtlan still granted them spells and power, as their worship still pleased him, even if their actions frustrated him. The priest-kings even found a way through Magical crowns to siphon power from the sun itself to fuel their magic, making Harichtlan more and more of an abstraction and tool for control rather than their master.

When the war began, the Priest-Queen Ihuicatli had discovered a way to store the very power of the sun in crystals, and showed her priests and priestesses how to access this power as long as they were near enough to these "Sun-Diamonds". With this, the true service to Harichtlan ceased, and instead his true followers and agents became a small minority amongst the clergy. When Harichtlan ordered the nation to join the war as members of the faithful, less than 1 in 10 of the clergy took up his call, and they could only muster a small force of warriors to go with them.

As the war began to turn on the Faithful, the Priest-Kings were not concerned. They had found a way to connect their Sun-Diamonds into a network, meaning that those that had learned to fuel their divine power from the sun were incredibly strong during the day, but weaker during the night as the stored power began to wane. The Priests began to use this stored power for every minor task, assuming that their power would be as eternal as the sun.

During the Breaking, Harichtlan expended a great deal of power to summon forth a small moon, tidally locked over the nation, plunging almost two thirds of Technocticlan into darkness. The diminished amount of Sun-Diamonds able to funnel their power into the network caused the link to collapse, deactivating every single diamond when Priest-King Zipaclotl pulled forth too much power in an attempt to light up the great Ziggurat of Tziltlatoc to prevent civil unrest. The power still existed, but it could not be accessed.

Suddenly cut off from both there god, and the power they had forsaken him for, the priest class experienced open rebellion as the people panicked. The greatest Theocracy of the modern world was torn asunder in a matter of weeks, as revolution against the oppressive priest class spread like wildfire.

For over two decades, small factions and nascent nations rose and fell in the chaotic lands that were once Technocticlan. Refugees from the Eternal Night flooded into the areas that still received bleak sunlight, speaking of horrors that had come from the shadows, birthed of nightmares.

The saviour of the desperate people of these lands came 40 years after the Breaking from a humble and surprising place. Nihopitli, a wilder born with minor psionic abilities, sensed what she described as a vibration deep under the central Ziggurat of Zoniplt, the only major city that was still bathed in the sun. Though only 9 years old, she ventured into the crumbling catacombs and found a secret chamber, and within she found a large crystal, the last Sun-diamond, that had been constructed but left hidden before ever being bathed in the light of the sun. When the crystal was brought from the catacombs and the first rays of the sun touched it, the connection between all sun-diamonds was reactivated, and all of them flared to life, bathing their cities the glow of artificial sunlight for a full month.


The breaking shattered the culture of Technocticlan, their former customs and ways of life falling away under the harsh realities of survival. Formerly, their was a ruling class of clergy had an iron grip over the lower classes. Their entire culture centred around the worship and veneration of Harichtlan in his sun aspect. Over the centuries, this slowly changed to simple lip service to the deity, with the clergy instead controlling all aspects of daily life and acting with near impunity. After the priests lost the connection to their power, the revolution was swift and brutal, with the clergy and their families fleeing or slaughtered by mobs.

Umbrachtlan now exists as a series of loosely allied city-states, each with slightly different forms of government.  The most powerful of these is Zoniplt, the city with the only Sky-Diamond feeding sun energy into the network. The other states pay tribute to Zoniplt to ensure the safety and continued maintenance of this critical Sky Diamond.

Each city state has a slightly different culture, Ranging from the co-operative nature of the city of Techniplt to the city state of Nilzhipotl that runs of a ruthless mercantile structure. The one unifying theme of all the city states is an intense hatred of the divine. In saying that, there are secretive cults dedicated to the Echo-god Harichtlan, that believe that the eternal night is a just punishment for the hubris of the priest class.

Before the Breaking, the nation was a lush and hot mix of jungles, plains and fields. Now, it is a mostly barren tundra, though dangerous dark dwelling creatures have rapidly adapted to the sunless landscape. Umbrachtlan clothing tends towards warm layers, and items that provide light and/or warmth are prized. One distinctive item is the plizl, a layered coat lined with fur.

Language and Names

Umbrachtlanese naming conventions follow the old Technocticlanese naming conventions, which are agendered. In old Technocticlan, the lower class had simpler names rarely longer than two syllables. Those that were selected to enter the clergy had their old names replaced with high names that indicated lofty titles and concepts. Nowadays, high names are not reserved for the clergy, but rather those that rise to a lofty place in society. The grand council in Zoniplt has exclusive right to elevate individuals to high name status, an agreement that the other city states allow due to their need for Zoniplt's sky diamond.

Surnames do not exist in Umbrachtlan, but usually those with low names will say "Of (city of residence)" to denote where they are from, or state their occupation. Those of high names do not do this, as the distinction of a high name is more than enough.

In Technoclin, the language of Umbractlan, some letters are pronounced independently of one another at some times and combined in others. Example: The combination of CH in a word or name does not necessarily have the same sounds (K) (Sh) (Chah)  as can be expected, but rather each letter is pronounced. This quirk marks the difference between a native speaker and a foreign speaker. Repeated consonants

Low names: Almt, Arn, Bapzl, Butl, Caql, Cor, Enq, Eztl, Haptlz, Hin, Ir, Izl,  Ka, Kletzl, Luzt, Nat, Nokzl, Omzl, Ozlt, Quetz, Sltli, Szliml, Takl, Tetzl, Tzltl, Yzliml, Zatl Zemzl.

High names: Achcauhtli, Ahuizlitlilt, Chechatlitzl, Cipltlitziltalz, Eloxplitlizt, Etaplalzicz, Huitlzplzhuitlztz, Iccuahltzlimptlzp, Icnoyotlzli, Malzlinalxoxhitl, Mictlantecuhtlzltn, Nezlahaulcotyotl, Quetzltloztli, Tzlentzlcoatlzh, Xachiqueltlilz.

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