Yectic Teocuacayotl Matiyotl
- The Peculiar Institution
- Government & Religion
- Economy, Resources & Magic
- Old Citation & Collage
/meat/ has a tropical-subtropical climate. The northern and eastern coasts are humid during most of the year, while the western coast experience semi-arid weather all year round. The milder temperature due to higher elevation of the inland results in a subtropical highland climate dominating Nacatlah and Nacatlan region.
The majority of /meat/ homeland is located in the orogenic belt comprising the majority of eastern North Neutral Island. As a result, it has a relatively rugged terrain due to tectonic folding, as well as frequent tectonic and volcanic activities caused by subduction occurring off its eastern coast. Near-constant rain brought by the humid trade winds feeds the major rivers in Nacatlan, Atoyavik, and Ryonaheim, irrigating the majority of farmland in the country.
Hot weather and constant rainfall in the east result in the majority of /meat/ being covered in tropical moist forests. On the western coast, a combination of rain shadow effect and cold oceanic current results in an arid climate dominated by grasslands and shrublands. The riparian zones alongside major rivers, especially the nutrient-rich Blood River, have since been converted into cultivated fields to feed its growing population and livestock.
Almost the entire coastline of the tropical moist forests is covered by mangrove swamps, blurring the line between land and sea in many cases. The mangrove forests, in particular red mangrove thickets, stabilise the coast against corrosion from tides and wind, and also render a majority of the coast relatively impenetrable to large-scale human activities. However, this unique ecosystem also plays a major role in local economies - salt can be gathered from the leaves of white and black mangrove trees, while button mangrove is a major source of firewood, charcoal, and tannin.
Around the eastern coast known as the Gronnstrond, the wetland spreads further inland due to its flat terrain and mountain ranges further inland increasing precipitation. The stagnant water results in the formation of a large peat swamp forest. In addition to providing peat as a source of fuel and fertiliser, it is also a major source of bog iron that once formed the majority of iron used in /meat/ before advancement in metallurgy allows extraction of iron from other, more abundant sources.
It is the population centre of /meat/, thanks to the nutritious blood river flowing through it. Its industry and commerce fuel the rest of /meat/. Its name is a hybrid of the two main languages of the land, roughly meaning "bay [beneath] where things are thrown into the river".
It houses the core of its seafaring navy.
It is home to its landbound army.
Its name means "land around/beneath flesh". The highland city is where the majority of its secular government functions are conducted, making it the de facto capital of the land.
Meaning "land abundant with flesh", it is home to the clergy-nobles of /meat/. The main cathedral is built around a spring that is the source of the Blood River.
Some believe this isolated island is home to /meat/'s test facilities, where medical procedures and experiments deemed too macabre or dangerous for the mainland are conducted.
An island serving as /meat/'s forward base. Due to /meat/'s propensity to harvest resources from its victims, the island is commonly used to plan raids and hold the bounties before they are shipped back to the mainland.
Artist impression of Nacatlan. (Source)
The Blood River. It flows from the main cathedral in Nacatlah through Nacatlan before ending in Atoyavik. Since the arrival of the cult, the river has been used to wash away the flesh and blood of human sacrifices. Although the blood is too diluted to actually turn the river red, the nutrients made it bountiful and the rusty riverbanks fertile. According to /meat/ religious text, the river will truly turn red when enough has been sacrificed to restore the cycle's balance.
A large coral reef off the coast of /meat/. It poses significant navigational hazards to ships unfamiliar with the area. It is used by /meat/ to defend against invasions by sea.
Main article: The Yectic Teocuacayotl Annals
Physiologically, the majority of /meat/heads are considered indistinguishable from baseline humans. However, it has a rich history of raiding and abducting people from across the sea for sacrifices. While most of these captives would see their end on the altars shortly after their arrival, through a combination of escaping from captivity, offering valuable service, and being kept as long-term servants, some of the abductees lived long enough to reproduce. Eventually, some of these groups become part of the wider /meat/ population to this day.
Known officially as the Vollvornar (singular: Vollvorni), they are the descendants of Risuners who were captured by /meat/ raiders during the golden age of large-scale /meat/ raiding. Their exact origin is lost to time, although their habit of dwelling in burrows instead of trees suggests they are related to mole Risuners in /risu/. Compared with the archetypical Risuner, /meat/ Risuners have a shorter, bushy tail and smaller squirrel ears.
It is believed that Risuner communities have existed in /meat/ for at least a few centuries, backed up by sightings documented by /meat/ chronicles. While /meat/ Risuners have distinct physical characteristics compared with their /risu/ counterpart, it is not known if the difference is due to adaptation to the environment accelerated by exposure to /meat/ chuubanite, selective breeding done to early Risuner captives, or they originated as a distinct group of Risuners that had since disappeared in their homeland.
Today, most /meat/ Risuners live in the hot grassland and shrubland dominating southwestern /meat/. Here, prolonged droughts prevented the development of tropical forests that dominated the rest of the country. As such, they mostly live as hunter-gatherers and herders, although some /meat/ Risuners also cultivate drought-resistant plants for their products like fruits and resins. Sharing their nimbleness with other Risuners, /meat/ Risuners can sometimes be seen among /meat/ warriors as scouts and ambushers. It is rumoured that some /meat/ Risuners are also employed as spies in foreign countries, where their physiological differences with /risu/ Risuners are not known.
Culturally, /meat/ Risuners are considered more similar to /meat/heads than /risu/ Risuners. As a group, they are not known to engage in lethal human sacrifices, although smaller-scale sacrifices, including self-sacrifice, remain common. Of particular not is that /meat/ Risuners are known to engage in ritual scarification as part of their rites of passage. Initiation into the community, as well as notable events and achievements, are celebrated by specific patterns being carved onto their skin through cut wounds. Dye and herbs are often inserted into the wounds to ensure increased visibility of the scar tissues formed.
Arguably the most infamous product of /meat/, trade of human and human parts comprises a minor, but nonetheless significant part of /meat/ economic activity. Since its inception, /meat/ has been a raider country, utilising its fleet and warriors to raid the coasts of the South Holo Sea and nearby countries. While conventional valuables are also often seized, the main target of /meat/ raid has always been the same thing - humans. Even nowadays, where contestation from rising naval powers and centralised states has led to a significant decrease in raids, /meat/ obtains the majority of its slaves from foreign soils. However, slaves native to /meat/, and even willing participants are not unheard of, and their existence is becoming increasingly well-known nowadays.
Slave status tend to be marked prominently and not easily removeable, although the need for undamaged skin means they are generally not branded or marked with other permanent means. Instead, the most common mark for /meat/ slaves is a collar called teposkechtli or isarnhals (literally "iron throat", see pic below). Usually attached with a short iron chain, the collar often marks the identification for the individual, their category, as well as their owner or handler. This identification forbids them from leaving certain areas without supervision, and their owners can prosecute those who bring unauthorised harm to them, especially for slaves of higher ranks. More valuable slaves are also usually afforded more elaborate collars, with some having chuubanite infused for both its healing effect and spiritual protection.
Regardless of the means of induction, a new captive is first cleaned, examined and sometimes questioned by the clergy. This extensive process is to determine an individual's value, both as a resource and as a sacrifice. The process and logic behind the judgement are kept a secret within the clergy, although it is commonly believed that it is determined by factors like gender, physical and mental wellbeing, devotion to their deities, mental aptitude, and social status. Afterwards, the captive will be formally enslaved and assigned to one of the following categories, each with their own treatment and ultimate fate.
Wentli is arguably the highest rank of slaves. It is believed that they are selected primarily for their devotion towards their deity, as well as having a healthy body that sufficiently resembles said deity. Due to their rarity among /meat/ slave population, they are used exclusively for the deiphagy ritual. After having their body further modified and adorned to resemble their deity, the slave is taken to one of the major sacrificial altars of the country. Before a massive crowd, wentli will undergo the final steps of the ritual, which the /meat/ religion claims will channel part of the essence of the deity from heaven into the mortal body, rendering the slave an earthly avatar of them. Then, the slave will be sacrificed, with their prized flesh being consumed in elaborate rituals.
Once a slave is rated to be a wentli, they will begin the rigorous process of being remade in the deity's image. Their body will be further modified and decorated to further resemble the deity, and they often undergo further education in etiquette and other forms of knowledge that are deemed essential to mimicking the deity's manner to the fullest. While the tight schedule often allows little free time, they are treated with the utmost care by the clergy, and resource dedicated to maintaining them in optimal condition for the ritual means they can often live a lavish life. Any attempts to harm or impede a wentli outside what is deemed necessary for the rituals are considered a serious crime in /meat/.
Awiyani is originally a subcategory of wentli, but has since gained enough prominence to be considered a class of its own. It is believed that in the past, while wentli will be sacrificed immediately after completing the deification ritual, awiyani have their deification completed long before their sacrifice, sometimes up to a full year. During this period, the duty of awiyani is to walk among the people as an earthly avatar of a deity, looking and acting in the same way as the gods would. They are also believed to be responsible for educating wentli of proper godly manners.
As time goes on, the role of awiyani as mortal gods is gradually assimilated by wentli. They remain as household educators and servants of wentli, which further prolong their life before being sacrificed. Because of that, awiyani is sometimes translated as household slaves or pleasure slaves. Originally a misunderstanding of their role, this translation becomes increasingly accurate, and some awiyani is no longer sacrificed, instead being used or even sold as household slaves.
Nowadays, awiyani is usually selected for their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as aptitude in certain skills and physical beauty. Because of that, the main difference between wentli and awiyani is that the latter often does not have sufficient similitude or devotion to their deities for the deiphagy ritual. Compared with other types of slaves, awiyani is relatively often sold to affluent individuals as slaves. Within /meat/, awiyani is treated considerably better than the general population, although without the same reverence as towards wentli. Although not as common nowadays, awiyani is still considered of sufficiently high quality as sacrifice and source of blessed flesh.
Sholo is a curious category, one that is sometimes dismissed by opponents of the system as a fabrication for propaganda purpose. It comprises the majority of slaves who willingly allow themselves to be enslaved, but are deemed insufficient to be wentli or awiyani for any reasons. Because of their willingness, sholo are usually given reasonable good treatment, and enjoys a surprising degree of freedom for a slave. While those marked as sholo are still not allowed to leave city premise without supervision, many of them are allowed to roam free while within the confines of city walls. Some sholo are given allowance from their owners, and are eligible for private properties; others instead have their daily expense be covered by their owners. While they are nonetheless designated for sacrifice, and their flesh is usually considered more delicious than their unwilling counterpart, sholo with skills considered valuable or indispensible enough sometimes have their sacrifice postponed in exchange for their continued work.
More a catch-all term than an actual class of slaves, tlaaltilli refers to slaves who are considered to be sufficient for most /meat/ rituals. While this includes wentli, awiyani, and most sholo by definition, the term is usually used to refer to slaves who do not belong to those classes, but are nonetheless good enough to be used for most usual rituals. In general, tlaaltilli are maintained with a certain degree of care to ensure their quality. While details can vary significantly depending on many factors, all tlaaltilli are expected to be given ample food, shelter, healthcare, and exercise. However, their eligibility also means they are inducted for many rituals, lethal and non-lethal alike, with the latter usually being kept within the limits of what can be healed with care.
Pedantically, tlacotli is the general word for slaves, including all humans who are inducted into their role without the ability to quit by themselves. In practice, it refers to slaves who do not fit any other categories listed. Because of that, tlacotli tend to be unwilling slaves who are deemed too rebellious to be used in many rituals where the victim has a decent chance at sabotaging them. Treatment towards them tend to be poorer than tlaatilli, although they nonetheless receive enough care to maintain their physical wellbeing, sufficient to separate them from the even lower shipew. This category also has a high turnover rate, both because slaves tend to be semi-regularly reassessed to be recategorised, and because they serve as a major source of flesh for both consumption and fleshgrafting. It is believed that the majority of human-derived consumables, such as medicine and enchanted meat, are sourced from unrated tlacotli.
At the bottom of the slave hierarchy is shipew. Comprising slaves of poor conditions or those deemed unfit for higher ritual purposes, the main purpose of shipew is to provide raw material from their bodies. While they are still fed and maintained to ensure an acceptable quality of their products, shipew are otherwise granted little personal freedom or luxury. Although they are still harvested through human sacrifice, the low spiritual quality of the flesh means their harder components are usually used to make armour, tools, and trinkets, while the rest are used to fertilise the fields with /meat/ chuubanite. Despite the low social status, shipew is nonetheless an integral part of /meat/ industry, with many bone and leather products in /meat/ military sourcing from them.
How often do you think slaves would try to escape when the time for their ritual is approaching, and what do you think the rate of success would be? Would you have had more breakouts in the past that have caused you to have a better system for, uh, culling such attempts?
For foreign slaves, given that many of them were/are captured in raids and are likely not very willing, I imagine escape attempts used to be somewhat frequent, although the success rate might not be very high - those with more obvious will to resist will be kept under closer eyes and possibly restraints (the one from the fleshwright story probably is one, hence he's basically not allowed much mobility), and those who manage to flee from /meat/ cities and camps probably won't know enough surviving tropical rainforest to return to their home.
That definitely will result in countermeasures that keep the current escape rate low. In addition to a more rigorous selection system that identifies and remove rebellious captives from the rest early, an ample supply of drugs will likely diminish their will and means to escape too. Of course, having the idea that they'll be treated better than what most associate human sacrifice captives should help reduce resistance too, as is having the slaves from a more miserable condition before being captured.
/meat/ is also pretty open about what is the most likely fate for the captives, as they see no points in deceiving them. In fact, the clergy will probably double- and triple-check with any willing aspiring slaves, making sure that they know they won't have the luxury to quit once it's done, and most will meet their end on the altar rather than being bought by some chuubanite barons.
For domestic slaves, the escape rate will likely be low to non-existent, if we base it on what few documents we have on Aztec captives. Similar to them, /meat/ slaves probably are mostly content with their fate, which also results in them being treated more nicely and allowed more freedom for any unfinished business. Some might even receive monetary compensation to help with that. While we know that some Aztec captives had to be dragged to the altar, it seems the resistance is more due to the fact that said captives were from Aztec's enemies rather than the idea of human sacrifice (which was pretty common in Mesoamerica), and they were not particularly happy about being freed (the liberators being Spaniards probably didn't help) - it seems for them, the only fate worse than being sacrificed by the enemy is not being sacrificed after it has been determined. For /meat/, since domestic captives are sourced, well, domestically, the enemy factor would not be present, which means they would be pretty chill about being sacrificed - indeed, it might be a great honour to them and their family, plus a quick way to promote some of the more pious members into the clergy.
Theocracy with esoteric fundamentalism. /meat/ society is primarily divided into worker-raiders and noble-clergy.
/meat/ religion is centred around the cycle of life: birth, suffering, death, and rebirth. It preaches that participating in each step of the cycle brings one closer to enlightenment. However, the heavenly realm's overpopulation of static, immortal chuuba gods throws the cycle off-balance. Believing that it will ultimately lead to the apocalypse, /meat/ takes it upon themselves to cull the chuuba population to restore the balance.
Many in /meat/ believes in the existence of some kind of life energy permeating the cycle, which can be enriched or activated by partaking in steps of the cycle. This can be achieved by causing and receiving the steps fully, especially when involving sentient beings due to the potency of their experience. While this applies to all beings, the stagnant immortality of chuuba gods makes them the prime targets.
/meat/'s understanding of the steps is often broader than most typically think. For example, the idea of rebirth does not refer solely to the restoration of the dead, but also the creation and sustenance of life from death. The rebirth of /meat/ chuubas through regeneration of flesh allows them to partake in the cycle indefinitely, compared with their static, immortal counterparts. As such, they're revered by /meat/.
Mass levy has been part of /meat/ society since its beginning as a raider state. It is commonly divided into two types - leidangr and ferd, also known as sea levy and land levy respectively. Leidangr is primarily provided by coastal or riverside settlements, while ferd is usually sourced from landlocked settlements.
Leidangr requires every settlement "along flowing waters" - be it coast or navigatable rivers - to construct and maintain a certain number of ships and mariners. The exact number is based on the location, size, and industry of a given settlement - major cities are expected to maintain a larger fleet, while multiple coastal villages might cooperate to maintain a single ship. When a raid is announced, the clergy can invoke leidangr, where both the ships and their crew will be required to participate in the raid. While theoretically a duty, the conscripted ships and sailors are entitled to a certain amount of spoils obtained from the raid. Combined with the potential prestige of participation, it is not uncommon for major settlements to donate more resources to leidangr than obligated.
Complementing the navally-minded leidangr, ferd is focused on land combat and naval boarding. Similar to leidangr, every settlement not eligible to leidangr is expected to provide and support a certain number of armed soldiers, with their size and industry determining the exact number. Ferd levy is expected to be armed to a certain degree, although more affluent individuals can often afford gears of superior quality. When the clergy invoke ferd, either as part of a raid or defence against foreign invaders, the levy will be raised as part of /meat/ military.
Believed to be an ancient institution, both leidangr and ferd survive to the present day, long after the professional soldier core and dedicated warship fleet of /meat/have become its primary military force. Nowadays, leidangr often serve as logistic and transport ships for raids, while ferd serve as an auxiliary force to support the professional military when non-combat duties or low-intensity combat is expected.
/meat/ has a rich naval tradition - it has been a country of raiders ever since its foundation, mounting numerous raids against foreign coast for fresh meat for centuries. Even following its defeat by /morig/ more than a century ago and its subsequent recline in influence in northern Holosea, /meat/ still maintains one of the larger naval presence in the region, especially towards the south beyond the rising naval power of /morig/.
The modern /meat/ navy is designed with its /morig/ counterpart in mind. To counter the artillery-heavy approach of /morig/ navy, /meat/ warships tend to be smaller in size - barring its small bomb ketch fleet known as atenamitl or drakar, most /meat/ warships are rated by its contemporaries as fifth-rate frigates. However, compared with /morig/ designs, /meat/ ships put a much heavier emphasis on bow chaser guns, swivel guns and - in newer warships - carronades.
Apart from armament, /meat/ ships, whether of military or civilian designs, are often described as galleass (natively known as acalpolli or skeid) or xebec (natively known as acalli or snekkya) due to their focus on speed, as well as mixed use of junk rig and oars for propulsion in unfavourable wind conditions. While larger /meat/ ships often has a gun deck, they are rarely armed with broadside cannons.
The unusual characteristics of /meat/ naval design is rooted in its fondness for naval boarding. As part of /meat/ religious doctrine, /meat/ naval combat tactics put a heavy emphasis on disabling and capturing enemy vessels and their crew. While advents in metallurgy and ballistics resulted in many other navies shifting their focus from naval boarding to cannon bombardment, /meat/ retained its time-honoured tactics, instead utilising newer technology to faciliate its boarding warfare. Because of that, compared with foreign ships of similar size, /meat/ warships tend to be contain more compartment for a larger military attachment at the expense of heavy naval cannons.
/meat/'s use of junk rig, lateen and oars allow their ships to obtain better mobility against ships with square rig outside downwind conditions, which is to be exploited in order to approach target warships from safer directions. Once within range, /meat/ warships will make use of both mundane ammunition like chain shots and chuubanite-enchanted smoke bombs against their target, with the intention of reducing its ability to reposition or resist.
As distance draws closer, soldiers on board of /meat/ships tend to make use of slings - a standard equipment for most /meat/ fighters - to attack the target, using ammunition from the aforementioned smoke bombs, regular lead bullets, as well as whistling bullets to disable or obstruct their ability to mount a defence against the boarding. While it has been part of /meat/ boarding tactics since its inception, relatively precise close range attacks grew increasingly vital as warships became better-armed, where disabling the broadside cannons was necessary to avoid deadly retaliation right before boarding. It has also been reported that some /meat/ warships make use of harpoon launchers and grappling hooks launched from slings to attach themselves against their enemies for boarding.
Due to the often interchangable nature of /meat/ civilian and lesser military ships, a concrete number of /meat/ warships cannot be provided. However, the most recent survey of /meat/ navy put the number of acalli at around 150. Larger, dedicated warships are easier to discern, with their numbers estimated to be around 50, roughly divinded between acalpolli and atenamitl. In addition, /meat/ navy also maintains at least 75 "special purpose ships", semi-expendable, quick-to-build warships designed to cause significant damage against high-value or -threat targets at the cost of itself.
Before the advent of ship-bound gunpowder weapons, the /meat/ navy was known as one of the major terrors of the South Holo Sea. Without effective means to attack hostile ships at a range, the main form of naval warfare at the time consists of ramming and boarding enemy vessels, often turning it into a mixture of siege and land battle on sea - a scenario well-suited for the ferocious /meat/ raiders. Legends of the time sometimes claimed that massive fleets of /meat/ ships would make use of the changing monsoon to descend upon the ill-defended coasts around the tropical sea, capturing unfortunate souls and bringing them back to their faraway homeland for gruesome sacrifices. While the veracity of such legends cannot be confirmed, the nature of naval combat at the time means engaging /meat/ warships would be a very dangerous endeavour, with an alarmingly high chance of it giving /meat/ a new ship and a crew's worth of sacrifices.
/meat/'s presence in the ocean did not go unchallenged, however, as rival powers like /morig/ were often sufficiently well-armed to fight against /meat/ boarding parties with a reasonable chance of victory. However, the overall stalemate continued to be contested until less than two centuries ago, when ship-bound cannons became increasingly dominant in naval battles. As the power and range of naval artillery increased, it became easier to engage /meat/ naval ships at a safe distance, negating the advantage /meat/'s professional soldiers provide. Eventually, even a massive /meat/ armada from the legends could - and was - defeated by fleets of warships armed to the teeth with gunpowder weapons, officially marking the beginning of the age of sail and gunpowder in the South Holo Sea.
It was, however, not the end of /meat/'s maritime presence, as many at the time believed. As /meat/ rebuilt its navy, new naval doctrines were developed in light of such a humiliating defeat. Instead of adopting the newfangled line of battle ship design, the next generation of /meat/ navy instead focused on utilising the remaining advantages it has, with the goal of forcing naval engagement back into its more powerful time. This became the guiding principle of modern /meat/ warship design, and understanding it is essential to understand the peculiar design of /meat/ ships.
Modern /meat/ ships - warships and merchant ships alike - are built in a distinct style in accord to /meat/ naval doctrine, giving them a distinct appearance as a result. An archetypical /meat/ ship has two junk sail masts and a lateen headsail, although an additional lateen sail at the aft is not uncommon for larger ships. Compared with the more common square sails, this combination of junk and lateen rig allows /meat/ ships to sail upwind faster, providing it with better mobility in wind directions traditionally considered unfavourable. The two junk sails are usually controlled with tackle systems leading into a short midship castle, allowing the ship to be controlled with a smaller crew.
Traditionally, /meat/ ships make use of a midship castle design, where the above-deck structure is located near the centre of the ship. Compared with aftcastle and forecastle design, it is believed that the centred weight allows for better handling, although whether the difference is significant enough remains questionable. In the past, a tall castle could provide a significant advantage in combat, as it provided a high ground against enemy crew during boarding, in exchange for a lack of effective killing space between aft- and forecastle. As shipbuilding technology improves, larger ships become more practical, and the height of the midship castle starts to lower to reduce unwanted wind drag. Nowadays, /meat/ midship castle is used to house the mechanism used to control the sails.
Due to its naval doctrine foregoing line battle, the majority of /meat/ warships do not have a significant amount of broadside cannons. Instead, gunports are used for two different functions. The larger holes allow slingers to deploy bombs filled with chuubanite-enriched hallucinogen against nearby enemy ships immediately before boarding. They are also used to deploy oars used by the crew when man-powered propulsions are needed, such as when moving directly against wind or to accelerate for ramming.
Instead of broadside cannons, /meat/ warships utilise bow chasers - short-ranged cannons mounted at the front of the ship facing forward. Due to the limited space, a /meat/ warship has significantly fewer guns than a broadside warship of the same weight and size. The lower firepower, however, is mitigated by /meat/'s use of hallucinogen bombs. Encased in a hollow metal shell, these bombs are filled with a mixture of gunpowder and ground herbs and mushrooms grown in chuubanite-enriched soil. The fortifying effect of /meat/ chuubanite allows its hallucinogen to survive the explosion dispersing it in a cloud of smoke, turning the shells into smoke bombs. In extreme cases, a single large mortar is used in lieu of chase guns, allowing massive ammunition to be deployed against fortified targets on land, although the use of such bomb vessels is rare due to /meat/'s avoidance in participating in open wars.
While /meat/ ships often share such distinct general design, distinguishing between /meat/ warships and merchant ships can be difficult, as both possess gunports for oar uses. In terms of its construction, the most noticeable difference between them is the presence of bow chasers. However, it is not uncommon for unarmed /meat/ ships to have decorative fake guns at the bow, with the express purpose of impersonating warships to deter potential pirates, and some of the lighter /meat/ warships have mobile guns that could be hidden inside the ship outside engagement.
/meat/ here. I believe that part of our 'raid or trade' policy is that our raiding vessels and trading vessels are not the same design.
Raid ships are smaller, allowing for quicker escape, and a simple cargo hold for captured loot and people. Appearance-wise, they would look battle scarred. Burn marks, blood stains, etc
Trading ships are larger. With a more complex hold to keep the goods safe and fresh. From the outside, they are well maintained and painted beautifully with cultural colors and patterns.
Before /infinity/'s visit we would have been making trade with some of the neighbours like hfz, nasfaq, ahoy. But because of the difference in ships, nobody knew it was /meat/ all along. The merchants would assume they were doing trade with some pristine foreign kingdom on a different continent.
Not realizing it was their hated close neighbour that they labelled as backwards savages.
This strategy goes in conjunction with /meat/ cults among foreign elite officials. They would spread rumors and propaganda that /meat/ is backwards, illiterate, and tribal thus redirecting all attention to the scarred and gruesome looking raiding ships. Relieving pressure off the the pristine trade ships going under their noses.
Contrary to popular belief, not all /meat/ clothes are made from human skin and leather. The most common clothing material used in /meat/ is made of plant fiber, usually sourced from hemp or sisal. The most basic garment for /meat/heads is a simple loincloth (also known as breechclout), sometimes held in place using belts, to cover up one's pelvis and thighs. Longer lower garments, either in the form of dress or trousers, are sometimes worn as protection against the elements during /meat/'s brief cold season, or in hazardous environments.
Their upper body is usually dressed in a blouse (loose clothes) and/or a cape, intricacies and material of the latter often serve as an indication of one's social position, wealth, and family lineage. While loose clothes are deemed more comfortable in their tropical environment, some are fastened with belts or are more form-fitting to be used in occasions where loose clothes can pose a hazard, such as that of fighters or workers.
Leather and bone accessories and clothes are more commonly seen among the priestly upper class, which can be made from humans or other animals. Some of the more elaborate pieces, especially if they come from humans, tend to be procured during rituals. /meat/ religion teaches that these items serve as reservoirs and conduits of their goddesses' blessing.
The majority of /meat/ raiders and soldiers use boiled leather reinforced with hardened bones and metal as their armour of choice, sometimes supplemented with cotton gambeson for additional protection against cold or stronger weapons. Skinned human faces are sometimes used as masks during raids, both for their purported divine blessing and for shock values as part of psychological warfare.
What crops do your people grow for consumption?
Maize is the primary crop for /meat/, which is commonly grown together with beans and squash to increase productivity. Raids and trade with other countries have since bought cassava and rice to the land, although their relatively poor nutritional values mean they are more commonly grown as material and feed.
For non-staple crops, /meat/ also produces a significant amount of cocoa. Other minor crops include cane sugar, melons, plums, and grapefruits like orange and grapefruit.
What about food you import, and from where?
The affluents have a taste for fava beans and chianti wine.
What's common snacks or meals for the working class, or the rich and powerful?
Chocolate is the most common snack of /meat/ regardless of social class, although those who can afford it tend to prefer chocolate with richer flavours, especially ones blessed by the priestesses dedicated to Comma Dentala. Dried and preserved groundnuts are also commonly eaten as snacks.
How about etiquette when eating? Any special practices during mealtime?
Prayers are commonly recited before meals, especially when it includes meat. The prayers mirror the /meat/ cult's teaching and serve both as a reaffirmation of faith towards the cycle of life, and gratitude by the eaters towards the goddesses for being granted a part of the meat's life force.
/meat/heads have a penchant for dipping sauce. It is said that every household has its secret family recipe for their own sauce, although most of them are made primarily from meat broth, and often have a red to brown colour. It is customary to pour the sauce on meat served outside religious functions until it is fully smeared.
As the most common food crop in /meat/, maize is also the most common material used to make alcohol commonly called chichiatl. Generally made by priestesses of the cult, chichiatl is made by grounding down the starchy maize before moistening it with the maker's mouth, before being laid out to dry as malt. Afterwards, the wort is extracted from the malt and left to ferment in large, heated earthenware for days. The result is usually a murky brown beverage comparable to beer. While it is often consumed directly, many chichiatl, especially those of higher value, is enhanced by being brewed with all kinds of spices, fruits, and even blood. Like dipping sauce, it is said that every household has its secret family recipe for their own chichiatl, and no two jars of chichiatl are ever the same.
Other alcoholic beverages commonly consumed in /meat/ include corn whiskey (commonly called kornandi) and cassava beer. While chichiatl is commonly consumed by the priestly upper class, sometimes in religious ceremonies, corn whiskey and cassava beer are stereotypically drunk by lower-class workers and foreigners alike. Especially among soldiers and raiders, kornandi is often brewed and consumed alongside a myriad of local herbs, shrooms and other medicine. In addition to making them more palatable, the high alcoholic content is believed to facilitate the extraction and absorption of ingredients. Some veterans purportedly consume a large amount of herb-enriched kornandi before combat, utilising the intoxication to put them in a trance-like fury. The influx of foreign culture has led to increased acceptance of kornandi among the upper class, although chichiatl is still considered the principal drink of /meat/ due to its cultural and religious significance.
People of /meat/ are archetypically interested in extreme sports and blood sports, chief among which is a native ballgame commonly called the /meat/ ballgame (tlachtli or knottleikr). It is played between two teams of players of varying but usually equal numbers. Traditionally played in an elongated field dug out from the ground and surrounded by stone walls, players are armed with wooden sticks with a bent spoon-like hook (think hurley) called the serpent axe (coatlateconi or ormox), where the goal is to deliver a leather ball to the end of the opposite side of the field. Hitting the wall at the ends of the field above waist-height scores one point for the team, where the ball is set back to the middle. In some games, a stone head is rested upon a headless statue at the top of each end. The team that can knock the head off the statue of the other team instantly wins the game, although the height and the relatively small target make such victory rare.
It is illegal to hit other players' bodies with one's own body or the serpent axe, although hitting them with the ball or crossing the axes is legal and very common during the game. As such, players are often seen equipped with light armour usually made of leather and padded cotton when playing the game. Despite that, due to the force often delivered through the ball, bruises and injuries are common among the players, and there are reports of players being killed during the game.
The ballgame is known to have religious significance for the /meat/ cult. It is a common staple of major festivals, often keeping people entertained between ritual sacrifices, and parts of a game, such as the ball and the head on statues, is replaced by remains of sacrifices. The outcome of the games sometimes play a role in subsequent sacrifices as well, as players deemed too injured to be healed are sometimes sacrifices in recognition of their performance. The ballgame also plays a military role, as variants are often played by /meat/ soldiers as part of their training, and the use of serpent axe and ball in the game is often seen as a reflection of their common weapons and tactics.
An archetypical /meat/ city.
/meat/ cities are generally well-maintained and organised. In all but the smallest villages, the centre of permanent settlements is occupied by the sacred precinct, where a temple of the /meat/ cult is located before a public square. Major public buildings such as universities and barracks, and private residence for high-ranking clergy and the affluent are built around the square, which sometimes also serve as market sqaures for travelling merchants. In larger cities, these religious precincts are connected to each other via brick-laid roads, and are surrounded by the rest of the settlement, including longhouses, lesser public utilities and farmland.
Laterite is one of the most common, and arguably the most defining construction materials used in /meat/. Created by extensive weathering of tropical and subtropical rock, it comprises the majority of underground soil in /meat/, and has a distinct reddish-brown colour due to its high iron oxide content. Similar to clay, wet laterite can be easily cut and moulded, which then hardens into bricks when dried. Due to its abundance, easiness to work with, and cooling properties, laterite bricks are extensively used for construction across /meat/. Lime and kaolinite are often mixed in laterite to improve its resistance to shrinkage and shear.
Alongside laterite, /meat/ buildings also make extensive use of timber harvested from its vast tropical forest. Cedar, myrtle, and rosewood are commonly used as building materials, where their hardness and resistance to weather and rot renders them viable for the tropical environment. Compared to rocks and bricks, wooden buildings are considered less permanent and thus are more often used in the rainforest, where smaller settlements often migrate once local resources have been depleted. It is reported that in remote areas that see frequent jannies attacks, buildings are built primarily with timber and regularly dismantled as part of an elaborate ritual making use of their destructive force.
Granite, on the contrary, is an exceedingly hard and durable construction material. While its use in /meat/ is less common than laterite or timber, it is often used in some of the most important buildings in the country due to its qualities. Formed by the orogeny that defines /meat/ geography, granite is mined from quarries and cut into the desired size before being transported to construction sites. Their heavy weight and extreme hardness render this a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, meaning that only the affluent clergy can afford granite buildings. As a result, most /meat/ granite buildings are religious and military in nature, chief among which being step pyramids that serve as central temples and altars in most major settlements, as well as fortified shrines in specific locations.
The colour of laterite bricks and most timber and granite means /meat/ settlements tend to be predominantly red and brown in colour. However, lime plaster is commonly used to cover and colour the exterior of buildings, especially in larger settlements. Inside the buildings, lath and plaster are often used to make dividing walls. In addition to protecting the softer material, their use also allows for surfaces to be carved and coloured for decorative and religious purposes. Bright blue is the most distinct colour compared with the base material, although other colours like red, yellow, green, and black are also used. As a result, major /meat/ cities tend to be very colourful, with walls of many public buildings being adorned with religious carvings and sculptures.
See also: Natural Resources of /meat/
The main exports of /meat/ are cocoa, mercenaries, and exotic meat. Its advanced, if horrifying medical knowledge makes /meat/ the unlikely salvation of the desperate whose ailments are otherwise deemed incurable, at the risk of a terrible price.
procurement and refinement
Once raw chuubanite ore is mined from the earth, it is ground down until all rocks and clumps are reduced to sand and dirt. Then, the material is mixed with other fine minerals, herbs, and water to produce a mud- or clay-like substance. Afterward, it can be made into mud cookies by forming into flat discs and drying under the sun or baking it, although other forms of edibles are also made. Regardless, this peculiar food is fed to future human sacrifices. It is believed that /meat/'s way to process both chuubanite ore and their captives allows the substance to be digested and fused with the human body. Once they are deemed ritually fitting, the human sacrifice is killed in often elaborate rituals, where their chuubanite-infused flesh, bones, and blood is harvested for future use. It is believed that non-human animals can also be used for refinement in a similar way, although the process is deemed both less effective and less ritually significant by /meat/ cult, and as such is usually only done in extraordinary circumstances.
Interaction with other cultures brings new means to refine chuubanite from its raw ore form, although these methods are considered of less religious significance. However, /meat/ nonetheless makes use of these exotic means to produce chuubanite-based substances that cannot be easily replicated by the old way.
Due to its extraction method, /meat/ chuubanite-infused material is mostly limited to human body parts. As a result, /meat/ soldiers make extensive use of armour made primarily, if not entirely of human flesh and bone. The quintessential /meat/ armour is boiled leather cuirass, where the leather is reinforced by bones. The bones are shaped by skilled fleshwrights, who utilise constant breaking and healing of bones to shape them into the desired curvature and shape. That said, mundane material like metal is still used in parts that cannot be made from flesh. Other forms of protection and accessories are made in similar ways, and /meat/ warriors and priests are known to don masks made from their victims, which they consider to be particularly potent in divine blessing.
Infusion of chuubanite in the material allows them to be more durable, both in combat and in the tropical environment where /meat/ call home. While it is nonetheless not as sturdy as metal armour of the same thickness, its lightweight and potential psychological effect makes them the preferred choice for /meat/ fighters.
/meat/ is also known for their preference for human flesh as food. It is believed that ingesting chuubanite-infused flesh will offer some degree of protection from pathogens, poison, and even fear, especially when it is "activated" by wearing chuubanite-infused organic material, ranging from body armour to religious trinklets and artefacts.
Chuubanite-infused flesh can also be actively used in a craft commonly known as fleshgrafting. Usually sourced from sacrifices with higher amount of chuubanite or enriched using refined foreign chuubanite, their inherent instability and tendency to bond with other material is used to allow the flesh to bind with injured individuals. When combined with proper care, including specific rituals and medicines, the infused flesh can promote healing at a significant rate. While the process is known to be imperfect, and chronic use of this treatment can lead to unexpected mutations and lasting issues, it is nonetheless commonly used by /meat/, especially on individuals with Mai's blessing, which allows them to heal from grievous and otherwise lethal injuries.
Chuubanite-infused flesh deemed of insufficient religious values is sometimes used to make fertiliser for its fields. Herbs with psychotropic properties grown in soil enriched with chuubanite are known to have a stronger effect and duration. In addition to ritual and recreational consumption, these herbs are also grounded and mixed with gunpowder. The enhanced strength and durability allow it to stay effective when dispersed by explosion, resulting in specialised thrown smoke weapons that can be used to distract and disrupt enemies while /meat/ fighters close in.
As most dyes produced in /meat/ are organic in nature, they have a high affinity with /meat/ chuubanite - usually infused by growing the source plants on land fertilised with chuubanite-enriched material. These valuable dyes are then introduced beneath the skin, either by tattoo or scarification. By arranging them in specific patterns, the glyphs they form allow the bearers to activate them through either specific muscle movement or gestures. This is usually done by leaving a gap in the glyph pattern, which can be closed with relative ease, such as touching fingertips or other parts of hand, or contraction of relatively unimportant muscle.
According to Vollvernar traditions, this technique was first developed by them in an attempt to mimic the effects of magical gemstones produced only in their homeland. By embedding chuubanite in specific patterns through carved wounds, the /meat/ Risuners were able to harness its power, both passive and active. It is said that this then-unique technique allowed the outnumbered Risuners to not only survive local pathogens but also defeat any pursuers. As relations between the two groups improved, this knowledge was shared between them, resulting in widespread adaptation across the country, as well as further development by /meat/ cultists.
More sophisticated techniques and tools allow chuubanite-enriched dyes to be tattooed under the skin without open wounds and packing. While this is relatively unintrusive and quick to administer, the smaller total mass of the chuubanite infusion meant their effects tend to be weaker or have a shorter duration compared with its scar counterpart.
It is also discovered that ingesting materials containing /meat/ chuubanite, especially flesh, allows the glyphs to slowly replenish spent chuubanite. By consuming additional chuubanite, the duration of these fleshy glyphs can potentially be lengthened in a significant manner. However, the slow rate of absorption means active use in a short period can still deplete the chuubanite in the glyphs completely, which then have to be reapplied.
Compared with external chuubanite glyphs, this technique can be concealed under clothes with relative ease. As such, it is most commonly used by spies and infiltrators, where the ability to use chuubanite-powered magic while blending in the crowd is highly valuable. However, it also sees use in both combat and non-combat roles. Some Vollvernar communities retain the tradition of carving glyph scars as part of their rite of passage, and their more spry physique and additional tail also allow them to make better use of fleshy glyphs.
/meat/ make extensive use of a myriad of dyes, many of which are derived from specific local flora and fauna cultivated to maintain a steady supply. Among them, the most famous ones are the red carmine from cochineal, indigo from wild indigo, and black haematoxylin from logwood. Their distinct colours make them valuable exports for the country, at the same time also used locally by the upper class as the representative colours of /meat/. Apart from them, /meat/ also produces dyes of other colours, such as yellow from marigolds, and purple from rock snails.
As a parasitic insect of prickly pear cacti, cochineal is bred and harvested in cactus farms, also known as nopalries. Because of that, most carmine dye in /meat/ is produced in the arid southwestern lowland, especially the shrubland near /hfz/ border. Mature cochineals are manually collected from the prickly pear cacti and then crushed and dried. In this form, the higher level of impurities in the dye, in particular iron, results in it having a deeper and less consistent colour. However, through methods kept as closely-guarded secrets by the dyers, it can be purified to increase the brightness and consistency of the end product.
It is believed that cochineal and carmine dye was first used in /meat/ by /meat/ Risuners who inhabit the area. Through experiments, the Vollvernar developed both the technique of extracting carmine from the insects, as well as safely incorporating it into chuubanite glyph tattoos and scars. While they have since shared much of their knowledge with their former captors, the majority of /meat/ nopalries today are still owned and operated by Risuners.
As tropical plants, both wild indigo and logwood are grown in the northern and eastern lowlands of /meat/. Although their wild forms continue to be harvested by smaller settlements to this day, the majority of them come from larger plantations dedicated to their production. Most of these plantations are owned by the /meat/ cult and administered by specialists in the clergy. Depending on the location, the land of a plantation might be parcelled out to local families, or rented to individual tenants. Once harvested, the plants are delivered to dedicated facilities near the plantation, where relevant parts of the plants are boiled, filtered, and dried by specialist craftsmen to produce the dyes.
In its pure form, logwood dye has a lavender colour. However, it is considered inferior to the purple dye derived from murex snails due to its tendency to fade under sunlight. By adding iron as fixative, its durability is drastically improved, at the same time giving it a solid black colour, making it an important component in textile and ink production.
Traditionally, the end product is divided between the clergy, craftsmen, and the farmers. However, apart from the clergy and some craftsmen, who have access to dyers or their expertise, a majority of the dye is ultimately sold to travelling merchants for profit. In some places, the produced dye is directly sold to merchants, with the payment divided between the producers accordingly.
In addition to their primary product, indigo and logwood also play a role in other forms of agriculture. Like many other legumes, wild indigo thrives in soil with low fertility and can replenish soil nutrients, making it a common cover crop for more demanding crops like coffee. Logwood plantations often double as apiary, producing honey from the blossoms while replenishing harvested trees.
Like many other places across the world, /meat/ obtains its purple dye from rock snail excretions. The majority of /meat/ murex dye is extracted from two species of rock snails - widemouth rockshell in the east, and Plicopurpura pansa in the west. While both species of murex snails are harvested for their dye, it is more prominent in western /meat/. This is because while extracting purple dye from widemouth rockshell requires killing the snails, dye can be gathered from Plicopurpura pansa excretion without causing harm to the snails - traditionally, this is done by rubbing two snails against each other. In order to ensure freshness, which plays a major role in the amount of dye collected, the extraction process is usually done in dedicated facilities in coastal settlements.
Due to its lower output compared with dyes derived from insects and plants, textile dyed with murex purple is expensive and considered a luxury. Its value and rarity ensures that most production plants are owned and administered by members of the clergy. The gathering of snails, however, tend to be done by local fishermen or dedicated harvestes, who sell the murex snails to the dye makers at a high price.
/meat/ is known for its high biodiversity, as most of its land is covered in tropical forests. It is home to multiple rodents, including one of the largest rodent species in the world. Several of them have been domesticated as livestock, providing meat, fur, leather, and other animal-derived products for the population, although some of them have since gained additional roles in /meat/ society. The high affinity of /meat/ chuubanite toward organic material is suggested to play a role in its high diversity, and some species - in particular those categorised as akimera - have shown to have a higher efficiency in absorbing /meat/ chuubanite from diet. While /meat/ religion consider them not as ritually significant as human meat, this property allows them to be used as effective extractors and refiners of /meat/ chuubanite, especially in plant tissues that cannot be digested by baseline human.
Chachawatl, also known as arotta, is one of the most popular animals in /meat/. Believed to be the favourite of one of its chief goddesses, the semi-aquatic rodents could be seen living alongside riverbanks and wetlands across the country, as well as man-made canals and irrigation channels. As a social animal, groups of arotta, with sizes ranging from a dozen or two to up to a hundred during the dry season, could often be seen roaming in human settlements for food. Due to their connection with the goddess, chachawatl can often be seen living in /meat/ temples, especially ones dedicated to the goddess.
Cuawtosan, also known as litlatosan, is another common rodent in the country. Their smaller size and smaller groups make them a popular pet choice in /meat/ compared with chachawatl. In the wild, litlatosan live on the ground, although they are also skilled tree climbers. Both chachawatl and cuawtosan are popular choices for pets in rural area, and sources of meat in /meat/.
Kimichin, also known as rottapil, is a small rodent that is traditionally bred as food, although their smaller size and docile nature mean they are also gaining popularity as household pets, especially in larger cities where space is at a premium. Their small size also makes them convenient street food, and it is not uncommon to see street vendors selling rottapil grilled on a stick.
Atosanpol, also known as miklatosan, is one of the largest rodents alive in the world. Slightly smaller than a bison on average, its size nonetheless made it one of the largest domesticated animals known. Although not as fast as other beasts of burden like horses, they nonetheless serve as the primary pullers of carts and wagons alike due to their strength. Their large size also means their skulls are one of the few large enough to house a human head. As such, atosanpol skulls, sometimes with preserved skin, are commonly worn by /meat/ warriors and priests. Although most commonly seen in rituals and parades, miklatosan skulls enriched with chuubanite prove durable enough against many handheld weapons while being relatively light after being processed.
Akimera is an umbrella term for several species endemic to /meat/. Defined by their unique presence in /meat/, and appearance that is commonly seen as an amalgamation of multiple mundane species, akimeras are considered to be divine gifts from goddess Akira to her followers.
Ficchu resembles fish with a pair of hind legs, allowing them limited mobility on land. Compared with other akimera and the more common rodents, ficchu has a more omnivorous diet. Its flesh is often considered to be savory even with basic preparation, making them a common feature in /meat/ cuisine, often in the form of fish sauce made from fermented ficchu.
Cocecco resembles chicken with an elongate, jacana-like body and multiple pairs of legs.
Boooooo!, compared with other akimera, has a relatively mundane appearance, resembling pig with the size and habit of cow.
What's your nation's current goals now. What are you trying to aim for your development? Would said development make your people happy?
Things to note beforehand:
This is strictly in an IC sense; in OOC sense our goal's the same as /morig/ in encouraging other threads to participate in this project. /meat/'s interaction with other countries is as significant as they want it to be.
Modern /meat/ trade and raid relationship does not overlap much - if a trading partner asks /meat/ to stop raiding them as part of the deal, they'll honour it. The same also applies to /meat/ cult activities, but in underground deals for obvious reasons.
Contemporary /meat/ ship designs mean they can't sail as fast as /morig/ ship of the same class when running (sailing downwind), but is more manoeuvrable when reaching (sailing with the wind on its side), and has a smaller minimal angle for sailing upwind. As such, /meat/ naval doctrines put a heavy emphasis on sailing against the wind when encountering /morig/ navy. Because of that, conventional raiding season in northern Holosea occurs right before the monsoon begins blowing onshore, so that raiding ships can engage or evade them at the most optimal circumstance. Because of that, /meat/ also put a heavy emphasis on reducing possible staging areas that would allow /morig/ navy to intercept them en route. Examples of these locations include southern Holosea, as well as part of the eastern and western coast.
sorry /morig/ for butting heads everywhere, we love you, but this IC rivalry is too interesting
What are your country's current goals?
/meat/'s longstanding goal is to expand the reach of its fleet, either for trade or for raid. This also includes weakening /morig/'s potential power projection capabilities, especially in strategic locations where /morig/ fleet and intercept /meat/ fleet.
What are you trying to aim for your development?
/meat/'s current development aims to develop its industry, commerce, and diplomacy to expand its trade network. This includes both open trade and cooperation, and underground development of groups sharing /meat/'s ideas and appetites.
Would said development make your people happy?
If it goes well, it will both make /meat/'s economy prosperous and expands /meat/'s influence, which will naturally lead to a more varied diet for the population, so I imagine many of them will be happy with the development.
Might contain outdated lore
16966659, >>18211909, >>18211972, >>18213401 (how much we use human resources?)
18213103 (hardening bones)
18286806, >>18571213 (lower class McGuyvering)
18778738, >>18779507, >>18779616, >>18780161 (exports)
17159718, >>17383739 ("barbarian" vs "cultist")
17894124, >>17894543 (no murderhobo)
18214445 (on practicality)
18555266 (power structure)
18061982 (blood river, not actually red but still rich)
18608296 (coral reef)
17330181 (current flag)
18106504, >>18107038, >>18552774, >>18572358, >>18736198 (region division)
18733776, >>18736632, >>18797610, >>18798225, >>18800736 (region names)
18737142, >>18800858 (F&G use)
17936534 (cities and settlements)
18287731 (celebrations and body modification)
History & interaction:
16927563 (raiding and isolation zone) (screencap >>18860455)
18546569 (being raided)
18696693 (fighting with /svt/)
16992575 (fighting, and Mai's blessing) (screencap >>18860479)
18806341 (cycle of life)
18806637, >>18806883 (tenets)
18563506, >>18564027, >>18564726 (religion) (screencap >>18860498)
18552115 (government, and ideology)
18631530 (lore splat)
18294737, >>18295626, >>18296607, >>18297042 (screencap >>18310693)