The Neptultchi, also known as the 'Dragon Folk,' were a civilization that by their own account emerged from the sea and subdued much of southern Pytharnia in the millennia predating the coming of Salmakhamer. Neptultchi Civilization transpired in various phases from about 4,400 AS to 1550 AS, perishing as a civilization about forty three centuries ago. The Tuadbe of Pytharnia and the Xsytes are the cultural remnants of their civilization. "We are as separated from his fall as the last Neptultchi God-Emperor was from his first fore-sire, Lukwachtsal."
- 1 Exocosmic Origins Theory
- 2 Historical Sources in order of scholarly acceptance
- 3 Castes
- 4 Customs
- 5 Outline of History
- 6 Crafts
- 7 Diet
- 8 Clothing and Textiles
- 9 Costume
- 10 Musical Instruments
- 11 Science
- 12 Artistic Motifs
- 13 Architecture
- 14 Magic
- 15 Legacy
- 16 See Also
Exocosmic Origins Theory
Some scholars adhere to the exocosmic theory of Neptultchi Origins which states that the Neptultchi People arrived from another realm and are thus not indigenous to the world of Asdar. In contrast to this theory, other scholars believe that the Neptultchi were indigenous to Pytharnia or at least to the Pallathantic Region and that the legend of their emerging from the sea was a later mythical invention.
Historical Sources in order of scholarly acceptance
Historians who study the Neptultchi must cope with a paucity of evidence. Specialists in Neptultchi Studies have rated sources by priority of reliability.
- ♦ Neptultchi Inscriptions
- ♦ Tuadbe Legends
- ♦ Dwarven Historians
- ♦ Xsyte Traditions
- ♦ Kalaman Annals
- ♦ Moigthe Legends and Traditions
- ♦ Uryala (Gnome) Traditions
- ♦ Pytharnian Geddamin Traditions
- ♦ Thetzisari Traditions, transmitted through the Ithatians
Neptultchi civilization divided its people into five groups and forbid marriage between the groups. The fifth group was not even human, but consisted of the Ithrabbi slave group. Of the four human groups, the Nanchachi or serf caste were by far the most numerous. It is thought the royal caste were the least numerous. The priest-warriors were the most powerful in magic, but kept subject to the royal caste who enlisted the services of powerful beings from other realms. Scholars believe that the modern-day Tuadbe are largely descended from the Dragonmount Knight caste (Itsellaxchu) and the serf caste (Nanchachi). The dragonfolk are comprised of the first three castes, but excluding the commoners (Nanchachi).
- Qu'laptsuchi , Qu'lachi, Qu'laptsutsúl ♦ royal caste (King)
- Tchontichi, Tchontitsúl ♦ ~Priest-Warriors
- Itsellaxchu, Itsellaxchuchi, Itsellaxchutsúl ♦ Dragonmount Knights
- Nanchachi, Nanchatsúl ♦ Commoners, Serfs, form basis of Xsyte nation)
- Ixuk, ixuktsinche, ixuktsúl ♦ Ithrabbi (slaves); the gishak (kulkatsúl) were sometimes considered part of this caste. The Ixukchi were obliged to wear magical collars that made them deferential to the other castes. The ixukchi were used for the heaviest grunt labor such as hauling great weight or bearing the ixchekallkeochyá.
There are five castes. While the three highest are concerned with ruling and war, they are not completely averse to manual labor. The different castes are almost like different races or nations and their duties rarely overlap.
The Ruling house and closest blood relatives are the highest caste.
The Tchontichi, or priest-warriors, ensure that the gods remain pleased and propitiated. They are powerful in priest magic and combat. They are also expert engineers and astronomers and direct the sowing and harvesting of crops. The Tchontichi control the Ixuktsinche and prepare the honored dead for burial.
The Itsellaxchu or Dragonmount Knights are trained since birth to ride domesticated dragons. Not all members of the Dragonmount Knight Caste are actually knights. There are many highly skilled members who raise and careful the dragons and provide invaluable support for the knights. The Dragonmount Knight caste has few if any serfs. The Dragonmount Knights do not share the secrets of their craft or of their means of subduing the dragons, even with the royals or priest-warriors. The Dragonmount Knights are directly subject to the King, not through the priest-warriors, but hold lesser eminence than the priest-warriors. The Dragon Knights of modern Pytharnia inherited their traditions and art from the ancient Neptultchi Dragonmount Knights and some are thought to be descended from them, though they are not pure Neptultchi stock.
The Nanchachi is the non-warrior, serf caste. Their caste name in Neptultchi means 'People of the Bread' or 'People who eat Bread.' They do all the skilled labor for the other castes and are regarded as serfs of the Royal Household or the priest-warriors. They are not permitted to learn magic or the crafting of magical devices, including staves and warlock silver. They do not have any ithrabbi slaves, although sometimes they work in cooperation with the Ixukchi. The lowest nanchatsúl do manual labor, while the highest are expert craftsmen of jewelry, clothes, smiths, and fine buildings. The Tchontichi play upon the difference between the Nanchachi who are human and part of the same ethnic group as the other human castes and the Ixukchi who are not human.
The Ithrabbi are the lowest caste and used for all manner of brute labor. They are used in non-pitched battles as skirmishers and as pirate raiders on the sea. The Ithrabbi hate their human masters and would slay them all, but they are kept subject by cruelly powerful magic. The ixuktsinche are controlled by the Tchontichi.
The worst punishment a Neptultchi could receive was to be handed over in chains to the Ixuk caste to be sacrified to their gods and devoured (not necessarily in that order). It was reserved for traitors and the worst blasphemers of the highest Neptultchi gods.
Outline of History
- pre-Landing mythology
- Coming of the Neptultchi
- Conquest of Bambashathra (Bryndyd) ca 4300 AS, becomes 'Neptulxapxi'
- Tribal Immigration into the Rhaunve River valley, ca 4300 AS to 3500 AS
- many wars with giants and dwarves during this initial settlement period of Rhaunve River Valley
- Occupation of Xepektl (Amyrn) ca 4200 AS
- Settlement of Qetmektli (Amosgire Hills) ca 3700 AS
- Conquest of Kemerite Trevirs, become Xatwachupu ca 3400 AS
- High Neptultchi Civilization, 3200 AS to 2500 AS
- 2500 AS possible migrations of Neptultchi people to west Nymentho (Xsys)
- Decline of Neptultchi Civilization, 2500 AS to 1550 AS
- ca 1760 rebel priests bring people to Xsys by dragon-pulled sea barges
- 1611 AS, God-King of Neptultchi devoured by minions of Tsama Qllu, members of royal family break up into factions, some slain, fights with warrior-priests. This is generally accepted as the end of Neptultchi Civilization.
- warrior-priests fight off eldritch beings and Neptultchi are driven from Tlaqiqe
Excellent metallurgists (smiths), create "warlock silver," an exotic alloy of metals used to create weapons, tools, and even buildings of the ruling class Excellent stone workers Use obsidian blades for cult implements (sacrificial victims, display hieratic armor) Hauchtsiltsa, Staff Heads, made of intricately worked warlock silver and set atop staves, used by warrior-priest princes
The Neptultchi ruling classes ate mostly meat, while the serfs ate mostly nancha or bread made from Neptultchi grain that is still cultivated in some parts of Pytharnia. The ruling classes spurned this grain which they thought fit only for the servile masses.
Clothing and Textiles
materials: linen (for serfs), silk (for royalty and warrior-priests, highest ranking serfs), dragonhide (warrior-priests, dragonmount knights)
- King: wears high crown of Warlock silver, inlaid with pearl, shell, gemstones. The crown has bolt like protuberances rising from it on either side of the ring with the shortest 'spires' in the front middle and the front back and the tallest on the sides.
- Priest-Warriors: sea-silk adornment, high-horned priestly headdress, long shields,
- Dragonmount Knights: casse-type helmet with inverted crescent moon with cusps pointing down into helmet, along length (front to back) of helmet, broadside from side view. Moon wedge represents the dragon goddess who bore the first Dragonmount Knights.
- Dragonhorn (even longer than Roman tuba, curving or spiraling, carried on fabric bands, suspended from wooden beam
- Conch Horn (shell with point sawed off for hole, compare Maya Conch)
- [bullroarer, rhombus]
Astronomy; year divided into 32 months of 12 days, sometimes necessary for 13 day month.
- used in ornamentation of temples, palaces, armor, clothing, jewelry, dragonmount gear
- sea: trident, clam, oyster, coral, seahorse, seaweed, pearl, shells, spiral shells, octopus, squid, fish, salmon, turtle, frog, ithrabbi, man-o-war, dolphin, starfish, kelp, lobsters, crabs,
- draconic: snake, lizard, dragon, caiman,
- Other: temperate margay (cat), firefly, butterfly, hieratic spear, venus-fly-trap,
Most important structures are temples, royal houses, and halls of warriors. They are made from carven wood, ornamented with spires of Warlock Silver, steep rooftops (compare A-Frame or Polynesian roof steepness). After Chalitsil is discovered, used widely as ornamentation on face of buildings of Tlaqiqe and Katwachupu. Rooftops tiled with stone or shell tiles. Houses of less affluent tiled with clay tiles or wooden shingles.
priestly headdress: horns that trim top outer edge from top of forehead around crown and then point curving up.
Magic does not appear to rely on Titan or Isxinthion hyphasmas spell powers. Magic used for summoning from other realms, necromancy, potions, and metallurgy (warlock silver).
Legacy of Neptultchi Civilization in modern times, especially in southern Pytharnia and Ithatia
- ♦ Dragonmount Tradition and Heritage, including Dragonmount Cant
- ♦ Ithrabbi remnants dwell in the deepearth, brought by the Neptultchi
- ♦ Neptultchi Gods seen as infernal gods, worshiped by few in secrecy for purposes of summoning and necromancy
- ♦ Buried Neptultchi Princes are possible undead if disturbed
- ♦ Neptultchi Magical spells are studied by necromancers and for purposes of polycosmic gates
- ♦ Neptultchi Warlock Silver (or Witch Steel) highly sought
- ♦ Neptultchi Civilization in literary sources, especially Kalaman, seen as an evil civilization condemned by the gods
- ♦ Neptultchi sites considered haunted
- ♦ Onkirgs seen as a connection to the past and possibly haunted
- ♦ Neptultchi Language survives in the Xsyte Language, the Tuadbe Language, in Dragonmount Cant and in niche scholarship, especially for wizards, necromancers, and dragonmount scholars
- Chronology of the Neptultchi
- Coming of the Neptultchi
- Neptultchi Gods and Religion
- Neptultchi Language
- Neptultchi Place-Names
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