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OLTECS (Kingdom of the)

Location: North central World Spine Mountains, continent of Iciria, south of the Neathar lands, west of the Kogolor dwarves, east of the Schattenalfen. HW

Area: 110,851 sq. mi. (287,105 sq. km.).

Population: 500,000 including Manac (pop. 25,000) and several other towns.

Languages: Oltec, Neathar.

Coinage: None (barter only).

Taxes: Levies in kind of goods and corvée labour.

Government Type: Loose monarchy with heavy theocratic influence.

Industries: Agriculture (especially corn), herding (sheep, goats).

Important Figures: Monpac the Sunwatcher (King, human, male, Pr14 of Otzitiotl).

Flora and Fauna: Mountain vegetation, aspen and evergreens, underbrush of various kinds, black bears, panthers, smilodons, dinosaurs, hill giants, giant lizards, mountain giants, ogres, pterosaurs, snakes, stirges, and yeti.

Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Theukidikies the Historian of Corisa.

The Oltecs are a people living in mountaintop communities, of superficial aspect they are similar to the Azcans, but their culture is unique.

The Land

The Oltecs live in the forested foothills of the World Spine Mountains, just south of the jungles of the Neathar. The Manac River runs through the heart of the Oltec lands, and the capital of the Oltecs, a city of the same name, is built on hills overlooking this river. These hills are rich in gold and copper, and this provides the Oltecs with a means of trading with the Kogolor dwarves, with whom they exchange copper for tin, so that they can forge bronze.

The Oltecs have carved their hillsides into ledges and steps upon which they plant their crops. This style of agriculture is unique to the Oltecs, but it is also uniquely suited for this hilly region. The hills here, like those of the Kogolor dwarves and the Schattenalfen, are riddled with caves and caverns going deep into the earth. There are also many canyons and crevasses where the Oltecs can find safety from rampaging dinosaurs.

The Oltecs have marked their territories with huge heads of carved stone. These they place around their cities and towns, which are always built on hilltops as Acropolis. They build walls all around their cities and villages, made of rough, squarish stone, shaped and fitted together so that they stand without needing mortar, and indeed they are fitted so carefully and precisely that one cannot slip a knife-blade between them. Outside the walls deep ditches are dug, and lookout towers are constructed to overlook the valleys below, as the Oltecs have to be constantly vigilant against the attacks of their enemies, the Azcans and the Schattenalfen.

The People

The Oltecs look a lot like the Azcans, being a copper-skinned people with dark hair and eyes. Both men and women wear their hair long, the men binding it with decorated headbands while the women wear it in ponytails or bind it up with combs. The Oltecs wear shift-like tunics, often belted, of dull tan (though the wealthier sometimes dye it in brighter colours).

Indeed, the Oltec language is akin to the Azcan language, as if they were once one people, though the Oltecs' dialect is less harsh-sounding to the ear. But other than these similarities, the Oltecs are a very different people from the Azcans. They worship the Immortals Otzitiotl, the Sun-Prince, and Kalaktatla, the Amber Serpent, rather than the Immortals of the Azcans. They have a king, who is called The Oltec, but he does not govern as ruthlessly over the Oltec people as the Azcan ruler does, but rather governs them in a light manner, more akin to how the king of the Kogolor dwarves rules. A hereditary prince, who likewise rules leniently, governs each Oltec town and village. Oltec warriors are skilled, but their nation is not a militarised one like that of the Azcans, and they are not interested in conquering their neighbours. Indeed, the Oltecs greet visitors in a peaceable and friendly manner. The Oltecs are a simple people, who enjoy dancing and storytelling but aren't sophisticated in theatre and music. It is indeed a tranquil, but somewhat boring land, unless you find the occasional Azcan or Schattenalfen raid exciting.