The land that would come to be known as Solosteca was first settled around 5400PN by human refugees escaping enslavement by Murman. Many humans that were fleeing enslavement in those days left the future Murmanityed and scattered to all corners of the globe. A large tribe of barbarians, shamans, and druids from Western Murmanityed happened to eventually find their way to a large island, and decided to reside there.
By 5330, tribal schisms broke out between the settlers and continued for nearly 50 years. In 5285PN, the tribes were unified under the leadership of a single druid king, named Maja. He eventually became known 'Solostec', due to his worship of the sun god. Other leaders followed, each also adopting the name 'Solostec' (a practice that would eventually cease, but the name of the land stayed). The tribes learned how to work together. They built pyramids and temples out of the stone in nearby mountains, and many tribesmen moved to the highlands by those mountains as well.
Terrain and Weather
Since Solosteca resides on a large, mountainous island continent, its terrain can vary between sandy beaches, tropical wetlands, highlands, and mountains. The northwestern shore is mostly beach that gives way to dense jungle. Bordering the sea on the northeastern shore are massive cliffs that become mountains further inland.
To the South, the mountains continue, forming a continental divide between Solosteca and Isur. These mountains are home to many dwarven clans that the Solostecans are friendly with, as well as a few tribes of Black Clan dwarves that do not welcome any outsiders.
Due to its equatorial location, Solosteca usually has a sunny, tropical climate. Its location on the windward side of the southern mountain range causes frequent rainstorms. Late winter to early spring is the rainy season, where flash floods are common in some areas.
There are hundreds of small villages and settlements around Solosteca, usually for the purposes of farming and trading goods. There are a few major metropolises, however.
Kololec is the capital of Solosteca. It is located in the valley of Chalchiuhtlatonal. The city's footprint is roughly 100 square miles, all of it located on top of a massive step pyramid. The areas around the base of the pyramid are settled as well. Commuting into and out of the city is not common, so residents of the city seem to stay for years.
Ixtakka is the spiritual center of Solosteca. It is located in the mountains in the southern part of the country. It is built into the mountains at a high elevation. The great temples overlook the rest of the kingdoms, when there are not clouds in the way.
Ixja is a trade center located on the northeastern interior shoreline.
Acatl is an agricultural center located in the northwestern part of the country.
Citizens of Solosteca enjoy a primitive lifestyle. They farm, fish, hunt, weave cloth, train animals, cook, and have festivals. There is a Solostecan philosophy that translates roughly as "Serve Solosteca as you are best equipped and most happy". There is a strong emphasis on family and community.
The daily activities of the Solostecans depend on which part of the country they live in. Many near the coast are talented shipbuilders. Those that live near the rainforests provide lumber, and many of those in the mountainous regions either work in quarries or farm terraced settlements.
Solostecans worship an array of common deities along with nature, but they seldom differentiate between them. They seem to view the gods they worship and nature as one being. The clerics often focus on one aspect, and may or may not believe that their deity is different from others worshiped. The gods that are most worshiped via their aspect approach are Athor, Marya, Seiba, Cheleria, Kylee, Ulf, Vultan, Bors and Shyla, and Ianadale.
Solosteca is ruled by a monarchy. While most Solostecans don't believe their monarch, or Akaitl, is a deity, they do believe he or she is special and communicates directly with their god. This is partially true, since most Akaitls have been a cleric or druid of some sort. The current Akaitl is named Tztomal. The Akatls are responsible for ruling, religious ceremony (either in person or by proxy), and judging disputes that the other nobles can't decide. The Akatls make a journey from Kololec to Ixtakka every 5 years in order to pray and meditate for their people. The completion of this task is the biggest celebration on the Solostecan calendar, except for the ascension of a new Akaitl.
Avenger of Blood
Solosteca has somewhat of a unique way of dealing with criminals that takes the place of a trial or hearing. Every 5 years, during the Solstice festival, a veteran warrior is deemed the 'Avenger of Blood'. This figure is given a ceremonial headdress and greataxe. He is celebrated and feared by the entire population, and looked upon as if he was a god.
Whenever a citizen of the country kills another citizen, either intentionally or accidentally, the Avenger of Blood comes after them. The Avenger of Blood has a full cycle of the moon to find and kill the offender. Family members and friends can attempt to hide the offender, but they are not allowed to touch the Avenger nor is the Avenger allowed to harm them. It is believed that the witnesses, the family, or the sun god himself will stand between the innocent and harm. If the offender evades the Avenger for the full period of days, he is allowed to go back to his lifestyle.
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Cleric and druidic magic are the most common types of magic in Solosteca. Occasionally, a sorcerer will be born, and will be revered as a shaman along with clerics and druids. Although the clerics, druids, and other magic users may know that they practice different forms of magic, to most Solostecans, it is seen as one amalgam of god-granted power. Deity worship is closely associated with nature worship due to the worship of the sun god.
Solostecans are primarily humans. They are not unfamiliar with Elves and Half-Elves, and are friendly towards some of the Dwarves that live in the mountains. Grippili are common deep in the rain forest, and the Solostecans freely trade with them. Solostecans, although geographically isolated, are not xenophobic, and will readily associate with anyone that is friendly towards them.
Fighters, Rangers and Barbarians are the most common classes from Solosteca. There are many Rogues as well, primarily in the cities. Druids are somewhat common also, and highly respected. Clerics and Paladins usually follow the Solosteca sun-god. Any of the magic users (whether they are Sorcerers or Wizards) are considered shamans, and aren't very common. Monks and Bards are virtually non-existent.