This group is the most organized and advanced culture in the region, with its temples, masonry and textile manufacturing well known to all peoples in the region. In truth, the Qecha are the noblity and priestly caste of the Yomma, but over the course of hundreds of years living in segregated monasteries, observatories and keeps at the very heights of the mountains, they have developed ideas, language and art that differs significantly from their former peers. They have constructed more advanced social structures and are beginning to impress those structures upon the Yomma living nearby.
==== Qecha culture promotes and reveres magical abilities above anything else. Its priests are those with the most potent magical abilities, known as Ra’a. This word is rooted in Manisellarian lore as an ancient discription of a type of boogeyman or demon; a lunatic. It was later used to describe hermits and sages, then to describe monks, and the Yomma still use it to speak of the Qecha in general at times. The Qecha themselves, however, only use the term in reverential reference to their highest ranking officers. ==== The Ra’a are chosen by non-uniform methods, with each Qecha stronghold hosting a different ‘gease’ to decide their Ra’a that was set down by the first hermit to settle the peak. Below the Ra’a are the Deacons, who manage daily affairs, and the heirarchy continues down the list of locals more or less in order of their proven magical abilities before terminating with the lowest order: native born Qecha without magical abilities or foreigners with them.
With the growth of the keeps, strongholds and monasteries, more and more food is needed. Their infrastructure and science has lead to more complex social structure, including ideas of succession and leadership, and the deacons are increasingly under pressure to secure constant reliable food sources. This means sending administrators down to the Yomma villages to do the accounting and try to consolodate farms to be more productive, while sending food up to the monasteries rather than into local granaries. Where the Yomma resist this sort of administration, some Qecha have met them with force, their disciplined, trained and well equipped forces quickly silencing dissent and paving the way for the villages to be levelled, the farms reorganized and the Yomma culture entirely destroyed.
The Qecha localities have so far not needed to compete with one-another, but there are some places where more than one Qecha outpost is present on the same mountain, or where their trade overlaps some villages. If those villages were to be administered or taken by one Qecha group, another might be starved, or sense the danger and attack pre-emptively.
Arts and Industry Edit
Qecha cultural exploits are the most complex and refined in their known world. They are especially fond of weaving, and they use their complex hand-looms to create patterns that carry both beautiful and meaningful art. Their appreciation for weaving extends beyond the aesthetic to the mathematical and nearly sceintific. They can use weaving patterns to carry messsages and ideas through the repetition and conflagration of numbers to the point that a rudimentary form of algebra and calculus can be seen in their work.
Qecha textiles are typically made from wool, but some exotic materials have been used to beautify this artform as well. Vegitable, mineral and magical dyes are used to produce black, red, yellow, orange, and green, and both the threadcount and patterning of the weave as well as pattern dying can add to the final product. The woven materials are used for blankets and clothing, typically ponchos, woven boots, stockings, and tunics that are thick and soft. The blankets are used as tappestries, rugs, blankets and wraps.
The Qecha are also the traditional goldsmiths of the region, using magic to heat, purify and alter the metal. Non-magical forging of metals is unknown to the Manisellarians entirely. Qecha goldsmiths create ornate headpieces, breastplates and bracelets that match the typical headpieces, hair ornaments, breastplates and bracelets that are otherwise made of wood, gems and bones, or even woven from wool or leather.
The Qecha cannot produce primary agricultural products in their strongholds on the peaks, and rely on wool, rice, fruits and other food from the Yomma below, which is creating pressure to secure that food source by subjugating those peoples. They do produce a variety of rice wine, however, and produce pickled foodstuffs that are generally considered repulsive to others.
The Qecha believe that the moon is the source of all magical power, and worship its regular cycles. They have complicated calendar systems that can predict phases and astrological events such as eclipses and transits, and they carefully monitor the ebb and flow of magical energies in their observatories as well. They use their complex mathematical models to draw conclusions from unforeseeable and random astrological events such as meteor strikes and supernovae. Their academic mindset and moon worship lead many to hold women in high regard, seeing their monthly cycles as symbolic of the moon and their procreative abilities as a unique form of magic. For this reason, nearly half of all Ra’a are women.
The Qecha follow a tradition of open-air burials for their elite, believing that mummification indicates the morality of the deceased, and if a body is well preserved they will entomb it and build a small shrine around it. Those who are not mummified are collected in well arranged osuaries.
Qecha Clerics can be called into service by the Moon (knowledge, life, tempest), Maven (trickery, tempest, knowledge), or their home mountain (life, nature, tempest).
Qecha is slowly being standardized across the mountain ranges for the ease of relaying scientific, religious and magical doctrines, and is developing into a formal high language, with localized Yomma dialects.