History of the Neapraco
Of Mapesad’s five cultures, the Neapraco were the first to settle in the city after it was founded by the Mapatinsh. The Neapraco are a race of miners and craftsmen descended from the Ebutru who lived on the plains to the north-east of Mapesad. In ancient times, a massive Warp Event erupted in the Ebutru homeland causing that tribe of men to split. The Neapraco suffered very little from the Warp effects and took shelter in the mountains. It was here that they learned to mine and craft wares in order to survive.
With the founding of Mapesad a little over five hundred years ago, the Neapraco began to trade with the Mapatinsh. This relationship became closer, until some Neapraco began to settle within the city itself, integrating their culture with the rich and complex culture of the Mapatinsh. This relationship has grown over the centuries, with many Mapatinsh Periphs having Neapraco members.
Philosophy and Culture
The fundamental philosophy of the Neapraco is the idea of balance. This ideal integrates well with the Mapatinshum desire for Harmony. Balance is represented in Neapraco culture by the pickaxe – the miner’s tool. The two opposing blades are held in balance by the handle. When used by a skilled miner, a well balanced pickaxe will reap rich rewards. Because of this sacred symbolism, the number three is also very important to the Neapraco. Not only does it represent balance and the pickaxe, it also represents how the Neapraco view the world itself: two opposing forces balanced out by a neutral third.
The number three appears everywhere in Neapraco society. They worship three gods: Opnot, the god of ore; Onchuy, goddess of light and the eunuch god Luimoy, lord of the winds and the air. Neapraco society is organized around a unit of three individuals known as an nqa (pronounced: “En-kwa”; pl. “nqase”). A traditional Neapraco family consists of a male, a female and an eunuch. The eunuch is the head of the household, in charge of all financial matters and business relating to the family. The female is tasked with raising and educating the children while the male is tasked with providing income to the family. Traditionally, each family will only have three children – always a male, female and eunuch as well. The second born child, whether born male or female, is ritually castrated at birth to become the family’s next eunuch.
The nqa is central to Neapraco society. Teams of male Neapraco work together in working nqase of three men while those without a working nqa, the Eaettod (pronounced “Ee-Et-Tod”) are shunned or even attacked by the more conservative Neapracose.
Neapraco families themselves are organized into clans based on their larger genealogical relationships as well as the profession of the male members of the family nqa. There are twelve clans, each ruled by a Chief Eunuch. The clans elect an nqa to represent them in the Mapatinsh assembly. They also make politically astute connections with important Mapatinsh Periphs by marrying off some of their offspring to take on the roles as the Metal member in the Noble Periphs. In this way, the Neapraco stay involved in the complex politics and social dramas of the Mapatinsh nobility.
The Neapraco have a very practical heraldic system. Every Neapraco wears a metal arm band just above their left elbow called a caieel (pronounced “Kay-Eel”). The caieel depicts runes and symbols that indicate the individual’s family nqa, their clan, their profession (if male) and any other symbols that may be important to the individual. Because the caieel records the individual’s family and profession, new symbols are added after important events such as weddings, professional promotions or the achievement of an award.
Physiology and Clothing
Being miners, the Neapraco are stocky and strong in build with ruddy skin and hair ranging from blond, red and brown. Their eyes are usually green or brown, though a few rare, blue eyed Neapraco have been seen. They dress themselves in tunics and kilts made from wool or cotton with leather boots or shoes on their feet. Some even wear leather vests. Preferred colours are reds, browns, greys, black, white, silver gold and copper. In times of war they outfit themselves in fine steel chain mail shirts and will often add armoured plates to their kilts. Their warriors carry war mattocks, axes, spears, daggers and crossbows for weapons. When they do use shields, they prefer the pentagon-shaped Mapatinsh shields. Their helms are open-faced sallets, often with an added nasal to protect the warrior’s nose. Those Neapraco warriors who can afford them, sometimes wear a sallet with a visor.
There are a number of characters in the Warp World stories who are Neapraco, such as Odapir Deapotrea and the twin bosuns Sytter and Syttuun Yoloyenn. All three are members of the crew of The Æabeto and form a working nqa.
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