Official Religion: Pagan;
A belief that the mortal flesh is a coil that must be sloughed off to reach enlightenment and magical power, achieving this connection by series of 'little deaths' achieved through flagellation, sexual intercourse, blood debts and ultimately sacrifice (animal and human).
The Great Mistresses are a series of Goddesses that govern aspects of the Cosmos, which makes up the spirits, heavens and afterlife of the Topegan world system.
Major Cities: Nahuatlan, Tlacopatlan, Tlalochita, Atzchemma and Quetzlcahocan.
Citizens: Pegs, Topegans;
Ruddy-skinned, ruddy-haired and ruddy-eyed, the Topegans are often referred to as the "red people" or "clay people". They bear many piercings, especially through the nose, ears, lips, eyebrows and nipples, and prize body art. They tend to be dense-bodied, strong but without great muscular tone, and with harsh, sharp or bold features. Their eyes tend to be deep-set in their faces and their hair is thick, wiry and dull.
Culture: The people are greatly feared by foreign nations due to their superstitions, magic and human sacrifices.They are undoubtedly the most skilled tattoo artists in Uphelios, capable of such delicate work and with so many colours that they seem to 'paint' the skin - though they rarely use anaesthetics, making the process incredibly painful. They prize physical prowess and magical prowess in equal measure, and often divide their youths into two groups based on their physiognamy. For males, the strong and hale are sent to become warriors; the thin and diminuitive are trained as priests, doctors, diplomats and astrologists. For females, the hearty and hale are trained as mothers (with all of the associated labours of the home) and gardeners; the frail and thin are trained as witches, shamans, oracles and hosts for the Great Mistresses.
The monarchs, or Chiefs, of the Topegan people are generally organised by family lines, and often involve harems. A single Chief may have any number of wives and a great many children, between whom he selects his favourite as his heir. Because of thise there are often a great many struggles or intrigues within the monarchies to vie for the Chief's primary affections. Warring between tribes is also common, and in the event of a Chief's death, a strong wife or the ruling Shaman or Voodoo Priest may take command of the tribe until a new Chief is appointed. It is uncommon for the Pagan leaders to hold political power for long, as their duties to the Great Mistresses and the Cosmos consume a great deal of their time and energy. It is infrequent, but acceptable, for a strong ruling Wife to retain power until her heir succeeds her.
Historical notes: Topego has long used fear to control not only its own people but its neighbours as well. Throughout its long history, it has elicited tributes and sacrifices from its various tribes and political neighbours to assauge their violent wrath. They often would raid to steal foreign princesses, warriors and slaves, many of whom would ultimately be sacrificed. Their Pagan Faith is widely considered the most fearful and formidable in the world, with their Shamans and Voodoo Priests holding the most power and influence of any member of a tribe.
(Influences: Aztec, Mayan, Thailand, Native American)