The Muqali (in their own word, Muqali;
in Yuktepat, Moqol) are a
high altitude nation roughly within the tropical zone of central
and southern Tiptum. Living in one of the
highest inhabited places in this world has certainly influenced
Muqali - and insulated them from the world. This affects not only
who the Muqali are, but also who other nations think they are, and
those nations generally agreed that Moqaali was backward. People
in America tell Polish jokes; people in other parts of Tiptum tell
Muqali jokes. They looked up to the Tepat
and tried superficially to imitate them, while stubbornly adhering
to their entrenched customs. They were widely considered backward
by the more advanced nations around them. Muqali's revenge for
this would be the Muqali revolution, which rapidly and radically
transformed the nation - although, as might be expected of a joke,
its revenge fell hardest on Muqali itself.
The Muqali live in rough terrain, on a high plateau - the Hallatlama
- and between the peaks of the Qhaluyamacutl.
Muqali rises above all its neighbors, even the Notoq, who carved
out their own niche just slightly northwest and downhill. It has
the greatest average elevation of any country in Tiptum, and
second-highest in the world after Ashake in central Atonya. It
also contains the continent's highest peaks, such as Qatlak
P'awu, "the Dragon's Fang." It was from here that the
aristocracy lorded it over everyone with an altitude to match
their attitude. Muqali's destiny is tied to the fact that they are
a mountain people, and they also often simply call themselves the
Yamuyli, "mountain people."
Precipitation was frequent on the western slopes, and the higher peaks were often covered with fog. It is here that most of the country's crops are grown. Drier conditions prevail as one moves east. Trees are short, vegetation is patchy, soil is thin and dry, and rocks are ubiquitous. Here and there especially lofty peaks are covered with snow year-round. Glaciers and famously pristine lakes also dot the higher elevations. Steep valleys funnel air into themselves creating strong blasts of wind running along their lengths. The higher one goes, the cooler and thinner the air becomes. More solar radiation slowly baked the Muqali to a darker color than their lowland contemporaries.
Ridge after ridge not only separated the Muqali from their
neighbors, but also from themselves. Thus communication and trade
were poor, governance decentralized, and dialects diverse. The
word for"valley" could also mean "clan," "estate," "county,"
"dialect," and so on, since all of these usually coincided. Asking
someone what their valley was a shorthand for finding out who he
was, and judging him accordingly. This interplayed with the very
Muqali phenomenon of "Altitudism," or looking down on those
downhill from you.
Muqali is also one of the few nations where wheels practically do
not exist. It's not that the Muqali are especially ignorant
(though outsiders may like to think that). They have been well
aware of the wheel for a long time. However narrow, undulating,
rocky trails make wheels as much a burden as the loads they carry,
so the Muqali just continued using packs strapped to the backs of
Low air pressure means that water doesn't need to get as hot to
boil, so to compensate the Muqali clamp the lid down on their food
and high-pressure boil or steam it. This has led to one of the
distinctive features of Muqali homes, the c'uh,
a thick stone stove with a built-in water chamber over which a
heavy, tightly-fitting lid is placed to keep the pressure up. You
just dump all your ingredients in the pot with salty water and
leave it for a few hours, and voilà, soup for dinner! That
soup is probably cicilmiqtha hapak c'ulu,
or potato soup with llama meat.
The event Muqali is most famous for is an extremely messy
revolution. The country's history can basically be split in two by
the Revolution; there is Pre-Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary
Muqali. Before the Revolution, the king was God; after the
revolution, "king" was a four-letter word.
Prior to the revolution, the Muqali lived in a state of fear and ignorance. The country was divided by thousands of different clans and dialects with little to unify them except the rule of a divine kingship. While confidently secure in the superiority of their own divinity, the lords of Muqali had encountered the more advanced states of Tepat and the east coast, and were quite attracted. Enlightenment was fashionable, and as all decent people did, the Muqali aristocracy more and more modelled themselves on Tepat. They bought the products of Tepat, wore Tepat clothes, built Tepat-style houses, taught their children to read and write Mwentepat, quoted Tepat sages, and without a break maintained all the hallowed customs that the Tepat despised. Nevertheless in their own minds they had adopted an enlightened concern for the world, and held it against their illiterate serfs that they did not also do so.
The language is ergative, and its ergativity apparently arose
from such frequent use of the passive voice that it became the
primary voice, with the instrumental case becoming the ergative
and the nominative becoming the absolutive. For verbs of
experience, and even of thinking, the stimulus was universally
encoded as the (ergative) subject and the experiencer as
The language also didn't care much for fine distinctions of volition and intention. Pairs such as "murder" and "manslaughter," "fall" and "get down," and "misspeak" and "lie" were expressed by the same words. Foreign visitors complained that the Muqali had no concept of good intentions, and would accuse them of lying over mere mistakes. Law similarly punished without regard to intentions.
When the Muqali were exposed to writing for the first time in the
form of Klûttepat (Tepatic
glyphs), they didn't understand it, but held an almost
religious awe for it. As they began to learn, the potent symbols
were drawn into divinatory traditions. In the late period of
Muqali royal rule, the rulers taught Mwentepat
to their children, wrote in Mwentepat, and
occasionally transcribed Muqali in klût, but divination
by klût continued alongside it with the persistence of
astrology in America. During the revolution, the logographs were
scrapped and replaced with a freshly-devised syllabary working on
similar principles to the Hamtumite one. This was promoted heavily
in an attempt to eradicate illiteracy. It reflected the
contemporary speech of the capital nigh perfectly but has become
less accurate with the accumulation of changes in the spoken
Vowels: /i a u/
|Karawaļak luwikku palcwi
mulmukatha XXX waytu hul'uc yama hul'uc iltap.
|By the side of the road, next to
the scrub-forest, lies an unfortunate man, who was
investigated by the Revolutionary Council.
|He is a very rich
man, with many camels, potatoes, and wives.
potatoes at the girl he likes.
"Muqali, where the land approaches the sky."
"What's your valley?"
Muqali sentences are usually Subject-Object-Verb, although
sometimes Object-Subject-Verb is also found. The ergative case
marker -k makes sure you know what's up. It has
postpositions (and case endings) instead of prepositions, and
adjectives and possessive come in front of the word they modify.
Muqali has two kinds of relative clauses, internal and extenernal.