El Malecón

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El Malecón

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Basics

Statistics & Foundation

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  • Location: Veracruz, Mexico
  • Status: OPEN. More Information
  • Demonym: Maleconian "Maleconiano"
  • Languages Spoken: Primarily Spanish
  • Influences (Group): Rural Mexican lifestyle and culture
  • Foundation: ~2001
  • Species: Dogs (mongrels)
  • Population: ~70 permanent + a fluctuating number of travelers
  • Leader: Eduardo Cortés

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Essentials
    1.   1.1  Geography
    2.   1.2  Climate
    3.   1.3  Flora and Fauna
  2.   2.  Culture
    1.   2.1  Species
    2.   2.2  Luperci & Shifting
    3.   2.3    Demographics
    4.   2.4  Languages
    5.   2.5  Technology
    6.   2.6  Practices & Traditions
    7.   2.7  Outsider Relations & Travel
  3.   3.  Structure
    1.   3.1  Leaders
    2.   3.2  Law & Justice
  4.   4.  Religion
  5.   5.  Significant Families
    1.   5.1  Family Name
  6.   6.  History
    1.   6.1  Significance
    2.   6.2  History
  7.   7.  Notes & References
    1.   7.1  Quick Reference Index
    2.   7.2  Notes

1.  Essentials

1.1  Geography

El Malecón loosely encompasses the former City of Veracruz and some of the surrounding farmlands and tropical wilds. The land is relatively level, gradually rising to give way to rolling hills and lesser mountain ranges. Close to the coast mangrove swamps and tropical forests dominate the landscape with wetlands scattered around the city where human activity eroded the original vegetation.

Human Ruins

After years of humid weather and seasonal storms most man-made structures have fallen or become unstable and only the most resilient have withstood the trials of time. Old colonial buildings such as The San Juan de Ulúa Fortress have endured well due to their thick solid stone walls and intelligent design. On the contrary, tall modern resorts and mostly metallic structures have quickly rusted and crumbled. Bellow the waters the grim carcasses of many massive trading boats have become the cradle for several new coral formations.

Coastline

Without human pollution the waters in and around the port are once more brimming with sea life. In the nearby beaches the continental shelf stretches hundredths of meters into the sea allowing even the most inexperienced swimmers a dip in shallow waters where banks of tiny fish are abundant and offer a good spot for net fishers learning the trade. At the port the sea grows deeper and more daunting but the massive man-made wave breakers that still stand have mellowed down the sea currents providing a safer area where the abundance of fish and shellfish has attracted many divers who forage the seafloor or practice harpoon fishing.

Farmlands

To the South of the City and along the edge of Río Jamapa, the Malecón dogs have restored the old sugarcane and citrus farms where the fertile and humid soil allows for year-round production. Avocado, papaya, banana, mango, corn, coconut, beans, coffee, chilli and pineapple are also produced in smaller ammounts.

1.2  Climate

The entire region is mostly hot and humid throughout the year. From September to February the cold front season takes place and significant temperature drops may happen producing icy showers and hail. From June to November heavy rainfalls, tropical storms and hurricanes are common. Between February and May during the driest period of the year forestal fires can happen.

1.3  Flora and Fauna

  • Large mammals: Jaguar, ocelot, puma, javelin, wild boar, sea cow.
  • Small mammals: Otter, racoon, badger, fox, coati, possum, hare, armadillo, ant-eater, squirrel, monkey.
  • Reptiles: Rattlesnake, coral snake, green iguana, black iguana, sea turtle.
  • Birds: Red macaw, owl, parrot, pelican, seagull, fishing eagle, crow, several species of migratory raptor birds.
  • Notable vegetation: Orchids, wild pepper, vines, strangler fig, palm tree, bamboo, mangrove, mahogany, cedar, pine, oak, ceiba.

2.  Culture

A growing society of industrious dogs that hold family and freedom above all else. The pursue of advancement in lands so wild and hostile has shaped them into hardy and cautious survivors. The spirit of their community however remains warm and light-hearted. Once their collective has opened their doors to you, you will find yourself right at home in their midst.

Every individual is free and equally relevant in El Malecón but those better known for their positive influences in the community are held with higher regard and trusted above the rest.

2.1  Species

Stray dogs
  • Hailing from a large population of pets and strays, dogs remain to this day dominant in the area. There is a strong sense of kinship felt toward all members of the species and these will likely be welcomed more quickly and with better disposition than any other canine.
  • Wolves are rare and often met with some level of reservation. Many of the Malecón dogs think of them as prideful beings and resent the fact that many appear to possess a sense of superiority only because of their lineage.
  • From the start the coyotes were met with enmity because of their long standing as direct rivals of the dogs with them being responsible for the dwindling of their numbers and the restriction of their territories. This bad blood only grew after the Mictlantecuhtli incident since many of The Malecón families lost loved ones to the skirmishes with the savage coyotes. Individuals of this species will be socially shunned and met with open aggression unless special circumstances call for a momentary truce.
  • Hybrids can be treated many different ways depending on the circumstances, their percentage of non-dog blood and their relationships within the community. Wolf-dogs will be subjected to the same prejudice as pure-blooded wolves if their looks are too wolfish, but often they will still be accepted into the community and be subjected only to an occasional joke and ‘friendly’ bullying from their peers. Coy-dogs are extremely rare amongst the permanent residents of El Malecón and are often thought of as a disgrace for their family since they are basically the result of ‘sleeping with the enemy’. If the coyote percentage of their lineage is diluted enough and their appearance looks mostly or entirely doggish the individual may choose to deny that side of their ascendency. Given that gossip is so common in such a tightly knit society the level of success for such attempts may vary but if the parents and close-relationships of these individuals are prominent enough their neighbours may choose to overlook this ‘stained’ bloodline for the sake of communal peace.

2.2  Luperci & Shifting

Unlike the more feral communities so common in the country the Malecón dogs have adopted a more civilized lifestyle and largely prefer their optime form to perform any task that would benefit from the added dexterity and social ability. Open preference for a quadrupedal shape and a more feral lifestyle isn’t necessarily frowned down upon but it is seen as an oddity. Since a bi-pedal form is generally useful for most profitable activities an individual who spends a long time in lupus and secui could be criticized and called a slacker by the more judgmental individuals in the community.

Given the rarity of non-luperci an individual unable to shift will likely be met with disbelief. It is however unlikely for anyone to take violent measures against one such individual or to attempt to turn them against their will. The very mechanisms of the luperci virus are largely unknown to them so the phenomenon of immunity may be seen as a curse by the most superstitious individuals or an illness.

2.3    Demographics

The hotspot for merchant activity is located at the Port where trader ships and land travellers converge to exchange their merchandise. This constant influx of individuals has resulted in the construction of shops and inns to accommodate the regulars, these places are run by the locals whose permanent dwellings are scattered deeper inland.

Families have a tendency of settling in close proximity to their relatives, grouping in neighbourhoods of shared blood ties and also shared professions. Like this 7 main guilds have formed – the farmers (los granjeros), the manufacturers (los artesanos), the fishermen (los Pescadores), the gatherers (los recolectores), the dock-workers (los trabajadores portuarios), the protectors (los protectores) and the merchants (los comerciantes). Each group possesses its sub-divisions for more specialized labours and each of them has settled very close to their workplace.

Housing and Territory division

  • (I will EDIT when I finish the territory map)

2.4  Languages

Spanish is the most common language spoken in the area with varying accents, slang and idioms carried over from families hailing from the south, the north, the centre and the coast of the Country. The predominant accent is coastal with its trademark replacement of most “s’s” with an “h” sound.

Some indigenous languages such as Náhuatl, Totonaca, Huasteco and Popoluca have survived but are now restricted to certain households where they have chosen to preserve the ancient tongues as part of their cultural patrimony. A family may exchange words in Náhuatl with their kin but refer to guests and outsiders in Spanish at the same time. This doubles as a way to share gossip without having to interrupt business. The locals don’t think it is rude to purposefully use another language to hide information from certain individuals since their Foreign visitors do it all the time.

English has been imported along with the goods from the North and many of the locals who travel with the caravans or interact with the visiting traders have started to adopt English as a second language for versatility purposes.

2.5  Technology

Farming and Fishing

Example of animal-pulled plow
Typical Malecón fishing boats

Decidedly going against the stigma of a lesser developed Country in regards of luperci technology, the Malecón dogs have actively sought to learn and implement new techniques to increase their production of goods for trade. Their primary areas of development as of now are agriculture and fishery. Their greatest advancements so far being the use of animal pulled plows to work the fields, various types of nets (casting nets, dragging nets and bottom drawling nets) and traps designed to more efficiently capture the treats of the sea. The keeping of livestock such as chickens, goats, cows and donkeys has also been developed for production and practical purposes. Horses are rare and more likely to be purchased from external sources rather than bred by the locals.

Transport

Transport ship
Donkey-pulled cart
Ox-pulled wagon

Transportation has become a more recent preoccupation with the strengthening of their trading routes to Ciudad Del Carmen and the USA. Small fisher boats are slowly becoming outshined by larger ships that are able to endure the long journeys along the shoreline toward other mayor port-cities. To acquire a vessel capable of sailing across open waters is a dream that Eduardo Cortés hopes to achieve one day. For land transportation a donkey-pulled cart is the most common method for short-distances and medium quantities of merchandise. For longer trips an ox-pulled wagon will be preferred, taking advantage of the long road that runs from north to south along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Architecture

Example of a luperci made Malecón hut
Adobe brick making

The building style of Malecón dogs remains quite primitive with the primary construction materials being bamboo, palm leaves and wood, resulting in structures that require constant maintenance and replacement. Adobe has been incorporated as a technique for the restoration and division of pre-existent human-buildings with the use of wooden beams for support. Attempts have been made to create purely adobe structures but their low resistance to water renders them inhabitable as soon as the rain season starts.


Style and Clothing

Examples of embroidered female blouses
Woven palm hat

Cotton is the favoured textile for its lightness and versatility. With the abundance of natural dyes such as cochineal red or sea-snail purple, the production of brightly coloured threads for embroidery has become quite popular especially for women’s fashion. Wool and leather are also common materials but their production is mainly aimed for trade since garments made out of these are usually too hot for the tropical climate of El Malecón. Palm hats called “sombreros Jarochos” are very popular amongst the workers that spend long hours under the searing sun. In regards of jewellery the Malecón dogs enjoy adorning themselves (more commonly the females) with collars and bracelets made with seashells, precious and semi-precious stones and seeds. Salvaged human-made pieces are less-common and have become hereditary items in some families. Colourful feathers are usually hoarded for trade but some individuals incorporate them into their styling to boast about their wealth.

Alcohol Production

The good tradition of making booze out of anything has been passed down and perfected over the generations. Most families have learned to produce their own liquors for trade and personal consumption, the more popular ones being a pineapple fermented drink called “Tepache” and sugar cane liquor. Drinks produced from the agave plant such as tequila and ‘pulque’ are a praised specialty that sells at high prices in the local bars.

Pets and companions

It is very uncommon to keep animals without a practical use or just for companionship. Common critters such as parrots and iguanas may be fed and admired from afar. Wild cats may sometimes be fed and provided with shelters around the farms to deal with pests but no attempt has been made at taming or breeding them.

2.6  Practices & Traditions

Community and Family

Patriotism and cooperation are the core values of Maleconian society. Pride in one’s ascendency and homeland is engraved into every individual from a tender age, shaping community driven creatures with a strong conviction for the upkeep of the group’s prosperity. This has also resulted in tightly knit family units that live in close proximity despite the availability of housing space elsewhere. Sometimes up to five related couplings may coexist in the same household, built upon and expanded haphazardly to accommodate everyone.

  • Maleconians are very much free individuals living in a society unburdened by hierarchy or strict rules. The regulation of everyone's behaviour is monitored by the collective moral compass of the community and encouraged by the backlash caused by an ill reputation.
  • Gossip is a staple of Maleconian society and it is a common bonding activity through which the recent happenings travel through the population.
  • It is tradition for first born children to inherit their parents occupation in order to maintain their progenitor’s legacy.
  • Familiar squabbles are expected to be solved between relatives in order to protect the family’s privacy – however, interfamilial conflicts are to be resolved publicly and with the mediation of a well-respected third party to prevent a mayor split in the community.
  • Although lacking a strict hierarchy elders are still considered by most a figure of authority and their counsel is generally sought before the taking of big decisions.
  • Gifts of food, candy and booze are the most common way to show appreciation or make one’s interest and esteem known. These are traditionally delivered on a palm woven baskets, wooden bowls or crude pottery pieces to the receiver's home.
  • Having such strong family values has made births and marriages events of great importance that are worthy of public celebration with massive parties thrown in honour of the growing families.

Gender and Sexuality

  • Motherhood is held in such high regard that the society has become predominantly matriarchal.
  • Gender roles are mostly traditional with hard labour usually attributed to men while finer occupations and household activities are deemed proper of women. Going against the norm isn’t forbidden but it may prompt unpleasant gossip and snarky comments from those who are less accepting of such differences.
  • Sexuality is considered a private subject that shouldn’t be shared too openly.
  • The traditional heterosexual monogamous couple is preferred but adultery, polygamy and homosexuality can be tolerated as long as the involved parties do not make a scandal out of the affair.

Union Through Food

  • Every meal is a chance to fortify familiar values and amend any frictions and disagreements with one’s kin. Delicious foods and plenty of booze are to be expected in every Malecón table.
  • Being invited to supper in another household as a guest is a great honour and usually means acceptance into the family.
  • Events of importance such as marriages or business alliances are often arranged after a shared meal.
  • Funerals, weddings, births, and any grand event will usually culminate in the celebration of a communal feast where the hosting family will invite and feed close friends and allies. A good way to publicly shun someone or make your dislike of them known is by neglecting their invitation to such happenings. Refusing to assist when invited is also considered a big offense should there be no acceptable reasons presented to explain the absence.

Major Festivities

Some sample headers (again, go wild, these are just samples):

Gender and Sexuality

Families and Family Structures

Hedonistic Behavior

Vices

Luck and Superstition

Fishing and Hunting

2.7  Outsider Relations & Travel

Travel

If your area is in Europe, think about the connections it may have to other prominent European areas -- for example, is it along any of the trade routes of the maritime map? Is it a port? Mediterranean sailing is much more common than Atlantic sailing, so keep that in mind! Arctic sailing is a bit beyond our Luperci; they do not possess ice-breakers or much of the requisite technology. Perhaps your area traded for horses in Bucharest.

If you plan to have a lot of characters get to 'Souls through this area, make sure to include some information about how long it would take to travel to 'Souls. O:

Outsiders

How do canines regard outsiders? Are they a cohesive, tightly-knit group or are they a quarrelsome group, prone to outbursts of disobedience or even "mutiny? If there are any civilizations that are nearby with which your area interacts, you can give them a subheader under here, even.

3.  Structure

3.1  Leaders

Alpha/beta/gamma? King/queen? Remember, Luperci don't tend to form complex government organizations -- their structures are simple, reflecting that of their ancestral packs.

3.2  Law & Justice

If there is a dominant system of government—e.g., a monarchy, or a pack-like structure with alphas, betas, etc—you can describe it here. Remember that extremely large groups of Luperci are usually split into smaller sects of canines -- e.g., a structure with a few packs or families banded together under a common name, like Sobiratsya.

4.  Religion

If there is a dominant religion in your culture, you can describe it here. Consider their landscape (e.g., the Kiev wolves worshiping the river around their territory.) Describe their general belief system here -- what are the cornerstones of their beliefs? Do your religions follow a particular written text?

Creation Legends

Are there any myths widely believed by the populations there regarding the creation of Luperci, the creation of wolves, the creation of that particular society? These are sometimes better to include than a detailed history—they're generally brief, fantastical, and easy to remember, and thus easy to pass from character to characters.

Deities

Are your characters monotheistic or polytheistic? Do they have minor god(s), if they're polytheistic? What about saints/spirits/angels/demons?

Symbols

Are any symbols pervasive in your religion (e.g., Christian cross, Star of David, etc). Think about what these things mean for your characters, and how these symbols are represented in your culture (e.g., perhaps residents get tattoos or markings in the shape of the symbols).

Religious Order

Are there priests, priestesses, shaman, religious leaders? How do they enforce the religious code, if there is one?

Practices

Do your canines have any particular practices, rituals, or pervasive beliefs? Perhaps the canines from your area are exceptionally superstitious. Ceremonies and the like can be listed here.

Ceremonies

If your canines celebrate particular holidays or religious observances, describe them here. This space can also be used for the description of rituals and the like.

5.  Significant Families

5.1  Family Name

Here's a description of a significant family from the area!

6.  History

6.1  Significance

If your area has a particular influence on 'Souls (e.g., a large number of immigrants come from this area, or a pack was founded on the basic beliefs of this area) write about it here! List any families that originate in your area:

6.2  History

If there was a massive war or other large scale occurrence here, you may include it here, however, please keep in mind that these events don't have a lot of meaning for characters who did not originate from the place during that time. A generalized summary is much better.

7.  Notes & References

7.1  Quick Reference Index

Essentials

Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Define areas, practices, beliefs, etc. quickly down here. This helps you in roleplay if you only need a momentary reminder, and it helps others especially if you use a tonnage of foreign words in your area's culture or whatevers. ;_; Isthmus of Tehuatepec

Religion

Momoztli
("altar") The single deity revered by Eternian religious canines.

7.2  Notes

Status

  • Creator: Players — see Wiki page for contact information.
  • Status: CLOSED.
  • Status: REQUEST.
  • Status: OPEN.
    • (NOTE: This text applies to CLOSED areas. Replace it if you're doing Request or Open). I have approved characters from this area in the past; however, please ask first. You will need to adhere to the information within this document and show me you have a strong understanding of the area and its culture in order to be approved.
    • You can also check out PLAYER's Adoptions to see if I have any available Families characters.

Inconsistencies

  1. something you maybe fudged from reality knowingly?

References

  1. any references not included in the index here?

Name Meanings

  1. define a name here if you want, or replace and rename this section
Categories: Cortés | Open Territories