Society and Politics
The Kivouack was very much like a metaphoric metronome, clicking with alien elegance from one extreme to another, all to a consistent beat. At one extreme, they were indeed the most brutal of beasts, sadistic and cruel, hell bent on eating, killing and humiliating one another. Yet, at the other end of the spectrum they were philosophers of the highest degree, contemplating, debating and pondering life, their world, laws and their own existence. Kivouachian society was never chained by religion or creation theories, for they believed only their eyes and their wisdom. Their stubborn pride and tenacity denied faith or worship of any deity. The only powers they ever subscribed to were other members of their kind, members who demonstrated extreme strength and wisdom. Strength enough to defend their positions and philosophies, and wisdom enough to battle the wit of any usurpers plotting to remove them from power.
Their world was not void of happiness however, they cherished performance, artwork and song. Famously, a creature called Yeshua ran the largest known Music Hall in the Underbirth. Those who found the stresses of life to be weighing them down would visit Yeshua to be entertained by his countless performers. Artistry was highly regarded in the Kivouack, as was politics.
Locket was considered the greatest leader of the Kivouack, despite her extreme methods. It was Locket who set the laws that kept the Kivouack in tune for billions of years. Famously, she was rarely challenged, as the fear of her alone was enough to keep challengers at bay. Few could win a debate with her, let alone hurt her or even touch her. She was the daughter of the gigantic Freyda and Joy, both of which were female. Joy was devoured by Locket upon her birth and her bones were used as the foundation for the greatest Kivouachian city and structure, the Underbirth. Freyda was later killed by Locket, with her body splayed out across the Madness Frontier like a dead dog. With Freyda's mind long dead, her body was left to forever act as a separate organism, unable to perish and unable to be reunited with its mind. Many Kivouachians banished to the Madness Frontier began to build upon her body and drain it of the resources it still produced. Locket allowed this, as a way of humiliating Freyda and keeping the exiles out of her sight.
Kivouachians had many forms of art, most of them being biological in nature, but also those of craftsmanship. Locket introduced this concept of artistry when she used the carcass of her mother, the calamity known as Freyda, as something more than a body, more so a message. The act of humiliating this gigantic terror became the first and most ironic form of art ever seen in the Kivouack. Never before had anything ever been used for more than what it was, yet Freyda's body was contorted and meticulously positioned in a way that both stripped her of her dignity and served as an amusing object to gawk at. Soon enough, the first Kivouachian city was built upon her and soon after that, the greatest city that ever was, was constructed. The Underbirth.
Architecture - The architecture of the Underbirth was nothing to scoff at. Past the deep culture of defilement and humiliation, the Underbirth, in all of its districts, was beautifully crafted. Its architecture was steeped in gothic wonderment, streets of cobblestone, establishments built from carved wood and held together by the finest metalwork, holding the structures together with exoskeletal support. Ferocious gates at each street, their twisted bodies crowned in spikes, puncturing the air and any who dared climbed them. Verticality was something that all had to consider, as the Underbirth was no plane, it was an orb, layered and decorated with multiple areas of significance, connected with escherian bridges, stairwells, corridors and doorways. The documentation of its creation was forbidden by Locket, so many of its secrets remain lost to this day.
Music - The Kivouachians had no instruments, only the noises that they themselves could produce. These noises were famously whimsical in nature, their harmonious tones would dance across the city like unbound ghosts of creativity. Wexle's favorite song was ‘Steeled Soldier,’ a song created shortly after the war against Freyda, the song details the battle against her and the eventual defeat of the gigantic beast.
Humiliation - The act of shaming a defeated threat became a popular form of art in the Kivouack. It was thought to be a way of reminding those who watched of the brutality of death. The head was first separated, therefore removing all cognitive function from the body, then the body would have been contorted to serve as a trophy for the victor and a warning to others. Locket outlawed gore, postmortem mutilation of a body was prohibited, the vessel would need to have remained identifiable and no bodily components, other than the head, were permitted removal. The insides of a creature were considered ruinous to the art of displaying a body. The best displays would draw emphasis to the creatures strongest and intimate elements, this was done to show how powerful they were in life, making the fact that they lost a fight, more humiliating.
Some of Lockets most famous laws;
Self stability and fair play act - This law forbade the trading of body parts and bodily fluids of defeated opponents. Victors of combat were entitled to the bodies of their opponents, but trading parts of those bodies promoted weakness, and so it was forbidden. Many creatures would pay a high price for the sexual makeup of the defeated. Locket demanded that all Kivouachians fight for their spoils.
Yolshen Law - This law allowed any creature of any background to serve the Yolsh fighting force. If not in combat, then in architecture, smithing and as tacticians. Under this law, more of the weak Kivouack creatures died, further refining the gene pool.
Selection and refinement Act - Under this act, two creatures would need to fight and rigorously debate before entering into a partnership. Locket sought to further refine the mating process as she feared the decline of the Kivouachian gene pool.
Freedom of input and output - This gave all Kivouachians the freedom to both learn and teach. It also allowed the general public access to any literature and information they needed to expand their minds. Within reason. Many would need to gain access to the Thumme if they wanted the full wealth of Kivouachian knowledge.
Gauntlet Act - This allowed any creature to challenge a higher power to a fight or a debate, taking their place should they prove more effective. Ludwig and Lucy Lacemaker both thrived under this act.
The Capitulation Laws - Kneeling and curacy was a very important part of Kivouachian society.
Gentle Capitulation - This was a simple nod of the head accompanied by placing one foot in front of the other at the heel and bowing ever so slightly. This was a technique practiced mostly in the Hammerlow, creatures who had learned the basics of mutual respect, unlike those in the Kasino, which was more of a breeding ground for violence.
Moderate Capitulation - A creature taking one knee was a sign of respect, this was the acknowledgment of the others accomplishments and their strengths. This was a popular motion in the Thumme, an act of gentle consideration to ones fellow members of court. This was not considered a degrading thing, more so, an act steeped in politeness.
Extreme Capitulation - This was a position of total submission and self shame, when a creature found themselves too tired to fight or too scared to engage in combat in general. It could also occur in the event of a fighter losing self control and prematurely climaxing during battle. In any of these events, they would fall to their knees before their attacker in hopes of being spared, arms behind their back as a way of displaying their unwillingness to fight. This was usually followed by immediate decapitation, resulting in by far the most shameful defeat a creature could endure. Yolshen fighters were trained not to fall victim to this display, but there were still the odd exceptions. Those in this position would also be required to spread their legs (or any available limbs) and expose the full length of their tongues.
Act of Ownership - In the occasion of Extreme Capitulation, the defeated would need to expose the full length of their tongue, this was an offering to the victor. If the victor accepted, they would cut out the tongue and use it as a sign of ownership. The defeated would have their life spared, but would be unable to speak and was bound by law to obey the creature who had possession of their tongue. They would only have their tongue returned to them once they had proven themselves worthy of it, most never spoke again.
The Untarnished Act - This Law made it mandatory to clean defeated bodies of all ejected Kwel before public contortion and humiliation. This was done for both hygienic purposes and to do away with black market scavengers and traders. The killer themselves would see to this task or elect another to do it for them. The Kwel was to be devoured, this also acted as a suitable source of food from many, as Kwel was a plasma, high in vitamins and minerals. Bodies would need to be contorted with care, as being its own living organism once separated from the brain, it would still be prone to stimulation and further expulsions of Kwel.
Lucy Lacemaker brought about a massive change in court room effectiveness, but Ludwig also played his part. Upon meeting Locket for the first time, she asked him to surprise her with his knowledge. Helgan stepped forward and began a debate with Ludwig, which she let him win due to their relationship at the time. After this, Locket had Helgan beheaded and shamed, while Ludwig was promoted to Whisper to Winifred.
Not a single creature could deny that Locket made the Kivouack a stronger and more educated environment. However, her name still haunts the minds of those who survived under her. She was, and always will be, the monster under the bed, the shadow in the mirror, the thing you see in your last moments of life.
Those who annoyed Locket would be subjected to the most horrendous punishments. She would eat members of the court if she grew tired of their voice, she would display the contorted bodies of past failures to all in her City and have intercourse with anything that moved, or didn’t move. In present times, Lucy can’t sleep without the aid of alcohol due to her time spent with Locket. The stories about what Locket did to Celia also deny her any form of natural rest. Ludwig also refuses to sleep as the memories of the happenings in Locket's personal chambers are pure nightmare fuel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are politicians the most respected? -
They were certainly known as the leaders of their kind, the value of Kivouachian traits would depend on their Grand Voice, and since Locket was a thinker and philosopher, her empire grew to value these traits.
How did they view death -
The demystification of death was widespread among the Kivouachians, they saw it exactly as it was, the lack of cognition and the end of existence. This is why they had no superstitious restrictions when it came to the usage of the dead.
Was the age of a creature of any significance?-
No, young creatures were capable of holding high office, yet most of them ended up dead. The Kivouachians respected actions and deeds, not things of a superficial nature.
How long did debates last?-
In Earth terms, debates between the politicians of the court could last for days, although the Kivouack did not have 'days'.
Did they like art? -
Very much so, most Kivouachains could sing and dance and would often practice their talents in the streets. A very musical breed.
How did they keep a record of their knowledge? -
All records of Kivouachian knowledge were kept in the Thumme, inside Sombra's library. This library was estimated to be the size of a large moon and was labyrinthian in nature. Their books were also rather different to human books.
. Kivouachains have no concept of family.
. Entertainment was highly regarded in their society.
. The Grand Voice had final say on all laws past.
. There have only ever been two Grand Voices, Locket and Ludwig.
. A Whisper is an advisor to a Voice, Grand Whisper is advisor to the Grand Voice.
. Locket created and refined the concept of politics, philosophy and poetry.
. The general populous of the Underbirth couldn't vote for their leader.
. Their leaders were dictated by ones efficiency at the task.
. They had no currency, they traded items for items or services.
. All Kivouachians hate the idea of death and want to live as long as possible.