The Utyq people live in central northern Armalia, north of Dunin and between Yvabira and Temanea. They dwell along various branches of the upper Zatshra, one of the longest rivers in Riiga. The land is mostly tundra. To the north the sea is mostly frozen over in an unstable ice cap -- aside from the island of Lagsi where the Lagsa people live, to the east are the Chetetsh Ranges and the Apszhes people, to the south are the Brrutt and Yeves tribes in the Great Mancisa Plain, and to the west are the Bymir tribes further down the Zatshra.
The Utyq, like many in this area, have a moderate complexion and grey to brown-grey hair. They are seen as some of the smallest people in Riiga on average.
The land on which the Utyq tribes live has gone back and forth between Dunin and Temanean control for a long time. According to the tales of the inhabitants and neighbours, the Yeves, Brrutt, Apszhes, and Utyq people descended from an ancient group of people of neither Dunin nor Temanean origin called the Yyele people. The Yyele people were eventually conquered by the ancestors of the Dunin called the Batur people, then the ancestors of Temanea called the Ladarean Kingdom during the Grey Era, then the next group of Dunin's ancestors called the Dunian Empire after that in the Lyte Era, before finally receiving independence when the Kings of Temanea defeated the Dunian Empire, freeing the Utyq and other ancient northern peoples. These people asked Temanea for their land back and were granted it, with the condition that they would never take up arms against Temanea.
Culture and Religion
The land of the Utyq is mostly tundra, so they travel with their herds of reindeer and bison. They use furs and hide from these animals, as well as the blue-grey feathers of the majestic river eagle, to craft beautiful clothing and shelters. Their wood carving is also renowned; good wood is rare for them, so they treat it as a sacred material. To the Utyq, the blood of plants -- normally called sap -- is treated as the essence of life. They see it as a sacred source of living energy, a rare and powerful source of food worthy of holding a great celebration for. Drinking essence is a coming of age ritual for the Utyq, and it is said that when these people run out of essence, the whole world will run out of life.
There are people among the tribes called Essence Seekers, whose job it is to seek out hardy shrubs called bloodthorns that grow high on hills, which grow bright teal flowers that seem to glow at dusk and dawn. The sap of bloodthorns is the most sacred sap to the Utyq and when frozen can be made into glistening jewellery. It is sought out every full moon at dusk or dawn, as the flowers are brightest and thus easiest to find at this time.