This is still fairly rough, and of course still subject to change. So far this is the extent of what I have developed for Intua (and the Inti), so if folks feel like contributing more, please feel free to do so.
Kingdom of the Sun
Location: Continent of Brun, under the Great Plateau.
Area: XXX sq. ft. (XXX sq. m.); additional notes if any
Population: Estimated XXX (X% humans, X% spirit-folk, X% frogfolk, X% lupin, X% other).
Government Type: Militant Theocracy
Industries: Textiles, agriculture
To escape the Great Rain of Fire, the ancestors of the Azcans fled underground, seeking shelter in the heart of the Great Picari Plateau on the coast of Brun south of Lake Amaruyaku (modern day Lake Amsorak). Emerging once again into the sunlit world they are pushed by blind leaders who have never before seen the sun to explore and conquer.
The western landscape is dominated by Lake Amaruyaku and the Picari Plateau, from which the Inti emerged to begin their renewed life under the sun. West of the plateau is a vast expanse of grass through which the Inti never travel. East of the Streel the plains are called the Pampa Ichu and are cutoff in the southeast by the rising Curacanti Mountains, marking the border between Intua and the Taymoran city states beyond.
Flora and Fauna
Bison along with a multitude of other grazers roam about the endless plains to the west and east, replaced by goats and llama in the Amaruanti and Killayanti ranges. Predators include many of the great cats, with puma being predominant in the mountains and saber toothed cats stalking about the tall grasslands. Flying predators such as the giant eagles, and occasional roc from the highest peaks of the mountains, also abound.
Even before the rise of Blackmoor, the ancestors of the Inti made war with each other. The empire of the Oltecs on northern Davania grew heavy, and under its weight several Azcan cities declared independence. These cities would rise to greatness over subsequent decades and centuries, eventually driving their former masters from their home continent.
Not content to merely drive away their former oppressors, the Azcans chased the remnants of the Oltec civilization all the way to the frozen wilds of southern Brun. It was then that the Great Rain of Fire struck, shifting the axis of the planet, and laying civilization to waste. The Oltecs were decimated, but the Azcans only narrowly escaped a similar fate. Their leaders led them into a vast cavern system located under the Great Plateau.
In the darkness the descendants of the Azcans, now calling themselves the Inti, began to rebuild. Deep horrors accosted them. Underground enemies beset their settlements. These things only strengthened the Inti resolve to one day see the sun again. That day has come, and the Inti venture forth from their dark sanctuaries to reclaim their birthright.
Humans of Azcan descent dominate Inti territory, both below and above the ground, however other races also make a home there. Spirit-folk, ancestors of the Inti from the time of the Azcan-Oltec wars, also make their home under the plateau. Less common are the toad-folk, descendants of a lost age who long ago buried themselves underground, even before the Inti’s flight. Regardless of race, all who live under the Great Plateau are beholden to the Blind Fathers and their mystic wisdom.
Unlike many of their neighboring nations, the Inti are not concerned with taking slaves, but with building up an empire. As such they tend to slaughter enemy soldiers rather than take prisoners, although they are more forgiving with non-combatant populations. They would rather have living vassals that can toil the land and pay tribute to their growing empire.
Inti kings are mummified upon their deaths, and through ancient rituals their spirits remain to animate their desiccated bodies. Such creatures become a part of the Blind Court, ruling over the lands that they conquered in life as governors. Their subjects carry them on golden thrones from one settlement to the next within their territory. The living king is thus constantly driven to conquer new territories, lest he be destitute in the life hereafter. Prestige and power are directly determined by the number of subjects and amount of territory that a king conquers during his lifetime.
Most sacred in all walks of Inti life is the sun. Even during their centuries of exile beneath the earth, the Inti revered the sun as the bringer of life and all that was good in the world. Iqaru (Ixion) is chief among the immortals they worship, and all Inti are considered to be his direct descendants.
Although Iqaru’s hold on his people is strong, a new disturbing trend has begun taking shape among conservative elements in Inti society. The Cult of Shadows believes that the time has not yet come to return to the sunlit lands, and advocates a return to the old ways and life in darkness. Not even the Blind Fathers are immune to this corruption, and a small portion of the Blind Court is in fact the driving force behind the Cult.
Settlements of Note
Allqusinchi (pop. XXX):
Cazcul (pop. XXX): A maze of monumental steles, pyramids, and statue lined walkways, Cazcul marks the location of the first Inti settlement after having emerged from the caves of Toccohuacca to the south. It is considered to be the center of the empire, and is the seat of the Inti Kings both above and below the surface. Fantastic stone terraces meander back and forth from the top of the plateau to nearly all the way down to lake Amaruyaku.
Machu Palqa (pop. XXX): A magical place, Machu Palqa is built high in the Killayanti Mountains. The Blind Court holds sway here and on the rare occasions when they meet, they do so here at the Temple of the Moon. Caverns beneath the temple are rumored to link Machu Palqa with the ancient realm of Picari Palaqwi.
Pampawasi (pop. XXX): Originally a fortress on the easternmost border of Intua, Pampawasi has since grown into a thriving city.
Picari Palaqwi (pop. XXX): Home to the Inti for centuries during their sanctuary from the Wasting, the great cavern of Picari Palaqwi now stands mostly uninhabited. Most Inti have made the journey to the promised Land of the Sun above, but a few dedicated souls remain behind to protect the sunlit lands from the dangers that lurk beneath the surface. Soldiers here maintain vigil against minions of the Deep Elves and the horrors that they serve.
Appearance and Dress
Inti have light to golden brown skin coloration, depending on whether they have been living above or below ground, with dark eyes and black hair. Men wear their hair short, while women tend to wear it long and uncut, parted in the middle of the head.
Most clothing is woven from plant fibers, although newer generations of Inti have also begun using wool harvested from surface animals. Although their cloth is never cut, the Inti do dye it various colors and weave intricate patterns into it. Checkerboard patterns are the most common for soldiery and the lower class, but rich merchants and nobles may have animals, people, and entire scenes integrated in their clothing.
Men wear breach cloths, sleeveless tunics belted at the waist, and cloaks that are often slung over one shoulder leaving the other arm relatively free. Typical attire for women is a single piece dress that extends from the neck to the ankles. Mantles may also be adorned in colder climates.
Weapons and Armor
Copper axes and star headed truncheons are staples of the Inti military, and most Inti are trained in their use from a very young age. Short spears are also common, especially in the underground territories, but are replaced by versions with more reach above ground. Slingshots and bolas round out the arsenal, and are used both in hunting and warfare.
Partial plate armor and helms made of copper are worn over the traditional cloth tunic, and warriors also often carry a small wooden or copper shield.
The Inti are an aggressive militaristic society, and this has brought them into conflict with the nearby Taymoran city states to the southeast. Contact with Adhuza is sporadic, nevertheless the dominarchy is already firmly in control of several coastal populations. In these areas secret wars and assassination games are played out every day as the kopru vie for dominance among one another.
There is an uneasy truce with elven immigrants from Vulcania who often trade with the Inti, bringing to them exotic goods and services. Likewise, contact with both the Shimmering Lands and the Mogreth is marginal. Both nations often send raiding parties into foreign lands in order to acquire new slaves, sometimes in secret and sometimes in force. When giants are met, they are almost universally conquered or killed, and the same treatment can be expected for any native elven nations in the area.
Underground, things are a bit different. Periods of guerrilla warfare with the Deep Elves are interspersed with periods of peace, and sometimes even cooperation. The Deep elves worship darker immortals, and many actively seek to spread their faith among the Inti. To some extent they have succeeded and a certain portion of Inti society has already succumbed to evil practices and actively opposes the return to the surface world.
The Inti speak a dialect of the Azcan/Oltec language.
Warrior professions are highly revered by the Inti, as every able bodied citizen can be called upon by the king to defend the country. Young boys begin training as soldiers when they are old enough to swing an axe, and are expected to serve a minimum of four years in the army before being released from their duties.
Philosophers, bards, and mystics of all types are also not uncommon, as the Inti have had many centuries to contemplate their plight in the dark depths of the earth. In addition to being warriors, nobles are also expected to be the spiritual leaders of their people and many are proficient in the divine arts. Arcane adherents are less common, and often looked upon with some level of distrust, although they are not shunned outright.
After 2300 BC
The Inti Empire grows steadily above ground in the centuries following BC 2300, however their underground holdings diminish and are reclaimed by the denizens of the dark. With the destruction of the Great Plateau in BC 1750, a splinter group of Inti flee further underground and lay siege to the Deep Elven city of Aengmor. They succeed in driving the elves from their homeland and conquer the city. Their victory is short lived however, as the city and most of its Inti inhabitants are destroyed only 30 years later as the tremendous geological activity of the time wracks the landscape.
Those Inti who remained above ground suffered a lesser fate. Though their civilization was shattered along with the Great Plateau, the people survived. Orcs and other humanoids raided their lands, conquering most of the Inti and making them into slaves. Some found shelter in lands to the west, while others fought against their oppressors. Eventually they gained their freedom and became the people of the Atraughin Clans.