According to Petzuhallpa myth, at first the world was little more than a desert. When the first people were made from the sand they began to starve and die. Seeing this, the gods wept for their creation, and their tears gave birth to the rivers and the jungle.
Vast distances exist between the pyramids and villages in the Grey Mist. Through an ingenious network of andean birds they keep in touch. Each pyramid is essentially its own kingdom, but to remain unified as a culture the leader of each pyramid will leave a regent to rule in their place and go live in the great city surrounding the Red Pyramid.
The resident of the Red Pyramid, the king or queen is considered the most holy of all Petzuhallpa, who shares the blood of the gods, but in truth they have no power. They are marked by the suffix of 'allpa' or 'ellpe' to their name. Their children are called royal prince, 'chib'ipa,' or royal princess, 'chib'ipe.'
- Huwamanpellpe (Nayla)
There are three high lords, one for each of the three lands. These three are considered to be the true leaders of the three lands. They are marked by the suffix 'atl' or 'etl' to their names. Their heirs are called chib'atl or chib'etl.
The rulers of the less influential pyramids and the younger children a high lord who will not inherit their father's seat. They are considered trusted advisors to the high lords, but the only real power they have is over their own pyramid, or the villages nearby. They are called 'huitl.'
Village chiefs or younger children of lords are called the chakatl, or chaketl. Most of them are seen only as social ladder climbers.
The Petzuhallpa have a very complex calendar system they use to mark holy days (tenpeiwali), and the proper 365-day calendar year (xupeiwali). The two calendars run simultaneously on a 52-year cycle. 50 is the average life expectancy for the Petzuhallpa, so the cycle is often referred to as a Life Cycle. Living to see a second Life Cycle begin is greatly celebrated.
Split into 20 months of 13 days. These are used to name days in both calendars. Each day is associated with a pictogram and direction in the following order:
- Sipakti (Crocodile) – East
- Eheekat (the God of Wind) – North
- Kali (Pyramid) – West
- Kwetzalin (Lizard) – South
- Kowatl (Snake) – East
- Mikistl (Death) – North
- Masatl (Deer) – West
- Totchli (Rabbit) – South
- Atl (Water) – East
- Itskwintl (Dog) – North
- Osomatl (Monkey) – West
- Malinali (Grass) – South
- Akatl (Reed) – East
- Oselot (Jaguar) – North
- Kwatl (Eagle) – West
- Koskakwatl (South) – Andean
- Olleein (Earthquake) – East
- Tekpatl (Flint Knife) – North The only day the sacrificial knifes can be made.
- Tlatok (the God of Rain) – West
- Xoch (Flower) – South
Each set of 13 days is represented by a deity:
It takes 260 days for the cycle of 13 numbers and 20 days to sync up, beginning the tenpeiwali again.
The year count is split into 18 sets of 20 days, each set called a metli. The xupeiwali always begins on the day Sipakti. Also every Sipakti is a festival day, but different pyramids perform different rites and sacrifices to different gods.
Because of the vast distances between pyramids, each region has it's own unique dialogue. This is referred to as their chaktan, the low tongue, since it's generally just spoken by the lower classes, the people who never travel and have no need to speak to outsiders. The lords all speak katan, the high tongue. Katan is the only language universally recognized throughout the Grey Mist.
In the Novels
The Petzuhallpa agree with Sha'di that there is corruption in their land, and hope he can help them put things right within the Grey Mist.
- Chakatls and other lords are described as "plump men" who "all wore tunics... Their hair was braided with... jewels... Many had strange piercings in their lips and ears... Their heads seemed strangely long and narrow, as though someone had grabbed them by the hair and stretched their heads out. A few men held fans made out of long white feathers, fanning themselves as they looked at the strangers with disinterest."
- A village chief is described as being "by far the roundest man Sha’di had ever seen... He had a red tunic on made from the pelt of a black jaguar, the belt made from silver and topaz. His hair was also braided, and the end of each braid had a precious stone or precious metal or some other shiny trinket."
- Common men are described as being completely beardless, with long straight black hair, having "red dye on the lower halves of their faces, hands and legs. Some wore loincloths," whereas "the children wore nothing at all, nor did they have the red dye on them," and the women had bare chests, "the dye on the top halves of their faces as well as on their breasts and hands. All the people looked healthy, the women curvy and the children pudgy... Some of these people, like the older men, had waists wider than their shoulders."
- ↑ Chapter: "The Grey Mist, The temple burned around her" p.59
- ↑ Chapter: "The Grey Mist, The temple burned around her" p.55
- ↑ Chapter: "The Grey Mist, The temple burned around her" p.54