Before the Empire, Mocte was a region defined by a common religion. However, these days the sprawling jungles of the region are firmly under empire control, and not even the people of Mocte remember the old ways as anything more than vague tales of glory and blood.

Large empire-styled villas perch atop the ancient ziggarauts, taking full advantage of the beautiful vistas available, while below drunken old men live in shacks and ramble to the youths about the old ways, about the honour of becoming a Moctarim, of fashioning a puma mask and bringing glory to foe and god with hymns of blood.

The youths have started to listen.

For nearly three generations, the people have served wealthy empire masters in the tourist-trap cities of Mocte, the best-off as house-staff, most simply selling cheap merchandise or ‘local’ food to visitors. For three generations, the noble masks have been hunted down and burned where they were found by the Church of the Incarnate. For three generations, the hunter slept.

Common rumour has it that the riots started with a bastard child killed by a noble. No-one’s sure, but overnight the whole area erupted into violence. The rich fled the area in panic, and the empire responded.

The newly-reformed cat-warriors were prepared for a fight, but the empire’s response took them by suprise. Having learnt from their experiences in fighting the forest-loving elves, the empire took one look at the jungles of Mocte, and shelled the entire area.

Now the remaining moctarim have taken once again to the deepest jungles, and are trying to re-learn how to survive from the land. They’re learning fast, and they’re also learning how to strike fast against the Empire and fade away.

Normally, the Imperial forces would be content to sit back and continue pounding the jungle with heavy cannon, but a few years ago, when the area had seemed utterly secure, the empire had used the northernmost temple-city of Mocte as the last stop of the great railroad before it entered the northern wastes. The massive investment routed through Mocte cannot simply be ignored, and the area has devolved into a constant series of hit-and-run attacks between the empire and the revolutionaries.

Linked fiction

You can read a first-hand account of the Mocte insurgency by a Moctarim warrior here.


Flintlocks & Fireballs JWyatt JWyatt