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BigfordWorks Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
“South American. Recovered from Teotihuacan in what is now Mexico.”

“So, it’s a Mexican god?”

“No, it was merely found at the city. Left there by peoples as yet unknown. A thousand years before the sweeping rise of the Aztec in the 14th century B.C.E. the city with its pyramids and plazas had been abandoned by its builders since at least 550 B.C.E. But it was the Aztec, descending on the abandoned site, no doubt falling awestruck by what they saw, who gave it a name: Teotihuacan.”

“The Holy City of the Aztecs fell in due course when Hernán Cortés began his conquest in 1519. As Cortés’s small band of Conquistadors, aided by hundreds of thousands of local tribes and nations who had risen up to help destroy the Aztec took the heart of the city, the two Aztec orders of elite fighters, the Eagle and Jaguar Warriors as they were called, began a last-ditch rally around a particular pyramid on the edge of the city. Smaller, this structure was not even the “high ground” one would expect a retreat to assume. Puzzled the Spaniards noted that the selection was nevertheless intentional. It was neither the respective warrior orders own temples, nor the royal residence, but one far older than perhaps the existing city itself. The ancient, forgotten core of the region when the current city complex was built around and beside it.”

“As the last of the warriors were cut down on the steps by the Conquistadors crossbows and muskets one lone warrior dashed into the pyramids shrine.”

“Arm outstretched he fell dead attempting to seize the god from its shrine. A musket ball in his back from Senior Alvaro Diego Madrigales. Walking forward the Musketeer absent mindedly pocketed the stone idol and drew his knife. His eyes glaring at the solid gold tiles that made up the shrines recess.”

“Before he could act however he was thrust aside by his Lieutenant who was quickly followed by other officers. The spoils were first the property of the Nobles.”

“Days later, when the building fires were put out and the heaps of dead Aztec set ablaze the Spanish settled into regular barracks within the ruined holy city to rest and resupply before continuing further into the Aztec interior.”

“During this time the common soldiery were left to the usual leisurely pursuits of gambling, drinking, rounding up slaves, raping and killing the obstinate or rebellious and squeezing whatever wealth they could from the city. During this time Madrigales was forgotten.”

“It wasn’t until general assembly was called to give orders to the company that his Lieutenant noticed his absence from his rifle pool, all casualties having already been accounted for. Madrigales was Absent without leave.”

“Desertion was ruled out. Where would one Spaniard possibly have to GO in this wilderness? A hushed-up murder by the natives seemed far more likely. They began searching both for his body and his murderer. To that end the soldiers combed the slave pens. Looking perhaps for some token or belonging of Madrigales’s among the Aztec.”

“With thousands of slaves captured to be sold to the local allies the search would be slow. They found him on the fifth day.”

“Dead?”

“No, being worshipped.”

“From the moment Madrigales had removed the idol it’s curse took effect. Seeking out the surviving Aztec priests, of whom there were few, he had learned how to sustain himself.”

“Wasn’t he immortal?”

“Yes, but like many forms it requires a “fuel” of sorts. In this case blood and corn.”

“What?”

“He consumed the mixture. The Aztec slaves, salvaging a remnant of their religion worshipped this “god” with donations of blood.”

“He was found at this ritual feasting first by his fellow soldiers and then by horrified Dominican Monks of the Inquisition accompanying the army.”

“The customary torture sessions ensued and failed.”

“They failed at torturing him?”

“They were unable to harm him. No fire, nor steel nor branding iron or cudgel could inflict injury. He simply could not be pierced, or burnt, or crushed. It simply did not happen.”

“It was at this point that Cortés and his Captains became interested and intervened. Realizing the power of invincibility within their grasp they sought to learn his secret.”

“Madrigales was returned to Seville Spain for further questioning and examination by learned church doctors. Cortés meanwhile had singled out the most knowledgeable remaining Aztec priest, who had told Madrigales the nature of his fate.”

“The priest explained under torture that the shrine of the forgotten god had indeed been in the pyramid where it was placed long before even the Aztec ancestors ever arrived. That it was older than Teotihuacan had been even when abandoned centuries earlier. That the crumbling pyramid now on the edge of the jungle was the center of the main plaza of a much older city complex. It’s ruins crumbling in the jungle. Teotihuacan resting on a revitalized sector of that city.”

“The priest told the Spaniards the secret: One must only desecrate the god by removing it from its shrine. The curse of invulnerability then occurred. To break the curse, one need only return it to regain mortality. Madrigales had despaired of achieving this since the shrine, a small primitive recess in solid rock, had been tiled with pure gold, and the lieutenants had promptly wedged them all out with their dirks, dividing the spoils.”

“Reeling with the delirium of godhood within his reach Cortés demanded a search of all quarters for the gold to rebuild the shrine. The priest used to identify the heathen gold.”

“Eventually all had been recovered and the priest was put to task: rebuild the shrine. The god safely in Cortés’s possession awaiting his ascendance to the throne of the Earth.”

“But there was a problem: The temple of the forgotten god was not worshipped in the priest’s time. It was shunned, the priests of Teotihuacan’s religion only being taken there and shown the god at a certain stage in their training. And then only once and as a warning. Going from hazy memory the priest used the broken swords, arrows and clubs of fallen eagle and jaguar warriors to fashion the box the shrine now resides in.”

“So, it didn’t work for Cortés?”

“No. Having assembled the shrine to Cortés’s satisfaction he and his Captains climbed the pyramid, the priest in chains alongside.”

“Removing the shrine from the box the men gasped in anticipation as it slid back into the stone recess it had been pried from. Anticipating godhood Cortés first placed the god back into its shrine. Then snatched it away. Nothing, no change. A quick prick of the finger from his dagger to draw blood revealed that no, he was still mortal.”

“At that point all eyes turned back to the priest who had begun to chuckle quietly.”

“In a flash the same dagger was to his throat, Cortés screaming for answers. It was only then that the priest admitted the true nature of the curse. One need only remove the god. But if one has already removed it THAT person must first return it to the shrine. Once replaced he who had removed and then replaced it was indeed returned to mortality. And as is so often the case will die immediately.”

“The priest laughed hysterically in Cortés’s blood red face. He had squandered his chance he explained. The Spaniards distorted sense of value had been their mistake. The gold tiles they had wasted time feverishly hunting for and recovering from the officers was absolutely meaningless. Merely decoration added to the shrine niche in the dim past.”

“By this time Madrigales had already been a week into a journey back to Spain on the single ship Cortés had spared from burning upon arrival. He could not give chase. Nor could his captains gain immortality with their leader as only one transgressor against the god was immortal at a time. The death of the first immortal required to reset the cycle.”

“Cursing heathen gods Cortés cut the priests throat and stormed to camp. The shrine and idol given to the inquisitors. Several monks survived Cortés’s march with the blasphemous god in their posession, their dedicated mission to ensure its delivery to Spain for examination by church authorities.”

“By the time the few surviving inquisitors landed back on Spanish shores the Dominican order had much to say about the “demon Madrigales from the New World”.

“Upon arrival his guards explained the curse to the doctors and inquisitors who, anxious to see this morbid magic first hand provided him with the blood and corn. But it did not work.”

“Why?”

“The details of the immortality curse of the god are not known to us but what is known that while aboard ship he was fed to be kept alive long enough for the church to evaluate him.”

“What took the inquisitors too long to understand was that it was not just blood and corn, But Indigenous South American blood and corn. The slaves who had also been returned with the cursed man took ill and died from European disease almost immediately upon arrival and the native corn stores aboard ship were gone.”

“Within a week Madrigales slipped into what the doctors called a “living death”. He breathed and seemed to sleep but became torpid, unresponsive, a heap on the floor yet still indestructible. He was therefore quietly and shamefully locked away until the proper food requirements could be met, and his condition studied and the affront to the one true god solved.”

“What happened?”

“He was forgotten in time, the god and shrine locked away in a blasphemous vault of church secrets. Which we then liberated.”
“So how would I use it?”

“Fortunately, the field of genetics once again aides in the task. There are wide multinational databases of those people living in South America and the wider world who are descended from both the Aztec slaves and their Spanish masters: the Criollos. They carry the original blood and the native corn strains have been cultivated there ever since the days of the Conquistadors.”

“And the guy?”

“Madrigales? You will have to acquire him. We will assist in this endeavor. He is currently walled in the sub-basement crypt of Santa María la Blanca in Seville, Spain.”

“He’s still alive down there?”

“Yes, immobile but alive and quite forgotten. You will be required to revive him with the necessary food and return him to the pyramid. Then it is a simple matter: Madrigales must physically replace the god and die, and you simply remove it again to take on the curse. Fortunately, this form of immortality also has a reversibility clause should you ever grow weary of immortality and choose suicide. With this, you have that option. SO LONG as the god, shrine and pyramid still exist.”

“So where is it?”

“The temple? We have the idol and shrine, though as stated the gold is quite superfluous, we will provide you guaranteed means to recover Madrigales, and the temple pyramid to the god is still in a side plaza of Teotihuacan. Cleared back into the edge of the city, cleaned and restored by archeologists and the country’s historical and tourism department. Teotihuacan is one of the most visited ancient sites in the world. No one suspects the smaller pyramids true meaning. An unremarkable, older style pyramid empty except for a rectangular recess cut into the back wall. Acquiring a ready supply of South American corn and Criollo blood will be your responsibility.”


INSPIRATION: Original Concept.
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