MOCTEZUMA is the protagonist of one of IN LAK'ECH's direct prequels: AZTLÁN: Nahui Ollin (the last part of the larger AZTLÁN series of IN LAK'ECH's prequels, Nahui Ollin covers the Fifth Sun Era, in a time that the Mexica Excan Tlahtoloyan, or Triple Confederation of Mexico, ruled over the Valley of Mexico and expanded its power to other areas, after the 13th Century).
WILLIAM MATTONI / PAYNAL is the protagonist of the IN LAK'ECH Mythos' main series, his story starts to be covered in August 2008, when he finds Moctezuma's Tonalcoatl which grants him power to transform into a super-fast Cuetzpalin.
The symbiotic interaction between Moctezuma's Tonalcoatl and William M. transforms him into the Cuetzpalin Paynal.
- THE CUETZPALIN
In the In Lak'Ech Mythos, the Cuetzpalin are an ancient race of reptiles that originated in Aztlán, and were reputedly created by Huitzilopochtli after the realm of Aztlán has been created from the capture of Cipactli. The Cuetzpalin have lived among the peoples of Aztlán, including the rabbit-like Centzontotochtin, for some time the vampiric cihuateteoh, the deadly ahuitzotl, the snake-like cihuacoatl and even the undead Micteca, as well as the humans that populated several of Aztlán's villages & city-states. The lifespan of a Cuetzpalin is considerably bigger than that of a human, and in life an individual undergoes several transformations - after hatching from an egg as a serpent-like Tonalcoatl (from the nahuatl "tona" - meaning either time or heat and "coatl" meaning serpent), a young Cuetzpalin soon grows paws and become a bipedal lizard. In a more advanced age, a Cuetzpalin grows a tail (that can be cut, and if so, will regenerate weeks or months after), and later, even wings and feathers.
Most of the Cuetzpalin reach up to two or three hundred years, but they can extend their lifespans even beyond that, as in the end of their lives - or by suffering fatal injuries - they return to the state of Tonalcoatl (that's like a special gland that acts as a second brain, and can be ejected, retaining one's consciousness, memories and a compact nervous system), and can live as these small parasite-like snakes for some decades - or even more! If one of them finds a reliable source of Teyoliatl (a portmanteau of the nahuatl words "teyolia" - a vital energy or human consciousness associated to the heart in the pre-hispanic Mexica cosmology - and "atl" - water, Teyoliatl is a greenish vital liquid found on several caves of Aztlán and in large quantities on some lakes and rivers of Anahuac before the colonization process. This liquid restores a Cuetzpalin's energy, and is also used to bathe their weapons, as its properties can cut through unnatural enemies such as the shadowy centzonmimixcoa), they can live in that source, such as a lake, for centuries, until they find a new ixiptla (from the nahuatl "impersonator". In the In Lak'Ech Mythos, ixiptla are whatever hosts a Cuetzpalin's Tonalcoatl can take: most of them have been humans, but other vertebrates can equally become a Cuetzpalin's ixiptla).
During its first years, a Tonalcoatl lives symbiotically with the ixiptla, this symbiosis grant the ixiptla the ability to transform its own body into a Cuetzpalin (the transformation can be more or less succesful depending of the vertebrate's compatibility, but whatever likeness it becomes, it never fully matches the Tonalcoatl's previous Cuetzpalin form) and the Tonalcoatl can even telepathically communicate with it, but the ixiptla always remains in control - unless it's fatally injured and the ixiptla chooses to remain as a cuetzpalin instead of its original form. If the ixiptla continues to use the power of transforming into a Cuetzpalin for the next years, it will eventually not only be unable to return to its original form, but will also lose control of its body to the Tonalcoatl. It won't necessarily kill the ixiptla, but rather put it in a state of coma while the Cuetzpalin possesses it for the rest of its life - or until the Tonalcoatl may be removed, and if the ixiptla's body is still fit to function after such a removal (the Tonalcoatl always parasites a vertebrate in a region near its brain).
During the time when a Tonalcoatl takes over an ixiptla, it can still transform itself back to the ixiptla's original form, in this case being able to take over more than one's identity, but also its life, its place in society, steal its family and so on. Most Cuetzpalin that use this "technique" have deceived their ixiptla in their first years, claiming the power to become a Cuetzpalin is a gift or that their relation is symbiotic, while in the end it's actually parasitic. That deceit, of course, is only employed when the victim isn't chosen to suffer its "transition" through socially accepted ritual means. A Cuetzpalin can also lie to its host about its own identity or even live as a parasite without even bothering to telepathically communicate with its host, or never revealing its identity and past deeds.
born in April 1466, at the margins of the Lake Texcoco, on Tenochtitlán) a Tuatara-like Cuetzpalin, was found alongside his twin sister Papantzin as soon as they hatched from their eggs, by Tlacaelel. They possessed and manifested from an early age abilities that surpassed those of any other Cuetzpalin - including the unnaturally strong Tlacaelel - such as that of an extremely expanded sight, tissue resistance and the ability of super speed, in other words to reach up to 500 miles per hour in most of their actions, making these outlandish and promising warriors for Tlacaelel's war-like, expansionist goals of uniting the world under the government, religion and culture of Mexico. Tlacaelel's plans meant to put Papantzin and Moctezuma in key positions, either as Tlacochcalcatl or even Tlatoani of either Tenochtitlán, Texcoco or Tlacopan, what would put his plans in direct conflict to some pipiltin (noble) families and Tlatoani themselves, including Totoquihuaztli, ruler of Cholula, a major trade center and supporter of the Excan Tlahtoloyan. For Papantzin, it would be harder to get in any of these positions because of the predominant sexism imposed by some traditions that preceded the Mexica - there wasn't, at least officially, female militias in the Mexica domain, despite during the conflict against Azcapotzalco, in Tlacaelel's youth, a woman warrior, Citlalmina, who according to some was a forbidden love to Tlacaelel, has had a crucial role in defending Tenochtitlán from the enemy Tepanec forces. That should change the situation, especially due to Tlacaelel's current influence, however the god of war himself alerted the dangers of recruiting cihuatl (women), and the tales about the cihuateteoh (goddesses), tzitzimimeh (star demons) and cihuacoatl (snake women) didn't help, for they transformed the fear some travellers, traders, messengers and bystanders had of dark roads into "a problem caused by women". For Moctezuma, however, the path has been easier, and he had Tizoc, one of the Tlatoani during the war against the Inca, as a mentor.
As stated previously, Moctezuma was raised among the pipiltin as one of their own, and according to Tlacaelel he and his sisters were more than gifts of Huitzilopochtli (like his own abilities to transform into a Cuetzpalin were regarded), they were meant to become rulers, Moctezuma was what Tlacaelel saw as a true king, and as such it was up to him to put the young Cuetzpalin into the spheres of power as soon as possible. It's also crucial to mention that controlling both Papantzin and Moctezuma was an almost impossible task - their adventurous ways, plus their speed, made them race throughout all of Anahuac - Moctezuma has met the Hopi way before any other Mexica, and it's also implicit that the war against Topa Inca only started because Moctezuma was able to reach that far south (Macoel was part of his squad, one of the first that was sent to investigate their newfound enemy). With such speed, Moctezuma was equally able to run through the water in a fashion like that of a Basilisk lizard. Other than war, running - and with that inspiring the creation of a vast group of Paynals (from the nahuatl "fast", a group of the king's messenger usually sent to report matters to distant cities of the empire), Cuetzpalin and humans alike - and living a somewhat comfortable life among the Pipiltin (including owning his own garden, zoo, domesticated servants), Moctezuma especially enjoyed running over the Lake Texcoco, a source of the mysterious green liquid Teyoliatl found elsewhere only on specific cenotes of the Mayan lands. With that, during some festivals preceding conflicts, especially those during the 12 years war against the Incas, Tlacaelel used to perform a ritual in which Yaxchilán (Iucatec Mayan name for green stone, a name borrowed by some Cuetzpalin to refer to a specific stone they used in amulets, and sometimes in weapons, accompanied by obsidian blades) green jade weapons were bathed in those waters. Only with weapons that not only combined Yaxchilán and obsidian, but also contained Teyoliatl, the Mexica (or anyone else) had any chance of hurting the deadly Yana Phuyu (regarded by the Mexica as the mythical Centzonmimixcoa), shadow demons that followed some Inca militias. Little did Moctezuma, or even Tlacaelel and anyone, for that matter, knew the true nature of their enemies. Tlacaelel was given instructions by the outlandish and fearsome Huitzilopochtli himself, however he kept those instructions for him - afterall, a messenger of a god, a priest, a leader, will invariably hide some important piece of information from the population and even close allies. Otherwise, it wouldn't be in this position - what costed some Mexica the malefiction of doubt.
During the war that Moctezuma believed to have started against the Inca, this young Cuetzpalin has developed a certain rivalry against the leader of the Inca, who has caused the death of Tlatoani Itzcoatl, and later would reputedly cause that of Moctezuma's mentor, Tizoc (who, unknowingly to Moctezuma, has been poisoned by Tlacaelel, influenced by Huitzilopochtli himself. Tizoc wanted to avoid unecessary conflict, and most of the campaigns against the Inca involved serious losses in basic tasks such as transport in independent areas, such as those of the Tainos, Taironas and Guaranis in the far South, at the northern borders of Antisuyu, Tahuantinsuyu's northernmost regions, that expanded to nowadays Colombia, Venezuela and Northern Brazilian states such as Amazon. Tlacaelel, unable to convince Tizoc to increase the taxes over the macehualli - commoners - and to involve independent peoples in their self-induced imperial needs, wished to remove Tizoc and replace him with someone more easily angered and thus easier to manipulate - exactly, Moctezuma Xocoyotzin. That didn't happen, though, as a third figure, Chimalpilli, chosen by the pipiltin, took the throne of Tenochtitlán in 1486). Moctezuma's loss would supposedly make it easier for Tlacaelel to insert him on his schemes, however the young Cuetzpalin was more worried at the time with war and personal matters than being the king. Tlacaelel died a year later, his life cut short by the same enemy they were facing - Topa, feared by some Mexica as an incarnation of an angered Cloud Serpent. Meanwhile, his sister followed the Tepanecs in battle, and became romantically involved with a warrior, Total, though they decided to keep it in secret. Eventually, the romance would be found by Totoquihuaztli, who would denounce it, but he was killed during his sleep by Total. When Tlacaelel was still alive, this would put Papantzin as the ruler of Cholula in his place. But Moctezuma had other plans for his sister, in a time following the war. The conflict between the Mexica and the Inca would be forgotten by a history erased after centuries of opression, however those who lived it have ushered many tales that are theirs to keep. Traditional enemies of those powers (such as the Tlaxcaltecas & other Chichimecas in relation to Mexico and the Mapuches & Guaranis in relation to Tahuantinsuyu) would be put into the board and used by their enemies to expose their weaknesses, involving and ushering many dramatic situations, but ultimately it was the lust for power of Topa that got hold of him, and made him unable to appease his family, that meant for him much less than what his sister expected - for him, it merely meant to breed a generation of cold-blooded assassins, nihilistic sorcerers and dragon riders that harbors no value for others' lives, misery or suffering, other than how it could be useful for the Tahuantinsuyu (sounds like a vilified vision, huh?). In 1493, the kingdom of Cusco had a hard time managing the losses following Topa's death - Huayna Capac was made king, some nobles, including some of Topa's concubines and sons had to be killed for that decision to happen, and Topa's favorite Capac Huari was exiled on an island in the Pacific. Whether or not he lived long after that is still up to debate (one can only imagine how powerful he may have been if he was Topa's favorite).
The end of the war surely bought advantageous time for the rulers of Mexico, and in 1502, Moctezuma was finally crowned Tlatoani of Tenochtitlán, making him one of the most powerful and influential (lizard)men of his era. Without a manipulative figure such as Tlacaelel on the prowl, he was also open to make several reckless decisions, increasing taxes, the distance between macehualli and pipiltin, and even marrying his sister to the Tlatoani of Texcoco, Nezahualpilli (who defeated him in a tlachtli match before, what was regarded as a bad omen. Whether or not that decided Papantzin's fate, she was already upset her relationship with Total was vanishing due to its secrecy, and now would practically cease to be). Papantzin died in 1509, to Moctezuma's dismay, what had him investigating whatever could've killed her - just to find out it's been someone even faster than what Moctezuma and Papantzin dreamed to be. Her death was unexplainable to most and would trouble the next years of a much more experienced Moctezuma, even more after he's witnessed apparitions of her human form telling omens of a catastrophe that would come. Years before the spanish arrived, Moctezuma would experience bad omens himself.
In 1518, the conquistadores arrived, and despite there was dialogue on some occasions, the impending interest and function of the foreigners - to gather gold and slaves, through their corrupt religion - would invariably put them at odds with the interests of not only the commoners, but also nobles of Mexico. In 1520, after series of conflicts and resistance, the glorious city of Tenochtitlán was besieged and taken by the invaders, and Moctezuma was killed by his enemies, not before fighting valiantly - something history would forget in favor of a fake account that sought to diminish Moctezuma's popularity, reputation and power. Despite that, even some friars have noted Moctezuma's wisdom and well educated ways. But then, history has also never mentioned the Cuetzpalin and their contributions to the civilized world (both voluntarily or involuntarily). The deceit which benefited from the spanish conquest and eventual colonization, that which benefit from the wiping of the Cuetzpalin race, was clear to Moctezuma just as he was about to close his eyes, accept death and enter the Paradise of the Warriors to which he, as a Mexican ruler, was fated and promised to join. But that wasn't the end of his - as soon as his Tonalcoatl left his carcass, like a reptile shedding its skin, some children, escaping from the burning city, have taken him with them, as they marched far south, where destiny - or Huitzilopochtli - may guide them. As the centuries passed by, those childrens' childrens, and their childrens' childrens, have preserved Moctezuma in a source of Teyoliatl as they mixed up with different peoples in the south - the Taino, the Tairona, their descendants, the Kogi, the Chibcha, the Guaranis, and finally reaching the Ashaninka, Pano, Nawas and Huni Kuin of nowadays northern Brazil. Possession of Moctezuma's Tonalcoatl was lost, but he was still alive in a dormant state of constant dreaming in a Teyoliatl source found between Antisuyu and Acre, Northern Brazil, used by the ancestors of the local Ashaninkas as a healing pool. What hasn't been forgotten, by some, is the belief which those children that collected his Tonalcoatl have developed - that the Cuetzpalin were fierce protectors of mankind and the Sun, and that their sacrifice in battle would keep the sun rising each day, to cast away the darkness and prevent the end of all. Alongside this belief, the notion that the Cuetzpalin were gone developed in them another belief, that a Cuetzpalin, named Paynal, the messenger of the war god, patron of Mexico and Fifth Sun, Huitzilopochtli, would come for them in the time of greatest need, the most dire of times, and lead them in battle once more, against the usurpers, the invaders, the colonizers, the ignorant, releasing them from the condition of slaves. It's possible that some of the children who saved Moctezuma had one or more relatives, or even a father, that was a Paynal at the time of Moctezuma: a royal messenger, a runner, trained physically by Moctezuma himself to become the fastest possible. He inspired generations across the domains overseen by Mexico. By the 20th Century, only few remembered those tales, or even what was left of it, as much of Moctezuma's own personality has been clouded by distinct narratives.
- WILLIAM M. / CUETZPALIN PAYNAL
In August 8th 2008, however, a 14 years old boy, William Mattoni, has found (or rather was found by) the Tonalcoatl of Mexican ruler Montezuma Xocoyotzin, who finally opened his eyes after 488 years, starting a symbiotic relation which gave William the power to transform himself into a super-fast Cuetzpalin at will, and to maintain a telepathic communication with Moctezuma. Both of them believed to have died (William in an ambush he just found himself in, after freeing some hens from their cages, in a private property/farm he entered into, somewhere in Acre) but were proved wrong, and now, each with a different goal, were not only given a second chance in life, but an actual chance to make a difference. Moctezuma, who wanted to rest in the Paradise of the warriors his religion promised him during lifetime, now wanted to take back the crown of Mexico for him, something William didn't care too much about - as an anarchist, he wanted to use this power to destroy all politicians, rulers, governors, not to mention the corporates, industrialists, bourgeois involved with the exploitation of animals and humans alike. He wanted to be the difference he wanted to see in the world, and while being vegan (consuming products that don't include anything derived from animal exploitation. It can sound as easy or as hard as you want to, but anyone's excuses doesn't change the fact animals feel and what happens to them through the industry, breeding and so on for huma consumption is ethically reprehensible) wasn't enough for him, that difference would cost the lives of others whose work is taking the lives of others for their petty desires. Faster than a bullet, William's Cuetzpalin form was also much stronger, resistant, agile, enduring and had a better vision. No wonder the boy would spend more time as a Cuetzpalin than as a human in his following days (what was good for Moctezuma, for reasons William was unaware of), he only bothered to keep some time as a human, attending school and some time in his life among family and friends because of usual obligations. All the free time he used to study things that no school would ever teach (things that matter more than the usual indoctrination of the stupid, frustratingly underestimating school material) he would now use to learn new things in his actions - as a Cuetzpalin, he's started to sabotage slaughterhouses, animal breeding stations, vivisection labs, as well other properties, of landlords, slavers and authorities related to the licit crimes and abuse that people are forced to accept for all these years. That, of course, would leave a trail of blood and put him at odds with private security and the police (if you think I'm going to call those cretins as "public security" think again, their work is to defend the corrupt and the things they own, unless you're one of those things, owned by someone, and isn't an actual self-conscious sentient being, you can expect to be "defended" by the State's cops & military). But it would take time for the public to acknowledge the evidences pointing out the existence of a super-fast lizardman "terrorist". As usual, many innocents would be put in jail because the cops are corrupt enough to make someone pay for William's actions (property destruction, messing up with slavery and animal abuse cost something in the pockets of that scum, right? And who's going to force someone, anyone, to pay them that if not their ever-present "friends", the State, that feeds on the taxes paid by the poor and the workers?), and that would be more fuel the mass media would use to direct hate at people that don't adjust, like those who would freely express messages similar to those found in the actions - such as animal liberation and anarchy. They didn't know this "terrorist lizard-man" was just a 14-15 years old boy in disguise, and William sought to play with their minds and use that in his favor - and that of the animals, of course - instead of their own. The news of the link between the recent "crimes" and the existence of a lizard-man faster than a bullet have come only about October 2008, when the actions of the lizard who'd identify his own as CUETZPALIN PAYNAL (from the nahuatl "fast lizard", named after a pre-hispanic Mexican deity regarded as the messenger of Huitzilopochtli, the God of War and true patron of Mexico. In the In Lak'ech Mythos, it's return was prophesied by a community of semi-nomadic Panoan people found in the State of Amazonas, inspired on the actual Kulina people) have expanded beyond Brazil, and into all of the American continent, including the State of Tahuantinsuyu.
For William, the distinction of class doesn't relieve one from its duty towards not using or exploiting animals, even those who are poor have no right to breed, force, kill, manipulate or interfere over one sentient animal's own right to exist by its own and witness a life in freedom and integrity. Therefore, if this ethical code is broken, the one who has consciously broken it has necessarily taken the responsibility to understand the consequence of its actions and to expect retribution. This view has grown in William as he became addicted to his Cuetzpalin powers, and who, unable to see this "privilege" (the power) anywhere else, has started to fake the origin of his power in his own mind, as if it wasn't a work by chance (something that him, as a skeptical, actually affirm), but as if he was the only one that actually deserved such power for being the only one compassionate enough towards the sentient animals, the only one whose judgment is ethical and doesn't concern one's species or usefulness to those in power, but rather the individual value of one's own sentient life & what it's freedom and it's integrity means. William didn't really believe to be a chosen one or a messiah, but that's how he sounded like to Moctezuma, who in his previous life was labeled by other nobles as a true-born king. Paynal's weapons and equipment are usually stolen from military headquarters, private security bases or bounty hunters he stumble upon. His remarkable spear, which Moctezuma recall as a half of his own (which he used in battle during the 15th Century), was found hid in a cave sprouting out of vapor lake bordering the Brazilian state of Acre and Peru, where the local Ashaninka indigenous use as a healing bath for some decades. As William himself is an enthusiast of pre-columbian cultures, he has always shown an amicable approach towards traditional indigenous communities - even though that is up to debate or change, according to how much it can affect some wild animals individually, but overall, he sees in them the hope for a better future, more than he does in the so-called "global/industrial/western civilization". To forge an allegiance between the natives and the Cuetzpalin once again, is the key to re-organizing an ancient resistance, that of life over death, of liberation over the chains of opression, of actual freedom over the vain promises of a bought freedom, and ultimately of the respect for sentient beings based on an ethical view regarding the individual importance of each one, over a biased, dogmatic vision where the only lives that matter are those who work for someone or something else - god, society, civilization, bourgeoisie, wealth, economical growth, the environment, whatever excuse the slavers find to defend their position.
After a night of fast, deep thought, William came to conclusions that he believed to be his own and his own only. To lose his humanity didn't sound half bad - even though he was 14, supposedly one too young to give up on school, university, profession, all that bullshit - but he was telepathically talking to someone else, who revealed to be Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, one of the last rulers of pre-hispanic Mexico. He also revealed William was still able to return to his human form. For the first days, that relation seemed irreconcilable, a king inside a would-be-king-slayer's head, however both fed thoughts of destroying the establishment of the so-called western civilization, christendom, the inhumane industry and that has been enough to have William acquiring something valuable out of Moctezuma's absurd sounding stories about shadow demons. His first actions as a super-fast Cuetzpalin began on slaughterhouses, where he killed workers, caused property damage, sabotaged machines and set animals free. But he would also play the role Moctezuma expected him to: to impersonate Paynal, the messenger of Huitzilopochtli, and always ready, spirited fast and runnin' lizard. As the Cuetzpalin Paynal, William's actions and message would stir up lots of reactions and investigations by the international police as a domestic case of "terror" became a global one, and would only be publicly linked to the existance of a inhuman, super-fast lizard man after it became undeniable, around October 2008, when he defended a group of Yaminawas from private bounty hunters (Digamma, Sigma & Delta), alongside unidentified agents related to Brazilian military personnel. A faint hope has risen in Moctezuma after all these years - that William would dethrone the foreigner government installed over Mexico, and as his host, would make him the true Tlatoani once again. As for William, he was concerned with causing damage to what damages individual sentient life and its more lively meanings. In order to protect the joy of life, one has to organize and direct its brutally effective revolt - against the death machine. PAYNAL'S LEGEND HAS JUST BEGUN!
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Lot of thanks for your time
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