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Ancient Cuetzpalin

    These original characters play an integral role in my latest, time-consuming original story (which I plan to release through a comic book series and a series of graphic novels): currently titled the IN LAK'ECH Mythos. You can find more information about me checking my latest works in this account and elsewhere on the "social" media: Behance | tumblr | instagram | facebook

    As you can tell (can't you?) by their names, clothing and perhaps weapons, they're inspired in specific pre-hispanic mesoamerican cultures. Macoel used to live among the Taino, Moctezuma to rule the Mexicans and Ichtaca, who claims to have been a Mexica warrior, may be actually an even older Toltec military leader. If you're wondering why they're anthropozoomorphic reptiles, the right name is "Cuetzpalin" (from the nahuatl "lizard"), which I extensively use as the name of a species that in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos used to live among distinct pre-hispanic mesoamerican peoples at least since the second sun era (the Mexica cosmology and world view divides the time since the beginning of the universe in five sun eras. Ours, as well as that of the Mexica by the time the spanish arrived, and even before, at least since the foundation of Mexico/Tenochtitlán, in the 13th Century a.c, is the fifth. In the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, the second sun era has taken place between the 29th and 16th centuries b.c, which coincided with an age of intergallactic conflict known by some as the Topakhon Wars). The Cuetzpalin have inserted in different human communities throughout different times and ways, influencing more or less the history of said societies, until the century following the spanish colonization - planned by a series of secret enemies of the Cuetzpalin, some as old as the Topakhon Wars themselves, like those later referred as Centzonmimixcoa (Four Hundred alike Mixcoatl, known by the Inca as Yana Phuyu). During this time, most of the Cuetzpalin have been hunt down or taken into slavery, and those who survived have hid as humans in the colonies. From this, the tale of nagual (nahuatl name that refers to a traditional practice of therianthropy) has acquired a new meaning.
If you're interested on the particularities of this original species, I'd recommend you to read this. And if you want to know what happened before the fifth sun era, make sure to follow the steps of the Gods and Goddesses of Aztlán.

The "snakes" above each of them are their original forms - their Tonalcoatl (a play with from the nahuatl words "tona" - meaning either time or heat and "coatl" meaning serpent), that have evolved into these lizardmen, and that after their deaths can take other hosts, sharing with them the ability to turn into new Cuetzpalin and also the ability to telepathically communicate with their hosts. These three "ancient Cuetzpalin" featured here have made it to the modern age as Tonalcoatl, and not only their power, but also their knowledge and experience shall guide three major characters of the IN LAK'ECH Mythos.

  • MACOEL (born in 1457, on Tenochtitlán) an Iguana-like Cuetzpalin, has lived the first of his years training to become an elite (pipiltin) Mexica warrior. At the time, most of the Cuetzpalin populace were loyal to the Excan Tlahtoloyan (the Triple Mexica Confederation, a.k.a the ruling corpus of the "Mexica/Aztec Civilization"), for they were offered social privileges in exchange of service to the Confederation, what played an important role in their religion and politics - several priests and even some Tlatoani (from the nahuatl "speaker", the rulers of the Confederation) were themselves Cuetzpalin. These privileges were first stated by Tlacaelel, the city's cihuacoatl (from the nahuatl "snake woman", a political position rhoughly equivalent to high priest. Tlacaelel was the first in such position and would be so until his death in, during the war against the Inca, led by Topa Inca Yupanqui. Some argue he was more influential than all the Tlatoani - de jure rulers of the Excan Tlahtoloyan). Before that, the Cuetzpalin were free to roam among and either work or fight for whatever human or non-human community they wanted - most would've sided with the Tepanecs of Azcapotzalco, those the Mexica paid tributes for before they took over. Before that, not all Cuetzpalin would become professional warriors, but according to Tlacaelel, while the Mexica (both human and non-human) were the chosen people of Huitzilopochtli, the God of War, patron of Mexico and the current, Fifth Sun God, the Cuetzpalin were a step closer to godhood than the humans. Was Tlacaelel a Cuetzpalin, what would make it easier to defend such a biased supremacy? Sort of. He was born as a human in a noble family, several of his relatives have been ixiptla ("impersonators", hosts ritually taken over by other Cuetzpalin, or rather their Tonalcoatl) and it really didn't made a difference if his uncle had just become someone else. His fate, too, would likely end up as a Tlatoani and an ixiptla. But that changed when this ingenious and cunning empire's architect, gaining an extra motivation following the death of his brother, Chimalpopoca, by the hands of Maxtla - the son of Tezozomoc, a Tepanec chief the Mexica rulers used to work for. He's chosen Tayatzin to follow his role, however Tayatzin was dethroned by his half-brother Maxtla, and the Mexica rose against Maxtla not only in favor of Tayatzin, but in favor of a new hegemonic power - their own, led by Itzcoatl, Tlacaelel's uncle, alongside other local chiefs, Nezahualcoyotl of Texcoco and Totoquihuatzin of Tlacopan - has been gifted by Huitzilopochtli, the god of war himself, the Tonalcoatl of a legendary, ancient, fourth-sun era Cuetzpalin named Ehecatl ("wind". According to some, his story and life inspired the tales of the Toltec ruler Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl), who other than his knowledge and experience has the ability of super strength, able to take down a Quinametzin (giant) with a swoop of his macuahuitl. With this, Tlacaelel became a host, but he knew it would depend on how often he used his powers to determine who was in control: him or Ehecatl. In this sense, Ehecatl became more like his secret counselor - it was hid from the public that Ehecat existed and granted Tlacaelel such powers, instead, it was made public only the claim that Tlacaelel, as the cihuacoatl, has been gifted by Huitzilopochtli himself. Although other forms of worship of a war deity have existed for a long time in Central Mexico (Mixcoatl, for example, is related more to hunt than war. War is the next step), it was thanks to Tlacaelel that the cult of Huitzilopochtli became so widespread - and also thanks to his campaigns of destroying written accounts and milennary traditions of enemy tribes.
        In this context, Macoel lived his youth during a time Mexico was expanding both north and south, east and west, by the intense usage of military personnel, tax gathering and whatever resource or trap an empire would to expand the interests of its elite. Macoel became a warrior, and a skilled one, as the Mexica intelligence has went south, perhaps farther than it could grasp, crossing continental barriers and meeting the fierce Tahuantinsuyu (a.k.a the Inca Empire), by the time led by Topa Inca Yupanqui, in 1481, the same year that Tenochtitlán's ruler Itzcoatl died (likely, in battlefield against the elite military of the Inca Empire - either the Topa Chasqui dragon riders, the Puruauca stone giants, the Yana Phuyu shadow demons, Yacarcae sorcerers or Saqraruna necromancers - several of them originated from the Chinchaysuyu province, recently conquered by Topa from its original governors, the Chimú). 24 years-old Macoel embarked on a journey like no other during the southernmost military campaigns Tenochtitlán ever led, and during this time he met several other skilled warriors and generals, including the future Tlatoani Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, who was 15 when the wars started, and by the age of 20 became a Tlacochcalcatl (man from the house of darts, the highest rank among the Mexica military), before the war ended in 1493, when Tupaq was found dead, killed by his own wife, and the unity of the Inca Empire would never fully heal as part of its nobles sided with Capac Huari, Tupaq's favourite, despite ilegitimate son, who was forced into exile, and another part of the nobles would side with Tito Husi Hualpa, later renamed as Huayna Capac, the son of Tupaq's main wife and sister (Mama Ocllo), who'd become the next Inca emperor. It was before the war ended, however, that Macoel would, in his many travels, and among the many different peoples and cultures he met, meet the Taino (from Caribbean), whose lifestyle and ways of life have positively, and deeply surprised the reptile warrior. It has been a process of some years, but by 1489 he resigned from his duties as a Mexican soldier - like all the Cuetzpalin were obliged to, according to Tlacaelel's law - and made a home among the Taino. Rumors have spread and some sectors of the Mexica society would even regard him as a traitor. Moctezuma, however, would believe he had his reasons, for after all they've witnessed during that catastrophic war (which the Mexica would technically "win" anyway), Macoel was wise enough to understand that if he followed Mexico, he would live facing death at every corner, and stealing from the poor to give the rich more than he could. Moctezuma was likely destined for nobility, so Macoel also understood that in no way his friend would see things like he did, as both departed in a friendly manner - Moctezuma, back to what would be his kingdom and his servants, and Macoel to the new people that welcomed him as a guardian. For some years, he also took a human host and became one of them (the Taino) even more than he expected.
        Another chapter of his life would start soon after, and a darker one - in 1492, strange vessels arrived on Taino territory, bringing diseases, like black death and christianity. The strangers approached the people in different ways, sometimes peaceful, sometimes not. But as history turns out, cities have been burnt and riches stolen, as Macoel's family was forced to hide in the depths of the caribbean jungle - just to die later, in a matter of years. Grief and loss would move the warrior, as with nothing else to lose other than his own life - and he would do so only standing and fighting - he decided to return to Mexico. Turns out he only did after some decades, and since 1520 Moctezuma, as well as Tenochtitlán, were no more. In the following decade he'd find out the ways of the land's new kings, and that the time of the Cuetzpalin was set to end. He didn't despair, though, tales about Cuauhtemoc's fierce resistance to retake Tenochtitlán motivated him to follow the steps of yet another legendary, yet contemporary Cuetzpalin. When he believed to be too late, however (by 1525 news about the execution of Cuauhtemoc, Tetlepanquetzal and Coanacoch, the last rulers of Tenochtitlán, Tlacopan and Texcoco, respectively, were spread), Cuauhtemoc, taking a new ixiptla, was found by Macoel, and together they worked to release several Cuetzpalin and human indigenous peoples from slavery, as well infiltrating the colonial management and use some land properties to train rebels against this foreigner tyrannical government. This secret initiative took decades to be built - they were equally involved with the Chichimeca rebellion of Nochistlán, in 1541, an event which the infamous, hellish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado died. Macoel had many families, and made no distinction between lizardmen and humans, unlike his teachings under the late Tlacaelel. Macoel was bound by his own code of honor and duty - to fight for freedom and equality, for one is impossible without another. In 1546, alongside Cuauhtemoc, Macoel fought the japanese slaver Hasekura Tsunenaga, and in 1567 join the Mayan rebellion led by Mayan priest Chilan Couoh, in the province of Bacalar, Yucatán, that would last for two years. Shortly after, Macoel and Cuauhtemoc would part ways - Cuauhtemoc would venture into Tairona territory, reaching nowadays Colombia and Brazil, while Macoel moved north, reaching nowadays states of Arizona and New Mexico, where he joined the Hopi and later the Zuni resistances against the colonial settlements. The last that has been heard of Macoel for a while was his involvement in the O'odham Uprising, that took place between 1751 and 1767 in the Spanish Arizona (New Spain). During this time, several indians from different tribes, cultures and backgrounds spread the belief that a prophesied Moctezuma would return to lead them and free them from the foreigner government. This belief, some say, was a fabrication by Macoel, and partially a homage to the friend he lost for the wars, a friend who was fated to become a king (whose rule he never met, for Moctezuma was crowned in 1502, while Macoel left Mexico at least since 1489) while he lived long enough to become the liberator of those who called him a traitor. It's unknown how Macoel's first death came by, possibly happening in Arizona, but his Tonalcoatl made it to nowadays southern Quebéc, Canada, in some time between the late 18th Century and the 20th Century - he may have been involved with the Algonquin people.
        Ultimately, in February 13th 2009, 23 years old Algonquin Paul Powhatan, while escaping from private security/enforcers of a mining company, has found Macoel's Tonalcoatl preserved in a semi-frozen tree, and became his new host. Like with his latest hosts, Macoel didn't tell him immediatly all that means to become able to transform into a Cuetzpalin, for after all these years the chance to find a new host only gets harder, and Macoel is still driven by the belief that the indigenous peoples of Anahuac (America before it was called America) will get rid of the colonial repression, government and lifestyle - something that at first sounded even suspiciously fitting to Paul's own motivations, what has in turn made it easier for him and Macoel to come to terms and decide to use these newfound powers not only to strike at industrial projects and colonial government threatening the traditional lifestyles of the Algonquian communities, but also to inspire other native communities to stand up for their traditions, reunite and threaten the colonial government. To protect his own identity, while in his Cuetzpalin form Powhatan has named himself as the "legendary" MONTEZUMA, named after the Mexica ruler and the belief of prophesied liberator of Anahuac Macoel has instigated generations ago. Around this time, Paul and Macoel already heard through the mass and independent media that lizardmen were spotted in "criminal", "terrorist" activities against the Brazilian government, and Macoel believed those could be recent hosts of other ancient Cuetzpalin, so he convinced Paul to travel the world to find them and gather a Cuetzpalin resistance in this dark new world.

  • MOCTEZUMA XOCOYOTZIN (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.
        As if by fate, in August 8th, 2008, a 14 years old Brazilian, William Mattoni, fell in a nearby lake on the northern state of Acre, after being persecuted by local bounty-hunters/private security of a small farm, for having opened the jail of some chicken, and was left for dead. The despair and tiresome running made the young boy drown, and like Moctezuma before him, he believed he would just accept death - but his eyes opened that night, and no longer was him a frail human boy, but a strong and revitalized humanoid reptile. Perceiving everything moving around him slower than usual, from the flap of the mosquito's wings to the falling water drops, he understood he was no longer human and was much faster than everyone else, what seemed to be a dream, a vision or something else was attested as reality after he felt the pain of his first super-fast misstep. Most people would despair with the lizard-face (an immediate feature that would make social life impossible. Not a worry for William Mattoni, who according to his own already had no social life to begin with). But not him, indeed, he wished to be something more than a human, something like a wild animal - whose wild, free ways, whose strength made it more honorable than the civilized parasite. William cared little for human life because most humans around him were mere meat bags believing to be the center of the universe, and believed to have rights superior than that of any creature on earth. But not him, he was an anti-speciesist vegan who understood the consequences of supposedly simple acts like buying something on a shelf. And not only the consequences for him - having to work for someone else and thus pay for it - but also those for someone else - slaves working to keep the products keep coming to the market, and the nonhuman sentient beings massacred by the stupid, unecessary demand for animal exploitation products. As an anarchist, too, young William could see through the lies of those who were promoted as the single true ways of "numbing the pain caused by reality" - be it political parties, charities, NGOs, religions, academical means or pseudo-sciences, they only wanted to profit from others' beliefs, misery and even doubts. This would ironically have him mistaken for an individualist, while he actually cared enough for those he couldn't communicate with so he was sure they deserved better than some stupid celebrities talking in their name at the front of an hypocritical audience that would "eat less meat one day" and pretend that with that single act they'd "save the planet". The planet isn't someone to need saving, and actually, saving is far from being the best word to describe what these sentient beings need - they need to have their rights to live in freedom, liberty AND integrity (safe from harm) respected. But is that profitable? Of course not, and that's exacty how charities more focused on self-publicity do nothing to stop animal exploitation, and instead end up in many occasions helping to increase its numbers. Veganism means nothing if it's just a section, an option on a supermarket in a capitalist reality. Anarchy, population diminishment, return to traditional lifestyles, nomadism, economical degrowth and deindustrialization are other as urgent necessities as is animal liberation. Does that way of thinking makes William an utopian? Orthodox marxists, socialists, communists, even liberals and post-moderns would say so (conservatives aren't even worth mentioning), but if he just got that power, then you imagine what starts.
        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!

  • ICHTACA (date and place of birth unknown, possibly Tenochtitlán) the Thorny Devil-like Cuetzpalin claims to have been one of many that has bravely fought for Mexico and Tenochtitlán against the spanish invaders in 1520. Moctezuma and Macoel, after their meeting in 1520, wouldn't question this, as wouldn't their hosts (Moctezuma isn't supposed to know the name of his every soldier, right?!). He claims to have been young by the time. But someone else might know that several of "Ichtaca"s features are common to an even older figure, a 10th Century a.c Toltec military leader from Tollan, a general whose name is Axayacatl, and who was born in 920, a time when the Toltecs fought what remained of several post-Classic Mayan Kingdoms, including that of Zama (nowadays Tulum). Like the fierce Mexica that would claim their descent, the Toltecs were war-like, but as they reached closer to the end of the Fourth Sun Era (that in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos was ruled by Tlaloc, the rain god and ended in the 11th Century, when he destroyed the city of Tollan because of their atheistic, disbelieving, unfaithful and immoral ways, especially those of their last ruler, the snake-like Acxitl), several values were discarded as new ones rose - self-preservation, in a time of aggravated misery and lack of resources, which led to brutality and more misery. Axayacatl has become a soldier rapidly in this post-catastrophe world (the catastrophe that wiped out former metropolis like Teotihuacan and Classic Mayan cities still affected the Toltecs), but he always preferred to rule than to be ruled, and put his mark rather than being marked. A soldier in a sense, but not in another - obedience only when convenient, and if he has a chance to backstab, he wouldn't lose it. Axayacatl's story is as large as his lifetime, of course, and from 920 up to 2008 there's an awful lot to tell. Unlike the previous figures, his works have benefited way more than just one empire (the Excan Tlahtoloyan), from Tollan to an accident in time and space he and a pack of some hundred Toltecs and less mayans, humans and Cuetzpalin alike, arrived in the northern european seas, where they met the New Asgardians, a pack of norsemen led by a self-proclaimed king Týr who wanted to rebel against the Jötunn from Nifelheimr, who enslaved their past generations with sacrifices and tributes, as if those of the Roman Empire weren't enough. That was at the beginning of the 11th Century. Axayacatl, of course, held no longer his titles in this land, and in no time his choices in this new life (that started with planning a return, but being frustrated and unable to make it) would put his selfishness in second plan, and the heroism of his younger fellow Cuauhtemoc in first, according to some foreigners they met after they defeated the Jötunn and passed through the southwestern barriers, meeting the Banteran tribe (in the IN LAK'ECH Mythos, communities that existed before the Roman Empire that are some ancestors to the nowadays Basque people). For thirty years these Toltecs have co-existed with the Banterans, met their outlandish guardians - the Basajaun and the Elves, unable to see threats on the horizon (a planned revenge of the Jötunn, or rather of Hel, keeper of those enslaved by the first, and also the rise of a secret order of international mages from key positions in Europe, the Palarokhian Order, that also counted with help of some dragons). Their greatest threat, however, was the ambition of one of their own - Axayacatl had just sold them to the Palarokhians. After an epic conflict in 1070, Axayacatl would become Cuauhtemoc's definitive enemy. Those who remained from the Banterans and Toltecs moved southeast, reaching northern France. A group split and moved another way, towards Sweden, where they'd breed Cuetzpalin hybrids known as trolls. As for Axayacatl, he just started a new life - as a professional bounty hunter, contacted by a secret organization of specialized thieves, counting with figures such as the millennial Autolycus. Bad company. But is Ichtaca really Axayacatl? Cuauhtemoc hopes it's not, and Ichtaca's own ways make it way different from Axayacatl. But then, Cuauhtemoc hasn't seen his nemesis for years, since they fought in the spanish civil war - yes, you heard that right.
        Anyway, in November 20th 2008, by chance, Ichtaca's Tonalcoatl has been found by 27 years old Brazilian journalist Ian R. while he was covering a conflict between bounty hunters and landless workers in Central Brazil. After a time conciliating with his powers - besides that of transforming into a Cuetzpalin, of possessing immediate regeneration factor - he learned from Ichtaca's telepathy of his own past, and when asked about Ichtaca's goal in life or role in giving that power to Ian, Ichtaca answered his goal was to live and let the world know the humans aren't alone, what was met with animosity by Ian, who's concerned with the situation of landless workers and the working class overall in the world, as he tries to become deeply involved with the organization of struggle against capitalism in governmental and non-governmental fronts. Ichtaca's interest also matches Ian's when they learn about the existence of Paynal. While searching for him, they would also meet "Montezuma", and despite their shocking differences (Ian, for example, despises Paynal's disregard for human life), the three would come to best themes after they realize their enemies prefer them acting separately. After protecting some nahuatl indigenous peoples in central america, this "second Cuetzpalin" has been called OMEPAYNAL (from the nahuatl "two fast").

Will the Cuetzpalin make their existence known again, and will it impact as much as it seems the global organizations that currently prey upon human and nonhuman dignities through the imposed labor and the acquiring of wealth by exploitation? Through words, images and a culture of obedience and alienation? Follow the story of IN LAK'ECH to see what happens next!

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They look a little like the Humanoid Lizards from The Primevals that is possibly nearly completed after all these years.