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The White Snake's Chronicles

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Chapter I-2

462 CE, Uyälkab (Ohāllak), Teotihuacallo Empire.

The soon arrival of the 23rd Yaoquizque into the city was marked by a storm of preparations and stress, every major street the Yaoquizque could potentially step upon must be completely dusted and cleaned, every major building scrubbed sparkling and every piece of foliage cut to exact measurements. The city of Uyälkab was proud of it's position within the empire, considered one of a few settlements to be 'civilised' in the eyes of Teotihuacallo. It's great blood-orange stone temples stood out amongst it's neighbours and rivals and were Uyälkab's prize possession, and today, they were being washed with salt water and shaved with sandpaper made of crushed shells and sand plastered upon parchment. The midday sun blazed across the streets, the sweltering temperatures not helping with the already intense labour, with many workers forced to either endure or only take two hour shifts at a time. At midday the central city's artificial lake would often be packed with children and families of all classes and castes, but today it was completely empty except for the occasional bird which were shooed off very quickly by the workers.

Amongst the hustle and bustle of the preparations, an old man with bronze-brown skin and dry coarse black hair exited one of the many temples, taking in a sharp deep breath of the hot humid air, exhaling and sighing and yawning, scratching his face as he did so. The old man took several steps back towards the entrance, plucking his gold and black chief hat from an old battered table. As he tightened the hat to his head. The hat was similar to that of a sombrero with a wide brim and a high pointed crown, dyed black with golden foil stripes. Laid down on the same table was a black and yellow linen manta[1] and two gold earrings, along with an old crooked wooden black staff, marked with stripes of golden foil ribbon. After another minute of preparation, the old man left the interior of the temple once again, wearing his black and gold apparel despite the horrific heat. Barely within the shade of the priest room two sets of leather and linen shoes awaited the man, who quickly thanked the gods under his breath that they were not in the direct sunlight and thusly slipped them on. With every step down the stairway, the summer sun appeared to become stronger and stronger, harsher and harsher, until the old man barely had his eyes open at the sheer brightness of Uyälkab. Frowning, the old man trudged through the finely cleaned paths to a similarly old man who was directing barely cladded men and women to their work. As the old man came closer, the director turned, his scowl immediately transforming into a gleeful smile.

"Old friend! It is a pleasure to meet you on such a wonderous day!" The director cheered, gesturing with both of his hands for a hug, which the old man took with a nod and a pat.
"Forgive my eroding memory, but what is with the commotion?" The old man asked, detaching himself from the director. He glanced to his left towards the empty lake and several workers on the other side frantically scooping piles of grime and dirt into buckets from all the filth of the city.
"Tecuetlaza, the twenty third Yaoquizque are coming to the city!" The director explained in a mildly joking attitude. The old man's eyes widened as he took a step back.
"Today?! Without any warning?!" Tecuetlaza/Old man proclaimed out of shock, it wasn't unusual for Yaoquizque to give cities short notices of their arrival, but only a single day? That was unheard of, and frankly quite rude. The director caught Tecuetlaza's frail old hand, still smiling.
"Most of the preparations have been completed and the cleaning went without incident. We have nothing to fear." The director said, reassuring his old friend. "And I am certainly grateful for your arrival, Uyälkab's central temple's bonfire is about to be lit, and having the Elder Priest of Ah'puch for the event would be thematically relevant!"
Tecuetlaza slowly raised a greying eyebrow, turning his head subtly to the side. "And why would it be such?" He asked, hesitantly. The director's face twisted to be almost cruel in design as his smile twisted up.
"The Yaoquizque have brought sacrifice of course! They found Tïle Sätalen, all three hundred of the traitors!" The director gleefully proclaimed, "Not a single one escaped!". On any other day Tecuetlaza would of been just as proud, after all it meant the defeat of one of the largest holdouts of escaped slaves and ex-warriors, but Tecuetlaza only felt a heavy heart and silently prayed that the Yaoquizque would only have the adults ritually killed. A village of that size was certain to have children, and he knew that first hand. The old man looked up at his temple for a brief moment, in thought, before turning his gaze to the central temple in the far distance. Tecuetlaza turned back to his friend, nodding with a smile.
"Excellent, let me just gather my items from my priest room." The old man affirmed. His friend's face lit up even more then it already had.
"Wonderful, I hope to see you at sunset." He replied. After the two said their goodbyes and the director parted his way back to the workers, the old man made a full 180 degrees back to his temple, hurrying back up the stairs and eventually back to his priestroom. Only he and invited guests were allowed inside, and a guest he had, as he stepped into the darkness of the back rooms he treaded carefully to one of three beds were a young child laid, with hair as white as the eastern sea's foam and skin paler then an axolotl. Pparchment bandages soaked in alcohol wrapped about their bloodied left hand.



Painting of the Uyälkab City Centre



[1] A rectangle of cloth that functioned as an overwrap on cool days, and as blankets at night. The manta in Tapelt culture were often made to be simple with geometric designs, with priests often wearing them with symbolic colours.

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