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Army Fluff Lost City of Mutal

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Warden, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Time for some information on the River Fleets of Mutal. I am thankful the inspiration from some of the previous threads on Lizardmen Navies:
    http://www.lustria-online.com/threads/lizardmen-oceanic-travel.16709/
    http://www.lustria-online.com/threads/lizardmen-navy.1076/

    I still have more research to do through all the links provided in these pages, especially some of the fluff, but for now this is what I have put together.

    River Fleets of Mutal

    In order to protect the vast canal network of the city and the Obscumacinta River, the ancient inhabitants of Mutal have developed a large waterborne navy of ships and living creatures, to augment the aquatic patrols of skinks, kroxigors, and salamanders.

    The Lizardmen of Mutal make use of long canoes crafted out of the largest rainforest trees and rowed by a crew of two kroxigors to transport fast moving saurus patrols throughout the many tributaries of the Obscumacinta River. Larger war-barges and jungle-gondolas are rowed by as many as 25 kroxigor rowers, and can transport as much as an entire regiment of saurus warriors and auxiliaries onto the battlefield. These ships are also used to ferry goods throughout the countryside to the city itself. Everything from food to precious materials like jade, obsidian, tropical bird feathers, cocoa, and tropical wood are taken to the city of Mutal for the greater glory of the Slann and the Old Ones.

    Reptillian Fleet.jpg

    The largest constructed ships used by the Lizardmen are the ancient temple ships. The secrets to the construction of these ancient vessels have long been forgotten. From the outside, they appear to be simply a massive temple complex along the edge of the river. However in times of war, huge crews of skittering skinks and kroxigor crews push the temple ships from the shore. Built with hardened snakewood and cast stucco armor, the temple ships are decorated with vicious lizard heads and mouths, and are able to carry a small army up or downstream to attack the enemies of the city.

    In more recent years the Jade Host have succeeded in “taming” some of the great aquatic monsters that live along the river to use as transports. The most commonly used are the pliodons: large, scaled, marine reptiles with a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, and more vicious than any river shark. They are the preferred means of transport for the fast-moving skink and saurus swamp patrols for ambushing interlopers and treasure hunters. There aren’t many things more devastating than a waterborne attack of a pliodon leaping out of the water to attack unsuspecting trespassers.

    Pliodon.jpg

    I really like the idea of using massive marine reptiles to transport Lizardmen throughout the jungle rivers. The old saurus-transport picture is a great example, I just wish we could see more of the beastie to know what it looks like. I also like the idea of using a creature like a giant turtle for oceanic travel, but I think the Lizardmen would use the geomantic web to travel over long distances.

    The navy ships were inspired by the Lizardmen fleets from Man o’ War/Sea of Claws, I thought they were pretty cool looking stuff. The ancient Mayans actually did use a great deal of canoes, in fact some ships were almost miniature galleys used by the trading-princes who moved from city to city trading their wares.

    mayan canoe.png

    I also REALLY like the idea of temple ships, they remind me of the giant castle ships used by the Chinese during the Song Dynasty on the Yangtze River. Instead of cannons or rockets, the Lizardmen could still use giant bows or even solar engines or other magical artillery pieces to attack enemy ships.
     
  2. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    I really like this idea of a lizardmen navy! Hadn't occurred to me before though! They definitely have an air force so navy makes sense. That temple ship is amazing. If they can use temples to fly to outer space then there's no reason no to have seafaring temples.
     
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  3. Xholankha the lost one
    Chameleon Skink

    Xholankha the lost one Well-Known Member

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    i liked the idea of chuapoyotl being a harbour for lizardmen, and also i think somewhere in a fith edition lm book it said some where that they once tamed a kraken.
    o_O
     
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  4. spawning of Bob
    Skar-Veteran

    spawning of Bob Well-Known Member

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    Enough with the cool background Warden - don't make me come over there and write something.
     
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  5. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Lord @Xholankha the lost one: I will have to look up the bit about the kraken, that does sound familiar but I seem to have misplaced my old Lizardmen book, I have a feeling that my chaos-aligned cat has taken it away somewhere...

    Lord @Bowser: I agree! If Lizardmen temples could turn into flying saucers Indiana jones style, then I have no problem with the idea that there might have been temple-ships at one point plying the rivers or oceans. At this point in there history I don't think the Lizardmen would be a fan of travelling too far, simply because they are more concerned with protecting their homeland than travelling abroad. BUT then again there was the Albion campaign and the founding of Konquata on a distant location of power; so it is possible. But in this case I am pretty sure Lord Mazdamundi just willed a portal in the geomantic web open.

    Since the primary foe that my army has faced is actually the wood elves (courtesy of my brother) I have struggled to find a way for them to fit into the Lore. I didn't try to write them into Lustria simply because his wood elves look much more like the elves that live in Athel Loren than any kind of "Lustrian" wood elves. I had the idea that the Lizardmen of Mutal might have been charged by their Slann lords to go reconquer ancient lost artefacts buried in the forest at various times, maybe an ancient terraforming device that gives off seeds that create forests wherever they land (acorn of the ages...?) but I am still working on that one.

    Lord @spawning of Bob: Your fluff is quite amazing, I would have no problem with you making my one-dimensional characters into something more interesting. I don't have too much more fluff at the moment, just some more WIP maps!

    This one is a zoomed-in map of the previous one, centered on the coastline near the lost city of Mutal and the surrounding jungles, AND my Bretonnian colony of Jeruga and its tributary client-principalities of Luon, Castol, Zaragon, and Gorza:

    Jerugan Coast 1.jpg

    And a bit more zoomed-in to see the map:

    Jerugan Coast 2.jpg

    It was just a quick map I put together to help place all the things I was talking about in the lore, subject to change of course. I need to add a lot more rivers and lagoons for the Lizardmen ships to hide in. But this project is taking a back seat until the upcoming art contest is done!
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
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  6. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Concerning Religion- Part 2

    Inspired in part by @mousekiller 's idea, here is some additional information concerning the primary deities of the city, each designated by their cardinal direction and temple of worship. Several of the units in the Jade Host hold a specific devotion to different Old Ones, though each holds nominal allegiance to Tzunki, their primary god.

    White (North)- The primary deity of the White Temple is Tepok, god of magical protection. He is specifically the patron deity of all the skink priests of the city. Xhotl is also invoked for his control over the destinies of all Lizardmen; his chosen devotees are marked by his favor by being spawned either with unusually white or even albino scales.

    Red (East)- The followers of the Red Temple are devoted to Sotek, the god of war and blood, has replaced the traditional worship of the god Chotec, god of the rising sun in his warrior-god aspect.

    Black (West)- The Black Temple is devoted to Quetzl, the god of protection, has blessed his followers with hardened scales and protection during battles. The walls of the city are each marked with glyph-blessings of Quetzl. The Old One Huanchi is also called upon as the lord of the night.

    Yellow (South)- The Yellow Temple is devoted to Tlazcotl the impassive, embodying the ancient cold-blooded knowledge of the Lizardmen. Chotec is also worshipped in his aspect of the Lifebringer.

    Green (Center)- Tzunki- god of water and rain, is the primary deity of the city celebrated by the central temple in the heart of the city. Like the many shrines to him throughout the city, the grand Temple of Tzunki is only accessable through an underwater gate leading in from the canal network.

    If I ever make a map of the city, I want to make the city layout like this one.
    mayan_cosmos.jpg
     
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  7. mousekiller
    Saurus

    mousekiller Well-Known Member

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    @Warden And the poles are also counter balances to each other, such as the east who chases the west every day, in a battle that is never completed. The temples of the south represent the battle ground (which was usually a jaguar) who would appear at the east side of the temple, then disappear underground during the night to reappear on the west side of the temple when the battle was paused for the day.
     
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  8. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I enjoy your work but there are two things
    First, reptilian is spelled with one "l" not two.

    Second. I can accept an immortal toad man moving continents with a thought and directing an army of dinosaurs, but transporting as giant stone temple on a wooden boat barely wider than the Temple and with a tiny height and then sending that floating stone anchor into battle challenges my ability to suspend my disbelief. It's infeasible enough that the thing can float but to willingly direct said boat into naval warfare is mahrlect nuts. Now if you say "magic" I call fowlsies. Why stop at making a big stone temple float when it only a tiny amount more can make the temple fly. Why not use the mobility mojo on a conventional boat to make it superfast? Why not make a fortress that floats instead of a temple? Why not use metal in lieu of stone.

    Sorry. That's just how I roll.

    I can accept that Superman is a human looking alien who gains invincibility and flight from yellow sun light. I can't accept that Clark Kent works for a newspaper that avoid tabloid journalism in the twenty-first century and not live in a cardboard box.

    I got DC on the brain because I just watch Dawn of Justice. Off-topic digressions on the movie can go here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  9. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Nice, never noticed I got it wrong from that website.

    I see your points about taking giant stone ships into battle. My original inspiration came from that Man o' War picture, I will do my best to provide some explanations.

    I did find one example, as I put previously some of my inspiration for the temple ships comes from the ancient Chinese castle ships, and I found one example of a ship that was originally built with stone:

    57177565-stone-ship.jpg

    Known as the "Marble Boat," the base was originally built in 1755 with large stones, with the tope made of wood. It was later rebuilt with a wooden superstructure just painted to look like stone, which I think is what this picture is of.

    References: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/beijing/summer/boat.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marble_Boat

    It's not a very good example, but considering how magical the Lizardmen are I couldn't imagine it would be too difficult to get something like this to float, even if the base is stone and the rest of the temple structure is made of wood covered in the stone-like stucco the Mayan's used to decorate their temples with. In addition, these ships would not have been made to be maneuverable anyway: the Chinese ships were designed to be durable (often coated with flame-retardant material) and designed to simply hold ranks of protected archers or catapults upon their turrets and rain down arrow fire on any rebellious inhabitants of the river systems. I could see the Lizardmen using these boats in a similar method, although with some more effective ranged magical devices. These ships were not designed for open ocean combat, but rather for brutal riverine warfare, which is how I imagine the Lizardmen using them. For long-range missions, it would be more effective to use fast moving underwater lizard creatures rather than these slow moving ships designed for a different kind of naval warfare.

    I hope this makes the idea more believable. Thanks for the input!

    Also I will check this one next, I had issues with this one too.
     
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  10. Xholankha the lost one
    Chameleon Skink

    Xholankha the lost one Well-Known Member

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    What I liked about the boats is the templeship, i think that if a temple city is near to the sea or an ocean like yours is I like the idea of a slann going.

    " right guys were moving, kick this city into the ocean and letsa go."
     
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  11. Xholankha the lost one
    Chameleon Skink

    Xholankha the lost one Well-Known Member

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    Dear great warden

    Please may you write more and more and more AND MORE AND MORE AND MOARR!!!! fluff on flora and fauna, I'm sort of creating a campaign between a few friends, and it's an 8th edition campaign, now why am I asking you??
    Partially because you have an extraordinary knack for creating interesting pieces, like your lizardmen calendar clock, which reminds me of the antiketheriya(I think that is how it's spelt :\ ) mechanism, which was a very advanced clock for its time as it tracked the moon and stars, it was the first known celestial calendar and clock.

    Second reason, is that while some have said I'm alright at fluff, I don't really think I'm good at it at all, and you seem to be good at writing jungly stuff, so I leave the task open to anyone aswell.

    On a quick note does anyone play DOW II
     
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  12. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Kind of. I have a fair number of Regiments of Renown and I have the 8th ed quasi official rules. But I despaired of being able to buy or convert enough DOW to field a presentable army so now they got folded into an Empire army. If you want to talk DOW I'd gladly join you in another thread.
     
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  13. Xholankha the lost one
    Chameleon Skink

    Xholankha the lost one Well-Known Member

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    Sure and OH MY GOD, whyyy?? WHY AM I A HIDEOUS RAT(no offense y'ttar) bring back my ethereal bumbling old one self, and by Dow 2 I mean computerised 40k version
     
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  14. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind words Lord X!

    The only DOW Regiment of Reknown I have ever used is Lord Arasinal the Dragonlord with my counts-as Skink Warchief on Coatl. I always wanted a set of Long Drong Slayer Pirates, probably someday I will get some off of ebay or make my own.

    But as for 40K DOW, yes I have played that game many times, mostly the Soulstorm version. Its pretty fun, and I got to play as my custom Space Marine Black Templar crusade using a mod the Kaurava crusade (the epic video is awesome, I recommend you watch it because you will immediately become a Black Templar fan).

    Zeon Crusade.png

    Edit: FOR THE EMPRAH!
     
  15. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Finally finished my fiction story, Ten Little Treasure Hunters, which gave me a chance to explore the rich lore of Lustria and the Lizardmen, and build up the lore of my own temple city some more! Now it’s time to add some of my new ideas to my lore thread.

    Concerning Characters:

    The Skink Court- made up of all the Skink Priests of Mutal’s ruling court, led by the current High Priest of Mutal, Zul-K’an.


    Muluc- the High Priest of the Grand Temple of Tzunki, second in order of rank only to Zul-K’an himself. Known for his ornate jade and tourquoise studded black robes, as well as his highly ceremonial scale-paint and manner of speaking. Participated in the defense of the Temple of Kopan by striking down a rogue enemy wizard, who desecrated the temple with his foreign spells. Leader of the conservative camp of skink priests, and is nominally an ally of Zul-K’an. Often feels that the High Priest of Mutal spends too much time on politics and not enough time conducting the religious business of the Old Ones.

    Yax Kuk’mo- the Green Priest, devoted to Tzunki. To him the word of the Slann is law, and is dedicated to carrying out the will of the Old Ones and defense of their home-city in accordance to the Great Plan. Is a staunch ally of Zul-K’an and underling to Muluc.

    Q’uq’umatz- the Yellow Priest, is the Chief Recorder of the Long Count and herald of the Great Calendar. While devoted to the will of the Old Ones, is conflicted by his growing fears that the calendar has become misaligned by the baleful influence of the chaos moon. In the political realm, is normally considered neutral, but he does not fully trust the Cult of Sotek, so often finds himself in the conservative camp.

    Otowik- the Red Priest, is labeled an upstart by his peers due to his position as leader of the Cult of Sotek. Also considered slightly unstable for his preference for bloody sacrifices, however his true purpose is to achieve enough favor through his chosen god and the lizardmen populace to ascend to the head of the council. Rarely sees eye-to-eye with the rest of the council, and openly acts against the council when he wishes due to his position as commanding by far the largest and most zealous group of followers in the temple-city.

    Ah Chun’caan- the Black Priest, is the ancient and invalid head of the Obsidian Temple of Quetzl. His formal titles include Guardian of the Dusk; and is held in special reverence by all Temple Guard as the overseer of the temple-guard spawning pools. Rarely leaves the shrine of Quetzl, when he does he is always carried aloft on a palanquin by his followers. Is considered an ally of Zul-K’an.




    Other Important Skinks- both featured in the story (and I also made a model for one of them!)

    Chaac-Xook- the Rain Shark, is the leader of the water-borne scouting cohorts of the Jade Host. Beloved of Tzunki, in battle he rides a blind but deadly troglodon.

    Canul- chameleon skink chief, leader of the chameleon scouts of Mutal and devotee of the Double Temple of the Moon. Is a servant of Zul-K’an, and heads the High Priest’s secret police, as well as his spy and informant network.
     
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  16. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Now some more (updated) notes:

    Temple City of Mutal

    Temple City of Mutal_Temple Names_2.png

    Mutal Sketch Complete 1.png

    Mutal Sketch Complete 6.png

    Mutal Sketch Complete 7.png

    WIP Maps on page four of my Art Thread!

    The City of Mutal is known for its canals. Instead of roads, the denizens of the temple-city use the intricate canal system and waterways to move troops, trade goods, and building materials throughout the city. The canals feed into the Grand Canal of Tzunki, which in turn feeds into the mighty Obscumacinta River, from which the skink traders of Mutal can connect with the Lizardmen outposts throughout the temple city’s sphere of influence along the Scorpion Coast.

    The City is divided into roughly five districts by cardinal directions, with the fifth “quarter” being the center of the city (as per Lizardmen cosmology the Center is its own cardinal direction). The districts are usually called by the color of their patron deity/by the color of that cardinal direction: Green (Center), White (North), Red (East- Rising Sun), Black (West- Setting Sun), Yellow (South). Each district usually has a primary Temple or other minor temples or shrines, as well as numerous skink workshops and barrios, spawning pools, or plazas.




    1. Green District (Center)- dedicated to the Old One Tzunki (in some ceremonies he is known by his formal name Chac-Tzunki), the god of water and rain, who is the primary deity of the temple-city. The central quarter of the city is dominated by the Grand Temple in the heart of the city. Like the many shrines to him throughout the city, the Grand Temple of Tzunki is only accessible through an underwater gate leading in from the canal network.

    Notable features and buildings of the Green District:

    Grand Temple of Chac-Tzunki- only accessible via an underwater entrance. Also houses Holy Slann Jatzom Kuh, ruler of Mutal, as well as the meditation chambers for the other Slann of the city. The Great Calendar is also contained within the heart of the Grand Temple, under heavy guard and constantly maintained by a small army of skinks from the Artificer Caste.

    Canals of Tzunki- completely surround the central pyramid, as well as link to all other districts of the city. Regularily patrolled by the canal and pliodon river fleets at the city’s disposal.

    Blood Shrines of Sotek- four shrines of the Snake God surround the Grand Temple itself, each containing a vast pit of snakes in which during times of celebration sacrifices are fed.

    Sacred Spawning Pools of Tzunki- saurus spawned under Tzunki’s blessing originate from the spawning pools deep within the Grand pyramid. They are located directly underneath the primary barracks of the Jade Host, which is also located within the vast chambers of the pyramid.




    2. White District (North)-The primary deity of the White Temple is Tepok, god of magical protection. He is specifically the patron deity of all the skink priests of the city. Xhotl is also invoked for his control over the destinies of all Lizardmen; his chosen devotees are marked by his favor by being spawned either with unusually white or even albino scales.


    Notable features of the White District:

    White Temple of Tepok the Inscrutable- The primary meeting place for the Skink Priest council, but in recent years these have become merely ceremonial. The true power lies within the Palace of the High Priest, and the secret meetings carried out within.

    Alabaster Shrine of Xhotl- The Oracle of Mutal has his seat at the Alabaster Shrine, where he works to give his advice on future events through his study of the Great Calendar.

    Spawning Pools of the Skinks- many of the skink-spawning pools of the city are located in this disctrict, whether they are destined for the hard labor of the Builder Caste or the careful study of the Artificer or Scholar Caste. Many kroxigors are also spawned to assist the skinks in their difficult labors.

    Beast Stables of Itzl- dedicated to Itzl, the Old One of Beasts, the skinks of the Beast Caste work to raise all the creatures used in both daily Lizardmen life and in war, including the stegadon beasts-of-burden and the far-ranging cold-ones. A sub-group within the Beast Caste is also responsible for caring for the pliodon river fleets that help protect the temple-city’s canals, as well as hunt down the excess piranha and crocodile population constantly breeding within the city’s waterways.




    3. Red District (East)- The followers of the Red Temple are devoted to Sotek, the god of war and blood, has replaced the traditional worship of the god Chotec, god of the rising sun in his warrior-god aspect.

    Notable features of the Red District:

    Red Temple of Sotek: The seat of power for the Snake God, as well as the Cult of Sotek. The temple contains a very large kennel for captives within its depths, from which a sacrifice is offered to the Snake God daily to quench his thirst.

    Blood Shrines of Sotek- even larger than the central Blood Shrines in the Green District, these shrines contain not only huge pits of serpents and snakes, but also many devices of unknown origin used by the Cult during battle.

    Temple of Chotec the Sun God- Previously the primary deity of the Red District was Chotec, lord of the Sun, but due to the unprecented rise of the Snake God a new, smaller temple was built for the Sun God. The temple is still dutifully maintained by a small, though slightly under-funded priest corps.

    Palace of the High Priest Zul-K’an- The traditional quarters of the High Priest and his administrative skink-orderlies, who carry out the daily running of the Temple City without the direct guidance of the Slann, who are busy contemplating the mysteries of the Old Ones’ Plan and the secrets of the Great Calendar.

    Barrios and Markets of the Skinks- The great marketplace of Mutal, with the largest population of skinks within the city. Contains large populations of skinks in the service to all of the temple-city’s major temples, though is most heavily populated by members of the Cult of Sotek. All commodities and trade goods tend to make their way through this district on their way out to the provinces and distant shrines, or even other temple-cities, through easy access to the canals or direct access to the Obscumacinta River.

    Ballcourt of Huanchi- the great stadium of Mutal, able to fit thousands of skink and saurus spectators. On holy days of the Great Calendar, ceremonial and vicious trials of courage are played out upon the field. The losers then are sacrificed to honor the Old Ones amid the bloodthirsty and adoring cries of the throngs of the Lizardmen spectators.

    Spawning Pools of the Saurus and Skinks- Aside from the spawning-pools beneath the Red Temple which produce the legions of Saurus spawned with the blessings of Sotek, many other skink spawning pools are located in the Red District, to help further swell the ranks of the servants of the Snake God.



    4. Black District (West)-The Black Temple (more formally known as the Obsidian Temple) is devoted to Quetzl, the god of protection, has blessed his followers with hardened scales and protection during battles. The walls of the city are each marked with glyph-blessings of Quetzl. The Old One Huanchi is also called upon as the lord of the night.

    Notable features of the Black District:

    Obsidian Temple of Quetzl-Located nearest to the Central Temple, the Temple of Quetzl contains the sacred spawning pools of the Temple Guard, who dutifully protect all the temples of the city. In addition, the shrine boasts spawning pools of saurus blessed directly by Quetzl with hardened scales, offering them extra protection during battle.

    Double Moon Temple- The primary temple of the district. The skinks of the Double Moon Temple work tirelessly to help unravel the mysterious of the Great Calendar due to their intensive study of the lunar cycles. Despite their determined efforts, the erratic nature of the Chaos Moon has usually prevented them from making any real progress through the centuries.

    Onyx Shrine of Huanchi- dedicated specifically to the Old One of the night, but of late this shrine has fallen into disrepair due to the preference of the priests of Huanchi to oversee events at the Ballcourt.

    Spawning Pools of the Chameleon Skinks- Directly behind the Double Moon Temple are the spawning pools of the Chameleon skinks, the secretive spawning that produce the eyes and ears of the temple-city. While overseen by the priests of the Double Moon Temple, the chameleons report directly to the High Priests in all matters of importance that could threaten the city.




    5. Yellow District (South)- The Yellow Temple is devoted to Tlazcotl the impassive, embodying the ancient cold-blooded knowledge of the Lizardmen. Chotec is also worshipped in his aspect of the Lifebringer.

    Notable features of the Yellow District-

    Yellow Temple of Tlazcotl the Impassive- Dedicated to the coldblooded and unbreakable Old One of War, the Yellow Temple’s adherents rarely speak but are unflinching in duty. The temple boasts strong regiments of saurus which are spawned within its depths, marked with yellow scales visually depicting Tlazcotl’s favor.

    Temple of Chotec the Lifebringer- The second temple of Chotec within the city, specifically as the Old One of growing things. The Food Caste maintains strict adherence to the temple’s precepts as they conduct themselves daily in city’s agricultural swamp-fields as well as the vast insect hatcheries.

    Grand Canal of Mutal- The Grand Canal separates the Yellow District from the Red District as it travels from the heart of the city and empties into the Obscumacinta River. The Gateway of Tzunki, in the form of a giant, sharp-toothed lizard-mask, spans the center of the canal, and acts as a doorway into the heart of the city. Traffic is always heavy along the Grand Canal, with skink traders and pliodon river patrols, as well as the vast Temple Ships of the city’s fleet guarding the entrance.
     
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  17. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    The great detail and care you add into your army fluff just takes this to a whole other level of brilliance. Great stuff here.
     
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