The Infested Street of Yonteu
The swarm seemed like an ocean of shining caramel-brown and black shells, undulating as each roach moved on its own. As I stared at their horrid mass I swear saw a man's face formed by the coloration on their backs, which seemingly screamed with the horrid hissing of the entire swarm as the mouth opened. As I ran from that place my fear-addled mind heard that cacophonous hissing become laughter.Along the now decrepid street of Yonteu, within the great Rektouzk capital city of Coulchlek, a decades-old string of mysterious murders continues to haunt the residents of the city. Now, nothing but roaches and the mad reside within the crumbling homes.
Those living alongside Yonteu were fairly affluent, as the street rises high above much of the city— their large homes were granted a wonderful view of the descending rings below them. It is no surprise that when the home of one Rzill Tzetlliac fell to an infestation of roaches that only the most expensive methods of pest control were applied.
Foreshadowed on Folded Wings
More worrying to the aged man was that, just before this, his youngest son Rzill had disappeared. The worried father had no patience for insects, and hired everyone from local priests to city guards to rid his home of the pests as he personally searched for his son. As methods failed one by one, it was theorized that the roaches were emanating from a forgotten basement, into which Tzetlliac immediately paid a small group of guardsmen to find and descend.
They found Rzill's body in the basement, blanketed by darkness.
The boy's skin had become glossy, and hard to the touch. It seemed almost as if whatever sick lunatic murdered him had taken great effort to make it appear as if his arms and legs had elongated— crushing and breaking the bone to protrude in numerous places as small spikes. His eyes were already gone, and roaches poured in steady streams from the empty cavities.The basement was filled with mud-brick and clay after Rzill's body was removed, and thankfully— the roaches seemed to stop coming.
I thought I had already seen the worst of humanity, and I have never been proven more wrong in my entire life.
PropagationUntil Tzetlliac's eldest son, Chue, disappeared too. All that was found of the body after weeks of searching was the man's disembodied head— with two strange, bony spikes protruding from his forehead. Tzetlliac began accusing his neighbor Omellch of the murder, citing a past rivalry between the two over the district's pottery market— which Tzetlliac gained complete control over years ago.
Another home, to the right of Tzetlliac's, soon fell to a roach infestation— and another mysterious murder. Omellch and Tzetlliac began paying greater and greater sums to guards, hoping to prove the other guilty as their dispute reignited. At least, until Omellch, too, disappeared. A servant found his body days later curled up beneath his bed.
You're nothing but a common pest, Tzetlliac. First your sons, who would inherit your success through no hard work of their own, and make forays into the market you think is yours alone. Then your former rival. Your competitors are dying one-by-one and you thought no one would notice?All eyes turned on Tzetlliac afterwards, the story was captivating and brought businesses more customers as they placed criers near their doors— spreading the story far, and fast. Some details were changed as the story was passed on, making Tzetlliac out to be a crazed maniac, speaking in tongues and threatening his neighbors with fists full of roaches.
Anyone who had heard of the incidents steered clear of the man they could not believe still walked free. Clearly it had to be him behind all these murders, only his coin kept justice from striking him down. He became a recluse, rarely leaving his home, paying others to get what he needed from the market and check on his businesses.
The few that caught glimpses of the man spoke of sunken eyes, a strange hunchbacked gait, and a low hissing audible through the home's walls.
Soon, three other homes became infested— entire families disappeared, leaving no one to pay for their bodies to be found. Anyone else who remained soon abandoned their homes and moved elsewhere, coming together to finally outbid Tzetlliac and have the man rightfully arrested.
We found him staring silently at the floor, his left arm had been removed, and his strange emaciated form made it appear as if his legs had somehow become longer than previous reports and memories.
Two large, purple bruised lumps were protruding from his forehead. He could only respond to our questions with strange hissing, it seemed he was beaten to a point where he could no longer speak.
I fear we may never hear the true story of what happened on Yonteu.
RedevelopmentTwenty years after these events, one brave soul, free of superstition, purchased the street and planned to redevelop it into a luxury market.
That is, of course, until she herself fell victim, adding to the list of deaths upon visiting Yonteu to plan out her next course of action.
ExterminationAfter this series of events became known to the public, there was a surge of fear and disgust for cockroaches throughout the city.
Priests, guards, supposed inventors, and all who claimed to have a ward against the pests were paid more than their worth in gold.
This culminated with some cheating many of the superstitious citizens and escaping to far off places with their ill-gotten gains.
The aftermathTzetlliac died two weeks after being taken into custody, taking with him any remaining clues as to what had happened on Yonteu.
Many believe it was simply Tzetlliac, and the right hands were paid off to deny him a proper Coulqepluex funeral.
However, others are skeptical of this clean end— to this day, Yonteu is infested by roaches, and deaths are still met by those who decide to venture into that diseased place.
No one but the homeless, desperate, or cultists have made their home along the infested street since, and it has been walled off from the rest of the city.
Organization | Apr 28, 2020
One of the largest nations within Qet. An extremely wealthy, powerful land seemingly protected from destruction by sheer luck.