Tihuekla Rol

The pale lizard's followers wish to cut the threads of their own lives, no more shall we wait to die. No more shall we cause despair for those who have done us no harm. We shall cut the threads of our faith, tonight, and leap into the unknown— into the fever-pitch of a full life!
— Tihuekla Rol
  Tihuekla Rol is the leader of the Tihuetil, a group of apostates who escaped Ytzklapon and travel to warn others of— and potentially combat— the encroaching pale lizard, the city upon their back, and their plan to devour all of humanity.  

Unorthodox Beginnings

As most Ytzklaponeu, she had begun her life not as Tihuekla Rol— but as Nual Ytzil. Born to abnormally loving parents, who— somewhat to the ire of their extended family— had merely fasted for the day she was born, rather than multiple days afterwards as is custom for the Ytzklaponeu. Throughout her upbringing she saw her parents act kindly to others when possible.  
My father brought his fist up to his mouth— signalling me to be quiet— as we approached the beaten slave in the street. The sun was setting, the sky painted in purple hues— like the bruises on the strange man's face. I didn't understand why— as my father quietly whispered something into the man's ear and left him food— he was helping him.
  I asked him "Why give him food? Won't he rejoin Ytzkla faster if he dies?" He turned to me, and though I couldn't see his face, I could see sadness in his eyes. Quietly, he said these words to me, which forever changed my life. "He can rejoin Ytzkla another day."
— Tihuekla Rol
  Her father spent a great amount of time making examples for his daughter to instill his ideals in her. Making sure to treat slaves with respect, praying for those he killed in battle and regaling the young girl with tales of the innocents he refused to kill when sent off to capture a city. He snuck her food during fasting periods, telling her that it was better this way. Eventually she would grow to no longer accept his unorthodox ideals— growing closer to her mother who had, over time, become more orthodox in her beliefs.
   

Pulled away

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Despite her father's best efforts, Rol had been slow to fully adopt his values— as she was under the influence of her peers, and her mother. By the age of 16, merely 2 years after her first Klapnot, she had become a prime candidate to become a yiltz— mentored by her aging mother.
  Her mother had instilled in the young woman the values of their faith, and taught her more about tolix rites than most Ytzklaponeu ever learn.
  Her mother sought to leave behind her knowledge and values in the youth before she passed on— straightening one assailed by unorthodox influence was an even greater good, she thought. This lasted until Rol's father was killed, shortly after she reached the age of 23.  

A Kind Vengeance

Rol's father had been murdered. This is one of the greatest sins in the Ytzklaponeu faith, and yet, whoever had done it was never caught. The suspect seemed obvious; another yiltz had neglected his slaves— as is somewhat common— beaten them, berated them, and left them to die. Rol's father took them into his own household to nurse them back to health, and the yiltz showed great anger at this. Threats had been made against her father but, nevertheless, he continued with his unorthodox practices and paid the price for them.
  This was the greatest lesson her father had taught her. The truth of their society. Tenets, teachings, and values of their faith only mattered as far as they benefited the faithful.
 
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Soon after, she began to understand her father's teachings and started taking them to heart. Her change wasn't immediate, but it was quick— within two years she had begun the process of drawing out those with similar, kinder, ideals. Hiding and watching for those who may treat others as human.
  A particular man stuck out to her, now is known as Tihuekla Ruhe, who had snuck into the nearby tolix and returned with a body from the ceremonial burial chambers. The body had, in fact, not been dead— it was the man's brother, barely clinging to life, declared by a yiltz to be good as dead and struck with incurable illness.
  Rol couldn't conceal her astonishment at this act— and her surprised gasp nearly made Ruhe drop the body then and there.  
I recall in vivid detail the conversation held when I met the first who would join our ranks, Ruhe. "I-I couldn't abandon him, just leave him to die! It isn't right." He had said, bewildered, desperately trying to defend his actions to someone he had never met.
  The body's Cluetolxli had come loose, torn wrappings touching the ground. "He can rejoin Ytzkla another day." I said, and picked up the loose wrappings before helping carry the body to his home.
— Tihuekla Rol
  In the following few years, their group would grow, and talk of their actions would be on the lips of many Ytzklaponeu throughout the city.    

Sinner

As Rol found more who shared her beliefs, she became more and more emboldened. Her ideals were reinforced, and those who followed her felt the same. They began to take action. It started small, simply aiding those they could with their own food and supplies. However, it didn't take long to realize that this was not enough. There were more than those within their own city who suffered— what of the non-warrior citizens of the settlements they sacrificed to the great lizard's maw?
  The group began to sneak into battle, aided by members of the military among them, and help innocents escape— or grant them a peaceful death. Of course, many feared them.  
The woman stared up at me, terrified, holding her young ones close. I bent over to place my weapon on the floor, but she seemed to believe my Cluetolxli was, itself, a weapon— screaming and clutching her children closer as it bent towards them under its own weight. I couldn't help but wonder, could we truly do any good this way?
— Tihuekla Rol
  Another Ytzklaponeu soldier had witnessed a member of the group aiding a small child. She was murdered on the spot, as a sinner. The second time a member of the group was caught, they had been a capable fighter— and their attacker was killed in defense. However, they killed themselves from the guilt shortly thereafter. Clearly this could not work, clearly this was endangering those following Rol, and she knew it could not last. She demanded that the group cease actions on the field, and to instead focus on the survivors— the injured and the slaves.
 

Witness

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The newly captured slaves were held in much worse condition than those Rol had seen throughout the city. Food and water was often withheld to keep them weak and compliant. They were held together in a pen, surrounded by high walls, without a roof, exposed to the elements.
  As rain poured they often fell ill, and even if some avoided illness, they soon contracted them from proximity. It disgusted Rol to her core, as if the very marrow of her bones was subject to seeping rot and poison. Those running the slave trade were even more contemptible than any other she had known before.
  It was clear from then on what they must do.
 

Taking Flight

A plan was hatched to free the slaves that were able to still stand. Once free, they could live their own lives off in the world. The group would be unable to return, and would spend the remainder of their days warning others of the pale lizard and their former comrades. Should they manage to avoid death for long enough, they may even find a way to end the lizard's quest to devour all of humanity.
  At this point in time, the pale lizard was swimming up the southwestern coast of Rqet, south of Lliaq. This was the time. Less risk of death upon landing, and a shore in sight after months of an endless sea.  
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  In the dead of night, they took a number of ytzklaxoli culcatin from hidden stocks collected over the years from various battles, overwhelmed the few guards watching over the slave pens, and broke free those they could. Few hesitated to take the plunge, diving off the back of Ytzkla on cloth wings.
  A pledge was made that day, those who remained— numbering around 30 in total, not including the freed slaves— rejected their faith. Each took a new name, prefaced by the title of "Tihuekla." Starting with "tihue" or "thread" and "kla", being the *last* character of their former god's name, Ytzkla. Ytzklaponeu family names are always prefaced with the first three, instead. Together, this effectively means "the end of Ytkla's thread."
  And thus, the Tihuetil (Thread-cut) were born.
Tee-hoo-ay-klah Rool
Current Location
Ethnicity
Year of Birth
3474
Children
Eyes
Turquoise
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Pale sand-brown
Height
5'4"
Aligned Organization

Maternal Troubles

Though Rol had been close with her mother in her younger days, this relationship did not last after her father's death. Her mother blamed his murder on his naivete.
  This, of course, did not sit well with Rol. Yet she still tried to smile and nod, listen and obey, yet begin her new practices in secret.
  As many teens are, however, she was eventually caught. She had been helping an older slave walk back to their master's house under the weight of goods.
  She did not know, however, that the slave's master had been a close friend of her mother— and when she caught her, she immediately went to her mother.
 
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  As her mother chose a faithful young man for her to wed, hoping to set her on the right path, Rol immediately challenged the marriage, and was granted freedom by the yiltz who took her case.
  She left her mother's care soon after, the two never spoke again.
 
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Too late

The Tihuetil were too late to save Lliaq. While they had left their nation before The Devouring of Lliaq— they couldn't wish to outrun a beast of Ytzkla's size.
  When they arrived, the once great city was already in ruins. They had cast off their Cluetolxli in the red sands when they first landed, had they not done so— those who survived may have killed them on the spot or ran in fear.
  They did the best they could to aid the survivors, building shelter, finding food, offering medical assistance when able. As many were capable fighters, they helped keep monsters at bay— though some did perish in the early days.
 
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Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


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25 Sep, 2019 23:42

Honestly.. your articles are always a pleasure. Visually its just *so good* I honestly hope to gods I can one day make my articles look as pretty as yours do. The art is simplistic but so beautiful, its wonderful. From reading it, I can empathise with Rol. The death of her father makes me want to give her a hug and just... tell her its gonna be alright. She's doing the right thing. I feel for her. For her struggle, for her ideals, for her death. This is a truly well done article, my friend.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
26 Sep, 2019 01:20

Thank you! Honestly I somewhat stumbled into the art style out of necessity, but it works!
  Glad to hear her story works! I was a bit worried about that as I usually write more like, political or technological histories than personal ones.

26 Sep, 2019 00:33

I love the feel of your stories. such a neat tribal vibe. The culture rings clear in your articles. I like this one especially because I really feel we get to know Rol.

Author of Rise: Liminal Chronicles |
28 Sep, 2019 10:43

Overall, it is a good article! She's an interesting figure, though I would like to know more about some aspects of her turning-about.  

The pale lizard's followers wish to cut the threads of their own lives, no more shall we wait to die.
  The two parts of this sentence don't seem to connect at this part of the article. What does the first have to two with the latter? It reads a little odd as it stands; perhaps the second could stand on its own?  
No more shall we cause despair for those who have done us no harm.
  This is a nice line!  
Tihuekla Rol is the leader of the Tihuetil, a group of apostates who escaped Ytzklapon and travel to warn others of— and potentially combat— the encroaching pale lizard, the city upon their back, and their plan to devour all of humanity.
  This is a single-sentence paragraph at 41 words. Might be worth splitting up and rewriting a bit!   And I love the idea of a city on a huge god-lizard that walks around eating other cities.  
Born to abnormally loving parents, who— somewhat to the ire of their extended family— had merely fasted for the day she was born, rather than multiple days afterwards as is custom for the Ytzklaponeu.
  "Abnormally loving"? That's a bit of an odd word. Fasting for multiple days after giving birth also seems really dangerous for the mother.  
Throughout her upbringing she saw her parents act kindly to others when possible.
  Without having read the article about the city, readers may not understand the significant of that. The quote that follows help expand on it (it sounds like the entire city's a bit of an death-cult), but it could be something fun to add some more hints about?  
"He can rejoin Ytzkla another day."
  Nice :D  
Eventually she would grow to no longer accept his unorthodox ideals— growing closer to her mother who had, over time, become more orthodox in her beliefs.
  Why the change for the mother? So far in the article, I got the idea that she was in the same wavelength as dad; how come she changed?  
regaling the young girl with tales of the innocents he refused to kill when sent off to capture a city.
  What is his profession? The mother is later revealed to be a priestess (it seemed) but is he a warrior?  
Despite her father's best efforts, Rol had been slow to fully adopt his values— as she was under the influence of her peers, and her mother. By the age of 16, merely 2 years after her first Klapnot, she had become a prime candidate to become a yiltz— mentored by her aging mother.
  Both of these sentences get pretty long and it might be a good idea to short them down a little bit.  
This is one of the greatest sins in the Ytzklaponeu faith, and yet, whoever had done it was never caught.
  Was the culprit never caught because no one tried? That is the implication, especially with the final sentence and it is a powerful one.   You also have a tendency for asides; such as ", and yet," or "but, nevertheless, he" ... Something to keep an eye on, in case they get too numerous. :)  
snuck into the nearby tolix and returned with a body from the ceremonial burial chambers.
  Why is this part in italics? :O  
Of course, many feared them.
  The "Of course" could probably be cut. :) Or at least consider it  
However, they killed themselves from the guilt shortly thereafter.
  That seems kind of extreme! Talk about dedication to non-violence.  
Clearly this could not work, clearly this was endangering those following Rol, and she knew it could not last.
  Double clearly here!     Again; overall, very nice! :D

14 Oct, 2019 17:24

A very powerful story, ripe with growth, conflict, and learning! You did a fantastic job telling the story and you used the sidebar fantastically to describe new elements of the story.   Well done and thank you for submitting this!


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Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
14 Oct, 2019 17:54

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it, and thank YOU for the prompt and facilitating the contest!

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