Duck Search Myth in Valley of Man | World Anvil
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Duck Search

by hughpierre


In the beginning phases of the Women's War, the dead king's daughter went missing under the mist of a raid and was never seen again.

Historical Basis

The princess Patli, fourth born daughter of Uetzcayotl and his second wife, had been in the Old Market with a few of her half siblings and rumoured atzacualon lover. They had been coordinating a counter attack to an unexpected teik raid. A contingent of guards sought after her and ordered her, and her extended family, to return to the precinct. She refused and a scuffle broke out that led to the deaths of several of the dead Uetzcayotl's personal guard.  
Princess Patli fled, most confusingly, into the battle raging streets and channels. This moment was the last she was seen. Dedicated army detachments were sent after her, but these fell afoul of a rebellion sprung unexpected by the White Cobo.
— History from Sangsalgu

The Duck Name

As a little girl, the princess was affectionately called the little duck by her father and elder sisters. When she gained her own political will as an adult, her faction was called the "Ducks" to remind both the public and her rivals of her royal pedigree. Plus; it also played into her soft, non-threatening, strategy against her opponents.   For those who read through her stories, however, concluded that Patli was, at best, a passive political player. Had she really died the moment she went missing, then she would have been 34 years old. At the time, the Duck term may have been grasping back into her past to secure some room to maneuver under the reverence people had for her father.   However, it has since seeped into the public consciousness that Patli was a child surrounded by a protective family who failed to shield her.
And in that context, Sang mothers with unruly children invoke her tale to compel compliance.
— outside lecture in the Great Tetzcotzinco Gardens


Sangsalgu Proper

Patli is remembered as a long lost daughter, whose mysterious disappearance is speculated upon to this day.

Colhuacan Peninsula

Patli's mother was a colhuacan princess, and her people championed this daughter to succeed the father.

Coyoacan Peninsula

Patli is seen less as a person and more as another notch in the peoples' rivalry with Colhuacan.   Although, they do also acknowledge the tragedy of her passing.

Variations & Mutation

Cobo Abduction

Cōzcacuāuhtli, a natural son of Uetzcayotl, rebelled at a critical moment in the multi-sided battle. And in that time, his men snuck Patli away from the city to places unknown for a variety of reasons.  

Crow Pickings

In the aftermath of the contest in the Sacred Precinct, Qish'tallel and her crows came into power and righted the situation for over a year. But in so doing, she had undisputedly vanquished her fellow sister wives; and it is believe by some, her step daughter too.  

Teik Ransom

It struck many as suspicious that many claimants to the throne died within the span of the Texicot's attack. Which lead to the reasonable assumption that they were purposefully targeted. However, princess Patli was so beloved in her time, even by the Teiks, that it would have been politically disastrous to kill her so.   Her admirers had held out hope that she was, instead, taken alive to be used as a bargaining tool, but no note of ransom was ever delivered after the peace. Claims flew that they were imprisoning her, had killed her for the Rainbow Crows or were keeping the blood stock of the king to birth another claimant in the future. But all they got were denials.  

Lost in the Channels

The most mundane and disappointing theory, in light of the conflicting information, is that she simply fell into the water during the chaos and drowned.   As it would happen, her body would be unknowingly removed and destroyed with all others.

Cultural Reception

Obedience to Parents

Later generations of mothers would tell some version of the tale to their own children as warnings to what may become of them should they disobey their parents. Especially so when kids splash and play in the open canals to the disregard of parental limits:
come out now or y'all find the duck
— mothers to their child's group of friends

Mixed Lake
Building / Landmark | Dec 17, 2021

Cover image: The Azteca girl by Yanchong Lim


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