Snake Woman Rank/Title in Valley of Man | World Anvil
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Snake Woman

by hughpierre


Whoever holds the position of the Snake Woman controls the law courts and the wealth of the royal court. Therefore, he must have:
  • Intimate wisdom of the state's laws
  • Previous experience in managing thousands of officials and civil servants
  • A member of the nobility (usually a relative of the great speaker)


Chosen at the confidence of the great speaker


When the Huey Tlatoani leaves the capital on military campaigns, the Snake Woman is moved into the palace to act as ruler in his absence.
  • Prepare state budget and issue adequate regulations for its execution.
  • Manage government financial assets.
  • Propose laws related to the management of government workers, particularly bills related to staffing, salaries, benefits and pensions.
  • Amortize internal domestic debt, usually by proposing debt abolishment schemes towards pochteca groups.
  • Coordinate financial activities within the scope of its power, for the different government entities and their related groups.
  • Be aware of and report on any initiative of a financial nature involving public expenditure and indebtedness to the high court of nobles.
  • Participate in the negotiation of international and other financial agreements.
  • Exercise all powers and rights as conferred on it by the courts.


  • Handles official finances
  • Organises military campaigns
  • Appoints commanders and lower judges
  • Determines rewards for warriors
  • Serves as supreme judge


  • Receives a considerable amount of the tribute from conquered cities
  • Plays an important role, together with the advisory council, in choosing the next ruler of Sangsalgu
  • The only person who didn’t need to take off their shoes in the presence of a tlatoani



Itzcóatl, the 4th Sang tlatoani to rule Crochide, created a special pochteca council, a likely predecessor to the pochteca court, to help him in the affairs of state. However, subsequent tlatoanis from the other warg tribes would dissolve and reinstate this type of council thoughout the city's history.  

Sangsalgu Proper

Before the dual reigns of Emperors Talotitopek and Haldon, the duties of cihuacóatl had been attributed to a wider regulatory body. As a matter of shrinking the political bureaucracy, the official office was established to collect taxes from regional representatives who, inturn, convey information to and from their governors.

Cultural Significance

Cihuacóatl represents the creative female force of the earth. The gaping jaws of a reptile frame her face, and the creature is depicted with a fantastic mask with a large forked tongue hanging from the mouth. The serpent plays a crucial role in the mythology of all the valley people as they are linked with the sun’s rays (‘fire serpents’), forked lightning and driving rain, which resembles water-snakes falling from the sky during heavy storms.
Like how the step folk are ruled by a 'Mother' and 'Father' duo in their caverns; the Great Speaker is the man acting as defense and offense and the Snake Woman is... also a man who performs womanly duties like accounting and planting.   It's hard to tell who is more powerful sometimes. Like a real marriage.
— Visiting prophesier to a class of Telpochcalli
The head financier got its name because the goddess Cihuacóatl was already the deity prayed to in tending to agricultural lands. Ensuring that there are sufficient supplies falls under the domain of responsibilities charged to the Snake Woman office. In the past, cities of large civilizations were dependent on local lords or gangs to collect taxes and other obligations which has brought resentment from commoners. In an attempt to mitigate this, the Triple Alignment created an office strongly tied to a preexisting and widespread cultural idol and to make Sang integration easier.

Notable Holders

Tlacaélel served under 5 great rulers in the Sacred Precinct for 60 years before becoming the speaker himself. He was a shrewd politician and a natural son of Uetzcayotl the Great and a Teik merchant's daughter. Tlacaélel is more readily remembered for continuing Qish'tallel's foreign policy and building better relations between the nobility and the speakership. Though he reigned before the cihuacóatl position was established; he was, and still is, touted as the model Snake Woman.   Boringly; as an advisor to Sayuon the Engineer, Amoxnya, Uetzcayotl the Great, Coszcadira and Cranotuilloil, Tlacaélel oversaw a period of economic prosperity by sponsoring new trade routs and arguing against metal money. These decisions threatened Ocumtit's position which would entitle them to make decision that led to the Women's War and War of Script and Pictures.
The reign of emperor Xitlaldira experienced a crash of the obsidian market due to a cancelled Flower War which resulted in the disintegration of many starting mines and a potential domino collapse of a web of loan obligations throughout the pochteca groups. His cihuacóatl, Quiauhcuih, concocted a plan where repayments of all debt, above a certain limit, within Sangsalgu were suspended. And the state took on all foreign private debt related to obsidian promises.
Tapayaxi, instigated a 'debt holiday' where accounts made during the preceding reign of emperor Zelhua in the month of the Toxcatl were forgiven across the empire. At the time, Sangsalgu Proper had annexed and heavily reverse invested in the former Texicot Nation which resulted in a boom in the economy. But it also resulted in alarming levels of debt and runawy inflation; the solution of which was essentially to disregard the creditors, who were a large mix of pochteca, teiks and sang nobiltiy. This period of forgiveness was extended to the rest of the state to make it seem like speakers were favouring the rich.
Quiauhticue, snake woman to Necahual the First, oversaw the controversial introduction of axe money into being an accepted item of barter. It was meant to help the state combat their dependence on cacao farms and bird trappers outside their control. But it became so rapidly unpopular that it was later scaled back as a buy-back measure to stimulate the most desperate neighbourhoods at 40 axe for 1 cacao bean.
Yarenya was the next cihuacóatl to serve Necahual the First who greatly expanded the bureaucracy and departments under him. They were meant to better facilitate Quiauhticue's earlier policies and then to help rectify them. These new branches continue on under the Snake Woman's authority.

Civic, Political
Alternative Naming
  • Cihuacóatl
  • She-Snake
Equates to
  • Head Financier
  • Senior Advisor
  • Internal Ruler
Source of Authority
Cihuacóatl, the powerful earth deity and goddess of fertility, farms and the giver of life. Shown as half human, half serpent.
Reports directly to
Related Locations
Related Organizations
Related Professions

Past Policies & Powers

Repayment Pause

A strategy of insulating debt in a given industry which as historically produced mixed results, particularly when it was first used, but it would be used to better extent in the future.

Debt Abolition

Tlatoani, in times past, have forgiven personal debts owed to them more times than most merchants, for political reasons. Normally, a person inflicted with unpayable debt could be sentenced to slavery until they paid it back. But at times, there are crises where a majority of calpōlli units are in heavy debt and it is agreed that the system needs to be reset.   Debt abolition is normally restricted within the campan, but the provinces have also petitioned for the same and gotten it with limitations.

Plunder Distribution

The policy of handing out rewards won from a campaign to participating warriors. The Great Speaker consults with their Snake Woman in determining how much loot to be practically set aside while keeping an eye on the state's long-term aims.

Assest Redistribution

Depending on the circumstances, the state would order the forced redistribution of several asset groups (be it land, wares or service contracts) among and within the citizenry itself.   Traditionally, since Crochide, this has been done to ensure calpōlli have enough resources to meet their own demands, but it has also be enacted as a political tool to gain favour or deprive rivials.

Tecoujas Declaration

A declaration of a "tecoujas" is a state sponsored contingency missive that allows for family units to sell their own children to gain emergency funds and improve the child's chances for survival.

Cover image: The Piazza


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Apr 19, 2020 20:50 by R. Dylon Elder

Excellent work. Loved the way you use quote boxes on the sidebar to seperate info. really, the layout is awesome throughout to be honest. The writing is awesome as well. its short and to the point but gives what is needed. love the touch on adding notable people who held the title. nice work!