THE HISTORY OF THE COUATL
“The Guardians of the Silver Tree”
Count Ragnar: Indorian Runecaster who has silver hair.
Count Amren : Ophyrish ranger. Prophet of the Silver Tree. The first
person since Grimhelm to summon the Avatar of the Silver
Tree to Inzeladun.
Captain Alrek: Indorian Warrior who refused to stop being who he
is, even in the face of deities.
Captain Toki: Indorian Warrior, who died on the Gates of Hell.
Instead of passing through the gates of Hell, the gates passed
Sir Xavier: Drychtnothian Paladin of the Silver Tree. Slayer of Devils.
Daragru the Terrible: Drychtnothian Warlord who now worships the
Count Dovinyae: Druid who now worships the Silver Tree.
Neb Rekhis: Priest of the Silver Tree.
Tarapin: Warrior from Dreamland who smelt of humus. He took
some bad drugs and found himself in Reality.
The Time : 8th Age, 6th Year, 8th through 11th of Xaul. (winter).
The Place: Jungles of Taltecuhtli; Colhuatepec (Capital of Taltecuhtli)
Notes on Taltecuhtli: Taltecuhtli is a dense jungle filled with predators - both animal and plant. This region is ruled by the Matlazinca people. The Matlazincas demand tribute from the cities scattered throughout the rainforest area. The primary god of the Matlazincas is Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. The Matlazincas rule from Colhuatepec, the largest city in the Taltecuhtli jungle area; it is nearly the size of Alisander in the West. Colhuatepec is ruled by Itzcoatl, a powerful priest who has ruled by divine right for three hundred years.
Alrek, Ragnar, and Daragru fell ill. At first the Couatl thought the illness was some jungle disease, but Amren and Dovinyae were unable to find anything those three had in common that the rest of the group did not. The disease seemed to eat at the afflicteds’ flesh and gave off a rotting-flesh smell. Neb Rekhis identified the illness as mummy rot. Three days ago or so, those three had been struck by the mummy that guarded the Rune of Resurrection (see Adventure Fifteen).
Dovinyae summoned the Spirit of the Couatl. It told them to go to the temple of Quetzalcoatl and seek Teomatl the priest. Teomatl could save the diseased members of the goup. Teomatl could be found in Colhuatepec.
Dovinyae cast Cure Disease on Alrek, Daragru, and Ragnar, which gave them temporary relief from the devastating effects of the illness, which Neb Rekhis said would be terminal in seven days.
As the Couatl traveled through the jungle, they were attacked by sixteen Jaguar Knights from Coatlinchan. They were were-jaguars dedicated to Tezcatlipoca. The Couatl defeated them soundly, capturing three of them and slaying the rest. After some heated discussion on the fate of the prisoners, Alrek finally executed the three captives.
They soon came across a large stone monolith covered with stylized pictoglyphs. They ignored the message, as they could not read it. But Amren was disturbed as they moved through a swamp. Amren summoned the Couatl and was given the power to read and understand Nahuatl, the language spoken here. They returned to the monolith and found it was a warning, telling them that this was the lands of Chimatl, a black dragon. They decided to go around the swamp.
They were attacked by a hangman tree, but they managed to escape relatively unscathed. It started to rain, so Dovinyae used the powers of the statuettes of Vendulamon to merge the Couatl with the storm and take them to Colhuatepec.
The Couatl slept in the temple of Quetzalcoatl, a round structure two and a half stories in height with an altar on top. The next morning they met Teomatl. Teomatl told the Couatl that the three could be healed, but they had to offer up three prisoners apiece. The Couatl went out to hunt for possible prisoners.
Another band of Jaguar Knights from Coatlinchan was found with a prisoner in tow, Tarapin the Warrior, who smelt of humus. The Couatl rescued Tarapin and took the were-jaguars captive. They took their captives back to Colhuatepec. Sir Xavier and Amren the Prophet, upon finding out that Teomatl intended to sacrifice the prisoners to Quetzalcoatl, absented themselves from the healing ceremony, refusing to be part of the slaughter and refusing to be the reason their friends would not be healed, and remained outside the city walls.
The captives were slaughtered one by one, their hearts cut out and their bodies kicked down the pyramid steps for reception on the Coyolzauhqui stone below.
The three were healed.
The Couatl went to the palace and made their way into the throne room of Itzcoatl. Religion became the topic discussed by King Itzcoatl and Amren the Prophet. Itzcoatl challenged Amren’s belief in his god, claiming that his god, Mictlantecuhtli, was more powerful and could be summoned to aid his people. Amren defended the Silver Tree. Itzcoatl said that at sundown he would summon the death god and Amren would summon the Silver Tree and may the best god win - if Amren could summon his god.
That night Itzcoatl lined up fifty slaves and began slaughtering them. When the sacrifice was complete the sky darkened and Mitctlantecuhtli materialized in all of his horror-shrouded majesty. Alrek, sworn to defeat Undeath, attacked without fear. Mictlantecuhtli struck with his terrible jade rod and Alrek was smacked into the air, flying off of the pyramid.
Amren raised his voice to the Silver Tree and asked for the defeat of this vile abomination of a deity.
With a crack of thunder, time seemded to stop. A silver branch thrust out of the death god’s chest. Roots of silver ripped out of Mictlantecuhtli’s feet. More silver branches wormed their way out of his arms, head and shoulders. A branch raced out and caught Alrek before he slammed into the ground (which would have killed him). The roots of the silver set into the pyramid itself, cracking it open. Soon the death god was completely absorbed by the Avatar of the Silver Tree. King Itzcoatl fled, teleporting away with three supporters.
“These men are my Chosen. Heed their words and their actions. The world will change because of them,” said the Silver Tree in a voice understood by all, his branches indicating the Couatl as the subjects of his words.
The Silver Tree continued, “I throw down Mictlantecuhtli!” and the temple the Couatl, the new Guardians, stood upon turned to rubble. “I throw down Quetzalcoatl!” and lightning streaked from the heavens above, cracking the air god’s temple, smashing it into bits of stone. “Camaxtli I destroy!” and the god of fate’s temple was demolished. “Huhueteotl, I destroy thee!” and the fire god’s temple was rendered into a pile of pepples. “Huitzilopochtli! The god of these people! I smash thy temple asunder and show that you have no power here!” and Huitzilopochtli’s temple exploded as the lightning struck it. “Tezcatlipoca and Tlaloc! You are vanquished!” and their temples were destroyed. “Xochipilli! You are thrown down. Bow to the Law!” and the chaos god’s temple fell.
The presence of the Silver Tree overruled all other presences. “Who among you does not accept me?” the Silver Tree asked. Lightning struck down and destroyed the evil amonst the Matlatzinca people. Tarapin was also destroyed for not accepting him even as a god. Dovinyae accepted the Silver Tree as his personal patron. Daragru accepted the Silver Tree as his patron, rejecting Olanigan. Alrek accepted the Silver Tree as a power, but not as his patron god. The gods of Valhalla was his dieties and he would not betray them. The Silver Tree accepted this and gave him a special power that he can invoke only in the name of the Silver Tree.
And so it came to pass that Grimhelm moved from Heaven to Inzeladun and gave unto Amren the Prophet the Ring of the Silver Tree. And Grimhelm saluted Amren and returned to his silver kingdom in the Seven Heavens. The Silver Tree departed from his newly Chosen and they were deemed powerful by the heavens and the hells.
Amren the Prophet was awarded 400,000 exp.
Alrek was awarded 130,000 exp.
Sir Xavier, Ragnar, and Toki were awarded 100,000 exp.
Dovinyae was awarded 120,000 exp.
Daragru and Neb Rekhis were awarded 80,000 exp.
Current Events : Sir Gunnthryd, Guardian of the Silver Tree, in Zakhara, said farewell to the Grand Caliph. “New Guardians have been chosen. My time is finished. Others will carry on my fight against evil. A new prophet has arisen who will see to the oppressed.” With that Gunnthryd was surrounded by a blazing light and within that light was seen a gleaming silver knight. The knight and Sir Gunnthryd clasped hands in greeting and the light vanished. Sir Gunnthryd of Silvergate was seen no more.
In the unknown lands, the gnome known as Alphonse, Guardian of the Silver Tree, was surprised to see the spirit of Ahgy standing before him. “The new guardians have been chosen. I know. Is Grim-Cap ready for me?” asked the gnome. Ahgy nodded and they were surrounded by light and Grimhelm welcomed them into his kingdom in the Seven Heavens. And Gronbin the half-ogre, the loyal servant of Alphonse and the Silver Tree, went with them.
And Tho’ef was met by the light, and he said he had one more task to complete, and so he was whisked to the Site of the Presence.....
Notes on Mummy Rot: Characters under this form of rot lose one point of strength and constitution per day and lose 2 points of appearance (charisma) permanently per day. After 1d6 hours after its onset (which is 1d6 days), convulsions will periodically wrack the victim. No regaining of hitpoints is possible.
Notes on Itzcoatl: A king who has ruled his people for 300 years. A great Tiquihuah and priest of the pantheon, Itzcoatl was granted eternal life by Mictalantecuhtli for his great deeds in leading the Matlatzinca people in battle. He founded Colhuatepec. The battles honored Huitzilopochtli and the war god interceded on Itzcoatl’s behalf with Mictalantecuhtli. He looks old, but he is well remarked for his incredible strength.
Notes on Jaguar Knights: The jaguar knights are were-jaguars who change when presented with a Texcatlipoca talisman. They rarely attack to kill, prefering to capture and take them to sacrifice to their gods. They are immune to non magical weapons, except for obsidian. Their primary city, Coatlinchan, pays tribute to Colhuatepec.
Notes on Chimatl; A black dragon who dwells in the swamp found in the jungles of Taltecuhtli. He is 512 years old (Old) and is chaotic evil. He is 120’ long and is an ally of Itzcoatl.