Capital City: Ichtaca Relative World Location: Isla Tecuani, Northeastern Othonia
Current Ruler / Title: Emperor Xiuhcoatl
Type of Government: Monarchy
Military Structure: palace guard, warrior tribes, border patrols, hunting parties
Guild Associations/Headquarters: Artisans, Homecrafters
Association/Affinity: fire, fierceness, determination, dedication
For many hundreds of solar cycles the island of Tecuanitzl was left in peace by the outside world. It's isolationist tendencies and the reputation of it's beautiful, but deadly flora and fauna was enough to keep any unwary trespassers at bay. Only the truly desperate or fool-hardy would dare brave the dangerous coral reefs to draw close to the few hospitable beachheads. It was believed that none whom stepped within the jungle interior would ever be seen again. During this time the only tales of the island where whispered stories, products of what could be glimpsed by distant ships through their spyglasses. Tales of beautiful women and fierce warriors, monsters and men, and most radiant of all where the stories spun of the Cocohtl whom held within their feathers every color imaginable. The black market thrived upon these stories and for many moons any slaver lucky enough to manage to snatch one of these rare beings from their tropical beaches and live to tell the tale was guaranteed a rich man. Though the tales did not stop there. Rumors were spun, however true or false, that the Swordfish fleet would maroon traitors upon the island, forcing them to walk the plank and brave the shark infested waters to reach the only dry spit of land to find a worse fate awaiting them there. For what the ocean did not claim, the island would take. It was perhaps these very stories that first drew Maerisius attention as reports reached the senates ears of Swordfish ships fleeing Pyralian pursuit to become lost to their hunters among the unseen labyrinthine currents and reefs, fading from sight within the islands mist.
The Year of Fire Edit
If nothing can be said of Pyralians it is that they are dogged in their pursuit. While Maerisius had long been content to leave the island and its native people in peace the recent increase in piracy by the infamous Swordfish fleet led the Guilds to believe that the island could house their base of operations. Hoping to disprove the suspicion, in the year 1692 a scouting party was sent to investigate. When the landing party arrived, they were greeted with outright hostility. The naval officers providing escort immediately, defended the Guildmasters. The resulting battle lasted nearly two weeks, with the Maerisian landing parties being dogged incessantly by the Tecuanii's hit and run jungle warfare tactics.
What the Guildmasters were not aware of however, was the very beach they had chosen for their landing had been none other then the favorite hunting spot for slavers. Seeking to end this plague upon his people in a swift and decisive manner the Emperor had many moons ago ordered Xihuitl, the current Herald of Dawn, stationed in the area. Serving his Emperor loyally Xihuitl settled within the region claiming a local village near the coast as his own and building his house to overlook the sea unseen. It was this same village that the scouting party unknowingly drew near, thus fearing for his home and family Xihuitl carried out his orders. Collecting his warriors the Herald of Dawn viciously rebuffed the scouting party and their Pyralian escort, leading them away from his village and decimating their numbers to the point they were forced to retreat.
Fearing greater casualties the beachhead was abandoned and the Guildmasters withdrew to their ships. Seeking a safer harbor the scouting party sailed around the island, but was met with a wall of unscaleable cliffs and waterfalls tumbling precariously into the ocean. Their exploration however, had bought Xihuitl time to get word to the Emperor and fearing an invasion an Imperial edict had been decreed that all war parties within the region were to rally upon the Herald. Thus when the scouting party returned to the beachhead they were not met this time by a single warrior and his men, but an entire jungle bristling with weapons. The sand was stained red with blood from the clash and desperate to disengage the Maerisian navy resorted to firebombing the jungle and retreating under the cover of flame. The stalemate was a harsh one with many warriors falling on both side, but it was not Pyralian swords that claimed the most lives, but the fire. Many a fine Tecuani fell to the flames as they roared vicious and unheeding across the land that would become known as the Zacualco. Turning a region once known for it's fertile and beautiful jungle into a hollow ash filled wasteland of death where the screams of those whom had perished in the flame still echoed. One such name upon the list of casualties was the Herald of Dawn himself Xihuitl, whom had fallen in the line of duty attempting to save his village, wife, and hatchling from the inferno. When news of his long time friend and brother in arms death reached the Emperors ears it came in the form of an ash covered orphaned baby hummingbird, the daughter of his old friend and the last hummingbird left in Tecuanitzl and perhaps the world. Mourning deeply and fearing the further loss of their island jungles the Emperor ordered a fire wall to be dug, cordoning off the Zacualco from the rest of the island and ordering a peace party to be sent. Meeting with the Maerisian scouting party it was with a heavy heart that an accord was struck. Since then the Tecuanii have played host to the Artisans guild and the Homecrafters guild and been forced to bitterly swallow their pride and contend with their Maerisian governors, paying taxes unto their delegates like so many countries before them.
The Scarlet Macaw Edit
Contrary to popular belief the Maerisian scouting party were not the first outsiders to set foot within the interior of Tecuanitzl and survive. In the year 676 an ancient Tecuanii astrologer noted a shooting star that fell to earth within the region that would later become known as the Zacualco. The shooting star was taken as a portent of ill-omen and so it was as the usually placid string of volcanoes near the area soon grew violent and prone to eruption forcing an evacuation of the villages that had once surrounded them. However, after a few short decades of eruptions and magma flow the volcanoes once more quieted as though whatever had kindled their rage had grown dormant and the shooting star and it's ill-omens were soon forgotten. The shooting star however, was not a mere celestial conflagration, but the exiled Greater Elemental and Sheng Tai Emperor Fenikkusu Seitoushi whom was known within his lands as the Phoenix. Betrayed by his son and cast into the Dark Passages by his own brother the Phoenix emerged in Tecuanitzl insane, desperate, and barely alive. Seeking only to survive that he might return to his homeland and people he sheltered within the active volcanoes, effecting them with the pain and anger that dwelled within his heart. Within his molten haven the Phoenix was faced with a decision, to do what must be done to survive, or perish here in a strange land with only the volcano to mark his tomb. Decision made the creature that emerged was no longer the once proud Emperor and as the Phoenix drank the life blood of his first innocent prey he became the monster that would haunt the island for a centuries to come. He became the Scarlet Macaw.
For a time the Scarlet Macaw was able to resist the need to feed. Only taking a victim perhaps every hundred years or so before going dormant till his power began to wane once more. However, the longer he was cut off from the source of his power the greater his need became. The Scarlet Macaw was in one such dormant period when the fire of 1692 swept across the land. Roused by the beating flames and the scent of blood thick in the smoke filled air he could not resist rising from his nest. Taking advantage of the chaos that ensued the Scarlet Macaw claimed many victims that day and seeing the desperation of those whom chose to remain behind trying to salvage their lost lives he offered them a pact. Join him, serve him, and he would make their broken land whole once more.
With the Herald of Dawn dead, his heir too young to hold the title in anything, but the most ceremonial sense and no aid forth-coming from the Emperor still reeling from the onslaught of outside forces; the people of the Zacualco were left with little choice. With hope in their hearts they agreed to the Scarlet Macaws demands and it was this hope that the Scarlet Macaw twisted, distorted, and defaced with his corruption, turning the once proud people into his fanatical cultists. For while his power allowed the cultists to survive, the corruption that suffused him with each new sacrifice and bolstered his power also infected the land, blighting it that no life would grow and sickening all whom remained that were not under his sway. For the Scarlet Macaw had no intention of ever making good on his promise. No, he was consumed by revenge and once his cultists had returned him to full power he had every intention of abandoning them to seek out his own lands once more.
Ashes to Ashes Edit
While many countries after suffering such a tragedy would be slow to recover Tecuanitzl had not the luxury of time. Thrust into the larger stage of world politics it was to be seen whether the Tecuanii people would sink or swim. Determined to see his country through, five years after the fire Emperor Xiuhcoatl organized a diplomatic outreach in hopes of learning more about the various cultures that shared Othonia with them. Tecuanitzl could no longer afford to be ignorant of those that surrounded them and thus headed by the Chief Imperial Diplomat and Librarian Mr. Crane the delegation departed in 1697 for their first stop, Maerisius. For the first week the delegation remained in a deadlock, with so much care taken to politically circling one another that little in the way of information, lore, or even the barest trust was exchanged as they toured various points of interests in Maerisius. It was not until the delegation reached Pyralis that any true progress was made.
In a stroke of tragedy Shimmer, the fledgling Herald of Dawn, whom had been traveling with her adopted Father Mr. Crane and the delegation as a sign of good faith, was lost. Having been on an outing with a number of the Maerisian Senators children as they toured one of the Pyralian market places the young hummingbird was separated from the group and attacked by her would be kidnappers. Chased through the winding back alleys of Pyralis the fledgling Herald was corned and soon to fall prey when a young Pyralian boy spotted the attack and interceded. Fighting off Shimmer's attackers the Pyralian boy took pity on the exhausted, frightened, and clearly lost fledgling Cocohtl and scooped her up taking her home with him in hopes his mother might know what to do. The boy in question was none other then Christov Miltiadis, twin brother of Antonio Miltiadis and son of the Lord General of Pyralis Hector Miltiadis. After hours of frantic searching the Lord General returned home to find the very charge he sought safely sequestered within his own house fast asleep with his two sons. Come morning the fledgling hummingbird was returned to her adopted Father and both Maerisian and Tecuanii delegates breathed a sigh of relief. Having come together in a fit of desperation not as diplomats and politicians, but as parents the two delegations began to make slow headway when an unusual request was brought before the senate. Seeking to further this rare instance of understanding and unity Mr. Crane requested that for the remainder of their time within Maerisius that Shimmer be fostered with the Miltiadis family. For during the hummingbird's brief stint with the family she had formed a very strong bond with her rescuer and his twin brother, the three children having grown close heedless of race, class, or nationality as children are want to do. Seeing no reason to deny the request and hoping to save face after the near loss of a delegation member while under their watch the Senate agreed. Thus it was that next Herald of Dawn was fostered for a year and a day within the household of the Lord General of Pyralis and with this act came a slow, but wary understanding between the two countries.
In 1700 the delegations three year tour of the various cultures and countries of Othonia would conclude with Mr. Crane returning to Tecuanitzl with a vast amount of lore, contacts, and a far better political handle of the world then he had departed with. Information that would prove essential to Tecuanitzl in the coming years with growing threats not only from without, but within.
Through The Flames Edit
Through the years Tecuanitzl grew wise to the world, but their time of learning was the Scarlet Macaw's time of strength as he drew power to himself. With each new victim the monster's notoriety and corruption grew till the Zacualco was so tainted and twisted that there was little hope for it's recovery. All that could be done was to see that it spread no further to untainted lands. The cultists after years of indoctrination grew vicious and the innocence the Scarlet Macaw fed upon became rare within their lands forcing them to raid beyond their borders for suitable sacrifices. One such sacrifice was a member of what would become known as the Skyfall Heroes by the name of Tefira. Arriving in Tecuanitzl in 1712 on guild business seeking recruits for the guild's newest outpost of Skyfall Tefira was kidnapped by the corrupt cultists and brought before the Scarlet Macaw. Fighting the monster and his cultists she was strapped to an altar from which her soul was rent from her body, but before the sacrifice could be completed her compatriots arrived, rescuing her as the group fled. However, the Scarlet Macaw was not to be so easily denied and as the group traversed from the lands of Tecuanitzl so too did the Scarlet Macaw give chase, vanishing into the flames in pursuit as he abandoned his cultists.
With his departure Tecuanitzl breathed a sigh of relief, but the horror was not over yet. Leaderless, confused, and with their last hope of saving their land having left them for dead the Scarlet Macaw cultist grew desperate. The sacrifices continued unheeded and in greater frequency with anyone who crossed over the borders being sent to feed the lava's flame. Without the Scarlet Macaw's powers to keep them alive within the wasteland they had to rely far more heavily upon raiding till a quiet border war all, but erupted between the Zucaulco and the lands it touched. In the dark of the night Tecuanitzl was being torn apart at the seams.
In the year 1714 rumors drifted from beyond the Periphery, rumors of the Scarlet Macaw or as he was known there The Phoenix, reached the ears of the court of Tecuanitzl. Rather then answering for his crimes the creature had been allowed to roam free and unpunished while their lands suffered from the horror wrought by his talons. Most were content to turn a blind eye to the monster so long as he was no longer a wolf at their door in fear retribution would only bring more ruin. After all what could mortals hope to accomplish against a god?
But one would not be so easily silenced as a single voice rose up within the Emperor's court demanding justice. Quetzalxochitl Tlanextic, the young hummingbird known as Shimmer, bade her Emperor release her that she might do her duty and bring the Scarlet Macaw to answer for his crimes.
A fools task, most assumed, for none had yet managed to pierce the misty veil of the Periphery by mortal means. Still, the court hoped that perhaps by giving the young Herald of Dawn this task that it might curb her wander lust and temper her brash youth. None expected her to succeed and so they advised the Emperor to let Shimmer go, that she might seek her fortune beyond the palace walls.
Yet pierce the Periphery she did.
The Peacock and The Assault of The Imperial Palace Edit
With the help of the Black Lord the Hummingbird stepped through the Periphery into an all out war zone. The agents of the Phoenix and the Peacock were clashing as both forces prepared for war against the other with the Skyfall Heroes caught in the middle of it and the forces of the Dragon Lord taking advantage of the chaos. Amidst those dark and disheveled moments Shimmer was reunited with her adopted brother Christov Miltiadis who had been exiled from Pyralis and thought dead. Overjoyed to find him alive and unharmed Shimmer joined Christov as he returned to the camp of the Heroes if Skyfall, whom he had joined in his time wandering. Siding with the Skyfall Heroes Shimmer reluctantly agreed to aid the Phoenix in retaking his city when the adventurers revealed that he alone had not been the only one responsible for the razing of Tecuanitzl. That it was through the actions of both the Peacock and the Dragon Lord that he was propelled half-mad through the dark passages where he became the being known as the Scarlet Macaw in order to survive. Swearing vengeance upon both the Peacock and the Dragon Lord for their part in the destruction of her home Shimmer joined forces with the Phoenix under the condition that once the Peacock had been toppled that he would return to Tecuanitzl and stand trial for his crimes. The Phoenix agreed to her conditions and with their terms set Shimmer set out to change the course of the war alongside Sukhothai Meskhenet, the two forming the infamous Team Luck and Bullshit.
Eventually the Skyfall Heroes efforts culminated in a final push to the palace where Shimmer escorted the Imperial Princess of Sheng-Tai and heir Youso Kachiko. There Lysander Rhymes commenced in a duel with the Emperor and current host of the Peacock eventually slaying him in honorable combat and placing Princess Youso Kachiko upon the throne as The Serene Empress of Sheng-Tai and rightful heir to the Phoenix.