Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:15 am

I have been working on a story line arc that takes into consideration of the many ancient civilizations that had a flesh eating monster. Separated by time and distance, yet it is so common (perhaps due to an innate fear of death) that many societies have this creature myth. I wanted to create a specific event or origin of the undead (zombie is a misnomer from Haitian Vodoun). I am trying to weave a world from ancient times into modern existence exploring outbreaks of this infection. The Survival Anthologies will cover events in the Americas, Europe and Asia. I have been developing stories by continental regions, Lost City takes place in pre-columbian era in Central and South America. I hope you enjoy my world, feedback both positive and negative are appreciated.

I am a better story teller than writer, please bear with me.

LOST CITY - Spirit Walk

As the setting sun descends from the heavens, a storm system darkens the horizon. Fading light luminates the temple. A young jaguar cub emerges from the sacred apex, and starts to descend the pyramid, as rain drops start to fall. The rate and measure grow with the darkness of the storm. The shadow play of twilight's ebb and lightning, causes the stone serpents to come to life. The young jaguar looks down the steps towards the temple grounds. It focuses on a single Maya. The villager falls to his hands and knees and starts to retch. He arches upward, clutching his own throat as he gasps for air. Black arterial streaking forming and spreading under the full moon. The retching ensues, vomiting an ebon pool. The vascular malignancy now covers his body, and petechiae erupts in his eyes as dusk turns to dawn. The blood red eyes start to sink, his face turns gaunt. Skin darkens and withers like a husk, as the day rapidly progresses. His mouth opens towards the rain, in attempt to quench his thirst.

The moon returns as boils grow and fester on the Mayan. The storm continues, as boils now rupture releasing its ooze and foul smelling odor. The withered husk now bubbles with more soon to be abscesses. Wracked in agony, convulsions spasm the wretched man. Daybreak fights the violent storm, the man cackles a laugh in-between piteous moans. The weather conquers the sun, and waits for the moons rising. The man collapses onto the drenched temple courtyard. His breathing slow and shallow, hoping for the release of death. The tremors have subsided, the gasping now just a whisper. His eyes flutter with flashes from lightning. Lying in a blackened pool, his spirit escapes. The jaguar watches the pixan's ascension. A sound from below demands the jaguars attention. In the courtyard a blue green mist carpets the temple grounds. A flash of lightning reveals Cizin standing where the Maya had passed. The jaguar step back amazed with the god of death, and looks around the courtyard. Hundreds of Maya are now noticed as again the sun wars with the elements. All of the villagers are in various stages of what the jaguar had witnessed.

The smell of rotting flesh fills the air as Cizin moves towards the temple. The jaguar backs up, fearful to fight the death god. When more Cizin appear from the mist, the jaguar turns toward the temple shrine. As it bounds up the temple steps, warriors descend ready for battle. Entering the shrouded sanctuary, it finds the high priest in prayer. "You have been my eyes young jaguar, but now you must go into the jungle." A great quatl clutches the cub and soars above the canopy. The Cizin advance quickly. The emperor exits the shrine with his imperial guard and the high priest. Archers pluck their bows, flying arrows pierce the enemy. The emperors guards rush head long into the risen death gods. Bodies crash and topple down the temple steps. Hordes of Cizin charge the temple. The demons are struck with obsidian tipped clubs or kicked down by the guards.

Soon the archers would run out of arrows, and the guards would be overwhelmed. With virtually useless bows, they swing into the wave of rotting flesh army. The emperor also engages the Cizin, "Xibalba, if you have come for me... I will not go with out a fight!" Soon the sounds of battle subsides. Sounds of gnawing from within the green mists. Dawn, the sun finally breaks the power of the storm. As it creeps into the the sky the temple illuminates as light floods the grounds. The temple left drenched red with blood, and blackish green ooze stands empty as surviving Cizin slip into the shadows of the jungle. Bodies stripped of flesh litter the earth. Remains of Cizin befoul the air. Nothing is heard amid the temple grounds, even the jungle falls silent.

A slain body of an Cizin, its head had been removed in combat. It bleed a putrid greenish black ooze into the fountain where it fell. Days and nights shuffle as the temple grounds continues the horror. Bodies husk over as vines overgrow the stone structures. Disgusting red mushrooms grow on the back of the fallen Cizin, as purple blooms of exotic fragrant orchids grow in the overgrowth. In the distant jungle, new temples take form and rise above the canopy.

The high priest awakens from his vision. "Bolon Kukulkan, what did the gods reveal to you?" The grand shaman smiled and said, "Our people will survive."
Last edited by Mission_Survivor on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:46 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by TacAir » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:25 pm

Please see your PMs.
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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:03 pm

Lost City - The Hunter 0/10

"Urakan, they look like they are leaving now," said Naza. Lost in his moment, he did not realize what she actually said and nodded agreeingly with a silly smile on his face. "URAKAN!" "Huh?" "They are leaving with out you..." "Oh..." he turns and looks at the other young hunters. She laughs, "Didn't you hear me?" "Yeah... I guess I should go and catch up with them. See you when we get back?" Naza nods, "bring me back something," as she runs her hand through her hair. Urakan nods with a smile.

Under the early morning sun, he catches up with the other hunters. Kroko looks at Urakan with contempt. Tuucha and Ts'unu'un tease him about Naza. "Why didn't you wait for me," asks Urakan. "We did, but you did not seem focused for the hunting... Why do you waste your time on her, Kukukan will never allow you to court her," scowls Kroko. "She is special..." he timidly replies. Ts'unu'un says, "I think she likes you." "But Kroko is right, her father would never approve," Urakan discouragingly admits. Tuucha then adds, "Maybe at ceremony we can meet some girls!" Kroko snaps, "Tuucha, focus on the hunt... if we have nothing to take to it, then why even go?" "He is right, lets keep quiet and stay focused," said Urakan. "Where are we going," asked Tuucha, "the hunting grounds are that way," he points. Kroko irritated, "Yeah, I know but most of the elders hunt there... Not much hope for us to find anything." He motions for them to follow him south.

It was not until mid-morning that Urakan hushed "Wait!" The young hunters stopped at Urakans command, "What is it," asked Ts'unu'un. Urakan smiles, "In the canopy, there are some mo' up there," pointing southwest. He nods approvingly at Kroko for leading them south. They silently hurry towards the Macaws. Tuucha trips over a vine, stirring the birds to flight. Urakan sighs in disappointment. Kroko angrily hisses at Tuucha, "stupid monkey!" As Ts'unu'un was trying not to laugh at watching his brother fall flat on his face. They watch the magnificent birds disappear over the canopy. "Lets go back this way," Kroko motions with he head. Urakan stays looking at where the birds vanished from sight. Tuucha apologized then asked, "Why not just follow them?" "Do you know how long they can fly?" amazingly asks Kroko, more annoyed than asking. "But if we can find them, it would be worth it!" Tuucha and Ts'unu'un both nodded in agreement. "They are too far, lets go back this way." Kroko stated. Urakan shaking his head, "Nah, I am going after them." "We'll go with you." said Tuucha, including Ts'unu'un. "Let's go," Urakan said excitingly. "Your just wasting your time!" shouted Kroko, as the young hunters scurried into the jungle. Kroko growled and chased after them.


The midday sun shined into the canopy, as they came into a clearing. Urakan beams with excitement, "There they are!" There in the tree line 5 lagre macaws, 3 red, one green and one blue. "I did not see the blue one earlier," Urakan imagined giving Naza plumage from the hyacinth macaw, "I'm gonna go for the blue one" Kroko said that HE should get first pick since he was the one who wanted to explore new hunting grounds. Urakan defended his position, "But I was the one who first saw them." "And Urakan did not give up when they flew away," added Ts'unu'un. Kroko scowled "Fine!" Ts'unu'un then added, "I am the fastest, so I will pick up the extra bird." Though young they were experienced archers. Stealthfully they closed on their prey, Tuucha was watching his step more than anything else. They positioned for their targets, drew their bows and flighted their arrows. Ts'unu'un was fast to draw a second arrow, but not quick enough to take aim and release with confidence. Squawking filled the jungle, they rushed to the landing to retrieve their kills. The sound of fluttering wings as they neared the birds. Tuucha had to finish his off with his obsidian blade. A final squawk and then all to be heard was the footfalls of the hunters.

Kroko teases Tuucha about only wounding his target. Ts'unu'un examines his arrow for reuse. Urakan was still looking for his kill. "Maybe you missed it," offered Kroko. "No, I got it... I saw it get hit." "Then where is it... I should have got to kill it" "Well, I did not see it fly away," said Tuucha. Urakan was checking in the undergrowth, when Ts'unu'un laughs, "Yeah, you got it... just it never came down." pointing into the treeline. There in a lower branch the macaw with Urakan's arrow positioned between the "v" of a tree limb. Urakan smiles at Tuucha, "Would you mind?" Tuucha grins, "Yeah, I got it." He looks up the tree, choosing where to start his climb. Soon enough he scales the tree. He lays out onto the branch and belly crawls towards the bird. He starts to shake the limb to release its catch. the large bird dives into the under brush.

Moments later Tuucha is back down from the tree. Urakan collects the Hycinth Macaw again envisioning Naza's smile when he smells a magnificent fragrance. Urakan askes, "You smell that?" "Wasn't me..." claimed Tuucha. They collectively laugh, Urakan smiles, shakes his head, "not that... that flower smell." As he turns to focus the direction of the scent. "It's coming from over here." As the others get closer they begin to smell it too. Kroko knows that flowers have a high trade value at market, especially during ceremonies. They follow the scent further south. They carefully navigate the steep decline. From an over look they see a cave with a small pond in front of it. Urakan stops, the others start to pass him. "We should not continue," he extends his arm pointing to the cave,"Xibalba." Kroko can now see the orchids, "Are you gonna let Xibalba stop you from giving one to Naza? Urakan nervously laughs, "your right." They proceded towards the caverns. As they descended into the chasm, the fragrance now mingles with another smell.

Urakan stops and looks around the canyon floor. "What is it?" asked Ts'unu'un. "Cizin" The others now stop also, "Cizin?!?"unbelievingly questions. Urakan pointing to the cave, "Yes, Cizin lives in Xibalba, can't you smell it?" Kroko continues into the rip in the earth. Tuucha follows Kroko, "you coming?" to Ts'unu'un. Urakan continues, "Cizin rips apart the earth to open Xibalba," pointing to the unnatural deformity of the area, adding that the smell of death being the odor of the god of death. "But flowers are good omens," says Ts'unu'un. "Flowers or not, this is bad." fears Urakan. Kroko is now at the base of the rift, and shouts "I found your Cizin," pulling a red mushroom from the earth, and tossing it to Tuucha. Tuucha sniffs it and starts to retch, "oh, that is nasty!" Retching again as he passes it to his brother. Not smelling it as closely as his brother, Ts'unu'un could "appreciate" the putrid odor. "It's coming from this, Urakan," as he motions to throw it at Urakan. Urakan waves it off, "It's okay, Cizin or not, I will keep away from Xibalba's mouth," pointing towards the caves entrance.

The others gather both mushrooms and orchids for the priests and the ceremony under the early evening sun. Kroko wanted to explore the cavern, the two other hunters start to consider Urakans fear of Xibalba. Kroko enters the cave alone, but quickly changes his mind when he sees a swarm of bats lying dead inside the mouth of the cave. Wind howled from within the cave, causing Kroko to almost jump out of his own skin, and fall into the shallow pond near the entrance. The twin brothers start laughing at the now wet Kroko. Kroko slips on the algae trying to get out of the stagnant water. They boys laughter stops when Kroko glares at them. Urakan finds an orchid on the overlook under some foliage. He smells its delightful fragrance puts it in his bag. The others now start to climb out of the rift. Tuucha is the first one out, when Urakan comments about how bad they smell almost retching. He keeps his distance from the others. Urakan is so offended by the smell of rot, he continues ahead of the other young hunters.

"We should tell Kukulkan about Xibalba," says Urakan. "If Kukulkan was not Naza's father you would not..." Kroko stops as Urakan gestures stop and his face shows fear. Quickly he drops his bag and readies his bow. A few tense moments pass until Kroko scoffs, "Wait, my shadow scared me." Laughter erupts from the young hunters, "I thought I heard something in the shadows," states Urakan, "Laugh if you want, but something just don't feel right." The hunters come across some smaller birds and collect more feathers. Now Kroko boasts about the good omen they have encountered, but Urakan is still uneasy.

As dusk approaches, they spot another flock of Macaws. "Still think it is a bad omen?" Kroko asks Urakan. They coordinate their targets and loose their arrows. As the others collect the kills, Urakan stops and looks into the jungle. Kroko notices and snidely asks, "Still afraid of your shadow?" Urakan glances at him, a spotted jaguar lunges at Urakan, knocking him to the ground. The large cat thrusts towards Urakan's neck. He rolls to his right as the beasts jaws clamp onto his left shoulder. He brings his left hand up to cover his neck. The jaguar releases its bite to attempt another strike for Urakan's neck. Urakan reaches for his obsidian blade. Powerful claws tear at his back and chest. The jaguars teeth crush into Urakan's left hand. With his hand lodged in the predators mouth, he pushes its head off his body and rips his knife across its throat. The clawing and biting weakens as the revered creature bleeds out. It slumps into the crimson pool, aside Urakan. The other hunters approach Urakan. He looks at them and thanks them for allowing him to face Ek Chuah's challenge. Ts'unu'un offers, "If I thought you would fail, I would have risked the war gods wrath and struck it with an arrow." Urakan smiled, "Then not only have I saved my life, but yours as well." The two hunters laugh.

"The war god, Ek Chuah, chose you, do you still think it is a bad omen?" asks Kroko. "Maybe the war god chose me, because, I did not tempt Xibalba," replied Urakan. Urakan's blade pierced the belly of the beast, as he started to skin his honored prize. The removal of the pelt would use the remaning daylight. They would camp for the night.
Last edited by Mission_Survivor on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Nancy1340 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:49 pm

It's starting out as an interesting story but the double spacing and no paragraphs make it hard to read.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:24 pm

Lost City - Back in the Village

The mid-morning light find the young hunters returning to their village. Quickly the villagers noticed the spotted yellow fur over Urakan's shoulder. Some of the elders smile when they see that all of the young hunters alive. The village shaman hear the elders speak of a new Jaguaro. When Naza hears of Urakan's return she hurries to find him. He is surrounded by elder hunters who are congratulating him. "Urakan are you okay?" she had not yet noticed the jaguar coat, but instead she sees the wounds ripping across his chest. She touches his wounds, he winces in pain. "What hap-," she stops when she see the revered pelt. "Ek Chuah chose you?" Urakan smiled proudly and nodded, reaching into his pack "I brought this for you," he gives her the purple orchid, "I will give you your other gift later, but I must speak with your father." She sniffs the exotic flower, "It smells delightful, I will wait while you talk to my taat. The crowd around Urakan breaks inline with the priests hut in view.

The noble shaman stands looking sternly at Urakan. Urakan approaches the priest, kneels down on both knees and extends the pelt to him. Urakan presents his kill for inspection and certification. Sternly the shaman asks if Ek Chuah's challenge was done with honor. Urakan recounts the event. The shaman inspects the hide and the skin of the young would be Jaguaro. "You certianly have proof of battle," pressing a finger into Urakan's wounds. He asks for witnesses to the challenge. The three other young hunters offer their telling to the village priest. Not finding any additional wounds to the jaguar's skin and considering the others young hunters testaments, he confirms the challenge of the war god to be honorable. The shaman now draps the skin over Urakans head and shoulders, prompting him to stand, and announcing "Urakan champion of Ek Chuah, may take his mark as a warrior hunter, a Jaguaro. The village cheers its new champion.

The shaman motions for Urakan to enter his hut. Once inside the priest tells Urakan he must spirit walk, since the gods chose him. The shaman lights the ceremonial incense. He then applies the maya blue salve onto Urakan's wounds. The shaman offers the flesh of the gods to him, Urakan chews the mushroom to enter the altered state for his spirit walk. Within a few moments Urakan's eyes glaze over, his lower lip relaxes and droops, and his body slumps limply. The shaman paints the Jaguaro symbol onto the jaguar bitten left shoulder, using an obsidian blade the priest then cut the image into Urakan's flesh. Now the village priest watches over the young jaguaro and waits for him to wake from his dream state.

Outside the priests hut the young hunters are showing off their loot and embellishing the past days adventure. Kroko tells an audience of villagers how they were chasing a flock of macaws when the jungle
came to life and covered the sun. The jungle pulled at them, a tree almost ripped Tuucha apart. Cizin ripped open the ground below them, and clawed at them, but Kroko cut off his many hands. Xibalba called to them, and the jaguar leapt from its mouth attacking Urakan, and a swarm of bats attacked the rest of them, but Ts'unu'un fast and true with his bow fell them quickly. It was not just war gods challenge, Xibalba challenged them as well. Kroko explained that is why he named the mushroom Cizin's Claw and the orchid Xibalba's Whisper. They then traded with the other villagers, but kept most for the ceremony at the capitol city.

When Urakan wakes from his vision quest, he has a terrified look on his face. "What did the gods reveal to you?" the shaman asked. Urakan recalls his vision, "Kukulkan, I was a jaguar, standing on the rift. Below me was Xibalba, water came from its mouth. The wind grew stronger and I heard the storms roar. Then Cizin comes out from Xibalba. The rain becomes violent, Cizin is angry. He claws up from the pit. Afraid, I hide in the shadows. He runs past me, towards the village. I try to follow him, but he is faster than me. When I reach the village, he is attacking everyone, even you Kukulkan. I look for Naza, but I can not find her. Cizin kills everyone and pulls them all to Xibalba. I follow, again look down from the rift. And again Cizin comes out from Xibalba, but now he is not one, he is many... They run up the rift, I try to warn the others. I run to the city, but I am too late. Cizin has already begun his attack. I try to make it to another village, but again Cizin is already there. Again and again, each time he is already there. I can't find Naza, I can't find anyone, only Cizin. I return to the rift. But this time I enter Xibalba, but it is empty... just cold and dark. I am afraid... alone.

I leave Xibalba, our people gone, only Cizin remains. They see me now, and they chase me. I run and run, but everywhere is Cizin. They surround me. I climb high into a tree. I see a quatl perched above me. The great bird does not fear me. It asks me, "You are a jaguar, why do you not fight?" I tell the bird, "How do I fight a god?" It tells me that jaguars stalk their prey to know how to kill their prey. I look to the many Cizin surrounding the tree, they do nothing but reach for me. The bird says then they are stalking me. Cizin now start to smash the tree, it shakes violently and starts to crack. The quatl tells me, if i will not kill it, it will help me escape. I agree. Its talons gently grab me, its powerful wings lifted us into the sky. The great bird flew until it reached a mountain. It said we were safe... away from the storm, away from Cizin. I asked the quatl, "For how long will we be safe?" "Until Cizin finds us, or until jaguar can kill Cizin." This is when I woke.

The village shaman looked at Urakan. You fought the war god to claim your life, you fear death, you fear abandonment, you are lost without others, but will face your fears to find them. You have loyalty and courage, but you are a Jaguaro that does not know how to be a jaguar. You need to gain experience in battle if you ever wish to truly be a Jaguaro. This is the meaning of vision. This is your quest. Urakan looks at his new tattoo, "Kukulkan..." Urakan pauses. "What is it young hunter?" Timidly Urakan replies, "What of my other right?" "You wish to take a bride?" Urakan nods. "And who would you take as your bride?" Nervously Urakan looks up to the shaman and meekly say, "Naza." The priest angrily responds, "You would have me award my daughter to anyone who could face war gods challenge?!?" Urakan stammers, "No, I... I... I did not mean it like that." "You do have courage boy, but as your vision revealed, you need to become a jaguar first. After serving in Bolon Kukulkan's guard and proven you are jaguaro will I even consider your request. You shall leave immediately to serve the Bolon Kukulkan. Before next seasons ceremony if you still live and are proven Jaguaro, we may continue this discussion. The shaman barks for the village courier. "You will speak nothing of this to Naza!"

The courier arrives, "Take him to Bolon Kukulkan, he is to join his guard." Naza hears her fathers command. A look of horror washes over her face, "Taat, why are you sending him to die?" Her father raises a brow but does answer, "His vision showed doubt and fear, the guard will help him become stronger a true jaguaro." The preist then looks at the courier, "Take him away." Urakan's hand is pulled from Naza's as the courier takes him to be delivered to the High Priest at the capitol city. Naza sobs alone in the incense filled hut.
Last edited by Mission_Survivor on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Nancy1340 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:58 pm

Oh Wow! Much better. Thank you both for the story and the format fix.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:14 pm

Lost City - Temple of Bolon Kukulkan

They enter the city after dusk. The courier takes Urakan to the grand temple, and tells the high priests guards the message from the village shaman. The temple sentinel looks at the would-be-warrior, nods to the courier and dismisses him. Noticing the fresh Jaguar pelt, the battle scarred guard asks, "Was your kill not honorable?" Urakan looks into the sentinels eyes, "It was done with honor." "What did you steal?" he then asks. "Nothing..." claims Urakan. "Well, how much are you in debt?" "I owe no one." "Killed someone?" Urakan says, "No, I am just a hunter, I have done nothing wrong." "How long have you been a Jaguaro?" "Last night, I met war gods challenge." The temple guard scoffs, "And today you choose to serve the Bolon Kukulkan?" and laughs. "Why do you laugh? queries Urakan. "Are you Maya?" Confused, Urakan answers, "Yes, why are you asking me these questions." "Why are you here, if you broke no laws?" "To become a true Jaguaro." The sentinel smiles in bewilderment, "Most Jaguaro choose the Emperor's Guard, I have never known one to choose this freely. Why not join the Imperial Guard?" "My village shaman appointed me here." Shaking his head the sentinel replies, "More like condemned you to here." Urakan looks down.

The sentinel showing his deep wounds, "Hun-Came, we are of Hun-Came, We are known as Came'Un. Hun-Came brings death, death surrounds us. We are the first to war, we bring death and face death. We are nothing, not Maya, or unjust Maya, we are something less than Maya. And now you... You are Came'Un too." Urakan admits "I have heard the stories, I know prisoners are sent here, a last chance for Bolon Yokte to make judgement." Follow me, you need your wounds looked at, let the ixik care for you tonight, we will situate you tomorrow. The nursemaids bathe Urakan and apply the blue salve to his wounds. In the morning the temple sentinel returns to gather Urakan. The ixik tells the sentinel that Urakan has fever and will need rest. "I will inform Bolon Kukulkan" he responds to the nursemaid.

When the Grand Shaman returns from the morning rituals, the sentinel informs him of their new guest. "Bolon Kukulkan, last night we received a new initiate, but his wounds need time to heal." "Where was he captured?" He was not captured, he was delivered from one of our villages." "What is his crime?" "The boy claims no crime, and the courier only said he was to serve in your guard." "A boy?" "Yes Bolon Kukulkan, a young Jaguaro." the high priest smiles, "Let him rest, and recover from his wounds. When he recovers, bring him to me. I still have details to sort for ceremony." The sentinel nods in acknowledgement.

The high priest assembles his acolytes and his personal guard. They ascend the temple steps, the guards stop outside the sacred entrance. The grand shaman enters the chamber first, then his acolytes follow. They light incense and perform morning rituals, praying to the gods for favor and guidance. After morning rites they descend the from the temple. His personal guard escort him to the holding pens. The imperial guard kneels before the high priest. "Prepare them for sacrifice." His acolytes enter the pens, bathing and dressing the captives. Already villagers have gathered to watch the procession for the sacrifice. The offerings exit the cells one at a time as they are bound to bamboo, and each other. Some are villagers convicted of crimes as others are captive aggressors from other tribes. After all are bound the procession starts. The grand shaman starts an invocation as they march down the sacrificial road towards the cenote. The high priest leads with half his priests-in-training directly behind him, his personal guard divided among the tethered offerings, and the remaining acolytes trailing.

As they reach the edge to the cenote, the high priest selects two acolytes and motions for them to position themselves to either side of the high priest. The grand shaman kneels down, extends his arms to the sky. "Chaak, return the rain that you have kept from us and accept this sacrifice from your children. He rises and looks to his guard to bring the first of the captives to him. He offers a prayer to the god of war, "Ek Chuah, give us favor in battle. May the warriors blood return your power, and may you return your power to our warriors." The high priests nods to his guards, they extend the arms of the captive aggressor away from his body. The high priest then gestures to his chosen acolytes. The two lesser priests draw their small obsidian daggers and slice across the brachial artery, then move aside. The grand shaman stand behind the sacrifice as the man bleeds out. When he is weakened the guards release him, and the high priest pushes him into the sacred pool. All of the warriors are sacrificed this way.

The high priest then offers a prayer to the god of justice for those convicted of crimes, "Bolon Yokte, guide our people so that we may be just and fair, if it so please you allow these offerings to return to your side." These sacrifices were not bled, but instead offered a moment of prayer of repentance. Some would leap into the sinkhole while others needed assistance from the lesser priests.

The next sacrifices were painted in a blue healing salve, and were not bound. Unguarded they circled the lips of the cenote. The Bolon Kukulkan called to the god of medicine and health. "Ahau Chamahez, grant us favor so our people will not suffer. Give us knowledge to treat our sick. Allow the pixan safe passage through Xibalba, to be with the gods in the afterlife." After his prayer time was offered to the ailing Maya. Each would deliver themselves to their watery fate.

The final sacrifices to be offered was to the goddess of suicide. "Ixtab, I ask you give my people strength to endure the trials of Xibalba. Grant them the courage they do not possess now. Let their sacrifice make our people stronger, may their blood and bodies nourish our lands so that our lands may nourish us." The high priest then stepped away form the cenote. This final group would then step to the edge, some cried, some smiled, some carried maize, fruit, or seeds. But all would bleed themselves before jumping into the pool.

***

Naza's father finds her sitting alone, he approaches from behind her asking why she was by herself. She answers, "I am not alone I am with Ix Chel." "Are you with child," he asks with a slightly raised voice. No taat, I am not pregnant. I am not in prayer with the goddess... I am being comforted by my pet." Naza shows the colorful quatl to her father. The village shaman asks, "How long have you kept this bird?" "I do not keep her, she keeps to me. Since you sent Urakan away, she has consoled me," solemnly replied his daughter. "Was the bird a gift from him?" her father asks. "No taat, She did not find me until after you sent Urakan away." a hint of contempt in her voice. Her tone softens, "I first thought it was the flower that he gave me that she was drawn to, but she does not go to others with the same flower, she only comes to me... filling my loneliness." Her father says, "It is a shame, its feathers would good trade at market." Naza looks up to her father with dread, "Would you destroy all that I care about taat?" "I mean to say it is not safe to let your bird out, a hunter would kill it for its feathers." She looks at him with despair, "Taat, please ..." He interrupts, "I can not stop them from hunting, but you can bring your pet inside." Naza asks her father, "Taat, will she miss being free? Is it wrong to deny her this?" "My child, you said you do not keep her, that she keeps you. How does this bird do that?" Naza explains, "I know that hunters would kill her, so I hid with her until sunset. Then I walked into the jungle and released her. But in the morning she arrives with the sun. For the past two days I have done this." The shaman tells her, "It does not want to be kept from you, so being kept where you want to be is better than being free, and far better than being part of a head dress." He smiles. "Thank you for this, taat." "You are welcome my child, I think your Ix Chel is a good omen, I will visit with the Bolon Kukulkan and check on Urakan." Naza hugs her father, "Thank you taat.
Last edited by Mission_Survivor on Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Zombie_Girl » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:28 am

Very interesting story world. I love the idea of merging history with fantasy ~ Can't wait to read more...
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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:42 pm

Lost City - Ceremonies

The village shaman arrives at the high priests temple in the capitol city. The Bolon Kukulkan recieves him with praise, "You were the one who delivered my omen." "What do you mean your omen?" asked the village priest. "The young jaguar, he said his village shaman sent him." "Yes, this is why I have came. About the young jaguar... Why do you call him your omen?" The high priests replies, "Urakan spoke of his vision, I too dreamed of a fearful cub escaping Cizin... But how did you know of MY vision, priest?" The village shaman answers, "I did not know of your vision, but felt your guidance was needed for him to become a true Jaguaro." The village priest continues, "In your vision, did it also have a quatl?" The grand shaman's eyes widen, "Yes, the great bird took the cub away from Cizin, and promised the future of our people... Did you have a vision of this bird?" "No Bolon Kukulkan, my daughter has been chosen by it." "How do you mean chosen by it?" "For three days this omen has come to her, it allows her to hold it, and does not fly away..." The high priest smiles, "My young jaguar and my great quatl, we shall live."

"Bolon Kukulkan, there is something I must say, a concern about these omens... My daughter named her quatl Ix Chel but she is not with child. How does this favor the omen?" 'Ix Chel, Xibalba's rainbow... Your child is gifted to speak with the gods. I understand your concern. In my vision we did suffer a plague. When I first spoke with Urakan, even his name was true to the omen. For in my vision, there was a great storm during the infection. I thought my vision foretold of civil war, due to the food shortages from the drought. A warning of over population, I spoke with the Emperor about expanding and allowing another city to develop... But he would not consider this. In my vision I saw many cities grow after our fall. But now I know, Xibalba's rainbow will bring disease."

Naza's father asks, "Do the gods favor their union?" The high priests nods, "In both visions, the quatl and jaguar escape, promising the future of our people. We should obey the prophesy and allow union of the rainbow bird, and the jaguar of the storm. Is your daughter with you?" "No, I did not bring her. I was not sure if you would agree to their union." The Bolon Kukulkan calls for a courier to bring Naza to the capitol city. "We will need her here to make her ceremonial gown." "This will bring her much joy," says Naza's father. The high priest tells the courier to have her bring her bird as well. The grand shaman tells the village priest, "I shall tell the Emperor we have found our omens, he too will be please. Go to the warriors temple, there you will find Urakan, tell him our decision.

The village shaman continues to the warriors temple. Already training even with his left hand injured from the jaguars crushing bite, Urakan was learning to use the the atlatl. When the champion guard sees the priest, he hurries to greet him. "Kukulkan, what do you seek?" "I am here to take Urakan, at Bolon Kukulkans request." The trainer does not question the priests order. He calls for Urakan to break from drills. Urakan now sees the Naza's father. "Do not keep the priest waiting," another cadet offers. "I know but he is the reason I am here." The cadet adds, "Then run to him, or walk to your death." Urakan half laughs in response. Urakan nods as he hurries towards the warrior trainer. He plants the spear into the earth, as as he stops next to the two men. He stands firm, chest up and chin high, not making eye contact with either of the men. The warrior trainer says, "Go with the Elder, we are done for now." Urakan responds with a nod, his eyes stay focused between the two men. He unties the atlatl from his arm, and wraps it to the spear. The warrior trainer takes them from Urakan, "Lets not keep Bolon Kukulkan waiting," he says and walks away.

"Three days and already stronger..." the shaman starts. "How is Naza?" asks Urakan. "She is well, though I think she will be doing much better soon." "Is she ill?" "No, we have sent for her for ceremony." "may I speak with her?" Urakan asks. "I am sure you will have time for this." the village priest smiles and continues, "Bolon Kukulkan sees you and Naza as good omens, and will allow your union." Urakans face brightens with an amazed smile. "The union will on the eve of ceremony, This union is favored by the gods.
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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Lost City -

Vendors and villagers fill the market area. Items are bartered for, hand woven blankets and dresses made for the summer celebration. The smell of roasted maize, and wild boar fill the air. Even though the majority of Maya go hungry, certain events never go with out food. Hunters bring are offered a higher trade value during these events, as do crops for farmers. As they circle the market, the high priest smells a familiar scent. He moves through the crowd, his order hurries to meet his pace. He finds a common woman with an orchid in her hair. He removes the flower from off her head, she almost protests but stops when she sees who it is. "Where did you get this?" the grand shaman asks. Fearfully, she points towards the far end of the market. The high priest looks to an acolyte and motions for him to pay the woman for her flower, and then navigates his way through the crowd. The lower priest offers her several beads and some cocoa in trade. The Maya clear out of the way for the Came'un as they are not known for being gentle, as they follow Bolon Kukulkan.

The high priest can smell the known fragrance and soon finds its vendors. He makes way through the vendors crowd. "Where did you get these!" he demanded. The young hunters are silent with fear. "Tell me!" Kroko points southwest and nervously answers, "Almost two days walk into the jungle." The grand shaman calms his voice, "Was there a red root," as he claws his hand showing it to the young hunters. "Yes," said Tuucha excitingly. "Do you have one?" Tuucha quickly nods, Kroco calls it Claw of Cizin and the flower is Xibalba's Whisper." "Show it to me." Kroko reaches into a basket revealing the dark crimson mushroom to the high priest. Excited, he looks to his acolytes, "This is it... How many do you have boy?" "Only this," Kroko lifts a basket containing 27 mushrooms. The grand shaman smiles to his acolytes, then tells his guards to take all the orchids and mushrooms. The young vendors look in horror as the Came'un seize what remains. As the high priest starts to walk away, he tells an acolyte to pay the boys. "Bolon Kukulkan, how much should I pay?" The high priest looks at what his guard carries, "For this, give them all your purses!" The priests-in-training look at each other, and then each hand their purses to the young hunters. Excitedly the worried hunters inspected pouches, each purse contained several pieces of gold, jade, and various beaded gems.

The high priest hurries to the Emperor's Guard. He instructs some of them to wear the "Claw of Cizin" and has the female dancers wear "Xibalba's Whisper" during the parade. He instructs the warriors to re-enact his vision, to battle each other the courtyard. Warriors would ascend the temple steps, but turn away when the quatl descends with the jaguar. After the parade we will have the wedding ceremony. The high priest excitedly returns to his temple. He checks on progress of Naza's gown and the adornments to Urakan's pelt. "Where are my omens?" he asks a temple ixik tells the high priest they are in the courtyard. "Bring them to me." he tells the servant.

The temple servant brings the young couple to the grand shaman. "You called for us Bolon Kukulkan?" say Urakan. "Yes, I want to go over the ceremony with you both. Please follow me." The high priest leads then to the steps of the sacred temple. He explains the parade, and where they will be. Urakan and Naza are amazed when they reach the top of the sacred temple. They look down into the courtyard busy with spectators and decorators for the ceremony. "Tonight will be magnificent!" says the noble elder as he enters the shrine. Naza and Urakan both stand outside the holy chamber. "Come in," the high priest calls from with in. "It is sacred..." pauses Urakan. "Yes Urakan, but you and Naza are omens, chosen by the gods." They sheepishly enter the revered structure. Bolon Kukulkan lights sacred incense and start to chant incantations.
"You have been blessed to enter this alter, my god favored omens. Let us prepare for tonight's celebration."

***
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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:24 pm

Lost City -

As darkness creeps across the sky, torches start to light the courtyard and temple steps. Visitors from the surrounding villages have gathered for the summer celebration. Urakan's friends are enjoying their new wealth, enjoying all the summer event has to offer. Drums announce the start of the parade, Imperial Guards dressed in decorative armor march from the Temple of Warriors into temple courtyard. Some Warriors have wings and circle the central bonfire. Other warriors wear masks and skins of other beasts imitate that creatures movement. Even the Came'un are dressed in ornate costumes, not as elegant as the Imperial Guard. The grand shaman with his blessed omens are escorted from his court by his personal guard and acolytes, they walk to the Temple of Kukulkan. His guard says at the temple steps while the acolytes, Naza, Urakan, and the high priest ascend, drums rhythmically match his steps. Midway the acolytes divide into equal numbers and line both sides of the stairway. The grand shaman leads the bride and groom through his priests. The wedding couple stops before the high platform, as the high priest steps to the top. When he reaches the apex the drums come to a rest. He dedicates the celebration to Itzamna, the god of creation. He praises the Emperor for the festivities, and extends his arm towards the Imperial Court. The Emperor stands with a massive head dress, with fantastic plumage. The Emperor raises a chalice to the grand shaman. Thunder rolls in the distance, the high priest invites Chaak to the celebration.

Bolon Kukulkan calls out to the temple dancers. They run out to the courtyard, and position themselves according to the high priests vision. Drums start to beat as his dream unfolds. One dancer rises and throws herself to the ground. Clutching her throat, she retches about. A warrior crawls behind her, her thrashing slows to a stop while the drums beat like a slowing pulse. He lifts her into the air, the dancer extends herself as a spirit ascending into heaven. Then quickly bringing her down and covering her body with his. She lays flat, as the warrior clutches the red mushrooms in each first. He rises, Cizin now stands growling at the temple, the other dancers start to wiggle and writhe as other warriors crawl behind them. Drums pound in a fervor. While the scene replays, Mayan Archers and Imperial Guards run from the Temple of Warriors to the steps of the Temple of Kukulkan to defend it from the advancing Cizin. Archers mock the flight of arrows from their bows, while guardsmen run down to the courtyard to combat their foes. The villagers cheer during the battle scene. But fall silent when the Cizin start to climb up the broken defenses of the temple steps. Then Urakan crouches like a jaguar stalking its prey infront of Naza, as she extends her arms revealing her feathered gown. The crowd reacts to her elegant image of the great quatzl. Her steps follow Urakan's, as they descend the temple steps, forcing the risen Cizin to retreat into the shadows of the courtyard. The dancers return with the purple orchids in their hands. Sweeping their arms causes the flowers scent to loom across the courtyard. The crowd responds with cheers as the high priest now performs the wedding ceremony. The shaman calls to various gods and goddesses as he wraps a thin branch from a ceilba tree around their forearms. "Urakan, Jaguar of the Storm and Naza, the Quatl of Xibalba you are now bound by the world tree and blessed by the gods. Follow the Sak-be to the cenote and give praise to Itzamna." As the young couple walks down the path, soft pellets of rain fall from the night sky and thunder quietly rumbles in the distance.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:05 am

Lost City - Spreading the Disease

The rain has been unyielding since ceremony. Falling faster than the earth could absorb. In the western village some have taken ill. The village priest hopes it is from the cooler weather and rain. But he fears the prophecy of Xibalba's rainbow. The young hunter Kroko, is the one most striken by this affliction. His parents also have symptoms of the infection. Kroko's skin mottles as if bruised. The shaman takes notice that the inky branch-like pattern is spreading. He uses leeches to draw out the infection, but the leeches will not stay attached. The priest covers him in blue salve, hoping it can purify the toxins. The priest gives Kroko an elixir of ground coca leaves and lime juice to help ease his pain, then leaves to tend to others with fever. The next morning the shaman finds all the leeches that he used on Kroko are dead. He hurries to Kroko, his eyes are spotted dark red, and can see the black arterial streaking on his neck. He washes the blue salve off Kroko, revealing the dark webbing covers his entire body. Sores are forming as well as boils on the mottled skin. His parents skin now appears mottled and discolored, their cough more persistent. He gives them coca leave to grind into a salve, promising to return.

The village elder goes to see the twins, Ts'unu'un is caring for Tuucha. The shaman again tries leeches, and again the leeches do not continue to draw blood. He examines the boys skin, mottled with darkened streaks on his chest. He then paints the blue salve onto Tuucha. The local priest looks at Ts'unu'un, "What have you brought to us?" "What do you mean, Kukulkan?" "You and the others speak of Cizin and Xibalba... Urakan has vision of these too... even my daughter speaks of Ix Chel... And now almost half the village has fever. Where did you get those plants from?" The boy points southwest. "How deep into the jungle?" "I am not sure, we just followed the birds." "Did you cross the river?" the boy nods, the shaman sighs. "Those are not our lands... can you take me there?" The boy shrugs, "I think I can." "Get ready, I will send message to Bolon Kukulkan." The village priest calls for the village runner to deliver his message and wait for the response. "Do not enter the city, call for the guards. Ask for Bolon Kukulkan tell him the village is with out me. I will go to the rift southwest of the river. Our village is plagued." The shaman then covers the couriers chest in the blue salve. "Go now..."

When the courier reaches the capitol city, he calls out for the centuries. The heavy rain had washed off most of the blue salve, the guards approach him. The runner tells them to stop, "Our village is plagued. We are with out our shaman. I need to speak with Bolon Kukulkan." One of the Imperial Centuries calls upon the grand shaman and relays the couriers message. The high priest sends one of his acolytes to help the village.

The acolyte and the courier return to the village after dusk. He enters the village shrine, burns some incense and preys to the gods for favor. He then inspects the stricken villagers, and performs a blood letting ritual. Bleeding the sick and collecting the blood in a bowl. He returns to the shrine, drips some blood into a mix of herbs and incense and sets them on fire. He breathes in the fumes and prays to Ahau Chamahez, he continues to breath in the smoke while listening to the repetition of the rain and slips into a trance.

He is pulled from his trance by a woman's scream. He staggers from the village shrine and sees a young woman leaving Kroko's family's thatch hut, blood spurting from her lower leg. "Kroko attacked me... he bit me!" she exclaims in agony. The apprentice priest brings her into the shrine, cleans her wound with crushed coca leaves and lime juice, then binds with linen. He gives her a small amount to drink as well. He hears Kroko start to laugh intermittent with groans of pain.

In the dark stormy morning the acolyte gathers the uninfected in the village pavilion. He asks them if there was something that caused the outbreak, tainted meat or contaminated water. Some mentioned Kroko's plants, but also said that no one had eaten them or used them to brew tea. Another adds, "Ts'unu'un was there when they picked them, and he is not sick." "Where is Ts'unu'un?" "He is with the shaman." The novice priest tried to speak with Kroko, but Kroko was incoherent. The acolyte returns to the large thatch hut in the center of the village. Another villager comments, "We did not get sick until the storm, Chaak is angry with us."

A woman's scream breaks drone of rain fall, again coming from Kroko's hut. The acolyte and two other villagers try to stop Kroko's attack on the elderly woman. It would take three more men to subdue Kroko. They bind him to a thick stick of bamboo and lay him on his side. In the process two of the men were also bit. The wailing woman is bleeding profusely from her cheek. The acolyte brings a gourd to her and offers a drink, "this will comfort you." The frail woman sips at the alcoholic brew. He tries to bind her face wound, but can not stop her bleeding. "Try to find some webs for her, it will help stop her bleeding." He knew it would prove difficult with the heavy rain. He steps into the downpour and looks to the sky, "Chaak, What have we done? What would appease you?"

I will seek council with Bolon Kukulkan, perhaps the gods will tell him what they want. If it is from the rain then other villages will also suffer this. When your priest returns send the courier to Bolon Kukulkan, and if the Grand Shaman knows how to treat this affliction we will return. The acolyte embarks on the half days journey to the capitol city.

***

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:23 pm

Lost City -

Ts'unu'un points, "Down there, that's where we found them." The wind roared and echoed into the chasm. Rain water fills the basin with runoff and debris. "It is not safe to go down into the rift, it is flooding." the village priest hears the waters flowing into the cave. "Xibalba drinks from the land," the shaman says under breath. "What does that mean Kukulkan?" "The gods take what they give." "I don't understand..."
"They give us life, and now will take our lives..." the shaman pauses, "come, we need to hurry to the village."

***

The acolyte returns to the capitol city, and immediately seeks council with the high priest. "What plagues the village," the grand shaman asks. "Some believe it is the rain, but the village shaman thinks it to be from something the hunters brought into the village," the acolyte reports. "What did they bring?" "The flower and root you found at market." "We have them, and yet we are not sick." "Yes, but we also have the rain and are not sick." "Could it be from soiled food?" "I did not find any spoiled food, nor were the villagers able to tell what it could be with certainty" "Send some priests into the other villages, see if they are also sick."
"Yes Bolon Kukulan, we shall leave at daybreak."

Acolytes gather to inspect the 7 other villages. The centuries are told not to allow entrance or exit from the capitol city. Other priests in training will inspect the capitol city with the high priest. Stepping out into the rain, the grand shaman sees an imperial guard running towards him. "Bolon kukulkan, the Emperor summons." He nods to the guard, and gestures with his hands for his acolytes to continue with their task. THe grand shaman goes to see the Emperor.

The high priest enters the imperial suite. The Emperor tells him that the Empress has taken ill. The grand shaman goes to her chamber and sees her covered in sweat, with a puddle of vomit next to her. He touches her face, it is feverous, her breathing is slowed. He tries to speak with her, but she only groans in discomfort. "Is you son sick as well?" The Emperor shakes his head. "Do not let her feed him, she could pass her sickness to him." The grand shaman asks if they have eaten the same meals. The Emperor simply nods and asks, "What makes her sick?" "I fear we are in the midst of an illness. One of our villages suffers an affliction. I have dispatched my acolytes to the other villages, even now we are looking here." The grand shaman smells the faint smell of death, as he nears the expelled pool next to the Empress, the odor is stronger. "Cizin," he whispers under breath. "I will speak with the gods," he tells the Emperor.
"You must save her, Bolon Kukulkan." "If the gods give favor, I will." "Appease the gods at any cost," demands the Emperor.

***

After traveling over night in the heavy rain, Ts'unu'un and the village priest are near their village. They can hear screaming amid the rumble of the storm. They run towards their home to find the village in chaos. The Maya are tearing into one another like animals. Panicked villagers tackled by other crazed Maya. Ts'unu'un sees his brother Tuucha jump onto a woman's back driving her to the muddy earth and tears into her flesh. Ts'unu'un starts to head towards his brother, but the village shaman stops him. "Run back into the jungle, get to the next village... we must warn them." "My brother..." The village shaman interupts, "Look at him, he is not the same... none of them are who we knew before." They now see Kroko, splintered bamboo dangle from his wrists. Blood smeared over his mouth and chest. He lunges into the shaman knocking them to the ground, the old man wrestles with his younger assailant. He tries to push Kroko head away from him. Kroko turns his head and bites the fingers off the shamans hand. The village elder screams in agony, looks to Ts'unu'un, "RUN!!!" The boy breaks for the treeline, Kroko's red eyes watch the boy escape into the jungle. The shamans movement regains his attention, as teeth meet flesh again and again.

Struggling through the wet jungle overgrowth, Ts'unu'un trips over vines. Lungs burning from the frantic sprint, his thighs feel like they are on fire. His chest heaving, a look of dread in his eyes... gasping for breath he leans on a tree. He listens for sounds if he is being pursued. Distant screams can be heard among the rumble of the weather. No sounds of nearing footfalls calm him enough to gather his bearings. He turns north, "If i can make it to the next village, I will be safe." Swiftly he makes his way through the jungle. He runs until he comes to a sak-be. A look of joy and relief covers his muddied face. The road will lead him into the village. He tried to catch his breath, looking back into the jungle towards his village, knowing it will never be the same. With a sharp exhale he turns and runs along the path.

The midday sun barely casting light, the village just ahead. Exhausted Ts'unu'un cautiously approaches. His breathing heavy, he stops to listen. A crying baby is heard. Closer, he can hear the others talking. Timidly he enters the village. Nearing the central hut, his eyes wildly scanning the village. Its residents start to take notice of the boy. "Where is your shaman?" A local tells him is is caring for another and asks what does the boy need. Ts'unu'un tells him that his village has a sickness, the villagers start to pull away from him. Just then, the shaman exits a hut and calls to the boy. "Why do you seek me, why not seek your shaman?" "They killed him." "Who did?" "The sick." The villagers start to become alarmed. "The sick can hardly stand, how could they kill," disputes the shaman. "I don't know... I know they were sick... Kroko, and my brother... But they DID attack him."

The shaman calls a group of hunters to check the boys story. They hurry down the puddled road and disappear into the thickness of the jungle. The local shaman also calls for a courier to go to the city and tell them of a sickness. "It is here too," asks Ts'unu'un. "Some are ill, yes... but not the killers your village has," he laughs. Ts'unu'un nervously looks around. the local shaman asks what happened in his village. Ts'unu'un says he does not know. "You said they killed your shaman..." "Yes, I saw them kill him." "Why" "I don't know." "They just pulled him from his hut and killed him?" "No, we were on our way back to the village." "Then what happened." "They were fighting each other... killing each other. Then Kroko started attacking our shaman... He fell to the ground and told me to run... to warn the others" The shaman both disturbed and concerned just looked at the young refugee, "You need some rest, and something to eat.. rest here for a while. Hungry and exhausted the boy obeyed. The shaman asks a young girls to bring something to eat. The shaman starts to walk away when a local hunter asked what the boy said. He repeated the boys story to the hunter. "Just like ceremony... Do you think it is true," the hunter commented. "A little too much like ceremony, but lets see what our hunters tell us when they return."

Now dark, Ts'unu'un wakes to laughter, the same wicked cackle he heard from Kroko. His heart starts to pound in his chest. His eyes widen fully alert. "Was it a dream," he thinks to himself. A crash of thunder terrorizes him for a moment. Lightning strobes his surroundings. He listens close, but all he hears are the howling winds and driven rain. He creeps out from the thatched roof structure, he shivers as he steps into a cold wet puddle. Then he hears it, a maniacal laugh amid the storm. Sploshing through the soaked earth, he runs from the village. He sprints until he feels as though his heart would burst. Panting and heaving he staggers through the mud. His body aches. In the darkness he can not tell how far he has run. He leans on a tree, "Just for a moment," he thinks to himself trying to catch his breath.

"Wake up." Ts'unu'un hears as a prodding from an acolyte's staff jabs his leg. Still raining, he has slept through the night. "The village..." Ts'unu'un starts to say, "where are the guards?" The puzzled acolyte replies, "Why would we need guards?" "They killed our priest, they killed everyone!" "The guards?" "No... the sick." The acolytes look at each other, "boy, are you sure this was not a dream?" "No, it was no dream." One of the acolytes give Ts'unu'un his temple beads from his neck, "Tell the centuries you must speak with Bolon Kukulkan, show them these beads if they question you. You must let Bolon Kukulkan know of what happened in your village." Ts'unu'un runs towards the capitol city. The acolytes hurry to the village.

***

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Nancy1340 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:41 pm

Thank you.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:23 pm

They cross the bridge leading to the northern village, they see the shaman in the central hut. "You are alive..." "Should I not be," the village priest asked. "Is anyone sick?" "Some have chills from the storm, but that is as expected," he calmly responds. The two acolytes look shamefully at each other. "I need a runner to be sent to Bolon Kukulkan." With in moments a courier stand waiting for the message. "Go to the city and tell Bolon Kukulkan to punish the boy that tricked us. The village does not have the sickness." The courier nods and runs across the bridge and down the sak-be, towards the city. The acolyte explains to the village priest, "One of your boys played a trick on us. He told us, you were killed and and the sick were killed the rest of the villagers... Just like at ceremony." "No, we are fine... But no one from this village attended ceremony..." the shaman continues, "the bridge was being repaired, and any available were working on it... A good thing we were able to complete it before the storm." "We are also glad it is repaired, it would have taken a full day to go around... and with the rising waters maybe even longer." The acolytes tour the northern village, would rest and have a midday meal before returning to the city.


***

After leaving the Emperor, Bolon Kukulkan ascends the temple steps. The storm barely allows the sun to illuminate the shrine. He lights the sacred incense and prays to their gods, "Itzamna, great creator... your children suffer, give us favor." Then the grand shaman places ears of corn upon the alter. "Kinich Ahau, bring back the sun, do not leave us in Xibalba's darkness." The high priest places a clay bowl onto the alter, and fills it with water. "Chaak, if you have sent this blight to us because you are angry, please tell me what would appease you." He clears the bowl from the alter and replaces it with a gold and gemmed skull. "Hun-Came, if we have wronged you, please guide me so that our people may be forgiven." As he removes the ornate skull form the pedestal a bolt of lightning strikes the temple. The noble elder falls to the the floor of the sacred chamber. When he regains conciousness, still disorientated from the jolt. He can tell by position of the sun much time had passed. He notices the skull is in the bowl of water. He turns to the alter and kneels down, "Mighty Itzamna, I have received your message." The grand shaman hurries to his court.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Wed May 01, 2013 1:04 am

Lost City - Hunters and Gatherers

While the High Priest was at the sacred apex, Ts'unu'un had arrived in the city. Two acolytes received him from the centuries. He reports to them the events at his village. Which village are you from, the boy starts to point in the direction that he came from. Ts'unu'un then realizes he did not follow the sak-be from his village and corrects his pointing. "I am from Kinich Kakmo'" "Why did you come from the sak-be from Shilanka'Chi," the acolyte asks. "I just ran from my village into the jungle... I tried to warn the other village... But I think they are sick too, so I ran from there too." Ts'unu'un eyes start to tear, "Do you know of Urakan and Naza?" The acolyte tells the boy he knows of them, and that they are there in the grand shaman's court. "They are all that is left of my people... Please, may i see them?" The acolyte then takes him to his friends.

"Ts'unu'un," Urakan smiles to see his friend, but sees his friend is crying, "Whats wrong?" "Our village is sick, things are very bad," Ts'unu'un then looks to Naza, "me and your father went to Xibalba, when we returned they were killing each other. We heard screaming. Kroko and Tuucha, they were killing them." Tears steamed down his face. "And my taat, is he with Bolon Kukulkan now," Asked Naza. Ts'unu'un face deepens with sorrow, as he shakes his head, "Kroko... Kroko got him... he told me to run," his eyes look up to her, looking for forgiveness. Naza shakes her head, "NO... You just left him?" His face now racked with guilt, "... I... I am sorry." Urakan holds Naza, "Ts'unu'un, is he dead?" "I don't know" "And what about your brother?" Ts'unu'un shakes his head, "He was attacking others."

The high priest enters his court. "Bolon Kukulkan, a boy from Kinich Kakmo brought dire news from his village," reported an acolyte, another tells the grand shaman that many of the city residents suffer as well." The Bolon Kukulkan looks at the first acolyte, "How bad is it?" "From the boys report, it is like your vision." Urakan, Naza and Ts'unu'un enter the hall from the study, "We need to go to our village," says Urakan. The high priest nods, "We will young jaguar, assemble the Came'un, we shall purify Kinich Kakmo." A sentinel cracks a wicked smile and rushes to the Temple of Warriors. "When the other acolytes return, bathe our sick and cure them in the blue salve." The order of priests nod to their directions.

Outside the grand shaman's court his Came'un align in the heavy rain. "We leave now," the high priest announces, "Naza, this is not a journey for you." "But my father..." "I am sorry child, you must stay here, safe." She lowers her head obediently. An Acolyte escorts her to the study. The Bolon Kukulkan addresses his guard, "Itzamna has given me his message. We are to capture the Cizin and deliver them to Chaak. May Ek Chuah grant us his power, and favor us in combat. And may Chaak accept these sacrifices. We will war with Cizin at Kinich Kakmo!" His guard roars with excitement.

They travel west on the roadway to the village. Their pace allows them to near the village in the early evening before dusk. The jungle was silent except for the patter of raindrops and the whistle of the crossing winds. They caution their approach. Obsidian tipped clubs are raised, Archers with arrows on strings, spears set in their atlatl waiting to be launched. The wind shifts, blowing on their backs, a chill runs down their spines. They collectively flex rigid as movement in the jungle reveals their Cizin.

A western villager painted in maya blue with its innards hanging from a tear in his abdomen. Pock marked with bites cover his body. Then another salve covered villager with an obsidian war club buried into its chest near the neck. Now another with several arrows piercing its indigo torso. The blue tinted monsters surge towards the priests army. Amazed at witnessing his vision in the wakened world, "Came'un, prepare for battle! Do not kill them, gather them for sacrifice!" "Bolon Kukulkan, how can they live with such wounds," an acolyte asks. More of the cobalt monstrosities emerge from the shadows of the jungle. Some run on all fours, like beasts. Others move as if in a drunken stupor. A few dragged on with cracked limbs.

Clumsily, but unyielding the infected quickly advance. The Mayan Archers flighted arrows, impailing the legs in attempt to slow the advancing plague. Though it proves to be futile. some of the high priests warriors swing their malchette with its broadside, knocking the Cizin to the ground. While those with shields, bash the aggressors to the soaked earth. Idle archers slip vines onto any body part of the fallen abominations, and pull the Cizin towards them. They would wrangle and bind them to bundled bamboo stalks.

Many of the Came'un grunt in pain as Cizin's army bites into their flesh. Enraged, some of the grand shaman's troops turn their weapons from the broadside, and now the obsidian tips cleave into the blue stained flesh. Some are stunned with fear, as the mortal wounds do little to the azure demons. Malchettes violently swing, removing limbs and slowing the enemy. "Did you see this in your vision, Urakan?" the grand shaman asks his young jaguar. Urakan nods, "Yes, this is my horrid dream." Some screams are head along the battle-line, as the warriors are pulled to the ground. "How many do we have?" The high priest asks. An acolyte quickly counts, "Seventeen, Bolon Kukulkan." "Tell me when we have thirty-six," the grand shaman says calmly to the acolyte, then looks to Urakan, "Are you watching young jaguar... This is why you were brought to me."

Urakan watches in horror, "Bolon Kukulkan, they do not keep fighting... they are eating them!" A huddled mass of blue writhes over a fallen guard. Ripping flesh off bones, and wildly gnawing upon the flesh. "Twenty-three" is heard from behind. "They do not react to injuries, as if the weapons do not hurt them," Urakan frantically looking over the carnage. "Strike your fear, you are Came'un, a Jaguaro," commands the grand shaman, "Do you think my guards show fear? That is the first thing they learn to kill, or it is the reason they are killed! You are not in combat, strike down your fear." Thirty-one shouts an acolyte. Urakan wrestles with his emotions, collecting his anxiety slowly exhales and calmly surveys the battle.

"Thirty-six Bolon Kukulkan, we have thirty-six," announces a lesser priest. "Bring them down!" barks the grand shaman. A roar of excitement is vocalized by the Came'un. Looking at his priests and some archers, he tells them to take the captive Cizin to the cenote and prepare them for sacrifice. He then watches Urakan, "How do you kill these Cizin, Urakan? Tell me what you have learned." Amid the bloodshed and screams, he searches for the answer. Looking at wounds that have killed the Cizin. Underbreath he identifies the killing blow, "...their heads." He continues to observe the fallen. He nods confidently, "Bolon Kukulkan, Have them strike at their heads." The high priest tells the Halach Uinic, "You heard the Jaguar of the Storm, Have them strike their heads." The war chiefs move towards the battle-line, calling out to the Came'un and giving commands. The warriors fall back and into formation. A row of spear-men seven wide, seven warriors with body armor and malchettes protecting the flanks, seven warriors inside to clear footing with a war chief centered in its middle. 3 blocks formed and stray warriors now closed to protect the high priest. "My Came'un fight different than the Imperial guard," said the grand shaman with a smile.

Now in their battle formation, the Came'un advance into the wild horde. Rhythmically with a pulse and a pound, the Came'un smash into their targets with their shields. Then step back and quickly thrust upwards with their spears, impaling the head from under the chin. Some of the warriors swung their malchette's so powerfully nearly ripping a man in half. Urakan was amazed at the savage, brutal efficiency of the Came'un. He had seen the "March of Vucub-Came" in ceremony, but to see it in actual use was incredible. "Whump, sthick, hripp." The smash from the shield, the strike of the spear, and the rip from the malchette. Urakan seemed mesmerized by the brutal rhythm. "Urakan..." the high priest calls to him, "these are not your people, they belong to Xibalba now."

After the Came'un kill the last of the Cizin they enter the village. Urakan and Ts'unu'un stare at their former home. Few bodies of dead villagers were found, almost picked clean of flesh and moved near the central hut. "Have you found the body of the village shaman," asks the high priest. "He is over here," stated Ts'unu'un, and starts to walk to where the shaman was attacked. "Right here... He should be here..." "Check the bodies for the village shaman," orders the high priest. "Could he have survived," Urakan asks Ts'unu'un. "Maybe... Maybe he tried to follow me to the next village. The next village... Bolon Kukulkan, the next village is also sick." The high priest calls one of his war chiefs, "Rest here, have the priests treat your wounded. In the morning check the next village. I will return to the city with the boys and my personal guard. We have sacrifices to offer Chaak. They begin the return trip to the capital city.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Sat May 04, 2013 1:10 am

By nightfall they are near the farming grounds, more than half the distance to the city. They continue their march under the moonlight. They reach the city in the middle of the night. The high priest guides them to the holding pens, to inspect his offerings. The infected smell of rot as boils bubble and burst. The high priest covers his nose, “They smell of death… They are possessed by Cizin, Cizin controls them now. No longer do they belong to this world.” Ts’unu’un tells the noble elder, “My village shaman said that Xibalba drinks from the world. That the gods take what the give… our lives.” Nodding, the high priest replies, “Itzamna, has spoke to me, Itzamna has told me what to do. Let us make our offerings to appease the gods.” They lead the diseased procession to the sacred cenote.

In the dead of night underneath the moonlight, they stand at the rim of the sinkhole. Acolytes place the censers for the sacrificial rites. The incense filled orbs smolders heavily in the rain. The infected became agitated with the smoke, trying to move away from the scented vapor. The high priest continues to pray to the gods and motions to his guard to release one of the afflicted, and bring it to the ledge. With the temple guards each holding an extended arm of the suffering Maya, the grand shaman still chanting drives his staff into its back, forcing the infirmed into the pool below. The noble elder continues the offerings to Chaak, one offering for each of the 4 winds for each of the villages and the capital. After the thirty-six had been sacrificed to the sacred pool, the priest and his order returned to the city.

In the morning the high priest would seek the Emperor. “Are they not pleased with us,” the Emperor asks looking into the stormy sky. The noble elder again applies the healing salve onto the Empress. “I have made offerings to the gods, this should please them.” The Emperor asks, “And what of the other villages.” “My acolytes will keep me informed if the condition worsens,” the high priest replies. He then places four clay bowls of scented herbs around her chambers, one each for the cardinal winds. “These will help sooth her,” he explains. “Call on me if she worsens.” The Emperor solemnly nods.

The tired grand shaman then returns to his court. “I will rest now, wake me if needed.”


The weakened sun sinks from the dusky horizon, as the high priest wakens. He leaves his chambers and enters the great hall. “Has my Came’un returned,” he asks. An acolyte responds, “No Bolon Kukulkan.” “How are the sick?” “They still suffer.” “Has more healing salve been made?” “Yes, but are now in need of more Anil leaves.” “Tomorrow we shall collect more, where are my omens?” “They are in study with the other boy.” The grand shaman holding his head, “I will return to my chambers.”

He entered his room and sat looking at the red mushroom speckled with blue green algae. In the fading light as he looks at the finger like tendrils, he sees a puff of blue-green eject from the mushroom. Within moments the stench of death fills the air. He retches as he lights incense to purge the foul odor. He then notices a sap oozing from the ruptured spore sack. When he looks closer at the mushroom, he sees a blue-green powder on the wall near the mushroom. He rushes out from the room and into the court.

“Bring me the boy from the village,” the high priest commands. “Urakan,” asks an apprentice priest. “No, the other one… his friend.” The acolyte nods and hurries to the study. “Bolon Kukulkan calls for you,” looking at Ts’unu’un. “Me?” The apprentice nods. Ts’unu’un stands and is lead to the high priest, Urakan and Naza follow. “Ahau, you have summoned me?” “Your shaman said that Xibalba drinks from the land… Why did he say this?” Nervously the boy answers, “…He saw it… at the caves.” “Did he think the sickness was from the plants you found there?” “Yes, because of the visions of Xibalba.” The high priest calls for his acolytes, “Go to each of the sick, remove any of the red mushrooms if they have any.”

The acolytes leave the hall and do as commanded.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Wed May 22, 2013 12:54 am

Lightning flashes in the darkened sky. The desperate cries of a woman, nears the grand shamans court. She weeps piteously as she lowers her bundle onto the floor. Her child lies motionless, covered by the blue slave. She asks the high priest what was her sin. He looks at the lifeless girl; he has no words for the mother knowing there will be more like her. He gets a pouch filled with grounded corn and a piece of jade. Taking a handful of the grits, he fills the child’s mouth and places the gem inside. The high priest now offers a prayer. “May Ix Chel protect her through Xibalba. May Itzamna, grant your daughter a new home.” An ixik wraps the little girl in linen. Acolytes carry the child back to her home. They dig a grave and lay her body inside. They sprinkle fragrant herbs over the shrouded body, and smooth over the earth. They offer comfort to the grieving mother. But little can words do for her heartbreak.

The grand shaman goes to the Emperor’s court. He checks on the Empress. “She is restless from the pain, nothing soothes her!” The Emperor kicks the bowl of herbs. The high priest tells him of the child that died and that more death should be expected. “When will the gods give us favor,” the Emperor asks. “I do not know that they will…” the high priest pauses. The empress starts to convulse and vomit. Her ixik try to calm her. Her thrashing causes boils to rupture. The Emperor looks at his wife, “How long will she suffer; when will she get better?” The empress defecates on herself, and starts to cackle. The high priest removes the emperor from her chambers. “My vision, it showed promise for a future… but not here.” The emperor interrupts, “Offer more sacrifices!” “Who do I offer, our pens are empty… When my warriors return, we will look for more Xibalbites.” “Take those that are sick,” the emperor extends his arms towards the city.” “It is not our way; only the sick that wish to be offered, would the gods accept.” The emperor pushes the high priest, “I will get your sacrifices!” “Would you start in your own court for these sacrifices,” venomously asks the high priest. The emperor strikes the elder, “Dare you speak to me that way?” The grand shaman holding a shattered lip, “As you feel for yours, so do they… And they would turn against you… perhaps the gods as well.” The emperor realizes the truth in the high priest’s words. “Then let me talk with the gods, let me offer my blood to them.” The high priest knows it is not a request and solemnly nods. “Let us go to the temple…”

Crossing the courtyard they can hear mournful weeping amid the wind and rain. Acolytes are seen caring linen bundles, while other Maya are bringing their dead to the high priest’s court. They ascend the temple’s steps. Quickly the grand shaman anoints the emperor and enters the sacred shrine. “Itzamna, we have done what you asked, yet our people still suffer and die. Your son offers his blood to spare our people. Accept this sacrifice, and end this plague.” The emperor takes ritual sharks tooth and saws deeply into is sides. Blood starts to pour from his self inflicted wounds. The high priest then collects the blood in a bowl. The emperor then picks up the spine of a stingray, clenching his teeth he drives it though his member. The grand shaman collects this blood and mixes it with ceremonial herbs. He then places it into a clay censer and sets it to smolder. The noble elder offers the emperor some coca leaves and crushed shells to ease his pain. Temple guards escort the emperor to his chambers, as the high priest returns to his court.

Arriving at his court, an apprentice priest tells the grand shaman of the deaths of young children and elderly. “Any news of my Came’Un,” he asks. The acolyte shakes his head. “They should have returned by now. That village is smaller than Kinich Kakmo.” A runner from the southern village enters the shaman’s court. “The priests, they say Cizin has come to Shilanka’Tzul.” “We will gather the Imperial Guard,” he replies to the courier. Bolon Kukulkan and his personal guards go to the Temple of Warriors and summon the emperor’s troops. He explains how to fight this new enemy. “Where is your guard,” an imperial war-chief asks. “They have not yet returned.” “Than maybe your strategy is wrong… I will handle my troops.” “You will need to leave some forces here, in the city.” The imperial war-chief looks at the high priest personal guard, “Yes, I suppose they will not due.” He commits a third of his forces to the city, assembles his war party and marches to the southern village.

The high priest returns to his court. A priest informs the grand shaman that most of the afflicted did not have the red mushroom or purple orchid. The noble elder retires to his chambers. He sits looking at the blue-green stain on the wall. He closes his eyes and remembers his dream; seeing the same colored mist creeping across the plaza. “This must be the cause… but none of the warriors have taken ill.” The high priest calls for Ts’unu’un. The boy and his friends go to the high priests chambers. The grand shaman asks, “How many were sick at your village?” “I don’t know…” “Everyone?” “No,” answers the boy shaking his head. “We found no survivors and no sick… Just the Xibalbites,” states the high priest. “Maybe they went to the other village…” “My warriors have not returned either,” the shaman says with concern in his voice.

An acolyte rushes to his chambers, “Bolon Kukulkan, your Came’Un have returned. The high priest goes to the great hall to welcome his warriors. “Where is the rest of my guard,” he asks. “We are all that is left,” is replied. “What happened at the other village?” “We never made it to the other village.” “Then what happened to my Came’Un?” “We were wakened with sounds of fighting. Cizin claimed all of our dead and our wounded, wounds from bites. Cizin corrupted them. They turned against their brothers. We could not tell Cizin from our own Came’Un. Cizin brings death and fear. And his fear corrupts us. After we battled each other, he claimed more of our brothers; our dead, our wounded and those with fear. Forgive us Bolon Kukulkan, we have failed,” the guard reported. “My Came’Un had fear… they were afraid to fight?” “No Bolon Kukulkan, we still fought. Some would fall with out being wounded or bit; and then would rise to join Cizin.” “Fear does corrupt, but you have not failed me. My forgiveness is not needed. I ask you to forgive me, for I did not know how powerful Cizin is.” The high priest looks at the remaining five warriors, “Has Cizin tainted any of you?” “There are two that have been bitten, but I am afraid fear may have corrupted us too.”

The grand shaman goes to see his wounded soldiers. He sees the infection spreading around the bite marks. “This is how fear spreads?” “The priests you left with us, they said many of the wounded died during the night. But after Cizin brought them back from Xibalba, we had to kill them again. Then even I saw my brothers die from the bites, but some did not have wounds. Cizin struck them with fear, and they died from fear. We waited, and Cizin brought them back from Xibalba. And we sent them back to the underworld.” The two infected warriors offer themselves to be sacrificed to Hun-Came and Ek Chuah. Sadly, the high priest would lead them to the cenote. Their brothers in arms would guide them along the sak-be.

Over night and into the morning, many Maya arrive upon the grand shaman’s court. They need treatment for bites or deep gouging scratches from their infected loved ones. Cries of sorrow, groans of pain, and delirious laughter echoes in the rainfall. The high priest offers no cure or blessings from the gods. “Let their suffering end, bring them to sacrifice,” is all he can offer. He has his acolytes deliver this message. “I will be waiting at the cenote.” His personal guard and his omens join him. The remaining Came’Un help with digging graves for the dead. Hundreds of Maya offered themselves to their gods. But many more hoped and held out for a divine salvation. “This is a time of great sacrifice, not only for our gods, but also for our people. Cizin has come to bring Xibalba to our lands, and corrupt the Maya. Sacrifices will be carried out by our Came’Un. Your pixan will be delivered from Xibalba to Itzamna by Hun-Came.” The offerings were lead two at a time to the edge of the cenote. They would kneel down and given time to pray to their gods. The Came’Un stood waiting behind them. The grand shaman would nod to each of the warriors. They would cleave their obsidian tipped clubs into the base of the skull of the infected. The bodies of the sacrifices would limply topple into the sacred pool. Some of the volunteers would change their minds about the sacrifice, and were allowed to return to their home. But the high priest and his Came’Un knew they would soon have to dispatch them soon enough. After the sacrifices were complete they returned to his court.

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Re: Survival Anthologies - Lost City

Post by Mission_Survivor » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:48 pm

As twilight nears, the wails of mourning are starting to mix with screams of terror. The Came’Un quickly run out from the high priests court. Cizin and his Xibalbites have arrived. Sounds of their arrival emanate from all directions. The turned Maya tackle their prey as they rip into their flesh. The grand shaman’s warriors run into the courtyard, delivering crushing blows to the heads of Cizin’s emissaries. They direct the wounded to the high priests court. Shortly the Came’Un are joined by the reserve of imperial guards. Often the family members of the infected would turn on the guards. The Came’Un would kill them as well. The high priest burdened with guilt and grief returns into his court.

A servant of the empress rushes into the high priests temple. “Bolon Kukulkan, you are needed at the imperial court.” “What is it?” “The Empress, she has attacked her maids.” The high priest hurries to the emperor’s court. Screaming is heard as he approaches. Three of her hand maidens are outside the court being tended to by another ixik. Screams of his child now awakens the emperor from his drug induced sleep. He rushes into her chambers, “Kita, no… Kita what have you done?” A savage growl is heard. The high priest now enters the imperial suite. Thrashing echo’s from the empress’ chambers. Her hissing growls resonate through the palace. The sound of bludgeoning; a sharp crack is heard, now more crunching, followed by repeated slopping. The emperor’s cursing has stopped. The struggle to restrain the empress diminishes. The emperor exits her room, holding his only son. His body chewed and torn, blood spurting from his opened neck. He looks at the grand shaman, “My sacrifices, from my own court… Your gods have failed, damn your gods.” and passes his dying son to the high priest. The emperor cries out in agony, and returns to his chamber.

The grand shaman carries the boy’s body back to his court to prepare the body for imperial burial rites. He summons an acolyte, to gather his personal guard. He places the body in the hall, and calls for Urakan and Naza. His omens and their friend go to the high priest. “Yes Bolon Kukulkan?” Maidens arrive with the empress’ body, blackened blood soaking through the linen. He motions for the women to place her body next to the boys. The foul odor fills the hall. The high priest takes aside his omens. “You are the promised future of our people. I must keep you safe. The emperor has cursed the gods, I do not think they will give us favor now. My guards will take you to Shilanka’chi. Wait for me there.” The grand shaman then calls four acolytes to join Urakan. His personal guard arrives, and he instructs them to take his omens to the northern village.

As they make their escape from the city to Shilanka’Chi. They see some Xibalbites digging out from their fresh graves. The old and weak Maya that had succumbed to the infection are struggling to climb out of the earth. The young children and babies that died are now feral beasts. The Came’Un had little difficulty with them. Anyone or anything coming close to them would quickly meet the bladed edge of their weapons. Screams from victims and squealing of livestock as the Xibalbites gorged upon their prey. Under the cloak of darkness they hurried away from the city.


The imperial guard quickly adjusts to the combat tactics of the Came’Un to deal with the Xibalbites. The imperial archers are able to take accurate shots at the ones eating upon the fallen Maya. The bitten survivors are cared for and treated by the acolytes and the priest’s ixik. The high priest will not allow for the slaughter of his people that are not yet turned by Cizin, as to not displease the gods. The initial outbreak of Xibalbites has been culled, but at a very high price. Just a handful of Came’un are left in the city, and less than seventy-five imperial guards have survived. The quick return of the imperial forces sent to the southern village is direly waited for. The grand shaman has prepared the empress’ and her sons bodies for cremation. He used a bowl to cover the broken skull of the empress. He lanced and drained her boils. His ixik bathed the empress and her son in scented oils. The high priest had covered the boy’s mortal wounds and filled his mouth with corn meal and gems. The emperor arrives with ceremonial gowns for the bodies. Heartbreak and rage are seen in his eyes. The shaman takes this time to advise the emperor of the pending outbreak. “We should leave the city; gather those that are not sick or bit.” “Leave the city? And go where? No… For generations this has been our home.” “We are no longer strong enough to fight off Cizin’s attack… The city is lost.” “I have lost my wife, my child, now the gods will take my lands? No, they will have my life before I surrender all to them.” The bodies are taken from the high priest’s court to the Temple of Kukulkan. “I thought you had forsaken the gods,” the high priest asked his emperor. “If it ends here at least they will be closer to Itzamna, but I will forever seek vengeance on Cizin. You still have faith in your gods, priest?” Solemnly the high priest nods. “Then take your omens to a safer land.”

Panicked villagers arrive at their capital city. More infected bodies, more potential victims. Hoping the Came’Un or imperial guards can protect them. Soon after their arrival, Cizin mounts another attack. Xibalbites have followed the exodus of refugees into the city. The infected draw near, lurching in from around every stone structure. Wave after wave of undead engage the surviving Maya that have retreated to the temple courtyard.

***

The heavy rain obscures the battle lines. But the high priest and his few warriors can hear the screams as they travel north out of the city. “I need you to protect Urakan and Naza, this is why we did not stay. You know how to fight the Xibalbites.” His loyal troops nod in understanding. “They never accepted us as Maya anyway,” one adds.

Through the night they walked to Shilanka’Chi. The sun rises into the horizon as the last of the rain drops form the sky. The Came’Un helps the noble elder cross the bridge. Urakan rushes to his high priest.
“Bolon Kukulkan, you are here!” he says excitedly.
“Yes my young jaguar,” he replies with a gentle smile. “I needed to be here to set you on your journey.” The commanding sentinel starts to cut loose the bridge. The villagers try to stop him. The high priest calls out, “The bridge must fall, Cizin will follow us here. Urakan, I have sent my most learned acolytes with you, for they will teach you and Naza.”
“Will you will not be coming with us Bolon Kukulkan?”
“No, he will not make this journey,” the commanding sentinel answers.
“When did you learn this?” the grand shaman smiles softly at his loyal guard.
“Yax K'uk' Mo', I could see it.”
“Yes, I suppose the light would reveal my betrayal.” the shaman gently nods.
Urakan asks what they are talking about.
“I am tainted by Cizin.”
“How,” Urakan asks.
“The emperor’s son bit you?” The sentinel also asks.
“Yes, when I was dressing him… I thought no one saw.”
“I did not see. He did not rise like the others, and when I saw your wound… That was the only time I was not by your side.”
The shaman pats his sentinel on his shoulder, “Yes, I had ordered you to bring Urakan here, and you defied me.”
“I knew he would be safe with the others.”
“Will you serve him as you have served me?”
“Yes Bolon Kukulkan.”
“Urakan will be your new emperor; it is the will of the gods. Naza, she is favored with god speak. Tell me young jaguar… Have you learned to fight Cizin?”
“Yes Bolon Kukulkan, I have.” The tearful eyed boy replies.
“And have you learned to kill Cizin?”
“Yes Bolon Kukulkan, take its head.”
“When will the Maya be safe?”
“When the jaguar can kill Cizin,” tears now streaming from his eyes; realizing what he must do.
“Yes Jaguar of the Storm, can you do this now?”
The sentinel hands his malchette to Urakan.
“No… I can’t Bolon Kukulkan…”
“You must… Be a true Jaguaro,” the sentinel leans to Urakan’s ear, a single tear falls from the sentinel’s eye. Urakan’s hand tightens around the obsidian tipped club. The high priest nods and solemnly smiles. He turns to face the river behind them, looking back at their lost city.
“Our people will survive.”

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