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  • Legend has it that the dragon Teziltuic was born not from Yeor's words of creation, but by the art of alchemy. Though the Quarxotl were the fruit of her attempts to recreate organic tissue and intelligent thought, Chuelaiia knew there was one more element to the secret of life; a soul. After many failed experiments, a soul could not be born anew, but something else would awaken from the failure. Her final experiment resulted in the birth of Teziltuic, a cruel, willful, and dangerous dragon, even to the goddess that created her. Chuelaiia kept her as a token of her success, allowing the creature grew fat upon the goddess’s ambition; though being kept as a “pet” perhaps twisted the dragon into the vengeful being she became.

    Declared as the dragon of decay, futility, and envy; Teziltuic was kept carefully bound within Chuelaiia’s court. Knowledge of the dragon’s presence struck fear among those who dared think to break the laws of Eztalpaltl, and many pieces of art still depict the dragon as the Eztalapaltli remember her. Drawn most often as centipede, twelve arms sprout from a makeshift torso in a very short and narrow build. A porcelain white, bald face with large violet eyes stares sideways at victims caught in her gaze. Her body is covered in obsidian bony plates, and portrayed most often in a ceremonial, scarlet outfit covered in abstract designs and pictograms; words of the Eztalpaltli's creation to define the terror of being sent to the dragon's chamber. When the goddess departed at the Second Calling, Teziltuic's bindings (like many of Eztalpaltl’s advanced functions) began to fail, allowing the dragon to break free. It is said that Teziltuic caused the fall of seven cities and drove the high alchemists to war against one another. Only when the great alchemist Huacaletl chose to re-imprison the dragon did the people come together, imprisoning the dragon within a great maze of fire.

    Though he knew he could neither outmaneuver nor overpower the dragon, Huacaletl gathered an assembly of sixty-four fellow alchemists and ventured deep into the toxic swamps below to plot his trap. For many months, he lay the components that would become sheer walls of fire ascending from the marshes, taking careful notes. When their work was complete, they lured the dragon to the maze’s center with the forlorn calls of a challenge. The alchemists triggered their trap as the dragon arrived in response; heat and flame raised around them as great stakes of argentate drove into the dragon's flesh to bind her where she stood.

    Despite their success, the dragon began sowing seeds of mistrust amongst the alchemists as they retreated through the fiery maze of their own creation. After a season of travel through the winding paths and causeways, the men lost all concept of night and day, their every waking hour lit by the hellish glow that reflected along the marshes. The men grew restless and tense, but they kept quiet out of loyalty to Huacaletl. By this point, Teziltuic needed only a catalyst to set the crew against their leader.

    Finally, one night, a caravan was caught in a rising wall of flame. Although the fire was quickly brought under control, several months’ food was ruined beyond any hope of salvage. The mood was ugly as all eyes turned to Huacaletl. While the assembly discussed their options, a weak mind succumbed to the dragon's influence, asking how long it would be before they emerged from the burning maze. Huacaletl refused to further risk the lives of his men and their caravans by traveling faster, dismissing them to return to their stations. The next day, the maze erupted into chaos. Man turned against man, and Teziltuic exercised more focused influence against Huacaletl, forcing him to divide his attention between the dragon and the men. Further efforts by the dragon’s influence united the men against their leader after the irresistible promise of freedom from the maze in exchange for his head. The remaining caravans were soon set ablaze, the thick smoke obscuring the battlefield. In that very moment, Huacaletl saw what he had to do to save the mission: disappear. He leapt into the walls of fire, the notes of his voyage tucked closely against his chest. Without Huacaletl's charts, the remaining men could no longer retrace their steps. Days became weeks and weeks became months as the mutineers ran out of supplies, desperately attempting to find their way free of the maze before finally succumbing to starvation, thirst, and exhaustion.

    From the center of the Artery of Huacaletl, the great alchemical monstrosity glares out across the burning marshes that have become her prison. She alone remembers all that has gone before, promising great and terrible rewards to any that dare venture into the maze. Though she knows three centuries of imprisonment are but an eye-blink to a dragon, she knows all too well that the fire's' ashes have become the final resting place of the only map that shows the patterns of the maze and the pathway to her freedom.

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