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    The Priests and Warriors of Huitzilopochtli

    Travelling home from Yucatan

    Now that all lies behind me and the pressure and fear seems to be only a blurred memory, I try to bring all to paper to send it to my old, fragile father. I don't know why I agreed to fulfill the last wish of my dying father and with the knowledge I have now, I perhaps wouldn't do it again. The merciless blank piece of paper is lying in front of me and my shaking hands seem to still be caught in the memory of the last days.

    The tiny cabin of the small ship has a round window not larger than a plate my mother used to make my breakfast on. Outside I can only see the calm ocean with the strong shining sun and some seagulls hovering in slow motions over the soft waves of the sea blue water. It's not long ago, since we left the jungle shore of Yucatan behind us and it is still warm and humid, with only a light ocean breeze tickling my hairs from time to time. The air tastes salty and the smell of wet wood and rotten ropes, mixed with a slight fish smell, gives me a feeling of being endless free. A feeling that is now much stronger than when I first sailed here. Splashing water hits the ship in tranquilizing rythms, underlined with quiet squeaking of ropes scratching over the wet wood of the ship. Unregular knocks of the sails and the indistinct voices of the working ship crew are sometimes broken through the loud screams of a seagull.
    My eyes wander across the endless horizon and always seem to get stuck in the hurting sight of the bright shining sun. Incredible, comfortable warmth drives through my heart and the fear seems to leave my body. I know how to start the story now.

    Leaving the home lands behind

    Dear, loved father,
    Now that I'm on my way back home, I can inform you about the incidents of my journey and the mysterious discovery I had to face to fulfill the task you gave into my hands.
    When I left Razza and our home behind, I travelled first to Padorn making sure I have all things with me you need for a long trip into an unknown land. The money I had with me was not enough to buy an own ship, so I was dependant on the public ship lines. It was good you didn't tell me about the dangers I will have to face, so my youthful energized curiosity pushed me forward with endless power.
    There were many people offering help to sail me around for a certain amount, but the fact that my destiny was the jungle area Yucatan spreaded fear over them and I couldn't convince a single crew to bring me there. Somehow I had the feeling that it wasn't the jungle they feared, but that what was hidden in it. Later on, it turned out as the truth, but about that I will write later.
    Finally I found a ship that would sail to the jungle realm. It started from Tortoise main harbour and was the only official ship line towards that region. With my leather backback on my back and my hat attached on my cutton belt, I arrived at the harbour to ask the captain to bring me to Yucatan. I must admit that he didn't look like one of those people, you would like to travel without being scared to ge your throat cut, but as this seemed to be my only chance of reaching Yucatan, I took all my heart and booked the route.

    On the ship 'Man of Whale'

    When I arrived on board, all my fears seemed to turn into reality. The crew was a bunch of rough sailors with a pirate styled look. Their captain was wearing an eye patch and one of his arms was replaced by an iron hook. The ship was in not a good shape, so that you could only pray for reaching the next shore before it would sink down onto the white ocean ground. The sails have been patched up several times and here and there a small crack was to be seen.
    I was sitting on deck, as far away as I could manage from the strange crew, one hand always on my purse. Not that my weak and small appearance would have been able to hinder them to just take it from me, so I would say it was a reflex. No idea if it was the cold wind or my fear which made me shiver and wrapping my cotton cloak tightly around my body. For a moment I regreted to fulfill your task - my dear father - being sure that the ship would never arrive anywhere and the whole, strange crew, the scary captain, myself and the precious item you gave to deliver, would be lost.
    I always trusted your word and decisions, but this time I wasn't sure if your task came out of a sane mind. I asked myself why that silly sword is so incredible important for anyone. I removed my backpack and opened it to check if it was still there. It was a wooden sword and not that big as the ones those people wield, who study in the Razza fighting school. I'm not a warrior so I do not know much about swords, although this one seemed to be difficult to handle. It was hanging over our fireplace and the name of the sword was one of the first words you taught me to speak - maquahuitl.
    On its handle there was a small inscription with the name 'Arayel'. I heard you talking often about that man, sometimes it were thrilling stories, sometimes they were sad. But the thing I will never forget, was the light in your eyes when I asked you to tell me another story about that mysterious priest, who lives in the jungle of Yucatan. I can remember when you left my mother and me alone for a journey that happened regulary. When I was little, you told me that you would help Arayel to keep the sun moving and after I grew up you said you cannot talk about the secret reason of your journeys. With the knowledge I have now, I know that you told me the truth when I was little.

    The sky was darkened by heavy grey clouds and lightnings started to chase each other across the mudy looking sky. Oh, father, how I hated those lightnings, the task you gave me and my fear that seemed to devour me.
    Finally the captain ordered the crew to set sails and my adventure seemed to start with no possibility to escape.

    Arriving at Yucatan harbour

    After a long and trying time, I finally heard the captain shouting that there was land in sight. Something that gave me the feeling of happiness to have true earth under my feet again, but on the other hand squeezed my heart with fear from not knowing what will await me there.
    I grabbed my belongings and joined the crew who were busy caught in happy chatting and pointing to the horizon. And then I saw it. Far away I saw the green lines of a country, not too far away. The sky has cleared up a long time ago and the air became heavy and humid, like on a hot summer day. The sailors were discussing about a hidden secret city deep in the jungle and spent the last minutes of the trip with telling thrilling stories about their adventures they had in Yucatan.
    Oh father, you won't believe what a feeling that was when I finally left the ship and was able to feel normal ground under my feet again. The harbour wasn't big and there weren't many ships seen, somehow the harbour looked left. The people were much different from those I used to know from Razza - much smaller and their complexion was tanned.
    Not knowing how to start to search for the owner of the sword, I decided to follow the sailors into the harbour pub. Not that our Inns are extremely tidy and clean, but this tavern was extremely dirty and the sweet smell of old whiskey made my mind dizzy without drinking one.
    I sat down at the bar, to have a glass of water that quenched my thirst, I had from the long journey and listened to the loud, yelled stories about agressive indians, poisonous manticores, large snakes and amazing huge amounts of chimpanzees which make the jungle so dangerous. Suddenly a wise looking old man attracked everyones attention while he said that all that isn't the real danger in Yucatan. After a short while of silence the rough bunch of sailors started laughing and shouting again and left the harbour tavern and me at its bar behind. Although I didn't like them, I felt terribly lonely and lost in a sudden and fear started to press my lounges, so that I had it difficult to breathe.

    Hords of apes, snakes and poisonous creatures ... and agressive indian tribals who lure in the deep jungle made me assure of the danger I would be in. That what scared me most, though, was the sentence of the old man that silenced the wild strong bunch of sailors. What could he mean with something that is 'more dangerous'?

    A small town called 'Woonoonga'

    For a moment I didn't dare to move and I felt watched by every thing I did, even felt as if my mind was read. Now I was left alone with the task to deliver a wooden sword with a strange name to a person that was actually a hero out of a fairytale from my childhood, in a land I never have been before and which is known as being dangerous. How could I be so stupid to come here? The twinkling eyes of the barkeeper couldn't give me a satisfying answer and so I decided to look around a bit.
    With a raft I crossed the river northwards. On both sides of the shore there was the thick green wall of jungle plants to be seen. Huge trees reached high into the light blue sky and their branches and leaves formed an almost impervious green roof. I saw beautiful coloured tiny birds sipping at oriental large blossoms and flying fishes, who were chasing each other across the brown water of the river.
    Father, oh father, I know you told me about the beauty of the jungle and its sounds, but I never expected what I was able to see there. Being absolutely fascinated by all the new impressions I almost forgot why I'm actually here. The indian on the river was able to speak my language, a bit broken though, and told me how to reach the next city which he called Woonoonga.
    Remembering the sailors words to always keep on boots while walking through the jungle because of the snakes, I only removed my warm cotton cloak and my leather shirt. The air was humid and it started to get hotter. The town wasn't far away from the river and rather small. A bit smaller than Razza and surrounded by wooden palisades. Not that I expected a crowd of people rushing through the streets here, but this was too calm. Not a single person to be seen on the street and I felt again the lonliness inside and the fear started to get stronger. Merciless sun rays folloed each step I made and so I fled into the shade of a building to eat my sandwich I brought with from Padorn Inn.
    Refreshed and cooled down, I entered the town hall and browsed through the citizens papers, to see if I find the name of the man you sent me to, dear father. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find him, but found some register about priests of the same order that Arayel was, the Priests of Huitzilopochtli. Amazed about the fact that the stories you told me were true and not only grown out of a rich fantasy, I had new hope to find this mysterious man and was filled with fresh courage.
    I had no idea in which direction I should start with searching, so I went to a shop and asked about the Priests of Huitzilopochtli. The people reacted strange, not really hostile, but not helpful either. So I only bought a machete to be able to cut my way through the thick jungle and left Woonoonga.

    In the deep jungle of Yucatan

    No idea how long I wandered through the jungle, but with time I got more and more tired so I decided to take a break. Being incredible thirsty from the heat and hungry from my long walk, I discovered some pineapples on a tree, which quenched my thirst and my hunger for the moment. My feet hurt terribly and the machete almost got blunt from slashing away lianes. But I knew I couldn't give up now. I know how important it was for you - my dear father - to deliver the maquahuitl to your old friend Arayel before you have to die. And who could refuse the last wish of a dying man?

    A puddle of water has summoned in a strange grown plant and looked inviting to drink from, so I did, when suddenly an indian stepped out behind a huge tree. You can imagine how shocked I was. The stories of the sailors about agressive indians came back into my mind a hard push of adrenaline was streaming through my chest. Petrified I watched him searching through my belongings and hoped he wouldn't hear the the beating of my heart. With a broad smile the indian pulled cotton cloak out of my backpack and threw it into the jungle where it vanished into the thick plants, that seem to suddenly speak and move. I wasn't sure, but I would say his friends were hiding there and now carried their new achievement away into their tribal liar. The indian pierced my heart with a last look into my eyes and vanished as fast and mysterious as he arrived.

    That cotton coat was not what I needed most here in the heat of the jungle, so I was more glad he didn't want my life, than anything else. After my heartbeat slowed down to a normal rythm again I packed my stuff and moved on. I should have payed more attention, but I guess I was too tired. And so didn't notice that the loud screams of jungle animals got louder and louder. I knew they came from chimpanzees, beacause here and there I saw one of them on a tree branch, watching me and commenting that with loud screaming. But they seem to be scared, because no one of them tried to get closer. When I did my last slashes to reach a small clearing in the jungle, I crashed into a large number of chimpanzees who didn't like me disturbing them as I had to feel. They ran around me in circles, loud screaming and shouting at each other and myself until one of them - the leader I would say - started to attack me with its hands. All I had to defend myself was the blunt machete, which used to be there for slashing the jungle wood. When I tried to kick the chimpazee, the whole group started to attack me, and father what can I say, I'm not that strong to face so many of them, so I decided to run away.

    I passed large black cats and yellow black striped ones, stumbled over snakes where more my luck than my dexterity saved my life from their bite and finally reached a small clearing where I stopped to run. No chimpanzee screams were to be heard near, so I was able to walk more slowly. On the clearing I saw an indian girl sitting on a tree trunk and eating one of the oranges that grew near by. She didn't look that scary as her brothers I met earlier and so I decided to talk to her. Luckily she was able to speak my language, and after some questions about a hidden village, she pointed into a direction and said that it wouldn't be a long way to ge there.

    In a small tribal village called Tarmez

    And, my loved father, she was right. Although she described not the village I was hoping to find. It was rather a small tribal village with several tents and large fireplace in the middle of it. Not long, and I was surrounded by countless curious eyes of the inhabitants and was not absolutely sure, if it is a good idea to stand still. But they were a friendly folk, not like the sailors told in their stories. It seemed to be a wandering tribal, because they used tents and no normal huts out of wood, stone or earth. They even got a tent where you could buy food and one where I was able to buy a new machete. That was actually also the place I found my coat with a prize sign on it. They didn't appear to be very rich and so I decided to just buy it back instead of heating up a discussion about the silly coat.

    Reaching Timbookedtwo

    Their chief was a wise man and able to tell me about a city lying in northern direction, where some of their brothers live now, its name is Timbookedtwo. Armed with a new and sharp machete, a filled stomach and waterskin I started to head northwards in hope to find the hidden city where the Priests of Huitzilopochtli should live.
    I reached the dusty road of Timbookedtwo and it was that deserted as the rest of the huge land. The huts looked dirty and the smell of wellknown sweet whiskey reached my nose again. I entered the first hut I saw, to see what I would find and suddenly knew why the indians left their jungle village. I saw several drunken indians lying around on the floor, some with half open eyes and a blurred view. That cannot be the place I was searching for, i thought to myself and looked around in the small village.
    Finally i found a wooden hut with an old indian inside, who didn't look drunk at all. I told him that I heard about a hidden city in the jungle and that I was searching for the Priests of Huitzilopochtli. Father, I was never eyed that suspiciously in my life. No chance to flee from his piercing eyes. But somehow he didn't see me as a danger with my skinny body and few belongings I carried with me. And so he told me the way to the hidden city called Zynaya, where the Priests of Huitzilopochtli live. He told me to be careful and to not anger them, which was a hint that burned itself so deeply into my mind that I said it to myself the whole long walk until I reached the city walls of a large city, which was built on a island of a lake.


    I wandered around the lake, trying to find a bridge that would allow me to pass the river without swimming through in company of crocodiles and other strange fishes. I found a way to cross the river, but my luck got as fast destroyed as it was built. The city was surrounded by a large wall and the path ended at a massive gate, that seemed to be locked.
    I knocked at the gate and all that happened was that someone checked the peek hole in the gate from the other side, but didn't open it. Oh, dear father, I never have felt that weak and hopeless in my mind. I travelled the whole day, got robbed by indians, attacked by snakes and chimpanzees, saw large cats with dangerous claws and wandered through deserted streets of villages. And now, when I finally reached my destiny, the gates are closed and there seems to be no chance to get into the city.

    After some hours of waiting, the gate suddenly opened and a man in a long red robe left the city. Obviously surprised he eyed me as suspicious as the indian in Timbookedtwo. It seemed to me as if people in this region do not have many visitors. But this man was really friendly and helpful. Maybe you know him, father, his name is Ingtan. He said he cares for the kitchen of the priests and warriors. Now it rushed again into mind - those stories about war with the pride aztec warriors and priests, how they look like and how they acted. And this one really might be one of them, even if he is only the cook, he is more than I will ever be and additionaly my only chance to deliver the sword you gave to me, my dearest father. I told him about you, my childhood and this terrible tiring day I had.

    Somehow he was trusting me and offered his help to meet a leader of the priests of Huitzilopochtli and I entered the city Zynaya together with him. This was a huge city, father, I would say as large as Padorn is. Beautiful houses and not deserted at all. Busy people and heavily armed aztec warriors were travelling through the streets. I even felt at home here, when I smelled the strong herb scent in the air, which reminded me of my hometown where the alchemists have their main branch. Here and there you could hear mysterious humming and chanting in laguages I couldn't understand.

    The Eagle Warrior

    Ingtan brought me into a nice pub, called 'The Flying Eagle', where we met one of those aztecs guards of the city, drinking a large glass of beer. He talked to him in a language I wasn't able to understand and then Ingtan left me alone with him. The aztec warrior eyed me for several minutes, then returned to his drink. Well, father, I could have sat there and painting my fantasy thoughts about what bad could happen to me, or I could at least try to start a small chat. So I asked him about the city and why he guards it and so on.
    Then he explained to me that there is a difference between being a normal town guard and a warrior like he is. He was only a bit older than I was and so I doubt you ever met him, father but he looked exactly like those heros you described in your stories.
    He said that there is only a group of very few people, who got chosen from a god to save the world and that he is one of them.

    I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not, but how would you react if you childhood fairy tale become true suddenly? All those mysterious stories weren't only 'told', they were true! The proof was sitting right in front of me.
    Furthermore he told me that he protects the priests in their holy task to spread their knowledge across the world, which is an absolutely dangerous task. He said that people built up hate through past wars and rumours. He was calm, but looked incredible strong and trained to me. Some scars in his faces showed that he wasn't afraid of fighting and I could see dried stains of blood on one side of his sword.
    Yes, the sword. I didn't mention that it looked exactly the same like that one I carried in my backpack? Just a bit larger, what do I say, very much larger it was - I doubt I could even carry it without breaking to the floor after a minute.
    What an honourable task he has, I thought. He protects priests and even saves the world. Nothing I could reach in my life, as sad as you might be now, father. But I'm not strong enough from physique to even wear that armour or weapon this man had. But perhaps ... with a bit of training ... who knows ...

    The Priest of Huitzilopochtli

    After a while of talking, my fear slowly seemed to fade. Somehow the calmness of this Eagle Warrior was transmitted to me. Then the cook, Ingtan, came back in company of a robed and hooded person. Maybe I'm strange, but not being able to look into ones eyes I get nervous somehow. The Eagle Warrior stood up and stepped close to the hooded person, with one hand on his large maquahuitl. That was the time when I got wet hands again, and my throat started to get dry. Somehow this hooded man was the leader or kinda, because he ordered Ingtan to leave us alone.
    A bit nervous but energized with adrenaline streaming through my veins, I told the hooded person about you, my dearest father, the sword that belonged to the priest Arayel and my journey to Yucatan. I got the maquahuitl out of my backpack and offered it to the hooded person. He took it and since that moment he didn't speak a word to me.
    How can I put it into words, father. How does one transmit a sad message? How to find the right words for a weak heart that you have, my loved father?
    That person first introduced as Priest of Huitzilopochtli and then told me that Arayel is not with them anymore. He left a long time ago, to explore new lands where he could spread their belief and never returned. He was very thankful that I brought back Arayels sword and promised to send someone home to you, my father, as you wished to see Arayel for a last time.
    I was sitting with those two people for quite some time in the pub of Zynaya and talked about several things. Somehow I felt at home, as if I would lie in my bed with you sitting on its edge, loved father, telling me those stories about Priests and Warriors who saved the world. I stayed over night and started my way back home early in the next morning. The Eagle Warrior and the hooded priest acompanied me towards Woonoonga and when they left me behind to travel back to Zynaya, I felt a certain pain in my heart as if something important in my life is missing.

    Reaching Padorn Harbour

    Oh father, looking through this small window of my cabin, I can see the harbour of Padorn already. I think you will understand why a man has to do what a man has to do and you don't judge me for what I will do now.
    The day in Yucatan changed my life, dear father, and I want to return there to do as much as I can to save the world like those people do I met there. Fulfilling a childhood dream - to be a hero in one of your endless fairy tales. I won't return for a long time and hope we meet again, when my day has come and I can visit you sitting next to Huitzilopochtli close to the warm sun.

    In deep respect and love,
    your son.

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