Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Kuaktzulub's Ladder

Of Luak's firstborn, only Kwala'ikki and Drulzekka guarded their father. The First Tribe, descended of Zlalok Zorn, were overcome by rage and Chaos. The Second Tribe, descended of Umatathoa, fled and gave themselves over to worship of his rebellious son, Orlok. The Third Tribe, descended of Klolak, were overcome by inaction and dulled by their mysticism, and driven to the east as Guanote'ela fragmented under the assault of Chaos. Now they live in fear of the First Tribe, who dwell in the same seas.

Only the Fourth Tribe, descended of Kwala'ikki, remained true to Luak. They were the poorest and most humble, but were aided by Kuaktzulub, the greatestchild of Zlalok Zorn, who held back from the sins that engulfed his fatherand in so doing became the first tribeless drulzek. Together, Drulzekka, Kwala'ikki and Kuaktzulub journeyed into the depths of the world, as they sought to free Luak. They found a passage that wound deep beneath the mountain that imprisoned him, down into the great abyss in which He was held.

Below them they could see the burning, raging form of their creator, flightless as they and trapped in his donjon. Then Kuaktzulub took his great obsidian weapon, which he had won from the Scaled King, and sliced it across Drulzekka the Ancestress' belly. He drew out her intestines, which he wrought into a charnel ladder, and cast it down into the abyss. Yet it would not reach Luak, so he turned to demand the sacrifice of Kwala'ikki. Overcome by horror, the Fourth Son had danced away from Kuaktzulub's razorclub, and fled gibbering into the darkness.

Unperturbed and immune to any craven vice, Kuaktzulub knew the task that lay before him, and slit open his own belly, revealing the steaming mass of innards within. These he affixed to Drulzekka's on the great ladder. Still it would not reach to the bottom of the abyss, so there Kuaktzulub, god of death and evisceration, and Luak, the fallen creator, remain to this day. Kwala'ikki overcame his terror and watches over them, deity of what the humans call the Vent, but which the Drulzekki know as Trickster Mountain.

There, in its great shadow, the remnants of the Fourth Tribe live, guarding Luak's legacy. Kwala'ikki has fooled the humans into thinking he is their god: when his flaming tail feathers flutter above the crater rim they cry in terror; when he belches and the earth shakes they panickedly sacrifice to assuage his anger; and when he is overcome by flatulence, they take his noxious fumes as signs of divination.

The disciples of Kuaktzulub remain, the greatest warriors of the Drulzekki beyond the Zorns. They are tribeless as their ancestor, and seek to capture their enemies, who are then ritually disembowelled by Kuakti priests on the skull-formed ziggurat of the temple of Luak. Their intestines are cast down the gore-slick steps into the lava-lit smoking lake out of which the temple rises.

Beneath the smoking lake is Kuaktzulub's Realm of the Dead, a horrid mirror image of the realm above. He collects the intestines, and adds them to his ladder, a ladder that will one day prove long enough to rescue Luak, so that He will return to lead the Drulzekki to greatness. When a Kuakti warrior dies, he is ritually disembowelled and sent on a reed boat into the smoking mists, so that his god may take him.