Altepetl Coatepec Picture

Trying something different, this time a fast, one day attempt, traditional-looking, fully digital background with no lineart.

This is how I see altepetl (rhoughly meaning something like city-state in nahuatl) Coatepec (Snake Mountain), part of the realm of AZTLÁN from the CUETZPALIN Mythos (a multimedia, originally comic book-based mythopeia I'm working on. On the case of Aztlán's scenario, most of its characters are inspired from Mexica/Aztec cosmology, but also other 'mesoamerican' cultures).

Coatepec is an altepetl located in Cipactli's Huey Acatl (Cipactli is the huge, titanic ancient beast used as the sustenance of the entire plan of Aztlán. Huey Acatl -"Great Stem"- is the region of the trunk growing from its back), that before being part of the Aztec Confederation some 6100 years before now, has been ruled by Teoyaqminqui, a Cihuacoatl (Snake Woman). Inhabited mostly by the Cihuacoatl and Centzonhuitznahua species, its ruler eventually became Coyolxauhqui (lit. meaning "Face Painted with Bells", A moon-related goddess) after she has been supported by Itzpapalotl, the leader of the Tztzimimeh (Star Demons), to take Teoyaqminqui's position around the time the Aztec Confederation has been founded.

On the next centuries, Coatepec has thrived under Coyolxauhqui's sight (as a Cihuateotl -goddess- of the Aztec Confederation, she was immortal and used ixiptla -hosts- chosen by her own, mostly human, to extend her lifespan), and she represented its interests (especially those of her original kind, the mammals known as Centzonhuitznahua) among the gods of the Aztec Confederation. Intended armed conflicts between the city-states and other competitions between its champions (conflicts known as Xochiyaoyotl - Flower Wars) have been common in some periods of the Aztec Confederation's history, but have declined since its support for the foreigner members of the Frashokeretian Alliance, the enemy of the Ors Ohorela on the Topakhon Wars (a major galaxy-wide military conflict which lasted from around 5000 to 3674 years before now), in a period when entire generations of most of the Aztec warriors, from whatever species, were being sent to campaign against a power which apparently barely threatened the Aztec Confederation itself. Around that time, the political structure of the confederation benefitted the decisions Huey Xochitl's (Cipactli's tree's great flower) altepetl Yaoyotepetl's patron god, Huitzopoca, who constantly demanded warriors from other villages to follow on the irrational campaigns which he saw as a chance to boost the acknowledgment of Aztec military prowess among the Frashokeretian Alliance - and future political alliances, leading to a series of measures opposed by Coyolxauhqui, the leader of Coatepec, who was more in favor of autonomy between the villages rather than their union under a supposedly "pan-Aztec" imperialistic power that was nothing but the power play by a pesky god like Huitzopoca. Around some 4400 years from now, she and the Centzonhuitznahua have led several underground actions to sabotage Yaoyotepetl's resolve, which culminated in conflicts against Huitzopoca himself. But before their last resolve, Huitzopoca has recurred to strategies like promoting Coatlicue, a Cihuacoatl, to become the new Aztec authority over Coatepec. Although Coyolxauhqui has always detained more influence than her overall, some groups of Cihuacoatl and Cuetzpalin from Coatepec and other cities supported Coatlicue, relying on the memory of past Cihuacoatl matriarchs like Teoyaqminqui. That plot would fall, however, when Coyolxauhqui decided to kill Coatlicue, but was prevented by Huitzopoca, who killed his sister and brothers, the Centzonhuitznahua, thus saving the mother of his latest ixiptla host, a Cuetzpalin.

Coatepec is a city surrounded by canyons and some jungles, and its main building, the original residence of Coatlicue and Coyolxauhqui, is the Serpent Pyramid which aptly names the city. It's symbol and most of its related imagery is serpent-related because its original inhabitants were the Cihucoatl. After the destruction of the last Centzonhuitznahua, Coatlicue played a minor role on the Aztec politics as its representative goddess, before leaving the city for abandon, when Tamoanchan and its cihuateteoh have also been expelled from the Aztec Confederation, some 3900 years from now.

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