Mictlan Picture

Following the same style from Coatepec, here's another fast, one day attempt, traditional-looking, 100% digital landscape background with no lineart.

This is how I see altepetl (rhoughly meaning something like city-state in nahuatl) Mictlán (Underworld), 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).

Mictlán is an altepetl located right above Cipactli's body (Cipactli is the huge, titanic ancient beast used as the sustenance of the entire plan of Aztlán), that has been founded even before the Aztec Confederation, some 6100 years before now, and has been inhabited by the kind of the Micteca people, descendants from Xibalbans that have left the plan of Xibalba and stayed on the plan of Aztlán when they divided. The Micteca, like the Xibalbans, are skeletal figures known to endure space vacuum. From their foundation to this day they have been ruled by the couple of deities, Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacihuatl, that have immortalized themselves, changing their bodies to that of new Micteca individuals used as living sacrifices (called "ixiptla" - "impersonators") generation after generation. The Micteca were nearly known by other kinds that inhabited the areas from the underworld, like the Cihuacoatl (Snake Woman) led by Teoyaqminqui, from Coatepec, the Centzonhuitznahua species by Coyolxauhqui (lit. meaning "Face Painted with Bells", A moon-related goddess), also from Coatepec, and the Tztzimimeh (Star Demons) led by Itzpapalotl, from Tamoanchan. The city-state of Mictlán has been also a refuge of other kinds from the undeworld, like the foreigner Ahuitzotl, that have arrived into the plan of Aztlán at the same time as Tlaloc, in the 39th Century b.I.

During the Topakhon Wars (a major galaxy-wide military conflict which lasted from around 5000 to 3674 years before now), the Aztec Confederation has sent several soldiers and campaigns in support for the foreigner members of the Frashokeretian Alliance, the enemy of the Ors Ohorela. Mictlán wasn't a member of the Confederation and would keep a neutral position, until Xibalba, formerly a colony from the Chronpuchian Empire (a member of the Frashokeretian Alliance) has been "liberated" by the Ors Ohorela, putting twelve sovereigns over it and using it as a strategic spot against the Aztec Confederation, what has also put Mictlán into war. But Mictlán has changed sides and finally earned its place into the Aztec Confederation around the 18th Century b.I, following a third Aztec campaign on Xibalba, that had it destroyed, and also to supply the lack of military resources Aztlán brought itself with the "Cihuateteoh Diaspora" that had Tamoanchan's population of Cihuateteoh and Tzitzimimeh expulsed, divided and scattered across Aztec territory, colonial territory and foreigner territory (and also because of the political issues like forbidding females from becoming Confederate warriors since Itzpapalotl has been accused by treason for using Tamoanchan as a haven for refuged Centzonhuitznahua).

Mictlán, alongside the Ahuitzotl, has been essential to the maintenance of Aztlán during the Ice Age, the Xiuhcoatl Empire from the Third Sun Era, and then, after its collapse, on a new rebuilding of the plan, focused on intended armed conflicts between the city-states and other competitions between its champions (conflicts known as Xochiyaoyotl - Flower Wars), common in some periods of the Aztec Confederation's history. That until an alliance of the Ahuitzotl and the Micteca, known as the Underworld League, has put the entire Aztec Confederation in danger because of the employment of Darr, a hidden element never before used in Aztlán, on their Xiuhcoatl weapons. The aid of a new Tlatoani Cuetzpalin, Ehecatl, has been needed to defeat the League, but more than that, Huitzopoca has finally divided the populations from the underworld and the surface by casting an impenetrable mist over Cipactli's body, concealing it from the upper cities, in the 2nd Century a.I, and marking a new era, in which the next generation of Aztecs would forget they lived upon Cipactli. For the inhabitants of Mictlán, they would wait until time was right to rise again.


Mictlán is a city hid by the misty swamps right above Cipactli's body, bathed by the rivers of blood from the primeval crocodile, and protected by spikes which grow from its back. Besides the bloody rivers and spikes, its skull motifs add a real dark atmosphere.
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