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  • Andrew M. Trauger


Born Térroc and granted his cuauh upon single-handedly killing a black panther, according to the customs of his people, the panther warrior tribes of northern Audria. He became Cuauhtérroc that day and wears the skin of the panther across his shoulders with immense pride.

Barely three months later, Cuauhtérroc was badly wounded in jungle warfare with an invading Amurrak tribe from the southern regions. The Amurraks set fire to every living thing, burning whole villages with women and children. Cuauhtérroc was sent to the coastal town of Mazachtitlán to gather all the able-bodied warriors, but the wounds of battle slowed him to the point of collapse before he could summon help.

Alton Myrick, a missionary of the Bastion of Faith rescued him from the brink of death. While Cuauhtérroc convalesced aboard Myrick's docked ship, the coastal town was sacked and burned, and the mission ship fled back to the mainland with Cuauhtérroc still aboard. Along the journey northward, Alton Myrick taught him how to speak the common language of the mainlanders and gave him a contact and a small sum of money.

Cuauhtérroc is proud of his people, his heritage, and his homeland. He is a stranger in a strange land with little understanding of the customs of the fair-skinned mainlanders of Arelatha. But he vowed to raise an army to avenge the slaughter of his people, and that drives him ever onward. Cuauhtérroc shares the faith of his people, in which he believes the spirits of his ancestors watch over him from peaks of the Fire Mountains, semi-active volcanoes dotting the mountain ranges of Audria. Through the mediation of the shamans of Zilopochtlán, the Great Father guides their people into honesty, loyalty, fierceness, and bravery. Families are large and strongly-knit, the men courageous leaders, the woman fierce protectors, the children plenteous and pining to prove their worth and take their place among the people.

But the Amurracks destroyed all that, and memories of the devastation fill Cuauhtérroc with an overpowering rage. Only the calming influence of an emerald-eyed songsage can quell the inferno that burns within him.

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