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Itza
Warhammer Itza Lustrian Map
Map of Itza
Vital statistics
Inhabitants Slann, Saurus, Skink, Kroxigor
Type Temple-City
Location Central Lustria
Population Unknown
Allegiance Lizardmen Empire
Industry Unknown (possibly some Trade)

Itza, the First City is the greatest of the surviving Temple-Cities and it is home to the most powerful and ancient practitioners of magic to be found anywhere in the world. Foremost amongst them is the venerable Relic Priest, Lord Kroak, whose indomitable spirit has guarded Itza against the return of Chaos since the Great Catastrophe. Although it has been hard-pressed on several occasions, never once has Itza yielded to an attacker.[1a]

The pyramid-temples clustered in the heart of Itza are taller than mountains and are great conduits of power. At times, the concentration of so many ancient Slann causes the very air to seethe with arcing magical energy, while at others, a palpable feeling of serene contemplation overcomes all who visit. Itza is a sprawling city with dozens of distinct districts, each overcrowded and bustling with Skinks who move at a frenetic pace. The skies above are filled with Terradons, each carrying messages or perhaps a dignatary from some far distant temple-city. Here are housed the greatest armies of the Lizardmen and also their greatest treasures. Buried in the labyrinth beneath the city’s wide streets are vaults that hold many of the Old Ones’ creations. There are devices of such potential devastation that not even the Slann Mage-Priests dare dwell upon their nature for long.[1a]

GeographyEdit

Many thousands of years ago, at the very dawn of creation, the Old Ones came to the world, and emade it according to the tenets of their own vision — a vision impenetrable to all but the most enlightened and godlike of beings. Legend states that upon the ground first trod by the enigmatic Old Ones was built a city, one that stands to this day, 12,500 years after its founding. That city is Itza, called the First, greatest of the Lizardmen temple-cities and home to some of the mightiest practitioners of magic in the world. Itza is located amidst the most impenetrable regions of the Lustrian jungle, many miles inland of any point at which explorers and invaders might make landfall upon the eastern coast.[2a]

There are no easily travelled routes that may be followed, at least by any other than those native to Lustria, for kza lies a great distance from any river. Even a party that has navigated the Amazon or Lambada will be forced to abandon their boats and trek across the densest jungle to be found on the continent. And that's assuming the Lizardmen allow the invaders to get that close. To the west of Itza is the great mountain range known as the Spine of Sotek, a range that stretches the length of the entire continent and is passable at only a handful of points. At the Chasm of the Condor, the pass closest to the city, the sentinels of Itza stand vigilant, ready to send back word should intruders attempt to approach from the west.[2a]

LayoutEdit

Itza itself is one of the most impressive of all the extant temple-cities. The concentration of the most venerable of Mage-Priests in one location at times causes the very air to seeth with magical power, arcane energies arcing from the pyramids' summits, while at other times a feeling of serene contemplation overcomes all who visit it. All around the high temple pyramids gather flocks of Terradons, each carrying a Skink dignitary from a far distant city. The wide avenues are crowded with scribes and artisans, going about the business that is vital to the running of such an important place. And watching over It all are the warriors of the Host of Ina. The temple-city's armies are second to none, for they guard the First City, the sacred ground upon which the Old Ones themselves once walked, and beneath which in buried vaults are housed the most powerful of the Old Ones' creations, devices so potentially devastating that not even the Slann Nags-Priests dwell upon their nature long. Itza has never once, in over 10,000 years, yielded to an attacker. The consequences of it doing so are too terrible to contemplate, and not only for the Lizardmen.[2b]

The Pyramid of SotekEdit

At the very heart of the temple-city of lea is to be found the largest of its pyramid temples - that dedicated to Sotek. From the altar atop this mighty structure the Priests of the Red Cult lead daily ceremonies of appeasement and veneration of the twin-tongued serpent god. Upon the high days of Sotek, the entire population of the temple-city gathers in the central plaza - even the remains of the Lord !Croak himself are brought out - to voice their adulation of their god. It is said that the hissing chants sent up by the multitudinous congregation are amongst the most unsettling of sounds to be voiced from mortal throats, and they can be heard for many miles around.[2b]

The sacrificial pit of SotekEdit

Pyramid temples and plazas dedicated to the Serpent God Sotek have a deep sacrificial snake-pit descending into the depths beneath. At the bottom dwell enormous serpents, a manifestation of Sotek, fed by sacrificial victims hurled down from above. As the First City, Itza receives a great many of the captives taken all across Lustria. by its own armies and by the hosts of the other temple-cities. These are forced to trek many hundreds of miles through the most perilous jungles in the world, fitting punishment for the woe they would do to the children of the gods. Upon reaching Itza, a journey that may take many months, the captives are sacrificed by the thousand as due veneration to the Serpent God, lending Sotek the power to continue his eternal war against the god of the rat spawn.[2b]

The Pyramid of Lord KroakEdit

This huge structure houses the remnants of the venerable Lord Kroak, the first spawned Slann and most powerful of the Old Ones' servants. The desiccated body of the Relic-Priest is at most times housed deep within the pyramid, and guarded by a cohort of the mightiest of Saurus Temple Guard. At significant times, however, Kroak's body is brought to the temple atop the pyramid, where his spirit gazes out through millennia-dead eyes across the domains of his lost masters. The pyramid is decorated with sculptures painted in striking colours, depicting aspects of Kroak's life and the battles in which, even after his death, his actions have been critical.[2b]

The Temples of the Old OnesEdit

These temples, each dedicated to a single Old One are attended to sakes of Skink Priests, who maintain ancient plaques and artefacts housed within the secret vaults beneath. Each day ceremonies are enacted upon the altars atop each pyramid temple and at certain days of the year, or at the conjunction of portentous stellar phenomena, the air sizzles with the power of the ancients called forth by their ever-loyal servants.[2b]

Ruined 'TemplesEdit

Many structures in and around Itza have been allowed to fall into apparent disrepair. The truth is that the Lizardmen measure such notions by different standards than Men or Elves. Some structures may be allowed to crumble almost to dust before being rebuilt to their former glory at the command of a Mage-Priest or the prompting of a prophecy. Many is the plundering adventurer who has mistaken such a ruined structure for an unguarded one, and paid the ultimate price for their ignorance as its sentinels strike to defend its riches.[2b]

Mage-Priests' PyramidsEdit

Although each pyramid temple is dedicated to a god, who will also be considered to be a manifestation or messenger of one of the Old Ones, it serves as a residence for a Mage-Priest. Exceptionally revered Mage-Priests may even have a pyramid temple built for them. The mummified relics of former Mage-Priests are hidden in crypts within their own pyramid temples, or the temples of the gods. From the palanquin chamber in the temple atop the pyramid, the Mage-Priest can commune telepathically with other Mage-Priests on top of distant temples or even receive inspiration from the sun, moons, stars and planets to which the pyramid is aligned. The palanquin rests on a plinth enclosed by a sacred pool. Saurus guards and Skinks attend the Mage-Priest in the surrounding chambers and pillared porticos.[2d]

Avenue of Lizard-SphinxesEdit

The great avenue that leads in to the First City is lined for many miles with great statues of mighty Lizards, hewed millennia past from single stones. Those few visitors who have returned from Itza have all told of the impression granted by these silent and unmoving sentinels, for they are all of nightmarish aspect and tower high above the mortals passing below. Some have sworn the monolithic heads have slowly moved to follow their passing. These travellers also report that the avenues are lined-with cloying swamps that boil with carnivorous life reminding travellers that there is only one way into or out of, Itza — and that is travelled only at the discretion of the city's masters.[2d]

The Bridge of StarsEdit

Located several miles to the east of Itza, the Bridge of Stars is a structure as ancient as the temple-city itself, spanning a vast chasm rent in the earth aeons ago, before even the coming of the Old Ones. Located as it is at a major approach to the city, the Bridge of Stars is heavily defended by the cohorts of Itza, and has been the site of many a defeat for the Lizardmen's foes. It was famously held by the venerable ICroxigor Nakai during the Defence of Itza against the Chaos hordes when the Polar Gates fell. So great was the tally of Daemon-things reaped by the Kroxigor that day that it is said such creatures fear the site as they do no other place in the material world, hearing the death knell of uncounted numbers of their kin echoing down the millennia.[2d]

Pyramid of ItzlEdit

It was during the epic defence of Itza, when the Polar Gates collapsed and Chaos engulfed the world that Lord Kroak sat atop the great Pyramid of Itzl, a calm amidst the hellish storm. It is said that the pyramid contains the most powerful and arcane machineries of destruction, and that the first of the Slann Mage-Priests unleashed these in a cataclysmic tempest of mystical power that reduced the rampaging hordes of Daemons to ashes. Such is the power still contained within the pyramid to this day wizards and others with the mystic sight can sense its latent potency from many miles away. As they draw nearer to the source, they often experience a great deal of discomfort, and it is doubtful that any but the most skilled of mages would survive standing upon the pyramid itself, so strong is its arcane, destructive potential.[2d]

The Barrios of the SkinksEdit

The barrios of the Skinks form the suburbs of the city. Here the Skinks live and pursue their craft of making the artefacts of Lizardmen civilization. It= has a teeming population of many tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands, the majority being Skinks. In the open spaces around the barrios are kept the Stegadons and other beasts needed for work in the vicinity of the city, or ready for marching out with the army. Others are kept in small clearings further out in the jungle, among the overgrown ruins on the edge of the city, or at the outlying stone quarries and mines.[2d]

Spawning PondsEdit

Typical of many temple-cities, Itza occupies a clearing in the jungle bordered by swamps. The roads leading into the city cross over these by means of paved causeways, flanked by avenues of lizard sphinxes carved from massive blocks of stone. The swamps are the spawning places of the city, where Lizardmen have been born since time immemorial at times decreed millennia ago by the Old Ones. Some of these places may have been enclosed by stone embankments and made into rectangular sacred ponds infested with piranha fish. These hazards act as defences for the city, trapping unwary foes who try to approach through the jungle to circumvant the causeways' guards.[2d]

Known Inhabitants Edit

SourcesEdit

  • 1 Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 22
  • 2: White Dwarf UK (Issue #306)
    • 2a: pg. 74
    • 2b: pg. 75
    • 2c: pg. 76
    • 2d: pg. 77
    • 2e: pg. 78
    • 2f: pg. 79

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