- "By Grungni! Great value for money these lizards. They fight for only a couple of mere strips of gold!"
Tichi-Huichi's Raiders are a famous band of Dogs of War mercenaries that hail from the distant jungle-continent of the Southlands. This mercenary band consist entirely of Skink warriors riding on-top of Cold Ones, known famously for their swiftness and speed during the heat of battle. Lead by the eldest of their host, Tichi-Huichi was the last inhabitant of the city of Enxilada until the day came when he became the caregiver of a whole new spawning of Lizardmen offspring.[1a]
From then on, Tichi-Huichi and his new host of warriors has been given a task from his masters, the Slann, to fight across the entire Old World in their eternal quest to retrieve all the lost Golden Plaques of the Lizardmen civilization. These plaques hold the words of the Slann of the first spawning, containing prophecies that foretell the future of Lustria and that of the world. Since then, the Tichi-Huichi Raiders have only fought for those that held such sacred tablets, forcing these warriors to travel the length and width of the Old World, fighting for many kings and princes, all at the insignificant cost of a small tablet barely worth a few crowns. Such a price has ensured that Tichi-Huichi will never be short on employment, but if the employer doesn't have these rare plaques amongst his pay-chest, then no amount of gold in the world shall be able to hire their extraordinary services.[1a]
- "Tupyn tzlaga anapaq quito qrizliz."
- —(rough translation: Get out of the way because the Horned Ones are thirsty!) -Warcry
On the five thousandth cycle of the sun, at the equinox of Topec, on the meridian of the Serpent Star a spawning occurred in the sacred pools of the ruined temple-city of Enxilada. All sacred plaques which might have predicted this spawning had long since been destroyed. The temple was remote from the city of Zlatlan in the Southlands and was long since abandoned. No Slann Mage-Priest had turned their minds in this direction for many years and the spawning went unnoticed. Indeed, it was a sporadic spawning, evoked purely by the unusual portents and astral conjunctions of the universe, or perhaps it was the mysterious will of Sotek, God of Serpents, that made it so.[1a]
Only one mature Lizardman was there to witness the spawning. It was Tichi-Huichi. He watched over the ruined temple and chanted the salute to the sun as it rose every day. He was the last Enxiladan, all others having perished years ago from a mysterious pestilence. Tichi-Huichi saw that the markings upon the Skinks spawned in the sacred pools were good, and were indeed favored by the gods. He felt somehow privileged to be chosen for such a thing to occur at such a unique time.[1a]
He watched as the tadpoles reached maturity and came out upon the land to bask. He could see that they were of the greater crested kind, the sort who could master the raptor-race of Cold Ones. This thought gripped the mind of Tichi-Huichi and he went to look in the dark caverns deep below the ruins. His expectations were correct and a symbiotic spawning had occurred here as well. The eggs had hatched and the tiny Horned Ones, a rare variant of Cold Ones, bore similar markings to the Skinks. It was certainly the will of the Old Ones that these spawnings should occur at the same time.[1a]
A few years later, Tichi-Huichi had trained the rising generation of Skinks in all the lore of Enxilada that he knew, looking to him as their mentor and leader. Over the same time, the Horned Ones had grown to full maturity and already, the Skinks were taming and riding them. It happened almost naturally, the empathy between the species was preordained. One became master to the other.[1a]
It was at this moment that the mind of the Slann Mage-Priest in faraway Zlatlan focused on the dead city of Enxilada. Profound thoughts were evoked within the alert mind of Tichi-Huichi. Now his purpose became clear. His duty to the Old Ones was to lead the chosen regiment that had been spawned by their will. It was the season of monsoon, and in the foetid, steamy nights that followed, Tichi-Huichi was troubled by dreams. He perceived far away places, populated by strange races and creatures. In their midst he became aware of the presence of great treasures -- potent talismans of the Old Ones, things which had been looted from Enxilada and other places, sacred artifacts which the Old Ones desired him to bring back.[1a]
Now Tichi-Huichi knew his mission and the purpose of the spawning. His destiny was clear; it was he who had been chosen to go out into the wider world to find and bring back the relics that the Old Ones had revealed to him. Following his instinct and allowing the thoughts of those greater than himself to direct his plans, Tichi-Huichi set out, leading his now highly-trained regiment of Cold One Riders, who had finally mastered the techniques of riding and fighting from the backs of the mighty Cold Ones. It had come upon them as if by instinct, instruction had hardly been necessary.[1a]
On encountering the first settlement of 'new ones', who happened to be a nomadic tribe of Arabians, Tichi-Huichi remained enigmatic, seeking only to follow the current of events unfolding before him by the will of the gods. The Arabian Sheikh, awe-struck at the sight of a real "Al Saurim" before his very eyes, seemed eager to hire Tichi-Huichi's and is band of warriors. Many treasures were cast upon the sand before him, but he merely blinked his yellow eyes at their brightness in the glare of the sun. Then he caught sight of a sacred talisman that he had seen in his dream and let out a rasping croak of delight. The Sheikh laughed and gave it to Tichi-Huichi. A deal had been struck. The regiment rode with the Arabians on many raids into the land of Nehekhara.[1a]
Tombs were pillaged in the outlying necropolises of that desolate land. Then came the day when skeleton warriors rose up from the sands and then slew the Arabians to the last man, but Tichi-Huichi's Raiders fought them to a standstill in the scorching sun. Then the Liche Priest raised his staff and stayed the skeleton warriors hands. He brought out a bundle of rags and unwrapped the object concealed with in. Tichi-Huichi saw the sacred plaque of his second dream. Tichi-Huichi signaled for the standard to be dipped. The priest understood. The quarrel was ended and instead, Tichi-Huichi was recruited into the army of the Tomb King, who sat enthroned within his pyramid and seemed to be animated with an inspired thought, as if from afar. There followed years of fighting along the northern margins of the desert. Dwarfs were the quarry. They were easily pursued and caught as they vainly tried to escape, laden down with plunder and treasure from their adventures.[1a]
One day, Tichi-Huichi pursued for several days and caught the Dwarfs at a dead-end. The Dwarfs were standing ready to die, and there was an uneasy pause before the last charge. Then Tichi-Huichi saw a statue of the monkey god out of a rucksack of a Dwarf. A well-aimed dart struck the strap, and the bag fell open. The golden statue tumbled out. As the Dwarf struggled to gather up his ill-gotten loot, his lord's hefty, hob-nailed boot imprinted itself upon his round behind: "Leave it, Grongi!" he snarled "It's our only chance, lad!" The Dwarfs edged back and Tichi-Huichi signaled forward a Skink to recover the sacred statue; the one revealed in his third dream. The Dwarfs warily turned and began to march away, shadowed at a distance by the Skink Cold One Riders.[1a]
The Dwarf Lord of Barak Varr, in a strange meeting in which the Dwarf Lord believed he was advised to hire the Skinks by a long-dead ancestor, hired Tichi-Huichi into his army. The bargaining had been long, but three gold plaques had done the trick better than a massive chest of gems would ever do. And so Tichi-Huichi's Raiders fought against Orcs and Goblins under the service of their benevolent Dwarf employers. It was then that they switched their allegiance to a Goblin Chieftain who was convinced by his Gork or Mork to hire them into his service. They fought battles and regained many more lost relics over the coming years.[1a]
With every change of fortune, a sacred artifact appeared. Though the masters he served might flee or be wiped out utterly, strangely enough, Tichi-Huichi's Raiders were still alive after every gruelling battlefield. Mysteriously, their foes would seem to always see the wisdom of hiring them, and the futility of a fight in which the Skinks would slaughter many before dying themselves. Without knowing a single word of Mannish, Orcish, Dwarfish or Elvish tongue, a deal was always struck and the Raiders have always found employment again and again.[1a]