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Xau-Tak: God of the Horrors

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Devil Vein
Jul Gold Premier Club Member 2015

Devil Vein

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N7spongy said:
Ahtelhrax said:
I hope you're joking about the Hooded Pirate... Oreb's alive, and in Sophanem... Grayzag is dead (as of the void stares back)
The joke is that the old model for Oreb in Tale of Nomad is the same, and Grayzags model in the flashback in the Void Quests is the same too.

So I found out from Mod Raven that Tezcasathla isn't really Xau-Tak, and is instead just a creation myth, but what does that mean?

Perhaps when Xau-Tak showed up the Mwanu interpreted it to be Tezcasalasagna, but that was wrong, because Tezcasablanca isn't a real person or deity. O_o


Honestly that is how I interpreted the story anyways. That Tez is the name the Mwanu gave Xau because they mistook him for their creator god.
I have seen the dark universe yawning, where the black planets roll without aim;
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

13-Mar-2018 18:58:04

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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N7spongy said:
Perhaps when Xau-Tak showed up the Mwanu interpreted it to be Tezcasalasagna, but that was wrong, because Tezcasablanca isn't a real person or deity. O_o


Xau's influence is clear at the lake the Mwanu used to escape to Gielinor, and in the lore books referencing their life after leaving Jermyn (black stone hands, and the black stone in general). Meanwhile, there seems little to no influence of Xau on Jermyn prior to this point (at best, you have the Mwanu liking to make just about every animal other than them dead to satisfy Tezcasathla's hunger).

The Mwanu misinterpretting Xau-Tak as their own god, Tezcasathla, seems to be an easy enough mix-up (especially considering their desperation at the time).

13-Mar-2018 19:05:08

RoninOctopus

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Has anyone brought up how Tezcasathla name is rather similar to the Aztec deity Tezcatlipoca, more commonly known as "Smoking Mirror".

The rival of the Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca is associated with obsidian, the night sky, and sorcery.... among other things.

Even if Xau-Tac and Texcasathla are not necessarily the same entity, I find it interesting that Jagex is incorporating Mesoamerican influences into this segment of lore, along with the Lovecraft elements.
Your friendly, neighborhood anthropologist

13-Mar-2018 20:10:58

Ahtelhrax
Feb Member 2018

Ahtelhrax

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Hguoh said:
N7spongy said:
Perhaps when Xau-Tak showed up the Mwanu interpreted it to be Tezcasalasagna, but that was wrong, because Tezcasablanca isn't a real person or deity. O_o


Xau's influence is clear at the lake the Mwanu used to escape to Gielinor, and in the lore books referencing their life after leaving Jermyn (black stone hands, and the black stone in general). Meanwhile, there seems little to no influence of Xau on Jermyn prior to this point (at best, you have the Mwanu liking to make just about every animal other than them dead to satisfy Tezcasathla's hunger).

The Mwanu misinterpretting Xau-Tak as their own god, Tezcasathla, seems to be an easy enough mix-up (especially considering their desperation at the time).


Maybe the mwanu had something akin to the Aviansie Spirits? And when they saw Xau-Tak, like you say, they thought he was one of them. But it could also be the case that they based their religion on their UNDERSTANDING of Xau-Tak. What we know of Xau seems to imply that mortals mentally can't understand Xau-Tak without going insane, so therefore the Mwanu could have used their religion as a understanding method?

13-Mar-2018 20:47:12

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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RoninOctopus said:
Has anyone brought up how Tezcasathla name is rather similar to the Aztec deity Tezcatlipoca, more commonly known as "Smoking Mirror".

The rival of the Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca is associated with obsidian, the night sky, and sorcery.... among other things.

Even if Xau-Tac and Texcasathla are not necessarily the same entity, I find it interesting that Jagex is incorporating Mesoamerican influences into this segment of lore, along with the Lovecraft elements.


The Aztecs were all about making blood sacrifices to keep the world going. It was central to their religion, culture, and warfare. This would explain the prominence of blood sacrifice in the pre-Gielinor Mwanu culture.

As for why they'd choose to give the Mwanu Aztec influences, look at your list of what Tezcatlipoca is associated with.

Black rocks, darkness, and magic.

What's Xau-Tak associated with?

Black rocks, deep dark waters, and necromancy.

It's a match made in Hades. Probably also helps that historically Horrors have been a highly aggressive race since their inception, lived in a fairly tropical climate, and previously had a civilization that collapsed (and now they've even made the association that this collapse was driven by a foreignor(s) whom was aided by the groups the Mwanu oppressed). That draws a number of parallels between the Aztec and the Mwanu.

To then have them turn to worshiping the Lovecraftian entity that is Xau-Tak, seems to take inspiration from how such entities garnered worship from ancient civilization in the works of Lovecraft and others like him (ex: the worship of Amon-Gorloth by a cult in Egypt in Les Yeux d'Amon or Nyarlathotep gathering a cult whilst in the guise of an Egyptian Pharoah).

13-Mar-2018 20:54:35

RoninOctopus

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You bring up an interesting point in bring up foreign invaders as it brings to mind plague, like the kind that is mentioned in one of the journals. Also, didn't Mos'le Harmless also suffer a serious plague. If memory serves, the cutlass salesman mentions this incident when you buy Gentleman Mallard's sword.

Building on the Tezcatlipoca connection, I believe he was also known to spread disease as a sign of his displeasure, although I don't think he was the deity in charge of sickness itself.


Anyways, the similarities between names just really caught my attention due to my anthropology courses on Mesoamerican archaeology. The choice to use Tezcatlipoca as an inspiration for the Mwanu deity (and perhaps our enigmatic deity Xau Tak) is a fascinating choice as a lot of other settings I've encountered like to stick to the more familiar deity. Quetzalcoatl the Feathered Serpent.

Altogether, I'm just super-excited to see more nods towards Aztec and Mayan mythology. Perhaps we might get to see even more allusions?
Your friendly, neighborhood anthropologist

13-Mar-2018 21:36:44

Wahisietel
Oct Gold Premier Club Member 2005

Wahisietel

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So, something interesting that helps sort out the timeline of the horror stuff.

The Pestilent journal (aka The Strange Tribes) is said to have been written by Herbert Dunwich. "The weeping", a book Mod Raven contributed to OSRS's Myths Guild, is also written by Herbert Dunwich. The weeping takes place in the Third Age, and involves an encounter with a strange weeping creature in a cave with previous signs of Zarosian occupation on the northern coast of Forinthry. The creature is described as being hulking, with spindly arms and a flash of razor sharp talons, and sounding like a weeping woman. To me, it sounds like some kind of ripper demon that has not fully taken control of its host, but we cannot rule out that is related to Xau.

Regardless, due to the Pestilent journal sharing its author with The Weeping, we can determine that it most likely takes place in the Third Age. From this, we can determine a likely timeline of events!

Decaying journal - Second Age or earlier
Festering journal - Second Age or earlier
Rotten journal - Second age
Death at Sea - Late second age, shortly before the fall of Zaros
Pestilent journal (The Strange Tribes) - Third Age
Blasphemous journal (Beneath the Waves) - ???
Old diary (Expedition Journal - 32) - Fifth Age, ~year 159
You never were our brightest star, Khazard. 'Vermin slaughtered like lambs'? What does that even mean?

13-Mar-2018 22:09:13

RoninOctopus

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A weeping woman?! :O

How fascinating. In the accounts of the final days of the Aztec empire there was reports of a strange, ghostly woman who wandering the streets of Tenochtitlan, crying out for her 'children'. If it is Xau-Tak related, it would be building onto the whole Aztec theme.

I could just be overthinking things, although it is a very interesting coincidence.
Your friendly, neighborhood anthropologist

13-Mar-2018 22:18:15

AesirWarrior

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Personally I assumed the creature described in "The Weeping" was the Chaos Elemental. It was found roughly around the same area the Elemental now roams, and the physical description matches quite well (perhaps the OSRS version more than the RS3 version though). -
I have noticed your kind does tend to blindly stumble forward towards danger simply because it exists. What is your word for that?
- We call it being a hero.

14-Mar-2018 00:02:17

Hguoh
Mar Gold Premier Club Member 2014

Hguoh

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AesirWarrior said:
Personally I assumed the creature described in "The Weeping" was the Chaos Elemental. It was found roughly around the same area the Elemental now roams, and the physical description matches quite well (perhaps the OSRS version more than the RS3 version though).


I don't think so. The area's right, but the description is off. OSRS chaos elemental is a cloud with some spiked tentacles. I can see how one could consider it to be hulking, but I can't see how one would associate talons, spindly arms, or vocalizations of sheer anguish with the chaos elemental. RS3 chaos elemental is closer with it's multiple spindly arms tapering to sharp points, but I'm again at a loss when it comes to the sorrowful vocalizations.

Wahisietel said:
The creature is described as being hulking, with spindly arms and a flash of razor sharp talons, and sounding like a weeping woman. To me, it sounds like some kind of ripper demon that has not fully taken control of its host, but we cannot rule out that is related to Xau.


The idea of it being a Ripper Demon fits pretty darn well (hulking, spindly arms, razor sharp talons). The problem with this idea is what the creature was vocalizing: cries of anguish and grief. The only time we've known Ripper Demons to make such a sound was when Elspeth's sang the song from before the war in its presence, hurting it.

We know from the Miner's Journals that the Ripper Demon transformation drives it's host insane, driving them to feel nothing but hate, anger, and bloodlust. The sounds they make once fully converted are feral: hisses and howls. During transformation, hosts may attempt to make cries of anguish or fear, but, given the events in the Miner's Journals it seems to be the case that the Demon silences or limits the volume of such vocalizations.

14-Mar-2018 01:37:48

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