The First Age

We all know something sleeps within humanity.  We eat up the legends: vampires, werewolves, superheroes.  We seek in dark theaters and we pour through boring tomes; and we secretly wonder if some sliver of the stories is real.  Legends are based on myth after all, and we don’t realize their origins have faded into time.

But time is not a black wasteland of questions. 

Time is a wheel

Quetzalcoatlus

Introduction

Civil War soldiers pose with the remains of a potential quetzalcoatlus

Civil War soldiers pose with the remains of a potential quetzalcoatlus

Modern paleontologists have identified the quetzalcoatlus as a flying reptilian bird, an azhdarchid pterodactyloid from the Latest Cretaceous that ended 65 million years ago.  However, like other species of Dinosauria, their lifetimes existed in unknown Ages-past from an unknown number of turnings of the Wheel.  

The quetzalcoatlus has specifically been called "one of the greatest freaks of all time," by the Harvard professor Percy Raymond who described the animal's flight patterns as "bat-like" rather than "bird-like."


Appearance

They have a membrane of skin that stretches from the trunk to the forelimb. They were probably soarers and gliders but depending on rising thermal air currents or other modes of lift, could have sustained active flight for some time.  They folded their wings in like bats and roosted in similar fashion. They have a long neck with slender, toothless jaws.  Their heads are capped by a bony crest and have claws on the tip of their wings with which to grip prey.  A Texan student in the 1970's reported the largest specimen ever found with a wingspan up to 40 feet in length and suggesting a body weight approaching 200 pounds.  Despite their size, they have proportionally small, slender-boned feet likely unable to lift anything of significant weight.

 

Sightings

Policeman Arturo Padilla of San Benito, Texas, was driving his police cruiser through the wee hours of the morning in 1976 when something unusual appeared in his headlights. It looked like a big bird. Only a few minutes later fellow officer Homer Galvan reported it too. A black silhouette that glided through the air. According to Galvan it moved without ever flapping it's wings.

A short time later Alverico Guajardo, a resident of Brownsville, Texas, reported he'd heard a thumping noise outside his mobile home at about nine-thirty at night. When he looked out the door he saw a monstrous bird standing in his yard.

‘It’s like a bird, but it’s not a bird,’ he said. ‘That animal is not from this world.’
— witness

Sightings of the big bird multiplied. A radio station offered a reward for the creature's capture. A television station broadcast a picture of an alleged bird track. It was some twelve inches long. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, concerned that hunters might mistake a large rare and protected bird, like a whooping crane, for this creature announced that, "All birds are protected by state or federal law." 

No additional sightings have been reported since the 1970's.  

Other flying reptilian creatures have been noted, however, in modern day reportings.  From Africa, people have reported a semi-aquatic winged animal called the kongamato while on New Guinea and the surrounding islands sightings are claimed of a gigantic, bioluminescent, crested flying creature (the duah) and a smaller, long-tailed version, the ropen.  It is unknown if these animals are related to the quetzalcoatlus.

Namesake

The quetzalcoatlus was named after the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl; however, they were originally created from the workings of the Huastec goddess, Tlazolteotl. 

Legend

Tlazolteotl, (c) Rachel Hughes

Tlazolteotl, (c) Rachel Hughes

Within the American pantheon existed a goddess by the name of Tlazolteotl.  a goddess of purification, steam bath, midwives, filth, and a patroness of adulterers. In Nahuatl, the word tlazolli can refer to vice and diseases. Thus, Tlazolteotl was a goddess of filth (sin), vice, and sexual misdeeds. However, she was a purification goddess as well who forgave the sins and disease of those caused by misdeeds, particularly sexual misdeeds.  For this, she was called the "Goddess of Dirt," and "Eater of Ordure," or "she who eats sins."

 

Mythos

Tlazolteotl was of the Huastec people along the Gulf of Mexico, familiar to, but smaller than the Aztec pantheon.  A Healer, cleanser, and purifier, Tlazolteotl's rituals included offerings of human gold (urine) and divine excrement (feces) that she could together use to cleanse the ritual's participant of their sin and thus create harmony once more within the community.  

The godwars of the late 5th Age eventually pit the gods of the Aztecs against the lesser-powerful gods of the Huastec peoples.  Tlazolteotl commanded the blackness of her rituals to manifest into a creature she could use to defend the harmony of her community.  Thus were born the Sin Eaters, great, flying reptilian-like creatures that were drawn-to and fed-upon the greatest of sins: in this case, the betrayal and violence of their Aztec neighbors.  Primarily, her hatred of Quetzalcoatl, leader of the Aztec pantheon, made him her greatest target.  In time, Tlazolteotl sought individuals of great need for purification from which she could siphon their sinful enmity and craft ever-larger and more enormous beasts.  Thus the size of her bat-like creatures were proportional to the sinner she purified.  

The Sin Eaters are named after Quetzalcoatl because he was their primary target.  Their ever-insatiable hunger for his people drove him to mutate the creatures into true animals that although they still hunted and fed-upon sin, they were now subject to natural law: life-cycles, roosting habits, and mating; therefore, they were capable of being killed.  

In the thousands of years since their inception, quetzalcoatlus northropi thrived in upper Mexico where fossils of their remains are most commonly found: Northern Mexico and Southern Texas.  

Modern quetzalcoatlus

The modern quetzalcoatlus of today are primarily small enough in size to be mistaken for bats, hawks, or owls.  They continue to sense the smell of sin, and like the vampire bat, feeds upon individuals whom behave contrary to moral law, that is, anyone that sows discord and disharmony, that today, might be defined as a sinner either great or small.  

(c) Aaron Sims Company: Visual Effects

(c) Aaron Sims Company: Visual Effects

It is unknown whether the American quetzalcoatlus is related to other rumored, reptilian-like flying creatures such as the Indonesian ORANG-BATI, the Vietnamese AHOOL, Cameroon’s bat-like OLITIAU.