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“This ancient golden screen – as old as the fabled golden city of the Lizardmen – confers missile resistance to both the bearer and their allies.”
—Description of the Shield of Chaqua.[5b]

Chaqua is rightly called the City of Gold, for the flanks of its pyramids and temples, even the flagstones of its wide avenues, are lined with gold. Sadly, the precious metal is coated in the patina of millennia and the city is overgrown, for Chaqua fell to the plagues of the vile Clan Pestilens during the long war against the Skaven – the contamination within its walls remains so potent that its overgrown ruins still cannot be repopulated, even after so many years. To date, the Lizardmen have had scant success reclaiming the city, for the presence of the ratmen lingers there still.[3b][4d]

Overview

The Lizardmen do not value gold for its beauty, but for its longevity, utilising it in the knowledge that it will remain uncorroded by the march of aeons. The Mage-Priests are well aware, however, of the love the warm-blooded races harbour for the substance. Many prophecies speak of the coming of Man to Chaqua and of the insatiable greed in his heart, yet the Slann have yet to connect this with the material from which the city is constructed. Because of the many warnings and portents, the ruined temple-city is guarded by hundreds of Skink sentinels. The jungles all around are haunted by Chameleon Skinks able to spend days on end motionless in the undergrowth, watching the jungle paths for any sign of intrusion.[3b]

History

During the Great Catastrophe, the entire population of Chaqua were slain by the Daemons when they unleashed a plague.[2a][4a]

The Prophecy of Sotek was first brought to light in Chaqua. A double-tailed comet, symbol of Sotek's forked tongue, appeared, heralding the migration of the Red-crested Skinks and the rise of the Cult of Sotek. The temple-city of Chaqua was abandoned due to Skaven plagues. The Skink Priest Tehenhauin preached the Prophecy of Sotek as a twin-tailed comet appeared in the sky. Tehenhauin rallied the population of disease-ridden Chaqua, leading them out of that defiled city. The cult spread throughout Lustria.[2b][4f][4g]

After Clan Pestilens was expelled from Lustria, the temple-city of Chaqua was re-opened, although the sealed pyramids were left untouched.[4c]

Prophecy of Sotek

Amongst the sacred plaques of Chaqua there existed a passage not found in the inscriptions of any other temple-city. This was known as the Prophecy of Sotek, and it predicted a cataclysmic invasion of Lustria by two-legged vermin. It said the ruination would last centuries and must be borne. It foretold the fall of many temple-cities, including Chaqua, and the spreading of a terrible plague. However, this Time of the Rodent would be brought to an end when the mighty Sotek would appear, and his coming would be heralded by the forked tongue of the serpent.[4b]

For countless centuries the Prophecy of Sotek was an obscure detail known from only one plaque, which was kept in the great pyramid temple of Chaqua. Only the Mage-Priests of this city knew about it, and never pondered its meaning for very long, in case other Mage-Priests should read their thoughts and demand that it be rendered up to them or worse still, demand that it be purged as corrupt. The Mage-Priests of Chaqua believed that this prophecy was the true words of the Old Ones, but since it was to be fulfilled in the distant future, like so many of the other intentions of the Old Ones, they did not concern themselves with it before the appointed time.[1b]

It was not until a virulent pestilence arrived in Chaqua that the Prophecy of Sotek was brought forth from long neglect and scrutinised in detail. A careful analysis required months of study, and in the meantime, thousands of Skinks sickened and died. Even worse, the spawning pools were infected, as it was not fully-formed Skinks that emerged out of the primordial liquids of Chaqua’s spawning pools, as was custom, but instead foul, malformed creatures that crawled forth to mercifully die within a few hours.[4b]

Chaqua’s Slann Mage-Priests were alarmed, sending war patrols to sweep the nearby jungle. South of the temple-city they discovered a vile new race that had infested the nearby ruins of Quetza. They were rat-men that walked upright and bore the taint of corruption. The Skaven were already established in Lustria; the pox-ridden Clan Pestilens, disease-worshipping monks of their loathsome race, had gnawed out vast warrens and undertunnels. After harsh skirmishes, the Skinks returned bearing Skaven captives. The Slann knew these twisted beings were not part of the Great Plan and said so. The Skaven were to be studied in hopes of finding a cure for their entropic maladies. However, unbeknownst to the Lizardmen, the captives brought something else to Chaqua.[4b]

The temple-city was soon fully in the grip of plague, and even the Mage-Priests showed the unmistakable signs. They withdrew into council to consider the matter and after several days of fevered contemplation, the sickly Mage-Priests agreed that the time spoken of in the prophecy was at hand. Looking to the sky, they saw through eyes made rheumy by contagion the distant gleaming of a heavenly portent. As the light in the sky grew stronger, its twin tails began to look like the tongue of an enormous serpent. When the light was visible even in the daytime, the Mage-Priests succumbed to their maladies. The remaining Temple Guard bore their masters into the pyramids, sealing them from within. So passed the venerable Mage-Priests of Chaqua. Leadership of the city’s survivors fell to the Skink Priests who had, until recently, served the Slann. The greatest of their number was Tehenhauin, who recovered the plaques relating to Sotek and carried them at the head of a great column of survivors leaving Chaqua. He sought to warn all Lizardmen of the impending danger and rally them for revenge.[4b]

Total War: Warhammer II

“Ignominious defeat at perfidious Skaven hands has only strengthened the already-steely resolve of Chaqua's surviving Saurus.”
—Description of the Legion of Chaqua.[5b]

In the game, Chaqua is one of the four regions that make up the Northern Great Jungle province. Despite being reclaimed by the Lizardmen, Chaqua is controlled by Clan Fester at the start of the Eye of the Vortex campaign; in the Mortal Empires campaign, it is initially uninhabited. Oddly for the City of Gold, in-game Chaqua does not produce the Gold resources, but Timber.[5a]

One of the Regiments of Renown the Lizardmen factions have access to is a unit of Saurus Spears called the Legion of Chaqua. Fitting to its origin city, the Saurus of this unit are clad in gold. Its unique ability is the Shield of Chaqua, presumably held by one of the Saurus in the unit.[5b]

Trivia

  • The name Chaqua seems to be a play on words of Jaguar, a large heavily built cat that has a yellowish-brown coat with black spots, found mainly in the dense forests of Central and South America.
  • As the City of Gold, Chaqua shares similarities with El Dorado, our real-life mythical city of gold equivalent.

Gallery

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (5th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 11
    • 1b: pg. 18
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (6th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 8
    • 2b: pg. 9
    • 2c: pg. 10
  • 3: Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (7th Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 27
    • 3b: pg. 32
    • 3c: pg. 39
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (8th Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 9
    • 4b: pg. 12
    • 4c: pg. 13
    • 4d: pg. 24
    • 4e: pg. 25
    • 4f: pg. 26
    • 4g: pg. 56
  • 5: Total War: WARHAMMER II
    • 5a: Campaign Map
    • 5b: Legion of Chaqua

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