City of Gold

Anomen was troubled after his time in Brindhal 's company. He had closely
witnessed the dark power inherent in the Bhaal child, and no matter
Brindhal's intent, it caused a crisis of faith. His confidence in Helm
shaken, Anomen traveled without aim until arriving in the frontiers of
Maztica. This was during the revolt of Yamash, an evil cleric that raised a
demonic conquering horde. Anomen was drawn into the conflict, helping to
organize the besieged Maztican soldiers, but he found he could not
effectively train them without speaking of duty and the role a guardian must
play; he was teaching the doctrine of Helm, and understanding it more as he
did. In the end, his words rang true, and Yamash fell to the Disciples of
Anomen, a new Order for a new land.

In a silent room of the temple of Quotal, a pair of weathered and bejeweled hands was deft as they reached into a glass jar and extracted a handful of crackling, yellow petals. These were particularly fine and strong hands which had worked the fields of mayz, and cradled babies, lifting them to the bright Maztican skies. These were the hands of Yamash, the Nexalan High Priest of Quotal. Yamash himself had not ploughed a field in several years and his babies were now mostly grown; now his fingers and wrists were covered in gold and jewels, reflecting the trappings of a new life.

Though his hands belonged to a man who had seen joy and love, peace and prosperity, they were now engaged in much graver tasks. Yamash took a few seconds to admire the dried flowers, observing their rich yellow color and intense scent before he dropped them into a mortar and began to grind. They crackled somewhat and their aroma intensified, filling the air with a pungent, heavy scent.

Outside of the window there were cries—the skies were black and thundering, and the farmers were praying for rain to feed their fields. There was famine in Nexal, and the Gods, though they had taunted the people, had not answered the prayers of the layfolk. They had delivered to them crimson skies and the winged beast, the son of Nalcetona, and storms of sand from the South. Yamash had asked Qotal the Feathered Serpent, to save his people, to come back to them, but the Serpent God too had remained silent and all the priests in Nexal together could not feed thousands with prayers alone.

That left only one thing to get their attention, and it was not something that Yamash relished in the least.

The Gods are hungry, he reminded himself as he took another handful of petals and began once more to grind. The teachings of generations past came back unbidden, and with them mixed feelings— everyone in Nexal knew about the Old Times when the Gods demanded blood but things were not as barbaric now. At least, they hadn't been until Cordell came, when Zaltecian priests and others began their bloodletting once more.

When he finished grinding the petals into a fine powder, he poured them into a small bowl and brought it to a large stone slab upon which were laid several other items. The slab itself was a curiosity, built from a stone of such dark red it was almost black and inlaid with a network of gilded channels and grooves. They flowed down the slab's sides and onto the floor weaving complex, nasty patterns of Zaltecian visages. Yamash was somewhat glad that the stone was too dark to pick out anything else. Also upon the slab lay Chilmalma, his eldest daughter, lying quietly on her back. Her chest rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern but she was still awake, and her eyes darted across the room. Yamash admired her courage – his own composure would have crumbled long ago.

"Will it hurt, father?" she asked, glancing up at him at his approach.

He looked into his daughter's dark eyes and his heart wrenched. "No, Chil," he lied, bringing a hand up to stroke her cheek. "You'll be fine."

With his other hand be brought the bowl of powder up and blew lightly upon it. The fine, yellow powder billowed in a cloud that settled upon Chilmalma's body in a yellow cascade of perfume, and the girl closed her black eyes for the last time.

Later, as the priest held up his bloodied hands at the statue of Zaltec, the sky thundered a final time and with a flash of lightning, began to pour down its bounty. The joyful cries of the people echoed from the valley below, but to Yamash the world was as silent as a grave.

A/N – Sorry! Just wanted a quick explanation of why Yamash is the way he is and to set the story. More to come later, though, so keep watching. I do not own Baldur's Gate nor it's characters, nor do I own the concepts of Maztica or Faerun or anything else in the Forgotten Realms. Poor graduate student - please don't sue!