Coyotl (KI-yah-tull) is one of the Long Face Folk, and appears in several of the Bird Folk Legends.He is a Formwalker who moves between the forms of Coyote/Dog and of Walking Folk. He is one half of the Dual Faces responsible for the sense of balance in the Inbound Lands.
Coyotl is originally a desert nomad believed to have guided the Fox Folk into the sands. Popular legends contradict themselves as to the exact journey, however: one story describes Coyotl as returning to his nomadic state after the Fox Folk settled in The Fingers; another has a frustrated Coyotl as abandoning the Fox Folk at the first habitable oasis; in another, Coyotl was forced to leave The Fingers as the Fox Folk took umbrage at his less-than-ascetic approach to life. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
During the events of Corvus Carves the River, Coyotl was the guardian of the Nest Citadel; however, he was persuaded to reenter into nomad status by the Bird Folk, and currently serves as messenger, advocate, and companion to Corvus. However, it is not uncommon to find him among the Bird Folk, whether in caravan or at the Nest Citadel.
Among the Bird Folk, Coyotl shares a special status. It’s true that the Bird Folk view Coyotl as a troublemaker, prone to tricks, jokes, and quickly-passing flights of fanciful passion, but despite his troublemaking tendencies (or perhaps because of it), they also acknowledge that Coyotl’s skill lies in smoothing things over and restoring the peace after yet another of his poorly-thought-out adventures. Still, they also recognize that when dealing with Coyotl, one doesn’t exactly come out ahead, and they view him as leveler of fields, an element of chance that belongs to no one side, and a conversation starter. As a being who epitomizes the Chaos he is in charge of, Coyotl is both a mediator and an unknown element.
Coyotl is the counterpart to Corvus, though the exact nature of their relationship is unclear: Corvus and Coyotl may be lovers, partners, or perhaps even related in some way. They are cooperatively known as the Dual Faces.
In depictions, Coyotl is understood to regard the viewer with amusement, passing rumor and confusion. He is sometimes called The Distracted Face.
Images of Coyotl (in his Skinwalker / Walking Folk form) are identified by these key features:
Images of Coyotl (in his Formwalker / Dog Walker form) are identified by these key features:
In formal depictions, it’s only considered polite to include all faces of a Formwalker, though honestly there are a number of oft-used shorthand symbols most bird folk recognize as alluding to Coyotl. The image of Coyotl is associated with (and can be identified in shorthand by) the following symbolism:
There are several secondary associations that are commonly known to fall under the domain of Coyotl:
Coyotl can be found depicted in the following Outbound Artifacts: