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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  01:30:55  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
'Rapey' Aztecs. Yes, its all true about old world religions. Half the Greek myths are about one god or another forcing themselves on someone. However, in our current political climate, its best to avoid unnecessary polarizing lore like that. That being said, its old canon that Qotal raped his sister Kiltzi, so we can let that stand. It was really the bunny stuff II was concerned about, because that would be adding something new. However, if we just used the '400 rabbits' by themselves - say, have them as a clan of heavy-drinking bunnyfolk - that could be interesting. It would be too easy to make it silly, though, so maybe not.

Orcs. Orcs orcs orcs. Everywhere I look these days. Ya know, I LOVE me some orcs, but like chocolate cake, too much of a good thing...

Its getting hard to separate the homebrew from the canon at this point (and I am blaming myself for that - when I first came here they had very strict rules about discussing non-canon material). Since I am fairly certain we have next to nothing about Lopango, I am going to go ahead and assume just about everything you typed about it Sleyvas came from Seethyr's homebrewed, DMsGuild stuff. I am also going to assume his inclusion of the orcs (that aren't from the existing group of Maztican Orcs) are his way of giving a nod to the Nyambe material, which at one time was the accepted 'standard' for Katashaka (before it ever got named that). The Nyambe material had some very dark, demon-worshiping Orcs. Thats all fine, and I will work-around it. I have 30K+ years to fiddle with a basically empty timeline. Plenty of time for the 'Rise and Fall of the Kosan Empire '.

I'm going through the Nyanme source again. I had dismissed it as 'unexciting', but there are few good things we can pilfer. The monsters/races are all good, like the Agogwe (like a hairy, primitve halfling).

quote:
From the Nyambe source book
The full name of our continent is Nyambe-tanda. The name comes from Kordo (KORdoh), the common tongue of the land, and roughly translates to “Land of the Overpower.” According to Nyamban beliefs, the creator of the world, known as Nyambe or “the Overpower,” once lived amongst the mortal races, and so the land bears the Overpower’s name.


Now, I know thats not FR canon, and its not even D&D canon (its 3rd party from the 3e), but one of my theories is that Ubtao is really Ao, because a LOT points to that. The Overpower... and his shadow. I feel like there is something there... something that connects to the War of Light & darkness that I am just not quite putting my finger on. And the Draconic Creation Myths. Anyhow, I loved the way the Nyambe stuff mentions the Overpower, and how we have lore that Ubtao/Qutol/Olurobo was heavily involved with Katashaka - there is definitely some parallels. The 'he' and 'she' thing doesn't matter - we have lore about other Primordials (Gods) having both male and female aspects, and an overpower is supposedly something a tier higher than that. Ecatzin is obviously an aspect of Jazirian (probably Quetzalcoatl), who is probably also Qotal. Other canon names for Quetzalcoatl are Kukulcan and Ehecatl, so have fun with that. Jazirian is most certainly a 'Primal Power' - probably one of the oldest and most powerful in the multiverse (either a Supernal, or just one step below a Supernal). In that case, an 'aspect' really is just another God (a separate entity), because just about all (Elder) Gods are aspects of the Supernals. thus, if an aspect of Jazirian was serving Ao/Ubtao (an Overpower), I find that pretty damn interesting (further supporting my belief that Ao is an Eternal - he is a being that stands outside the hierarchy). And there I go again, try to fit all the cosmologies together...

But either way, we know at least one being called an 'Overpower' was involved with these continents*, and thats what the Nyambe material is all based around - NEAT.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Jan 2018 01:34:10
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  02:27:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nyambe book, page 18
quote:
The Kosa Time
Freed from physical labor through their use of slaves, the orcs of the Kosa Empire turned their attentions to magical pursuits.
The Kosa Empire reached heights unknown even amongst the civilizations of today. They learned to unite their love of violence with their lust for magic, and created the first enchanted weapons. They developed the first written language so they could record their spells upon scrolls and within books of arcane lore. They trapped the power of magic within rings of gold, rods of iron, and staves of wood. The kosan orcs expanded their empire over the entire continent, and even began expanding their dominion across the oceans.

These Orcs were full orcs, apparently. Current group (in Nyambe) are only half-orcs. Presumably, all the original Kosan orcs are dead now. However, we can clearly see by that quote that (if we are using Nyambe, as I think Seethyr may have), the Kosan Orcs could have easily taken over Lopango for a time. These Orcs were fairly sophisticated - the only group to achieve iron-working in Nyambe (still not sure how all of this is going to shake-out for my version of Katashaka), so they would have been very much like the Sharakim from Races of Destiny. In fact, i love those guys so much, I'm changing my mind about Orcs (too bad they'll all be dead though... maybe). Even the name sounds perfect!

I probably have all the lore I need for a really amazing setting. Now comes the hard part - writing a timeline and blending it all together itno something cohesive. There's definitely going to be two periods of giants - one with a fairly organized 'empire' (really, a republic), and then one after te emire collapses, with a 'warring kingdoms' period. One of the two major players in that will be the Cyclopses, and it will come down to them and one other group that took out all the rest (basicaly, destroying their own civilization in the process). Not sure who else to use - the Feywild sources used Fomorians a lot. So did Birthright. Otherwise, I'd consider them. I still might - I'd like it to be two groups that weren'y any of the main ones (because they were treated like second-class citizens, they were the most aggressive when the empire fell, destroying the oter kingdoms mostly out of revenge).

But I am going to start my history with the Creatori, because I need to bring-in scalyfolk and amphibians later. And birdfolk. Lots of Birdfolk. Every different kind (Katashaka was primarilly an Aeriee region). We also had two different kinds of dactyl-people in FR, and I want to use at least one of them. There was the pterramen, and something else (also starting with a 'P', because the two pages were back-to-back when I had my old 2e Monstrous Compendiums still). IIRC, one was smaller than the other, and only one was winged (probably the small ones, but not sure). I need to do a 'War on Pterra'.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Jan 2018 02:30:09
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Jürgen Hubert
Seeker

Germany
31 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  05:57:10  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
Now, I know thats not FR canon, and its not even D&D canon (its 3rd party from the 3e), but one of my theories is that Ubtao is really Ao, because a LOT points to that.


Personally, I identify Ao with Kukul. Yes, so Kukul supposedly died. But if you study Aztec mythology, you realize that this should be even less of an impediment to a deity than death is to high-level D&D adventurers. Starting with the story of the Fifth Sun where all the gods sacrificed themselves to the Wind God Ehecatl so that the latter could move the Sun across the sky (instead of having it hovering stationary and burning everything).

As a side note, traditional "European" fantasy settings - including the Forgotten Realms - often have some thematic conflict with resurrection magics since death was viewed as a one-way trip in European Christian thought (barring some of the greatest miracles). Mesoamerican-derived settings should be much more relaxed about this - yes, the power to raise the dead is rare and awesome, but everyone recognizes it as a thing that happens.

A German Geek - my gaming blog
Returned Maztica Discussion Thread - my interpretation of the True World
Doomed Slayers - my social analysis of adventurers. Also, a fantasy setting!
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Jürgen Hubert
Seeker

Germany
31 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  05:58:03  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
Now, I know thats not FR canon, and its not even D&D canon (its 3rd party from the 3e), but one of my theories is that Ubtao is really Ao, because a LOT points to that.


Personally, I identify Ao with Kukul. Yes, so Kukul supposedly died. But if you study Aztec mythology, you realize that this should be even less of an impediment to a deity than death is to high-level D&D adventurers. Starting with the story of the Fifth Sun where all the gods sacrificed themselves to the Wind God Ehecatl so that the latter could move the Sun across the sky (instead of having it hovering stationary and burning everything).

As a side note, traditional "European" fantasy settings - including the Forgotten Realms - often have some thematic conflict with resurrection magics since death was viewed as a one-way trip in European Christian thought (barring some of the greatest miracles). Mesoamerican-derived settings should be much more relaxed about this - yes, the power to raise the dead is rare and awesome, but everyone recognizes it as a thing that happens.

A German Geek - my gaming blog
Returned Maztica Discussion Thread - my interpretation of the True World
Doomed Slayers - my social analysis of adventurers. Also, a fantasy setting!
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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 27 Jan 2018 :  15:27:41  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kind of off topic but I wanted to give an update on what projects are currently in development. There have been some changes from my last post on this, and I’ll also give tentative plans as to what each project will include.

TWC7 Monsters of the True World III

This project had been almost complete for a while, but I’ve been waiting for my artist to catch up. It’s been difficult. The monsters include new creatures from Aztec lore like the Xiuhcoatl and others that have never been seen anywhere before. This book literally has no updated creatures - all will be new. It’s completion date fully depends on the artist.

TWR3 The Door of Stars

This is the third adventure in an adventure path that may or may not lead to the resurrection of the goddess Maztica (depending on the player’s actions of course). It will update “ Mictlatepec and Mictlaneca” from the Maztica Boxed set (including a 3D version of Douglas Niles’ original map), a connection to the “Mechica” adventure from Dragon Magazine #70 from way back in the ‘80s, and an expansion on lore about Huacli barely touched upon in the Boxed Set. I have noticed a lot of really great new Mesoamerican themed material lately and my real objective with this project is to make each of them accessible (such as Ixalan and the updated Hidden Shrine Adventure). This might be done by the summer with luck.

TWR4 Zatal - The Mountain of Fire

This will be the culmination of the TWR series. As a combined sourcebook and adventure it will give an Undermountain-esque treatment of Mount Zatal, but also contain the adventure which leads into the Maztican cosmology where Maztica’s tonalli (spirit) can be found.

Those are the major ones but recently I’ve been very excited about smaller, article sized projects that don’t take quite as long, aren’t as time consuming, and add a lot of local flavor to the setting. One of those might be the half-undead tlalocoatl I’ve been working on, but there are others in mind.

Anyway, I know this sounds overly ambitious but I think it’s doable. The help I receive here and on the Piazza is priceless to me.


All "Maztica Alive" products can be found below, linked to the campaign guide.

TWC1 The Maztica Campaign Guide

Newest Addition: TWR1 The Sea Demon's Pearl

Also, please come join us on the Maztica Alive Yahoo Group:
Join Us
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  04:16:19  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I'm pretty stoked about getting Katshaka to align with your version of Maztica. Just let me know what you want done with the map, eventually.

Just one question - the Orcs you have invading Lopango (I have to buy that product) - is that stuff you adapted from Nyambe?

Someone asked me about doing a conjoined map of all the eastern continents. Unfortunately, I didn't get to that today because I started a 'for money' job. Lots of craziness going on right now. I so want to get back to writing stuff - its been so long. There was a time I started mapping to help my writing, and now its just taken over. Anyhow, maybe I can throw something together tomorrow. I doubt it will be done that quickly, although, because I want to pick through Ed's Island Lore' to get it all right.

Update:
I wanted to include those two 'Giant Vole' characters from the Ring of Winter novel. Not so much those two themselves, but rather, a backstory of where they came from (since obviously, they sure as heck didn't come from Chult). I'm assuming there is a portal going from Chult to Kata and vice-versa.

Except now, I want them to have Ugandan accents (appropriate for a neo-African setting, right?). You see, the Vole people make excellent GUIDES. They hangout in Stormwrath and other settlements and say, "You do not know the way. I will show you the way". I love when the stars align and a popular meme shoe-horns perfectly into something I'm working on.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jan 2018 04:23:23
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7126 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  12:49:52  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

So, in the above I was trying to picture what kind of creatures to have as mortal avatars for the Maztican gods, but down in Katashaka as Nyama-Nummo. The one that kept stumping me was Tezca. The first thought was that since he was a fire god, make it a dragon... but I don't want to do that. So, then I was linking "lion with a fiery mane", but it seems "noble" plus that's a description of Nobanion (which btw, he'll have a nyama-nummo as well). So, I settled on a dimetrodon with a "flaming fin" as a back sail. However, it just hit me that a "dire" version of Pyrohydra would seem to fit better. Is there anything else that might fit even better?



It would require some creature creation of your own, but have you considered a xiuhcouatl? In Aztec myth, there is a flaming sword/serpent that goes by this name. In my next monster manual, I’ll have a normal sized one, but I think a much larger version could make an interesting Nyamma Nummo.



Hmmmm, thank you... yeah, this I could work with. So, a feather covered snake (thinking red and yellow feathers) with maybe a nimbus of flame and obsidian spines and maybe an obsidian spined tail

resembling this
https://kyoht.deviantart.com/art/Xiuhcoatl-496737304

speaking of which, this guy has some beautiful art that totally fits the region. Look at this serpent man, very Maztican.

https://kyoht.deviantart.com/art/Vision-Serpent-495763083

wow, I love this thunderbird too

https://kyoht.deviantart.com/art/Thunderbird-528283402

and this cat person

https://kyoht.deviantart.com/art/Cait-Sidhe-533194386

and a non-drow drider that I like
https://kyoht.deviantart.com/art/Ai-Apaec-488749139



Oooh that is some very inspirational artwork. Gave a few ideas for new creatures too, thank you!

How about this one...

https://feintbellt.deviantart.com/art/Urit-the-Flame-Serpent-logo-395005620



Glad to help, since I never would have found it without you giving me the name to search on.

I like the idea of the mane of fire on that imagery. Instead of the obsidian shards on the back, that would probably work better. Oh, and while I really like that image I showed of the feathered serpent, I'd probably make the nose just have a large end and some large "rhino-like" horns rather than that weird thing (which probably matches up to real world imagery, but doesn't necessarily serve my purpose). Then, rather than giving the creature "poison" as its venom, maybe it literally fills someone with some kind of combustive secretion that sets their innards aflame.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7126 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  13:06:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

'Rapey' Aztecs. Yes, its all true about old world religions. Half the Greek myths are about one god or another forcing themselves on someone. However, in our current political climate, its best to avoid unnecessary polarizing lore like that. That being said, its old canon that Qotal raped his sister Kiltzi, so we can let that stand. It was really the bunny stuff II was concerned about, because that would be adding something new. However, if we just used the '400 rabbits' by themselves - say, have them as a clan of heavy-drinking bunnyfolk - that could be interesting. It would be too easy to make it silly, though, so maybe not.

Orcs. Orcs orcs orcs. Everywhere I look these days. Ya know, I LOVE me some orcs, but like chocolate cake, too much of a good thing...

Its getting hard to separate the homebrew from the canon at this point (and I am blaming myself for that - when I first came here they had very strict rules about discussing non-canon material). Since I am fairly certain we have next to nothing about Lopango, I am going to go ahead and assume just about everything you typed about it Sleyvas came from Seethyr's homebrewed, DMsGuild stuff. I am also going to assume his inclusion of the orcs (that aren't from the existing group of Maztican Orcs) are his way of giving a nod to the Nyambe material, which at one time was the accepted 'standard' for Katashaka (before it ever got named that). The Nyambe material had some very dark, demon-worshiping Orcs. Thats all fine, and I will work-around it. I have 30K+ years to fiddle with a basically empty timeline. Plenty of time for the 'Rise and Fall of the Kosan Empire '.

I'm going through the Nyanme source again. I had dismissed it as 'unexciting', but there are few good things we can pilfer. The monsters/races are all good, like the Agogwe (like a hairy, primitve halfling).

quote:
From the Nyambe source book
The full name of our continent is Nyambe-tanda. The name comes from Kordo (KORdoh), the common tongue of the land, and roughly translates to “Land of the Overpower.” According to Nyamban beliefs, the creator of the world, known as Nyambe or “the Overpower,” once lived amongst the mortal races, and so the land bears the Overpower’s name.


Now, I know thats not FR canon, and its not even D&D canon (its 3rd party from the 3e), but one of my theories is that Ubtao is really Ao, because a LOT points to that. The Overpower... and his shadow. I feel like there is something there... something that connects to the War of Light & darkness that I am just not quite putting my finger on. And the Draconic Creation Myths. Anyhow, I loved the way the Nyambe stuff mentions the Overpower, and how we have lore that Ubtao/Qutol/Olurobo was heavily involved with Katashaka - there is definitely some parallels. The 'he' and 'she' thing doesn't matter - we have lore about other Primordials (Gods) having both male and female aspects, and an overpower is supposedly something a tier higher than that. Ecatzin is obviously an aspect of Jazirian (probably Quetzalcoatl), who is probably also Qotal. Other canon names for Quetzalcoatl are Kukulcan and Ehecatl, so have fun with that. Jazirian is most certainly a 'Primal Power' - probably one of the oldest and most powerful in the multiverse (either a Supernal, or just one step below a Supernal). In that case, an 'aspect' really is just another God (a separate entity), because just about all (Elder) Gods are aspects of the Supernals. thus, if an aspect of Jazirian was serving Ao/Ubtao (an Overpower), I find that pretty damn interesting (further supporting my belief that Ao is an Eternal - he is a being that stands outside the hierarchy). And there I go again, try to fit all the cosmologies together...

But either way, we know at least one being called an 'Overpower' was involved with these continents*, and thats what the Nyambe material is all based around - NEAT.



Careful with equating Ubtao/Qotal with Olorubo. Its specifically said that the Katashakans worshipped Olorubo and his children, the nyama-nummo, but that they were not worshipping Ubtao, the feathered serpent.

I understand the temptation to combine Ao and Ubtao. Unless you develop a very strong theory, I'd say shy away from that like its the plague. If anything, you might equate Olorubo to Kukul (the father of Ubtao/husband of Maztica) and VirachoaMama Carocha(from Seethyr's stuff) and possibly to AnnamOthea (recommend against). You might also equate Olorubo to Orobouros (and thus Kukul becomes Ourobouros), and thus have a link to the Coatls and dinosaurs that Qotal is famous for. In fact, this gives the whole family a link to reptiles, but I'd have it that the male side favors dad and the female side favors mom (Kiltzi as a snake goddess doesn't fit, Nula is more mammal as she poses as a monkey, Watil is plants, Eha is the wind).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7126 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  13:26:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Nyambe book, page 18
quote:
The Kosa Time
Freed from physical labor through their use of slaves, the orcs of the Kosa Empire turned their attentions to magical pursuits.
The Kosa Empire reached heights unknown even amongst the civilizations of today. They learned to unite their love of violence with their lust for magic, and created the first enchanted weapons. They developed the first written language so they could record their spells upon scrolls and within books of arcane lore. They trapped the power of magic within rings of gold, rods of iron, and staves of wood. The kosan orcs expanded their empire over the entire continent, and even began expanding their dominion across the oceans.

These Orcs were full orcs, apparently. Current group (in Nyambe) are only half-orcs. Presumably, all the original Kosan orcs are dead now. However, we can clearly see by that quote that (if we are using Nyambe, as I think Seethyr may have), the Kosan Orcs could have easily taken over Lopango for a time. These Orcs were fairly sophisticated - the only group to achieve iron-working in Nyambe (still not sure how all of this is going to shake-out for my version of Katashaka), so they would have been very much like the Sharakim from Races of Destiny. In fact, i love those guys so much, I'm changing my mind about Orcs (too bad they'll all be dead though... maybe). Even the name sounds perfect!

I probably have all the lore I need for a really amazing setting. Now comes the hard part - writing a timeline and blending it all together itno something cohesive. There's definitely going to be two periods of giants - one with a fairly organized 'empire' (really, a republic), and then one after te emire collapses, with a 'warring kingdoms' period. One of the two major players in that will be the Cyclopses, and it will come down to them and one other group that took out all the rest (basicaly, destroying their own civilization in the process). Not sure who else to use - the Feywild sources used Fomorians a lot. So did Birthright. Otherwise, I'd consider them. I still might - I'd like it to be two groups that weren'y any of the main ones (because they were treated like second-class citizens, they were the most aggressive when the empire fell, destroying the oter kingdoms mostly out of revenge).

But I am going to start my history with the Creatori, because I need to bring-in scalyfolk and amphibians later. And birdfolk. Lots of Birdfolk. Every different kind (Katashaka was primarilly an Aeriee region). We also had two different kinds of dactyl-people in FR, and I want to use at least one of them. There was the pterramen, and something else (also starting with a 'P', because the two pages were back-to-back when I had my old 2e Monstrous Compendiums still). IIRC, one was smaller than the other, and only one was winged (probably the small ones, but not sure). I need to do a 'War on Pterra'.



Not against the birdfolk there, because I'm obviously doing it, but according to the map in GHotR, the Aearee lands were much further north and detached. It would be more like Anchorome and that island west of Anchorome that would be the "original" bird lands. That being said, I'm favored of these different types of beings showing up all over the place (i.e. the gods may have opened portals all over the world to various different worlds).... and obviously given dozens of millennia anything can happen.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7126 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  13:31:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jürgen Hubert

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
Now, I know thats not FR canon, and its not even D&D canon (its 3rd party from the 3e), but one of my theories is that Ubtao is really Ao, because a LOT points to that.


Personally, I identify Ao with Kukul. Yes, so Kukul supposedly died. But if you study Aztec mythology, you realize that this should be even less of an impediment to a deity than death is to high-level D&D adventurers. Starting with the story of the Fifth Sun where all the gods sacrificed themselves to the Wind God Ehecatl so that the latter could move the Sun across the sky (instead of having it hovering stationary and burning everything).

As a side note, traditional "European" fantasy settings - including the Forgotten Realms - often have some thematic conflict with resurrection magics since death was viewed as a one-way trip in European Christian thought (barring some of the greatest miracles). Mesoamerican-derived settings should be much more relaxed about this - yes, the power to raise the dead is rare and awesome, but everyone recognizes it as a thing that happens.



Agreed, and its not necessarily that Kukul "died" but rather "disappeared"/"left". Which if Kukul IS Ao, would make since, much like Ao disappeared out of mortal lives after the ToT. If anything, I'd say that maybe the sons of Kukul all have another name that includes ao (Tezcao, Zaoltec, Plutaoq, Ubtao).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7126 Posts

Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  13:34:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Kind of off topic but I wanted to give an update on what projects are currently in development. There have been some changes from my last post on this, and I’ll also give tentative plans as to what each project will include.

TWC7 Monsters of the True World III

This project had been almost complete for a while, but I’ve been waiting for my artist to catch up. It’s been difficult. The monsters include new creatures from Aztec lore like the Xiuhcoatl and others that have never been seen anywhere before. This book literally has no updated creatures - all will be new. It’s completion date fully depends on the artist.

TWR3 The Door of Stars

This is the third adventure in an adventure path that may or may not lead to the resurrection of the goddess Maztica (depending on the player’s actions of course). It will update “ Mictlatepec and Mictlaneca” from the Maztica Boxed set (including a 3D version of Douglas Niles’ original map), a connection to the “Mechica” adventure from Dragon Magazine #70 from way back in the ‘80s, and an expansion on lore about Huacli barely touched upon in the Boxed Set. I have noticed a lot of really great new Mesoamerican themed material lately and my real objective with this project is to make each of them accessible (such as Ixalan and the updated Hidden Shrine Adventure). This might be done by the summer with luck.

TWR4 Zatal - The Mountain of Fire

This will be the culmination of the TWR series. As a combined sourcebook and adventure it will give an Undermountain-esque treatment of Mount Zatal, but also contain the adventure which leads into the Maztican cosmology where Maztica’s tonalli (spirit) can be found.

Those are the major ones but recently I’ve been very excited about smaller, article sized projects that don’t take quite as long, aren’t as time consuming, and add a lot of local flavor to the setting. One of those might be the half-undead tlalocoatl I’ve been working on, but there are others in mind.

Anyway, I know this sounds overly ambitious but I think it’s doable. The help I receive here and on the Piazza is priceless to me.





If you're taking votes: TWC7 Monsters of the True World III

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  14:01:32  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, here was something else I had written up for Katashaka a while back. Some of it may need a little rework based on the recent concepts we've come up with the tabaxi being punished, but for the most part it works.

Katashaka

Long ago during the time between the “Days of Thunder” and the “Dawn Ages”, Katashaka held a powerful and extremely inquisitive race of humans. This race would be known to many as a creator race in later times, though knowledge of them was little and far between. They had learned of a form of magic involving strange symbology, truenames, dreams, nightmares, and use of one's own will and imagination to force changes upon the world. These humans were in fact members of the original creator races, and it is believed that it was they that created many of the strange mammalian humanoid races of Toril that still inhabit the world.
When the Sarrukh and Batrachi empires grew and began to encroach upon their lands, these humans discovered Olurobo, the lord of dreams and nightmares, and his children, the nyama-nummo, or powerful dream spirits. Using special glyphs, totems, tattoos, and masks to depict the powerful, bestial nyama-nummo, they were able to call upon the power of collective nightmares. Gozirra, the giant spineback reptile which spit lightning and roared thunder; Tarrask, the giant rending horror; Kaeng, the gargantous, bonespur covered ape; Chup'po'clops, the great spirit spider; Gabara, the giant fire-breathing snapping turtle; Groedan, the giant pterasaur with the resounding shriek; Ghidoera, the many headed dragon-like beast; Kwaa'tal, the great feathered serpent; E'bearah, Vaerin, Mandaa, Kamaecuras, Baeragon, Gorasaur, Kumonji, Moegarra, Moettrah, Titanasaur, Khedorah, Norgraa, Ang'guer'ruu, these were all powerful creatures from the dreamtime which could be drawn forth at time of need to serve these humans. Many of these nyama-numo were also of simpler form, being spirits of the various animals in the surrounding world such as the great cats, savage canines, strong bears, inquisitive monkeys, the many horned beasts, fantastic birds, and even the strange reptiles, amphibians, and spirits of the oceans. The human dream shamans simply needed to open themselves to acting as a conduit to these powerful spirits, offering their own bodies as an anchor through which these primal entities could focus a melding of their souls. The greatest of these dream shamans could even serve as a powerful avatar allowing the huge nightmare beings to physically enter the real world, if only for a short time before the human conduit would have to rest and rebuild their bond with the realm of dreams, though they did discover that the interaction could be prolonged through blood sacrifice.
Many sought the power of the dream shamans, and they did bond themselves with various beast totems in order to obtain characteristics of said creatures. Over time, these characteristics began to breed true within the human tribes, such that after several generations what was once a human tribe would no longer be seen as part of the human race. Humans began to disappear, replaced by the monstrous creations that they had made of themselves in an attempt to perfect themselves. It is whispered even that these savage folk turned upon many of the remaining purebred humans when the humans began sacrificing them in order to appease the nyama-nummo. The nation of Mhairshalk, former powerhouse of the Sarrukh, had fallen, but its successors would prove no less of a thorn in the side of inhabitants of Katashaka. Eventually, the Batrachi Empire, Annam's brood, and even the feathered serpents of the Aearee intruded upon the disparate peoples of Katashaka. But then the batrachi did release upon the world many powerful entities, and the powerful dream shaman rulers of the humans did bind themselves with great beings from the dreamtime in order to protect their people. The battles that occurred are not well documented, but the destruction was believed to be vast and world threatening. Eventually, Asgoroth the World Shaper did breath its breath upon a celestial entity, causing it to burst and its blood drenched shards to fall unto the world. Shortly after this occurred, the majority of the humans of Katashaka simply were gone.
When the majority of human population disappeared, each of the fractious groups of Katashaka further separated themselves, eventually forming the melting pot of beast-like humanoids which would eventually become modern Katashaka. For millenia, the Tabaxi, a small remnant of this human population still thrived in the dark jungles, still serving “the sleeper”, a powerful dream shaman who had attained immortality through the sacrifice of his mortal servants. But, even these humans had been led away over four millenia ago by the servants of Ubtao. Still, it is whispered that deep in the jungles, some remnant of those ancient, nigh immortal humans still lies sleeping away the millenia, ready to draw upon the power of gigantic nightmares, the nyama-nummo, to defend their ancient homeland.
Into this world which has been lacking human involvement for millenia, a motley collection of human immigrants have come. Unlike their Lopangan forebears, these Mulan and Metahel immigrants seek to keep their races more pure. In the northwestern Pridelands of Katashaka, they brought progress in the form of knowledge, for many of the bestial tribes had sunk to their baser natures as hunters and gatherers. The humans brought prosperity in the form of agriculture and protection for the weaker races from those who simply viewed them as something to kill and eat. They brought freedom in the form of establishing safe gathering places wherein these races that were once deep in conflict could interact without fear of reprisal. In the northeastern tharch of New Eltabbar, on the other hand, they have introduced an insular society surrounded by enemies whose overwhelming hatred of one another is one of the main reasons that they have not united to destroy the debauched, nacissistic humans.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  18:15:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Man, this is all reminding me more and more of my 'discussions' (heated debates?) with Lord Karsus so long ago on the WotC boards. Another clear case of two (or more) people reading the exact same passages in a book and interpreting them differently.

When I read that vingette about Olorubo in the GHotR, I don't see it as saying it and Ubtao were two different beings, I read it as they called it one thing, and later they called it something else. That happens a LOT in ancient religions in the RW. Ao as Ubtao makes sense only in as much that Ubtao seems to have also had some sort of 'power over' the other gods/primordials'. His backstory made him a bit too important for him to just be something normal, like a god. However, it could be possible that he was meant to be a primordial all along - even though we only found out about them in 4e, everything points to them having always been there (we, the fans, just didn't know about them - they were part of the 'deep lore' of the setting that only Ed and insiders knew about). So my thoughts here are that Ubtao was described in the best way they could, without letting the cat out of the bag about FR basically being a prison for all those things (and then the prison got split - maximum security and 'county jail'). 4e/5e even goes on to say that Ubtao was the 'great betrayer' - I am sure that's actually old lore that we've finally been made privy to. So I guess its not so much that Ao= Ubtao, but rather, Ubtao was something else - something other than a god - and that's where I was conflating the two.

Ubtao is directly connected to dinosaurs. So is Olorubo. Ubtao had Ecatzin for an exarch - that is probably the 'feathered serpent'. Ubtao was never a feathered serpent. If anything, I would say that Olorubo might be the feathered serpent - that's just the name she was known by in Katshaka. So perhaps she wasn't so much a 'servant' (minion, exarch) of Ubtao, but a partner - the father and mother of dinosaurs (since those titles are used for the two of them). Personally I find it easier just saying they are the same being, but it you want to keep her separate, just make her the underling (so Ecatzin is just the Chultan name for Olorubo). And if we look at it in terms of 4e lore, and Ubtao as 'the betrayer', than Ecatzin and Olorubo (connected or separate) are both just beings that followed Ubtao when he switched sides during the Godswar.

Now, as for kukul - instead of just saying, "Yes, he died in canon but so what?" (which confuses me no end), why not look for someone who did die, rather than turn a dead guy into the Overpower? We know very early on, in our FR (not Core) mythos, there was somehting that 'died' - something the Earthmother (and Maztica is an aspect of the Earthmother, same as Chauntea) loved very much. The first sun. Kukul was the first sun that was murdered by Shar.

And Shar is 'shadow', so perhaps the shadow of something doesn't have to be the same sex as the thing casting the shadow? I've tried making that connection before, but Shar is also part of Selûne, so that really makes no sense (unless there are still other major pieces of the puzzle we are missing). We could always say that Selûne's 'sister' is really just her shadow - that could work. Doesn't really help us here, though - it just gives us two separate primordial (and hugely important to the setting) beings that had shadows that ran amok. Now, that's either unnecessary redundancy... or that's what Ed had intended all along. The shadow of an uber-powerful being becomes a 'dark' version of the being itself. Only the Sun would cast no shadow. What if ALL the primordials are just the shadows of Estelar? Then again, that would probably mess up more than it fixes.

And now I didn't get to address everything I wanted to, because we started talking about gods again. I'm starting to really hate gods - we keep tripping over them.

EDIT:
Just read the vingette for like the 5th time, and I am still seeing the same thing. Olorubo is the name Ubtao is known under in Katashaka, and his children are the nyama-nummo - 'great beasts', or dinosaurs. The Terrasque (the sleeper) is simply the greatest of their kind (or so the primitive natives think). Ecatzin - the feathered serpent - shows up and starts preaching 'the Word of Ubtao', and that's when the Tabaxi learn the name 'Ubtao'. Being a primordial, its fairly obvious that Ubtao has problems interacting directly with mortals, hence his use of Exarchs. Brian James didn't create new beings, he just gave them Katashakan names. Thats all I am getting out of that. Even the nyama-nummo were supposed to be plain old dinosaurs, nothing special (except for 'the Sleeper'). FR does NOT have two different 'father of dinosaurs'. That just makes no sense, IMO.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jan 2018 22:13:39
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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  20:54:07  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, there is no way both the Island and Katashaka shared a name, or that they were the same landmass. There's a canon map on pg.6 of the GHotR that shows that the island I've been calling 'Tabaxiland' (for lack of a better name) was actually close to Zakhara way back when, and has been 'drifting' westward, leaving that trail of islands behind it.

Primordial Katashaka:
The reason why I went with Aearee in Katahsaka is because we are always seeing Sarrukh and Batrachi stuff in FR, and I wanted things to be different. The whole basis for everything I do these days - be they maps. lore, whatever - is to create things people will USE, not stuff that's already been done before elsewhere. We have to stop thinking of the planet as the FR we used to know and love and realize thats its a GAME SETTING. The reason why so much of FR was left unused in past editions because there was nothing you couldn't do in those places you couldn't already do in The Heartlands. The DoD AP... how many people actually used it? It gets more use as a sourcebook for our mental exercises than it ever got as an actual module. If they had stuck in Anauroch, I guarantee tons more people would have used it. They just would have had to rewrite more of it, and I guess they concentrated so hard on keeping it faithful to the original material, they turned it into a near-useless product (and PLEASE, let that be a lesson to ALL designers). Hell, it would have been a near-perfect fit in Calimshan - I can't for the life of me figure out why it wasn't put there (not that much people go to Calimshan, either). This is why I applaud their current efforts to get people to go to - and play in - the Chultan Peninsula; 'jungle' was the one flavor we couldn't get in the Heartlands.

So moving on from my mini-rant - I decided I want to focus on the Aearee because they don't get much love. Bu when I really think about t, neither do the Batrachi - I was just thinking they do because we like to put them in a lot f our fan discussions. But in canon, there's actually very little. So thank you for forcing me to reaccess that. Now, I think the Sarrukh are perfect for the middle regions - Maztica (and Lopango). I already equate the Maz pantheon with the draconic (who are really a subset of the scaly), so that's all good. Plus, serpentfolk in a rainforest just works so well. Fey I am only going to mention because I am on the subject of Creatori - they have the Feywild now. We don't need to place them anywhere because they have their own thing going on, and it touches upon every region. And the Aearee... we do have some stuff saying they were concentrated in the northern continent (which should NOT be Anchoromé, but sadly, IS), so I do have to keep that in mind. tha leaves the Batrachi (and humans... but who cares about them, right?

I don't love the Batrachi for katashaka - I WANT bird-people. However, 35K+ years later, none of that really matters. The Aearee seem to be the only Creators (other than humans) who did fairly well immediately following the Sundering. Their ability to move their communities whole-cloth probably saved them (the others, not being so 'mobile', were all but wiped-out by the climactic changes). I mean, they died eventually anyway (or did they? They probably just evolved into Aarakocra), but they did have a bit of an upsurge for a time, probably due to a lack of any real competition for a short while (until the Dragons and Giants rose to power). Thus, I can have them 'move in' in a thousand-year slice of the timeline, and then they 'fall' as well. That suits my purposes. But I am still left with the batrachi, and all that... entails...

So what if we swapped the Sarrukh and Batrachi? Do something like this - Aearee on top (Anchoromé), Batrachi in the middle (Maztica), and Sarrukh to the south, in Katashaka? Lopango could have been 'contested'. As much as the region lends itself to a 'scaly past', its pantheon and mythos are pretty bizarro compared to others. Downright insane, in fact (kill millions of your own citizens?). Sounds kind of Lovecraftian to me. having some sort of ancient, buried, primordial secrets wold also fit the region nicely. I just took a look at The Gates of Firestorm Peak, and although Bruce Cordell would probably prefer it be placed somewhere near Durpar (probably on its border with Luiren, in the Beastlands), there's no reason it couldn't fit in Maztica/Lopango. Then we just swap the 'Elder Elves' for Batrachi (or say those elves found a Batrachi Gate - the World Gate - and got it working, but then we have an unnecessary layer of elves). As for the 'village' of Longbridge; he left it completely undetailed. At first, I thought we'd have to make the inhabitants Maz halflings, but NOPE - even though he calls-out that the place is in the 'Shirelands', it makes no mention of halflings. Thus, the inhabitants of 'Longbridge' (that may be the FR translation of the Maztican name) are humans, and could be natives - it would make no difference at all. He literally dedicates a single page to the entire village, and most of that is just to railr... errr... steer the PCs toward the dungeon. It might be worth looking into a 'fiery mountain' would fit nicely in Maztica, and the bizarre nature of the creatures created therein fits the rest of the settings oddness. C'mon... can't you just picture Cenote with tentacles coming out a grabbing folk?

So now I am picturing the Sarrukh - who I was at first loathe to use now being the dominant force in Katashaka. But at the same time, I am picturing quite a bit of connections to the Batrachi and Aearee, and the way I am spinning the Giant-lore, the whole place is one massive gate to Feywild. No wonder I was avoiding using humans...Katashaka may have been the primordial melting-pot. BUT, even if you guys don't care for using the Batrachi in Maztica, its all good. I'm actually leaning more towards it being a contested area at this point.

Crap - just took another look at that Days of Thunder map in the GHotR - it clearly shows that human tribes inhabited Katashaka. It also shows the Aearee were most prevalent in Maztica! (because that island there became those things as the other, upper land mass swung west). Now that's a kick in the head! There should be Aearee ruins in Maz and Lopango, unless they all moved elsewhere following the Sundering. Ya know, I should have paid much more attention to that map - there are a LOT of very large lakes missing from that, including the one in Halruaa. That would indicate to me that whatever happened to Abeir-Toril in regards to the primordials being imprisoned, it could not have been connected to the Dawn War, which would have made the most sense. The 'imprisonment' (all those primordials - or their dead bodies - smacking into the planet) would have probably been the precursor to the Sundering, so immediately following the Godswar. So now I'm thinking those can't really all be primordials... at least not on Toril. Those have to have been Gods. ELDER Gods. Because the primordials had already been defeated for quite some time.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  21:03:32  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just reread my very first sentence (going back to edit), and have come to an important decision.

Katashaka is the island. it has to be. I need to name the larger landmass something else. I am going to say thats where the ancient Rakshasa Lords had their laboratories, and experimented on various groups. they kidnapped Tabaxi from *Nyambe* (Placeholder) and altered them on the Island of Katashaka.

I could go with Alkebu-lan for that continent, but that might annoy people. Then again, I've been getting away with calling that subcontinent below kata-Shaka Zambu-Dweepam for years (both are RW, indigenous names). Kalkebuna? Taking the RW name and adding bits of 'Katashaka' to the ends? I like it - what do you guys think?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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sleyvas
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  21:25:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Man, this is all reminding me more and more of my 'discussions' (heated debates?) with Lord Karsus so long ago on the WotC boards. Another clear case of two (or more) people reading the exact same passages in a book and interpreting them differently.

When I read that vingette about Olorubo in the GHotR, I don't see it as saying it and Ubtao were two different beings, I read it as they called it one thing, and later they called it something else. That happens a LOT in ancient religions in the RW. Ao as Ubtao makes sense only in as much that Ubtao seems to have also had some sort of 'power over' the other gods/primordials'. His backstory made him a bit too important for him to just be something normal, like a god. However, it could be possible that he was meant to be a primordial all along - even though we only found out about them in 4e, everything points to them having always been there (we, the fans, just didn't know about them - they were part of the 'deep lore' of the setting that only Ed and insiders knew about). So my thoughts here are that Ubtao was described in the best way they could, without letting the cat out of the bag about FR basically being a prison for all those things (and then the prison got split - maximum security and 'county jail'). 4e/5e even goes on to say that Ubtao was the 'great betrayer' - I am sure that's actually old lore that we've finally been made privy to. So I guess its not so much that Ao= Ubtao, but rather, Ubtao was something else - something other than a god - and that's where I was conflating the two.

Ubtao is directly connected to dinosaurs. So is Olorubo. Ubtao had Ecatzin for an exarch - that's probably the 'feathered serpent'. Ubtao was never a feathered serpent. If anything, I would say that Olorubo might be the feathered serpent - that's just the name she was known by in Katshaka. So perhaps she wasn't so much a 'servant' (minion, exarch) of Ubtao, but a partner - the father and mother of dinosaurs (since those titles are used for the two of them). Personally I find it easier just saying they are the same being, but it you want to keep her separate, just make her the underling (so Ecatzin is just the Chultan name for Olorubo). And if we look at it in terms of 4e lore, and Ubtao as 'the betrayer', than Ecatzin and Olorubo (connected or separate) are both just beings that followed Ubtao when he switched sides during the Godswar.

Now, as for kukul - instead of just saying, "Yes, he died in canon but so what?" (which confuses me no end), why not look for someone who did die, rather than turn a dead guy into the Overpower? We know very early on, in our FR (not Core) mythos, there was somehting that 'died' - something the Earthmother (and Maztica is an aspect of the Earthmother, same as Chauntea) loved very much. The first sun. Kukul was the first sun that was murdered by Shar.

And Shar is 'shadow', so perhaps the shadow of something doesn't have to be the same sex as the thing casting the shadow? I've tried making that connection before, but Shar is also part of Selûne, so that really makes no sense (unless there are still other major pieces of the puzzle we are missing). We could always say that Selûne's 'sister' is really just her shadow - that could work. Doesn't really help us here, though - it just gives us two separate primordial (and hugely important to the setting) beings that had shadows that ran amok. Now, that's either unnecessary redundancy... or that's what Ed had intended all along. The shadow of an uber-powerful being becomes a 'dark' version of the being itself. Only the Sun would cast no shadow. What if ALL the primordials are just the shadows of Estelar? Then again, that would probably mess up more than it fixes.

And now I didn't get to address everything I wanted to, because we started talking about gods again. I starting to really hate gods - we keep tripping over them.

EDIT:
Just read the vingette for like the 5th time, and I am still seeing the same thing. Olorubo is the name Ubtao is known under in Katashaka, and his children are the nyama-nummo - 'great beasts', or dinosaurs. The Terrasque (the sleeper) is simply the greatest of their kind (or so the primitive natives think). Ecatzin - the feathered serpent - shows up and starts preaching 'the Word of Ubtao', and that's when the Tabaxi learn the name 'Ubtao'. Being a primordial, its fairly obvious that Ubtao has problems interacting directly with mortals, hence his use of Exarchs. Brian James didn't create new beings, he just gave them Katashakan names. Thats all I am getting out of that. Even the nyama-nummo were supposed to be plain old dinosaurs, nothing special (except for 'the Sleeper'). FR does NOT have two different 'father of dinosaurs'. That just makes no sense, IMO.



Obviously, everything can be read 30 ways. For instance, in the above you are convinced that the nyama-nummo HAVE to be dinosaurs. We actually have nothing to tell us that. My personal take on them is that it includes them, and pretty much any other type of large beast. However, BRJ actually commented on the Qotal/Ubtao relationship the first time I pointed it out and said I had caught something he had hidden.

As to whether Ecatzin is a couatl (feathered serpent) or Ubtao is known as the feathered serpent... it ultimately comes down to a few things. Qotal is a god of couatl. Qotal left to go east. Ubtao is to the east and he's especially linked to bringing couatl with him. We can debate it till the cows come home, and neither side will be "correct", but the pieces do line up.

One thing you mentioned above about Maztica and Kukul's death though and the first sun. The type of weapon wielded by Zaltec to kill Maztica is something like a maztican obsidian (maka?) of darkness. Also, traditional religions that include Quetzalcoatl have him as the first sun, but then he's killed and comes back (or something like that... maybe Tezcatlipocas is the first sun and then Quetzalcoatl is the second). We actually don't know how many shadow epochs have happened before the sarrukh.

Anyway, gotta step away.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  21:38:34  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am only just now reading what you wrote above, Slevas - I like it a lot, and now that I've decided to embrace the Batrachi, it works very well. I'd have to tweak it, and lower the number of Elder Beasts*, but most of it works nicely in what I pictured Now that I know I am stuck with humans (because of the GHotR map, pg.6), this seems like a good starting point.

Too bad its canon that humans are one of the Creatori - I'd love to spin them as a halfling/giant hybrid.

*I think as a compromise, I may be willing to accept (even though I'm pretty sure it wasn't Brian's original intent) that the Nyama-Nummo might be split; 'Nummo' is their word for dinosaur, and 'Nyama' is their word for 'Elder' or 'Great', so Nyama-Nummo could be the Great (Kaiju) ones. Maybe.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Ah, here was something else I had written up for Katashaka a while back. Some of it may need a little rework based on the recent concepts we've come up with the tabaxi being punished, but for the most part it works.
Where do you get that the Tabaxi are punished?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  21:57:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

As to whether Ecatzin is a couatl (feathered serpent) or Ubtao is known as the feathered serpent... it ultimately comes down to a few things. <snip>
This is the one thing I don't think can be debated (unless you are trying to say Brian is a bad writer). from the vingette -

quote:
Not long thereafter, Ecatzin entered our lands to spread the word of Ubtao. At first, most Tabaxi shunned the feathered serpent because they feared that he was an agent of Akongo...

Why is Ubtao the feathered serpent, when he is not even THERE?

If Ubtao sent someone else, that means he didn't go himself, so why would the Tabaxi to be 'shunning' something thats not present? From the actual timeline entry -

quote:
The Eshowe, the Tabaxi, and the Thinguth tribes, as well as several others that accepted Ubtao’s message, follow the couatls in a great pilgrimage across the seas to the Jungles of Chult.
If he was present, wouldn't a better word have been 'teachings'? Because he WASN'T there - Ecatzin was - he was the messenger.

Now, I think it makes the most sense that Ecatzin is actually an avatar of Jazirian, the god of couatls. Or a child, whatever. But that IS open to interpretation so it can go either way. He is definitely acting in some sort of 'servant' capacity, so it would be odd if someone like Jazirian (who supposedly built the Great Wheel cosmology itself) would be subservient to anybody, but then again, we really don't know who or what Ubtao really is, do we?

EDIT:
Studying that map some more - 'Katashaka' (its actually just labeled 'primitive human tribes', which is telling) and Chult were the same place. Thus, a 'God' of that area may have gotten separated from his followers, post Sundering. Suppose Ubtao-Olorubo had his 'throne' in the Mhairshalk part (which later became Chult). Then later the world is Sundered, and he is separated from the rest of his 'homeland'. Years later he decides to bring some of them over to where he is now (apparently, most of the human tribes had migrated elsewhere by that point - possibly becoming the Turami), and sends his pal 'feathered snake dude' to go get them.

It was one land, therefor it makes a lot of sense that they were the same. The names just got changed over the millennia. (I am going to spin it as a Giantish name for Ubtao, who they revered like an 'Earth god', and then when they disappeared, other natives just went with it).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jan 2018 22:33:24
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Markustay
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Posted - 28 Jan 2018 :  23:00:11  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am also going to have to agree that I am assuming the nyama-nummo are just dinosaurs, but that's because that is exactly what I read it as when I first read through that vingette years ago. My mind never went anywhere else. Rather then create tons of new lore on the spot with my imagination, I simply thought Brian was talking about what they sounded like - Dinosaurs (or Behemoths, in 3e parlance.. or was that 4e parlance? These editions leave me very confused!). The only thing we know for sure about them is that the terrasque ate four of them.

But that is NOT why I posted again. I want to get back to the Firestorm Peak thing - the adventure that created the Far Realms (which became so all-pervasive years later). I see someone has already done a 5e conversion of that - I wonder where he placed it. As I said above, I think it would make a great addition to the Lopango region. Reading through it, it seems that a group of dwarves wound up finding the place and settling there, about thee hundred years ago. So, not that far-off from the Rockfire Incident, eh? And Firestorm peak has this thing going on where every time a dragon-related comet passes (seriously... the connection there is SO obvious), the top of the mountain is engulfed in flames, and things for miles around are affected. So we got this comet - the Dragon's Tear - that passes by every so often, and the sky gets 'lit up as if on fire', and things are affected for miles around, and right around the time a bunch of dwarves 'settle' (get stuck?) in the area, is when this phenomena occurs?

Could it be the passing of the comet overhead augmented the dwarves rockfire and made it go crazy? And thats why the dwarves got stuck marching to Maztica? It all works. If we say the adventure happened a hundred years ago (I suppose two hundred now... {sigh}), it all works out. Its says their Duergar, but after 4-5 centuries, the Maztican dwarves may have been Duergar all along, an we just never knew it (after all, what would the difference be?) Dwarves are dwarves.

And then there is this (since we were talking abut gods so much above) -
quote:
Local legend holds that the gates cover the eyes of the Earth Mother. It is said that even the Earth Mother sometimes shows an interest in the upper airs and can't help but uncover her eyes and look up at the magnificent Dragon's Tear, a seldom-seen gift from her consort, Father-Sky.


Interesting, no? It would be fairly easy to say the Earth Mother is Maztica. Even if we don't place Firestorm Peak in Maztica, the lore is still pretty interesting none-the-less. I just love how easy it would be to sync-up the dwarves, though. You guys are handling Maztica, so its your call - i just wanted to point it out.

Oh, and the local people have a 'Firefestival' every year. They used to have it only when the comet was passing by (I think it was for 28 days, because it power the World Gate below the mountain), but they enjoyed them so much they have them every year now. I love flavorful stuff like that.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Jan 2018 23:10:48
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Markustay
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  02:08:03  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Correction:
Still looking at that map (I wonder why I just never bothered to study it before?), and I was wrong about one thing for sure - the landmass that says 'Aearee Enclaves' is not what turned into Maztica and Lopango - that's the HUGE island further west marked 'Terra Incognita' on the FRIA map (west of Maztica, that is - other land-masses are also labeled that on that map). I just now realized that 'Chultan arm' is way too big to just be Chult - its also Maztica & Lopango). I thought at first that water levels had risen, so that's why it looked so big, but then I looked at Zakhara and realized water levels dropped (which makes more sense, when you figure the glaciers weren't there yet). There are a lot of things that you notice more when you rotate the map the right way (which I'm only doing for the first time). Like the fact there was a big lake where the glacier of the White Worm is now. I wonder what kind of cool things might be under that glacier?

So, anyway. YEAH. Aearee main lands seem to be directly west of upper Maztica (City of Gold region).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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sleyvas
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  02:24:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I just reread my very first sentence (going back to edit), and have come to an important decision.

Katashaka is the island. it has to be. I need to name the larger landmass something else. I am going to say thats where the ancient Rakshasa Lords had their laboratories, and experimented on various groups. they kidnapped Tabaxi from *Nyambe* (Placeholder) and altered them on the Island of Katashaka.

I could go with Alkebu-lan for that continent, but that might annoy people. Then again, I've been getting away with calling that subcontinent below kata-Shaka Zambu-Dweepam for years (both are RW, indigenous names). Kalkebuna? Taking the RW name and adding bits of 'Katashaka' to the ends? I like it - what do you guys think?



Hmmm, guess I need to go hunt down the original use of Katashaka.

Here's the entry in Candlekeep Compendium IV which introduces Katashaka. What about this screams this is an island that's separate from the continent where Chult is? It sounds like it even more supports the argument that its the continent that was attached to Chult, especially since they were herding the serpentfolk with thunderers and landwyrms.

However, in reading this, I can see where the confusion of Olorubo and Ubtao comes in, since its said that Ubtao is Tarrasque's father... and yet Olorubo is named as the father of all nyama-nummo... and Tarrasque is called a nyama-nummo. Personally, that's a sentence from a non-canon resource that I'm going to ignore, or say people have it wrong. In the end, it doesn't really affect the birth of tarrasque or what she does. In fact its weird as hell that the tarrasque would be born from a giant whale. Personally, I'd favor the concept that most of the Maztican pantheon has ties to sauroids/dinosaurs, aearee, and later humans.

Tarrasque -30,300 DR
Lotan’s great victory over the batrachi drew the attention of a local power named Ubtao. Ubtao courted Lotan for nearly a century. Ultimately their union produced Tarrasque.

Though capable of breathing underwater like her mother, Tarrasque preferred to explore the land of Merrourobos with her father.
The Aeraee held no sway in the southwest region of Merrouroboros. This land was still under the control of the Yuan-ti nation Mhairshaulk.

Like her mother, Tarrasque wished to conquer and rule. Assembling a great multitude of thunderers and landwyrms, Tarrasque pushed southward, driving the Yuan-Ti east and conquering everything in their path, stopping only when reaching the shores of the Great Southern Ocean. Human inhabitants named Tarrasque's realm Katashaka, the largest land empire ever known on Toril.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  02:31:37  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay



quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Ah, here was something else I had written up for Katashaka a while back. Some of it may need a little rework based on the recent concepts we've come up with the tabaxi being punished, but for the most part it works.

Where do you get that the Tabaxi are punished?



That was the recent idea (homebrew) where we were discussing that after the tabaxi left for Chult, the remainder may have been turned into sorcerous orcs and other things and these orcs may have invaded Lopango.

My thing I had written up for Katashaka way back when mostly works, except that I think I'll still have to have some human tribes remaining, but the majority simply disappeared to Abeir during the initial twinning of the world. Basically, the three tribes that migrate still have to exist. However, the majority of the place can be transformed beast humanoids.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  02:37:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and on the earthmother, Maztica, Othea, Chauntea... linkages... I believe that at one time these were one being. I submit that maybe the elven sundering... ironically... split this goddess up? As a result she became all these different aspects.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  09:15:40  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, Sundering or shattering, it still works. I was connecting all of that to the World Serpent, in my homebrew over-cosmology. (When the Lattive of Heaven was shattered ad Ymir died, the Gaea merged with him/it. Thus magic ('life') merge with the firmament (the Plane of physicality - the original prime Material). The two together became the Oroborous (really and Amphisbaena) entwined together - The World Serpent. But it wasn't enough to hold the First World together, just enough to keep 'life' in all the separate bits (which eventually coalesced into the Crystal Spheres). So The World Serpent was 'born', and then it was Shattered into a thousand thousand separate consciousnesses. So badly damaged is its multitudinous psyche at the point, it continues to split, for planets within a sphere, and even for landmasses on those planets. The 'Earth Mother' is a concept; an idea that are the parts are still one. But the truth is, the Word Serpent lies comatose, perhaps forever more.

Did you mean CKC IX? Thats the one with Brian's sea=trade article (same issue as mine). I've just been going by the two canon bit we have from the GHotR, and that entry from RoF (combining them). I mean, at this point it just might be easier to ignore the odd entry and say the bigger landmass is Katashaka (I even had a discussion with Eric Boyd on this topic, several years back. He had always assumed the Tabaxi had been lead to Chult from the LARGER landmass as well, and when I pointed-out that entry in the RoF, he had a "Hmmmmmm..." moment. I think his conclusion was that the author was being very 'loose' with his definition of 'island'. I suppose if its good enough for Eric Boyd, it should be good enough for us.

I forget why I suddenly became adamant earlier. I'm tired right now - I have to review my entire thought-process there. I think using the larger island as the 'Rakshasa lab' still works fine, and it really doesn't interfere with anything anyone else wanted to do there. It happened some 25K years in the past (so maybe not even ruins), and its such a big honkin' island you could easily loose entire kingdoms on there without people noticing them. I just now measured it, and its about 1/2 the length of the United states, so about a 1/4 the land-area of the U.S. Thats a BIG island. It may even work out better - the island was originally over near Zakhara (but I now see Zakahra was a lot underwater at that time... interesting. Batrachi?), so it would make some sense they had it nearby (rather than across the ocean), and then by some quirk of fate the whole thing has been floating toward Katashaka for thousands of years (so all the mutated 'beastfolk' the Raksashas created wound up back near where they came from. Some of them, anyway). I would a have gone with Mongrelmen as well, but with that much time having gone by, would they even be that? They probably just look like very ugly, stunted orcs at ths point (the 'race' would have leveled-out with their features and appendage over time). Of course, that doesn't mean that some new baddie hasn't found one of the old labs and started cranking out his own freaks.

I don't want to waste a perfectly good name, and now it seems 'Tabaxiland' is a misnomer, so maybe I'll repurpose 'Kalkebuna' for that. Perhaps that was then nae the ancient Tabaxi called Katashaka, and although the main continent's named changed over time, the survivors of the island have kept it for their new home (and the Raksasha probably called it something else, like 'Symphony of Screams' in Abysal). It doesn't really matter over-much, in the long haul, because the two places are very close to each other now - you could probably make that with an outrigger (those big ones, like in the cave in Moana). My guys in the Mokalonni Islands still use ships like that.

So I'm thinking heavy Batrachi influences in and near water. The large island to the left (of the west coast of Katshaka) I am giving to the Surrukh (I want that to have TONS of scaly ruins... and I am going to replace the island. Thats a direct C&P from Xendrik, and at this point, I ma deviating enough away from that for it not to matter (plus when I did it, I thought there'd be lore for it, but there wasn't any, so I've got the perfect island chain to plop down in that same spot). The surrukh will also have a couple of ruins around elsewhere. Aearee on a couple of mountain tops (I'm thinking like maybe three crashed nest-cities, a'la the Netherese... except their descendants would still be hanging out in them). I'm torn as to weather I want to keep the nyama-nummo aal sauroids, and just consider the others something else, or what. It would probably just be better to lump them together, even though like half those kaiju aren't saurians. It is acceptable to call normal dinos 'nummo', and say only the Great (Elder) ones are Nyama-nummo? Thus we can just fudge things and say those were regular Nummo who got eaten (four Kaiju put together should not have been beaten that easily by the Terrasque). I like what you had for those,and I would have probably done something very similar, but seeing someone else doing itmakes me realize its a bit too close to the original names (as Eric Boyd once warned me while I was naming map stuff, "avoid being 'too cute'"). Personally, I love the names, but we have to try to think how others might feel about it.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 29 Jan 2018 09:16:28
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Markustay
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Posted - 29 Jan 2018 :  09:16:41  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The 'Time before Time'.
The First World - sometimes called Midgard - was an unbelievable place, of geogrpahy taking to impossible extremes. Forest and Jungles with trees over a mile high. Plains with herds of animals - dinosaurs and early mammals that would dwarf Earth species - roaming infinite vistas. Towering Mountains that would extend out beyond the atmosphere on most worlds today. Rivers wider than seas, and lakes bigger than any ocean. Deserts & badlands that rolled on and on for tens of thousands of miles. There were more than two dozen 'moons' in the sky - really the domains of various Gods. Frozen wastes with continent-sized icebergs slamming together with a sound that would make mortals deaf. And in this world the giants, Dragons, and even the dwarves toiled relentlessly, extending it, building it, going deeper, and then tearing things down just to make room for new ideas. The 'headquarters' for this massive undertaking was a region called Abeir Toril ('Cradle of Life'). It was there that the work crews gathered supplies and went out into the primal world to create wonders. And it was also there where all these 'lesser beings', like the Celestials, the Progenitors, and lastly the Creators, were first made, in shapes the gods found pleasing.

Four great races were planned - Kossuth would lead the team that would create a race with fire in their blood - the Sarrukh, and chose regions near volcanoes to place them. Istishia would create a race that was as fluid as the sea - the Batrachi, and they would live and near her waters. Akadi would breath life into a people that had no homeland, for they would call the very skies their home - the Aearee. And Grumbor sighed, and thought over-much on his task. He wanted a people that were connected to the earth, but he just didn't have the same creativity - the 'looseness' of mind - to make beautiful creatures as the others had, he tried and tried, creating the Galeb Duhr, and others, but to no avail. he would not win the great contest. Finally, Corellon took pity on the Primordial, and asked, "why do you despair, friend earth?" And Grumbor explained his plight, and Corellon said, "behold, for I have found a place of inspiration", opening a portal to the Wilderlands (which would someday become the Feywild), he brought forth lovely, shimmering Will-O-Wisps. He showed them to Primordial, and explained, This - this is the stuff of life. It forms on its own in this place, and it can become anything you wish.

Now, he had attracted the attention of the other Seldarine, including his grouchy brother Gruumsh. Corellon waved his hands around the Will-O-Wisp and created the first Elf - an Eladrin - from it. And then another, and another. Not wanting to be outdone, some of the other seldarine also shaped their wisps into other forms, although none as majestic as the ones Corellon created. Araushnee made hers into strong and dark maidens, and even Gruumsh got into the act, creating fierce-looking warriors. "But how are these mine?', asked Grumbor, "I've had no hand hand in this!" Because they are not finished, said Corellon - they need direction and purpose. Blow upon them, and fill them with the spirit of the land. And so Grumbor did, and the new creatures - the fey - were bound to the land, and would be the caretakers of Grumbor's living earth for all eternity.

But a young primordial stood to the side - the child of Ymir and Gaea. The name of this Titan is lost in time, for he was killed in the Godswar. He saw what the other Gods were doing and wanted to create his own people, but he lacked the power. Spying some creatures in a nearby forest, he investigated, and discovered the playful Apes. There were other Gods assigned to the task of creating all the beasts of the world, and the variety was plentiful, but these particular creatures delighted the young god with their playfulness and inquisitiveness. "These would make a splendid race!" he thought, "so much more fun than those others!". And so he took them and blew upon them, as he had seen Grumbor do, but nothing happened, he blew again, and still, nothing. Blow and blow, try as he might, they would not change. They remained the funny little furry creatures they were when he found them.

His mother Gaea came upon him, and asked, "why do you cry, my son? Are you not happy with this playground the gods build around you?" he pointed to the Apes, who were now back to frolicking in the trees, and told his mother how he had blown upon them, but he could not create an intelligent species as he had seen others do. "oh, my darling boy, you do not yet have enough powerful to accomplish this so quickly. When you have grown you will be able to create anything you want, instantly, even better than those other Gods, because you are your father's son, and he is the embodiment of all that takes physical form." She pointed at the beasts, "see those that You blew upon? In time they will know greatness. Your breath cannot effect them this day, but your power runs through them now, and like you, it will grow. They will shed their baser instincts, and do great things. And since you are a God, this will seem like a blink of an eye to you". He looked back at the creatures, and noticed one was interested in an insect mound. The poor things was trying to eat the bugs, but couldn't reach them inside. Then he saw it look around, pick up a stick, and it took the stick and slid it into the mound, withdrawing it covered with big, juicy termites. It had used a tool! The Apes were already getting smarter!" His mother frowned, "just how many times did you blow on them?" The boy realized he may have made an mistake. "Once or twice, I think. why?" His mother knew his wasn't telling the whole truth, but she answered him, "because they seem to be learning a bit faster than I expected. You need only blow on them once to give them any one advantage. You've given them the ability to overcome any obstacle, because their own creation is flawed by your youthfulness." Was that a bad thing, he asked? "Maybe - with each breath they become more like us, and you wouldn't want them to someday rise up and challenge us, would you? Who knows what such lowly creatures would be capable of, if they ever held the power of gods.

His mother walked off, and the lad looked at his funny little pets thoughtfully. How many times DID I blow on them, he wondered? But he would never live to see his creations grow to maturity, for soon after the Dawn War broke out, and his father was basely murdered by jealous Gods, and his mother merged with him, to sustain him, but all was still lost. The Lattice of Heaven would be shattered and the First World would crumble apart. He would survive the Dawn War, but would himself be murdered as a young adult when the Godswar broke out. The hominids would not know their creator; they would be cosmic orphans, and have to find their own way... and they did.

Next up, the creation of the spheres, and how the Wilderlands were still connected to all the 'primal places' on the myriad new worlds, and how Ubtao allowed Annams children to use the Gates to come into the Prime material and settle those new worlds. But unknown to them, and thanks to Gaea, somehow some of the Creatori survived, and already thrived, on those worlds. A war for the now-limited resources would be endlessly fought between the survivors.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 29 Jan 2018 09:37:51
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