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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2018 :  23:19:22  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Yay!

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Has anyone used the “Going Ape!” adventure from Dungeon 192? It’s a 4e adventure that I’m trying to convert for my players. It is set in a Mayan setting and seems like it could be used in its entirety (even though great apes seem a little out of place).
I have placed those locales in Chult, north of Samarach (and linked it to the two earlier Dungeon Magazine AP's when Paizo was still working with WotC, and we had all those wonderful FR conversion notes).

I tied it to the lore I had where Samarach was taken-over (sort of) by the ex-patriate Mazticans who were in Amn. One of these days I will get back to that massive, multi-conversion project (it also contained all the Abeir locales which I spread throughout the Chultlan 'arm').



That’s an interesting placement. So much of Maztican lore is based on how Faerun affected the True World while only really a small blurb on the scorpionfolk of Oaxaptupa is he only word on the reverse.

My only issue is that Going Ape! References some ancient history and ruins that would require this to have occurred long before the invasion of the Golden Legion. Either that or a serious rewrite of Going Ape itself.

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:
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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  01:31:06  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On another note and topic. I almost started a seperate thread for this because its something I've been pondering for a few years and I had an "aha" moment today.

It's about Qotal. Let's be honest, he's supposed to really be the divine hero of Maztica. He's the premeire god of good, yet he has done some truly terrible (I'd say unforgiveable) things. I mean, he seriously forced himself on his sister - I don't even like talking about that nor bringing it up but for this I have to. He's also come across as awful pissy in the novels and he tended to ignore the suffering his battles with Zaltec incurred. This eventually drove his high priest (Lotil, I believe? I have to reread my notes) to abandon his vow of silence and literally berate his god as he fought Zaltec!

I'm trying to imagine a way to make him less culpable in all this and to rectify the situation. That's flat out impossible in the case of Kiltzi, but in Diamond Eyes, I at least tried to make it happen due to Shar's evil influence.

Pushing that all aside, because frankly, I have to - now I'm looking to rectify or excuse his other behavior, so I started to think about the "sacrifice" he made back in the original battle of the gods. If you don't know the lore, long ago the gods called upon their worshipers to built a grand temple in the middle of the desert. Every god did this, and at the site, Zaltec and Qotal were destined to do battle. Before the battle (which Qotal won) each god had a sacrifice performed. Zaltec had his priests cut out the hearts of thousands of warriors, but Qotal simply released 13 butterflies. As they passed over the corpses of the dead faithful of Zaltec all the blood and gore was washed away.

When I read that, I didn't quite understand how it was a sacrifice, as you are probably wondering yourself now.

Well, what if it actually was a very important sacrifice for Qotal? What if he invested much of his divine power into those 13 butterflies as a gift to mankind and Qotal got ticked off that man did not understand what he had done for them? Perhaps Qotal has been truly a humble hero all along? I am contemplating writing up a short article on these 13 butterflies. Perhaps they exist somewhere still in the True World?

Since Lotil died after blashpeming his god, maybe Qotal has resurrected or returned Lotil as some form of good undead to write the true story of Qotal's sacrifice? Might be a nice DMSGuild write up? He could have written about the supposed powers of these butterflies (which take the form of jewelery and are now artifacts?

Here's the brainstorm of what their powers may be...

ALL: Possessing one of the 13 allows you to have inspiration once between long rests. This follows the normal rules of inspiration and you can't get "additional" inspiration in a day otherwise. Owning a piece of divinity like this would certainly make it reasonable.
ALL: Two minor powers from the DMG
ALL: Have one incredibly powerful use that is really only for story, not to ruin a campaign. Once used, the butterfly disappears and its power is lost temporarily to the cosmos until it gathers again somewhere for mankind to find when in need once again.

Butterfly 1: Can transform into some type of gargantuan sized butterfly. The butterfly cannot attack, but it can transport an entire population of refugees in a case of extreme duress.

Butterfly 2: Similar use to 1, except it can part a giant sea like the Staff of Moses - again for some form of Exodus.

Butterfly 3: Can imprison a creature of near godlike ability (something tarrasque-like). The problem is, if it is used again in a few centuries, its prior prisoner is released!

Butterfly 4: It can come alive and fly across barren land, making flowers bloom, water bubble to the surface, etc. This could be a great way to explain how Tukan was formed.

Butterfly 5: Can ressurect a being of great power, perhaps even return a fallen god or goddess (might use it to resurrect Maztica herself!)

Butterfly 6: Can fundamentally change the nature of hundreds of creatures. I would use this to explain the plumed behemoths from TWC7. Essentially, this is how Qotal protected his flock during their exile in Abeir.

Butterfly 7: Can cause one creature to fully love another. I'd like to think that Qotal's major flaw is that he truly does not understand love in its human incarnation. He thought an ability like this would be something good for humanity but such an item would be rife for corruption from Shar.

Butterfly 8: Can temporarily change the motion of a celestial object. In the Maztica Alive campaign, every time there is a solar eclipse, star demons known as tzitzimitl wreak havoc on Maztica. This could be used to stop it from happening (adventure hook!).

Butterfly 9: Can alter weather patterns dramatically for an extended period of time.

Butterfly 10: Can allow for a direct audience with the Plumed Dragon himself. Not like you might in some type of commune spell, but rather where you get to speak for a time almost on equal footing.

Butterfly 11: Creates a massive ziggurat/temple in the way a Daern's Instant Fortress would work.

Butterfly 12: Can briefly infuse a character with Qotal's divine essence, allowing him to polymorph into a massive plumed dragon. Like all other abilites, it only can work once.

Butterfly 13: Lotil does not know of this power and Qotal does not speak of it. For the DM to decide.

What do you think?

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 - 15 Apr 2018 :  01:38:19  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I beleived I detailed my plans somewhere around here. If it wasn't this thread, perhaps my mapping one?

The idea is that after the Spellplague struck, Amn was in such disarray from its wars with the Ogre army and Tethyr (although I don't think it ever came to blows with Tethyr - they just got a bunch of their stuff annexed and couldn't do a thing about it because of the ogres), that they Spellplague proved to be too much, and the country was completely falling apart (civil unrest and possible civil war even), that they felt the very large number of Mazticans they had brought over (I actually did the math and I figured out how many slaves could fit in a hundred ships) could prove to be dangerous new threat, because they could no longer spare any forces to deal with them, and they were housed right outside the capitol.

So it was decided to drop them all off in Samarach, which 'got emptied' by the Spellplague (not really, and not fully - just the coastal settlements had been wiped-out), and the first 50 ships worth got dropped off, but then the ship captains got greedy (they are Amnians, after all), and tried to sell them in Narubel. However, once they got there, the slaves realized they weren't going to be freed, and they overpowered their handlers and escaped into the jungle... which just happens to be north of where the original group got dropped off. I forget why I did it that way - I had a storyline for it (I'll have to find the thread).

In the meantime, the newly arrived Mazticans in Samarach started rebuilding the Samarach settlements along the coast, only to find a great number of Samarach had survived inland, in the mountains. While this was going on and the two groups decide to work together for mutual survival, the Spellplague was still going on, and strange people and terrain kept popping up all over the place (possibly from Abeir, but I was also considering Hepmonaland and the Hollow World of Mystara, among others). For whatever reasons, locales with similar cultures showing up, and some of them were quite ancient. Eventually things settled down and stabilized, and today, Samarach is a hybrid of the original Chultan culture, as well as that of psuedo-MesoAmercan cultures from a dozen worlds, and although there was huge language barrier at first, that was a few generations ago, and by 5e the population is mostly of mixed decent along the coast, with rural villages inland that still favor one culture/language over another (they've all adapted to toril-common by now, beside their local dialects).

I did this in order to have our Aztec-like region 'closer to home', without having to go across the ocean. I'll try to post a snippet of that very incomplete map (its just the locales added to an expanded version of my 5e map, so the terrain is blurry).

EDIT:
I found it - I started talking about 'fixing' samarach on pg.5 of my Map thread, and then it went on for the next page or so as I tweaked stuff, and then ZeromaruX suggested the Going Ape adventure, and I placed that as well.

You can see what I did on this map snippet - that was a very early WIP of the project that I may or may not ever get back to. I just wanted to see if I could fit ALL of Laerakond's locales in the Tashalr region without disturbing stuff that was already there. Turns out, I COULD.
You can see the Going Ape locales over there in Samarach.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Apr 2018 03:14:31
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7148 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  02:48:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Yay!

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Has anyone used the “Going Ape!” adventure from Dungeon 192? It’s a 4e adventure that I’m trying to convert for my players. It is set in a Mayan setting and seems like it could be used in its entirety (even though great apes seem a little out of place).
I have placed those locales in Chult, north of Samarach (and linked it to the two earlier Dungeon Magazine AP's when Paizo was still working with WotC, and we had all those wonderful FR conversion notes).

I tied it to the lore I had where Samarach was taken-over (sort of) by the ex-patriate Mazticans who were in Amn. One of these days I will get back to that massive, multi-conversion project (it also contained all the Abeir locales which I spread throughout the Chultlan 'arm').

On another note, for those of you interested in or working things 'further afield' (more northerly) - the mock-up map I did showing all the 'Western Realms' (everything 'across the sea', including Evermeet - all three continents plus MANY islands), so some of Slevas' (?) material on the Metahel may be able to be tied in here...

Anyhow, I was looking for a certain quote (which I am starting to think doesn't exist), going through every source I could find that covers 'ancient elves' and related events, and I found something I hadn't ever noticed before: check out the Four Sons entry on pg.59 of LEoF! I am thinking there is some secret 'island base' with a 'lost kingdom' of Aryvandaar elves! I am picturing it in the north, among all those islands leading from Anchoromé to the far NW corner of Faerûn, but it could just as easily be placed south somewhere, like among the islands of Eskember.



Yeah, I was playing with the idea that the Poscadari elves came from that northerly section of Anchorome, because it says that they came to Anchorome from a snowy place because of prophecies that promised a rich land. It wouldn't surprise me if the Poscadari elves (snow elves) came south and say the Vyshantaar took over their old residence (and not necessarily in that order either).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7148 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:03:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

On another note and topic. I almost started a seperate thread for this because its something I've been pondering for a few years and I had an "aha" moment today.

It's about Qotal. Let's be honest, he's supposed to really be the divine hero of Maztica. He's the premeire god of good, yet he has done some truly terrible (I'd say unforgiveable) things. I mean, he seriously forced himself on his sister - I don't even like talking about that nor bringing it up but for this I have to. He's also come across as awful pissy in the novels and he tended to ignore the suffering his battles with Zaltec incurred. This eventually drove his high priest (Lotil, I believe? I have to reread my notes) to abandon his vow of silence and literally berate his god as he fought Zaltec!

I'm trying to imagine a way to make him less culpable in all this and to rectify the situation. That's flat out impossible in the case of Kiltzi, but in Diamond Eyes, I at least tried to make it happen due to Shar's evil influence.

Pushing that all aside, because frankly, I have to - now I'm looking to rectify or excuse his other behavior, so I started to think about the "sacrifice" he made back in the original battle of the gods. If you don't know the lore, long ago the gods called upon their worshipers to built a grand temple in the middle of the desert. Every god did this, and at the site, Zaltec and Qotal were destined to do battle. Before the battle (which Qotal won) each god had a sacrifice performed. Zaltec had his priests cut out the hearts of thousands of warriors, but Qotal simply released 13 butterflies. As they passed over the corpses of the dead faithful of Zaltec all the blood and gore was washed away.

When I read that, I didn't quite understand how it was a sacrifice, as you are probably wondering yourself now.

Well, what if it actually was a very important sacrifice for Qotal? What if he invested much of his divine power into those 13 butterflies as a gift to mankind and Qotal got ticked off that man did not understand what he had done for them? Perhaps Qotal has been truly a humble hero all along? I am contemplating writing up a short article on these 13 butterflies. Perhaps they exist somewhere still in the True World?

Since Lotil died after blashpeming his god, maybe Qotal has resurrected or returned Lotil as some form of good undead to write the true story of Qotal's sacrifice? Might be a nice DMSGuild write up? He could have written about the supposed powers of these butterflies (which take the form of jewelery and are now artifacts?

Here's the brainstorm of what their powers may be...

ALL: Possessing one of the 13 allows you to have inspiration once between long rests. This follows the normal rules of inspiration and you can't get "additional" inspiration in a day otherwise. Owning a piece of divinity like this would certainly make it reasonable.
ALL: Two minor powers from the DMG
ALL: Have one incredibly powerful use that is really only for story, not to ruin a campaign. Once used, the butterfly disappears and its power is lost temporarily to the cosmos until it gathers again somewhere for mankind to find when in need once again.

Butterfly 1: Can transform into some type of gargantuan sized butterfly. The butterfly cannot attack, but it can transport an entire population of refugees in a case of extreme duress.

Butterfly 2: Similar use to 1, except it can part a giant sea like the Staff of Moses - again for some form of Exodus.

Butterfly 3: Can imprison a creature of near godlike ability (something tarrasque-like). The problem is, if it is used again in a few centuries, its prior prisoner is released!

Butterfly 4: It can come alive and fly across barren land, making flowers bloom, water bubble to the surface, etc. This could be a great way to explain how Tukan was formed.

Butterfly 5: Can ressurect a being of great power, perhaps even return a fallen god or goddess (might use it to resurrect Maztica herself!)

Butterfly 6: Can fundamentally change the nature of hundreds of creatures. I would use this to explain the plumed behemoths from TWC7. Essentially, this is how Qotal protected his flock during their exile in Abeir.

Butterfly 7: Can cause one creature to fully love another. I'd like to think that Qotal's major flaw is that he truly does not understand love in its human incarnation. He thought an ability like this would be something good for humanity but such an item would be rife for corruption from Shar.

Butterfly 8: Can temporarily change the motion of a celestial object. In the Maztica Alive campaign, every time there is a solar eclipse, star demons known as tzitzimitl wreak havoc on Maztica. This could be used to stop it from happening (adventure hook!).

Butterfly 9: Can alter weather patterns dramatically for an extended period of time.

Butterfly 10: Can allow for a direct audience with the Plumed Dragon himself. Not like you might in some type of commune spell, but rather where you get to speak for a time almost on equal footing.

Butterfly 11: Creates a massive ziggurat/temple in the way a Daern's Instant Fortress would work.

Butterfly 12: Can briefly infuse a character with Qotal's divine essence, allowing him to polymorph into a massive plumed dragon. Like all other abilites, it only can work once.

Butterfly 13: Lotil does not know of this power and Qotal does not speak of it. For the DM to decide.

What do you think?



Yeah, I always thought that was a weird story (i.e. him winning by releasing butterflies). Your concept is a good one, but I don't know it still doesn't feel right. Part of me thinks make the butterflies still alive. Maybe they've been captured by different groups who are drawing the essence from them, and this is slowly weakening Qotal. Maybe certain of Qotal's later actions are due to things done to a captured butterfly.... still feels cheesy... but you're right, Qotal is NOT utterly good.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7148 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:05:11  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Markustay.... you said you had a newer map I might like? Link?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:22:51  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I posted a link to the map in an edit above, but here it is again.

Is that what you were talking about? That was just me trying to squeeze returned Abeir onto the Faerûnian continent (because most DMs never move their games out of The Realms proper). Then I got carried away and started trying to make everything could find work (I even began converting Tharsult into the Minrothad guilds from Mystar - you can see some of that weirdness there).

The map is in such an haphazard, unfinished state, its more of a 'mental exercise' than a true map for me. I hadn't realized how awful the blown-up terrain (form my other map) was going to look there, and when I realized I had to repaint it all, I decided to leave it until I got to this region with my main mapping project (rather than do the same work twice). So this is kind of a suggestion type f things, for DMs who may want to use the Abeir stuff without using laerakond itself.

Thindol lost its eastern territory to Skelkor in this - I believe that's the only real compromise I had to make to get it to all fit.

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

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7148 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:48:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I posted a link to the map in an edit above, but here it is again.

Is that what you were talking about? That was just me trying to squeeze returned Abeir onto the Faerûnian continent (because most DMs never move their games out of The Realms proper). Then I got carried away and started trying to make everything could find work (I even began converting Tharsult into the Minrothad guilds from Mystar - you can see some of that weirdness there).

The map is in such an haphazard, unfinished state, its more of a 'mental exercise' than a true map for me. I hadn't realized how awful the blown-up terrain (form my other map) was going to look there, and when I realized I had to repaint it all, I decided to leave it until I got to this region with my main mapping project (rather than do the same work twice). So this is kind of a suggestion type f things, for DMs who may want to use the Abeir stuff without using laerakond itself.

Thindol lost its eastern territory to Skelkor in this - I believe that's the only real compromise I had to make to get it to all fit.



No, this more northerly thing

On another note, for those of you interested in or working things 'further afield' (more northerly) - the mock-up map I did showing all the 'Western Realms' (everything 'across the sea', including Evermeet - all three continents plus MANY islands), so some of Sleyvas' (?) material on the Metahel may be able to be tied in here...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:51:30  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh... THAT. That's WAY more 'unfinished' then that thing I posted above. Let me see if I can find it...

EDIT:
Okay, took me forever. I lost track of this one - I saved it in the wrong place, and I forgot what I named it, and it was so long ago it was no longer appearing on my GIMP 'recent files' list (which goes back about 50 files).

Its a paste-together of several of my other maps - I was just using it to correct the bad scale bar on the katashaka map. But I did add Eskemeber, which hasn't appeared on an FR map since Ed's originals.

The Trackless Sea

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


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Apr 2018 04:15:20
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7148 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  17:00:48  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Oh... THAT. That's WAY more 'unfinished' then that thing I posted above. Let me see if I can find it...

EDIT:
Okay, took me forever. I lost track of this one - I saved it in the wrong place, and I forgot what I named it, and it was so long ago it was no longer appearing on my GIMP 'recent files' list (which goes back about 50 files).

Its a paste-together of several of my other maps - I was just using it to correct the bad scale bar on the katashaka map. But I did add Eskemeber, which hasn't appeared on an FR map since Ed's originals.

The Trackless Sea



Ah, gotcha. If you don't mind, I may take this and start adding stuff an rearranging other stuff.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  18:41:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No problem - its a 'Frankensteined' map anyway - one I pieced together just to correct stuff.

Maztica within its own maps: the scale was somewhat off on the original Maztica maps that came with the boxed set, and although someone might argue that the only canon maps we ever got for a region can't be off, the problem is we DO have world maps (and the FRIA), so if I made Maztica slightly bigger on that map (as its own canon maps imply), then it would throw everything else off. Way back when, TSR had the same problem with the Kara-Tur maps. When they went to connect them via the Hordelands boxed set, they found the scale they made for them was way too big, hence their later errata that said to reduce them 2/3 (I believe the K-T trail map has the corrected size).

In the case of Malatra, I went in a different direction (quite literally). The canon LJ Malatra maps showed the plateau to be around 1000 miles, but when the FRIA guys went to place it, they couldn't fit that over where the canon K-T maps said Malatra was. Problem is, the guys who worked on those maps didn't really read the material, and the word 'Malatra' was squeezed in where it was, even though 'Malatra' was what everything south of K-T was called (by the Shou). So they didn't need to put it where the label was on the K-T box set maps - they could have put it anywhere 'down south', which is what I did - it fit perfectly in the large jungle area (just north of the region I named Jambu-Dweepam).

I'd say actually drawing the maps is probably only about 10-15% of what I do. Lately I have even been adding rivers where I know they should logically be. The more things make sense in a fictional setting, the more immersive it becomes.

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

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Jürgen Hubert
Seeker

Germany
31 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  19:37:36  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

On another note and topic. I almost started a seperate thread for this because its something I've been pondering for a few years and I had an "aha" moment today.

It's about Qotal. Let's be honest, he's supposed to really be the divine hero of Maztica. He's the premeire god of good, yet he has done some truly terrible (I'd say unforgiveable) things. I mean, he seriously forced himself on his sister - I don't even like talking about that nor bringing it up but for this I have to. He's also come across as awful pissy in the novels and he tended to ignore the suffering his battles with Zaltec incurred.



I'll post my thoughts on the butterflies (which I like - it's always worth elaborating on Maztican mythology), but I wanted to comment on this.

For one thing, keep in mind that this particular story is part of a section that even the Maztica Boxed Set calls out as unreliable - and the novels have their own version of the story about why Qotal left Maztica.

Western (European, Christian) metaphysics places a strong focus on absolute opposites - including the concepts of "Good and Evil". And the mainland Forgotten Realms (i.e. Faerun) are based on European notions of fantasy.

However, Aztec philosophy does not have metaphysical, transcendent concepts of "Good and Evil". Instead, "Good" and "Evil" are merely pragmatic descriptors - the former is whatever helps people and society maintain some (purely temporary) stability in this fragile, impermanent world, while the latter is what causes this stability to shatter.

The expectation of people shaped by European metaphysics - which is probably most of us here, but also includes Faerunian visitors like Halloran - is that Zaltec is "Evil", since he stands for "War" and "Destruction", and thus Qotal must be "Good" since he opposes Zaltec and stands for "Creation".

But this is probably a misconception on our part - when viewed from the perspective of Aztec metaphysics, Zaltec and Qotal form a so-called "agonistic inamic unity" - they oppose each other, but each also contains a seed of the other, and they form a greater whole that can only exist due to their constant struggle. They cannot exist independently from each other, and labeling them "good" or "evil is purely in the eye of the individual beholder.

Thus, I wouldn't get too hang up with trying to turn Qotal into the "designated good guy" - he is a god with a portfolio of specific forces, and the Mazticans pay homage to him in the hopes of strengthening these forces in their lives.


Incidentally, I recommend this article as a primer on these concepts - I am currently reading the book on the subject by the same author:

http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/home/aztec-philosophy

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!

Edited by - Jürgen Hubert on 15 Apr 2018 19:39:13
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  20:24:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, to add to that (I meant to address the 'Butterfies' thing earlier), if we did need to shoe-horn the Aztec(like) mythos into D&D rules, I would say its more along the lines of Order vs Chaos, then 'good vs evil'. Its a purer (more 'primitive') form of what's really taking place in the universe around us (whereas 'good' and 'evil' are mortal concepts, which Jürgen Hubert above explained quite well).

About the butterflies themselves: I agree with Sleyvas that they should still be butterflies. We have a precedent (the Imaskarcana) that artifacts can take other forms to disguise themselves, so why not this? What if the butterflies are more like Bubo (the owl) from the original Clash of the Titans? They are so small, and people saw them from far away, they may have just assumed they were living creatures (and on some level, I guess they still could be - artifacts do sometimes have sentience). So small automatons, that can also turn into artifacts (so like Transformers as well LOL).

I want to steal the one that grows colossal size for Katashaka - 'Robot Mothra'

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


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Apr 2018 20:25:37
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Seethyr
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  01:41:59  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I understand the Aztec basis of Q and Z, but I don’t think it works as well in a conflict based fantasy system. In the novels, Zaltec was clearly an antagonist and despite his flaws, Qotal was meant to be the hero (remember this is a time in FR novels where every book was about the gods and what they did). I took the Aztec neutrality and yin and yang to be more present in Kukul and Maztica herself. I don’t believe it was the Amnian perspective with those two at all though.

There needs to be conflict for an effective story, and I don’t think it will be as fun if we use a “two sides of the same coin” look at those particular gods. Qotal even appeals to some of the Amnians like Halloran. After all, these aren’t Aztecs, these are Mazticans - it should be influenced, but not a copy of them.

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Jürgen Hubert
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  05:46:36  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Also, to add to that (I meant to address the 'Butterfies' thing earlier), if we did need to shoe-horn the Aztec(like) mythos into D&D rules, I would say its more along the lines of Order vs Chaos, then 'good vs evil'. Its a purer (more 'primitive') form of what's really taking place in the universe around us (whereas 'good' and 'evil' are mortal concepts, which Jürgen Hubert above explained quite well).



We should beware of portraying this as a Moorcockian (or even Warhammer-esque) struggle between forces that either might actually win at some point, however.

To the Aztec notion of the world, the universe has always existed, and it (or rather, the all-encompassing force of "teotl") is constantly re-creating itself in the struggle between opposing forces, and if one becomes dominant, the status quo will soon bounce back into the other direction. "Law" and "Chaos" (or perhaps "Order" and "Disorder") thus struggle against each other, and in their struggle create a "dynamic balance" for the world. The goal of Aztec worship was not to see one side ultimately triumph over the other - that was impossible. Instead, it was to provide some purely temporary stability to the part of the world they lived in. This wouldn't last - eventually, the city, nation, world would end and be replaced by something new - but at least for some time it would stave off the inevitable.

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I understand the Aztec basis of Q and Z, but I don’t think it works as well in a conflict based fantasy system. In the novels, Zaltec was clearly an antagonist and despite his flaws, Qotal was meant to be the hero (remember this is a time in FR novels where every book was about the gods and what they did). I took the Aztec neutrality and yin and yang to be more present in Kukul and Maztica herself. I don’t believe it was the Amnian perspective with those two at all though.

There needs to be conflict for an effective story, and I don’t think it will be as fun if we use a “two sides of the same coin” look at those particular gods. Qotal even appeals to some of the Amnians like Halloran. After all, these aren’t Aztecs, these are Mazticans - it should be influenced, but not a copy of them.



"Conflict" and "antagonists" can exist without cosmic "Good" and "Evil". Consider "Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind", one of my favorite examples of setting design (and one of the inspirations for my interpretation of Morrowind). Dagoth Ur is clearly the antagonist of the story, yet the Tribunal opposing him are hardly the "Good Guys", even though they like to portray themselves as "heroes" in Temple doctrine. Yes, they have done quite a lot of good things for the Dunmer - but they also did a lot of highly questionable things (such as provoking Azura's Curse and possibly murdering Nerevar). Indeed, through parts of the game the Temple acts as antagonist to the true hero of the game - the player character.

Likewise, Qotal is called out in both the Boxed Set and the novels as having rather questionable sides that prevent him from being the "good guy" of the story - even if he views himself as such. The true "good guys" are the mortal protagonists - Erixitl, Halloran, Poshtli, Gultec and those who support them. Qotal is more appropriately called a "culture hero" - that is to say, he embodies certain Maztican virtues - instead of the European concept of cosmic "Good".

So the question is: What makes for a more interesting story? Personally, I think it will make Maztica more interesting if "Good" and "Evil" are not defined by the gods, but something that mortals must struggle to define on their own. This does not mean ignoring or opposing the gods. Indeed, the gods must still be given their due so that the aspects of the world they hold power over are strengthened. But RPG stories should be all about the choices the player characters make.

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Jürgen Hubert
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Posted - 17 Apr 2018 :  18:28:35  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Speaking of gods, there is this paragraph in the novel Viperhand:

Naltecona stepped away and then turned suddenly back, his pluma cloak circling around him. "Is it possible that Cordell is a god? Can he be Qotal, returning to the True World to claim his rightful throne?"
Hal's jaw dropped. "Cordell, a god? No. He's a man like you and me—a man who breathes like us, who loves women and food and drink. He's a leader of men, but he's unquestionably a man himself!"



This pays homage to the old legend that the Aztecs allegedly viewed Cortes as a deity - but this legend is based on a linguistic misunderstanding. Europeans saw "divinity" as something absolute - you either were a god or you were a mortal; something was either sacred or divine. The Aztec notion of "teotl", on the other hand, considered everything to be "sacred" or "divine" - it was just that some objects or beings were more so than others. Thus, "divinity" is considered to be something on a spectrum, not an absolute.

And let's not forget that this conversation from the book took place in Nexalan - a language Halloran has only learned very recently, and certainly hasn't mastered the nuances of (including Maztican notions of divinity). Additionally, teotl also represents "capacity for changing the world". Thus, I feel justified in translating Naltecona's words as:

"Is it possible that Cordell is strongly rooted in divinity? Can he be embodying Qotal, returning to the True World to claim his rightful throne?"

Halloran, meanwhile, would view this through his Faerunian notions of deity and deny this. And from that Naltecona understood that Cordell was not a potent force for change after all - and thus something Nexal could defeat with little difficulty.

And thus Naltecona was doomed. Death by mistranslation.

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Markustay
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Posted - 17 Apr 2018 :  22:27:48  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As for Anchoromé and what that name actually applies to; I found this in Murder in Baldur's Gate:
quote:
The city gained its current name centuries ago when the great explorer Balduran returned from his journey to the other side of Evermeet, the homeland of the elves, where he searched for the fabled isles of Anchorome. He spread around wild stories of his adventures as well as huge amounts of wealth, some of which he spent to have a wall constructed around his oft-raided hometown. Balduran left again for Anchorome and never returned.

Accent, mine. It seems the intent - between 4e & 5e - was for Anchromé to NOT be the large landmass itself, but rather, the islands in front of it.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Apr 2018 15:07:00
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Jürgen Hubert
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Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  06:33:28  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another random thought:

Every good D&D(esque) setting needs to have a bunch of prior civilizations that left dungeons behind to plunder. A great example of this is the Elder Scrolls setting, which has a bunch of really evocative dungeon "themes" - dwemer strongholds, daedric shrines, nordic ruins, ayleid cities... the list goes on. And the mainland Forgotten Realms certainly has no shortage of "lost civilizations", starting with Netheril and Cormanthor, and going on from there.

But Maztica has a significant shortage of those. Yes, there are the lost cities and temples of the fallen Payit civilizations, but that's about it.

So we ought to come up with a few new ones that nevertheless fit into the setting.

The best starting point is probably the legends about the Immortal Era from the Maztica Boxed Set, and the gods prior attempts at creating human - it's probably not too much of a stretch that these represent garbled stories about prior inhabitants of Maztica. (Again, the Boxed Set itself points out that these stories are not to be taken literally - and given what we know about the rise of humanity on Toril as a whole, these stories cannot possibly be all accurate anyway.)

"First, the gods made humans by scooping the thick mud of the riverbottom, and then forming clay into the images of men. But they placed these images back into the water, and the river washed their features away. The men of clay struggled and writhed on the world, but they could not stand. Finally, the men of clay disappeared in the water."

This sounds a lot like Mudmen - but these are unintelligent. Perhaps they used to be intelligent, but gradually lost their intelligence? This would fit the phrase "washed their features away". What would a Mudman civilization look like? Presumably, they could only propagate via magic - but perhaps the magic gradually went away...

An alternative explanation would be doppelgangers, who also have no firm shapes.

"Next, the gods took the limbs of stout trees, and hacked the wooden features into the shapes of men. They placed the men of wood into the water, and they floated. When they came forth from the stream, their features remained intact. The gods were pleased, for the men of wood seemed superior to their early cousins.

Then the lightning of a towering storm struck the world. Violent crashes and explosions shook the body of Maztica, and crackling explosions of the storm's rage echoed across the land. The men of wood caught fire, burning away before the eyes of the gods."


This sounds like some kind of plant creatures. Any suggestions?

"So the gods made a man of gold, and he was very beautiful. The gods gathered around to look at him, and they were very pleased. They waited for the man to praise the gods who had made him. But they waited long, and the man made no move, no sound. The man of gold failed, for he had no heart and no breath. He could not live."

Since this story only mentions a singular "man of gold", it can't really stand for an entire species. Still, perhaps it is some sort of construct from a prior civilization - a gold golem, perhaps - that has withstood the ravages of time.

Your thoughts? And what other civilizations might have left ruins behind?

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Markustay
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Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  15:42:44  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, first off, The Creator Races - Sarrukh, Batrachi, Aearee, Fey, and Mankind - were EVERWHERE in the days of Thunder, mostly because that was before FR's Pangea - the proto-continent Merrouroboros - split apart and became the continents we know. Thus, there should be evidence of all five still in the True World.

I don't think we need to take the first two myths literally - we have evidence of at least two previous, possibly human, civilizations right there. The 'mud men' sound more like neanderthals to me. In fact, the first thing that jumped to mind was orcs, because they were 'rough featured'. But I dismissed that since the last thing we want is the tropes found everywhere else. We could possibly substitute another 'bestial' type of humanoid - I'm going with Hobgoblins down in Katashaka for that reason. Or maybe even create something unique (or semi-unique) to the region that would be Maztica's version of orcs, like maybe the Lossal (they were orc-baboon hybrids in GH, but we can make them just a primitive normal race in FR). In fact, any sort of 'apish' race would work for our 'rough featured' people (saying they were actual mud is a bit literal, I think - N.American natives had similar myths, and the mud was baked into clay, but some were undercooked and some were overcooked, which is how they explained races {ethnicities}). If you want to keep the 'shifting features' aspect of it, go with the Lagahoo, which is from Central/South America. Its a shapeshifter from Trinidad. We could say they had their own civilization, but became cursed, and now there are only some monstrous types left.

For the wood men, I am thinking elves, or rather, something very similar to elves but not quite, like Fey with an Aztec vibe. We may even want to make them slightly taller than humans, just to differentiate them from other elves (I am picturing something along the lines of WoW's Night Elves. This not only gives us the 'wood' connection, but it also connects them to a group that should have been there anyway - the Fey.

I like the idea of a large, golden golem. Invaders (Faerûnians) would be looking for it just for the gold, but they'd get more than they bargained for where they find out its still active. I was going to go with a legendary 'Gold Gorilla' in my Katashaka stuff (idea completely ripped-off from a storyline in Pirates101), with a very similar legend (people would think they are looking for a valuable statue, but it would turn out to be a HUGE gorilla instead).


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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Apr 2018 21:46:52
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Seethyr
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Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  16:01:06  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jürgen Hubert

Another random thought:

Every good D&D(esque) setting needs to have a bunch of prior civilizations that left dungeons behind to plunder. A great example of this is the Elder Scrolls setting, which has a bunch of really evocative dungeon "themes" - dwemer strongholds, daedric shrines, nordic ruins, ayleid cities... the list goes on. And the mainland Forgotten Realms certainly has no shortage of "lost civilizations", starting with Netheril and Cormanthor, and going on from there.

But Maztica has a significant shortage of those. Yes, there are the lost cities and temples of the fallen Payit civilizations, but that's about it.

So we ought to come up with a few new ones that nevertheless fit into the setting.

The best starting point is probably the legends about the Immortal Era from the Maztica Boxed Set, and the gods prior attempts at creating human - it's probably not too much of a stretch that these represent garbled stories about prior inhabitants of Maztica. (Again, the Boxed Set itself points out that these stories are not to be taken literally - and given what we know about the rise of humanity on Toril as a whole, these stories cannot possibly be all accurate anyway.)

"First, the gods made humans by scooping the thick mud of the riverbottom, and then forming clay into the images of men. But they placed these images back into the water, and the river washed their features away. The men of clay struggled and writhed on the world, but they could not stand. Finally, the men of clay disappeared in the water."

This sounds a lot like Mudmen - but these are unintelligent. Perhaps they used to be intelligent, but gradually lost their intelligence? This would fit the phrase "washed their features away". What would a Mudman civilization look like? Presumably, they could only propagate via magic - but perhaps the magic gradually went away...

An alternative explanation would be doppelgangers, who also have no firm shapes.

"Next, the gods took the limbs of stout trees, and hacked the wooden features into the shapes of men. They placed the men of wood into the water, and they floated. When they came forth from the stream, their features remained intact. The gods were pleased, for the men of wood seemed superior to their early cousins.

Then the lightning of a towering storm struck the world. Violent crashes and explosions shook the body of Maztica, and crackling explosions of the storm's rage echoed across the land. The men of wood caught fire, burning away before the eyes of the gods."


This sounds like some kind of plant creatures. Any suggestions?

"So the gods made a man of gold, and he was very beautiful. The gods gathered around to look at him, and they were very pleased. They waited for the man to praise the gods who had made him. But they waited long, and the man made no move, no sound. The man of gold failed, for he had no heart and no breath. He could not live."

Since this story only mentions a singular "man of gold", it can't really stand for an entire species. Still, perhaps it is some sort of construct from a prior civilization - a gold golem, perhaps - that has withstood the ravages of time.

Your thoughts? And what other civilizations might have left ruins behind?



Amazing how similar my thoughts on this have been. I have specifically used Lutum (from Spelljammer, sorry I can’t do links right now, I’m on my phone), which eventually degenerated into the semi mindless mudmen. For the men of wood, there was mention in Fires of Zatal that Maztica has treants that behave differently from normal treants (haughty, as if they are royalty). I also wanted to use golden golems. Kukul was unhappy because their soulless nature made their worship useless and unfulfilling.

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Jürgen Hubert
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Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  19:45:03  Show Profile  Visit Jürgen Hubert's Homepage Send Jürgen Hubert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Well, first off, The Creator Races - Sarrukh, Batrachi, Aearee, Fey, and Mankind - were EVERWHERE in the days of Thunder, mostly because that was before FR's Pangea - the proto-continent Merrouroboros - split apart and became the continents we know. Thus, there should be evidence of all five still in the True World.


A good point. The Sarrukh probably weren't around in force, since Maztica was the continent to which the couatl fled from the Sarrukh, according to p. 55 of Serpent Kingdoms:

"As the sarrukh of Okoth increasingly embraced their darker natures, a few dissenters, despairing of their kindred’s push toward evil, broke off from the main group. They entreated Jazirian, a fragment of the World Serpent, for succor, and it responded by transforming them into couatls. A bitter war ensued, but the couatls held their own against the more numerous Okothian sarrukh until Merrshaulk, a darker fragment of the World Serpent, fi nally slew Jazirian. At that point, the couatls were forced to fl ee to Abeir-Toril, where they eventually settled in Maztica. The god Qotal embraced them as his divine minions, and they acknowledged him as Jazirian reborn. Most remained there, but a few couatls eventually returned to Faerûn to deal with the fell legacies of their kindred in the Jungles of Chult. This splinter group embraced Ubtao as its patron deity."

Can anyone guesstimate when this happened? Serpent Kingdoms doesn't say. It must have happened before -24,000 DR though, since that's when some couatl start showing up as Ubtao's minions.

This also implies that at least one of the Maztican gods is ancient. It's possible that he was worshiped by other races long before humans started to do so, and the same may be true for other Maztican gods. It should be pointed out that the "Golden Age of Payit" lasted from c. 400 DR to 1000 DR (according to the Grand History of the Realms), and that was the olded "civilization of record" in the Maztica Boxed Set - so what happened before that?

On the other hand, the Aearee explicitly fled to Maztica, and their presumed descendants - the aaracokra - still live there and regard it as their homeland. I am envisioning ruins of "cloud cities" on top of the tallest mountains where few humans ever dare go (and remember, Maztica has a lot of mountain ranges higher than 15,000'!) - that would make for some awesome aesthetics! Does anyone have any good ideas, references, images for what these mountaintop cities might look like?

And concerning the Batrachi, I found [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20151102221533/http://community.wizards.com/content/forum-topic/2994836]this bit of apocrypha[/url]:

"Nadezhda was a great forested region (in modern day Maztica) once populated by human tribes which migrated across the Strait of Lopango to flee enslavement by the Yuan-ti of Mhairshaulk. Their respite was short lived, however, as the human tribes were quickly infiltrated and eventually supplanted by batrachi doppelgangers. Nadezhda ultimately fell to Aearee expansion as that race moved into the region."

Furthermore, the [url=http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Doppelganger]Forgotten Realms wiki entry on doppelgangers[/url] states:

"They were believed to be an artificial race, created by the Creator Race known as the batrachi.[citation needed]"

Not exactly "verified canon", but it is intriguing, isn't it?

As a side note, I would love to explore how doppelgangers fit into Maztican culture at some point. According to Aztec beliefs, donning the ceremonial disguise of a deity caused to become that deity in some way - they didn't see "masks" as "falsehoods" like European culture does. So maybe doppelgangers wearing the guise of a human are considered to "become" to a certain degree, and might be accepted even if others know that that person is really a doppelganger...

quote:
I don't think we need to take the first two myths literally - we have evidence of at least two previous, possibly human, civilizations right there. The 'mud men' sound more like neanderthals to me. In fact, the first thing that jumped to mind was orcs, because they were 'rough featured'. But I dismissed that since the last thing we want is the tropes found everywhere else. We could possibly substitute another 'bestial' type of humanoid - I'm going with Hobgoblins down in Katashaka for that reason. Or maybe even create something unique (or semi-unique) to the region that would be Maztica's version of orcs, like maybe the Lossal (they were orc-baboon hybrids in GH, but we can make them just a primitive normal race in FR). In fact, any sort of 'apish' race would work for our 'rough featured' people (saying they were actual mud is a bit literal, I think - N.American natives had similar myths, and the mud was baked into clay, but some were undercooked and some were overcooked, which is how they explained races {ethnicities}). If you want to keep the 'shifting features' aspect of it, go with the Lagahoo, which is from Central/South America. Its a shapeshifter from Trinidad. We could say they had their own civilization, but became cursed, and now there are only some monstrous types left.


For aesthetic reasons, I prefer to largely stick to "canonical" D&D creatures - but by preferrence the more obscure and exotic ones. This allows me to emphasize the alien environment of Maztica - while still making it recognizably D&D.

quote:
For the wood men, I am thinking elves, or rather, something very similar to elves but not quite, like Fey with an Aztec vibe. We may even want to make them slightly taller than humans, just to differentiate them from other elves (I am picturing something along the lines of WoW's Night Elves. This not only gives us the 'wood' connection, but it also connects them to a group that should have been there anyway - the Fey.


My version of the Maztican Feywild is largely populated by animal spirits - including the Animal Lords (the Cat Lord is already the patron deity of the Tabaxi, and Coyote is another obvious fit). This would fit the Mesoamerican vibe fairly well.

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr
Amazing how similar my thoughts on this have been. I have specifically used Lutum (from Spelljammer, sorry I can’t do links right now, I’m on my phone), which eventually degenerated into the semi mindless mudmen.


<looks up the Spelljammer MC7>

Perfect. Although I think I will ditch the "prefers to appear in female form" thing as a silly relic of a bygone age of gaming.

(And no, I have no problem with both doppelgangers and lutum being the "mudmen" of old - after all, the legends are pretty garbled over the ages anyway, so it's not surprising that two distinct things are conflated.)

quote:
For the men of wood, there was mention in Fires of Zatal that Maztica has treants that behave differently from normal treants (haughty, as if they are royalty).


Perhaps they used to rule over "plant kingdoms" in bygone ages?

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Markustay
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Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  22:31:00  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was trying to avoid the plant connection, myself, because I know Slevas was playing up that sort of thing in Katashaka (not me though, thus, your version works for me). The only reason why I suggested elvesa at all was because they are supposed to be a 'lost kingdom', so we wouldn't have to actually have any in the current era (unlike the treants, which are still around). I like the treants, thing - perhaps they are degenerated Voadkyn or Volodni (I never understood why D&D has both - so redundant!)

We can sort-of merge the other two (as Jürgen Hubert kind of proposed) - why can't the Lagahoo (I still think we should just use the name) be an experiment of the Batrachi? I mean, that's exactly the thing the 'Creator' Races were known for. Perhaps they found (or created) some kind of semi-alive 'mud' - like pools of proto-life (enzymes, proteins, etc. - "primordial soup") in pre-Sundering Maztica, and they were able to splice their own DNA into it, creating shape-shifting 'mudmen'. Then for whatever reason, sexual dimorphism occurred and the male and females became distinct (not hard to imagine among a race of shape-changers). Thus, we have the very stupid (practically non-intelligent) mudmen, and the females, who are tricksy (the Lutum).*

Now, being 'mud' (primal sludge is more like it), and fairly amorphous, they can take each other's shape, but there'd be almost no reason for the lutum to ever want to appear as a stupid mudman, and the mudman probably aren't clever enough to want to trick anyone by looking like a Lutum (and likely couldn't pull off the ruse for very long anyway - they're just too dumb).

I am using Eberron's Changelings down in Katashaka - a hold-over from the Batarchi (Dopplgangers) having interbred with humans untold millennia ago. But then again, I am heavily borrowing from that setting for a lot of things down there (giant ruins EVERYWHERE - you guys could even have some in maztica).

Speaking of giants, that makes me think of Dragons. Dragons had empires all over the place as well - I'm fairly certain Brian James had at least one placed in the Maztica region in his original (fanwork) version of the GHotR. Hmmmmm... just checked. NOPE... not that for that area. But at the same time, he named various regions after some dragons, but hen just has 'Maztica' and 'Katashaka' (and a few smaller 'realms') in the western lands - this gives me an idea...

What if all the 'Maztican gods' weren't gods at all? In my homebrew I said that the Maztican Gods were really just a 'humanized' (barely) version of the Draconic pantheon, but what if it was even less than that? What if all those names were just dragon-emperors that used to hold sway over this part of the world? A couple may have ascended and become gods later, but what if those are really just legends leftover form the time dragons ruled?


*EDIT:
Rereading what I just wrote, I realized this sounds a bit like what went on with the Dire Wraiths (Marvel Comics) - they are shapeshifters, and in their natural forms the males and females are radically different.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 18 Apr 2018 22:36:15
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sleyvas
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Hey, just concerning the Qotal raping Kiltzi thing. I went to amazon a few months back and just started to look for books on various mythologies that I could find on the cheap. I figured they could make good bedtime stories, and there are a ton of them that are like 50 cents or less. Anyway, one of them dealt with all the various south American mythologies, of which there is a LOT of variety. So, I found the original story that revolves around Qotal and his sister. Basically Tezcatlipoca (Quetzalcoatl's nemesis) gave Q some pulque (agave wine... so guessing something like tequila, but less refined), and it was the first time Q had ever drank. While hesitant at first, he soon started gulping it. Then he invites his sister over to share, because its fun. They get blitzed, and in their highly inebriated state.... start doing some non-brother/sisterly things. Then the drink wears off... and they realize what they did... and they're ashamed.

While I'm not saying that that's cool (its still very creepy, but its not cruel)... its definitely better than the way it was described in Maztica, wherein Qotal was jealous of human's love and then forced himself on his unwilling sister, who then goes crying to her mean brother just because she wants protection.

Qotal#146;s Seduction
For long ages peace ruled the world. Humans loved and laughed, and sometimes warred, and always they praised the might of their gods. Qotal heard the praise, and basked in it. Too, he saw the humans#146; joy, and he grew jealous.

He saw the pleasure the humans knew from love, and he craved a love of his own. Here he saw his sister Kiltzi, and he pursued her and took her for his wife. She struggled, knowing the wrongness of the act, but Qotal was master of all. He could not be stopped.

Finally sated, Qotal slumbered. He fell into a sleep that lasted for ages, and he would not awaken. Kiltzi, overcome by shame, fled from her eldest brother and took shelter with the banished Zaltec. And when Kiltzi fled, much of the love fled from the True World with her.


I know Seethyr also tried writing up a story called Diamond Eyes involving Shar that basically put him under her spell to make him consumed with his sister. But honestly, I think the two getting somehow "confused" and Qotal just leaving out of shame works. Kiltzi may spread the story that Qotal raped her just to save face to her followers since she didn't leave. To that end even, it could be something where Kiltzi even turns to Shar to "make her forget".

Also, from what I'm reading in that version of mythology stories, it does appear like Q is supposed to be the standup good guy. He doesn't want to harm anything. He hates picking flowers because it might cause them pain, etc...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  23:19:53  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hey, just concerning the Qotal raping Kiltzi thing. I went to amazon a few months back and just started to look for books on various mythologies that I could find on the cheap. I figured they could make good bedtime stories, and there are a ton of them that are like 50 cents or less. Anyway, one of them dealt with all the various south American mythologies, of which there is a LOT of variety. So, I found the original story that revolves around Qotal and his sister. Basically Tezcatlipoca (Quetzalcoatl's nemesis) gave Q some pulque (agave wine... so guessing something like tequila, but less refined), and it was the first time Q had ever drank. While hesitant at first, he soon started gulping it. Then he invites his sister over to share, because its fun. They get blitzed, and in their highly inebriated state.... start doing some non-brother/sisterly things. Then the drink wears off... and they realize what they did... and they're ashamed.

While I'm not saying that that's cool (its still very creepy, but its not cruel)... its definitely better than the way it was described in Maztica, wherein Qotal was jealous of human's love and then forced himself on his unwilling sister, who then goes crying to her mean brother just because she wants protection.
At the risk of being hated (cries of "victim blaming!!!"), this sounds a bit like a girl who REALLY regrets having done something while she was drunk, and is now crying 'rape'. NO, I'm not condoning anyone's behavior here (these are myths anyway), but what I am trying to say is that it would be VERY EASY to merge the two versions via this argument.

So it goes like this...

Tezcatlipoca: "Hey Quetzal-head, I got some cool stuff here and YOU can't have none..."
Quetzalcoatl: {grabs drink from him} "This stuff's GOOD! {several hours later} *hic* hey, Kiltzi, c'mere... try this shtuff.. is good *hic*"
Kiltzi: "Mmmmm... tasty... and I am feeling a bit giddy {several hours later} Is it me, or is it getting hot in here..."
Quetzalcoatl: "tickle fight!" (it actual came out more like "tagla favava", but you get the idea)
{next morning}
Zaltec: "Hey guys! I'm going down to the arcade and thought maybe you'd... OH MY GOD!!!"
Kiltzi: {seeing her brother's look} "Ummmm... Quetzal made me do it!"

Tezcatlipoca: {rubbing hands together} "Mwah ha ha ha! I've just invented Brazillian porn!"

So, its like, there are 'two sides' to everything. And I'm not defending or condoning Quetzalcoatl's (mythical) actions, but if your going out drinking with a feathered snake, things are bound to get a little weird, ya know?

I believe there were also some 'Drunk Monkeys' involved in at least one version. NO... I'm not joking this time. Definitely some ebil little monkeys... who drink too much...

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


Edited by - Markustay on 19 Apr 2018 20:19:50
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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
483 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2018 :  23:43:18  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As for ancient civilizations, I’d definitely think we have the bateachi and aeree but I still think that leaves thousands of years of dead space. I know that pre Otomi, there were the Zateca. That’s canon - but still not enough. I’d also posit that the scorpionfolk civilization is far older (also canon). There really just isn’t much in the humanity department but really should be.

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