Returned Maztica

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
I think that's Greyhawk, actually. FR has Smokepowder, which I'm sure is completely different. I think only the Lantanese know how to make... but considering Lantan went to Abeir during the Spellplague...
Yup - see p. 71 of the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Or at least, it "was transferred to another world, much like Halruua". Abeir sounds like a likely candidate, and it wouldn't be surprising if families of gnomes with strong mechanical aptitudes showed up in Maztica during its time on Abeir - especially if they thought the... political climate back home became uncomfortable. Heck, they might even have brought the printing press with them. Of course, Maztican hieroglyphs are not ideally suited for printing, but perhaps they developed a transliteration based on Draconic letters (which is likely a major trade language in Abeir).


Anyway, let's discuss religion. While the gods rule Toril, the Primordials/Dawn Titans rule Abeir. So, from the perspective of the inhabitants of Maztica, divine spells and prayers to their gods suddenly stopped working when the Spellplague hit. I would only make an exception for the goddess Maztica, who is in some ways the land itself and whose priests are essentially druids.

It's likely that some cults start sacrificing hearts to their gods in large numbers in the hopes of bringing their patron deity back. These cults are eventually driven underground by the dragonborn - not out of humanitarian concerns, but because human sacrifices are a waste of perfectly good slaves. Most faiths decline - what use have the Mazticans for gods who have abandoned them to the mercies of first the Amnish, and then the dragons? Only the cult of Maztica gains new followers, and may change from a purely wilderness cult to one that spreads to the cities.

Then, after the Sundering, the gods start answering prayers again. However, the Mazticans are wary - if the gods have done nothing for them for more than a century, then why should they now receive worship? While the cults do revive and gain new followers, these cults are nowhere near as dominant as during the pre-Contact era. The God Helm, of course, is even more contemptible - the so-called "Guardian God" did nothing to protect the Mazticans from the Amnish, and then he abandoned his own followers in turn when the dragons came.

So right now, Maztica represents a "market niche" for proselytizing faiths, and missionaries of all kinds will quickly flock there. Of course, the Mazticans will be less interested in tales of how awesome a specific god is and more what the god can do for them and their families... which will usually mean "what the priest can do for them". Still, there is plenty of opportunity for ambitious priests. Wakueen will quickly gain followers among the merchants, for example... while Bane will try to appeal to the more draconic instincts of the dragonborn. The Platinum Cadre will also try to gain converts, although worshiping a dragon deity (Bahamut, in this case) will likely be as unpopular as it was in now-vanished Tymanter.

From a meta perspective, this also provides many reasons for intensive contact between Maztica and Faerun. After all, there is little point in developing Maztica as a region of the Forgotten Realms if it is completely isolated from the more familiar parts of the setting.
 

Ferrus Animus

42
Validated User
Was this changed? I know the 2e Forgotten Realms Adventures has several pages of firearms rules... And I'm half-remembering a bit from a Spelljammer source about a shipful detonating in Waterdeep harbor or similar. Or is smokepowder different from gunpowder? (Although... Same result, just smokepowder is harder to make.)

I thought it was Greyspace where smokepowder was mysteriously intert?
I remember that question with regard to the FR. But I do think it's more a case of "nobody cares, guns are cool".

Anyway, let's discuss religion. While the gods rule Toril, the Primordials/Dawn Titans rule Abeir. So, from the perspective of the inhabitants of Maztica, divine spells and prayers to their gods suddenly stopped working when the Spellplague hit. I would only make an exception for the goddess Maztica, who is in some ways the land itself and whose priests are essentially druids.
Maztica could be classified as a primordial as some of the gods of Toril were recognized as that when the Abeir-exchange happened. Just primordials that were more or less on the god's side of the divide . Alternatively she would fit the 4E addition of primal spirit extremely well.

And if there were primordials which ended up on Toril, maybe some gods ended on Abeir and maybe one or more survived. For those people being used to worship gods in the way that grants the god divine power would be a great opportunity.
 

Renchard

New member
Validated User
However, eventually a secret alliance forms between restless Mazticans and equally restless Dragonborn - and against all odds, they begin to succeed. After many triumphs and tragedies their greatest heroes and their supporters manage to slay five of the Storms. Most of these heroes perish, but as if in answer to their hopes and prayers, the Steelsky lifts and their continent is back in Faerun.
Totally random point: If Returned Abeir had a steelsky while on Toril, why wouldn't Maztica have a normal Torilian sky while on Abeir?
 

Twiggly the Gnome

Registered User
Validated User
And if there were primordials which ended up on Toril, maybe some gods ended on Abeir and maybe one or more survived. For those people being used to worship gods in the way that grants the god divine power would be a great opportunity.
The Ladies of the Golden Hills, perhaps?
 

Crinos

Next to me you're all number two!
Validated User
Huh, I may need to check out Maztica myself. It seems neat.

On that note, Al Qadim is also technically set in Forgotten Realms, I wonder if I could get away with publishing 5e Al Qadim adventures.
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
Huh, I may need to check out Maztica myself. It seems neat.

On that note, Al Qadim is also technically set in Forgotten Realms, I wonder if I could get away with publishing 5e Al Qadim adventures.
Yes, you could:

"As I recall, Kara-tur, Al-Qadim and Maztica are all continents on the same world as Faerun. Would they count as Forgotten Realms content, or not?

Chris: It is totally okay if you want to play around with one or more of the other continents in the Forgotten Realms. Kara-tur, Al-Qadim (my personal favorite), and Maztica are totally part of the DMs Guild allowed content."
 
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Naxuul

Emo hair power!
Validated User
IIRC, the continent that Maztica replace was the dragon ruled continent, with it missing Maztica would instead be dealing with the Genasi and primordials.

-Naxuul
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
Let's talk about arcane magic.

To make Cordell into a Cortez analogue, he needed to have some kind of edge to win against the Mazticans during his conquests. Yes, he had firearms and horses, but these are not as great an advantage on a world with magic. So the authors stated that the Mazticans had no tradition of arcane magic.

This... never sat quite right with me. From a meta point of view, it takes away some of the post popular character concepts of D&D. From an in-setting perspective, Maztica exists in a world with teleport and other travel magic, as well as spelljamming vessels, so it cannot possibly be as isolated as the Americas were on our own world. A big hint from a meta perspective is that potatoes were already widespread in Faerun long before Maztica was contacted by Cordell, although Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog claims that batatas/sweet potatoes are new to Faerun. My personal suspicion is that they were introduced to Faerun by elves who had been in contact with their kin in Anchorome (not-North America). Perhaps some very old texts in Faerun describes potatoes as "elven root"...

Additionally, while "wizards" and their variations were the only arcane spellcasters in AD&D 2E (the system for which the Maztica Boxed Set was written), Sorcerers were added to the standard D&D classes in 3E while warlocks were added in 4E - and both are available as one of the standard classes in 5E. These are not classes that require formal training - the former usually requires having a certain bloodline, while the latter requires contact to certain supernatural forces. So even if we assume that there was no formal tradition of wizardry in Maztica, there should still be sorcerers and warlocks showing up from time to time. So what happened here?

Let us assume that Maztican society had prejudices against any spellcasters whose origin is not divine magic. This prejudice was encouraged by the Ancient Ones in order to remove competition, the secret drow cabal which had manipulated the events of the Maztica, and is also similar to what GURPS Aztecs tells us about the real life Aztecs (p. 32):

"Good and evil sorcerers were both everyday encounters. The public saw those connected to religion, medicine, or fortune-telling as good. Most others were considered evil."

So, (D&D) sorcerers and warlocks were encouraged to stick to the shadows or remain in the wilderness, and desperate and dishonorable people would sometimes seek them out for... services, but they were not a respected part of society. And presumably, shortly before the arrival of Cordell the Ancient Ones engaged in a campaign of assassination against any sorcerers and warlocks in Cordell's path who might have post a threat, while the locals were fed stories about "they were consumed by their own demons".

For this reason, the "combined arms" approach of Cordell's army came as quite a shock, and that in combination with horses and gunpowder probably caused the Mazticans to believe that they were facing a whole army of sorcerers, which explains why their morale faltered so easily - this was simply unprecedented.

Of course, as the Amnians and other colonies from Faerun established themselves, Mazticas gained a better understanding of arcane magic. And while the colonial rulers might have wanted to prevent the natives from learning wizardry, the knowledge likely spread anyway - in fact, I could see the Harpers deliberately teach natives in secret, to help them regain their freedom.

And when the dragons and dragonborn came, wizardry becomes even more widespread. In fact, since most divine spellcasters lose their power during the Godless Time, it is not unreasonable to assume that arcane spellcasters slip into the social role of priests - as respected pillars of the community who solve problems that more mundane methods can't solve.

In other words, in the current time period - two years after the end of the Godless Time - player characters of Maztican origin can choose from the full range of player character archetypes. The equivalent of "Aztec sorcerers" will exist - that's important for the proper pulp flavor! :D
 

Crinos

Next to me you're all number two!
Validated User
Yes, you could:

"As I recall, Kara-tur, Al-Qadim and Maztica are all continents on the same world as Faerun. Would they count as Forgotten Realms content, or not?

Chris: It is totally okay if you want to play around with one or more of the other continents in the Forgotten Realms. Kara-tur, Al-Qadim (my personal favorite), and Maztica are totally part of the DMs Guild allowed content."
And now I have a reason to be interested in 5th edition. Lucky I already have the books.
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
IIRC, the continent that Maztica replace was the dragon ruled continent, with it missing Maztica would instead be dealing with the Genasi and primordials.

-Naxuul
The Forgotten Realms wiki claims otherwise:

"The few primordials who survived retreated to Abeir, tired of conflict. Their dragon steeds then turned on them, killing even more, and the remaining Dawn Titans retreated into the mountains of Abeir. From that point on, Abeir was ruled by dragons until recent times, when the Spellplague transferred a continent called Returned Abeir from Abeir onto Toril. Currently, the Dawn Titans from Abeir are sleeping in a frigid part of Returned Abeir’s mountains called Fimbrul."

Also, Tymanther - which used to be on the "Faerun-equivalent" continent of Abeir until the Spellplague - was dominated by dragons until the dragonborn drove them off.
 
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