Returned Maztica

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
And now I have a reason to be interested in 5th edition. Lucky I already have the books.
I'd love to see a 5e update of Kara-tur. But there are probably people better suited to creating an update of this region...

Also, there are plenty of empty spaces on the world map that could be interesting for exploration:

Spoiler: Show


 
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Clansmanone

Registered User
Validated User
Am I the only one who wants to see Jaguar Knights/Marines on galleys with feathered serpent prows firing sacred silver shot from muskets? Because that would be crazy awesome!
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
Am I the only one who wants to see Jaguar Knights/Marines on galleys with feathered serpent prows firing sacred silver shot from muskets? Because that would be crazy awesome!
I will see what I can do about that. ;)

Speaking of which, this is probably a good time to discuss pluma weaving ("feather magic") and hishna shaping ("talon magic"). The idea for these were probably "Okay, since the natives don't have access to arcane magic, let's give them another type of magic instead - only let's not make them too powerful, because they need to lose against the invaders!"

However, the Maztica Boxed Set also mentions that pluma weaving derives from Quotal, while hisha shaping derives from Zoltec - which implies that they simply stopped working during the Godless Time, but now they start working again and Mazticans are striving to recover this "lost art". A lot of feather and talon magic items were probably discarded somewhere when they stopped working - but now they work again, so it's time to retrieve them and go delve in some dungeons!

Mechanically, the Plumaweavers and Hishnashapers were Rogue kits in AD&D 2E. I think it's probably easiest if I just make them into Arcane Trickster variants with special spell lists for the time being and the note that they need to keep a ready supply of feathers or talons with them.

So how to treat Eagle and Jaguar Knights, who are also (respectively) plumaweavers and hishnashapers? While the Barbarian Totem Warrior archetype has potential, I actually think it is better to turn them into paladin archetypes, given their organization. They, too, lost their powers during the Godless Time. So, what happened to them during the interim?

Let's take a step back and take a look at another organization - the Harpers. The "Lands of Intrigue" boxed set mentions that they are already active in New Waterdeep as of DR 1370 and recruiting locals (as well as teaching them how to forge metal - teaching them wizardry is a logical next step=, and since the Amnish overlords represent clear oppressors, fighting against them likely becomes a popular cause among the Harpers. The initial cell reported to Khelben Arunson, but I imagine that when the Harper/Moonstar split occurs two years later, plenty of Harpers will say: "Sod this" so that they can escape these annoying internal politics.

Then the Godless Time begins, but the Harpers can deal with the lack of support from home. And the Seven Storms and their minions represent an even greater threat than the Amnish overlords (who are deposed by the new arrivals in short order), so they waste no time in transforming themselves into an underground guerrilla movement. And they are good at this stuff. As the original members from Faerun die off, the organization becomes a truly native one, calling themselves the Huilacapitztli ("Flutists").

Now, let's return to the Eagle and Jaguar Knights. Their divine powers have vanished, and their land is overrun by dragons. Many of them are killed in the fighting, and many others will just give up... but others will vanish and take the fight underground. Which in turn means that many of them will eventually end up among the Flutists. They still keep much of their ancient doctrine and training - sans supernatural powers - but circumstances force them to become more flexible about how they fight, and their lodges now resemble secret society cells instead of formal orders of knighthood.

Then the Godless Time ends and some of the Eagle and Jaguar Knights start regaining their powers! Qotal the Twice-Returned is pleased that they kept fighting for a good cause, while Zotal is pleased that they retained their fierce warrior spirit. However, this also means that there will now be increased conflict between the Eagle and the Jaguar Knights, as they feel the pull of their respective deities again. And what about their organizations? Should they return to their former status as servants of Faith and State, or should they stay in the loose, independent lodges that each have their own pet causes? And will their alliance with the Flutists survive, or will each follow their own path from now on?
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
Another issue worthy of discussion are diseases.

Like in our world, malaria probably spread to Maztica a few years after the arrival of the Amnish (which will likely get it called "Amnish fever"). However, unlike in our world a cure is readily available - in D&D 5e it's the 2nd level spell "Lesser Restoration", which is available to 3rd level clerics and druids.

In our world, the single biggest reason for why the Europeans had such an easy time conquering the New World was that the native populations were in the throes of plagues of apocalyptic proportions, leading to disorder, chaos, and in many regions to the total collapse of organized nations (such as in most of North America). The European settlers viewed the land in many regions as largely empty... because the plagues made it so. And malaria was one of the biggest killers in the warmer regions.

This will not be the case in Maztica - while larger outbreaks may overwhelm the larger priests, malaria is a comparably long-acting disease with plenty of time for casting Lesser Restoration, and 3rd level priests shouldn't be that uncommon. The situation will worsen during the Godless Time, when only the druids of Maztica can cast the spell - but that's still much better than what happened in our world. Cinchona tree bark might also be used for treatment where there is not enough magic to go around. Finally, since Lesser Restoration represents a divine blessing, I am assuming that while it removes all traces of the disease from the body, it leaves the resistances the body has developed against the disease intact - so while natives who were exposed to the Amnish Fever and subsequently cured by Lesser Restoration, they can still be re-infected but the new infection won't be as bad.

(The dragonborn meanwhile will have less problems with the Amnish Fever since their scales offer some measure of protection against mosquito bites.)

I know that the "empty ruins" are a staple of both the pulps and D&D, but historically human populations have spread out until they have populated all land that is arable at their current tech level. In our worlds, the plagues created such depopulated lands in the Americans. In Maztica, such lands frequently must and will have other reasons for lying empty. In the post-Sundering era, this can be the result of the conflict with the dragons. Other causes will be examined on a case-by-case basis.
 

Ferrus Animus

42
Validated User
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.
First I urge caution when using the FR wiki, it is at times biased and contradictory or lacking things especially with 4E lore. And later changes are often applied without notign they were changes

Second for example the books themselves do state some primordials as powers in Returned Abeir and the Windrise ports which are one of the regions detailed and made to be a source of Abeirian PCs in Dragon are that way because they are the (potentially former) realm of a powerful primordial.

Also, there are plenty of empty spaces on the world map that could be interesting for exploration:

Spoiler: Show


You might need to recheck that link. The file it links to is way tiny.
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
First I urge caution when using the FR wiki, it is at times biased and contradictory or lacking things especially with 4E lore. And later changes are often applied without notign they were changes

Second for example the books themselves do state some primordials as powers in Returned Abeir and the Windrise ports which are one of the regions detailed and made to be a source of Abeirian PCs in Dragon are that way because they are the (potentially former) realm of a powerful primordial.
Can you give me some exact citations for this? A quick browsing of the Returned Abeir mentions some cults worshiping the Primordials, but nothing about them having clerics in their ranks. And I haven't kept up-to-date with Dragon magazine issues, though I suppose I should start reading them - after I have read the primary material on Maztica.

You might need to recheck that link. The file it links to is way tiny.
Whoops. Fixed.
 

Ferrus Animus

42
Validated User
Can you give me some exact citations for this? A quick browsing of the Returned Abeir mentions some cults worshiping the Primordials, but nothing about them having clerics in their ranks. And I haven't kept up-to-date with Dragon magazine issues, though I suppose I should start reading them - after I have read the primary material on Maztica.
For the primordials of Toril? Kossuth and Gaunadaur are primordials that were/are treated like gods.
The primordials of Abeir didn't do what the gods did and lorded over the people in person, being a physical presence and less interested in worship.

Whoops. Fixed.
The file you are linking is tiny and enlarged for the wiki picture preview page. You might want to try a different one.
 
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