[Returned Maztica] Far Payit - Under Fang and Poison

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
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Jürgen Hubert
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[Returned Maztica] Far Payit - Under Fang and Poison

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:23 pm

Here is the second regional writeup for my Returned Maztica series:

Far Payit

Counterpart culture: Mayans (in particular, their southern highland cities)

Dragon ruler: Queen of Fang and Poison, an ancient female green dragon who has mastered hishna and has deep connections to Xitonoc, the Realm of the Fey - especially its darker, hishna-related aspects. She suspected Cerico to be a trap and did not join her fellow Storms in assaulting the city - and thus, lives to rule her domain for now.

Religion: The Queen of Fang and Poison has traditionally tolerated worship of the gods, as long as individual cults did not challenge her rule - during the Godless Time because she did not fear them, and now because she is wary of the Gods and is uncertain how these unknowledgable beings will act. Qotal was popular among the scholars of Far Payit of old, and remains so to this day, and the cult of Maztica has grown considerable during the Godless Time. Worship of Ilhumatla has spread among the poorer population, especially the slaves, while the genasi of Deep Payit feel increasingly drawn to Plutoq. Finally, the halflings of the deep jungle have always felt drawn to Zaltec and Nula.

Economics: Far Payit has some of the few significant iron ore deposits in Maztica, and they represent a significant chunk of Far Payit's wealth. Beyond that, Far Payit has a multitude of slave-worked plantations producing corn, peanuts, coffee, cacao, and sugar cane. Finally, Far Payit boasts some of the finest scholars in Maztica (especially astronomers), and their schools see a steady-stream of well-paying students wishing to learn from the masters of their fields.

Politics: Though she would never admit it in public, the Queen of Fang and Poison was deeply shaken by the death of all but one of her fellow Storms (and she isn't too sure about Long Shadow of the Desert, either). While she always expected that one day a younger and more powerful dragon would take her place once she grew too old to defend her domain, that would have been the proper order of things. But to see her fellow dragons being taken down by mere mortals in such a manner was frightening. That most of the Feathered Champions who took them down likewise perished in the Battle of Cerico does little to console her - mortals grow up quickly, and new heroes will rise to replace the old ones in a blink of an eye. Thus, she remains cautious while considering how to change with the times and ensure her survival.

To the outside world, she tries to present herself as the lesser Evil while avoiding any signs of weaknesses. She is willing to trade her iron with anyone who will pay, and does her best to keep her neighbors distracted by the threats represented by Nexal and Kultaka. Visiting foreign adventurers will likewise be pointed towards one of her enemies (and if they find treasure in of the ruins in Far Payit, she might drop by in person and broadly and oh-so-politely hint that if they plunder one of the ruins in her territory, some sort of tribute might be appropriate. This almost never fails).

Beyond that, her primary foreign goal is regaining her share from the silver mines of Cerico. While she realizes that taking overt control of the City of Silver would be too aggressive a move, her agents work towards increasing the influence of her loyal Dragonborn houses among those who operate the mines and refineries and who transport the silver - eventually gaining a controlling interest in all stages.

Domestically, a major concern is the dwindling supply of slaves. During the Godless Time the Queen was not worried if some genasi slaves fled into the jungle - there were always more desparate refugees from the continent of Shyr which could be brought here. It is possible that slaves can be traded from other regions of Maztica or even Faerun, but until such trade routes can be established she is forced to look for more slaves domestically. Her halfling slave hunters have been busy finding the hidden genasi villages in the jungle, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the bulk of the free genasi population is now hiding in the caves of Deep Payit, where her loyal halflings cannot easily go (due to being unable to see in the dark) - there are even reports of entire underground cities! Thus, she has been forced to set tribes of kobolds on the task of flushing the genasi out, a race which worships her but which she has so far regarded as little more than vermin. The results have been... mixed.

Finally, while she has thought of the neighboring realms of Xitonoc as part of her domain, she is worried about the couatl that have allegedly supported the rise of the Feathered Champions - and she has heard rumors that a circle of couatl is hiding somewhere in this realm. She wants to know where they were hiding, and stop them before they can hatch any further plots that threaten her rule.
Returned Maztica - a new vision for Maztica in the 5th Edition era of the Forgotten Realms! Learn how the continent has changed after invasions and dragonfire, and take part as the people of Maztica finally take their destinies into their own hands!

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Jürgen Hubert
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Re: [Returned Maztica] Far Payit - Under Fang and Poison

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:48 pm

The Reborn Cities

When the Queen of Fang and Poison first surveyed her hard-won domain, she was not particularly impressed. To be sure, the jungles were beautiful and full of worthy prey, but only a scant few cities dotted their vastness - hardly a source of the wealth and tribute she aspired to.

Yet during further flights, she kept on finding odd mounds and old ruins hidden beneath the trees - not just one or few, but many dozens of such sites. Eventually, she realized the true scope of her finds - in days long past, Far Payit must have been home to millions of mortal souls. And, she vowed, one day it would be again as glorious and wealthy as it once had been.

Thus, once she had secured the obeisance of the natives and a steady supply of new subjects slaves, she sent out expeditions to relaim the ruins from the jungles. This was not mere vanity, but also made economic sense - most of these ruins were already at locations very suitable for new settlements, and rebuilding old structures of stone (or simply using the pre-cust stone to erect new buildings) was far less labor-intensive that starting over from scratch. Adventurers were encouraged to explore these ruins and clear them of their treasure. They were not allowed to keep those treasures, of course - such items of provenance and historical resonance belonged to the Queen's Hoard. But they were rewarded quite generously for their finds with silver freshly mined from Cerico (and thus flavorless to the dragon's sensibilities). Inevitably, smuggling rings sprung up that sought to hide those findings from her - but she still made sure that she got her due in the end, one way or another.

The reborn cities - largely named for its most prominent monuments, such as Three Pillars or Jaguar Face - slowly grew and thrived, and scholars flocked to these sites in order to better understand Payit's past. One mystery intrigued them above all others: Just why were all those cities abandoned? Why did the population of Payits decline to only tens of thousands after having reached such multitudes? While the history of Far Payit seemed to have been in some moral decline near the end, nothing can yet explain the suddenness with which the records end. A very few inscriptions seem to date from a later point in time, but they seem very crude in comparision and have suffered significant damage - possibly even intentionally so. Some hint of "terrors" that brought the cities to their doom, but the truth remains elusive.

As for the Queen, she suspects much - but says little of what she knows.
Returned Maztica - a new vision for Maztica in the 5th Edition era of the Forgotten Realms! Learn how the continent has changed after invasions and dragonfire, and take part as the people of Maztica finally take their destinies into their own hands!

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