Arcane Age Maztica

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
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Big Mac
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Arcane Age Maztica

Post by Big Mac »

I was just reading Cptmorgan's Feathered dragon topic, where Seethyr said this in a reply:
Seethyr wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:02 pm
The gods would also likely lose their minds over this creation. They got really ticked off at Itzamna Manik, the plumaweaver who created the plumazotl in ages past. That much is canonical. What I have no proof of but suspect though is that even Qotal looked the other way when Tezca sent two xiuhcoatl to slay Itzamna and his wife after his act of creation.
I don't know anything about Itzamna Manik plumazotl, but the idea of the Maztican gods getting annoyed at Plumaweavers in ages past, made me think of the Netherese and their attempts at higher and higher level magic spells.

And that made me think of the Aztec thing about the world being destroyed in the past.

And that made me think: What if Maztican legends about the world being destroyed in the past were actually tied to Forgotten Realms events similar to the Sundering and the casting of the spell Karsus's Avatar (where a Netherese spellcaster tried to steal the power of a god)?

And that made me wonder, what Maztica could be like, in the past, when artifact-level Plumaweaving and Hisnashaping could have been possible and dead Maztican gods could be alive.

I've seen a few critics of Maztica suggest that the magic-use in Maztica is weaker than that in Faerûn. I don't think I agree with that sort of thing, but if we look to Dragonlance (and the Moons of Magic creating the Orders of High Sorcery when "magic defends itself" in Krynn's past) we could easily have super-dangerous "world destroying" Pluma and Hisna magic that the gods limit at some point. (And then turn this inferred theme backwards to create fun backstories for dangerous Maztican stuff that is difficult, if not impossible, to create in the modern day.)

But I'm not sure how important events in the past of Maztica line up with important events in Faerûn (or Al-Qadim, Kara-Tur or Realmspace).

Has anyone looked at the history of Maztica to see what might be happening at the same time the Netherese were building their empire? If the Netherese explored Realmspace (and even travelled to other crystal spheres) I presume that a few of them would have explored Maztica (and the surrounding areas).

Are there any flat-topped mountains, that could be the former site of construction of a long lost Maztican flying enclave?

Could that volcano in the Maztica trilogy be something originally created by the Netherese Mavin's Create Volcano spell?

Is there anything in Maztica canon that is more interesting than things inferred from what is happening in the Netherese and Myth Drannor products, in the Arcane Age product line?

What are the iconic events in Maztica's past? Which events would be most fun to set a campaign around?
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Seethyr
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Re: Arcane Age Maztica

Post by Seethyr »

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:58 am
I was just reading Cptmorgan's Feathered dragon topic, where Seethyr said this in a reply:
Seethyr wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:02 pm
The gods would also likely lose their minds over this creation. They got really ticked off at Itzamna Manik, the plumaweaver who created the plumazotl in ages past. That much is canonical. What I have no proof of but suspect though is that even Qotal looked the other way when Tezca sent two xiuhcoatl to slay Itzamna and his wife after his act of creation.
I don't know anything about Itzamna Manik plumazotl, but the idea of the Maztican gods getting annoyed at Plumaweavers in ages past, made me think of the Netherese and their attempts at higher and higher level magic spells.

And that made me think of the Aztec thing about the world being destroyed in the past.

And that made me think: What if Maztican legends about the world being destroyed in the past were actually tied to Forgotten Realms events similar to the Sundering and the casting of the spell Karsus's Avatar (where a Netherese spellcaster tried to steal the power of a god)?

And that made me wonder, what Maztica could be like, in the past, when artifact-level Plumaweaving and Hisnashaping could have been possible and dead Maztican gods could be alive.

I've seen a few critics of Maztica suggest that the magic-use in Maztica is weaker than that in Faerûn. I don't think I agree with that sort of thing, but if we look to Dragonlance (and the Moons of Magic creating the Orders of High Sorcery when "magic defends itself" in Krynn's past) we could easily have super-dangerous "world destroying" Pluma and Hisna magic that the gods limit at some point. (And then turn this inferred theme backwards to create fun backstories for dangerous Maztican stuff that is difficult, if not impossible, to create in the modern day.)

But I'm not sure how important events in the past of Maztica line up with important events in Faerûn (or Al-Qadim, Kara-Tur or Realmspace).

Has anyone looked at the history of Maztica to see what might be happening at the same time the Netherese were building their empire? If the Netherese explored Realmspace (and even travelled to other crystal spheres) I presume that a few of them would have explored Maztica (and the surrounding areas).

Are there any flat-topped mountains, that could be the former site of construction of a long lost Maztican flying enclave?

Could that volcano in the Maztica trilogy be something originally created by the Netherese Mavin's Create Volcano spell?

Is there anything in Maztica canon that is more interesting than things inferred from what is happening in the Netherese and Myth Drannor products, in the Arcane Age product line?

What are the iconic events in Maztica's past? Which events would be most fun to set a campaign around?
Hrmm, let me try to respond as best as I can along with distinguishing clearly between what is canon and what is my own personal work. I know not much has been written since 1993 officially so I'm starting to forget!

To be perfectly honest, when Douglas Niles wrote the campaign set, he didn't really specify specific dates, but rather spoke of major events within eras. That left a lot to interpretation, particularly when there were some things believed by the Mazticans that would be hard to explain away and still keep it consistent with FR lore.

I've also theorized that despite what the gods claim, pluma magic might have actually started with the Aearee and hishna with the sarrukh or even batrachi.

Lets see, according to the GHotR, Netheril crashed in the 3,520th year of Netheril or -339 DR when Karsus cast Karsus' Avatar. I am assuming that actually occurred approximately 700 years before the Golden Age of Payit. Here are some events whose dates are only guessed at in the Maztica Campaign guide.

I'll delineate canon vs fanon.

c. –32500 DR: The Immortal Era Begins Deities from Aztec, Mayan and Incan mythologies send the greatest of their avatars to seek out a new world far from their home on an enormous ship in the form of a pyramid. The ship is given the name “The Great Skyhome.” [FANON]


c. –32000 DR The gods arrive on Toril and land in the ocean far west of the main continent of the lush world. Eventually, they occupy lands in the west but upon their arrival, some avatars disappear for other lands, never to be seen or heard from again. Deep in the bowels of the Great Skyhome, the demoness Itzapaplotl emerges, having stowed away without the knowledge of any of the deities. The goddess once known as Coatlicue perishes upon arrival. Her massive bloated corpse disappears far underground where it begins to spawn terrible abominations that haunt the underground ways. [FANON]

c. –31900 DR Itzapaplotl makes her presence known only to Zaltec, who she seeks out as a lover. He initially spurns her advances but temporarily relents, until he discovers her desire to steal his divinity. [FANON]

c. –31500 DR After many centuries of a relatively lonely existence on their new home the gods attempt to create “new toys to play with” and labor to create mankind. The gods are not satisfied with their first attempts. Man created from mud, wood and gold are all deemed failures before Kukul severs his own fingers. The fingers wriggle to life to all the gods’ satisfaction and begin populating Maztica. [CANON] Rumors persist to this day that not all of the “failed attempts” have been destroyed. The First Man to stand is named Camazotz. He is initially favored amongst the gods (particularly Zaltec), but eventually deems himself greater than his creators and is subsequently struck down by Zaltec. He is raised back from the dead into unlife by the Obsidian Butterfly Itzapaplotl and the First Man becomes the First Vampire. [FANON]

c. –31000 DR Aearee empires (avian creator race) dominate Faerûn and many migrate to Maztica. Interactions between the aearee and the primitive, young race of humans are rare due to their geographical habitats, though when they do occur, they are generally peaceful. [CANON] Camazotz makes a second play for power among mankind and learns how to co-opt the souls of female humans who die in childbirth. These souls are sacred to all of the deities, though it is the elemental brothers Plutoq, Azul, and Tezca who issue their wrath upon the would-be-deity and his city known as Chacobben. Camazotz is thought slain and the city is buried in a great mudslide, effectively erasing it from history. Itzapaplotl’s duplicity is discovered in her resurrection of Camazotz and she is beset upon by the brothers as well, this time including her former lover Zaltec. She uses much of her power to rip great swaths of land and casts the molten rock into the sky. She escapes the god’s wrath by forming her Void Kingdom of Tamoacha upon this floating stone and occupying it forever more. Itzapaplotl kidnaps shepherd spirits of the dead known as zizimime and slowly transforms them into her subject star-demons. An edict is written where Itzapaplotl or her children may not come to ground as long as Kukul’s Eye (the sun) is upon the world. [FANON]

c. –30000 DR As the Time of Dragons begins, the aearee empires collapse. [CANON] The pattern continues in Maztica due to conflicts with powerful green dragons. Qotal, also known as the Feathered Dragon, reaches out to a tribe of decimated aearee and changes them into the fierce quetzaldaun, who are then able to overcome the greatest of green dragon threats. The quetzaldaun never reach the heights of power once reached by the aearee, but they no longer have fear of extinction. [FANON]

c. –12000 DR Due to generous gifts from the gods, mankind begins to flourish and spread out. They advance from their primitive state to become inquisitive, honorable and loving, but the gifts also bring war and cruelty. Agriculture, particularly in the cultivation of mayz, becomes a driving force behind humanity’s success. Many towns and great cities are built, most in honor of the firstborn of the goddess Maztica, Qotal. The newfound piety is in part due to mankind’s appreciation for his gift of mayz. [CANON] The sand elder giants arrive in the house of Tezca from a portal to an unknown desert plane or demiplane under circumstances which they either do not remember or do not care to speak of. [FANON]

c. –8500 DR Zaltec creates the magic of fang, claw and venom known as hishna and introduces it as his own gift to mankind. War and cruelty reach new heights among the toys of the gods. Hishnashapers begin to appear at this time in addition to a breed of warriors known as jaguar knights. [CANON]

c. –8100 DR After hundreds of years of never-ending war, the goddess Maztica gives her favored son Qotal the gift of pluma magic, which he passes on to mankind. Plumaweavers and eagle knights are seen for the first time. [CANON]

–8060 DR: In a fit of rage over Maztica and Qotal’s “betrayal,” Zaltec murders his mother using a single blow from his darkness edged mācuahuitl. [CANON] The weapon shatters and shards from its obsidian edge lodge into her body, birthing the first plumastone in the mortal realms of the True World. Zaltec takes Maztica’s heart and takes it with him to feed upon its energies to the current location of Mount Zatal. The heart’s inherent life magic is corrupted, spawning the terrible energy known as the Darkfire (alternatively, Darkfyre). [FANON] Kukul disappears in despair over the death of his wife and disgust over the behavior of his sons. There is war among the gods. All the male gods side with Zaltec while the females side with the enraged Qotal. Humans create a great pyramid known as Tehwaca at the command of their gods where the war is set to occur. Sacrifice, which is a practice already common among the god’s worshipers, is brought to a new height as ten thousand warriors give their hearts to Zaltec. Qotal responds with a sacrifice of his own by freeing thirteen beautiful caged butterflies upon the pyramid. Qotal defeats Zaltec not long after battle is commenced. [CANON] The mainland goddess Shar is drawn to the loss of the whole event and takes notice of Maztica. [FANON]

-8059 DR Zaltec feeds from the Heart of Maztica, but it regenerates as quickly as it can be consumed. [FANON]

-8055 DR Zaltec encounters a sarruhk named Mixcoatl, also known as the Viper, who pledges his service to the dark god in guarding and maintaining the Darkfire. The mountain grows rapidly and eventually becomes a volcano. [FANON]

-8051 DR Zaltec senses the interests of his brother gods outside the earthen walls of Mount Zatal. Their power manifests in the four lakes that surround the growing mountain. [CANON]

–2225 DR: In the guise of a beautiful mortal woman known only as “Diamond Eyes,” Shar tricks Qotal into giving away some of his divinity. Qotal seeks aid from his hated brother Zaltec and together they easily recover his stolen power. Once the battle is over, the alliance ends as quickly as it began. Qotal is given a vision of his sister Kiltzi in which he recognizes her resemblance to Diamond Eyes and he lusts for her. [FANON]

–1106 DR: Qotal’s Seduction For more than a thousand years after his vision of Kiltzi, Qotal observed mankind’s love and play and he grew increasingly jealous. The seed of lust Shar had placed in his mind germinated until he could no longer deny it. Against her wishes, Qotal took his sister Kiltzi and proceeded to fall into a deep slumber. The darkest rumors claim that a child was born of this union, but no evidence of the rumor’s veracity can be found. [SEMICANON, it has been embellished to include Shar]

–1105 DR Kiltzi flees to her brother Zaltec in shame along with her sisters Watil and Nula. Terrible droughts, plagues and natural disasters decimate mankind as Qotal continues to slumber. [CANON]

–1095 DR A majority of the human race also turns to Zaltec who demands tens of thousands of sacrifices. The droughts and famine end as the gods once again begin performing their duties. [CANON]

–812 DR: Departure of the Feathered Dragon Qotal finally awakens after centuries of slumber to a land all but dominated by the worship of crueler gods. He attempts to punish mankind by taking their speech, but his power is no longer what it once was and only his few remaining priests comply. Qotal begins a self-imposed exile, though he leaves the Prophecy of the Cloak of One Plume to indicate when he would return to the shores of the eastern land of Payit. Two massive faces are carved into a rocky bluff where Qotal sets off on brightly feathered canoe by his remaining worshipers. These faces become known as the Twin Visages. [CANON]
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apotheot
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Re: Arcane Age Maztica

Post by apotheot »

Loving the more fleshed out history.
I do like the theory about Pluma originating with the Aearee too, as for Hishna seems more Batrachi than Sarukh to me. It does make me wonder though since the Sarukh gathered magic from the Aearee, Batrachi and themselves in order to create a record of all magic in the Nether Scrolls, if such spell casting would have been covered in those. Unless they were developed independently AFTER the Nether Scrolls were penned (printed?, stamped? engraved? how does one create reforming golden scrolls of lettered magic anyway? (one source said the golden sheets had writings permanently dented into them, another described the writings made of light))
-Apotheot

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