Qotal

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
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Qotal

Post by Dragonhelm » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:11 pm

I was curious how Qotal was portrayed in the Maztica novels. I also had some questions on his nature.

Is he really a separate god, or could he be an aspect of another god, like Bahamut? If he is an aspect, might he be half-dragon/half couatl?

For the most part, Maztica's gods don't appeal to me, but Qotal really seems to shine.
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Re: Qotal

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:19 am

I'd love to know that too. I've not got any of the Maztica novels yet...just RPG stuff.
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Re: Qotal

Post by dulsi » Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:36 am

It's been a long time since I read the books. I don't remember them talking too much about the gods. They must have talked about it somewhat but I don't remember much.

He could be an aspect of another god but I think you could say that of any god. I'm not very big on meeting and fighting gods directly so it doesn't matter to me. (One of my friends considers one of the defining features of FR the interactions with the gods. I started with the grey book 1st FR. The interactions with the gods was more something introduced by the time of troubles and later material.)
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Re: Qotal

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:31 am

dulsi wrote:It's been a long time since I read the books. I don't remember them talking too much about the gods. They must have talked about it somewhat but I don't remember much.
Hmm. But did you enjoy the story?
dulsi wrote:He could be an aspect of another god but I think you could say that of any god. I'm not very big on meeting and fighting gods directly so it doesn't matter to me. (One of my friends considers one of the defining features of FR the interactions with the gods. I started with the grey book 1st FR. The interactions with the gods was more something introduced by the time of troubles and later material.)
I'm not a fan of this thing of saying one god is really an aspect of another god. It is good to occasionally have one got pretend to be another god, but I think the plot device is overused.

I quite liked the concept that different parts of Toril would have their own pantheons. It kind of makes the planet seem more like the real world (with conflicting cultures that have different gods). And when you put Forgotten Realms up against Dragonlance, things like the Maztican pantheon make the two settings seem a lot more distinctive.

In fact the main thing that I think lets Forgotten Realms down (and something that Dragonlance doesn't suffer from) is that SJR2 Realmspace expanded the planet into a collection of planets, but failed to exponentially expand the gods within the system. In Krynnspace you can believe that Reorx would be worshipped on The Stellar Islands, but in Realmspace you just can't buy into a Garden where the "gods of the Northmen" are not listed.

I know that the Aztec gods were said to live in space (in flying pyramids if my memory of Legends & Lore is correct), and I think that the Maztican gods could have been exported to some of the regions of Realmspace, even if they had a couple of minor reboots (i.e. subtract one or two gods and add a couple of additional Mezoamerican gods that are unknown on the ground).

It certainly could have been fun for Slade to have put a giant step pyramid within the Tears of Selune and then stuck Maztican-like people onto it. :P
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Re: Qotal

Post by dulsi » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:49 am

Big Mac wrote:Hmm. But did you enjoy the story?
Yes I did.

I'm currently running a "New World" game in 4E. Not Maztica but there is an Aztec like empire. It is much more focused on a thirteen colonies like area. I did introduce a new class for eagle/serpent knights (tied closer with couatl than the eagle/panther knights of Aztec/Maztica). No one chose to play the class (which means I've never finished the writeup) but they have encountered them.
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Re: Qotal

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:34 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:I was curious how Qotal was portrayed in the Maztica novels. I also had some questions on his nature.

Is he really a separate god, or could he be an aspect of another god, like Bahamut? If he is an aspect, might he be half-dragon/half couatl?

For the most part, Maztica's gods don't appeal to me, but Qotal really seems to shine.
I haven't read the novels, only the campaign setting material. However, the Maztican gods appear to be mostly fresh interpretations of Mesoamerican/Aztec gods, with some details from Legends & Lore carried over (notably alignment). Qotal is clearly Quetzalcoatl.

Other Maztican god equivalents:
Kukul = Kukulcan, the Mayan version of Quetzalcoatl (although the name seems to be the only similarity).
Zaltec = Tezcatlipoca (mostly the brother/opposite of Qotal/Quetzalcoatl aspect).
Azul = incorporates aspects of Tlaloc, although not the name.
Eha = Ehecatl

Maztica = unknown
Plutoq = unknown, possibly some version of Itztlacoliuhqui-Ixquimilli (on description alone).
Tezca = possibly Xiuhtecuhtli
Kiltzi = possibly Chalchihuitlicue and/or Xochiquetzal
Watil = unknown
Nula = unknown

Mind you, this is all from quick perusals of Wikipedia and L&L, so YMMV.

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Re: Qotal

Post by Dragonhelm » Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:29 am

I know that Qotal is supposed to appear like a feathered gold dragon, but this mirage dragon pic isn't bad either.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/downloads/ga ... _CN_GL.jpg
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Re: Qotal

Post by Hugin » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:19 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:I know that Qotal is supposed to appear like a feathered gold dragon, but this mirage dragon pic isn't bad either.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/downloads/ga ... _CN_GL.jpg
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Re: Qotal

Post by Dragonhelm » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:40 pm

Well, poop. Let's try this instead.

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Re: Qotal

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:50 pm

That looks good. But how do we photoshop the feathers on? :P
Last edited by Big Mac on Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:26 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Qotal

Post by Hugin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:51 pm

Oh, that is pretty good. My Mystaran brain is screaming "Azcan"! (Can you hear it?)

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Re: Qotal

Post by Chimpman » Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:38 pm

Hugin wrote:Oh, that is pretty good. My Mystaran brain is screaming "Azcan"! (Can you hear it?)
I could hear it! Although just barely over my brain screaming the same thing ;)

Hmmm... now that I think more on it, this might be a really nice immortal identity for Atraughin...
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Re: Qotal

Post by Hugin » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:15 pm

Chimpman wrote:I could hear it! Although just barely over my brain screaming the same thing ;)

Hmmm... now that I think more on it, this might be a really nice immortal identity for Atraughin...
:o I LIKE it! Just the thing when he wants to portray himself in might. Nice.

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Re: Qotal

Post by Big Mac » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:02 pm

With Maztica stuff and Azcan stuff both being in short supply, I suppose it makes sense to see what each culture could borrow from the other.
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Re: Qotal

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:21 pm

Okay, pardon my ignorance, but what is Azcan?
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Re: Qotal

Post by Ashtagon » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:27 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:Okay, pardon my ignorance, but what is Azcan?
Azcans are a Mystaran nation in the Hollow World - basically another kind fo Aztec (on which they are loosely based).
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Re: Qotal

Post by Big Mac » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:26 am

Ashtagon wrote:
Dragonhelm wrote:Okay, pardon my ignorance, but what is Azcan?
Azcans are a Mystaran nation in the Hollow World - basically another kind fo Aztec (on which they are loosely based).
If only there was a resource for Mystara canon that was similar to Dragonlance Lexicon.

Maybe someone could make a canon wiki. :P

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Re: Qotal

Post by MirrorMirror » Tue May 04, 2010 8:40 pm

I read the Maztica novels when I was a teenager. There wasn't much characterization given to Qotal that I can recall. He was basically just a big feathered dragon that showed up (presumably from the astral plane)and fought Zaltec ( Who I vaguely recall had the form of a giant statue) at the climax of the trilogy. Thats what I remember about it.

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Re: Qotal

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:17 am

I know I get a lot of mileage in my RPGNet thread out of "Qotal is a dick" jokes, but to my mind all sources about the Maztican gods should be considered unreliable narrators - I believe the Boxed Set even makes a point of this.

Did Qotal really rape his sister (as the Boxed Set claims, and as priests of Zaltec would be sure to emphasize)? Or did he leave Maztica because he was offended by all the human sacrifice (as the novels claim)? We can't really know - but each cult, each priest should have their own answer to these questions.

Likewise, what caused the transportation of Maztica to Abeir during the Spellplague, and what caused its return? Faerunians might have their own answers, but so will the cults of Maztica - and how can we say who is truly right?

In my Returned Maztica interpretation, for example, the Gods (and Faerun) returned immediately after heroes had slain most of the dragon overlords plaguing the land, just as the couatls had promised to them. Who can argue that the two are not linked?
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Re: Qotal

Post by Sturm » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:52 am

Well Qotal is inspired by Quetzalcoatl/Kukulkan and the contradiction just mirrors the different Quetzalcoatl myths in Aztec and Mayan sources which contradict each others.
In one myth Quetzalcoatl sacrifices himself because he was with his sister, neglecting his and her priestly duties. The myth does implies incest, but not necessarily rape. In Maztica, the rape could just be propaganda of Zaltec's priesthood.
In another myth Quetzalcoast sacrifices some gods to start the sun, but later he is ashamed by his sacrifices and leave the world to atone for them.
So basically in the original myth he is "good" but imperfect, making him a very human-like deity. That's also why the missionaries found it easy to present Jesus to natives as another incarnation of Quetzalcoatl.
I however agree completely on leaving all these answers undetermined for PCs, as the people of Maztica should have differend and biased opinions on all these matters..
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Re: Qotal

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:19 pm

Furthermore, what might be true for one aspect of a deity might not be true for another. Even Faerunian deities have some elements of this - consider the "Eathmother" of the Moonshaes, who is an aspect of Chauntea. And the Maztican deities are explicitly called out as having many aspects in the Boxed Set, even if the rest of the text doesn't do much with this.

I want to move away from the conception of the gods as "like humans, only more powerful". They should be vast, complex beings which contain multitudes. Mortal followers might tell stories to better understand them, but these stories can ever only contain part of the truth.
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Re: Qotal

Post by Dragonhelm » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:27 pm

In Dragonlance, we see the gods as having many different aspects, which differ from culture to culture. So Kiri-Jolith is a knight for the Knights of Solamnia and a minotaur for the minotaurs.

The Forgotten Realms takes a bit of a different approach. Deities can be more regional. The gods of Faerun are not the same gods of Maztica, Kara-Tur, etc. Had those gods been the same, just with different aspects, I think I would enjoy the regional gods more.
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