[Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
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Jürgen Hubert
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[Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:21 pm

As suggested by Harvard in the Returned Maztica thread, I am subdividing my work on this new version of Maztica into several distinct threads, one for each region. Here is the writeup I originally posted there:

Payit

Counterpart culture: Mayans (in particular, their northern lowlands cities)

Dragon ruler: Ancient Scales of Wisdom (deceased), an ancient male green dragon who considered himself a scholar and patron of the arts and sponsored many institutions of learning. However, his manipulations and attempts to pit the races and clans of Payit against each other caused too much resentment of his rule, which was his downfall. He was the first of the Seven Storms to fall and was killed almost two years before the end of the Godless Time.

Religion: As several of the Feathered Champions paid public allegiance to him, Qotal is now once more one of the most popular deities, along with Maztica (whose priests retained their powers during the Godless Time). Other popular deities include Ilhumatla (Ilmater) whose priests helped the people of Payit endure the tyranny of the dragon. Gond has a small following among the Lantanese exile community of Dragonport and like-minded technology enthusiasts. They have an alliance with the temple of Tezca, due to their joint work on the Eyes of Tezca - an optical telegraph network operating from the top of the temples ot Tezca (located both on their traditional pyramids as well as other high elevations).

Economics: During the Godless Time, Payit (and in particular the twin cities of Ulatos-Dragonport) was the main trade nexus between Maztica and the continent of Shyr. As such, much of the arable land of Payit was used for plantations producing assorted crops for export, in particular tobacco, sugarcane, and cotton. With the disruption of those trade routes caused by Maztica's return to Toril, its Dragonborn trading houses are now seeking new markets in Faerun where they can dump their accumulating stockpiles in a hurry, and their first Treasure Ships have already made the journey (using ancient sea charts). Dragonport also used to be the main port of entry for genasi slaves from Shyr, but with the abolishment of slavery in Payit by the Feathered Champions this trade has ceased entirely, and the plantations are still reeling from this disruption in their business cycle. However, once the trade routes to the Sword Coast, the Lands of Intrigue and ports further east have become established the economy should be growing again. The works of local artificers - whether pluma, hishna, or mechanical - are also in much demand elsewhere.

Politics: Like the Nexalan Empire of old and the other Seven Storms, Ancient Scales of Wisdom built Payit as a tribute relationship - the individual contributes tribute to the family, which passes a large portion on to the clan, village, or district, which in turn pass it on to their nearest city-state which ultimately gives it to their dragon ruler. Now that the dragon is gone, the city-states have asserted their independence. However, the Triple Council of Ulatos-Dragonport - consisting of the Revered Counselor of Ulatos, the Dragonvoice of the Dragonborn, and the Fey Speaker of the genasi - is arguing that as the most powerful city-state of Payit, the other city-states should pay tribute to them and allow them to lead the nation. While they have not asserted this demand with military force (though this remains an option), they claim that this is necessary due to threats from outside. The Queen of Fang and Poison of Far Payit, one of the two remaining dragon overlords, lurks at the southern border, and while Nexal and the Kultakan Empire is separated from Payit by the nation of Pezelac, Pezelac remains an unstable ally and might be forced to subordinate itself to one of the other unless Payit can be perceived as a strong, credible ally. Finally, while an invasion from Faerun seems unlikely at this time, the Triple Council is not above exaggerating the threat from Amn or similar would-be invaders given Payit's history in order to push for the need for unification.

Other ongoing political concerns include strife between the human Payit, the dragonborn, and the genasi resulting from resentments about their respective roles during the Godless Time, as well as efforts by the priests of the gods to regain their status from the era before the Godless Time... and thus take it away from the clan "warlock priests" and similar pretenders that rose in their place.
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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Re: [Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:03 am

Same question as in Kultaka.. what happened in the relations between Payit and New Amn during all these changes?

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Re: [Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:37 am

Sturm wrote:Same question as in Kultaka.. what happened in the relations between Payit and New Amn during all these changes?
New Amn was reintegrated into Payit. Basically, when the dragon appeared with clans of Dragonborn in tow, the Amish either collaborated or died where they stood - Cordell, for one, did have a Famous Last Stand, but others were not so eager to die or lose their possessions. Many of them became noble families equal in status to the nobility of other Payit city-states, though it varied how much they kept their old traditions, or their distance to native families.

Fun fact: Since the gods were unavailable during the Godless Time, many Maztican clans turned to other patrons. This included ancestor worship - resulting in quite a few warlocks with the "Undying" patron.

And some of Cordell's descendants (and he had a lot of those) tried the same rites on Cordell... and he, or an entity claiming to be him, answered. In other words, there are now a few warlocks running around with Cordell as a patron who urges them to restore their family to its former glory...
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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Re: [Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:56 pm

Very interesting answers, both here and in the Kultaka thread, thanks!

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Re: [Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:27 pm

The Coxi Basin

As the Zilhi River leaves the Pezelac highlands and flows into the Chuapli Forest, its bulk vanishes underground, flowing through vast, slow-moving subterranean rivers carved through the limestone rock and gradually increasing in salinity until they finally reach the outskirts of the Bay of Coxi. Water is not all that is exchanged, however - from time to time beings from the deep oceans migrate into these underground rivers, and the Crabmen are not the worst menace that have spread here in recent generations.

During its Golden Age the Payit people carved vast canals for their barges through the limestone which supported the trade of thriving cities, but most of these have long since overgrown by the jungle along with the cities that supported them. During the Godless Time armies of genasi slaves restored a few of them - enough to allow river trade all the way to Pezelac - but with the advent of their liberation they have ceased these efforts and vanished into the jungle, building their own villages far from prying eyes.

Cetays (sinkholes), already prevalent in the Payit lowlands, can be found here in greater number than anywhere else. Villages, towns, and even cities use them for their freshwater supply. More prosperous communities use a network of pipes powered by pluma magic that pumps the water from underground, some of which date back to the Golden Age, while poorer villages must rely on elaborate wooden staircases and ladders to bring the water from the water table - frequently a climb of several dozens of yards.

From the perspective of the map maker, the Coxi Basin looks like a great circular depression carved into the surrounding lands - as if some titanic force had struck the land here and left its mark. And indeed, the occasional chunk of starmetal - what the Easterners call "adamantine" - uncovered by erosion lends credence to this theory, and in the current age such discoveries can make a village wealthy overnight. But not all such finds are benign, as the region has a reputation for being haunted by strange beings from beyond the stars that seep out of cracked rock and which befuddle the minds of the natives. Indeed, there might be no greater concentration of cults and warlocks dedicated to such beings anywhere else on Maztica, and the Star That Shines By Day was whispered of here a long time before it ever appeared in the Valley of Nexal.
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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Re: [Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Zeromaru X » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:34 pm

Dragonport is what formerly was known as Helmsport, right?

I guess I'm going this idea for my Abeiran Maztica project.

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Re: [Returned Maztica] Payit - Gateway to the True World

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:15 am

Zeromaru X wrote:Dragonport is what formerly was known as Helmsport, right?
Yes. Helm was... not exactly popular in the region - first after his followers conquered the natives of Payit and stealed their lands and wealth, and then after he couldn't even keep his followers safe from the next invaders.

Some "God of Guardians", indeed!
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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