And here is the final writeup for the main regions of Returned Maztica!
Counterpart culture: None, though the ruins in the jungle are Olmec in style. Cerico itself is based on Potosi.
Dragon ruler: Joint rule by the Seven Storms (now ended). After the initial conquest of Maztica by the dragons, an uneasy peace settled in for a generation. That ended when the largest silver deposits anyone has ever seen - possibly the largest silver deposits on all of Abeir - were found high up in the mountains of Lopango, a region largely ignored by the Storms so far but which each of them wanted to claim for themselves. The battles were fierce, resulting in some dragons being killed and replaced by newcomers to Maztica. Eventually, the remaining seven dragon rulers settled down and managed to come to an agreement defining each others' territories - and splitting the silver extracted from Lopango equally between them. The city of Cerico was founded as the center of silver extraction and refining - and one day, it would become the grave of two of them.
Religion: "There are no Gods in Cerico" - the old adage holds true even now. During the Godless Time the rulers of the clans responsible for extracting its silver worshiped only wealth, and those condemned in the mines could only believe that the Gods had truly forsaken them, for sending them to the worst place in Maztica. And even now that the dragons no longer reign those who come to Cerico either do so because their greed blinds them to any other concerns or because they do not have any other choice. A few priests of assorted faiths try to bring succor to the unbelievers, but most will see following a cult merely as a way to get an edge over others.
The hidden tribes of the Green Folk still worship Watil, Nula, Maztica, and Qotal, and those escaped slaves who have joined them tend to follow their leads.
Economics: The first Amnish explorers to this region wondered why the descendants of those who built the great ruins of the region were now reduced to small nomadic clans hiding themselves as well as they could from any outsiders. Eventually, the answer became clear, for the jungles were also home to tribes of jungle giants who delighted in the taste of human flash, and were masters of ambush and camouflage at a level scarcely thought possible for creatures that size. The lesson for outside explorers was clear: Stay away if you value your lives.
This lesson was heeded until the discovery of the silver deposits, the treaty between the Seven Storms, and the founding of Cerico - the dragons wanted the silver of the mountains, and cared not for how many mortals had to die to get to it.
Two ports were founded to allow for the transport of silver to the dragons' nations: The western Port Sun at the Patzcoatl which quickly became a home for gamblers, fortune seekers, and criminals seeking a place to hide, and the eastern Port Moon at the Gulf of Qotal, a home for mages who chew coca leaves and cultivate vision-inducing mushrooms in order to gain further insight into their art and breed monsters imagined in their fever dreams.
From there the great Silver Trails converge on Cerico, dotted by small fortresses along the way where the caravans rest in some measure of safety from the attacks of the jungle giants. And even that safety is relative, for in too many nights one of the guards on the walls is impaled by a massive spear hurling out of the darkness, then yanked back on a rope attached to it. The screams of the guard soon cease, but the smacking of gigantic lips and the cracking of bones last for longer.
Those who survive the trip to the City of Silver can attempt to make their fortune, if they are of strong will and stronger force of arms - but too many end up robbed, poor and penniless, forced to work in the silver mines for a few years or months before their bodies collapse from the strain. Worse off are those who work in the refineries, contaminating themselves with mercury until even their corpses extrude it. Too many of these unfortunate souls become undead renevants spreading the metallic poison further.
While the Battle of Cerico and the fall of the Seven Storms has caused some disruption in Cerico's business, they also represent an opportunity - for now the silver is no longer required to be presented as tribute to distant draconic overlords but can be sold to the highest bidder. Thus, the City of Silver is rebuilding rapidly, and will likely soon surpass its old size. However, this wealth also attracts more bandits and pirates, as they no longer have to fear draconic retaliation for raiding the silver shipments.
Politics: Only one question matters in Cerico: Who controls the silver? During the reign of the Seven Storms, the possession of the mines and the distribution of the silver was clear and few dared to challenge this consensus. Now the mines belong to whoever can hold them, and the dragonborn clans who once were mere stewards of their wealth challenge each other for domination of the city. Raids are common, and the clans hire the best mercenaries they can find - and thanks to their wealth, they can pick the best from all over Maztica.
Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
The Book-House: Find Maztica products.
The Book-House: Find Maztica products.
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- Jürgen Hubert
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