[Returned Maztica] Invasive Species

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
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Jürgen Hubert
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[Returned Maztica] Invasive Species

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:26 pm

Just like the Americas in our world has experienced the invasion of myriad nonnative species - sometimes with devastating ecological consequences - so should the environment of Maztica experience the impact of new creatures that have spread to its shores. This thread is intended to examine such creatures, as well as a homage to some of the more obscure beings of D&D lore. For D&D has published some rather stange beings over the years, and their strangeness can emphasize the alien environment and atmosphere of Maztica (at least compared to the "Europeanesque" environment of more classical D&D settings, such as the heartlands of Faerun) - while at the same emphasizing that yes, this is a D&D setting.

Another important criteria for considering which creatures to add is: How did this creature spread to Maztica? The following possibilities exist:

- It was introduced via accident - that is, either the creature is small enough to hide in ships bound for Maztica, or its young or eggs are.
- It was introduced deliberately, because someone thought it would benefit them (consider rabbits in Australia, raccoons in Germany, and many similar such stories).
- It arrived via its own power - which means that it is either aquatic or a flyer. Furthermore, it is probably native to Abeir - since such species from Faerun would likely have arrived a long time ago, and no longer count as "native".

Feel free to add your own suggestions - I cannot possibly survey all books of D&D monster lore of my own!

Osquip

Source: AD&D 2E Monstrous Manual

Image

These large, mutated rodents (they sport anywhere from six to ten legs) arrived accidentally via ship somwhere in Payit, likely in Dragonport. In urban areas occupy a similar ecological niche as stray dogs, feeding on the refuse of human civilization. They do not do very well in wet environments, which has helped keep their numbers down in the Payit lowlands, but they have become a major plague in Pezelac and similar dry areas, establishing large burrows that have become a hazard to many travelers, as well as cattle straying into their territory.

In cities, slum dwellers sometimes catch and eat them, though they risk contracting assorted diseases from such meals. The osquip living in the high plains are less of a hazard for human consumption, and many of the cattle herders of Pezelac have their own favorite recipes.
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] Invasive Species

Post by Seethyr » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:38 pm

Since Kara Tur is somewhere to the west of Maztica, there’s no reason not to include some creatures from that part of Toril as well. I’ve always toyed around with some Aztec themed kaiju just because, well, it would bring out the mega nerd in me.
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Zeromaru X
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Re: [Returned Maztica] Invasive Species

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:24 pm

The dragon overlords would have included scathebeasts, that are like the favorite snack of Abeiran dragons. Presence of herds of scathebeasts implies that zartails were also introduced alongside those, as zartails usually coexists with scathbeasts.

Beyond, that... perhaps the al'mirajes?

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Re: [Returned Maztica] Invasive Species

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:05 pm

Seethyr wrote:Since Kara Tur is somewhere to the west of Maztica, there’s no reason not to include some creatures from that part of Toril as well. I’ve always toyed around with some Aztec themed kaiju just because, well, it would bring out the mega nerd in me.
Didn't we already have kaiju at the climax of Feathered Dragon? :p
Zeromaru X wrote:The dragon overlords would have included scathebeasts, that are like the favorite snack of Abeiran dragons. Presence of herds of scathebeasts implies that zartails were also introduced alongside those, as zartails usually coexists with scathbeasts.
I will definitely include scathebeasts, though I will need to think about their current role in Maztica a bit more. The same goes for Zairtails.
Beyond, that... perhaps the al'mirajes?
How precisely were they introduced, though? I mean, osquip are rodents, and rodents get everywhere, but I don't really see horned rabbits infesting ships...
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] Invasive Species

Post by Seethyr » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:38 pm

Al’miraj ended up in Chult in Tomb of Annihilation. There was a backstory behind their inclusion in the hardback which i don’t have with me.

They are available as familiars now and perhaps the familiars of some foreign wizards...ahem...bred like rabbits?
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Re: [Returned Maztica] Invasive Species

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:50 pm

Jürgen Hubert wrote:I will definitely include scathebeasts, though I will need to think about their current role in Maztica a bit more. The same goes for Zairtails.
The scathebeasts role is a simple as they were once food, now they are free... I don't see the Mazticans wanting to eat an scathebeat (or perhaps, is an acquired taste?), dragonborn even less. But those creatures are so hard to kill that trying to extinct the race is a lot of effort. And dragonborn would likely protect them. So, they are here to stay. I can see grass-collectors adopting the herbivores, as the scathebeasts fluids help the grasses to re-grow more easily. And the surviving dragon lords and their vassals will still herd them for food.

Zairtails, on the other hand, are a truly an invasive species. Once the tiny pests began to reproduce, you cannot get off of them. Luckily, they are domesticable, so they are not the plague.

As for al'mirajes, it seems that zakharan merchants left some pairs in Chult and voila... rabbit population! But, al'mirajes are not an indigenous zakharan species. They just live there as well. But, the species is from the Feywild... so, if a few crossed a fey portal...

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Re: [Returned Maztica] Invasive Species

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:41 am

Zeromaru X wrote:As for al'mirajes, it seems that zakharan merchants left some pairs in Chult and voila... rabbit population! But, al'mirajes are not an indigenous zakharan species. They just live there as well. But, the species is from the Feywild... so, if a few crossed a fey portal...
In this case, they probably came up from the Sea of Plenty, that body of water between Lopango and the South Continent - in my vision, Zakharan traders sometimes get there.
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] Invasive Species

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:06 am

Crabmen

Source: AD&D 3E Monstrous Manual

Image

These creatures spread from Faerun at some point before the Godless Time, although the exact date is hard to pin down. It is unlikely that adult specimen made the trip. However, crabmen (technically a misnomer, but most humans cannot tell the difference between their sexes) sometimes climb on board of vessels, and under these circumstances it is possible that some of the sticky egg clusters stuck on the underside of the female of the species end up getting stuck to the ship instead and hatch at the end of the journey.

Certainly, this is how they have spread along the shores of Maztica, for they are primarily found along the continent's major shipping lanes. As they are attracted to shiny metals and have discovered that the ships along these lanes sometimes transport vast amounts of silver (from either Port Sun or Port Moon in Lopango), many tribes are rather aggressive when it comes to attacking ships in their waters. Fortunately, they are not particularly fast swimmers, and experienced captains know not to drop their anchors close to sites known to be infested with them.
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] Invasive Species

Post by Boneguard » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:15 am

You could look also at plants.

Plants to major, Dandelion and Apple were all introduced in America as food/medicinal plants.


Yes the only apple native to North America is the crabapple (this was my useless-fact-of-the-day public service)
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