Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
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Seethyr
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Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Seethyr » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:53 pm

Recently, I began to work on a little write up for the hell known as Xibalba. That discussion began here.

But the concept got me into thinking much more about the cosmology as a whole. In 1991's Maztica Campaign Set, the Maztican Planes were just parts of the Great Wheel, but as we talked about in the linked thread, I don't think it has to be that way. The northern Azuposi have their own plane for their souls final destination (Wenimats) so I don't see why the same can't be true for Maztica. It all really boils down to semantics though anyway.

Anyway, I fully intend to give each plane an article sized write up of its own. I really want to up my production quality though and have started learning a little HTML thanks to gmbinder and homebrewery.

This is an introductory product that I worked out. Mostly, I have just brought together all tht is already known about the Great Pyramid from other products, but it will serve as an introduction to the whole line.

I woud like to also use this thread for suggestions and comments. Though short, I want to make these works the best I have put out there - something usable by anyone who wants to work some alternate planes loosely based on Aztec and Maya myth.

MGP0 The Great Pyramid
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Big Mac
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Re: Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Big Mac » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:50 pm

Are you making this compatible with that (Legends & Lore?) material that has Mesoamerican deities living in Wildspace?
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Seethyr
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Re: Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Seethyr » Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:50 pm
Are you making this compatible with that (Legends & Lore?) material that has Mesoamerican deities living in Wildspace?
Interesting idea! I hadn't thought of it. I'll have to read up on the L&L material and see how its possible. To be 100% honest, I've wanted to write about this since 5e came out but I've been hopelessly waiting for a 5e update to Planescape. Now you have me hoping for a SJ update as well lol.
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Re: Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:32 pm

You probably know this already, but the 3rd Edition retconned the "Great Wheel" cosmology out of Maztica into something more analogous to Aztec mythology (fitting, since 3E also did away with the Great Wheel for the rest of Faerun). This is from the Player's Guide to Faerun, p. 165:


Maztican Planes

The Astral Plane of Maztica connects to the planes of the Maztican deities. These planes can be visualized as many planar layers stacked both above and below the earth. Each celestial layer is the home of a deity and a sacred bird; each underworld layer is a challenge for the souls of the dead, who must progress all the way to the bottom layer to find their eternal peace. These planes are populated by outsiders as well as deities.



No further detail is given. I am still contemplating the details for "Returned Maztica", but basically I want to keep the planar names from the Maztica Boxed Set but reassign them into a more thematically appropriate form. So far, I have:

Xitonco, the Meadow: The Feywild (dominated by animal form fey, including the Animal Lords - some of which, like Coyote, are worshiped as actual gods while others can serve as Archfey warlock patrons)
Mictlan, the Land of the Dead: The Shadowfell. Note that this plane is rather... crowded due to the absence of the gods for a century. One of the effects is that ancestor worship has become really popular in Maztica, resulting in lots of opportunities for the Undying Warlock Patron (from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide).
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: Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Seethyr » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:06 pm

Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:32 pm
You probably know this already, but the 3rd Edition retconned the "Great Wheel" cosmology out of Maztica into something more analogous to Aztec mythology (fitting, since 3E also did away with the Great Wheel for the rest of Faerun). This is from the Player's Guide to Faerun, p. 165:


Maztican Planes

The Astral Plane of Maztica connects to the planes of the Maztican deities. These planes can be visualized as many planar layers stacked both above and below the earth. Each celestial layer is the home of a deity and a sacred bird; each underworld layer is a challenge for the souls of the dead, who must progress all the way to the bottom layer to find their eternal peace. These planes are populated by outsiders as well as deities.

Yeah this caused me a bit of consternation. I really am not a big fan of the retcon as it seems to me to be the beginning of the attitude realized in 4e of “oh please, Maztica, just go away.”

I’m thinking of having this be a good description for the plane of Mictlan as it fits into the RW lore relatively well. I think Maztica is much more interesting with the planes (temenos) describes as they were in the boxed set.
Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:32 pm
No further detail is given. I am still contemplating the details for "Returned Maztica", but basically I want to keep the planar names from the Maztica Boxed Set but reassign them into a more thematically appropriate form. So far, I have:

Xitonco, the Meadow: The Feywild (dominated by animal form fey, including the Animal Lords - some of which, like Coyote, are worshiped as actual gods while others can serve as Archfey warlock patrons)
I had no idea how to work Xitonco. Mind if I borrow a little of this? It’ll be fun to stay up some animal lords when I get to it (right now I’m on Xibalba and moving onto Tlalocan next).

Jürgen Hubert wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:32 pm
Mictlan, the Land of the Dead: The Shadowfell. Note that this plane is rather... crowded due to the absence of the gods for a century. One of the effects is that ancestor worship has become really popular in Maztica, resulting in lots of opportunities for the Undying Warlock Patron (from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide).
Interesting take. While Mictlan is the Land if the Dead, the boxed set was pretty explicit in mentioning that Zompantli was heavily populated with undead. This seems like it could be a description for both. I’m gathering that Doug Niles used tzompantli, which are the big racks of the skulls of your enemies, to get the name.
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Re: Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Jürgen Hubert » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:18 am

Seethyr wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:06 pm
Yeah this caused me a bit of consternation. I really am not a big fan of the retcon as it seems to me to be the beginning of the attitude realized in 4e of “oh please, Maztica, just go away.”
Personally, I was relieved - I must admit that the cosmology section in the Maztica Boxed Set grated on me.

"The people of Maztica don't have a real understanding of the Outer Planes - unlike the people of Faerun!"
I had no idea how to work Xitonco. Mind if I borrow a little of this? It’ll be fun to stay up some animal lords when I get to it (right now I’m on Xibalba and moving onto Tlalocan next).
Sure, go ahead. The Feywild and the Shadowfell are certainly some of the best additions to D&D lore that happened in the 4E era, and I knew I wanted to keep them.

But using European concepts of the Fey - which most D&D fey creatures are based on - seemed wrong for Maztica. But animal spirits are firmly established in Native American lore - including "Old Coyote" in Aztec mythology.
Interesting take. While Mictlan is the Land if the Dead, the boxed set was pretty explicit in mentioning that Zompantli was heavily populated with undead. This seems like it could be a description for both. I’m gathering that Doug Niles used tzompantli, which are the big racks of the skulls of your enemies, to get the name.
Zompantli could be a "deeper layer" of the underworld, just like the Aztec Mictlan was divided into nine layers (and really, how can we tell the difference between a "plane" and a "layer" within a plane, outside of the usual Great Wheel mythology?).

Incidentally, I invented two new "Death Gods" for Mictlan, since the absence of any was a strange omission from the Maztica Boxed Set - besides, I wanted to fill out the "Grave" and "Death" domains from the D&D rules.
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: Maztican Cosmology Workshop

Post by Seethyr » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:56 pm

First two entries are up. I have to say how much I appreciate the artists who were generous enough to donate art for these projects or charge me minimal amounts. Pretty much everyone I asked said yes.

MGP0 The Great Pyramid

MGP1 Xibalba
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