The Door of Stars

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Seethyr
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The Door of Stars

Post by Seethyr » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:12 am

In this post about Mesoamerican settings, the concept of the Door of Stars was brought up. It is a homebrewed artifact I have developed for the Maztica setting.

Essentially the Door of Stars is a portal with multiple - if not thousands of travel points. Every destination has its own "key," represented by a sequence of 16 crystals arrayed in a 4x4 "control panel" which is immovable and indestructable (the crystal positions may be adjusted on the panel).

Each destination leads to a world, or portion of a world that uses Aztec/Maya/Inca or other Mesoamerican peoples as inspiration, rather than one that is European. So far, it has an established endpoint in Maztica in the mountains of Huacli near the city state of Otomi, an endpoint in the world glimpsed in the Dragon Magazine #70 adventure "Mechica," and a dark, vampire overrun world that is otherwise unknown.

The Door of Stars itself is only a small part of an extensive adventure I am putting together for my players and DMsGuild and its own part of the write up is completed. I will quote the adventure in a second post.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is interest in such an item. The reason I developed it, was due to the fact there there simply is not a ton of adventures out there (partucularly 5e) that have the Meso feel to them. With such a limit for my players, I want them to be able to use it ALL. So, sure -Maztica today, the Hollow World tomorrow?

If you would like to join in this, here is a call out to add to the fun. In your own campaign, maybe you could ask the following questions...

1. Where is the Door of Stars in my world located?
2. Who has control of the Door of Stars?
3. How often is it used?
4. To which locations are there sequences known? Are there others hidden in ancient temples or dungeons?
5. What is the history behind the Door of Stars in your world.

I think it would be really fun to connect us all this way. The Piazza has so many different beloved worlds and everyone seems to have their particular favorite. Once in a while, wouldn't it be nice to pay our friends a visit? I'm getting ready to meet the Azcans as we speak...
Last edited by Seethyr on Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Door of Stars

Post by Seethyr » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:13 am

The Door of Stars - Maztica Endpoint wrote: HUACLI REGIONAL HISTORY

The Nexalan Empire was vast and overpowering. It subjugated nations far and wide and it was once thought to cover the whole of the True World. Despite their distance from Nexal, the city states of Huacli were no stranger to the Empire’s reach.
Yet somehow, despite multiple attempts, the city-state of Otomi has always managed to resist ultimate defeat. They won many battles and often set the Nexalans fleeing back to their valley with hardly a slave in tow.
Undaunted, the Nexalans brought about greater and greater forces to bring down the stubborn Otomi, and the inevitable conclusion would be victory. But when the victorious force finally marched into the city itself, they found naught but a ghost town. Abandoned homes, temples, even meals left uneaten were all that could be found. The treasures were few, and although copper could be found in relative abundance, the haul was hardly worth the campaign’s expenditures. After many seasons and many attempts, the Nexalans finally gave up and left the Otomi.
The secret that has saved the Otomi was a relic of an ancient time and unknown origin. Before they inhabited the mountains and valleys of Huacli, there was a nation of folk known as the Zateca. The Zateca spoke a language called Teenek that still has some words in use in modern Huacli, but that is not the only remnant of their civilization.

THE DOOR OF STARS
_______________________________

The Door of Stars is an artifact that predates even the Zateca, and they are said to have found it hidden in the same mountain cave in which it still resides.
The Door is a gateway to other worlds, controlled by a series of crystals and unknown symbols – a “control center” of sorts. The Door is utterly unbreakable, as is its control panel. Sixteen crystals arranged in a sequence on a four by four panel open doors to different worlds and allows for nigh infinite permutations. Experimentation is almost useless to find “random” worlds but it has been done before (most just keep the gate unopened). In the circumstances where one has been found, it has only caused disaster – once allowing an otherworldly retinue of vampires and their spawn to enter the True World and decimate the Zateca population. The Otomi know this, and experimentation is strictly forbidden.
The Otomi know of one specific sequence which leads them to a world where surviving Zateca relocated a thousand years past. In this world, their name has been bastardized over the centuries and they are now known as the Sapotec. It is this land – sometimes called Mechica, to which the Otomi flee when under duress.
Other sequences are said to exist hidden in ruins that are themselves hidden deep in the mountains.

*Note that given there are 16 crystals and 16 positions to fill there are over twenty trillion crystal permutations.

THE ZATECA
_________________________________

The Zateca inhabited Huacli long before the current civilization and its city-states. They were a peaceful people, at home in the mountaintops, but very similar in temperament to the Payit far to the east.
They found the Door of Stars early in their prerecorded history and came across the crystal sequence that opens the door to Mechica. Whether the sequence was found in an old ruin or through experimentation is unknown, but when they entered, they came across a native population known as the Mechica. The Mechica were not outright hostile, but also did not entirely welcome the Zateca. An uneasy truce formed as the Zateca colonized the uninhabited mountains of the new world. The Mechica mispronounced the Zateca name and over time, the Zateca became known as the Sapotec.
On Toril, the remaining Zateca sought to find new worlds through the Door of Stars. Whether out of greed or simple curiosity, they experimented with abandon. After many years and tens of thousands of attempted sequences, the door finally opened to a world of darkness. Within moments, a retinue of vampires and their spawn poured through the door and killed all the Zapotecs they could find. Within a decade the Zapotec civilization on Toril was no more and the vampires were prepared to move beyond Huacli’s mountain borders.

THE DESMODU
_________________________________

Unbeknownst to both the Zateca and the invading vampires – another race took note of the horrors that came through the Door of Stars.
A shy civilization of batfolk known as the desmodu inhabited the mountains and remained virtually unknown to the Zateca. The vampires threatened their underground caverns in addition to the surface world and inevitably war began. The desmodu were fierce in defense of their home. In another decade of time, with heavy losses among the desmodu, the vampires were driven back in an event known as the Day of the Purge. The vampires were backed to the coast of Huacli and onto a tidal sand bar as the desmodu picked them off one by one astride their giant bats. The sand bar went for many miles ending at an unknown island. The undead were pushed to this island just as the tide came in and destroyed swaths of their vampire spawn. The cruel undead have languished on this island for many centuries now, ravenous and degenerate. They call their kingdom Nochte, and slaughter any who approach.
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Re: The Door of Stars

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:25 am

Sounds to me like a D&D clone of Stargate SG1.

There is probably a gap in the market for this sort of thing. :)
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Re: The Door of Stars

Post by Angelika Tatsu » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:53 am

Legendary Games has a Pathfinder product called Stargates, and while it wasn't everything I would've hoped it to be, it might help to flesh out this idea further.
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Seethyr
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Re: The Door of Stars

Post by Seethyr » Tue May 15, 2018 4:41 am

It's finished and up on DMsGuild. If someone runs it I would love to hear about how the session went. My players found it a little easy (with the exception of a single encounter) but fun. I hope you enjoy it as well.

TWR3 The Door of Stars

While we are at it, I also put up a collection of magic items unique to Maztica. Figured I'd share that here as well...

TWM8 Weaving Pluma and Shaping Hishna - Magic Items of Maztica
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