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  • On Ixcoatli

    I love the addition of a vast Beastfolk Empire in the far east that is a major power to be traded and contended with!

    The part that I struggle with though is the degree to which a Mesoamerican themed society of feathered reptiles comes off a Rathess-redux to me. I was thinking about replacing it with a different Beastfolk empire appropriate for the far east. My best idea so far is to lean into legends of the Naga kingdom, and draw on a mix of Indian and deep-jungle Southeast Asian elements for a society of serpent folk, whose social hierarchy is based on how serpentine they are.

    Serpent-face, human arms and legs: laborers and common soldiers

    Human-faced with serpentine tail: artists & priests

    Serpent faced and serpent tailed, just with human arms: warrior-kings (generally only happens with males)

    Giant serpents with human-intelligence and souls, but completely serpentine body: holy-mother/queens (generally only happens with females)



    In addition leopard/panther folk have a respected place in this society, but tend not to settle, being more migratory hunters who come and go and make trade with the kingdom. Having pantherfolk guards/hunter-generals is a mark of great honor and station.


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  • #2
    This hypothetical alternative would be named Takshaka.


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    • #3
      I had a conversation with one of the previous developers where a suggested inspiration for Ixcoatli was Babylonian society. That might be a useful point of inspiration, maybe.

      I think this bears out in relation to the description of the raitonfolk and the awilu of Babylon. The serpentfolk could then be equivalent to the mushkenus with slaves occupying the bottom rungs.

      The Theomilitary obviously adds an interesting wrinkle to this, I suspect.
      Last edited by Leetsepeak; 09-11-2017, 12:15 AM.


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      • #4
        The name then sound a little more Babylonian, because Ixcoatli does sound very Meso-American.


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        • #5
          Why would this Empire have to replace Ixcoatli? Why can't it exist in the same setting? And why can only one culture be Meso-American themed? After all Rathess was an early Cradle of civilization that would influence all of Humanity down the line to some extent.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
            Why would this Empire have to replace Ixcoatli? Why can't it exist in the same setting? And why can only one culture be Meso-American themed? After all Rathess was an early Cradle of civilization that would influence all of Humanity down the line to some extent.
            Because I see no benefit in reduxing the same concept again. We aren't just talking about "another civilization with mesoamerican cultural elements" - I agree there are tons of those in the southeastern jungles north of the Dreaming Sea! We're talking about one OF FEATHERED REPTILE PEOPLE. I don't see what Ixcoatli adds to the game by doing that again.


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            • #7
              Maybe Rathess will be slightly different this time?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
                Maybe Rathess will be slightly different this time?
                ​Like maybe it will be even more of a long abandoned ruin whose culture from thousands of years ago has no bearing on the actual lived in setting.

                ​I don't think it's very much for the setting to contain more than one Mesoamerican inspired culture, considering that there was more than one Mesoamerican culture.


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                • #9
                  Rathess: the lost-and-found ruins of an ancient Dragon-king city now occupied by an elder solar and his army of bandits and hobgoblins.

                  Ixcoatli: the living empire of serpent-and-raitan beastfolk that spans the jungles some distance to the north east.

                  Common feather-and-scale Mesoamerican aesthetics aside, I'm not seeing much redundancy. Rather there is verisimilitude that the later would be influenced by influenced by relics and remembrances of the former.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                    ​Like maybe it will be even more of a long abandoned ruin whose culture from thousands of years ago has no bearing on the actual lived in setting.

                    ​I don't think it's very much for the setting to contain more than one Mesoamerican inspired culture, considering that there was more than one Mesoamerican culture.
                    Again, you're actively excluding the "feathered lizard" point that's central to why the confluence of elements feel redundant.

                    I already said there should be and at my table ARE multiple groups with Mesoamerican cultural elements in the Southeast to the north of the Dreaming Sea.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                      Rathess: the lost-and-found ruins of an ancient Dragon-king city now occupied by an elder solar and his army of bandits and hobgoblins.

                      Ixcoatli: the living empire of serpent-and-raitan beastfolk that spans the jungles some distance to the north east.

                      Common feather-and-scale Mesoamerican aesthetics aside, I'm not seeing much redundancy. Rather there is verisimilitude that the later would be influenced by influenced by relics and remembrances of the former.
                      "Wow, what was this ancient lost society like?"

                      "Ixcoatli.. like exactly... I mean they were a separate species rather than Raitonfolk humans, but other than that, pretty much the same"

                      "Oh... well that's anticlimactic"

                      "But they're dead now, which makes them different!"


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                      • #12
                        As I read 1491 and finish it up, something to keep in mind is Mesoamerica was a pretty big and diverse place. One way to mayb ehelp distinguish them from Rathess at least is maybe not even go into some completely other different culture, but look at what elements from the Mesomaerican region feel distinctly one or the other. Ixcoatli has a lot that feels to me Aztec, with its pseudo-Nahuatl name, the alliance between the raitenfolk and serpentfolk, the deep theology that they seem to have and their general imperialness. Rathess by contrast had this more Mayan or even Olmec thing going, with the city being ruins, the civilization long gone and the descendents of its builders still there but in a diminished state as the jungle creeps into things.

                        I think it's sorta similar how you can have mutliple say, Japan-inspired locations in Creation (Port Calin, Lookshy) but the emphasis on different aspects of them, plus some of what makes them not Earth or what makes them draw on other cultures besides the base line one, do a lot to things to help out and I think htat's something to maybe consider there.


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                        • #13
                          "Rathess by contrast had this more Mayan or even Olmec thing going, with the city being ruins, the civilization long gone and the descendents of its builders still there but in a diminished state as the jungle creeps into things."

                          As I said before, the fact that Rathess is fallen is not enough of a difference to hold my interest. It just means Ixcoatli being at it's height devalues the loss of Rathess.

                          I do agree more Mayan and other Mesoamerican tropes would be appreciated in drawing a greater distinction! But "well, they're in ruins now" is not such a distinction.


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                          • #14
                            While you can do whatever you want at your table and I understand your reasons even while not sharing them, the easier hack would probably just be to move Rathess into the territory of Ixcoatli and suddenly the similarities are no longer annoying, but complimentary.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cheshire Cat View Post
                              While you can do whatever you want at your table and I understand your reasons even while not sharing them, the easier hack would probably just be to move Rathess into the territory of Ixcoatli and suddenly the similarities are no longer annoying, but complimentary.

                              Hell, make Rathess like Teotihuacan. How hard is to believe that some serpent and feathered men confused Dragon King sculptures for themselves?
                              Personally, the distinction I might draw is more Inca if only because of the Inca history of "warrior kingdom finds more 'cultured' group, fuse together after conflict, become empire".


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