The Maztican pantheon were the gods and goddesses of Maztica.
The Maztican pantheon consisted of the major deities worshiped by the peoples of the continent of Maztica. The gods were mostly regarded as bloodthirsty and demanding of many sacrifices, including of humans. The goddesses were generally regarded as weaker, and lacked the gods' thirst for human blood.
Although Zaltec was the undisputed leader of the pantheon for much of Maztican history, the peoples of Payit and Far Payit worshiped Qotal more, and the Dog People honored Maztica and Tezca the greatest.
In Maztican lore, the god Kukul and his goddess-wife Maztica came before the other deities, and humans, existed. This ended when Maztica gave birth to Qotal, the eldest son of Kukul. She gave birth next to Zaltec, then to the twins Azul and Tezca, and then to Plutoq. But Maztica and Kukul wanted daughters as well as sons, so she then had Kiltzi, then Watil, and lastly Nula. This was the origin of most of the major deities of the Mazticans.
The Mazticans believed that the gods created humans as toys, and that they tried several times to create humans before finally succeeding. First, the gods made people out of clay (which promptly fell apart when wet), then wood (which burned to ash), and then gold (which had neither heart nor breath and didn't live). At last, Kukul cut off some of his fingers, which fell to the ground and became humans. The other gods quickly gave humans different gifts. Qotal gave them speech and a desire to learn, Zaltec honor and courage, Kiltzi love, and so on.
As the humans spread across the land, they worshiped the goddess Maztica most of all, and Qotal grew jealous of the honor accorded her. So he then gave the humans mayz (corn), which allowed them to thrive, and they honored him greatly. And then Zaltec grew greatly jealous of Qotal, so he crafted and gave the humans hishna magic. With hishna magic, the humans began to wage awful, savage wars.
Qotal was saddened by the suffering of the humans, but he could not make something to match hishna. But his mother, Maztica, was saddened as well, so together she and Qotal crafted pluma magic to give to humans. The gift of pluma calmed the people, and the savage wars faded away. Zaltec, of course, was furious. So furious that he rose up and struck down his own mother. Qotal was furious at that, and war erupted among the gods. Kukul fell into great despair at his wife's fall, and he soon vanished and was heard from no more. But the other gods stood with Zaltec, and the goddesses with Qotal. Eventually Qotal and Zaltec fought a great battle in which Zaltec was defeated and then banished.
As the humans lived and flourished, Qotal saw them having fun and grew jealous again. He decided that he wanted a lover, too. So he pursued his sister, Kiltzi, and made love with her. When he was done, he fell asleep for ten years. Kiltzi, however, fled Qotal for the protection of Zaltec. When Nula and Watil heard of what had happened, they did too. And without the gods, humans suffered greatly. Then Zaltec sent his priests among them, to convince them to offer sacrifices, of people, to the gods. Zaltec and his brothers grew strong, and Zaltec returned from his exile. When Qotal woke up, and saw what had happened to the humans and what he had done, he was ashamed of himself. Moreover, he lacked the power to challenge Zaltec again, and then left the land entirely. Before he left, though, he gave to his priests a prophecy of his return.
Centuries later, a shaman named Tecco of a tribe of the Dog People had a vision one night. The next day, he journeyed into the desert, and wandered a full year before he found a massive cavern that was obviously constructed, rather than natural. In this cavern he found a pillar of stone, which became an image of the god Zaltec right in front of him. It spoke to him a prophecy, and then the image faded back into a crude stone statue.
In the year 1351 DR, when Naltecona was the ruler of Nexal, a very bright light appeared in the sky over the city. It stayed there, motionless, appearing every day for twenty days before failing to reappear. The same year, after a campaign against the Kultakans, the temple to Zaltec in Nexal burst into flames, leaving nothing, despite having no apparent source. A year after the first omen, the sky above Nexal turned blood-red for an entire day. The next year, a volcano nearby erupted for twelve days. And the year after that, a hunter saw a stag, greater than any he'd ever seen, with a ring of bright feathers around its neck. It stayed perfectly still, and all the hunter's arrows broke before hitting it. It then told the hunter to tell all he had seen to Naltecona. A year later, Naltecona had a dream wherein he saw a canoe approaching the shore from the east, and felt compelled to kneel. The omens continued, one each year. A massive sandstorm raged in the desert in the form of a gargantuan pyramid. The snow on Mount Zatal turned blood-red for ten days. One of Naltecona's sons was born dead, but was pale white in color. Three of four lakes in the valley erupted into waves (Lake Qotal was the fourth). And then, in 1361 DR, the same day Cordell landed on the shores of Payit, an unusual wyvern appeared to Naltecona. It had a mirror-like chest, and in the mirror Naltecona saw the foreigners landing on the eastern shore.
Finally, when the Golden Legion came to Nexal, after a great battle, Qotal appeared over the city, in the form of the Feathered Dragon, and Lake Qotal froze over, letting refugees escape the city. And when they reached the desert, it bloomed around them.
The Maztican pantheon had eleven members:
- Kukul: the father of the other gods, he was god of the stars and the husband of Maztica.
- Maztica: the goddess of the earth and life; she was the mother of the gods and was the wife of Kukul.
- Qotal: the god of creation, freedom, and pluma magic.
- Zaltec: the god of war, violence, and hishna magic.
- Azul: the god of water and rain, and the twin brother of Tezca. He was sometimes called Calor by the Nexalans.
- Tezca: the god of fire, heat, and the sun; the twin brother of Azul.
- Plutoq: the god of stone, clay, and mountains.
- Kiltzi: the goddess of love, fertility, and healing.
- Watil: the goddess of plants and agriculture.
- Nula: the goddess of animals.
- Eha: the goddess of wind and air.
- Douglas Niles (August 1991). “Gods & Battles”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 22–32. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
- Douglas Niles (August 1991). “A Journey to the True World”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 50–52. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
- Douglas Niles (August 1991). “A Journey to the True World”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 7–12. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
- Douglas Niles (August 1991). “A Journey to the True World”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 18–19. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
- Douglas Niles (August 1991). “A Journey to the True World”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 34–37. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
- Douglas Niles (August 1991). “A Journey to the True World”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), p. 43. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.