This is a far from exhaustive list regarding the smaller civilisations of the New World. These are client-kingdoms for Verre Zon, who have accepted the local government in exchange for protection from the Ameyatl (or from the city itself, which went through a period of desperately needing to expand their domain).
These cultures will typically be smaller than the kingdoms of the Old World, however, if PCs are interacting with natives these are a few examples of the native people to interact with.
As always, questions and comments welcome. genetic, I will be looking at your nomads and seeing how to incorporate them into this list. I would be happy to discuss that with you.
Player ideas and contributions also welcome of course. If you want to make a local culture, we definitely want to include it, although we might need to discuss it a little to ensure it fits the Mesoamerican theme.
• Translates to the ‘Reed People’ so named because of their position on the Ticpacatl river, making extensive use of chinampas (floating farms) and spear fishing.
• Were originally the immediate neighbours to Verre Zon back when Verre Zon was first founded as a trading post.
• Now a district within the city as the city grew around their main town.
• One of the first native settlements to join the city, and in doing so managed to retain more independence as a client princedom than other subjugated settlements.
• Rare in that they have their own Conclave representation, rather than foreign governors.
• Run their own telpochcalli/calmacec schools for all children. Also run their own hospitals in their temples.
• Also includes several island villages within the Ticpacatl.
• Chief patron deity is Amimitl, a (heavily armed) fishing god related to the life-giving property of the waters. He is honoured by spilling blood in the water and he appears to respond to sacrifices by sending them fish to catch in return.
• Do a lot of ‘ghost patrol’, patrolling for spirits that haunt the river at night.
• A common argument with the city is fishing rights, they need space on their coast to fish, while others want to use that space as a dock.
• Highly organised militarily, relying on a small permanent guard for their leader alongside a militia-system in which the membership rotates on a quarterly basis (every 3 months). The militia system complies with the Conclave’s limit on the size of the Acaxomeca army while still maximising the spread of military training among the populace.
• Accepts guests from other client-states of Verre Zon into their telpochcalli, as a way of earning goodwill.
• Translates to the ‘sing-dog’ people, who appear to have done the unbearably cute and domesticated coyotes. Limited other animals, although they often cultivate jackrabbit warrens as a way of farming food for their coyotes.
• Live beside a volcano, their village located on a high plateau shielded from volcanic eruptions by a higher mountain peak in-between.
• Silt & obsidian are their main produced goods sent to Verre Zon as tribute, and the Iwsuni benefit from a highly fertile climate and obsidian flows caused by the volcanic eruptions. Magical assistance accelerates the process of lava producing obsidian. Secondary goods are opals & tuff, a building material made from volcanic ash.
• Patron god is Xolotl, the Giver of Bones, a canine god who digs up bones from Mictlan (underworld) to give them to mankind. Sacrifices to Xolotl are the bones of the dead, reverently dropped into the volcano.
• The volcano is sacred to them, and is known to erupt every several months as the source of their wealth. According to the Iwsuni, these eruptions are either predicted or controlled.
• Warriors of the Iwsuni are fairly typically archers and spearmen, although they make extensive use of their coyote packs as war dogs. Often the coyote priests will direct their packs on the battlefield.
• Music is highly valued in their culture, and often musicians will be treated as honoured guests.
Also, credit to Thelonious Gant for the Tzlil.
- Translates to the "Red Dust" people, a name that stems from the Tzlil custom of covering their bodies in red clay dust before battle or ceremony. The Tzlil also have a habit of defending their settlements by vast amounts of lime dust at the approaching enemies.
- The Tzlil people have occupied a region north of Verre Zon for centuries and are generally seen as rather insular and aloof people. They are openly hostile towards the Ameyatl and any other people who they feel threaten their holdings.
- They are one of Verre Zon's older allies in the region, though it is worth noting that it is a rather shallow alliance. The Tzlil cede no sovereignty and would take no action if Verre Zon was threatened, the alliance between the two is essentially an agreement that the city will be a favoured trading partner and Tzlil will be left to alone.
- The Tzlil are represented within the Conclave, though their representative often changes. Their Conclave representative oversees all trade between the Tzlil and Verre Zon and tends to have little interest in anything else within the city.
- They have tightly controlled borders and it is considered a crime to enter or leave Tzlil lands without permission.
- The Tzlil venerate giant carved stone heads of which they have hundreds. It is important to note that the heads do not represent the gods of the Tzlil but rather the heads are the gods of the Tzlil. Each one of them has its own priests who carry out (and potentially make up) the commands of their particular god. All aspects of Tzlil society are represented by a specific god and while such gods and their followers have a great deal of control over their particular areas the Tzlil as a whole is always ruled by one single god. The ruling god of the Tzlil often changes, some gods decline while others ascend, but of the last eight years the priests of Tletoa, god of silence, have ruled the Tzlil.
- The Tzlil lands are quite barren and punctuated by large rocky outcrops. The Tzlil themselves are renowned as talented stoneworkers, with almost everything they build being made of solid stone. Food production has always been a problem in their lands but the arrival of the Verre Zon colonists has allowed them to import needed food.
- Masks play a very important role in their society, with priests often wearing masks of their particular god. Priests also practice what the Verre Zon colonists refer to as "face magic". This form of magic is heavily linked with the worship of the stone heads, the Tzlil believing that certain faces grant certain powers.
- While they have several small settlements and villages throughout their lands the centre of Tzlil society is undoubtedly the stone city of Tzlil-ti. The city itself appears to be hewn from a single enormous piece of granite and while few buildings are higher than a single story almost all buildings have additional levels beneath the ground. The city pre-dates the Tzlil, according to their own records they simply found the city abandoned and claimed it. Within the city there is a vast library containing hundreds of slate tablets detailing their history, gods and contact with other peoples. The Tzlil have a reputation for long memories, every agreement they have ever made has been recorded and similarly it has been noted if that deal was honoured or broken. The Tzlil will always honour their agreements and will never forget those that didn’t.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.