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Dorados

Pantheon

Central American

Population

Total: 3,500,000

By Island -

Az: 2,000,000

Mey: 1,000,000

Ink refugees scattered between Az and Mey: 500,000 (mostly slaves)

Government

The Dorados are broken up into many city states, each ruled by an Ajaw, functionally the same as a king. The Ajawlel (kingdom) is passed from father to son in a closely guarded family dynasty. City states typically remain peaceful, but may war from time to time.

Political Hierarchy

All city states in the Dorados are completely independent from each other, with the Ajaw having complete control over his region. Regional boundaries are often poorly defined, but city states tend to be far enough apart that the dense jungle separates them. Farmers near the base of their mountaintop cities tithe crops, riches, and occasionally their virgin daughters to the Ajaw, and in return receive some level of protection from the war bands of adjacent cities. Personal loyalty to the Ajaw is considered a religious duty.

Religious Hierarchy

Each city state dedicates itself to worship of one or two particular gods from the Central American pantheon, and the rituals and rites performed by clerics within the city state vary by god. Gods within the Central American pantheon are often Evilly aligned. Although this does not mean the citizens of that city state are necessarily evil, they abide by the evil rites and rituals as a way of life. Worship of many Central American pantheon gods requires ritual sacrifice of many kinds. Some gods demand young female virgins, some demand the losers (or winners) of the game of Pelota, some demand royalty from rival city states.

Each city has one or two High Priests, or Ahau Can Mai in the traditional tongue, who are responsible for not only administering religious rites, and of advising the Ajaw in religious affairs, but also of being the intermediary between the Ajaw and the populace. A High Priest selects acolytes from amongst the nobility to aid him in these duties, and may pass the priesthood itself onto a particularly deserving acolyte, but as often as not the priesthood is passed to a son of the priest himself. City states typically maintain one High Priest per patron god.

Geography and Climate

Three large islands dominate the Dorados island chain, although many other smaller, often uncharted islands populate the predominantly shallow waters in the surrounding seas. All of the islands host dense tropical rainforests with daily rain, frequent typhoons, hydric soils, and flora and fauna as dangerous as it is beautiful. Tall hardwood canopy trees shade understory ferns and thick, thorny underbrush. Movement through the Doradoan jungle is plagued with difficulties, from thorns to biting insects to disease to large, hostile predators. Populated areas, when cultivated for agriculture, make for easier passage if the locals allow it. Limestone hills and cliffs crop up seemingly at random, and all three islands are riddled with huge limestone caverns, which sometimes swallow entire rivers only to spit them out miles away.

The wilderness hosts great colonies of giant spiders, araneas, stirges, and spider eaters, as well as the occasional wyvern, cocatrice, or other more dangerous predator. Dinosaur variants are also prevalent in this region. But the most fearsome predator of all, perhaps in all of Panakos, is the dreaded Tarasque, which awoke on the small isle of Ink a century ago and began incessantly ravaging the island from bank to bank, consuming everything in its wake, turning the islands inhabitants, those who were able to flee, into refugees or slaves.

The largest, easternmost island is the Isle of Az. The least hilly of the three, and the most populated, this island hosts Tenoch, largest city in the region, as well as several other smaller coastal city states.

The second largest, northernmost island is the Isle of Mey, hillier than Az and with denser jungle. The largest city on this island is Tek.

The smallest island of the three is the isle of Ink, which is very mountainous, difficult terrain, and hosts the abandoned Shrine of Machu Picchu. All humans fled the island a century ago when the Great Tarasque first arrived. Now the aggressive jungle has retaken the entire island, growing over roads, swallowing fields, and engulfing the cities of Ink. Only the bravest of adventurers venture onto the island now, for fear of the Great Tarasque making them it’s next dinner.

Exports

Outside of food crops, the Dorados produces coffee, sugar, and tobacco. The easy availability of sugar cane leads to some large scale rum production. Mines in the Dorados are few and far between, but the few that exist yield high volumes of silver, gold, jade, copper, and emeralds. Numerous shoals produce coral and pearls, and intra-city raids often feed the rich slave trade. Despite these rich exports, the Dorados people themselves do not often venture offshore, making the oceans surrounding the island chain rather lawless. This combined with high concentrations of slaves, rum, and a surplus of rare mined valuables, makes the Dorados an ideal safe haven for pirate activity.

Cities

All cities in the Dorados are built on the peaks of limestone hills, out of great flat stones quarried from caves within the hill itself, and have extensive cisterns and subterranean grottos due to the quarrying activity. Mountaintop cities are positioned such that they have clear line of sight to adjacent cities, and communications are transmitted between each city by a style of Morse Code, as giant bonfires are obscured and unobscured with great hemp sheets.

Tenoch

Population: 800,000

Location: Central Az

Gods: Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc

Ajaw: Moctezuma XV

Ahau Can Mai:

General Description: The city of Tenoch is the largest city in the region, in the central hills of Az. It was built on an island in the center of a dormant volcanic lake, and numerous man made canals web throughout the city, serving as roads. Goods are transported throughout the city by boat or barge, and individuals travel largely by gondola. The surrounding lake provides a superb defensive barrier from other city states, and the City of Tenoch has never fallen to foreign invasion. The city follows Huitzilopochtli, God of War, and has successfully subjugated many of the adjacent city states with its impressive army. It also follows Tlaloc, God of Rain, and the surrounding agriculture benefits from his influence.

Notable Locations

The Templo Mayor is a great dual pyramid to the gods of Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc.

Calmecac, a school for noble children.

The Great Tlachtli Court of Tenoch is the largest and most unique ball court in all of Panakos. Instead of the typical open grassed field, this court is crisscrossed with narrow canals that contestants can leap over, as well as four larger pools too wide to leap, with wooden rafts anchored in each that can slide from one side of the pool to another if leapt upon with enough force. This court is approximately 150 yards across.

The Tzompantli, or in common tongue, the “Rack of Skulls,” is a great wall in the central marketplace where the skulls of lawbreakers, captives, and warriors of other city states are skewered and allowed to rot in public.

The Palaces of Moctezuma contain 100 individual suites, for the Ajaw, his functionaries, and foreign dignitaries, each suite with a private bath and servant slaves. The palaces also host a bird zoo, a land animal zoo, a botanical garden, and an aquarium.

Yax Mutal

Population: 300,000

Location: Central Mey

Gods: Tezcatlipoca, Mictlantecuhtli

Ajaw: Yax Nuun Ayiin IV

Ahau Can Mai:

General Description: The city of Yax Mutal occupies a vast central network of limestone ridges and swampy valleys inland on the Isle of Mey. Numerous pyramids are linked together by bridges and causeways over depressed swampy areas. Rainfall is directed into many large man made reservoirs for irrigation and potable use.

Notable Locations

The city is parceled into different districts connected with wide stone causeways and aqueducts: The Great Plaza, the Central Acropolis, the North Acropolis, the South Acropolis, and the Plaza of the Seven Temples. The Temple of the Great Jaguar is a 300 foot tall pyramid dedicated to the patron god Tezcatlipoca, and is the central fixture for religion in the city.