So I've had this fascination with tribalism/hunter gather culture (whatever you what to call it) for as long as I can remember. Be it a simple classic like The Jungle Book, the still very much alive tribal communities of South America, to cinematic feculence like the mondo cannibal movies of the late 70's. Add to that a passing interest in Mayan and Aztec history, I got to thinking that no one has really created a fantasy world based on Mezoamerican mythology. Then I found out about Empire of The Petal Throne by M.A.R. Barker and thought, "GODDAMN! Someone more qualified beat me to it!" Ah. The heck with it. Here's a very brief synopsis of the most popular world creation myth of this jungle land I'm fabricating: The God of Death had a daughter that is The Sun. Four other persnickety gods came along from all four direction to help build a new world to house said Sun. Each of them had their own grandiose designs for the world and refused to cooperate, actively sabotaging one another and wrecking havok on the world, destroying it and rebuilding over and over again in the process. Death got pissed off, and when reason failed, he more or less tricked them with a game of Risk to divide the land into several territories for them to quibble over for all eternity. The Four get to bicker, life gets to prosper, everyone is happy. Well, happy as one can be if you're a hunter gather covered in dirt, living in grass hut, out in a haunted jungle that not only has ferocious animals wandering about, but the added worry of powerful ancient magics mucking everything up. The Goddess of Witchcraft (one of the four) tries to woo Death for more favor and power. He tells that gold digger to rightfully GTFO, so she reasonably (in her mind anyway) hacks him to bits and eats His corpse; simultaneously inventing cannibalism, murder, and deceit all in one fell swoop. This of course had the unfortunate side of effect of turning her from a stunner into mummy lich thing, and so she scampers off to her territory to hide and lick her wounds, oh and swear vengeance on everyone else. All the other gods (The Sun included) go insane, and the previously ridiculous game of Cosmic Risk has just got even deadlier, when the gods realize they can become more powerful if they literally eat one another. Hence all the strife and harshness in the world can be traced back to these four perpetually scheming gods. Did I mention that the dead have a tendency to get up again unless proper funeral rites and spells are enacted? How true that creation myth is in this world, is also an unknown. Some tribes eschew this whole notion entirely. As there happens to be ruins all over the place from previous stone age empires that came and went, all of whom had their own ideas of how their world came to be. Naturally other empires have risen in their place and are on the decline, as new tribal warlords drum up support to kick out the current monarchs nestled atop stone pyramids, and place themselves atop said stone pyramids. Plenty of opportunity for your standard wandering murder hobo-, er I mean 'adventurer'. Now right off the bat, (at least to me anyway) the world feels like Game of Thrones meets Mel Gibson's Apocaylpto with an underlay of Conan The Barbarian, minus the metallurgy (which in a way it should I guess, I'm creating this to appeal to me first, with the dim hope that maybe other people will like it too). My biggest worry is that I'm treading over the same ground to the point that it ends up feeling like an exact retread but in a loincloth and a feathered headdress (and or that I lack the skill to pull it off gracefully). I view the whole concept in a way as an homage to old school pulp fiction. Tarzan also comes to mind. I also really like classic fantasy races like Orcs and Lizard Men and added them to the mix. But I can't help but feel like that makes the whole thing too gimmicky. I wouldn't plan on making these two groups any less humanistic, just as people trying to live their lives as best they can with what they know. My most immediate gripe is that pre-agricultural communities...are quite dull (or are they?). They're fine in the background and I think it would add flavor to the world, having all these littler tribes running about ala The Green Inferno or some such. Long story short, I have a really neat idea but don't know where to start. Obviously a big help would be reading more books on the subject of Aztec/Mayan mythology and history. I also wanted to bounce this idea off fellow writers and get input if anyone else out there has done or is working on something similar.