|Xochipilli (Lombard Museum)|
Central American Worshippers
For the first time we come to a pantheon in D&DG in which every PHB class is represented amongst the gods. The idea of a paladin of Quetzalcoatl in authentic Aztec dress and arms certainly appeals, but it does bring up yet another problem with the book's coverage of "pagan" religion - aspects, or the lack thereof.
Quetzalcoatl is listed as lawful neutral, so why would any paladin hold him in high regard, let alone Camaxtli, the neutral god of fire. And as for Chalchiuhtkicue - she's chaotic, for Set's sake!
Many polytheistic deities represent or control an aspect of the world which has the potential for a wide range of effects on the human world. Loki and fire is the classic example, but Chalchiuhtkicue's element of water is another. Even more abstract ideas can have variable levels of desirability depending on how they are applied: law, passion, invention, love etc. can all be positive or negative depending on the degree or the type. Because of this, deities often has aspects which represented these facets of their sphere of control and different forms for each aspect.
In the UK I think we generally associate this with the Hindu pantheon, if we associate it with anything, but it manifests all over the place. If you go to Nashville, Tennessee and look at the statue of Athena you will see a giant snake beside her on the dais. That snake is none other than Athena's father, the great god Zeus from whom we get the words "Deus" and "Deity" itself, in his chthonic (underworld) form*.
*Edit: I may be misremembering this (see comments) but Zeus Ktesios was a widely worshipped form of Zeus as a snake protecting a family or household, which is what I thought he was representing on the Parthenon.
So, if we say that a paladin follows or venerates a deity who is not lawful good we need to ask - is there an aspect of this god which fits. In the case of Quetzalcoatl it's a pretty small step from a god of "law giving" to an aspect which uses the law to help the weak. Water, likewise, can be harnessed for such socially positive things as irrigation, turning water-wheels, or even fishing. Xochipilli is a bit more of a challenge as the god of gambling (in D&DG; in real life that was his brother Macuilxóchitl, apparently).
Well, gambling is generally part of a game and games have rules (even "I bet that snail crosses the path faster than that snail" generally includes rules like "you can't pick your snail up and just throw it across the path"), so that's lawful. The Good part is a bit trickier but perhaps we can imagine a paladin of a god which encourages us to enjoy life and be more flexible in the face of changing fortunes. An up-beat paladin would be quite a change, wouldn't?
Anyhow, aspects were a common part of polytheistic religions (and, if you scrape the surface, you can find traces in most monotheistic ones), and are glossed over in D&DG. RuneQuest generally didn't do a great job here, although some of Stafford's writing did include them. But mostly they are an uncharacteristic weakness in RQ's religiousity. Petal Throne, especially with Bob Alberti's wonderful Mitlanyal guide to the gods of Tekumel, did do it a bit better.