chatdemon writes "The steaming lands of the Amedio have long been ignored by the Flanaess as a land of ignorant barbarians and vile savages. Is this an accurate view of the inhabitants of the southern jungles? Read on, and learn of the peoples who dwell amidst these southern jungles and what they are like...and whether they have anything to offer an intrepid party willing to brave malaria, mosquitos, and monsters to reach them...
Lore of the Amedio I
An Overview of the Peoples of the Great Southern Jungle
by chatdemon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
The Amedio Jungle has long been an alluring mystery to the people of the southwestern Flanaess. For years, explorers and pirates from the Hold of the Sea Princes and the Kingdom of Keoland have sought to tame and settle this wild land, only to be thwarted time and again by strange and savage natives, the brutal heat and humidity of the area, the deadly flora and fauna, and more recently, the presence of Scarlet Brotherhood agents. Still, the jungle is rich in plant, animal and mineral resources, and its peoples are a fascinating collection of cultures and races, and the lure of the Amedio is hard to resist.
This article will serve as an introduction to the various intelligent humanoid cultures found throughout the area. These Major races will recieve more in depth treatment in later installments of this series, so don't be alarmed by the rough and general nature of the write ups here.
To understand the way I break down the various areas of the jungle, refer to your map (and if you don't have one handy, or if you wish to seriously develop a campaign in the jungle, you should download TalMeta's Amedio Map here on Canonfire!. TalMeta himself is in no way affiliated with my work on developing the area, but I feel his map is an excellent resource, and recommend it wholeheartedly.) I have classified a few distinct regions in the jungle, they are:
Jeklea Coastal (abbreviated JC in the rest of this article) - These are the areas along the northwest edge of the jungle, on the shores of the Jeklea Bay. For ease of reference, this includes areas within 20 miles of the coast.
Azure Coastal (AC) - As with the Jeklea Coast, but on the northeast side of the jungle, facing into the Azure Sea.
Densac & Pearl Coastal (DPC) - As above, but referring to the East and Southeast facing shorelines, touched by the waters of the Densac Gulf and the immense Pearl Sea to the south.
Hellfurnace Foothills (HF) - This area encompasses the western edges of the jungle, as it gives way to the foothills of the Hellfurnace mountains, again, referring to areas within 20 miles of the border between the mountains and the jungle on the map.
Matreyus Lakelands (ML) - This area includes Lake Matreyus itself, as well as a 20 miles wide perimeter around it in the jungle.
Jungle Heartlands (JH) - This catch-all includes everything not covered in the other regions.
Prominent Humanoid Races
Regions: All, the ancient Olman empire once ruled essentially the entire jungle, and the descendants of those people can be found almost anywhere in the area.
The Olman are a collection of loosely affiliated tribes descended from the inhabitants of a once great empire that ruled most of the jungle. They tend to be slightly shorter than the rest of humanity, averaging around 5 feet in height, but with a heartier build and a much higher tolerance for the brutal climate of their homeland. Olman humans tend to have dark skin, ranging from light to dark brown hues, and dark brown or black hair. They are quite fond of body painting, tattoo arts, primitive jewelry and body 'enhancements' (piercings, stretchings, brandings and other more exotic procedures). The Olman are a basically friendly and outgoing people, but have some spiritual and religious traditions, such as sacrifice and ritual cannibalism, that are misunderstood and demonized by explorers from the north.
Regions: JC, AC, DPC, JH; the primitive, xenophobic and extremely superstitious elves avoid the mountainous west and the areas around Lake Matreyus.
The Grugach of the Amedio have more in common with their Olman neighbors than they do other elves, but they are indeed still an elven race. They are treated as normal Grugach in all respects except appearance, being short even for their race at an average of 4 feet in height with very thin yet wiry muscled bodies. Their skin and hair tones are similar to that of the Olman humans. Grugach of this area are xenophobic to the extreme and avoid prolonged contact with the other jungle races. Explorers into the region have reported the Grugach being almost murderously fanatical in keeping non jungle natives out of their homelands, and some have commented that the only friends the elves have are the plants of the jungle itself.
Regions: ML, the Xvarts live in exclusively in crumbling ruined cities around Lake Matreyus, remnants of the once grat Olman empire slowly being reclaimed by the jungle.
The Xvarts of the Amedio are fairly typical of their race in appearance and behavior. They are organized into small theocratic city states honoring Xavlarltl, a local manifestion of the god Raxivort.
Slitheren (Ratmen, from Sword & Sorcery Studios' Creature Collection)
Regions: ML, the Slitheren coexist with the Xvarts, sharing the same cities and religion.
Regions: JC, AC, DPC
The sea elves of this region are unique in that they build their communities out of the water along the coasts of the jungle, venturing into the water to hunt, gather aquatic plants, and trade with the other aquatic creatures of the area. They are the only race that gets along somewhat well with the Grugach of the area, and are ths an important part of trade in the jungles, with Olman tribes using them as middlemen to conduct trade with the Grugach. Aside from their atypical seashore villages, they are treated as normal examples of their race.
Lizardfolk are found in all areas of the jungle, organized into tribal clans under the rule of Lizard Kings, who act as manifestations of the will of their god, Nauran (known as Makara to the Olman people, and Mekarah to the Suel). The lizardfolk here are less aggressive toward the other humanoids than might be expected, recognizing the value in banding together when needed to thwart the savage temper of the jungle and its beasts, and now to drive off the incursions of the Scarlet Brotherhood along the eastern edges of the jungle.
Regions: Coastal waters
The locathah are common in the waters of the seas surrounding the Amedio region, but they play no real role in the affairs of the other societies of the region. They are included here only for complete accounting of the races, and as an idea for DMs wishing to harass PC explorers attempting to land along the jungles shores.
Regions: Coastal Waters
The Sahuagin are common in the waters of the seas surrounding the Amedio region, but they play no real role in the affairs of the other societies of the region. They are included here only for complete accounting of the races, and as an idea for DMs wishing to harass PC explorers attempting to land along the jungles shores.
Note: The Amedio, The South"