Realm of the Mammoth Lords

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Realm of the Mammoth Lords
Realm of the Mammoth Lords
(Nation)
Alignment Neutral
Capital None
Ruler None (Mighty Kuldor is most powerful leader)
Government Loose alliance of tribes
Languages Giant, Hallit
Religions Desna, Gorum, Rovagug

A realm of megafauna inhabited by humans almost as savage as the pre-historic beasts surrounding them, the Realm of the Mammoth Lords is a land in Avistan's far-north that spells doom for those who take it lightly.[1]

Government

The Realm of the Mammoth Lords has no central government and its leadership is very different from the sort the soft inhabitants of the civilized south are used to. The people of the land divide themselves into large family-based tribes. While some tribes stay in these small family clusters, most chose to form larger followings. A following is when two or more tribes join together to follow a particularly powerful warrior or leader. These followings only occur around leaders who have proved themselves through acts of great courage, strength, or guile. When one of these leaders dies (often attempting another epic feat to impress his or her followers) these followings either elect to follow a new hero (who must have achieved similarly spectacular feats), split into their original family tribes, or try to join the following of another hero. A leader's death causes all of these things to happen, with each tribe deciding by itself what it wants to do.[2][3]

Current followings

The largest current following is the Bearpelt Following, which is lead by Mighty Kuldor, the strongest man in the whole of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. It makes its winter home southeast of Icestair, and currently includes several thousand members. There are normally anywhere between 10 and 30 large followings at any one time. In addition to the large followings, there are normally around 200 smaller followings which consist of only a couple of tribes banding together for survival's sake, are outcast families, or bandits. The most prominent followings are the Greattusk, Ice Chasm, Raptorscale and Slothjaw followings,[2][3][4] while the Night Hunt and the now deceased Six Bears are important tribes.[4]

History

The Realm of the Mammoth Lords is a timeless place that flows with the rhythms of nature and the dictates of the seasons, and as such does not measure its history in the same way as civilised folk who obsess over dates and years. The timeless nature of the land and its inhabitants' technologically simple lifestyle means that the Realm of the Mammoth Lords' history is less filled with the betrayals and political turmoil typical of other lands. The biggest event to beset the Realm of the Mammoth Lords in recent times was the death of Aroden and the subsequent creation of the Worldwound, which created a new threat to the east. What was once the similarly-minded barbarian kingdom of Sarkoris, was soon overrun by hordes of ravenous demons that now raid along the Mammoth Lords' eastern border.[2][3]

Geography

The Realm of the Mammoth Lords sits in the far north of Avistan wedged against the vast, icy nothingness of the Crown of the World. To its east lies the demon-infested wasteland of the Worldwound, while it shares its western border with icy queendom of Irrisen. Stuck between these two hostile, supernatural powers, it is no wonder that the Realm spawns such hardy folk. The majority of the land is covered in cold, harsh tundra and boreal forest, across which roam herds of huge creatures long extinct in other lands.[5]

Connection to Deep Tolguth

Herds of aurochs and bison roam amongst families of lumbering mammoths (for which the land is named) and mastodons, all under the hunting eye of saber-tooth tigers. These creatures are believed to come from some sort of strange underground world where titanic beasts from an earlier age still roam and humans have never grasped the tenants of civilisation.[2] This land is known to its inhabitants (and the few scholars who believe in its existence) as Deep Tolguth.[6] It is believed that the Earthnavel, a terrifying descent lined with the bones of ancient beasts and tribal warriors, once connected Deep Tolguth to the surface. However, the lower tunnels have long since collapsed.[7].

Inhabitants

The Realm of the Mammoth Lords is the last nation where Kellids still live as their ancient traditions dictate, free from the influence of other countries or powers. The only other Kellid nation that has maintained a similar way of life is Numeria, but even there its people are commanded by the Black Sovereign, who all but completely turned his back on the Kellid way when he fell in with the foul arcanists of the Technic League. The nation of Sarkoris used to be a Kellid kingdom that was very similar to the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, but now is nothing more than a demon-haunted wasteland, the Worldwound.[citation needed]

Mammoth Lord Kellids

The Kellid followings and tribes scattered across the land are almost all nomadic, and the Realm has no capital or even cultural gathering place. Its people spend the year following the herds of great beasts across the land and only make their way to the cities when they must. Its towns mostly exist to serve foreign travelers. The Kellids believe that they are the chosen people of the land, a belief that is strengthened by their zoic fetishes.[4]

Relationships with giants

The Kellids of this region have a somewhat contradictory relationship with giants. They war against giant tribes almost constantly, but are known to take in captured giant children and raise them as their own. Having a giant in one's tribe is a sign of power among the Mammoth Lords followings, and the children are raised as honored members. Some mystics regard these giants with near religious fervor, and in time many giants learn to identify with the tribe and fight to protect them.[4]

Foreign travelers

Despite its remote location and inhospitable climate for much of the year, the realm receives frequent visitors from other lands. The orcs make frequent raids from the Hold of Belkzen to the south in order to capture megafauna to use in their war machines. The servants of the Irrisen winter witches are constantly raiding from the west, hoping to expand their realms, and the demons to the east attack and withdraw according to their own chaotic logic. Most of the land's visitors come, counter-intuitively, from the north, and it is here where most of the settlements are located. The trade route from Tian Xia known as the Path of Aganhei begins at the town of Icestair, and from there travels over the Crown of the World to the distant Successor States.[1] Visitors are reminded that a Mammoth Lord's word is both bond and law, and that all tribal members are suspicious of any magic that is not part of their own shamanistic tradition.[4]

Fauna

The most famous inhabitants of the land are its megafauna, including mammoths, mastadons, aurochs, bison, armored glyptodons and giant sloths. They are hunted by the land's powerful native predators including cave lions and smilodons.[1] Tales of these enormous creatures fill the taprooms and taverns of the south and attract many a bold explorer or daring merchant to the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. These beasts fetch a huge price in the markets of the south if they can be captured alive.[2][3] Many never make it that far, as most such expeditions have to return through the Hold of Belkzen, a dangerous proposition itself which is made worse by the orc's covetous love of these hugely powerful beasts.[8]

The Kellid tribespeople of the Realm move with ease among the megafauna, taking them only when they need meat, fur, or beasts of burden.[4]

Dinosaurs

It is rumoured that within certain valleys of the Tusk Mountains, which dominates the centre of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, there are even hidden warm valleys that contain dinosaurs long since wiped from the rest of the planet.[2]

References