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Region Mwangi Expanse
Size Small city
Population 8,790
Demographics 7,000 charau-ka, 1,000 girallon, 450 angazhani, 100 awakened apes, 240 other
Government Overlord
Alignment Chaotic evil
Ruler Ruthazek the Gorilla King
Images of Usaro

Source: Heart of the Jungle, pg(s). 45

The city of Usaro (population 8,790)[1] is the domain of the Gorilla King. The King and his followers are intelligent, bloodthirsty apes who serve Angazhan, Demon Lord of Beasts.

Usaro is a monolithic city on the southern edge of Lake Ocota, where the little known Blood River flows into the lake.[2] Its inhabitants are feared throughout the Mwangi Expanse. The King's treasure vaults are reputed to contain priceless riches, including the mighty bombard Worldbreaker, but the ominous sound of human-skin drums carrying across the lake deters all but the bravest or most foolhardy of treasure hunters.[3]

The Gorilla King's forces are opposed by the elven Kallijae tribes.[4]


Some believe that the city was built hundreds of years ago by cultists of Anghazan.[5] An alternative theory is that the city was abandoned by its original builders—possibly because of the deadly Tik Taan.

The local Zenj tribes have always kept away from the city, but their warnings about ferocious, intelligent apes were initially dismissed as primitive superstitions by foreigners. Taldor's Sixth Army of Exploration found to their cost that the stories were all too true. The Gorilla King's forces massacred them at the battle of Nagisa; the few who survived ensured that the warnings would be heeded in the future.[6]

In 4706 AR followers of the Gorilla King beheaded seventeen missionaries and Aspis Consortium merchants.[7]


The Gorilla King is the absolute ruler of the city. Below him, status is awarded to those strong enough or cunning enough to seize it. Competition is encouraged, as it removes the weaker members from society. Those individuals with the most status are sometimes called the Court of Hateful Smiles.[8]


The city consists of ancient ziggurats, made of white stone. It melds into the jungle; only the tallest buildings appear over the forest canopy.

The High Throne of the Gorilla King is on the top of an ancient temple crowned with a massive granite sculpture of an ape's head. There are also circles of ape head totems throughout the city, which are used for bloodthirsty rituals.

The domed Oracle of Anghazan is beside the river. Here, prisoners are prepared for sacrifice and Angazhani oracles attempt to predict the future. Captives are kept in the nearby Bridge of Cages, dangling across the river. Sometimes, the cages are lowered slowly into the river. The water is infested with piranhas, and the oracles believe the screams of the prisoners can help them in their prophesying.

Beneath the temple is a seemingly bottomless pit, which houses a deadly mist known as the Tik Taan. Some feel that the Tik Taan may be the reason the city was originally abandoned.

Ancient pillars stand along the river. City guards often scale them and use them as vantage points.

There are a pair of small islands at the point where the Blood River flows into Lake Ocota. The city's fleet of dugout canoes and kayaks are moored here when not in use.

The inhabitants of Usaro raise baboons as hunting animals, and these are kept in pens across the city.[9] The charau-ka living in the city are the most organized of their race.[10]