World of Farland

A world conquered by evil and ruled by the Lords of Sin; A unique campaign setting designed to be used with all editions of D&D.


Treatise on Eruna

   
PART THREE OF AN ONGOING PROJECT (unfinished)


PEOPLE OF THE CEN-CENLA

Outlanders, water-fat, grass-perfumed, see only a thousand square miles of dust and sand, a lifeless realm inhabited by howling ghosts of the starved, and beasts that have no place in a sane world. Yet the Cen-Cenla Desert, largest of its kind, is home to a rich culture that has survived the collapse of Ishia, withstood the ascendancy of the Scale Anchorites, and even learned how to live alongside the unsettling lords of its interior.

Of these, the nomadic tribes of the Turuk are the most well-known, charting routes through the desert to the scattered oases it hides. Most Turuks are human, a very few with a touch of elven blood, though their tribes often include members of other races who have proven themselves worthy. Constant hardship has made these people tougher and more pragmatic than most, that has left them a dubious reputation among the settled peoples on the borders of the Cen-Cenla. They see a Turuk and fear being bled dry to slake the eternal thirst of these dune drifters.

Whilst Turuks genuinely are not averse to drinking blood, they do so far more intelligently than the ignorant could understand, only rarely tapping the veins of their healthiest animals and avoiding killing them. Indeed, the number and health of a tribe's animals is the measure of its wealth. Goats are the usual livestock, being hardy enough to survive conditions that would kill other cattle, but the richest tribes are those who breed camels, or those who dare to trade with an Abussi village.

Cousins of the Turuk, the Abussi abandoned their nomadic ways and established permanent camps, always near to a deep ravine or gully, curiously overflowing with life. The Abussi gather a unique ore from the caves of this habitat, fashioning it into charms and tokens that are worth a fortune to collectors, but will barter for them only with their Turuk kindred - and then, only if they prove their courage by following the Abussi artisans to their source below the earth.

Here, away from the relentless heat, Abussi prostrate themselves before the masters of the region. If the Turuk accompanying them panics, they make no effort to help the stricken fool, who will be stung and taken deeper still. For these are the brood-lairs of the tlincalli, monstrous creatures with a vaguely humanoid upper body and the terrible lower body of a scorpion. The mysterious ore used by the Abussi in their craft is, in truth, the shed chitin of a maturing tlincalli, hatched in the cool chambers far below the surface and fed upon the harvest from their farms above. Or, on occasion, the living bounty of a Turuk lacking in courage.

Quite how the Abussi developed this relationship with the fearsome scorpion-folk is a mystery, even to the parties themselves, who keep no records and tell few stories of their history. Elsewhere in the Cen-Cenla, tlincalli live in small family groups that tend to kill anything they encounter during their wanderings in order to restock their supplies, or otherwise submit to a greater power such as a giant or dragon. It is also unclear what the settled tlincalli get out of the arrangement, since even the largest Abussi village would be no match for anything that could threaten the lair - and, in all likelihood, are safer for living nearby.

However, the existence of mutual enemies does suggest an explanation. Along the eastern and southern borders of the Cen-Cenla, where it rises up to become the Mountains of the Sun and the Kuluba Range, dozens of warrens have been dug out by kobolds pledged to the service of sand dragons. In Njarakere, Scale Anchorites commanded by the Crimson Python are a growing power, strong enough to operate openly, unlike their fellows elsewhere. In the west, atop Mount Hayre, a monastic order under the tutelage of an ancient qilin has held an unending grudge against the tlincalli. And in the northernmost reaches, the beast-headed influence of long-lost Ishia can be still felt pressing upon the territories it once held.

*****

BINJALA AND FOROLA

to be added to

That works really well. And I’m loving the Scorpion-folk and sand dragons.




 

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