Barony of Tuthon
“Oh, a sky whale ain’t so tough, once you toss a few dozen spears into ‘im. I’d be more worried about choppin’ trees that fought back!” - Gizen Hamik, mayor of Bugtown

Capital: The Jawed City
Settlements: Barbledrum (21,000), Bugtown (2,500), The Jawed City (9,000), Newport (5,000), No Return (8,000), Sanity Lost (2,000), Shadowlight (4,000)
Ruler: Baron Octavius Vark
Government: Barony
Races: Fetchling, Human (Kayanoi), Orcam, Serpentfolk, Skulk, Zif
Faiths: Great Old One (Bokrug), Najim, Shade, Ul’Ul, Veiloaria
Resources: Exotic wood (darkwood, gaspwood, snakewood), mercenaries, relics (pre-Elemental
Lords), seafood, sky whales
Languages: Aklo, Old Porphyran, Terran, Undercommon
Border Conditions: Restricted (porphyrite membrane on the Sea of Ithreia, Birdman Mountains to the south)

History
Since time immemorial Tuthon has been a land of the strange and the awe inspiring. Forests breathe and writhe, stones bark, and men walk on the underside of suspended mountains where the rain flows in both directions. There is even a great sea of membrane that gives off a purple glow. Some say that the land is a remnant from the reign of “The Old Gods”, for the first Kayanoi settlers built upon ruins, and are racially quite different from Porphyran aboriginals. Others think it a land cursed by a forgotten war among the Elemental Lords. No matter the case, Tuthon is a strange land where only the brave or mad venture.

Long ago, kayanoi humans that possessed both qualities settled the land. Using powerful magics they erected walls around their cities, keeping the madness of the land at bay. In that early age Tuthon was part of a larger kingdom that lay claim to northern Iskandar, Dunmark, and many of the valleys of the Birdman Mountains. Its name was stricken from the history books, as is the name of its capital, now ruins in the southern Wanderstones. After its ancient fall, Tuthon became an independent barony under the House of Strat. Their main trade was in mercenaries, mentally hardened against the horror and war by the strangeness of their homeland. The soldiers of Tuthon could be given the grimmest of missions—bravery their blood, and steel their flesh.

House Strat fell several centuries ago when the zif, a likely race for the land of madness, erected their city on the north-central shore and claimed the coast for themselves. With only the Shadowlight enclave, the fortunes of House Strat declined, with the result of House Vark sweeping them aside, making treaty with the zif, and building Newport. Unfortunately, they also brought a fervent devotion to The Dark Mistress, a powerful succubus aligned with Shade. The aristocracy was neutralized by means of debauchery and hedonism, skulks infiltrated the barony in waves, and only the guidance of Veiloaria’s omnipresent Xia way-priests saved the people as a whole.

The peasantry were encouraged to leave the slums of the cities, and live off the peculiarities of the land: sky whales, snakewood, zif-trade, and the odd barking stone. The schism of sensibilities is actually rather apt for Tuthon, and everyone, noble and serf, gathers for the Festival of the Dancer, where they dress in masque to honor Ul’Ul, patron of celebratory madness.

Current Events
The Calling seemed like just another war to the Tuthoni, though the various invasions did spell the end for House Strat’s military strength. The zif took advantage of the chaos to exert their influence, and are still there today. Today they trade with the odd inhabitants of the Ithreian isles; the monks of Owl Island, the savages of the Isles of the Falcons, and the intrepid explorers of Whale Island. They also serve the Skandari and the penal colony of Gulag Blue. As in ages past few come to Tuthon willingly, but there are exceptions. Many followers of Ul’Ul and Veiloaria are present there—for devotees of The Mad Maiden, Tuthon has become a holy land, second only to the Wall of Sleep, and her Festivals are world-renowned.

Likewise Xia of the Wayfinder have found a home on the strange roads of the region. Who else would be braver or more curious than adventurers come to see the horrifyingly wondrous sights of Tuthon? Many Flower and Compasses have been built to accommodate those seeking to test their mettle and mind in this mad realm. These inns are prevalent in Barbledrum, where the zif are pleased to meet so many interesting people.

Not all the New Gods are as benevolent, though, and House Vark’s patron, Dark Mistress, has a portfolio filled with dark thoughts and acts. It is an open secret that the arcane assassins known as the Evening Shades have an agenda to help their Dark Mistress emulate Nemyth Vaar and Toma Thule, ascended gods who brought their own territories after Th e Calling. From their pleasure fortress in Shadowlight, the Evening Shades and their fetchling and skulk minions plot, and plan, and wait in the twilight.

Settlements
The major settlements of the Thuthon Barony are:

Barbledrum is the capital of the zif snail-people, a city of shells and canals, erected on the Purple Membrane itself, on the Sea of Ithreia. Trading ships can sail directly into the city itself. The buildings all resemble swirling sea-shells, much like the ones the builders carry on their backs.

Bugtown is the largest settlement in the Reverse Lands, home to the Sky Whalers in their balloon-ships. Bugtown is precariously balanced in a range of hills north of the Vale of Loss, and named for the vast swarms of insects that plague the region and feed the sky whales.

The Jawed City is capital of Tuthon, and home to The Baron’s Keep. This city on the edge of the Reverse Lands is divided into two parts. The Keep, a high-towered complex that reaches high ”up” from the underside of the largest suspended mountain. The City is on the side of normal gravity, and the towers of its burgomasters give the illusion, at a distance, that the split city resembles a set of jaws coming up from the land itself.

Newport is just that, a reaction to the zif migration, a matter of necessity to utilize the Sea of Ithreia. The skulk have taken to seafaring, oddly enough, giving the nickname to seabound Tuthoni ships, “Empties”.

No Return was once just a sign left behind by shaken peddlers, it is a sleepy city serving the farms of the Eastmark, and the doomed miners and treasure-hunters of the Graz Doep. One can often hear some Common in No Return, as a few Enorian and Middlelanders have timorously come to trade.

Sanity Lost was once known as Sarnath, one of the few names remembered from the Forgotten Kingdom. The ‘city’ is actually the inhabited part of the vast ruin, and its mildly mad people harvest snakewood from the like-named forest, and occasionally trade with Dunmark and Iskandar.

Shadowlight is located on the Membrane itself, a city of ill repute built within an island-chasm that the sea flows around. Forever tinged in the purple light of the sea, this is a city of hushed whispers and sharp pains in the back. Fetchlings are common here, as are skulks and like-minded humans.

Intrigues

  • Old grimoires speak of a pre-elemental relic located in a catacomb in the ruins of Sarnath, next to Sanity Lost. A zif archaeologist has a map, but would like some protection while exploring the unnerving city.
  • While in a tavern, a plot is overheard to disrupt the Ulian Festival at No Return. If so many frenzied dancers are all interrupted at once, the results could be bloody.
  • A whaling guild in The Jawed City has put out a bounty on a great white sky whale that has been attacking their ships. Thar she blows!

See Also