Pygmy Nations
“These small ones have a remarkable facility for the art of treachery- the so-called ‘big’ folk have much to learn from them.” - Garn Shei-dei, Agent of Eshshalqua

Capital: Where the World Fell
Settlements: Brik (6,000), Deep Den (3,000), Highcroak (5,000), Throne (4,000), Where the World Fell (1,500)
Rulers: HiveQueen K’zt Rr’n’vzt (dromite), Slaveboss Goad Forktongue (goblin), Arch-shaman Kwi-Kwi (kobold), Chief Bullgup (grippli)
Government: Tribalism
Races: Dromite, Goblin, Grippli, Kobold
Faiths: Chiuta, Dragons, Eshsalqua
Resources: Dragon goods, lumber, metals (gold, iron, silver), relics, slaves
Languages: Boggard, Common, Draconic, Goblin
Border Conditions: Limited (Surrounded by an intermittent porphyrite border)

Far from the eyes of civilization, on the savage Land of Steam, is a Landed country that was once the pinnacle of a world. Long before The Calling, this land had been one of progress and technology. Towers of stone and glass touched the skies; undrawn vehicles sped through its streets - and a single weapon could destroy a city. Marvels were so common that the people that lived there began to take them for granted. Their caution towards new advancements waned, and one day, they created a marvel that they could not survive. The dromites believe it was a power source, while the goblins hope it was a weapon, and still is somewhere about.

Regardless of purpose, the land and its people fell. Something was triggered in this land of endless city that left a deep scar in the heart of the earth. Some speak of magic-dead areas, and fissures in the fabric of reality – the fast-growing jungle conceals all, until the last, fatal moment. In the wake of this cataclysm, the city was left abandoned. The metropolis filled to the brim with marvels was empty, hollow - and nature is patient. Doubtless encouraged by the bestial nature of the bizarre god Eshsalqua, animals made their dens, stone cracked, and plants grew forth. The endless city became entwined within an endless jungle. Trees that put the towers to shame spread their leaves, hiding the streets from the sky. Lichen spread across steel vehicles as if they were nothing more than boulders.

Small creatures that were once pets and vermin thrived, repopulating the hollow places where the lost once tread. By the time of The Calling, when opportunistic Eshsalqua brought this fallen land to Porphyra, four tribal races inhabited this land. There were the Gold Lords, goblins who would trade discarded metal with the world beyond in exchange for slaves to do their work for them; the Red Claw kobolds, mystics who worshiped giant scaled creatures that did not live on their own world; the Seekers, a dromite hive-tribe living in ruins trying to discover the secrets of their predecessors; and finally the Quiet Ones, grippli pathfinders that lived in the trees and marshes.

The goblins were always slavers, but not always the Gold Lords. A naturally selfish and lazy people, they used to hunt and prey on members of other tribes and races. It wasn’t until the curious Quiet Ones made contact with the colonists of Californ and The Enclave that the value of the shiny metal known as gold reached goblin ears. Seeing opportunity in the oversized outsiders, the goblin tribe quickly traded the metal for bigger, stronger slaves. Some of the merchant folk were secret Agents of Eshsalqua, and injected that insidious faith into the goblin society, as well. The goblins struck out at other tribes, calling themselves the Gold Lords. The shifting array of alliance and dominance has been the reality of the Pygmy Nations ever since then.

Current Events
The Gold Lords are probably the most active and visible faction in the Pygmy Lands, and are somewhat emblematic of the place; sailors will often refer to the place as “The Goblin Towers” or “The Goblin Lands”. This is probably due to their wretched little egos and the fact that they will pay handsomely for slaves, even to the point of setting up crude piers for the purpose of obtaining them from passing ships. The grippli, kobolds and dromites would probably prefer that the goblins get their slaves from outside the land rather than from their own ranks, so they probably influence the practice, preferring to buy magical and martial goods from passers-by, pointing the slavers to the goblin piers. The tribes are fairly wealthy, so trade brings a fair amount of “big folk” to the place.

The Red Claws often try to ally with the goblins in hopes of dividing the spoils, but the goblins usually betray their erstwhile friends at some critical point. In response, the Seekers constantly send embassy to the Quiet Ones, but are regularly refused. The grippli prefer to keep to themselves, and are more than capable of avoiding any potential aggressors. Fortunately for the dromites, they have the largest population in the jungle, and their collective knowledge of the ruins they dwell in make it easy to fortify or flee, as the need be. It has proved impossible for any ‘big people’ wishing to enter the region to do so without becoming wrapped up in the war of politics—and blades—between the tribes.

The major settlements of the Pygmy Nations are:

  • Brik, capital of the dromite Seekers, is inside a tower so tall it extends above the jungle canopy. Using their mining and building skills, the dromites have fortified the tower against enemies without and below, in the many tunnels they have dug for their HiveQueen, searching for ancient artifacts of the past. Only she may dwell on high and look from the myriad crystal windows.
  • Deep Den is the preferred haunt of the kobolds, dark and tricky. Though the jungle canopy shades all from the sun, the tunnels beneath the surface fallen city are where the ‘little dragons’ call home. Built from marble, and containing odd metal tracks, Clocklanders muse that it was once a transit center: whatever it once was, it is now the center of the strange dragon-religion practiced by the fervent kobolds.
  • Highcroak is the hub of the Quiet Ones, who live in the marshes where the jungle is drained by fertile pools. The capitol combines the beauty of marsh and tree, using a series of walkways and dwellings both in and out of the water. The omnipresent ruins have long since sunk, giving the grippli the impression that the jungle had always been there.
  • Throne, the domain of the Gold Lords, where they fancy themselves the master of the region, building their capitol atop the spindly abandoned towers. The paranoid goblins like to look down on others, and it helps to see potential prey or threats from afar. The name of the place refers to what those who displease the goblin bullies will “get…”
  • Where the World Fell is a neutral ground agreed upon by all tribes. Such a place was needed for times when tribal leaders must meet without expecting ambush, and for trading with outsiders-who find its location rather unsettling; the enormous crater at the center of the region. The jungle does not grow there, giving a better look at the surviving ruins. This area has become an unofficial embassy, as visitors keep to the crater to avoid local tribal wars.

• The Seekers believe that the Gold Lords have found a cache of weaponry left behind by the inhabitants of the Old World. They are enthusiastically hiring or coercing those brave enough to investigate.
• A Red Claw shaman has enacted an elaborate ritual to summon a dragon to Where the World Fell… where did they learn such magics? Will the great wyrm lead them to conquer the surrounding, nervous, tribes?
• An outsider of beautiful mien has taken up residence with a group of dromites that believe he holds the secret to unlocking the past; instead he has become drunk on adoration, and power…

See Also