Population: 30,000 (Bakali 45%, Slig 25%, Kobold 12%, Lizardfolk 10%, Troglodyte 7%, Neskudar 1%)
Languages: Goblin, dwarven, and bakali
Legions: None (tribal warrior bands at most)
Once a large subtropical savanna dotted with many rivers and streams, the eastern half of the Althand peninsula of Adlatum, No Man’s End, is now little more than a putrid mire of semi-stagnant water and shoulder high razor-grass. The majority of the murky waters slowly drain into the Sodbottom Swamp after the torrential hurricanes of the spring and early summer, leaving behind shallow reservoirs of cloudy mineral rich water which sustains the tall sea of razor-grass and blood-thorn bushes throughout the long dry summers. Frequent grassfires periodically devastate the region, so no large, woody flora survives for long. It is predominantly malaria bearing mosquitoes and the many venomous serpents that call this abysmal place home; even the goblins of Thule choose to avoid this hostile and unwelcoming environment and the mist dwarves of the Sodbottom frequently use the area as a place of exile. The number of bakali who thrive in No Man’s End is unknown, because these bakali are secretive and avoid contact with outsiders unless they are raiding.
Life and Society
Life in the mire is harsh and unforgiving. In many cases it is a struggle just to find food, as the prey is often just as deadly as any predator. Tribes of bakali and sligs are found along some coastal estuaries surviving not by farming but by cannibalism and inter-species warfare, a ritual harvesting of the weakest members of the other race and using them as food when hunting is poor. Some tribes of both species have developed a taste for “talking meat” and actively seek out other intelligent creatures for food rather than what would be considered a more natural prey. This type of preferred cannibalism varies from tribe to tribe with some preferring humans or dwarves while others prefer bakali or slig. Some non-reptilian races do call the area home, but these are usually dwarven exiles that seek to survive the obligatory ten years of exile before returning to the Sodbottom and their dwarven clans.
Faith and religion along this desolate stretch of eastern Adlatum is as sparse and brutal as the terrain. While bakali and lizardfolk are just as likely to belong to one of the numerous dragon cults as to one of the faiths of the True gods, the sligs of the area seem to have completely embraced the many aspects of mysticism.
No central authority holds sway in the area or governs relations between tribes and races. Each tribe is independent and usually isolated. Every few decades one tribe will begin to conquer its neighbors and attempt to reclaim the ancient glory of there lost civilization but barbarism and savagery have become so ingrained to the races of No Man’s End that the volatile and independent personalities quickly bring everything back to its chaotic beginnings as each seeks to dominate and control the others.
Since the Drowning, nothing resembling an organized military force exists in No Man’s End. Each tribe provides its own warriors and traditions, but the fierce independence that governs this primitive land prevents even a forcible alliance of tribes.
Magic and Mysticism
Magic in No Man’s End is just as wild and untamed as its inhabitants. In large and well-established tribes, focused divine magic, though rare, is seen more often than focused arcane magic. Much more common are practitioners of ambient arcane magic and mysticism, who act as shamans and totemic guides to their respective tribes.
Major Geographical Features and Locations
The eastern slopes of the Reorx Hand Mountains mark the northern and western boarders of No Man’s End. These mountains trap much of the early spring rains that drain into multitudes of small streams and washouts that lead to the lowlands of Sodbottom. The thunderous hurricanes that blast from east to west across the moors have over time saturated the limestone bedrock creating thousands of sinkholes and shallow limestone caves which are inhabited by many of the tribes of the area. On the southeastern edge of the peninsula are the remains of an ancient volcano that suffered a super massive eruption during the Drowning and was flooded by the inrushing seawater. Broken Caldera Cove, as the few Corinesti who know the area well name it, is the most densely populated area of all No Man’s End, inhabited by the largest of slig tribes the Silesia. The Northern Slopes of the Ophidian Mountains marks the southwestern boarder of the area and is home to large populations of kobolds and troglodytes.
Little is documented about this area as it was considered inhospitable even in pre-drowning times. Onarian tradition holds that it is was once a great savanna where their ancestors hunted the great steppe lions of ages past. Onarian tradition also claims that if one could ride the river of time even farther back one would come to a time when dragon worshiping bakali enslaved all others to build cities and temples dedicated to their draconic gods. Centuries of enslavement followed where humans where not only used as a source of labor but as a source of nourishment to their masters or as sacrifices on the alters of bakali and slig.
Eventually the draconic “gods” of the scaled folk died out or where destroyed by rivals and their followers left a great spiritual rift that led to the eventual collapse of the civilization. During this time of turmoil, there was a great exodus of formerly enslaved humans to the lands in the north, seeking sanctuary from their former masters and eventually settling on the dusty prairies of what is now the nation of Thule. The passage of chaos in an age before the Drowning gave rise to new variations of bakali and altered many of the native creatures and plant life. The most successful of which are the insidious and rapidly growing Razor Grass, which would eventually force almost all other large vegetation in the area into extinction.
The Drowning and the centuries since that time have had little impact on the area other than to make the land even more saturated with ground water. The fractured tribes of Scaled folk have adopted the more hospitable areas for their own use, but many are nomadic in nature and move from one cave system to another. The primal peoples of this area tend to shun and avoid outsiders, so little is known of them in recent years.
Many of the Scaled folk raid neighboring Thule and Sodbottom for “talking meat,” snatching away their victims into isolated cave oases so that they may be “harvested” at will. Very few escape back to civilization, those who do however bring back tales of barbarism and savage, bloody dark rites performed by their captors.
- The bakali tribes of the south are being systematically conquered and subjugated by a particularly warlike and savage tribe. The Skaal.
- The Silesia tribe of sligs near Broken Caldera Cove have begun a religious war where brother slays brother over dogma and the mystic shamans are now attempting to stamp out any and all other divine influences, particularly that of Zeboim. The Corinesti grow concerned, as these fanatical mystics seem to be preparing to bring their crusade to the rest of Adlatum with the assistance of unknown persons manning a giant black ship of foreign make and rigging. Corinesti scouts are unable to give a definitive answer as to the ships final destination as the unnatural ship seems to move against the oceans currents at an unprecedented speed.
- Escaped victims of recent raids are bringing horrific tales of the return of the bakali’s ancient gods; few claim to have actually have seen them, they are large, ebon-scaled beasts whose wings blot out the sun and whose eyes glow with the fires of the Abyss.
Due to the harsh conditions that come from living in No Man’s End, no major settlements had been developed in the region.