Hlothangi

Rune Carved Stag
CategoryForests
ContinentBrucrumus
RegionNorthern Hordelands
MapZyrath

Hlothangi is a forest of Zyrath. It is sited between two great rivers, the Anassúmë and the Ithen. The spring flooding of these rivers often inundates parts of the rocky forest floor. Every so often, a few months or years, the forest is flooded from high waters produced by the Primordial Storm.

This flooding of Hlothangi has gone on for so long that denizens of the forest know the low areas to avoid and the pools that may have been created by the last flood and are slow to drain away. In these pools any beast could lurk, but some of the more dangerous are water weirds and water elementals. These creatures are alien to the world around them, from Chaos or one of the Elemental Ring Worlds. They are pulled into the Primordial Storm, then left in a landscape of perpetual rains and storms.

The new arrivals are not too be trifled with. They are scared, on the defensive. Those that have remained in a pool for months or years tend to act normal for their species. The water weirds that come along with these floods are possibly some of the more unpredictable to encounter. Most of them are viscous dumb beasts that seek only to drown those that come near them. Some are a rarer sort of water weird, that is intelligent, wiser and older than Hlothangi's oldest treants. A few of these special water weirds have imparted druidic, shamanic, or necromantic knowledge out of goodwill, payment or duress. Early in the First Epoch, gnoll tribes learned the first bits of druidic lore from the water weird Helamex. Much of the basic druidic principles that I have learned were probably from the teachings of Helamex.

When the Shamanic Conclave of Drugnod were in power, the water weirds with shamanic knowledge were viewed as a threat. In one case, when it was learned that a water weird was teaching shamanic spells to the Belo'gah tribe, the Shamanic Conclave went in and captured the water weird Fihr'tira. This water weird was roughly taken back to Broken Teeth. It is said that the poor creature was "convinced" to give up everything it knew. Fihr'tira still lives, senile or possibly mind crushed into subservience, now over a millennia old, in a basin near the center of the Howling Hole.

The ones with necromantic knowledge are usually hard to deal with, since most are downright evil to the core. Over the ages, they have sometimes taken over an entire gnoll tribe or formed small army of like-minded creatures and set to raiding and plundering the countryside.

- Antasalax, gnoll Nature Protectorate - "Water Weirds of Hlothangi"

Hlothangi has many dire type creatures. The druid Antasalax, former Nature Protectorate of the region, kept ancient scrolls from the Horgon Era which say that his people proved that the waters of the Primordial Storm to be the cause of these enlarged animals. The scrolls say that when wolf pups or other young beasts are taken to Hlothangi they become a larger and more brutish sort if left to drink from the befouled streams and pools. The gnoll tribes of Hlothangi favor dire stags as steeds. Those tribes with shamans often put magical runes in the stag's racks. Some of these rune carved stags are so powerful that a medium sized dragon would think twice about preying upon it.

The gnolls of Hlothangi have always been viewed with suspicion, fear, and mystery. They are more tribal-like and wilder of dress and actions. Their wide-spread practice of what could be generally called witchcraft by the ignorant, namely druidic, shamanic, or necromancy, has only added to how they are viewed by the other tribes of the Northern Hordelands. This is undoubtedly led to them being marginalized by the Drugnod Empire, cumulating in the Hlothangi Insurgency.

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