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Smoking Lands, Isle of

by Gerrin


Capital: Hilltop
Population: 170,000 (Kobold 99%, Goblin 1%)
Government: Oligarchy
Religions: major - The Fire Lady (Shinare)
Languages: Common, Kobold
Trade: Furs, Iron, Obsidian, Wood
Legions: Untrained militia
Alignment: NG, CN, LN, NE, CE

The Oligarchy of the Isle of the Smoking Lands is a singular province that is controlled by the leaders of five major clans of kobolds living there. It is an ancient dormant volcano that remained above water following the Drowning. The exterior of the island is bleak and barren land that is usually covered in smoke drifting out of cracks, while the interior of the island is a lush valley full of wildlife, and forests. It is located off the coast of the coast of Gildanesti, near the city of Twin Sails.

Life and Society

Life on the isle is one that is isolative and safe. Most of the kobolds living on the island have little desire to explore outside of the island and the ones that do, are to unskilled in navigation to build a ship to leave. The island is controlled by the five major clans of kobolds.

The military of the island is untrained militia as few kobolds could truly be classified as professional soldiers. The clans on the island frequently war over land and resources, so it is not uncommon for standing armies to be on the march. Borders are often disputed by the clans and trade between the clans is almost non existent.

The legal system of the island is based off of ancient code of laws that are passed down by tribal shamans, while clan chieftains have the final say in the law, the shamans often advise the chief of the law. Laws are not written and therefore are often changed to fit the situation or crime.

The status of chieftain is passed from the ruler at death to his oldest surviving son. If no heir is alive to succeed, inter-clan war will establish a new chief. Often new chieftains have to spend much of their time trying to survive frequent assassination attempts.

Religion

There is no formal religion recognized, but most kobolds worship the Fire Lady (Shinare), or an aspect of the goddess. The kobolds have created several small shrines dedicated to the goddess throughout the land. Holy ground is considered sacred to the kobolds and is considered cleansed land that no blood may be shed upon.

Government

The government of the kobolds consists of each of the five ruling clans has a chief. The chief is advised by a tribal shaman, a high warrior, the tribal elder, and the chief's sons. All power and laws come directly from the chief who wields it with absolute authority.

Once a year the five chiefs will meet and hold a joint meeting. This meeting allows the kobolds to discuss important topics such as possible invasions, tribal disputes, or the construction of a permanent meeting spot. At this time the five chiefs will vote upon changes and all tribes have sworn to live by the votes.

Military

The military of the island is comparable to untrained militia. Kobold armies are often outfitted with a variety of weapons and armor that are made. Most of the weapons and armor are created by the few goblin slaves that were unlucky enough to have ancestors who lived in the valley at the time of the Drowning.

The military is controlled by the chieftain and his appointed generals. Most of the clans have a standing army that is often on the move trying to seize key border areas. There is no known military organizational system used to separate units.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic on the island is almost unheard of and is rarely seen in public. Very few kobolds have any knack at sorcery or magic. Those who are able to use sorcery or magic often find themselves exiled away from their clans.

The kobolds discovered in the years following the departure of their god mysticism. Kobold mystics run the Shrines of the Fire Lady and often will exchange their services for material goods.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The Waterfall of the Fire Lady: This natural waterfall is located in the western part of the island. Created by the Drowning, the waterfall is molten lava seeping out of a crack and falling into a large pool of water fed by a stream. This strange natural phenomenon attracts hundreds of kobolds every year and is home to the largest Shrine of the Fire Lady.

The Big Tree Forest: A large forest covers much of the interior of the island. This forest existed prior to the Drowning and is vastly overgrown. Travel through the forest is difficult and parts of it have been left unexplored by the kobolds.

Iron Mines: These mines are the source of iron for the island and often the center of many of the wars. The mines are mined by goblin slaves and the ore is shipped to a processing facility.

Regional History

The Island of the Smoking Lands was settled prior the Drowning by five kobold tribes trying to escape the war ravaged lands. Discovering that the Valley of the Smoking Lands was uninhabited the kobolds moved there for safety. Also moving into the valley in the days prior to the Drowning was a small tribe of goblins who had fled from the minotaur army.

After the Drowning the kobolds living in the valley found themselves isolated from the rest of the world. For several years following the Drowning clans fought each other to gain dominance. During this time the small goblin tribe living on the island became hunted and enslaved by the kobolds to be used to create new weapons and armor.

In 98 AD the kobold clans came together and met, discussing how to peacefully end the killing and establish territories. While the meeting had some success it did not end the struggles between the clans. It did establish the yearly meeting of the clans in which the clans could discuss disputes and concerns.

In 293 AD the kobolds were surprised to find a man named Talin on the island. After capturing the man, he convinced them to hold onto the Pick of Aenor, a legendary weapon sought by the Adlar dwarves. The kobolds would hide the pick in the Waterfall of the Fire Lady until it was received by Talin's grandson, Telnor, in 376 AD.

Following the departure of the pick, the kobolds again became a forgotten people whose daily life centered on controlling key resources. Feeling safe and secure inside the rim of ancient volcano, the kobolds ignore the rest of the world.

Current Events

  • The kobolds have heard of strangers landing upon the shores of the island.

  • Goblin slaves have recently attempted a revolt in the eastern part of the island.

  • Strange beasts have been reported flying over the island and attacking local settlements.

Major Settlements

Local clans control the cities of the Isle of the Smoking Lands. The largest settlement is in the southern part of the island. It is home to the largest clan, the Bonebreakers. The other four clans have cities spread throughout the island.

Rock (Large Town 21,000): The largest city and clan home of the Bonebreakers. Rock is a walled town that is filled with small one story buildings and shanties. The clan leaders live in the center of the city in the city's only stone structure. The current Clan Chieftain is Urg Bonebreaker (CE male kobold noble 2/fighter 4).

Fire Lady's Home (Town 9,400): This town is located near the Waterfall of the Fire Lady and is the clan home of the Firewatchers. This town serves as the religious center of the isle and is visited by kobolds of all clans. The town consists of makeshift buildings and in the center of the town is a large shrine dedicated to the Fire Lady. The current leader is Thad Firewatcher (CG male kobold mystic 7).

Treetops (Large Town 15,200): The easternmost city on the isles is the home of the Treeseeking clan. This town is built in the forest with hollowed out trees serving as buildings when available. The current leader of Treetops is Grag Treeseeking (N male kobold fighter 8).

Gold Streams (Small Town 3,200): This town is located in the northern part of the island and is home to the Goldsword clan. The town is built on marshland in between the Gold Streams that flow throughout the area. The town consists mainly of makeshift buildings that constantly have to be rebuilt do to the soft ground. The current leader of Gold Streams is Torn Goldsword (NE male kobold noble 1/fighter 4).

Wander (Small Town 5,400): This town is located in the center of isle and is home to Truebow clan. The town is built in the Big Tree Forest and is hidden by outsiders by various methods of camouflage. Fearful of being destroyed the Truebow clan is constantly on the move and the town is difficult to locate. The current leader of Wander is Oril Truebow (N male kobold noble 3/fighter 2).