The Dragonlance Nexus

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Sodbottom

by Gerrin


Capital: Wa-nax
Population: 40,000 (Neskudar 98%, Other 2%)
Government: Hierarchy
Religions: minor - Reorx (Reorx), Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith), Tonol (Mishakal), Slinoter (Shinare).
Languages: Common, Dwarven.
Trade: Mercenaries, Gems.
Legions: None
Alignment: NG, NE, CE, LE

The Sodbottom is a loose collection of city-states and tribes controlled by a Neskudar barbarian named Ros Earthstriker.

Life and Society

Life in Sodbottom Swamp is a difficult one as the dwarves try to avoid contact with outsiders. Most of the people of Sodbottom live in nomadic groups that travel around the swamp trying to survive. Three towns have been created for dwarves who do not desire a nomadic lifestyle and as a place to trade. These towns are filled full of dwarves who are often distrustful of people outside of their tribes.

The society in Sodbottom is different from elsewhere in Adlatum. The Neskudar favor activities at night and sleep during the day. They do this because they have a deep fear of what the darkness may hold and need to be awake for it. The sunlight also affects their skin, a curse they inherited from they battle against Chaos.

The military of Sodbottom is a loose collection of tribes serving one lord. These tribes will supply troops in times of need. There is no standing military, towns have patrols and militia.

The legal system in the empire is a brutal one where charges are settled by fights. The loser of the fight is found guilty or admits his claim was false. Often times the fights end in the death of one or both of the combatants.

Religion

There was no formal religion recognized, and most dwarves do not worship any god. The few dwarves that do worship gods worship Reorx, or Ki Ulit (Kiri-Jolith). The departure of the gods have went unnoticed by many of the Neskudar, instead the dwarves worship a false idol of a giant lizard that they believe will bring them luck.

Government

The government of Sodbottom is a hierarchy in which one dwarf controls the power. Individual tribes have chieftains but they all swear loyalty to the Grand Chieftain. The current leader is Ros Earthshaker an ambitious general who seized control after finding the Crown of Blacklight.

Military

There is no formal military in Sodbottom, instead each tribe provides its own safety. In times of conflict the Grand Chieftain can call the tribes together and create an army. The Grand Chieftain is protected by his tribe during peace times.

Magic and Mysticism

Magic in Sodbottom is rare, but for those who possess it they are given places of honor in their tribes. Many of these dwarves are given position of advisement to chieftains and are often revered by their clans. The magic is not moon magic but rather chaos magic.

Mysticism is uncommon among the dwarves but since they do not publicly acknowledge the gods the dwarves have turned to it. Nearly every tribe in Sodbottom has a mystic who leads religious practices of a false religion.

Major Geographical Features and Locations

The Pit: In the middle of the Sodbottom Swamp lies a giant hole that the dwarves have named the Pit. No one knows for sure what lies at the bottom of the pit or even how deep it is. In the early years of Sodbottom, dwarves would sacrifice prisoners to the pit to appease their god, Salimadar. Rumors persist that the forces of Chaos still lurk in the shadows of the pit, waiting for unsuspecting visitors.

The Mound of the Dead: This mound contains the remains of those who fought Chaos. The mound was built during the struggle against Chaos as a place for all those forgotten or killed to be buried. Many of the warriors left no trace of their memory but their equipment was found. The dwarves believed that the equipment contains the spirit of the owner and needs to be buried. The mound was raised near the city of Wa-nax.

The Cave of Truth: All new sorcerers and wizards must journey to this mysterious cave and travel through it. What is located in the cave no one can say as each journey is different. It is rumored that the cave contains the secrets of true magical power.

Ruins of Arendon: The Ruins of Arendon are the remains of the first settlement built in Sodbottom Swamp. These ruins are difficult to reach as they have been lost for several years. Arendon was a fortress built in the northern part of Sodbottom and was supposed to protect the swamp from possible invaders.

Regional History

Sodbottom swamp is the location of the Neskudar dwarves who have resided there since their escape from minotaurs to the north. Life in the swamp is one of danger and the constant fight for survival. Much of the swamp is difficult to navigate and the water in many parts releases a steam that forms a mist over the swamp. The dwarves living here chose the location for its difficult terrain and from its cover to the sun.

The original settlers were fearful of a possible attack by the minotaurs and build Arendon, a mighty fortress to provide protection. In the years that followed the dwarves found that their people grew restless from living in one place. Fearing some great unknown, the Neskudar broke into tribes which moved around the swamps. During these travels three towns were constructed to help the tribes keep in contact and trade for goods.

Prior to the war with Chaos, much of this area remained the same except for a few internal struggles for power and some small skirmishes with goblins. The tribes worked independently from each other and believed that they were finally safe. During the Days of Darkness, the tribes responded to Reorx's dream and traveled back to the Path. It was there they encountered the forces of Chaos.

The dwarves retreated back to their swamp but found that the terrain that helped keep outsiders away was actually an advantage for the forces of Chaos. In a struggle for survival the dwarves managed to defeat the forces of Chaos at great cost. Several of the tribes of Sodbottom were nearly destroyed and survivors were filled with questions. The land itself was changed by Chaos and the swamp is a deadly place to live in.

Current Events

  • The tribes of Sodbottom have been called to assemble together to discuss an attack on the Adlar dwarves.

  • There are rumors of forces gathering in the North and possibly planning on invading Sodbottom.

  • The Grand Chieftain has declared that finding of the Ruins of Arendon are important for the survival of his people. These ruins need to be rebuilt to defend the tribes from a possible outside attack.

Major Settlements

Local cities and settlements were created by tribes as places of trade. They are governed by the tribal leader and all follow the laws of the Grand Chieftain.

Wa-nax (Small Town 3,000): This town is the current home of the Grand Chieftain Ros Earthstriker (NE male Neskudar noble 2/fighter 5/expert 3). The town located in the southern part of the swamp was spared much of the destruction that the forces of Chaos have created in the swamp. It is a trading post for the tribes living in the southern part of the swamp and is surrounded by a stone wall.

Sodbottom (Small Town 2,530): This was the second largest town in Sodbottom. It was named after the swamp and is located in the northern part of it. The town serves as a trading and religious center for the tribes around the area. Currently Klick Earthslasher (NE male Neskudar noble 1/fighter 4/mystic of Passion 1) is the leader of the town.

Awathah (Village 750): This is the smallest settlement in Sodbottom. This village was attacked several times by the forces of Chaos and many of its residents have fled. A wooden wall surrounds the currently occupied part. Jenna Earthforge (LN female Neskudar noble 1/fighter 2/sorcerer 4) is currently in charge of the remaining residents of her village.