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MALPHEGGI LIZARD MEN (Tribelands of the)
Location: Swamps of Malpheggi, north of the World Spine Mountains, west of the Neathar lands, southeast of the Azcan Empire, continent of Iciria. HW
Area: 48,497 sq. mi. (125,605 sq. km.).
Population: 10,000 in clans of about 100 each.
Languages: Malpheggi (Lizard Man).
Coinage: None (barter only).
Taxes: Non-lizard folk travelling through the area may have a fee imposed upon them. The fee usually consists of anything that said travellers are carrying that the lizard folk might deem valuable.
Government Type: Autonomous clans led by matriarchs.
Industries: Hunting and gathering; mercenary warfare (scouting).
Important Figures: The Mother of Us All (Matriarch of All of Malpheggi [a mythical figure? Yupac.]).
Flora and Fauna: Cypress, mangrove, willow trees. Sedges, saw grass, pickerel weed, cattails, and bulrush. Giant beetles, giant centipedes, crocodiles, dinosaurs, green dragons, giant fish, leeches (normal and giant), piranhas, purple worms, rats, giant slugs, snakes, giant spiders, giant toads, and giant weasels.
Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Saasiks (translated by Yupac). [Introduction by Yupac. Ed.]
The senescent lizard men from this land have blood as cold as the peaks of the World Spine. They hire themselves out as mercenaries and guides, helping many of the other peoples in this area to perform raids on their rivals. Many such raids are led against my own people [the Oltecs. Ed.].
My homeland is wet. Rains come many times a sleep. Only the most hardy of my people survive the challenges within. [It rains in the swamplands of Malpheggi often, sometimes several times in a single sleep. When it is not raining and the red sun shines through the overgrowth, it is hot. Not all of Malpheggi is what you might expect it to be, however. Yupac.]
The wet grasses are where my people meet with the soft skins. The scaleless ones don't seem to mind this area. The black teeth, the soft skins who taste like fire and smoke [I believe that Saasiks is referring to the Azcans. Black teeth is a name given to those who wield obsidian weapons, as the Azcan often do. Yupac.], are especially haughty in this place. Many think they can cross the swamp without our help. They change their minds quickly once they see what Malpheggi is really like. [Many areas that border the swamp can be classified as wet grasslands. Tall grasses dominate the area. The landscape is either crisscrossed by many small streams or dotted with stagnant pools. During dry circles, these areas are often wracked with fires which keep many of the larger plants from gaining a foothold in the area. Yupac.]
Neverwet regions are sacred to my people. Only the tribal shaman, or those that she selects, may enter here. The neverwet near my tribe was a thick carpet of yellow flowers. The shaman took me there once when I was younger. I buried her there after she died from the curse. [The neverwet regions are vast ponds and lettuce lakes choked with surface-covering vegetation. Many of the plants that grow in these areas are covered in a waxy substance that causes them to appear quite dry, even after a heavy rain. Yupac.]
Most things that live in Malpheggi have strong skins. Hard to bite through. [Saasiks seemed unconcerned by many of the pests that normally plague human travellers through the swamp. Insect swarms and rodent infestations gave him little pause. He was more concerned with the animals he deemed worthy of the hunt. Crocodiles, large monitor lizards, and several varieties of swamp-loving dinosaurs. Yupac.]
My people live in small villages within the swamp. Each village is composed of a single tribe ruled by a matriarch. Deep in the swamp is the Mother of Us All, who rules over all of the tribes. Once a year our leaders go into the heart of Malpheggi to meet with her, but I have never seen her. I never shall... now.
The dwellings of my people are diverse. Some are built under the branches of the willows. Some dug into the sides of riverbanks. Others placed near rocky outcroppings.
Hunting is the life blood of the tribe, but we also barter with the soft skins for non-essential goods. In exchange we guide their warriors through the swamp so that they may strike at their enemies. Sometimes we help them with their raids, but the price for that service is high. The soft skins have many enemies, so we know they must be a treacherous breed. They are watched closely whenever they venture near our homelands.
[I would suggest you miss this place altogether. The lizard men are not friendly, and they will not tolerate intruders to their lands... unless of course those intruders intend to pay a premium for a native guide. Yupac.]