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The Serpent Peninsula

As mentioned in the last chapter, the actual Savage Coast is a 2,000-mile stretch of land situated between the Orc's Head Peninsula in the west (discussed in the "Other Places" chapter) and the Serpent Peninsula in the east. The Serpent Peninsula, named for the great variety and high numbers of snakes and similar creatures found in its jungles and swamps, divides the Sea of Dread from the Gulf of Hule and the Western Sea upon which the Savage Coast lies. The majority of this peninsula lies within the Haze, so while marked by vermeil, the Serpent Peninsula is not directly under the effect of the curse.

A peaceful culture of seers, Yavdlom dominates the Serpent Peninsula. Their culture centres on the island of Thanegia just south of the peninsula itself. The people of Yavdlom are essentially demi-elves, descendants of elven and dark-skinned human ancestors. Tall and ebony-skinned, they have slightly pointed ears; some even have the arched eyebrows typical of elves.

The Yavdlom culture combines both elven and human elements. A high percentage of precognitive or similar abilities among its citizens influences their culture in several ways. Fortunately, the seers of Yavdlom follow the teachings of the Immortal Yav, who encourages responsibility and cooperation, causing most of their influences to be quite positive.

Because only those people without prophetic ability can serve in government posts, all seers are relegated to advisory positions within a strict hierarchy according to ability. However, the seers determine which citizens become part of the nobility and how powerful they are, based on predictions regarding how many people they will greatly influence.

The seers of Yavdlom also affect other aspects of the culture, from religion to trade. The local economy, based on agriculture and trade, benefits from the advice of the seers.

Other groups on the peninsula include the Karimari of the Nakakande Rain Forest and the nomadic hunters (the coppery-skinned Urdukkabilas and the dark-skinned Karatunda) in the Konumtali Savannah. North of the peninsula, the influence of Yavdlom diminishes. In the east, the nation of Sind dominates, while on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Hule, a small handful of independent city-states rule.