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Tlik'kkill (Haven of Crabmen)
Location: Northern Coast of Davania, far west of Kastelios, north of Schweidnitz. DV
Area: 13,000 sq. mi. (27,000 sq. km.).
Population: 100,000 crabmen.
Languages: Crabman (Tlik'ki), Makal.
Coinage: Tkil (silver piece worth 1 gp), tek (silver piece worth 1 sp).
Taxes: 10% income tax collected once a year.
Government Type: Ruled by a council of four elected wise crabmen or crabwomen.
Industries: Fishing, mining (silver), agriculture (kelp).
Important figures: Ekli'tke (She of the Magic), Lirk'kil (He of the Immortals), Kai'klie (She of the Shadows), Mik'hkol (He of the Sword).
Flora and Fauna: Sandy, with some cliffs along the coast, but most of the territory is grassland, with a bit of sand desert and badlands. The grassland is full of flowers and has only a short kind of tree.
Among the dangerous creatures are giant lizards, giant spiders and jaguars. There are also those big animals the Thyatians call "rhinoceros." They are quite armoured animals, but crabmen say that they are very pacific providing you do not annoy them. There are also some blue dragons in the region, according to the crabmen, but they are in good terms with the Tlik'kkil, and there is a tribe of pacific centaurs too.
In the rivers and lakes live many kinds of birds, crocodiles and hippopotamus, and more dangerous creatures, particularly water weirds, an elemental-like creature, and hydras. Both in rivers, lakes and in the sea there are a lot of normal and giant crabs. Do remember that crabmen consider crabs like pets, so never eat a crab while here: think that in Ierendi City you'd never kill and eat a dog in the middle of the street!
Deserts and badlands are inhabited by many kinds of giant worms and giant insects, elemental-like creatures as desert ghosts (usually pacific), some kinds of dragons, dragonnes, flame salamander, some dangerous and hostile tribes of lamara, scorpions, and the very dangerous xytar, an eight-foot-long lizard-like beast, with six legs, and breathing fire.
The sea and the coasts of Tlik'kkil are inhabited by giant eels, sharks, dolphins, octopus, whales, sea dragons, snappers, tribes of devilfish and shark-kin (at war with each other), a great worm called masher (beware its poisonous tail sting). But the more dangerous creature of the sea and probably of all that land is a creature called mesmer. Crabmen say that this creature is immune to magic, and both he and the magical hypnotic pattern of his lair can charm someone and take him to the mesmer to be eaten alive! Only clerical magic can do some harm to the mesmer, and probably that creature is some kind of undead...
Further Reading: None.
Last Year's Events: See below.
Description and map by Shira.
Crabman land is really an interesting and strange place, as crabmen are a people so much different from us humans and from any other creatures of Mystara.
Like Schweidnitz, Tlik'kkil too is a hot place, and here rain is more uncommon. Anyway, when it rains for an entire month in the south, even here the rain keeps falling for days, and to live near the river is very dangerous because of the frequent flooding. Most of the territory, as I said, is grassland, not always flat but sometimes made of large hills. Antelopes are the most common sight in the grassland, with some rhinoceros and jaguars.
The cities and villages of crabmen are usually near the water, rivers, lakes, or the sea, and are dug in hills of sand. Hills are then decorated with elaborate architectures of coloured sand and shells. Crabmen love water and try to bathe at least once a day, but this isn't of vital importance for them. Anyway their villages and cities are never built on dry lands, which are instead inhabited by the different kinds of intelligent and not intelligent monsters mentioned above.
Crabman lands are divided in four regions, each governed by one of the council members. The first region, in the west, is Itl'kilk, the land of the ocean, surrounded by the sea and inhabited by fishermen and kelp planters, and the place where there is the crabman school of magic. The next region from the west is Kilkli'tlak, the dry land, inhabited by silver and iron miners. The capital of that region is the thieves' and rogues' town. The next region is Shik'kkil, the shield of crabmen, the land of warriors and the region where live the few crabmen who farm the (dry) land (using a sort of druidic magic to speed the growth of plants) and breed antelopes. The last region is Telik'tlak, the land of the new sun, seat of the clerical school and the richest region of all the nation, because here most of crabmen traders live.
Each region has its festival once a year. There is a sea festival in Itl'kilk, also called the festival of magical treasures, because here are showed the objects found by adventurers in the ruins under the sea, objects that wizards are eager to buy. In Kilkli'tlak there is the silver festival where the wonderful works of crabman artisans with silver are displayed and sold, and thieves have their own festival of stolen goods. (A quick note: in crabman lands theft is not punishable; if you cannot keep your possessions it's all your fault. Nor you can kill a thief to retrieve your items, because that would be murder. I think crabmen don't give much importance to private property, especially in Kilkli'tlak.) In Shik'kkil there is the planting festival, where druids and planters encounter and compete to see which family can plant the most (each family of planters has at least a druid, and each family of antelope breeders has at least a ranger) and where warriors have their tournament festival, in which every year the Shield, the best warrior of crabman lands, is elected. In Telik'tlak there is the traders' festival, where goods are sold and where it's easy to find human merchants from Alol and Schweidnitz (Makal natives, not Heldanners, at least for now). It is also where the churches meet to discuss matters of religion. There is another festival the 4th of Thaumont, the first day of the year for crabmen, and according to their legends the day when the Immortal Kka created crabmen. It's a religious festival full of songs and dances.
Crabmen are amphibious creatures, humanoid in appearance, but with a hard reddish-brown exoskeleton, and instead of hands they have two pincers. Male crabmen have the right pincer bigger then the left one. Crabmen greatly value silver, which they mine and use for jewellery. They don't value gold at all, and consider it just a kind of normal stone. Crabmen are a kind and hospitable people, who observe strangers with well-disposed curiosity. They seem to dislike Heldanners, who in their histories are depicted as an aggressive and arrogant people, but their worst enemies are the half-orcs of Mogluur. Crabmen usually go naked or with little clothes, and have weapons made of an alloy of silver and iron. Their weapons are of excellent workmanship and they have very good smiths. Furthermore their cities are a wonderful sight to behold.
Their government seems quite soft, without watchmen and prisons, nor authorities under the council, just the single family. As far as I know there aren't great social differences in their society, even if some differences exist. The four members of the council are often divided in two factions: the wizard and the rogue against the cleric and the warrior. It's a political division mirrored by crabman society, where wizards and rogues thwart the efforts of clerics and warriors to create an unified and strong government. Clerics and warriors are supported by merchants and by land farmers, who want more order, while wizards and rogue can count on the miners and fishermen, who wish to maintain the traditional family structure.
Crabmen worship five Immortals: Klion, the sun (probably Ixion), patron of wizards, Klik'kol, the sky, patron of rogues (Korotiku, I think), Kla'eak (Djaea), the earth, patroness of warriors, Tuk'lok, the sea (Protius), patron of clerics, and Kka, the creator, patron of crabmen (Ka). Their language is very difficult to understand and learn, made of sounds so different from those of human languages. Anyway many crabmen speak Makal and Lol, languages of their human neighbours, but with a very strange, clicking accent.
Crabman history is made of many legends about their creation by the hands (well, pincers) of the Immortal Kka. One important creation myth tells that crabmen survived a great struggle against evil serpent creatures and lizard men, guided by four great heroes: one warrior, one cleric, one thief and one wizard. Thereafter they have been ruled by a council formed like that ancient group of heroes. Anyway I think they always lived here, in the northern coast of Davania, in good terms with the other races, except the half-orcs. The half-orcs destroyed a great city of crabmen in the south where there is now the fort of Klok'kkil, killing many crabmen and their Makal allies and friends. Ten years later crabmen reconquered the place, but have been at war with the half-orcs ever since. Those events seem to have happened centuries ago.
The last time Mogluur tried to invade Tlik'kkil was a few years ago, but the half-orcs were defeated and took heavy losses. Crabmen are allied with the human Kingdom of Alol. They seem bothered by the coming of the Heldanners, named by them "Metalmen," because they believe that they want to conquer all the Izondian Deep Coast... Honestly I cannot deny their fears.
Crabman cities are very beautiful from the outside and even better from the inside, where patterns of coloured sand and shells, often lighted with magic, depict the ancient stories of crabmen. Beaches in this land are probably whiter and softer than the most beautiful beaches of Ierendi. Besides, Tlik'kkil is not a place without adventures, more or less dangerous, from the quest for sunken ships and ruins that, as crabmen relate, are numerous along the coast, to the fight against the monsters of the dry lands or against the half-orcs of Mogluur. Crabman adventurers often search the ruins and the ships, where many legends say you could find ancient treasures. But mind that some ruins are reputed haunted by ghosts of evil lizard men and dangerous mesmers!
If you fear for your life avoid the border between crabman lands and Mogluur, where it's easy to meet half-orcs. Dry lands are other places where any wise man and woman should not go, because it's too hot and there are inhabitants not so friendly with visitors, like the above-mentioned lamara, xytar, and others. We all know that adventurers are not wise men and women, but be warned that crabmen don't like to disturb those tribes and creatures, because they are eager to retaliate against crabman settlements. I heard from crabmen the story of a group of adventurers from the Kingdom of Alol (or Akl'lok as the crabmen call it) who were cast off from crabman lands for that very reason.