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The Tokham

by Geoff Gander

>Looks good. Needs 2 things, I think:
>1) Some more details on what the natives are like. The ongoing Adakaner-Lupin conflict is likely to pull them in as well.

Here's a summary:

The natives are collectively called the Khosam, the tribe living near the Adakaners are the Tokham.

The Khosam are descended from the people of Orimul, who fled their homes in advance of the Y'hog Carnifex. Some went north to the Serpent Peninsula, and from there to the Midlands and the future Atruaghin lands, and forgot their troubles. Others fled to the coast and established fortified settlements with extensive underground networks in similar fashion to their ancestors - some of these would survive and become the people of Manacapuru. A third group fled to Oceania and founded a new realm, the dire fate of which is yet unknown. A fourth group fled southeast, to lands still protected by Lhomarr. But the advancing Carnifex forced them to move repeatedly, and finally they discovered a chain of secluded islands in the slowly-drying Inner Sea, which they settled. Here, they were insulated from the troubles of the wider world, the collapse of both Y'hog and Lhomarr passed unnoticed for many years.

By 6000 BC the Inner Sea's decline had accelerated. The once-great sea had dwindled to a chain of brackish lakes surrounded by a thin fringe of forest and grasslands. Lands became less productive, animals grew scarce, and competition with the local lizard man and sis'thik tribes (who made common cause against the humans) for the dwindling resources soon made it nearly impossible to survive. The children of Orimul fled to the coast to begin anew, where they found several secluded settlements. By the time they encountered the Thonians, and later the Blackmoorians, they controlled the Davanian coast from the mainland opposite Cestia to the Vulture Peninsula.

With trade they enjoyed a period of prosperity and unity unlike any before - it was then that they began calling themselves the Khosam. This period ended with the Great Rain of Fire - tidal waves inundated their cities, and earthquakes destroyed what remained. Knowing they could no longer remain safely, the Khosam fled inland.

The survivors of the Great Rain of Fire reached the Adakkian Sound around 2000 BC - some settled the north coast, others the south. Those in the north soon came against indigenous humanoids and lizard men; but the land was large and seemingly empty. The Khosam spread widely, and soon great distances and intense competition had fragmented them. Before long, a city-state was just as likely to ally with humanoids against a neighbouring city as help it. Tribal loyalties arose, and although they recognised common heritage, personal interest dominated. By the time the Nithians discovered the region, Khosam lands in northern Adakkia were a patchwork of competing city-states and petty empires stretching from the Adakkian Mounts to the source of the sound. Those who migrated south were less fortunate - they were exterminated by jungle orcs roughly 300 years after their arrival.

The Nithians arrived around 1000 BC, extending their influence where they could - and inadvertently spreading disease and the taint of Thanatos. Their arrival upset the balance, and (partly thanks to Thanatos) old rivalries reignited. Wars were especially fierce, especially where some of the lesser spells taught by the Nithians were employed. Diseases did their work, too, emptying large swaths of territory. The situation soon caught the Immortals' attentions, who realised that once they decided to wipe the Nithians' corruptive influence from the world, they would need to cleanse Adakkia, too. Roughly one-third of the city-states were literally wiped from the map, but the Immortals were unable to alter all events such that all the disappearances could be explained away. Balances shifted and battles intensified, and a 600-year period of chaos ensued. When the dust settled, a handful of tribes remained, all of whom were now immune to the diseases brought by the Nithians.

The region was named by the Thyatians after a particularly nasty encounter a few centuries ago with a tribe called the Adaka. Their activities were so barbarous that the survivors were convinced the whole region must be that savage. Unknown to them, the Adaka were already in decline, and by the time Nieuw Bergdhoven was founded their squat, stone cities had been empty for decades.

Today, the tribes vary considerably. Some, like the Tokham, are convinced that all their calamities were caused by cities, and thus they have opted for a pastoral life. Others have tried to hold on to what they can, and guard their secrets jealously behind their crumbling walls. The Tokham view the Adakaners as the latest catastrophe to befall them, but view the lupins with interest. They have shared the news with allied tribes, and should the lupins approach any of the remaining city-states, they may find themselves welcomed.