Of Kings and Dragons
Fractious Southern Fringes
Capital: Jol (9,500)
Notable Settlements: Solskinn (980), Tomgruv (1,400)
Ruler: Opir Eightfingers
Major Races: dwarves, giants, humans (Ulfen), trolls
Languages: Dwarf, Giant, Skald
Religion: Gorum, Torag, Urxhel, giant deities
Resources: copper, furs, leather goods, lumber, mercenaries
Once known as Old Cyrusian, Southmoor was at one time ruled by the descendants of giants who survived the fall of Thassilon. The giants dwelled in this region for many generations, and were often the targets of glory-seeking raiders or would-be Ulfen warlords. Under Queen Ledamaru’s rule in –450 AR, however, the giants marched north and launched what is recalled in tales today as the Giantkin War. The war was originally conceived as a retaliation against Ulfen aggression, but Queen Ledamaru’s brutality knew no bounds. She and her armies eventually laid siege to Kalsgard, and it was only at this point that the Linnorm Kingdoms all decided it was time to fight back. Under the rule of King Ulvass, the Ulfen fought the giants back into Old Cyrusian, forcing Queen Ledamaru to fall back on a devastating Thassilonian weapon that destroyed her capital city of Torandey, along with both warring armies. By –440 AR, the last major giant tribes had been driven from the region, forced to seek shelter in the Kodar Mountains or across the waters in the Ironbound Isles. For many more generations, these lands remained a backwater claimed by dozens of bickering barbarian tribes. It wasn’t until 1102 that King Eskir Honeytongue established the kingdom of Southmoor and claimed the ruins of Torandey as his capital. He renamed the city Jol, but the region’s legacy of war and savagery remained to this very day.
Despite its relatively large size, Southmoor is the least of the Linnorm Kingdoms, lacking organization, population, reputation, and resources. The coastline is ragged, with few natural harbors and hundreds of miles of desolate moors and boglands that hold precious little in the way of natural resources, while the wilds are haunted by lawless barbarian tribes, trolls, giants, and worse. It doesn’t get any better once one approaches the “civilized” center where the capital city Jol sits on the southern border of Grungir Forest. The city of Jol is the largest settlement in the kingdom, a ramshackle and disorganized mess of a town run by a Linnorm King who is as much scavenger as warrior. Opir Eightfingers is only the latest of several Linnorm Kings named for anatomical anomalies.
Southmoor is one of the least civilized of the Ulfen regions, and much more land lies outside the writ of civilization than lies in it. A small region around Jol is cultivated and relatively safe, but the bogs, hills, and mountains of Southmoor are rife with wild animals and monsters that make travel dangerous for any but organized, well-armed groups.
The greatest dangers of Southmoor are various giants, mostly marsh giants in the lowlands and hill giants around the Kodar Mountains. Ogres and trolls abound as well, and every homestead has walls strong enough to withstand an assault by at least a small group of such monsters. Some linnorms lair in the far reaches of Southmoor, generally deep in the Kodar Mountains or to the east, but they are seen rarely. These dangers are most common to the extreme east and west of Southmoor, leaving the central region relatively civilized. To the east, the giants and dragons and worse are incidentally responsible for guarding the southernmost border between the Linnorm Kingdoms and Irrisen, so in this case in particular the people of the Linnorm Kingdoms are relatively grateful for their presence.