The Realm of the Mammoth Lords is a timeless place that flows with the rhythms of nature and the dictates of the seasons, and as such does not measure its history in the same way as folk who obsess over dates and years. The timeless nature of the land and its inhabitants' technologically simple lifestyle means that the Realm of the Mammoth Lords' history is less filled with the betrayals and political turmoil typical of other lands. The biggest event to beset the Realm of the Mammoth Lords in recent times was the death of Aroden and the subsequent creation of the Worldwound to the east. What was once the similarly-minded barbarian kingdom of Sarkoris, was soon overrun by hordes of ravenous demons that raided along the Mammoth Lords' eastern border until the Fifth Mendevian Crusade defeated the demon lord Deskari and closed the Worldwound in 4713 AR.23
The Realm of the Mammoth Lords sits in the far north of the continent of Avistan wedged against the vast, polar region of the Crown of the World. The polar ice is held at bay by the mighty Tusk Mountains that stretch from the town of Icestair to the west past the town of Tolguth to the east. To its east lies the formerly demon-infested wasteland called the Sarkoris Scar (where demonic stragglers can still be found in great numbers), while it shares its western border with the icy nation of Irrisen, and its southern with the orc-dominated Hold of Belkzen. Stuck between these three dangerous powers, it is no wonder that the Realm spawns such hardy folk. The majority of the land is covered in cold, harsh tundra and boreal forest, across which roam herds of huge creatures long extinct in other lands.456 The nation is split into an eastern and western region by a long spur of the Tusk Mountains that runs from its northern border in a northeasterly direction into the Hold of Belkzen. To the east of the mountains lie the Ginji Mesa in the crook of the mountains, west of which lies the seemingly neverending expanse of the Thunder Steppes. Several major rivers that eventually flow to the west into Irrisen's Glacier Lake begin in the Tusk Mountains. These include the Little Tusk, the Frozen Road, and the Wayward River that flows into the larger Gullik River.6
Connection to Deep Tolguth
Herds of aurochs and bison roam amongst families of lumbering mammoths (for which the land is named) and mastodons, all under the hunting eye of saber-tooth tigers. These creatures are believed to come from some sort of strange underground world where titanic beasts from an earlier age still roam and humans have never grasped the tenants of civilisation.2 This land is known to its inhabitants (and the few scholars who believe in its existence) as Deep Tolguth.7 It is believed that the Earthnavel, a terrifying crevice lined with the bones of ancient beasts and tribal warriors, once connected Deep Tolguth to the surface. However, the lower tunnels have long since collapsed.8.
At its most granular level, the Mammoth Lords are comprised of Kellid tribes as small as a few families in number. These tribes form larger groups called followings, which themselves can include hundreds of tribes. A following is when two or more tribes join together to follow a particularly powerful warrior or leader, known as a herder, who has proven themselves through acts of great courage, strength, or guile, and is backed by a following's most prominent family.92
Even though the Realm of the Mammoth Lords has no central government, its inhabitants will likely soon have to contend with their neighboring states as they are going through a period of upheaval and change. In the west, Irrisen has experienced a significant shift as it undergoes its first major change in the line of succession in over 14 centuries due to the recent loss of its queen. To the south, the orcs of Belkzen appear to be on the brink of transitioning away from their warlike and brutal lifestyle, with their rejection of rejoining their former oppressor Tar-Baphon potentially triggering this transformation. However, the most substantial change related to this realm occurred in the east, with the closure of the Worldwound. This event has brought increasing relief to the Mammoth Lords as each demon slain contributes to reducing the overall threat.10
The Realm of the Mammoth Lords is the last nation where Kellids still live as their ancient traditions dictate, free from the influence of other countries or powers. The only other Kellid nation that has maintained a similar way of life is Numeria, but even there its people are commanded by the Black Sovereign, who all but completely turned his back on the Kellid way when he fell in with the foul arcanists of the Technic League.
Mammoth Lord Kellids
The Kellid followings and tribes scattered across the land are almost all nomadic, and the Realm has no capital or even cultural gathering place. Its people spend the year following the herds of great beasts across the land and only make their way to the cities when they must. Its towns mostly exist to serve foreign travelers. The Kellids believe that they are the chosen people of the land, a belief that is strengthened by their zoic fetishes.11 Mammoth Lords gain their title by mastering the wooly mammoth in addition to other forms of megafauna, which they use as mounts, protectors, and war engines.10
Relationships with giants
The Kellids of this region have a somewhat contradictory relationship with giants, particularly frost giants. They once fought a near-constant conflict with these giants, However, much like the distant threats, these giants have become less visible. Mammoth Lords were known to take captured giant children and raise them as their own. Having a giant in one's tribe was a sign of power among the Mammoth Lords followings, and the children were raised as honored members. Some mystics regard these giants with near religious fervor, and in time, many giants learn to identify with the tribe and fight to protect them.1110
The giants, however, have not disappeared. The most prominent figure among them is Jarl Gnargorak, who possesses intelligence and cunning, but lacks kindness and forgiveness. Throughout his life, he and his frost giants have engaged in clashes against the Mammoth Lords, a conflict deeply ingrained in his ancestry. Jarl Gnargorak envisions a future where his people reign supreme over this land and the Mammoth Lords are wiped out. Jarl Gnargorak bides his time, anticipating the followings to grow complacent. Once this happens, he plans to lead his armies down from the icy heights of the mountains and claim the territories he deems rightfully belonging to the Jotun.10
Despite its remote location and inhospitable climate for much of the year, the realm receives frequent visitors from other lands. The orcs make frequent raids from the Hold of Belkzen to the south in order to capture megafauna to use in their war machines, and the servants of the Irrisen winter witches are constantly raiding from the west, hoping to expand their realm. Most of the land's visitors come, counter-intuitively, from the north, and it is here where most of the settlements are located. The trade route from Tian Xia known as the Path of Aganhei begins at the town of Icestair, and from there travels over the Crown of the World to the distant Successor States.1 Visitors are reminded that a Mammoth Lord's word is both bond and law, and that all tribal members are suspicious of any magic that is not part of their own shamanistic tradition.11
The most famous inhabitants of the land are its megafauna, including mammoths, mastodons, aurochs, bison, armored glyptodons, and giant sloths. They are hunted by the land's powerful native predators including cave lions and smilodons.1 Tales of these enormous creatures fill the taprooms and taverns of the south and attract many a bold explorer or daring merchant to the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. These beasts fetch a huge price in the markets of the south if they can be captured alive.2 Many never make it that far, as most such expeditions have to return through the Hold of Belkzen, a dangerous proposition itself which is made worse by the orc's covetous love of these hugely powerful beasts.12
The Kellid tribespeople of the Realm move with ease among the megafauna, taking them only when they need meat, fur, or beasts of burden.11
It is rumoured that within certain valleys of the Tusk Mountains, which dominates the centre of the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, there are even hidden warm valleys that contain dinosaurs long since wiped from the rest of the planet.2
For additional resources, see the Meta page.
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). "The Inner Sea". The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 106. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 94–95. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
- Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Overview". World Guide, p. 7-8. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 106–109. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Broken Lands". World Guide, p. 32-33. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
- Rob Lazzaretti. (2011). Inner Sea Poster Map Folio, p. 1. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
- James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 47. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
- James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
- Benjamin Bruck, John Compton, Crystal Frasier, et al. (2017). Adventurer's Guide, p. 126. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-938-7
- Tanya DePass, James Jacobs, Lyz Liddell, et al. (2019). "Saga Lands". World Guide, p. 115-116. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-172-6
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). "The Inner Sea". The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 107. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- James L. Sutter. (2008). The Hold of Belkzen. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 59. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5