The Empire of Mhairshaulk was founded by sarrukh clans that were driven from Okoth in a civil war caused by differing opinions on maintaining the purity of the sarrukh race (the clans that won and remained in Okoth believed that their flesh-warping powers should not be used on other sarrukh to alter their form – these powers were only to be used on lesser reptilians).
The sarrukh that would found Mhairshaulk split from the great migration and turned south at the Lake of Steam (others went west or north), until they came to a forested land filled with ruined ziggurats that resembled those found in Okoth. Here they founded the Empire of Mhairshaulk, which would eventually grow to cover the entire Chultan Peninsula.
The sarrukh of Mhairshaulk were masters of magic and studied the ruins and legacies left behind by a clearly magically superior race. After creating a host of reptilian beings to serve their needs, and delving into the depths of the ruins and the Peaks of Flame, the sarrukh began to succumb to a sickness that caused many of them to sleep for millennia, and a desperate few fleeing to the planes to escape a similar fate.
The yuan-ti; the sarrukh’s most capable servants, inherited the Empire of Mhairshaulk, caring for their slumbering masters, while the empire slowly shrank and the forest around them turned into a deadly, almost malevolent, primeval jungle.
Finally the Empire of Mhairshaulk collapsed as large portions of forest were burned by flights of large winged wyrms known as dragons. The cities of Mhairshaulk were burned, the yuan-ti tribes were divided into separate sections of forest and the dragons devoured any that emerged from their tree cloaked lairs. Then, as suddenly as they arrived, the flights of dragons ceased.
- c. -34800 DR: Sarrukh clans outcast from Okoth found Mhairshaulk on the Chultan Peninsula.
- c. -33500 DR: Sarrukh-ruled Mhairshaulk declines gradually, sinking slowly into somnolence. The empire becomes the domain of the yuan-ti.
- c. -24800 DR: Winged serpents known as couatl arrived in secret from a continent far to the west.
- Yuan-ti ruled Mhairshaulk collapses under the repeated assaults of winged wyrms.
The Wild Jungle
Without any caretakers, the jungle turned into one of the most wild, dangerous, and inhospitable places in Faerun. The jungle literally overflows with life of all varieties (although reptiles are still among the most dominant), and the size and viciousness of creatures is far greater than those found elsewhere.
The jungle and its inhabitants devour any that attempt to civilise or tame their environment, only those that embrace the wilderness (like the dur Authalar), or that shut themselves away from it with magic or geography are spared. This hostility to civilisation and life that does not embrace the law of the jungle (kill or be killed) kept the yuan-ti from reclaiming the glory of Mhairshaulk and allowed other races to move in.
- c. -13500 DR: Firenewts begin to appear in the Firelands beneath Chult.
- c. -9000 DR: The drow of Telantiwar overwhelm the dwarves of Bhaerynden. A number of surviving gold dwarves migrate west eventually settling in the jungles of Chult and becoming the dur Authalar (wild dwarves).
- c. -8150 DR: Surviving dwarves of Alatorin isolated from the rest of Shanatar migrate south and west, eventually settling in the mountains of western Chult where they become an albino variation of shield dwarf.
The sarrukh and their yuan-ti servants had a secret enemy from ages past. Clans of Okothian sarrukh that fled to the planes after the collapse of their own empire were transformed by great powers into beings known as the couatl. In -24000 DR these couatl arrived in the Chultan Peninsula and found remnants of a life they had left behind long ago.
The couatl set about ending the evils of the sarrukh, gathering a flight of dragons to the peninsula to destroy the sarrukh and their servants. With their goal accomplished the couatl became the guardians of the jungle and the fell legacies of the sarrukh and the spellweavers.
Over time, even the guardians succumbed to the lure of curiosity, and they too were afflicted with a nightmare fuelled slumber, and forced to leave. Before abandoning their post completely, the couatl brought new guardians to the peninsula in the form of the Eshowe, Tabaxi, Thinguth, and other tribes.
The Chultan tribes wandered south from the Bay of Chult, following the rivers south to the Peaks of Flame, where they encountered the being known as Ubtao. Ubtao led them north and raised the city of Mezro to serve as the spiritual capital of all the Chultan tribes.
The tribes coexisted peacefully for a time, ruled over by the Barae of Mezro (the chosen servants of Ubtao). It was the was the Bara Kyuss who first brought strife to the Chultan tribes, Kyuss was the greatest of the Bara, for he had delved deeply into the lore of the ancients. In 653 DR he left Mezro after he was challenged for his arcane practices, he took with him nearly a thousand followers and they headed south deep into the Chultengar where he established the city of Kuluth-Mar atop the remnants of an ancient ziggurat.
In 483 DR, Kyuss made a bid for godhood, sacrificing the entire population of Kuluth-Mar, and all the magic he could acquire, to fuel his transformation. He was thwarted by an alliance of goodly races; the Chultans, the dur Authalar, and the aarakocra, who marched on Kuluth-Mar.
Heroes arose; like the Bara Nsi and the Sythrilian Sybil, who fought to contain the power of Kyuss. Finally the Bara Nsi (a student of Kyuss) reflected Kyuss’ own magic against him and the magical backlash trapped Kyuss in a black stone monolith. Kyuss was no longer mortal, he did not achieve the status of quasi-deity he desired, instead he became something more and less.
The cost for defeating Kyuss was high. The heroes of Chult were altered by their ordeal, Nsi found his power mutated into something new, Sybil became infected with a blood curse and spent centuries searching for a way to elevate her existence to escape it. The Eshowe began using some of Kyuss’ magic and a rift opened between the Eshowe and the Tabaxi, while the Thinguth soon found Kyusspawn wandering into their lands from the ruins of Kuluth-Mar and burned the jungle thus separating their people from the other Chultans.
- -2809 DR: The Eshowe, Tabaxi, Thinguth, and other tribes arrive in the jungles of Chult after a great oceanic migration. The tribes encounter Ubtao in the Peaks of Flame.
- -2637 DR: Mezro is founded.
- c. -1050 DR: With great advances in shipbuilding technology, the Imperial Navy of Calimshan rules the Shining Sea and the Lake of Steam. Infrequent, tentative trade begins with Chult and the Tashalar.
- c. -870 DR: After some decades of increased travel and colonisation, Calimshan opens full, regular trade with Chult and the Tashalar.
- -653 DR: Year of Reverent Threnody: The Bara Kyuss and his followers leave Mezro for the Chultengar and establish the city of Kuluth-Mar.
- -483 DR: Year of Closed Gates: The city of Kuluth-Mar is left abandoned after Kyuss sacrifices the entire population to fuel his bid for apotheosis. A coalition of chultans, wild dwarves, and aarakocra defeat Kyuss and imprison him within a great monolith.
The Time of Conflict
The war with Kuluth-Mar had far reaching consequences for the Chultans, the exposure to Kyuss and his necromancy awoke a greed for magic among the Eshowe, while the Tabaxi restricted its use. Tensions quickly turned to hostility and then open warfare between the two tribes. Ultimately the Eshowe bargained with a primal power trapped beneath the Peaks of Flame (forming a pact where they would gain power and Eshowdow would be released).
The war between the Eshowe and Tabaxi culminated in an assault on Mezro itself. The attack failed and the Eshowe fled, pursued by the Bara Nsi. For over a decade Nsi relentlessly hunted the Eshowe, slaughtering them wherever he found them. For his horrific actions Nsi was exiled from Mezro and the Eshowe were believed extinct.
During this time the power of the Chultans and of Mezro begins to wane under the growing threat of the Kyusspawn and the machinations of the yuan-ti. As time passed new settlements were established like Omu and M’bala which would one day grow to rival Mezro.
The Time of Conflict was ended when the threat of yuan-ti infiltration was uncovered amid the Chultans, and an attempt was made to scourge their evil influence. In response to the discovery Mezro was hidden from the outside world and new kingdoms rose to replace the vacuum of power left behind.
- -483 DR to -122 DR: War breaks out between the Tabaxi and Eshowe tribes.
- -375 DR: Year of the Clutching Dusk: The Empire Plague strikes Calimshan and swiftly spreads to Tashalar (where it claims 30% of the population), and Chult (where it left a number of isolated ports devoid of life).
- -320 DR: Year of Netted Dreams: The Hss’tafi tribe of yuan-ti vanish from their holdings in the Chultengar.
- -304 DR: Year of Erupting Crypts: The serpent god Sseth, an avatar of Merrshaulk, founds the yuan-ti empire of Serpentes amid the ruins of the ancient sarrukh empire of Mhairshaulk. Serpentes immediately begins to wage war against the humans of Lapaliiya, weakened by the Empire Plague.
- -137 DR: Year of Blooded Sunsets: Mezro is sacked by the Eshowe tribe and their shadowy allies. The tabaxi repel the invaders and the shadow monsters turn on their Eshowe allies. The barae Tabiaza, Anzi, and Zimwa are slain during the battle, leaving Nsi (last of the Barae) to drive off the Eshowe and pursue them into the jungle.
- -122 DR: Year of Unleashed Sorrow: Bara Nsi returns to Mezro at the head of a horde of reanimated corpses (the Eshowe). Ras Nsi is branded a criminal and is exiled by the seven new Barae of Mezro.
- The batiri claim much of the central and western jungles left empty by the devastating war between the Eshowe and Tabaxi tribes.
- 10 DR: Year of Dreams: The realm of Serpentes goes into rapid decline when its emperor Sseth vanishes beneath the Peaks of Flame. The once-allied yuan-ti tribes begin to feud over the succession.
- 77 DR: Year of the Quivering Mountains: A volcanic eruption creates the Emerald Crater in the Peaks of Flame (the fourth and most northern of the volcanoes), making it a place sacred to the wild dwarves of the region. The emerald great wyrm Esmerandanna claims the Emerald Crater as her home and becomes known as the Resplendent Queen.
- 185 DR: Year of the Golden Elephant: The settlement of Omu is founded by a mixture of tribes fleeing from the Chultengar.
- 502 DR: Year of the Crawling Vine: The Rundeen, a Tashlutan merchant consortium, establishes a monopoly on all trade entering or leaving the ports in Calimshan and the Chultan Peninsula, as well as on slave trade along the southern shores of the Shining Sea.
- 605 DR: Year of Many Serpents: The Sauringar tribe of yuan-ti are discovered and driven from the Sanrach Basin by the Thindolese and allies from Nimbral. The Sauringar tribe moves west to claim the Chultengar.
- 860 DR: Year of the Tired Horsemen: The Ytepka uncover yuan-ti infiltrators among the Chultan tribes.
The Time of Kings
In 860 DR, the Ytepka revealed yuan-ti purebloods hidden among the Chultan tribes, especially among the tabaxi and in the city of Mezro. The yuan-ti were quickly put to death (an extreme punishment among the tabaxi), and provoked a wave of witch hunts among the tribes as they attempted to root out any remaining infiltrators
- 863 DR: Year of the Wondrous Sea: Mezro is hidden by magic. In its absence new cities such as Omu and Nyanzaru rise to prominance in Chult.
- Bara Tfima abandons Mezro.
- Alisanda Rayburton becomes one of the Barae of Mezro.
- 996 DR: Year of the Disfiguring Scar: The yuan-ti city of Hisari is destroyed by a powerful earthquake, with half the city falling into the Firelands.
- 1093 DR: Year of the Bursting Song: Queen Nynaba of Mbala and much of the population of Mbala disappear while performing a ritual atop the ziggurat of Dur Unkush.
- 1133 DR: Year of the Persuasive Voice: Amnian merchants establish a permanent presence and harbour in the settlement of Nyanzaru with the permission of “King” Na’Nbuso.
- 1165 DR: Year of the Obsidian Heart: Atozoar the thief Bara attempts to assassinate King Ch’gakare of Omu, he is chased into the Great Rift of Omu; while riding the king’s elephant, and is believed slain.
- 1192 DR: Year of the Guide: Atozoar escapes his prison in the Plane of Shadow and tramples the elderly King Ch’gakare of Omu in his bedchamber (still riding the elephant Ghom) and flees into the jungle.
- 1195 DR: Year of the Midday Mist: Sir Ilybar Kitcher lands at Kitcher’s Inlet and founds Port Castigliar (after his rich uncle and sponsor of the expedition).
- 1278 DR: Year of Many Bones: The armies of Queen Zalkore of Omu conquer much of central and southern Chult.
- 1289 DR: Year of the Sighing Serpent: Queen Zalkore is transformed into a medusa and exiled from Omu. Plagues and slave uprisings strike Omu with increasing regularity, causing the eventual collapse of the empire.
- 1342 DR: Year of the Behir: Queen Napaka is crowned ruler of Omu.
- 1349 DR: Year of the Bridle: The Harpers succeed in breaking the Rundeen trade monopoly in Chult and disrupting their activities in Calimshan after slaying three Rundeen leaders and nearly fifty lesser agents.
Life and Society
Habitation: Most Chultans live in settlements within 20 miles of the coast, the Jungles of Chult are incredibly dangerous to travel through, and only the most desperate or insane would consider living there for any length of time. The coastal waters also provide an important food source and mode of transportation.
Food: Chultans live off the land, gathering what edible plants they can from the jungle, hunting animals, fish, and even whales. Agriculture is a relatively foreign concept to Chultans to those living outside of Mezro, as most people live a semi nomadic lifestyle.
Foreign influence in places like Port Nyanzaru are slowly creeping into Chultan society and now an area of communal cleared land is found in nearby settlements to grow crops.
Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are a common consumable in most Chultan settlements, in fact, because of the climate and insect most water that is not flowing (i.e. from rivers) quickly becomes stagnant and undrinkable, and so the Chultans mix standing water with honey or a green mould found growing on tree and then leave it to ferment before drinking.
Tej is a honey drink of medium strength that is often gathered for the chief of a settlement and other elders (although anyone out hunting that discovers a source of honey will keep it for himself if possible), the rest of the tribe must make do with a fast growing mould found on most trees and known as Kroga, which is used to make the drink also known as Kroga (known as Krogynth in mainland Faerun), Kroga is an acquired taste (it tastes like currants and earwax) and so is not particularly popular outside of Chult.
Piercings: Piercings are common practice among Chultans (and the dur Authalar, and ghostwise halflings), where pieces of shaped bone of unusual or significant (a memorable hunt) origin, are inserted into the lobes and anthelix. These piercings are often shaped into figurines of favoured spirit animals and engraved with magical runes provided by the Mazewalkers or Spiritlords for luck.
Tabaxi Male Names: Atozoar, Atuar, Kwalu, Losi, Mezoar, Nablus, Nsi, Osaw, Oyai, Selu
Eshowe Male Names: Atumwa, Chiwa, Ch’kagare, Dengo, Emporo, Juma, Kunde, Mzolu, Olu, Rindawan, Teron, Ugor, Vazul, Weshtek, Yapa
Mbala Male Names: Qomec
Tabaxi Female Names: Azuil, Chuil, Fipya, Isi, Lorit, Mainu, Sana, Tefnek
Eshowe Female Names: Bati, Dela, Eki, Joli, Katela, Naboli, Napaka, Nyali, Omoyala, Razira, U’lolo, Wadizi, Yuta, Zaidi, Zalkore, Zamisi
Mbala Female Names: Nynaba
Surnames: Chultans do not bother with family names or dynastic names or even names that indicate a kinship with famous persons (to imply the glory of an ancestor purely by being related to them is considered shameful).
The Jungles of Chult are home to many different “civilised” races but no single nation that dominates region like elsewhere in Faerun.
Chultans: The human population of Chult is dominated by the Chultan ethnicity that arrived in -2809 as part of a great migration of tribes from a far off continent to the west of Faerun. The Chultans quickly absorbed the native Tashalar tribes that had been brought here long ago by the sarrukh and escaped their servitude to live free amid the jungles.
Tashalans: The original humans of the Chultan Peninsula were brought here 30,000 years ago by the sarrukh who founded Merrshaulk. Over the years many of these slaves escaped into the jungle and formed their own tribes that were widespread across the entire peninsula by the time the Empire of Merrshaulk fell.
When the Chultans arrived in -2809 DR, the Tashalans either mixed with the immigrants or moved west to the lands now known as Tashalar and Lapaliiya. Pure Tashalans have long since vanished thanks to heavy Calishite and Chultan mixing, but the name has remained in regions where those of significant descent from the slaves of the sarrukh are dominant.
Others: A number of other ethnicities make up 1% of the human population of Chult, and they live in the foreign settlements of Port Nyanzaru, Jahakan Anchorage, and many other small merchant enterprises. They are mostly from Amn and Calimshan, but slaves may be imported from anywhere to work in Chult.
Wild Dwarves: The dur Authalar were part of a great migration of dwarves that ventured here following the fall of Great Bhaerynden to the drow of Telantiwar. The dur Authalar were once gold dwarves but have diverged so much that they little resemble their ancestors in appearance or society.
Shield Dwarves: The fall of Alatorin in Shanatar led to a number of refugees; cut off from the rest of Shanatar, fleeing south until they reached the far western mountains of Chult. Here the dwarves spent millennia plundering the rich ore and gem lodes, rarely venturing to the surface, so that the albinism that now afflicts this entire group of clans is not considered a negative. These shield dwarves are among the last relatives of Taark Shanat.
Ghostwise Halflings: A number of wild halfling tribes dwell amid the Chultengar region of the Jungles of Chult, ignored by everyone except when they are on the hunt and lone travellers are the target.
It is believed the ghostwise halflings arrived here sometimes before the erection of the Standing Stones, through a portal that connects the Mhair Jungle to the southern Lluirwood (today that portal is being used by yuan-ti to abduct halflings from Luiren), and migrated west to the Jungles of Chult in a time when the rainforest covered far more of Lapaliiya and Tashalar.
Ghostwise halflings practice body piercings and use shaped bone
Chult has no centralised government and so has no centralised economy, each individual settlement survives almost entirely on a subsistence economy. Other nations, however, are keen to exploit the natural wealth of Chult and so are exporting as much of its commodities as possible.
The Refuge Trading Company has been one of the largest and most reliable suppliers of Chultan commodities. Ras Nsi and his “workforce” have been demolishing an ever growing portion of the jungle, selling the timber and boiling down the plants to produce oil, and gathering up anything even vaguely valuable and selling it to foreign parties.
Oils: Many jungle plants can be crushed or boiled to produce scented oils that are highly prized by the satraps of Calimshan. Chultan oils have become a significant ingredient in lamp oils used in the Sword Coast, replacing tallow (made from rothe fat) and tree oils (mainly pine in the North).
Slaves: Chultans are prized as strong, obedient workers, and occasionally as excellent fighters for the gladiator pits of Calimshan and Skullport.
Wood: Calantra, Zalantar, Bronzewood
Chex’en: A small tabaxi tribe that lives on the Luo Plateau along the south shore of Kitcher’s Inlet.
Law and Order
Most small settlements in Chult follow the Laws of Ubtao, a loose set of guidelines to ensure people live a good life according to the god of the Chultans.
Punishment: Criminals that break the Laws of Ubtao are branded with a triangle tattoo on the forehead, the colour of the tattoo signifies the severity of the crime.
A blue triangle is used for minor crimes such as causing unrest among the tribe (by stealing, or fighting, or other activities that might cause trouble between members of that tribe). Anyone branded with this tattoo is barred from entering the city of Mezro and usually is treated as an outcast among Chultan society (people refuse to communicate or associate with them), most people with this tattoo leave Chult soon after branding.
A green triangle is used for the most severe of crimes, that of endangering the entirety of Chult itself. So far only one individual has been branded with the green triangle and that is the Renegade Bara, now known as Ras Nsi. Anyone bearing this tattoo is liable to find themselves attacked (with intent to kill) and driven away from any Chultan settlement.
Psionics: The Invisible Art is a particular branch of magic that first manifests itself as “wild talents” much like a sorcerer, except that psionics is devoted almost exclusively to the magic of mind and body. There is an unusually high prevalence of wild talents among Chultans (1 in 1,000), especially in those regions closer to the Chultengar (and the yuan-ti presence), sages have speculated for centuries that wild talents are caused by humanoids mingling with magically powerful races or those races with a strong connection to the Weave (like dragons).
Chultengar: This narrow strip of tropical rain forest is the only known route of travel between Chult and the neighbouring Thindol, sandwiched between the Sanrach Mountains and the Sky Lizard Mountains. It is the most easterly of the jungles of Chult, and it is a dark and forbidding jungle filled with ancient ruins and creatures that actively hunt humans (which explains why it is avoided by the Chultans).
The Chultengar is a haven of the serpentfolk, dominated by the yuan-ti of House Sauringar, but also home to spirit naga, pterafolk and their batiri slaves. Only the dur-Authelar dare to live in this jungle and they remain constantly on the move.
Mysterious rumours about the Chultengar include a huge gathering of spirit naga led by ha-naga, known as the Conclave of Spirits, which congregate about an ancient ziggurat known as Kuluth-Mar where the fallen Bara Kyuss is said to have made a bid to attain godhood, and was transformed into a worm-ridden abomination for his failure. The only reliable witness account of the Conclave of spirits is from the bronze dragon Felgolos and the late Thongameir “Stormspells” Halargoth.
Valley of Dread: At the centre of the Chultengar, lies a 50 mile wide valley nestled between the Sky Lizard Mountains and the Sanrach Mountains. This place is regarded by humans and serpentfolk alike as a place of death, and it effectively divides the Jungles of Chult from the rest of the Chultan Peninsula, with the ziggurat of Kuluth-Mar sitting squarely in the middle of the valley.
The Valley of Dread is home to a variety of creatures known as the Kyusspawn. These Kyusspawn are created by green worm that crawl from the ruins of Kuluth-Mar looking for living creatures to infest. Once a successful infestation occurs the creature is doomed to become one of the Kyusspawn and die so that more bloodworms can be produced.
Kuluth-Mar: This ancient ziggurat is noted as being a ruin even in the time of Mhairshaulk, and is sensibly avoided even by the yuan-ti, for it has a reputation as a fell and evil place that can corrupt even the pure of heart. The ziggurat bears a striking resemblance to the most ancient of structures in the Fuirgar and the Land of the Dead in far off Mulhorand, and ancient historians believe they may be remnants of a long lost magically powerful race known as spellweavers (although their colonies usually appear in threes in geographical triangular arrangements).
Kuluth-Mar came into focus most recently in -653 DR when the wizard Bara Kyuss abandoned Mezro and led a thousand of his most loyal followers through the jungle to Kuluth-Mar. After nearly 200 years Kyuss sacrificed every single inhabitant in the ruins as part of his bid to become a god. Kyuss was thwarted by an alliance of dur-Authalar, Chultans, and aarakocra (organised by the couatl) who imprisoned Kyuss in an obelisk of a strange black rock at the heart of the ziggurat.
Since that time Kyuss has been abandoned, filled with strange creatures known as the Spawn of Kyuss, riddled with carnivorous maggot like creatures (usually protruding from their arms and orifices), that are released when the host is slain. The Conclave of Spirits dwell amid the ruins, sacrificing captured individuals and experimenting with the maggots to create new Spawn.
The Heart Plateau: This stretch of land runs through the middle of Chult, from the Bay of Chult to the Valley of Lost Honour, bordered in the west by the Sorrow Plateau, and the west by the Luo Plateau. The Heart Plateau is dominated by the dense and deadly jungles, unbroken except for the Peaks of Flame and its surrounding valleys.
Ataaz Yklwazi: This deep volcanic canyon; known as the Gorge of Blades, is the only navigable entry point into the forest of black basalt daggers that forms the Valley of Lost Honour. This sloping canyon leads from the forest down to the valley floor, with a steadily increasing concentration of razor sharp rocks that give the canyon its name.
Like the valley itself, this canyone is patrolled by firenewts that keep out all intruders except those who can intimidate the innumerable firenewts (a major power in the region), or who can keep themselves hidden (like the Abuya Deimshowa).
The canyon is often used by flying creatures; such as dragons, that drop their prey onto the razor sharp rocks to delicately carve them into slices rather than having to fight their meals or scrape a leftover paste from a hard floor impact.
Bay of Chult: The Bay of Chult is one of the few accessible points into the jungles of Chult (much of the rest of the coastline being high cliffs, or plagued with coral reefs, or choked with mangroves), and thanks to the two usable ports on its coast it receives the most merchant traffic.
Like the other bays around Chult, the Bay of Chult is home to families of dragon turtles that lair in underwater caves and prey upon the schools of fish and merchant traffic that pass through. One particularly large dragon turtle named Aremag has become the undisputed master of the bay and has extorted a tithe of treasure (or a meal of sailors) from those wishing to use it. After centuries of ransom Aremag must have an enormous hoard hidden nearby, although none are brave or foolish enough to go seeking it.
Ships wishing to use the Bay of Chult may choose from Port Nyanzaru or Sashstars Cove. Sashstars Cove is the cheapest but has no services beyond a shallow beach and wooden lodge. Port Nyanzaru is a former Chultan settlement settled by Amnian merchant houses and is considerably more developed, but more costly as a result.
Aldeth’s Cove: Aldeth Sashenstar (the father of the infamous explorer Dabron Sashenstar) landed here 30 years ago in his efforts to explore the interior of Chult and profit from its riches.
Aldeth mounted several expeditions into the jungle; mostly along the Soshenstar River (named after him but slightly mispronounced by the locals), until he was supposedly devoured by an enormous crocodile often found in the swamps of the Aldani Basin (the guides from Port Nyanzaru witnessed the encounter but fled without seeing Aldeth survive the crocodile attack and return to Aldeth’s Cove on foot). Aldeth Sashenstar fathered a handful of children on native tabaxi women, and his children now tend to the beach on Aldeth’s Cove.
Aldeth’s Cove is a shallow beach with a wooden lodge on the edge of the sands, tended to by a Chultan family headed by Nralu Soshenstar. Nralu and his family keep the beach clear of monsters and obstacles, and help guide or row sailors to shore (in canoes) if the ships are too large to berth here.
Traders from the Merchant’s League have stopped here regularly for decades but recently Baldur’s Gate has shown more interest in Chult as the success of Port Nyanzaru grows. Emissaries and merchants from House Vammos have stopped here to assess trading opportunities and future development, but most interestingly has been a delegate from the Grand Dukes and a number of Flaming Fist representatives that stayed for a month and scouted the surrounding region.
Regular visits from ships chartered and crewed by the Flaming Fist have occurred on their way to explorations elsewhere, and they are leaving an increasing stockpile of supplies for some large building project in the future (the supplies are guarded by 5 members of the Flaming Fist stationed at Aldeth’s Cove).
Heart of the Jungle: The Heart of the Jungle; otherwise known as the Heart of Ubtao, is a long standing legend among the various races of Chult. To the Chultans it is known as the Heart of Ubtao and is believed to be Ubtao’s beating heart and the source of his power hidden inside an ancient tree of titanic proportions. To the dur Authalar and the batiri it is the Heart of the Jungle; a gemstone of incredible size and purity.
The yuan-ti also have a legend about a source of magic in the jungle that allowed Mhairshaulk to dominate the peninsula or caused it to collapse (the legends of the yuan-ti differ depending upon the tribe).
Conflicting legends also talk of the Forsaken Tree, an equally enormous and ancient tree that is said to be hollow and absorbs those who touch its bark. The legends say that this tree was created when an evil object (a golden coin) of one of the fallen kingdoms of Chult was buried among its roots.
There is a tree of enormous proportions situated somewhere in the foothills of the Peaks of Flame (it is actually located in a valley hidden between the four peaks), that remains untouched by the lava flows and ash clouds that pour out of the volcanoes.
The tree is magically powerful and seems to match the legends of both the Forsaken Tree and the Heart of the Jungle (it is surrounded by the maze symbols of Ubtao and shunned by all wild animals). The tree does indeed mark the place where the Chultans first encountered Ubtao (and the site of his former imprisonment). During the time of Omu, the tree was corrupted by the Eshewtak, who buried the funeral coins of Ch’gakare (which had a variant of Bind Shadow Spirit cast upon it to absorb Ch’gakare’s rapidly dissipating shadow) amid its roots.
The Coins of Ch’gakare have corrupted the Heart of the Jungle to shadow and evil, it now absorbs any who come into contact with the tree (whether root, branch, or leaf), trapping them in a shadowy demiplane where it drains them of life energy until only a shadow is left.
Kitcher’s Inlet: This shallow bay is named after a pompous and inept Cormyrean explorer, by the name of Ilyber Kitcher, who claimed to have discovered it when he missed his original landing at Port Nyanzaru in the Bay of Chult. The River Olung empties into this bay that is otherwise unnoteworthy except for the tiny settlement of Port Castigliar, and the magically cloaked city of Mezro at the mouth of the river.
Omu (City, 8,000): The great city of Omu has been settled since just before 3rd century Dale Reckoning, by tribes migrating out of the Chultengar. During its history it arose to conquer much of of the central and southern lands of Chult before declining to its present day territory of the lands just around the city of Omu. Omu is home to a variety of Chultan tribes who worship a variety of spirit animals alongside Ubtao, with many factions all vying for supremacy in this highly factionalised city.
Peaks of Flame: The Peaks of Flame are a living legend among the humans and serpentfolk of the Chultan Peninsula. Legends state that Dendar the Night Serpent will emerge from behind a great gate hidden in the mountainside and that she will devour the sun and plunge the planet into eternal darkness. Ubtao is the guardian of the Peaks of Flame and he is to battle Dendar when she emerges.
Legends aside, the Peaks of Flame are a series of three volcanoes side by side, with a fourth shattered volcanic cone north of the three peaks and linked via a series of lava tubes to the Firelands region of the Underdark. Morndin Vertesplendarrorn is the dwarven name of the fourth peak, it erupted catastrophically in the Year of the Quivering Mountains and has been inhabited by the ancient emerald dragon Esmerandanna, referred to as the Resplendent Queen by the dur Authalar that worship her.
The three peaks are home to salamanders and creatures of elemental fire that come from rifts in the Firelands and rise through the lava tubes to dwell among the volcanic comes. Morndin Vertesplendarrorn is home to bands of firenewts that make their way up the dormant lava tubes connected to this shattered volcano, they appear to serve Esmerandanna and have ventured no further than the crater that is her lair.
The legends of the yuan-ti and the Chultans mention a huge door of meteoric iron hidden beneath the Peaks of Flame behind which Dendar the Night Serpent is imprisoned. Few explorers have ever made it far in the Firelands and returned to the surface, but none have found an iron door, the reason for this is that the door lies a way to the west beneath the city of Omu, with a passage leading to a large antechamber wherein lies a cache of Ba’etith legacies and a score of sleeping sarrukh in various serpentine forms of monstrous size.
Ubtao’s Fingers: Throughout the jungle of Chult; but especially concentrated in the tabaxi lands of northern Chult (on the Heart Plateau) are a series of isolated rocky obelisks that rise straight up out of the ground, sometimes to a height of 300 metres or more, far above the jungle canopy.
These obelisks are said to have been created by Ubtao himself, and are dubbed Ubtao’s Fingers due to the appearance. They have clearly been crafted by magic, and later altered by hand to include steps, ladders, and walkways that lead from the jungle floor to the top, with tunnels and rooms carved inside the obelisk.
Ubtao’s Fingers are situated near ancient Chultan settlements or along the former migratory paths of Chultan tribes, spread throughout the jungle. The fingers served as beacons or signals to other nearby tribes in the event of serious danger or the need for a tribal council, different colour flames (caused by burning different materials) communicated different meanings to other tribes. After the establishment of Mezro, these beacons were used almost exclusively to communicate danger. From the top of a Finger, the surrounding jungle can be clearly seen for 20 miles in any direction, and far off landmarks (such as the Peaks of Flame) can be identified with relative ease.
Over the millennia, many of Ubtao’s Fingers have fallen into disrepair, some have even collapsed, and almost all are now home to monsters of some sort. Only those Fingers close to active Chultan settlements remain in working condition and mostly free of monster infestation (regular patrols are mounted to clear them out).
Valley of Lost Honour: The Valley of Lost Honour is a thick scar in the jungle running east from the Gate of Hrakhamar in the Kobold Mountains to within sight of the Peaks of Flame. The valley is riddled with razor sharp pillars of a strange black rock that seem to grow out of the ground, are difficult to destroy, and become increasingly dense toward the centre of the valley. Cracks in the valley floor lead to caves and caverns where the treasures of the lost Eshowe are rumoured to be hidden.
Sages speculate; supported by strange murals in the depths of Mezro, Orolunga, and Kuluth-Mar, that the Valley of Lost Honour was on the trajectory of a falling star that first impacted along the side of the Kobold Mountains, rolling and bouncing through the jungle (forming the Valley of Lost Honour), and possibly colliding with the Peaks of Flame.
The meteor almost certainly caused the volcanic instability in the southern half of Chult (and specifically the rift from Hrakhamar to the Peaks of Flame). The black rock spires of the Valley of Lost Honour are seemingly otherworldly in origin. The jungle has never grown into the valley, despite being at its thickest in the immediate surroundings, and creatures of all kinds thrive in the nearby jungle in great numbers (although life expectancy is shorter for any being in this region), the batiri in particular congregate around this valley and have kept the firenewts from spreading to the wider jungle.
The Valley of Lost Honour is most famous for being the final resting place of the Eshowe tribe who fled here after a war with the tabaxi, pursued by Bara Nsi and a horde of undead creatures. Nsi slaughtered Eshowe he could find, and after his purge there have been no confirmed sightings of Eshowe tribesmen anywhere in Chult (although there are always rumours). In truth a few the Eshowe retreated into the caves below and then through rifts into the Plane of Shadow, or otherwise fled east and mingled with other tribes, hiding their true heritage.
The Luo Plateau: The Luo Plateau is among the lowest in Chult, stretching from the northern edge of the Sky Lizard Mountains until the land meets the Heart Plateau, separated by the River Olung and the gorge it carves into the landscape.
The Luo Plateau’s greatest feature is Lake Luo, but it is also home to the Nsi Wastes and the settlement of Ishau, situated around Refuge Bay.
The Luo Plateau is the closest to the yuan-ti filled territory of Chultengar (populated by House Sauringar), and in the past was filled with the beacons known as Ubtao’s Fingers, as well as settlements people by warriors and spirit shaman from Mezro. Once the yuan-ti menace was uncovered in the heart of Mezro and that city and it was magically hidden, the Luo Plateau and its defences were gradually abandoned and it has become a dangerous place filled with undead, yuan-ti, batiri, and other menaces.
Ataaz Muhahah: The Laughing Gorge is a gaping chasm carved by the River Olung as it descends into Kitcher’s Inlet. It is named for the monkeys that congregate here, fascinated by the acoustics of the gorge that echo their shrieks and chatter until it eventually transforms into a booming laughter that scares the monkeys away until the echoing laughter abates (usually taking several hours).
The Chultans of Mezro erected a bridge over the Laughing Gorge millennia ago to aid travel between Mezro and the Luo Plateau (and the settlement of Ishau). Standing astride the midpoint of the bridge is the 20 ft tall statue of an armed tabaxi warrior, the statue is magically enchanted to animate should anyone attempt to cross the bridge (or damage it) without drawing a maze symbol onto the stone of the bridge, consequently the bridge is littered with ancient etchings and drawings of mazes.
Sages in Chult say the statue is an excellent likeness of Wazem “the Laughing Bara”, who vanished around -2000 DR. Some say that the haunting laughter arising from the chatter of the monkeys actually emanates from the statue itself, and those few that have escaped the animated statue swear it laughs when it engages in combat.
Hisari: Hisari was once a settlement of yuan-ti (the last of House Hss’tafi in Chult), hidden from the humans by the jungle and by powerful magic, so that the snakemen could infiltrate the city of Mezro and bring about its destruction. From Hisari, saboteurs and spies were seeded among the tabaxi sowing strife between the peaceful tribes (a tactic that has been used many times by the yuan-ti across the Chultan Peninsula).
In the 9th century DR the yuan-ti were discovered (betrayed by Ras Nsi), and driven out of Mezro and the tabaxi lands. The agents returned to Hisari and brought with them ideas from the humans, the most prominent being of a gigantic serpent known as Dendar, who lived beneath the Peaks of Flame and devour the world (with only Ubtao to stop him). Believing Dendar to be a fragment of the World Serpent, the yuan-ti of Hisari began to worship him, and plot ways to release this Elder Evil from his prison.
Whatever magics the Hisari performed to try and free Dendar, they managed to destroy their own city by rending the earth apart and collapsing it into the Firelands below. The yuan-ti of House Sauringar then warded the ruins to prevent the last remnants of House Hss’tafi from returning to their home.
The yuan-ti now roam the southern edges of the jungles of Chult in small groups, evading human and yuan-ti (of House Sauringar) alike. Recently they have taken to infiltrating the city of Omu, trying to steer the Chultans away from the worship of Ubtao and towards spirits (a fractured religious model the yuan-ti can mould into snake worship).
Kir Sabal: Kir Sabal is an ancient, monastic style dwelling carved into the cliff face where the Heart Plateau meets the Luo Plateau atop a rocky outcropping over the River Olung that is quite unreachable from anywhere but the base of the cliff (requiring a 500 ft climb to reach it). In ages past a series of walkways and rope bridges were built into the cliff face to allow people to reach the lofty heights of Kir Sabal, but these have long since fallen into disrepair, and the current inhabitants (aarakocra) have no reason to repair them.
Roughly 100 aarakocra from the Mistcliffs currently make Kir Sabal their home, they live in family units of 10 or more individuals and appear to be dedicated to keeping others from using Kir Sabal as a lair.
The facade of the main building of Kir Sabal has an Ubtaoan maze etched into the stone, barely visible from the ground below. Legends say that this place was once a sacred site of Ubtao, home to a now long vanished order of holy warriors who served to guard against a great evil. Those friendly to the aarakocra and who stay at Kir Sabal speak of recurring dreams of an evil creature of air and mist (and the whispered word Papazotl) that hypnotises them in the dream and compels them to jump from Kir Sabal (some even do so while sleep walking).
Lake Luo: The southern half of the Luo Plateau is marked by this large heated lake. The waters of Lake Luo are heated by the geothermal activity of volcanic vents that run from beneath the Peaks of Flame, however those same vents make the waters more acidic and sulphurous than normal. A permanent mist covers the lake, which many believe to be due to the volcanic activity in the region, but in truth is due to the presence of the mist dragon Cirrothamalan who lairs here.
The lake is home to only the hardiest of aquatic creatures, most fish cannot survive here, but dragon turtles find the lake beneficial (and swim up the River Olung to lair here), and the firenewts of the Peaks of Flame can often be found gathering water. The Chultans of the Luo Plateau do visit the lake to bathe; believing the waters have beneficial properties, but that bathing is often cut short by the lake monsters.
Immediately surrounding Lake Luo are tar pits that provide a reason for Chultans to vie for access to this otherwise unusable water source. The Empire of Omu long controlled access to the lake and the tar pits in recent centuries.
Nangalore: Formerly Ka-Nanji; the Hanging Gardens of Dreams, this place was built over a century ago for the Great Queen Zalkore of Omu by her consort Thiru-taya. It was to be a palatial retreat from court life in Omu, and a many tiered garden was grown in the humid jungle around Lake Luo.
Unfortunately, within a decade of its construction, Queen Zalkore was driven mad and transformed into a reptilian humanoid with the ability to petrify any that look upon her beautiful face.
Former Queen Zalkore still remains in the now much overgrown rainforest garden, now known as Nangalore – the Hanging Gardens of Nightmares. She has been driven delusional, almost completely insane, by her physical condition, the misconceived betrayal of her consort, and her extended lifespan. Zalkore believes she is still queen of the Kingdom of Omu, but in her more lucid moments is aware that her descendants still rule the city of Omu.
Refuge Bay: The safest bay in Chult (or so the smugglers say) is far from what its name claims, but compared to the perils of dragon turtles and pirates that plague other natural harbours, Refuge Bay appears peaceful and unoccupied with white sandy beaches and clear waters.
Refuge Bay’s peaceful reputation is unusual in Chult, especially with undead and yuan-ti nearby, and the waters filled with sharks, dinosaurs, and a curious race of reptilian mermen. On the shore of Refuge Bay is the Chultan settlement of Ishau, which appears untouched by the surrounding dangers, and does a brisk trade with smugglers and explorers that land here (seeking to avoid the charges of Port Nyanzaru).
The secret of Refuge Bay is that a froghemoth of incredible size lies slumbering amid the mud banks around the shallow waters of Refuge Bay, this monstrosity feeds off the sharks and dinosaurs that lair here (ensuring they do not grow large enough to threaten ships). The Ras Nsi and the yuan-ti are aware of the presence of such a powerful foe and so keep their forces from awakening it.
Ishau (Village, 500): Ishau is a major settlement (by Chultan standards) on the shore of Refuge Bay, populated with a mixture of tabaxi and other tribes, resulting in a mixture of traditions that only loosely follows the laws of Ubtao and is happy to trade with the smugglers that stop here regularly.
Sky Lizard mountains: This range of mountains was once tall and jagged but has been worn smooth by the winds of the Shining Sea. It is home to large numbers of flying, reptilian humanoids known as pteramen, who lair in large nests made of human bones that lay on the gently sloping mountain sides.
The Sky Lizard Mountains are exploited for their copper, iron, and salt by wealthy calishite satraps that have setup mining operations within the mountains and use large numbers of slaves to work in them. These slaves are most often made up of native Chultans (supplemented with criminals from Calimshan and others purchased from Skullport), those who die from the mines, or the monsters, or the long trek from the coastal settlements into the foothills of the mountains.
The Mist Plateau: The highest plateau in Chult lies to the north and covers the complete northwestern edge of Chult in an arc. Wind drives warm, moist air against this cool mountain range, causing great clouds of mist to form over the mountains and roll down into the jungle below. The Mist Plateau collects a lot of water that flows over and underground onto the Sorrow Plateau below, collecting in the marshy Aldani Basin.
Jahaka Bay: This series of isolated coves at the foot of the Mistcliffs was once the home of the remote Jahak tribe, but around 1130 DR the entire tribe was enslaved by pirates and sold at Amnian markets. The bay was occupied thereafter by a series of merchant or pirate enterprises seeking to profit from the riches of Chult.
Jahaka Bay is one of the most beautiful spots on the Chultan coast, where the River Tath plunges down multiple waterfalls into the bay, clouding the entire natural harbour in a mist that obscures vision from the sea at a distance greater than 2 or 3 miles, this makes Jahaka Bay a secret among all but the most ardent explorers. The bay itself is 20 miles wide and 40 miles deep, with waters deep enough to allow even the Calishite galleons to sail into its harbour.
Jahakan Anchorage: Jahakan Anchorage has been home to a fleet of pirates for the past 40 winters (between 3 and 5 vessels have used this base over the decades as some vessels are sunk and others join the fleet). The Jahakan Fleet predates upon merchant traffic operating between Faerun and Zakhara, but have an alliance with at least one Amnian House to ignore its ships.
Currently the Jahakan Fleet is led by the “merchants” Maskaddyr and Chuul, two Calishite slavers, traders, and pirates that run slaves between Chult, Calimshan, and Skullport (delivering the best Chultan stock to Calimshan and Skullport, and bringing cheaper stock from Skullport to the south). Maskaddyr and Chuul command the ship, the Stormkraken, a large galleon crewed by a ruthless gang of pirates that are fiercely loyal to their well paying employers.
The Stormkraken uses a portal in Skullport (about 400 ft east of Skull Island) to travel quickly to the Lapal Sea, and from there he travels the much shorter route around the Chultan Peninsula to Jahaka Bay.
Mbala (City, 400): Mbala is one of the nations that arose in the spiritual and political vacuum left behind by the disappearance of Mezro. At its height it claimed all the land from the swamps of the Aldani Basin to Nyanzaru in the Bay of Chult.
Mbala was founded by King Qomec, whose ziggurat crypt lies at the bottom of the Mist Plateau along with the other tombs of the kings of Mbala. Mbala itself was a city of two halves, with much of the population living atop the Mist Plateau in safety, while the Spiritlords attended to the ziggurat tombs of the Sorrow Plateau some 2000 ft below. The ziggurat tombs were made of stone while the homes were made of wood and thatch.
About 2 centuries ago the much beloved King of Mbala perished. His wife and the people of Mbala attempted to restore his spirit to life by performing a ritual atop the ziggurat of Dur Unkush. The ritual failed and drew all in attendance into itself, even vanishing much of the eerie radiance of Dur Unkush.
Following the loss of Queen Nynaba, the Empire of Mbala collapsed and its settlements became independent (their rulers even styling themselves as kings in homage to the lost glory of Mbala). Now the city of Mbala is a shadow of its former glory, with many buildings abandoned and rotting.
Mistcliffs: The Mistcliffs are a range of steep mountains over 2,000-foot-high that form a wall of cliffs for 200 miles along the coast. The Mistcliffs are relatively unexplored, being completely unreachable by sea due to the jagged, rocky shoreline and a complete absence of beaches or coves. This mountain range is home to large numbers of aarakocra and other flying creatures that act in concert to drive off intruders.
Orolunga: This ancient city is so old that it has almost completely been reclaimed by the surrounding jungle except for the singular crumbling ziggurat of Dur Unkush which lies nestled into foothills of the Mistcliffs.
Orolunga is believed to be older even than the fabled Empire of Merrshaulk, and the ziggurat is of a curious design that bears parallels with those in the Fuirgar of far off Mulhorand and of Ascore on the edge of Anauroch.
The jungle is dense and foreboding in this region, filled with creepers, tree roots, and flowering vines. The city appears to be covered in a powerful magical field that corrupts all magical means of transportation (flying, teleportation, plane shifting, etc).
Dur Unkush: This once might ziggurat rises 200 ft above the jungle floor in a series of 20 ft steps which are now starting to crumble from extreme old age. Two staircases climb the front face of the pyramid, one from the left and another from the right, crossing each other at a landing every two levels.
The lower levels of the ziggurat are completely covered in jungle overgrowth (except for the staircases, which are kept unusually clear). Every 44 days, a number of chultans, wild dwarves, even the occasional yuan-ti, assemble at the foot of Dur Unkush at midnight (driven there by dreams that induce sleepwalking) while a black mist emanates from the spire of the ziggurat. Split into two groups, they ascend the pyramid and take part in a mystical rituals overseen by the guardian naga Saja N’baza.
Strange music emanates from the ziggurat during the night of the ritual, and once completed the black mist vanishes and all participants return home safely (jungle creatures mysteriously avoid them) and are unable to recall any events of the night.
The Sorrow Plateau: This series of plateaus and rises is filled with marsh land formed by the collection of run off from the Mistcliffs. It is home to the Aldani Basin and the lower half of the settlement of Mbala
Aldani Basin: The Aldani Basin is one of the few gaps in the jungle canopy in Chult, a large open air expanse containing a fetid, pestilential swamp that is the home of swarms of diseased, biting insects, and roving groups of dinosaurs.
The Aldani Basin sits atop one of a series of plateaus that run south and east from the Mistcliffs. The basin forms a great sink where run off and streams from the Mistcliffs merge to form the great rivers Soshenstar and Tath.
When the Chultan tribes (Eshowe, Tabaxi, Thingulf) first arrived, they encountered a tribe of people known as the Aldani living around the basin. These Aldani aided the Chultans in reaching the interior of Chult, and a number of them even joined with the Chultans and ultimately moved to Mezro.
Within a century of the founding of Mezro, the Aldani were all struck down by a strange plague that deformed and calcified the skin. Shunned for decades, when Eshowe scouts returned to the basin they discovered no sign of the Aldani, but ever since then lobsterfolk have been sighted in the great rivers of Chult.
The Aldani Basin is home to many species of dinosaur; mostly herbivorous, semi aquatic species, but also several species of carnivores that are especially adapted to the swamps (quadrupeds with large sail-fins, large crocodilians). The most numerous inhabitants however are the swarms of mosquitoes (some as large as a golf ball), and several species of leech (which can grow as large as a forearmwith sufficient food).
Ataaz Kahakla: The river canyon called Ataaz Kahakla (“Gorge of Death”) inspires wonder in most people who see it. The cliff walls, which vary from 50 to 200 feet high, are lined with row upon row of coral. It’s all dead, but it retains its rainbow colours, making the canyon into a breathtaking, pseudo-underwater seascape. Mixed in among the corals are intact skeletons of plesiosaurs, giant sharks, and other sea creatures.
House of Man and Crocodile: Situated along the River Soshenstar is an ancient shrine erected by the Aldani tribe millennia ago. The shrine is a cave bored into the side of the Mist Plateau where the Aldani used to hide from the yuan-ti (their former masters) that were hunting them. After a few centuries the Aldani believed themselves safe and erected an 80 ft statue to a crocodile spirit they worshipped.
It was at the House of Man and Crocodile that the Chultan tribes first encountered the Aldani after their arrival on the Chultan Peninsula. The Aldani aided the Chultans in moving south toward the Peaks of Flame and many left with them. The remaining Aldani vanished around -2000 DR and this shrine has been abandoned ever since.
The shrine makes a popular hideout for anyone looking to shelter from the horrors of the jungle, it remains curiously free of wandering monsters all year round, but any party staying longer than a few days often finds themselves beset by numerous foes intent on driving them away.
River Soshenstar: Named after an explorer from Baldur’s Gate; Aldeth Sashenstar, who also first established Aldeth’s Cove. Aldeth Soshenstar travelled the length of this river before supposedly ending his journey in the stomach of an enormous prehistoric crocodile that is not uncommon in the Aldani Basin.
The River Soshenstar is deep, but sluggish, prone to powerful currents, with waterfalls every 10 to 15 miles, and filled with caves bored into the side of the Mist Plateau that this river abuts . It is home to great numbers of fish, the Aldani, immature dragon turtles, and great crocodiles that prey upon each other and the fish.
The Wild Coast: This plateau covers the south of Chult, specifically the southern coastline which is typified by cliffs and mountains, while the waters beyond are wild and full of powerful tides that drive ships against the rocky shore. Whirlpools and aquatic monsters (including dinosaurs) are common in the sea, while flying dinosaurs and giant eagles fish the waters (or pluck unsuspecting sailors from ships).
The cliffs and coastline are riddled with caves that lead deep under the water and ground, providing possible alternative entrances into the Firelands and the riches of Hrakhamar (although few dare to brave these entrances, and even fewer survive the voyage).
The Wild Coast is plagued by hurricanes that strike with almost daily frequency (although most remain at sea and very rarely reach more than a mile or two inland). These hurricanes play havoc with the trade lanes and are the primary reason for overland caravans between Var the Golden, Durpar, Estagund, and the Tashalar.
Hrakhamar: Hrakhamar is the centre of power for a number of albino dwarves that are the last descendants of survivors from the fall of far off Alatorin millennia ago. The shield dwarves have lived in Hrakhamar for nearly ten thousand years, plumbing the depths of the Kobold Mountains for metal and gems, rarely bothering to leave their mines until the arrival of the Chultans on the peninsula.
Hrakhamar is a series of dwarfholds and mines in the Upperdark region of the Kobold Mountains, accessible by a single set of metal doors in the mountainside. The dwarfholds are all connected by tunnels so the inhabitants need never leave their homes, and Hrakhamar itself is connected to the settlements of Shilku and Mbala by dwarf made roads (the jungle completely surrounds the roads but never grows over the narrow stone pathways).
The heart of Hrakhamar is centred around a large volcanic rift that runs right under the Valley of Lost Honour. The dwarves use the heat from this rift to smelt iron (and more rarely adamantine) ore, but they are locked in continual warfare with firenewts (from the Peaks of Flame) for control of the rift.
The Cauldron: This bay lies in the shadow of Kakatal’s Tooth, and is home to the large islet known as Ubtao’s Hand. Lava pours into the sea from Kakatal’s Tooth causing columns of steam to continually erupt from this bay. This steam combined with billowing clouds of ash and black smoke from the volcanoes give the bay its name. No sea life survives in the bay; the poisoned water is perpetually covered by a layer of floating soot, and vegetation along the coast is all dead and coated in ash.
The Whale’s Flukes: The Whale’s Flukes are a maze of islets and rocks that barely breach the surface of the water (known as wash rocks) that resemble the fins of whales during play. These islands lie roughly 30 miles west of Shilku Bay and are volcanic in origin, and although they have not been volcanically active in centuries there have been a number of tremors in recent decades.
This cluster of islets has claimed a number of vessels over the years, the hulks of which lie in the shallows providing a home for fish, sharks, shellfish, sea turtles, and undead sailors.
The largest; the isle of Armret, has a single tower erected on the island, constantly battered by the surrounding sea. The island has stood for 10 years, having appeared suddenly one night late in 1347 DR. The tower is dangerous to intruders, with magical defences slaying the unwary. The tower is home to one Mahaera Harlator of Tethyr, a noble wizardess (a widow to one noble who married again) who fled the mobs of the Ten Black Days of Eleint and went into hiding, but felt that her magic using rivals were directing hunters toward her and so went into exile on the Whale’s Flukes.
Mahaera Harlator is paranoid (bordering delusional) about discovery, and will slay any intruders to her island. She has spent the past decade creating spells and items to defend herself.
Land of Ash and Smoke: This hellish, smoky sea of black volcanic rock is traced with streams of lava. The Land of Ash and Smoke is a playground for firenewts and for Tzindelor, a young red dragon (see “Wyrmheart Mine,” page 85), who likes to bathe in the lava streams. This grey, barren valley is typically 20 to 40 degrees hotter than anywhere else in Chult. It receives only a fraction of the rain that falls on the rest of the peninsula, and what rain does fall rapidly evaporates in the punishing heat. Several expeditions have tried to explore the area, but most of what’s known about it (and shown on Syndra Silvane’s map) is based on visual observations made from atop the coastal mountains.
Mbala: A 1,800-foot-high plateau with sheer cliffs rises above heaps of boulders as large as ships. A narrow path is cut into the cliff face and seems to climb all the way to the top. The plateau’s sheer cliffs can be scaled, but only with a climbing kit, proficiency in the Athletics skill, and at least 300 feet of rope.
The path is a much easier route to the top. It begins on the north side of the plateau. Through many switchbacks, it winds across the cliff face for 3 miles before reaching the top. The path width varies but averages 5 feet. Tumbled boulders and tangled roots block the path in many places, but as long as characters aren’t being chased by anything, they can clear the obstructions safely. The first ascent takes 3 hours; once the road is cleared, it can be climbed or descended in half that time.
As the characters climb ever higher above the tree line, they are treated to stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. Across the Aldani Basin to the southeast, they can see the Heart of Ubtao, and nestled in the jungle to the west is the ziggurat at Orolunga. Characters who succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check also spot some sort of shipwreck in the jungle, beyond the plateaus to the south (see “Wreck of the Star Goddess,” page 84).
About a hundred feet below the lip of the plateau, the path (which is proceeding west across the cliff at that point) veers directly into a natural cleft in the stone face.
Steps are cut into the 15-foot-wide crevice, and scenes of jungle predators, flying lizards, and erupting volcanoes are carved in shallow relief onto the walls in ways that make creative use of the natural shape of the rock.
When the characters reach the top of the steps, read:
The stone steps emerge onto the top of the plateau beneath a once grand, but now decrepit wooden gateway. The gates that sealed this entrance are rotted away; only
their rusted iron hinges and reinforcing bands remain. In their place are heaps of human skulls. Picked clean of all flesh and bleached white by the sun , they grin up at you from the roadway and down from atop towering mounds.
The skulls are all that remain of Mbala’s former residents. The citizens were devoured by a hag posing as a witch doctor. All the skulls show signs of having been gnawed on. The hag is now Mbala’s sole living resident.
To move off the steps, characters must either wade through heaps of skulls or climb over the sides of the staircase and go around the gate. Evidence of a wooden palisade can be seen, but it, too, is almost entirely gone or fallen over.
Mbala was once the seat of a small kingdom. Most of the structures were wood and thatch, and they’re now just crumbling compost heaps demolished by rain, wind, and time. A few stone foundations and overgrown ramps poke up through the debris, indicating this was more than just a simple village
Nanny Pupu: If the characters explore the ruins of Mbala, read: The only structure still intact is a lone hut about a thousand yards southwest of the gate, at the edge of a boulder field. The hut is made from thatch and animal hides stretched over the rib cage of an immense reptile. Animal skulls, wind chimes, and totems of feathers and shells rattle in the breeze, and smoke drifts from hut.
A creature shuffles slowly around the hut, hunched over in an animal-like posture. You realise it’s a human woman: impossibly old, crippled by arthritis, blinded by cataracts. Her dark face and bald pate are outlined with streaks of yellow clay suggesting the shape of a skull- or perhaps it’s her shrivelled flesh creating that illusion.
Nanny Pu’pu, a green hag, plays the part of an ancient crone to the hilt. She claims that all the other villagers were killed over the course of many years by winged creatures that live on the south side of the plateau.
She is the only survivor-too stringy or too wily for the predators. She lives on the roots in her garden and the few birds and lizards she catches in snares. If asked her name, she needs several moments to recall that the villagers called her Nanny Pu’pu.
The hag wants two things from the adventurers: for them to destroy the nest of pterafolk on the south side of the plateau (see “Pterafolk Nest” below), and then to become her meals for several months. She’s not likely to attack them openly. She’d rather get them off their guard and pick them off one by one, as she did with the villagers.
Nanny Pu’pu isn’t entirely alone. With a whistle, she can call forth 2d6 flying monkeys (see appendix D) that live in the trees, and she has a flesh golem buried in a shallow grave outside her small hut. The hag uses the flying monkeys to gather food and supplies, but they won’t fight for her. The golem will, however; it erupts from the earth as a bonus action if commanded to attack.
Rite of Stolen Life: Nanny Pu’pu is a worshiper of Myrkul, the Lord of Bones, and knows a ritual of transformation that can turn a dead humanoid into a zombie-like creature. Characters who bring their dead comrades to Mbala can ask Nanny Pu’pu to transform them into the walking dead.
However, she does nothing for free. Wiping out the nest of pterafolk is the least payment she’ll consider for this ritual. She might also request a lock of Commander Breakbone’s hair and a few of his fingernails (see “Camp Vengeance,” page 47) or one of Saja N’baza’s iridescent scales (see “Orolunga,” page 80). Either would certainly be used in casting evil magic.
Nanny Pu’pu is the only creature in ChuIt who can perform the Rite of Stolen Life. The ritual takes 1 hour to complete and requires three things: a mostly intact humanoid corpse, a gemstone worth at least 100 gp, and, most disturbingly, the sacrifice of another humanoid. If characters are unwilling to sacrifice one of their own to save a fallen comrade, Nanny Pu’pu recommends
they capture a goblin, a grung, or other humanoid and bring it to her. Nanny Pu’pu kills the sacrifice, captures its spirit in the gemstone, and magically embeds the stone in the dead humanoid’s forehead. After Nanny Pu’pu speaks a prayer to Myrkul, the spirit of the sacrifice gains the knowledge and the personality of the humanoid to which it is bound, in effect imitating that humanoid’s spirit. When the ritual is complete, the dead humanoid awakens as if from a deep slumber, though it is not alive.
A character that is turned into the walking dead and later raised or resurrected loses all memory of being an undead creature, but it doesn’t lose any levels or XP gained while it was undead.
Pterafolk Nest: A flock of twenty pterafolk nests in a cave just below the southern lip of the plateau. It can be reached by climbing down the cliff face, but characters who scout the area carefully and succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check locate a chute in the rocks 70 feet back from the cliff. This chimney is wide enough for a Small creature, or for a Medium creature who’s wearing nothing heavier than light armour, to squeeze through. After worming down 30 feet, it drops into the back of the pterafolk cave, which is roughly triangular in floor plan: 30 feet wide at the mouth, 60 feet deep, and 20 feet high. The pterafolk are unaware that this back entrance to their cave exists.
The pterafolk keep no watch, believing their cliffside retreat is impregnable. Stealthy characters can enter the cave unnoticed. At any given time, 2d6 pterafolk (see appendix D) are present in the cave. The rest are out hunting, but they’ll return before nightfall.
Mezro (Metropolis, 28,126): Mezro is the largest civilised area in Chult. In past years, a magic wall surrounded the city, preventing it from being seen and causing confusion in those who approached too closely. This protection was lowered in 1363 DR after a victorious battle against the Batiri goblins. It is now a safe haven for explorers battered by the jungle.
Mezro is a holy city to the Chultan tribes, and it is generally peaceful, with few people carrying weapons other than utilitarian knives. Any chronic lawbreaker is tattooed with a blue triangle on the forehead and exiled. Ubtao’s undying baras, six paladin-like Chosen who exist to protect the city from all harm, rule Mezro.
The city has its own college of wizardry, although it is generally closed to non-Chultans. After studying at Mezro for several years, wizards generally go back to their native tribes. Only rarely do Chultan mages travel to the other regions of Faerun to find their fortunes.
Mezro: Nothing about this Chultan city is what it seems. By all accounts, Mezro was destroyed by the Spellplague, and its ruins indicate as much. In truth, the city’s immortal defenders- the Barae-used their god-given magic to transport the entire city to a paradise (a magically constructed demi-plane, far from prying eyes). Empty ruins were left behind to create the impression that Mezro had been destroyed. It is not known if and when the Mezroans and their city will return.
One of the Barae, a human paladin named Alisanda, is wed to Artus Cimber. The two fell in love more than a century ago, after Artus helped defend Mezro against the evil warlord Ras Nsi and his undead horde. Before she allowed herself to be spirited away along with the rest of the city, Alisanda promised Artus that she would return to Chult when the city was no longer in peril.
Artus won’t endanger the Mezroans by revealing the truth about their city. Although the Ring of Winter makes him immortal, he has grown impatient in the intervening years and longs for Alisanda’s return. He visits the ruins from time to time to see what, if anything, has changed. When he’s not at the ruins, he’s searching the jungles of Chult for Orolunga, another ruined city. in the hopes of consulting with a prescient guardian naga believed to dwell there.
The ruins that were left behind form a circle. Four main avenues to the north, south, east, and west meet at a central plaza. The whole ruin has subsided over the centuries, so that water from the River Olung flows over the ancient wharfs. Crumbling, vine-covered buildings rise above the flooded streets that are now more like canals than roadways. The site is eerily quiet.
The ruins have been thoroughly ransacked by the Flaming Fist in the name of Baldur’s Gate, and Flaming Fist patrols still visit the site regularly- partly as training for new recruits, partly to make sure nothing was missed. Neither treasure nor clues remain for the player characters to find here.
Needle’s Bones: A wide sinkhole yawns before you, the earth around it littered with goblin bones. The opening is 90 feet across and roughly circular, and the stone walls are nearly vertical. Thirty feet down, the sinkhole is filled with murky green water. Hundreds of frogs hop from one floating plant to another.
The massive rib cage and fine wing bones of a dragon rise above the murk. Vines, moss, and lichen hang from the bones. judging from how much of the skeleton is exposed, the water can’t be more than 3 or 4 feet deep.
The walls of the sinkhole are rough and draped with dozens of stout vines, so climbing into or out of the grotto is easy and automatically successful.
The bones are the remains of Ormalagos, an adult green dragon better known during her lifetime as Needle. She used this grotto as a lair but feared Batiri goblins had sniffed out its location and were getting ready to raid it. Needle was in the process of moving her treasure to other locations when the goblins struck.
While the dragon was away, they dumped baskets full of quippers into the sinkhole. When the dragon returned, they trapped her in the sinkhole with vine nets. As the quippers devoured the dragon from below, the Batiri showered Needle with spears from above until she finally died. Nearly the entire goblin tribe perished in the fight, too.
The characters’ first impression of the water is correct; it varies from 3 to 4 feet deep everywhere. A search of the muddy bottom turns up hundreds of goblin bones and stone spear heads, greatly annoys the multitude of frogs, and draws attacks from two swarms of quippers.
Someone who examines the dragon bones and succeeds on a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check sees enough regularity in the vines draped across the ribs to conclude the dragon was tangled in a net. To identify the remains as a green dragon, characters must lift its skull out of the water and muck; that feat takes a successful DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check.
Nsi Wastes: This vast tract of jungle was ravaged by blight long ago and never recovered. The plants here are sickly and poisonous. In the .heart of this wasteland is the ruined palace of the warlord Ras Nsi: a crumbled stone fortress that once stood on the backs of a dozen giant undead turtles. Its destruction by Ras Nsi’s rampaging undead was so complete that nothing remains of this once-awesome structure except the crushed shells and bleached bones of the turtles, and heaps of stone so jumbled that not even the outlines of the ancient walls can be picked out, slowly sinking into the muck. The chance for a random encounter is doubled in this region.
Port Castigliar: Port Castigliar (pronounced kah-STEE-lee-ar) is a port in name only. In fact, it’s nothing m ore than a stretch of beach with an abandoned supply depot, seven battered huts made of bamboo and thatch, and a defiled graveyard.
Undead drove away the inhabitants long ago, and ghouls dug up the graves.
Port Castigliar (Hamlet, 97): Nestled in a little-visited part of Refuge Bay, Port Castigliar is an ideal spot to land in Chult for those who dont wish to draw the attention of the Triceratops Society or any of the other, more nefarious agents lurking in Chults more substantial ports.
It is a port in name only, since it lacks a dock for sea-going vessels or even small ships boats. In fact, Port Castigliar is little more than an open stretch of beach, a well-stocked supply depot, seven tin huts, two small plots of vegetables, and a graveyard. The latter is more densely populated than the land for five miles in any direction.
The depot is owned and operated by Ibn Engaruka (Harper) and his young son Inyanga.
Port Nyanzaru (Small City, 9,375): The major trading centre in Chult, this port town’s harbour was designed with defence as its first priority, since many pirates roam these waters. It is rumoured that the harbormaster pays tribute to a powerful dragon turtle that drives away all other sea monsters.
Port Nyanzaru: Located in the Bay of Chult, at the mouth of the Soshenstar River, Port Nyanzaru serves as the major trading centre for the country. The harbour is designed with defensive value a priority, not surprising when one considers the number of pirate vessels plying their bloody trade in that part of the Shining Sea. It is rumoured the harbormaster pays a monthly tribute to a vicious dragon turtle. In return the sea beast keeps all other monsters from plaguing the port.
The Triceratops Society controls the loading and unloading of ships, and all workers report on strangers coming ashore. They watch carefully for any evidence that a visitor might be a mage or possess enchanted items. If the Society gets positive proof, they will tail the visitor while hes in port, then notify members in outlying clans if the visitor heads off into the jungle.
River Olung: Steaming-hot water from Lake Luo cools quickly as it tumbles down rapids and low cataracts. This river is recognised by guides and explorers as an important boundary. To the east is “normal” jungle; to the west is undead territory. For this reason alone, some expeditions choose to enter the peninsula through Refuge Bay.
River Soshenstar: The Soshenstar flows north from the Aldani Basin to the Bay of Chult, tumbling down waterfalls every ten to fifteen miles.
River Tath: This river springs from the Aldani Basin and meanders westward, passing over waterfalls and through the canyon of Ataaz Kahakla before washing into Jahaka Bay.
River Tiryki: The Tiryki spills from the back of a mist-shrouded canyon and flows north toward the Bay of Chult, plunging over waterfalls every few mites. This makes it arduous to traverse by canoe upriver-everything must be laboriously portaged around the cataracts- and dangerous to travel downriver, lest a canoe gets caught in the current and swept over a waterfall or smashed in rapids.
What’s worse, jungle predators and undead prowl both riverbanks. Considering the pterafolk nesting at Firefinger and the grungs living above the gorge, it’s easy to see why the Tiryki is considered the most dangerous river in Chult.
Shilku: This abandoned coastal village was both destroyed and preserved by volcanic eruption. The silent streets are buried in ash, and the harbour is choked with cooled lava.
Since Mezro is now largely “cleared out,” Liara Portyr of Fort Beluarian is under pressure from her patrons in Baldur’s Gate to begin exploring and excavating Shilku for the treasures that are undoubtedly entombed there.
Such an undertaking would require building a new fort from scratch somewhere on the southwestern coast, and Liara has neither the hands nor the funds for that. She might try to enlist the player characters into making a voyage to scout possible locations for such a fort, if only so she can reassure her impatient superiors in Baldur’s Gate that progress is being made.
Although devoid of human life, the city is far from dead. Mephits, firenewts, salamanders, and other heat-loving creatures prowl its ashen alleys and bore tunnels into cellars long sealed by volcanic stone.
Shilku Bay: Lava still erupts from the volcano that destroyed Shilku, and it flows like a glowing river down into this bay. The sulfurous water is poisonous, so most of the bay’s sea life is dead and the surrounding shore is barren. Safe landing spots can still be found on the beaches along the western shore, but a sailing ship that cruises along the eastern shore near Shilku is likely to lose its sails and possibly much more- to the red-hot stones that infrequently rain down from the sky or to the burning ash that drifts miles out into the bay before finally extinguishing itself in the stinking, hissing water.
Snapping Turtle Bay: This bay is beautiful beyond compare. Though the sky is dark with clouds of smoke and ash streaked with lightning, the white sand beaches, lush forests, bright coral reefs, and colourful wildlife make this a restful retreat from the horrors of Chult. The shore is not without its dangers, but even they are inviting and wondrous to behold.
Tri-flower fronds, mantraps, and jaculis are common, as are the fierce and aggressive giant snapping turtles that give the bay its name. See appendix D for more information on these creatures.
Cyclopes roam the shore and lair in mountain caves overlooking the bay. These simple creatures aren’t inherently hostile, but they are suspicious and wary around newcomers. Any show of malicious intent on the part of strangers is enough to shift the cyclopes from cautious to hostile. They are experts at surviving the dangers of Snapping Turtle Bay, which makes them valuable allies if characters offer them something they want. The cyclopes always need metal tools (shortswords make dandy daggers), and they’re delighted by whimsical magical trinkets. For generous inducements, cyclopes could even be hired to serve as bearers, guards, or guides for an expedition headed north into the immense jungle between the Peaks of Flame and the Valley of Dread.
King Toba: A giant snapping turtle (see appendix D) of unusual size (120 hit points) likes to sun itself on the beaches during the day. Chultans refer to the beast as King Toba.
Residual magic from the Spellplague has crystallised parts of its shell. The shell’s magic grants King Toba advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Snout of Omgar: Once a mountainous peninsula, the Snout of Omgar was split apart by the sea during the upheaval of the Spellplague. A narrow strait allows passage between the mainland and what is now a large island. Mariners and cartographers consider this feature to mark the boundary between the shores of Chult and the shores of Samarach.
Explorers entering Chult from the east are likely to trek through this passage, hich is contained by the windworn Sky Lizard Mountains to the north and the jagged Sanrach Mountains to the south. The valley of dense jungle is well named; it’s a stomping ground for dinosaurs of all kinds. It’s also home to savage kingdoms of lizardfolk ruled by heartless lizard kings and queens.
This burned-out valley surrounds Lake Luo. Most of the vegetation around the southern and eastern shore of the lake has been wiped out by pyroclastic flows, rivers of lava, and drifting ash. Fiery embers belched from the Peaks of Flame drift across the sky and fall like rain onto a blackened wasteland. The marshland north of the lake is wet enough to survive, but the accumulation of ash atop the water has turned into an almost impassable expanse of knee-deep muck. Mud mephits and steam mephits abound.
Vorn: Standing next to some rocks and ferns is an 8-foot-tall statue, humanoid in shape with bronze fists, iron joints, an adamantine breastplate, and an iron helm with slits for eyes. The rest of the statue is made of sculpted wood reinforced with bands and rivets of adamantine. Scattered around its feet are offerings of food, feathers, coloured stones, and skulls.
The statue is actually a deactivated shield guardian that once served as a wizard’s bodyguard. The wizard died from extreme bad luck decades ago-he fell out of a tree during a particularly bad bout of mad monkey fever, hit his head on a rock that knocked him unconscious, and rolled into a puddle, where he drowned. The shield guardian has stood impassive and unmoving, awaiting orders. ever since. A character with proficiency in the Arcana skill recognises the shield guardian for what it is with a successful DC 10 Intelligence (Arcana) check.
Wyrmheart Mine: Reportedly the most productive dwarven mine in the country, with vast stockpiles of emeralds and diamonds. The dwarves know of this reputation and have prepared a suitable welcome for would-be raiders. Ballistae of every sort line the entrance. The clan leader, a hateful old dwarf named Kyer Wyrmheart, keeps pet dimetrodons, which feast upon anyone caught trying to enter the mine.
Wyrmheart Mine: A clan of shield dwarves operated this iron mine (map 2.14) up until forty years ago, when it was conquered by a young red dragon named Tzindelor. Hew Hackinstone (see “Finding a Guide,” page 33) hopes to reclaim and reopen the mine, and he gladly enlists the characters to his aid (or ropes them in unwillingly, if he must).
Tzindelor has amassed a following of kobolds, who call her Tinder. She occasionally leaves to hunt but spends most of her time sleeping at the bottom of the mine. The kobolds rig their shared lair with numerous traps. Many parts of the mine still show signs of the dwarves’ battle against Tinder, including the scattered and charred bones of those who died.
Yellyark: Yellyark (map 2.15) is home to the Biting Ant tribe of Batir i goblins. These goblins wear stylised wooden ant masks and mark the perimeter of their territory with the beads and skulls of their enemies (humanoids and beasts). In this context, “territory” refers to a single hex on Syndra Silvane’s map.
To protect themselves against giant carnivores, the goblins built the important structures of the village atop a “net” of strong, supple tree branches bound together with vines. The net is rigged to a heavy tree, bent down like a giant spring. When a predator threatens to overrun the village, goblins cut the vine and the entire village
is rolled into a ball and flung a thousand yards over the jungle! The huts inside are cushioned from impact by layers of leaves and moss; damage to the flexible structures can be repaired, and most of the village’s precious totems, food, basketwork, and spare weapons are saved.
Forty goblins live in the village: Queen Grabstab (a goblin boss), twenty-four adult goblins, and fifteen noncombatant children. For more information on Batiri goblins and their tactics, see “Races of Chult ,” page 11.
The tribe’s survival depends on getting an early warning of approaching danger, so sentries are always posted around the village. They wear ponchos made of vines and leaves, which give them advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks while remaining perfectly still, but impose disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when they move. The sentries also ring the village with tripwires attached to shells and skulls filled with pebbles. Characters who search for such things while approaching the village notice the tripwires with a successful DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check; otherwise, they’re noticed by anyone with a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 13 or higher. If approaching enemies are noticed by sentries or trigger a tripwire, the village goes on alert, making it impossible to sneak in.
Ras Nsi: As he bides his time, waiting for some disaster to arise in Mezro that will force the Barae to call him back, Ras Nsi builds an empire based on trade between Chult and the North. From his palatial home, he runs the Refuge Bay Trading Company, a fleet of ships that is little more than a pirate navy. The Narwhal, a galleon stolen from King Azouns Cormyrean armada, is the centrepiece of the flotilla.
With the company as his front, Nsi sells slaves, rare animals, and anything else that will gain him a fortune (all of which he intends to give to Mezro once they allow him back).
He often gives adventurers information about dwarven mines, hoping they will raid the gem-rich fortresses. And if the explorers succeed, Nsi sends his undead minions down upon themthus gaining the gems without annoying his dwarven neighbours.
Currently, Nsi is gathering Chultan wood to sell to the thriving cities of the Heartlands. His home now stands at the heart of a very mobile and spectacularly effective logging operation. For miles in every direction, his slaves tear up the landscape. Earth elementals use their stony hands to uproot trees. Behind these hulking brutes trail gangs of zombies. The undead slaves drag the trees back to waiting caravans and bundle the massive cargo onto sledges. Finally, dinosaurs of various sorts carry the trees back from the camp and move them along a road to the coast.
The sound of trees splintering and crashing to the ground fills the air around the camp, along with the shrieks of the birds and apes and other tree-dwellers routed by the destruction. The whole place stinks of decaying flesh, shattered wood, and overturned earth. Zombies are constantly being crushed by the elementals or the dinosaurs or the falling trees. Just as quickly as they drop, the walking corpses are replaced by newly risen dead. Overhead, vultures and other flying scavengers circle. As soon as the crews move far enough forward, they swoop down to claim whatever carrion has been left behind.
In the centre of this chaos sprawls Ras Nsis palatial home. The building resembles the stately houses so common in Faeruns wealthier cities. Four towers capped in spires mark the corners of the huge structure, and a low wall surrounds the courtyard spreading before its front entrance. Arrow loops and stained glass windows dot the white stone. Bright banners float from poles atop the towers.
The entire estate grassy courtyard and allis born upon the backs of two dozen monstrously huge, long-dead tortoises. Its the job of these unfortunate skeletal creatures to keep the estate moving through the jungle at a steady, creeping pace, just ahead of the elementals and the zombies and the falling trees.
If adventurers enter the country through any of the major ports or visit any of the larger Tabaxi villages, it is likely that Ras Nsi knows of their presence and, perhaps, their plans.
The renegade bara will aid characters if he thinks theres the slightest chance hell look better in the eyes of Mezro for it. Such fortunate parties will find themselves surrounded by zombies, then escorted to the mansion for a friendly chat.
Dendar: Outer Planar legends speak of a slumbering serpent somewhere on the Plane of Gehenna that if awoken will devour any world it is unleashed upon. Faerun has a number of parallels to Dendar the Night Serpent, whose myth has mingled with that of many different worlds and people to create a legend that encompasses any suitably large serpent imprisoned and guarded. To the northmen he is known as the Leviathan, to the Chultans he is Yunlor.
The sarrukh and yuan-ti have stories of the great god Merrshaulk fracturing into numerous other godlings who were imprisoned within the Peaks of Flame, with Ubtao set as the guardian against their escape.
Ubtao’s teachings say that the faithful must know the maze of their life so that their souls may escape the shadowy maze in death and join Ubtao in the “afterlife”, those who fail have their souls consumed by the Nightmare Serpent.
Ts’ikil: Ts’ikil (pronounced Sekul, shortened to Eku) was one of a trio of couatl that remained in Chult to safeguard the fell legacies of the sarrukh (and spellweavers) and to guide the Chultans in their duty as protectors.
Mergandevinasander (Evil, Dragon – Black, Dragon, Dragon 10): Mergandevinasander is a very old black dragon (born in Zakhara in 659 DR, he came to Chult around 700 DR) that makes his home in the Aldani Basin on the Sorrow Plateau. He has terrorised explorers and adventurers as they pass through the region for centuries, masquerading as the jaws of an enormous black crocodile. He is notable for his purple eyes
Oyai: The First Bara, who led his people across the great sea to the shores of Chult.
Papazotl: One of a trio of couatl that remained in Chult to safeguard the legacies of the sarrukh, and to guide the Chultans in their duty as protectors. Papazotl fell victim to temptation and accessed the magic of the ziggurats in the heart of Chult (Mezro, Kalath Mar, Orolunga) and became tainted with whatever corruption ultimately consumes the evil in Chult.
Papazotl was confronted and imprisoned by Ubtao at the edge of the Heart Plateau on the River Olung. A protective recluse was erected atop the sit of the prison and complicated maze patterns adorn the ruins to keep Papazotl trapped, with keepers posted to maintain the monastery now known as Kir Sabal.
Pupuzotl: One of a trio of couatl that remained in Chult to safeguard the legacies of the sarrukh (and spellweavers) and to guide the Chultans in their duty as protectors.
Pupuzotl was at one point the guardian of Orolunga, but succumbed to the fell energies channelled by the spellweaver ruins when she attempted to stop the Queen of Mbala from unwisely performing a ritual to resurrect her husband. The ritual backfired and drew the spirits of the people of Mbala into the shadowy maze-like demiplane that borders the land of Chult.
Pupuzotl lost the best of herself and became a servant of evil inhabiting the withered body of Queen Nynaba. She now resembles an old crone and is constantly plotting ways to wreak her revenge on the people of Mbala, planting rumours of the Witch of the Jungle who grants wisdom for a price. In this guise she is known as Nana Pupu, but even the Mbalans are wary for it is said the price for her wisdom is high and she devours those who cannot pay.
Saja N’baza: A guardian naga that once served the couatl left to protect Chult from the legacies of the spellweavers and the sarrukh. Saja N’baza is tied to the ruins of Orolunga, and is nearly 30,000 years old. His entire existence revolves around the repeated performance of a ritual that keeps the fell magic of Dur Unkush at bay
Ras Nsi: The self styled Duke (Ras means lord in Chultan) Nsi is a former Barae, and one of the first chosen to be imbued with the power of Ubtao. Nsi was already present on Chult when the Eshowe, Tabaxi, and Thinguth arrived, and joined with the nomads as they crossed the River Soshenstar and travelled south to the Peaks of Flame, guiding them through the forbidding jungle.
After releasing Ubtao from his confinement beneath the Peaks of Flame, Ubtao took the wanderers north and east to the ruins of a great city, and using magic he protected it from the jungle and thus Mezro was founded. In the depths of the future Temple of Ubtao (the only building untarnished with age amid the ruins), Nsi and the other Barae were imbued with a variety of magical powers.
Nsi ruled wisely for over 2 millennia as one of the Barae, even as those around him vanished, were slain, or abandoned their duty, until by -137 DR he was the only original Barae left appointed by Ubtao himself. Following the war with the Eshowe, Nsi was overcome by a violent rage, and singularly pursued the fleeing Eshowe after their failed assault on Mezro. In his wake, Nsi left a trail of corpses that soon reanimated and followed Ras Kahakla (the Duke of Death as he became known).
Nsi slew every Eshowe he encountered and only stopped when he believed he had killed every last one. Upon his return to Mezro, Nsi found the gates closed, after forcing his way in, Nsi was branded with the green triangle on his forehead, exiled from the city, and ordered to make amends for his crimes.
Today, Ras Nsi wanders the Jungles of Chult, contemplating ways to improve his standing among the Chultans of Mezro (including manufacturing threats so that he can appear and save the city). Everywhere Nsi goes he is shadowed by a horde of undead that obey his every command.
There is however a deeper truth to Ras Nsi. Nsi is known among the yuan-ti as Nssiea the Great Deceiver. Nsi was infiltrating the few Tashalar tribes that escaped the enslavement of the yuan-ti, when the Chultans encountered the tribesmen and joined together to find the being known as Ubtao, Nsi also joined the group.
Nsi had been among the Tashalar tribes for many years and was widely respected by the tribe, he led them through the jungle to the Peaks of Flame and was awed by the discovery the Chultans made in caverns beneath the four volcanoes. Nsi was among the first to pledge his undying loyalty to Ubtao, and his skills and loyalty were rewarded by him being made one of the first Barae at the Temple of Ubtao in Mezro.
Bara Nsi spent two millennia carefully setting intrigues among his fellow Barae. One succumbed to the most virulent of yuan-ti poisons, two vanished into the jungle wilderness, others perished as the magic that sustained them gradually failed. Nsi’s greatest achievement however was the corruption of Kyuss, who he influenced to abandon Mezro with whispers and rumours of great magic hidden among the ruined ziggurats in Chult.
Kyuss left Mezro and moved to Kuluth-Mar, where he turned to evil and sacrificed his entire city of followers in a bid to achieve godhood. Nsi roused the Chultans and marched on Kuluth-Mar with an alliance of dur-Authalar and aarakocra. Eventually Kyuss was defeated and trapped in a black stone monolith by Nsi using his ability to reflect Kyuss’ magic back on himself.
Nsi and the Chultans were not left unscathed however, many were slain or worse, and Nsi would later find his powers altered by his encounter with Kyuss. The Tabaxi were horrified by the magic used by their former Barae, and severely restricted access to all magic (establishing a college in Mezro to carefully train candidates in endorsed forms of magic only), while the Eshowe lusted for the magical power they had witnessed at Kuluth-Mar and the knowledge to use many of the relics they had spirited away from that city.
The Eshowe quickly isolated themselves from the Tabaxi (to hide their forbidden plunder), within a few years this isolation turned to mistrust and then hostility and finally open warfare as the Eshowe refused to obey the laws of Mezro and the use of magic.
Eventually the Eshowe unleashed an evil from beneath the Peaks of Flame and attacked the city of Mezro itself. Nsi recognised the danger posed by the magics of Kuluth-Mar and vowed to exterminate them, but he had also come to love the city of Mezro and so was fearful of the threat to the yuan-ti, but also for the Chultans. He pursued the Eshowe, seeking their magic, but for every man he slew, it quickly reanimated as a walking corpse that followed him everywhere and even obeyed his commands.
After the Eshowe were slaughtered and the magic of Kuluth-Mar secured, Nsi returned to the city of Mezro and found himself barred from entering for his crimes against the dead. He was branded as a criminal, exiled from Tabaxi lands, and ordered to atone for his crimes.
Nsi wants desperately to return to Mezro and his people, but the long exile is turning his love for Mezro into hatred and his frustration at being unable to atone or return have caused him to concoct ever more elaborate schemes that may put Mezro at risk of destruction just so he can become its saviour.
Nsi is close to considering an attempted reconciliation with his former people; the yuan-ti, but he would only likely return as a leader, having acquired a taste for power from his time as a Barae.
Wazem: The Laughing Bara, one of the original Barae of Mezro, a deadly warrior who favoured claws made of enchanted obsidian and dressed like a panther. He was known to laugh even when fighting against mortal odds.
Wazem disappeared around -2000 DR, he was secretly imprisoned within the statue that guards the bridge of Ataaz Muhahah by the then Bara Nsi.
Abuya-Deimshowa: The Abuya-Deimshowa are the secret rulers of the even more secretive Eshowdow tribes that are scattered and hidden amid the Land of Ash and Smoke.
When the Eshowe first fled the Scourging, they returned to the caves and tunnels in the Valley of Lost Honour hoping to escape the wrath of Nsi. A number of them discovered entrances to the Firelands and rifts to the Plane of Shadow and jumped through, disappearing from Faerun forever.
These Deimshowa became infused with shadows and transformed into something inhuman, they also encountered remnants of Mhairshaulk that fled to escape an eternal slumber. The Deimshowa returned to the Chult to guide their surviving kindred and tutor them in the magical arts.
Refuge Bay Trading Company: This trading company has contacts and associates up and down the Sword Coast (mostly unsavoury contacts), and has established and cornered the trade in Chultan timber for the past century at least.
The Refuge Bay Trading Company employs a number of merchant ships (although most are little better than pirates), that deliver a steady stream of luxuries to the Nsi Estate, while large loads of timber to cities along the Sword Coast.
Ras Nsi controls the Refuge Bay Trading Company, and uses his zombie and skeleton horde to continually log the trees around his estate (for free) to sell in other ports. This setup has allowed him to amass vast sums of wealth, and he uses that wealth to afford him all manner of luxuries and fund his plots to return to Mezro.
The Refuge Bay Trading Company are ruthless, they will quickly eliminate any competition and a number of Calishite merchants have vanished in their beds after attempting to setup similar operations on Chult. Very few can compete with Nsi’s workforce, and so those he does not kill are eventually put out of business as Nsi drops his prices to almost nothing.
Vuddral: The Green Hunters (literally translated as Jungle Warriors), is an organisation of dur Authalar originally formed as part of the Ytepka to stop Kyuss from becoming a god. After Kyuss was defeated the Ytepka withdrew to the Luo Plateau, but the dur-Authalar remained in the Chultengar to try and remove the Kyusspawn.
The Vuddral have been pushed further and further away from Kuluth-Mar by the growing taint of Kyuss, and while they still fight against the green, maggoty, minions of Kyuss, they also help those trapped or lost in the forest, realising that only by helping others are they likely to receive any help themselves, and so they have begun to attract members of other races into the group.
Ytepka: The Triceratops Society is a secret organisation among the Tabaxi dedicated to policing the use of magic in Chult and ensuring beings like Kyuss and Nsi can never arise again.
Formed in the aftermath of the war with Kuluth-Mar and the war between the Eshowe and the Tabaxi, the newly appointed Bara Osaw established an organisation that would root out magic users anywhere in Chult and take them to Mezro where they could be properly schooled or punished (if they would not cooperate).
The Ytepka have members all across Chult in every village, every tribe, and every region controlled by the Tabaxi.
Atozoar’s Goad: This hooked claw was used centuries ago by Chultans to direct elephants used as mounts in the Jungles of Chult. This particular goad was once owned by Atozoar the thief Bara (legends say he stole it from King Ch’gakare’s bedchamber), and is wrought from gold in the shape of a human hand, with each of the knuckles inlaid with a different coloured gemstone.
Atozoar’s Goad is said to be able to command any ambelodon. Some claim that the goad can be used to summon the fabled Ghom of Omu.
Claw of Kyuss: This shrivelled green claw writhes as though worms burrow beneath the skin, it was once the left hand of the wizard Bara Kyuss, and was severed from him in the pyramid of Kuluth-Mar by some unknown warrior.
Kyuss at the time was possessed by the fallen couatl Papazotl, and was involved in a powerful ritual designed to bend the laws of reality and transform him into a god. The claw bears the remnants of the magical energies of Kyuss, Papazotl, and the ritual, and bestows many strange and powerful abilities upon the holder of the claw.
Whoever grasps the claw in his left hand will feel his own hand instantly wither and fall away, while the Claw of Kyuss grafts itself onto the withered stump. The worms inside the claw will burrow into the holders skin and transform him into a Spawn of Kyuss within 1 month. However, the holder can use the claw to manifest spell like abilities up to 10 times per day (disintegrate, disease, poison, inflict wounds). If the holder lights the fingertips of the Claw of Kyuss as though they were candles, then he may travel back in time by 1 day.
The claw is a horrifying artefact, and has been passed between batiri of the Chultengar spreading the curse of the Spawn of Kyuss in exchange for the power to destroy their enemies.
Emeralds of Merrshaulk: The yuan-ti of the Chultan Peninsula have been searching for the sacred Emeralds of Merrshaulk for 30,000 years, ever since they were stolen by fleeing Tashalar slaves.
Legends say that the Emeralds of Merrshaulk were eggs laid by Merrshaulk himself, and were later enchanted to contain the entire magical knowledge of the sarrukh of Mhairshaulk. There were ten emeralds in total, each containing a different set of magical spells and knowledge.
Over the millennia, a number of these emeralds have been recovered and lost again, it is believed at least one is lost somewhere in the jungle of Chult and is the subject of the myth regarding the Heart of the Jungle. A majority of the emeralds are believed to have been taken to the lands now known Lapaliiya, and from there (during the Empire Plague) they were taken to Lhesper and lost when that town was overrun by gnolls.
Ghost Lantern: This magical lantern is inhabited by the thousand year old soul of an elven wizardess by the name of Lledaoine from the Moonshae Isles. The holder of the lantern can request assistance from Lledaoine, but she is under no obligation to assist with her magic.
The Ghost Lantern has been spotted throughout Chult, sold in Port Nyanzaru several times to adventuring parties and then lost for a time where it becomes a totem of sorts for the blood thirsty batiri. It is believed the Ghost Lantern was last seen in the hands of an adventuring band that was looking for the lost treasure of the Eshowe in the Valley of Lost Honour.
Green Spinels: This unusual, durable, precious stone is found in other location in Faerun, but the unusual green variety is found only in the jungles of Chult and the Mhair jungle. It is incredibly rare, and the green glow is unique to the region, as is the unusually spiked shape (with up to eight spikes jutting out from the central core).
Green Spinels appear to be found anywhere in the jungle soil, just lying loose in the dirt, but in particular around the ruins of Orolunga, Kuluth-Mar, and the city of Mezro. Native Chultans (particularly Mazewalkers and Spiritlords) crush the spinels and ingest the powder, allowing them to recall previously cast spells.
Students of gem magic have noted that magic can be cast into the spinel, and when it is broken the magic is released without the need for components or foci. Some believe there may be a link between these unusually shaped and coloured spinels and the sstar gems (or legendary Chardalyn) of the Savage Frontier.
Scale Cleaver: This exquisitely crafted longsword is of elven make, engraved with runes from an ancient dialect of elvish from the lands of the Shaar that is dated to roughly 20,000 years ago.
The sword was clearly created to combat scaled creatures of all varieties and hints at an unknown and lengthy conflict between the reptilian creatures of Chult and a secretive group of elves hidden in the Aldani Basin for many millennia.
Scale Cleaver acts as a bane weapon against all scalykind.
Thunderhide Armour: The Chultans have long learned to use whatever bounty nature provides in order to aid themselves. The hide of dinosaurs (known elsewhere as Thunderers) is no exception and the Chultans have many special tanning methods designed to preserve the skin and allow it to be used to craft a leather armour far more effective than that found elsewhere in Faerun.
Thunderhide Armour is not traditionally favoured by Chultan warriors (who prefer agility as their main form of defence – no amount of armour will protect a man from a dinosaur’s charge), but it is used by those who must travel the jungle or defend their homes but are not warriors by nature. It is also sold in small quantities (usually the aged pieces) to foreigners.
Chult’s jungles are filled with all manner of animals, from humble insects to stealthy panthers. Every creature here is slightly larger than those found elsewhere in Faerun (either through abundant food sources or an abundance of magic that suffuses the region).
Ambelodon: This shovel-tusked (both tusks are merged into a single tusk at the bottom of the jaw that protrudes like a shovel), prehistoric elephant was once prominent in the Jungles of Chult and were known as the gardeners of the forest. They would roam beneath the canopy, uprooting dead trees, eating fruit and depositing seeds to plant new growth.
They were hunted to extinction in the southern half of Chult by the Empire of Omu which used them as battle elephants to conquer the surrounding territories. War and disease claimed almost all ambelodons, and now only a few families roam the northern reaches of the Sorrow and Heart Plateau.
Centipedes: Centipedes of all sizes, from a few centimetres in length to 10 ft, make their home in the Jungles of Chult.
Parrots: The parrots of Chult are famous for their bright colours and unique song. They are greatly desired by rich men like the Calishite Satraps who have heard of the rainbow coloured birds that can speak with a human voice, thankfully they have proven difficult to hunt as they have only ever been seen during the daytime, and they then fly somewhere to the east coast of Chult to nest (a location that no foreigner has ever found).
The parrots of Chult sing a variety of birdsong, but several of the more intelligent varieties have a unique trilling sound that can be heard for miles through the jungle.
Serpent Vines: These long, thin snakes are covered in leaf shaped patterns and are creations of the yuan-ti, made in an attempt to emulate their sarrukh masters. Serpent Vines are almost indistinguishable from regular vines (to non-natives), and dangle down from branches ready to ensnare unsuspecting victims that walk into them.
Serpent Vines are intelligent enough to assess and recognise difficult meals (those in large numbers, or those that might fight back), and also come with the unusual ability to hypnotise creatures that look into their swirling eyes. Serpent Vines are mostly concentrated around areas that the yuan-ti control, such as the Mhair and Black Jungles and the Chultengar, but have been steadily spreading west and north into the Jungles of Chult.
Tree Slugs: Everything in the Jungles of Chult seem to benefit from an abundance of magic and food, and as a result grow to sizes far in excess of the norm. A species of green, slimy, soft tree slug are no different in this regard and are known to regularly grow to sizes in excess of 8 ft in length, gorging themselves on a diet of leaf litter and decaying bodies.
The tree slugs hide in the tree canopy during the day (crawling slowly up the tree trunks) until night fall, then they drop to the floor and consume anything they can find (anything that does not move out of the way). It has been known for these enormous slugs to eat humans that are incapable of moving (due to poison, magic, or other means) in a matter of hours using their probing mouths filled with rotating circular rows of razor sharp teeth.
Tree slugs are part of the diet of Chultans, being of large mass, edible (although their slimy texture is an acquired taste), relatively easy to catch, and with limited offensive capabilities. It is reported that tree slugs are a favoured delicacy of dragons.
Yorlin Butterfly: A large, luminous, butterfly once found in the Old Empires, the North, and the Lake of Steam region, but now believed to exist only in Chult. Some sages speculate that this was an important food source for the sarrukh and their serpentfolk servants.
Couatl: The couatl are former sarrukh, transformed by a higher power into a force for good. The couatl have wandered Abeir-Toril, attempting to secure the legacies of the sarrukh from falling into the hands of others.
The couatl came to Chult around -24000 DR and set about destroying the last remnants of the sarrukh empire of Mhairshaulk, manipulating dragons from all over the south of Faerun into descending upon the peninsula in search of powerful magic and untold riches.
With the empire fallen, the couatl became the guardians of the fell legacies of Mhairshaulk and over time they too succumbed to temptation. After unleashing a sleeping sickness and other plagues the couatl abandoned Chult, heading west. On a far off continent they encountered the Eshowe, Tabaxi, Thinguth, and other human tribes, and a number of couatl volunteered to guide them to their new home in Chult.
The time of couatl domination of Chult is long since past, most of their kind fled to other lands, but a few remained or returned to help guide people towards good and keep the legacies of Mhairshaulk buried forever.
These isolated couatl usually work in secret, steering individuals toward making the right choices (as the couatl see it). They take the forms of others, manipulate dreams, leave cryptic clues, and even magically charm others in order to achieve a desired outcome.
Chult is filled with enormous (and some smaller) lizard like creatures known as Thunderers in the Realms. Fossil records show that these creatures dominated the ancient times of Abeir Toril before the rise of the Creator Races, but none have survived anywhere in Faerun except on Chult and in the occasional isolated pocket.
The dinosaurs in Chult are only distantly related to the dinosaurs found elsewhere in Faerun, having only a superficial resemblance to the ancient fossils. The sarrukh of Mhairshaulk took lizard creatures and modified them to suit their needs, creating huge magical beasts that have thrived and even out-competed newer, more natural evolutions due to the modifications bestowed upon them by the sarrukh.
Needletooths: These small carnivorous dinosaurs rarely grow more than 1 metre tall (although most are as little as 1 ft in height) and hunt in packs as large as 100 individuals, swarming of their prey and biting off chunks of flesh until it is stripped bare.
Needletooths are relentless in their pursuit of prey, following small groups, or those with wounded, for hundreds of miles, and only abandoning the hunt when they enter large settlements (although they have been known to sneak into houses on the outskirts of a settlement and devour the occupants in the night). Needletooths hunt at night and are wary of fire, they wait in the undergrowth until individuals are alone, asleep, or otherwise deemed defenceless and then attack in great numbers with lightning fast attacks, retreating if their victim puts up too much of a fight.
Dragons live in every region of Faerun, the Jungles of Chult are now exception and are home to a variety of dragon subraces.
Black Dragons: Black dragons are rumoured to lair in the canopy layer of the Jungles of Chult, often crashing down upon large prey and choice targets (usually treasure laden adventurers) without warning. The Swamp of Sorrows in the Aldani Basin is also thought to be a haven for many of these dragons, although most of their attacks are blamed upon the prehistoric crocodilian species that also inhabit the swamps and rivers here.
Mergandevinasander is the most well known of black dragons in the region, being famous for plundering several Amnian and Calishite merchant vessels as they entered Port Nyanzaru.
Mist Dragons: An uncommon species of dragon, there is at least one mist dragon (Cirrothamalan) who lairs along the River Olung and the waters of Lake Luo, although his presence is known only to the people of Mezro, for he is allied to the Bara Mainu and is a protector of the city in times of need.
The Jungles of Chult are home to many humanoids of varying levels of intellect and civilisation.
Grippli: Chult is home to all manner of varied creatures, one of those most often overlooked is the diminutive grippli (known as grung in the Chultan tongue). Having arrived in Chult from the seas long ago, the grippli on Chult have evolved into an unusual variety that produces poison through its skin and its society is separated into castes determined by the brightly coloured skin a grippli possesses.
The grung are fiercely territorial and aggressive, they view all outsiders (any non-grung, and even grung of another tribe) as evil and to be exterminated. They will happily attack any group they believe they can overcome, eating anyone they kill and enslaving the rest (for work and as a living larder).
The grung worship great ancestors from their tribes as divine beings. The acts of greatness performed are usually beyond those of normal grung but the tales are often embellished in the telling (or completely fabricated) as grung elders seek to elevate their own ancestors to being worshipped and thus increasing their own prestige among the tribe.
Grung castes are strict and separated by the colour of the individuals (red, blue, green, yellow, purple, gold, etc). Society is often led by the larger females (although occasionally an exceptionally large male is produced), and females may choose anyone as a mate (they are fairly promiscuous with their affections – mating with several males in a single spawning). It is not unusual for a female to produce hundreds of spawn with many different colours in the group.
Kyuss was once one of the greatest of the original bara of Mezro, a spiritlord and mazewalker of incredible power, he eventually succumbed to evil after experimenting with ancient magics and his failed attempt at achieving godhood has left a blight of monstrous worm-like creatures throughout the Chultengar.
Avolakia: These monstrous aberrations look like the offspring of a worm, an octopus, and an insect, inheriting the most loathsome physical aspects of each. They are known to most as the Heralds of Kyuss, and thus far have only been found in the lands around Kuluth Mar in the Chultengar.
The ancient legends of the Chultans say that Kyuss founded Kuluth Mar and created a cult to elevate himself to godhood before ordering all his followers slain and then personally murdering the high priests that conducted the slaughter. What the histories fail to mention is that Kuluth Mar already existed as a truly ancient ruined ziggurat before Kyuss arrived, and that he not only killed the high priests; he consumed them.
These high priests; known as the Heralds of Kyuss, had already undergone significant transformations aided by the magic found in Kuluth Mar. When Kyuss devoured their bodies, he further altered them into his wormlike minions and then exuded the creatures now known as Avolakia.
Avolakia have acquired a taste for undead flesh (which they find supports and enhances their connection to the Negative Energy Plane) from their conflict with Ras Nsi and the general undead infestation in Chult. Avolakia possess many of the magical powers they possessed in life as well as additional abilities acquired through their connection to Kyuss.
It is believed the Heralds of Kyuss possess some kind of communication and perhaps a direct link to Kyuss, and they appear to be working towards securing Kuluth Mar from the Great Conclave, and presumably releasing Kyuss from his imprisonment.
Bloodworms of Kyuss: These 2 inch long, sickly green worms have a lamprey like orifice at one end covered in rows of razor sharp teeth which also cover the extendable tongue used to burrow into a victims flesh.
Bloodworms hide in water and wetland areas, waiting for a host creature to pass by so it can burrow and infest the host. Once inside the host it lays eggs that hatch after a lengthy incubation or whenever the host dies (whichever comes first), these worms then eat their way out through the corpse’s flesh while also reanimating the corpse into a creature known as a Spawn of Kyuss.
Bloodworms have an accelerated rate of healing that they pass onto the host, allowing it to mend open wounds in a matter of minutes. However, this accelerated healing comes at a cost of increased energy, requiring ever greater amounts of food to be consumed which ultimately causes the death of the host.
Bloodworms are vulnerable to silver (although getting the silver into an infected host is often impossible without killing them), but if used on a freshly burrowed wound (within 1 round), can prevent infestation occurring. Infestation can be removed by cleansing magics like cure disease and remove curse.
Quanlos: These strange creatures resemble large flying mosquitoes about 4 ft in height, with pulsing green and purple growths all over their carapace, and six, sickly green eyes growing from a squat body with eight insect wings sprouting from its back at odd angles. A long proboscis protrudes from its mouth and a wicked stinger (a foot long) is hidden inside its body until ready to use.
The Quanlos are often called Abyssal Wasps (confusing them with similar creatures from the Abyss), but these creatures emerged in the Chultengar only after the fall of Kyuss at Kuluth-Mar. It is possible they began when one of the worms of kyuss gestated inside an insect egg of some sort and created an insectoid variant of the Spawn of Kyuss.
The Quanlos possess a curious method of attack, they bite an opponent and inject a venom that makes the victim docile and follow pulsing patterns that show on a Quanlos’ body (which the Quanlos use to lead their “slaves” about). When a Quanlos reaches maturity (the eggs in its abdomen hatch inside it and the larva consume each other until only a handful remain), it uses its stinger to inject a the surviving larvae into one of its envenomed victims. The larvae then eat the internal organs of its victim before bursting free of the body as miniature adult Quanlos.
The Quanlos were kept in check by the tabaxi, and then by the yuan-ti, but the decline in both their people has allowed the Quanlos to spread north and east out of the Chultengar and there are now reports of similar creatures in the swamps of Halruaa.
Spawn of Kyuss: Sometimes referred to as the Sons of Kyuss, these animated corpses are infested with the green bloodworms that created and now animate them. When a bloodworm host finally dies, the eggs inside it hatch and begin to consume the flesh of the corpse, these newly hatched bloodworms are able to animate the corpse and cause it to move towards and attack the nearest living creature of the same type.
Each attack from a Spawn of Kyuss showers the target with bloodworms and at least one of these bloodworms attach to the target and will then attempt to burrow into the victim and start the bloodworm life cycle all over again. Any creatures slain by a Spawn of Kyuss are reanimated instantly.
Spawn of Kyuss are not undead (they are animated by creatures that dwell in the tissues of the host and are able to force movement, they are not animated by negative energy), they still exhibit the accelerated healing rate bestowed by bloodworms, but the bloodworms consume the partly living flesh at a faster rate than the body can regrow it. Spawn of Kyuss have been known to survive for decades if left alone, but once the flesh is consumed the bloodworms depart the former host and disperse into the jungle.
Ulgurstasta: An end stage development in the lifecycle of the Bloodworms of Kyuss, these enormous maggots have been spotted as growing some 20 ft long and hunting dinosaurs.
Ulgurstasta come to exist when a Bloodworm does not infest a host, but instead sustains itself by feeding upon other bloodworms. Eventually it reaches a size large enough to allow it to hunt living creatures and at this point it becomes an ulgurstasta.
Ulgurstasta are an unusual occurrence, primarily because the lifespan of a Bloodworm of Kyuss is so short without a host. For a Bloodworm to become an Ulgurstasta, not only must it be “born” into large concentrations of other Bloodworms to allow it to feed upon them and extend its lifespan, but it must then attain sufficient size to allow it to hunt other living creatures. As the creature grows in size, it may survive longer and longer without a meal of fresh blood (or another Bloodworm).
Ulgurstasta vary between a pale yellow, a pus-like green colour and a crimson red that pools throughout their pulsating body, dependant upon when they have last fed.
Ulgurstasta have no known predators, they are universally avoided by just about every living creature, even other Kyusspawn seem to fear these abominations. The growth potential of these monsters appears to be limited only by the amount of living food within its territory.
There are rumours that Ulgurstasta attain a form of intelligence, allowing them to understand and follow simple instructions (and some that can even communicate). Sages believe this intellect is absorbed from the creatures they consume, and so it is conceivable that Ulgurstasta can attain even genius levels of intelligence.
Most of the plant life in the Jungles of Chult are inert and innocuous, existing as food and or shelter to the myriad of life that lives under the jungle canopy. However, the Jungles of Chult are abundant with many strange and vigorous forms of life (some say thanks to the excesses of magical energy in the region), and that has caused some of the plant life to become as alive and as sentient as animals.
Briarvexes: A briarvex is a humanoid plant roughly the size and shape of an ogre. Briarvexes are covered in a sticky amber sap and are armed with wicked spikes at the end of their limbs that they use to rend victims, they are almost completely camouflaged with the surrounding jungle undergrowth and use this to ambush their prey.
Briarvexes live in the heart of the jungle but never within 20 miles of the Peaks of Flame or the Valley of Lost Honour, they organise themselves into bands of 10 or more individuals. They do not consume flesh, but will slay any humanoids that bring fire into their territory.
Briarvexes can grow to enormous size, but the larger an individual gets, the more inert it becomes (and the more aggressive when stirred), most briarvexes larger than an ogre lead solitary existences, often believed to be large shrubs by explorers. A briarvex propagates by seeding the soil, this happens during the rainy season in Chult (which is all year round), and in a good year a single briarvex can grow 200 seedlings. Thankfully the surrounding wildlife keep the briarvex population at manageable levels.
The sarrukh have had a huge influence on the number of reptilian humanoid creatures across Faerun. In the Jungles of Chult, where the empires and legacies of the serpentfolk have flourished in isolation, their influence has dominated the region for millennia.
Undead: The denizens of Chult have a long history of cremating (or consuming) the dead. In a place where everything rots at an accelerated rate it would seem a lot easier in the damp conditions to bury the dead, but every tale and legend among the races of Chult warns that those who die may return to plague the living.
Modern Chultans blame the undead menace upon Ras Nsi, who seems able to control any undead within several miles, and animates the recently dead wherever he walks. He currently has several hundred undead servitors (they rot away to nothing within several weeks so natural attrition prevents the horde from growing too big) in the Nsi Wastes logging the jungle to sell jungle hardwoods to traders from a variety of nations.
The rise of Ras Nsi does not explain the ancient practice of cremation among the yuan-ti of Chult or ancient funerary rights detailed in Mezroan manuscripts from the time of Mezro’s founding. It is clear that the dead may reanimate as murderous, bloodthirsty undead across the jungles of Chult, in some cases this may be as many as 300 miles from Ras Nsi and seems unlikely to be due to his power.
The strength of the undead menace appears to be greatest in the southern reaches of the jungle, near the Peaks of Flame and the Valley of Lost Honour and in the Chultengar (with another hotspot in the Nsi Wastes), in these regions even dead animals (including dinosaurs) are also animated by whatever fell energies give rise to the undead menace, a zombified tyrannosaurus is a monster feared by all jungle dwellers and explorers.
Some sages have speculated that the phenomenon of accelerated growth among some creatures, the unnatural ferocity of creatures, and the reanimating undead are all related and part of some cycle of soul production and entrapment, it may also be that the mazes of Ubtao allow the possibility of the souls of his worshippers to escape this cycle.
Blackwood: This subtropical wood comes from the Zalantar tree which grows plentifully along the coastal regions of Chult, but rarely inland or at higher elevations. The leaves of the Zalantar tree are white to beige, but the bark and wood is black (hence its name), the tree itself grows out from a central root in eight or more trunks that grow outward like the fingers of a splayed hand. The trees may grow up to 40 ft in height, but a few specimens have been found that exceed 80 ft.
Blackwood is strong but easily worked, and is often used in the construction of buildings, litters, wagons, wheels, etc. Blackwood is often used in the crafting of rods, staffs, and wands because it readily accepts enchantments, it also has an unusual ability that causes the wood to glow softly mauve when undead pass within 60 ft, this quirk has saved the lives of many Chultans at night living along the coast of Chult.
Bloodflowers: This red leafed wildflower was once prevalent on open battlefields across the battlefields of the Sword Coast and the lands of Netheril, however, climate change in the Anauroch Basin and over-exploitation has led to this flower becoming extinct everywhere but the jungles of the Chultan Peninsula.
The popularity of the Bloodflower is for its ability to speed healing when applied to any open wound, the fact that it used to grow natural on former battlefields and barrows lead some botanists to speculate that it actually feeds off the nutrients or energies exuded by decaying bodies.
There are some that link the survival of this flow to the yuan-ti, given its continued presence in Chult, and it is believed to have an even more pronounced healing effect upon serpentfolk. Exiled sages from Unther recognise similarities between the leaf structure of this flower and the Firetrees in Unther, with a few even claiming that this flower may in fact be a fungus, and was once created and cultivated by the sarrukh (although they are often regarded as wildly eccentric by their colleagues).
Bronzewood: This tropical hardwood grows further inland (never on the coast), and thrives on the elevated plateaus of Chult. It has red leaves while growing, with the leaves turning green once the tree matures. In drier climate the tree loses all its leaves during the dry season, but in Chult the leaves are green and plentiful all year round.
Bronzewood is prized for its beauty (the wood is coloured a lovely bronze good), as well as its durability (if treated and covered the wood can last for at least a thousand years). It is used for ship-building, house building, fine furniture, etc. The tree is up to 3 ft in diameter and can grow up to 200 ft tall in the central jungles.
Calantra: Calantra is the heartwood of the Calan tree, which is a stout tree of no more than 11 feet, with a thick trunk and no side limbs, that rises to a gnarled top of interlocking branches. Calan trees are red barked, with green leaves and a deep brown wood.
Calantra is prized for being as hardy alive as it is dead; able to survive flood, frost, and fire, with an ability to absorb oils and moisture for years after cutting, which prevents it from drying or splitting. It is often used for carving into furniture, travel chests, and walking sticks in Calimshan and Tashalar.
As well as absorbing liquid readily, it also absorbs magical energies, and so is a natural choice for use in the crafting of rods, staffs, wands, etc. It is not unknown to find trees with pulsing bark or rainbow coloured leaves, or even emitting unusual magical effects, these are usually Calan trees that have absorbed strong magical energies.
Whitesap Trees: These trees are noted for the milky white sap the tree produces; known as rubber. They grow in wetland and cleared land where the canopy is broken and these smaller trees can get enough light, they are almost completely absent in the dense, central jungle.
The encroachment of Amn into Nyanzaru was motivated mostly by the need to secure greater quantities of rubber (although slaves were a close second). The trees along the banks of the River Soshenstar and the River Tiryki have secured that need for now, as well as a new crop of whitesap trees growing in the cleared lands around Port Nyanzaru. There are enormous whitesap trees over 40 ft tall in the Aldani Basin, but these are far too difficult to secure against the native fauna of the region.
Ytep – Triceratops
ka (suffix) Group (male), plural
xi/zi (suffix) – Group (female), plural
tak (suffix) – People (male)
dow/tao – god
Ras – Chief
Yklwa – Blade
Kerrie – Club
Kenswa – Children
Show – Ebon
Toka – Hand
Abuya – Speakers
Deim – Mist
Zazqura – Servants
Negus – Heir
Mezro – Mazes
Yaak – Love
Ej – Honey
Vuddor – Jungle
Ataaz – Gorge, Gap
Muhah – Laugh
Kahak – Death
wa – of
la – the
Ub – Life
Ka (prefix) – dreams
Nanji – Hanging Gardens
Lor – nightmare (lore – nightmares)
Eoul – Dawn
Bral – Warrior
Iyly – Eye
Ulouor – Harbour
Shilk – Boar
Kroga – a fast growing mould found on most trees in Chult.
Laat – Guardians
Aax – Land