Ruler: Black of Teeth and Red of Claw
Religion: None (Ravana)
When the Southern Wilds are mentioned, it is the Greenheart that everyone thinks of. A thick, humid jungle filled with stagnant swamps, and with crawling monstrosities and infernal creatures in every shadow. The Greenheart is a lethal place to visit, filled with diseases and sickness for those who have not been born and raised there, and the constant threat of monsters that seem to spring from the nightmares of the most sadistic necromancer.
The region is ruled by Black of Teeth and Red of Claw, a powerful rukshasa, and sometimes called the Mother of Monsters. This rukshasa is one of the most powerful of the demon tigers, and is roughly fifteen feet tall and a few tonnes in weight. She is incapable of movement, sitting bloated in her hidden lair deep in the darkest parts of the Greenheart, attended to by her rukshasa children. She devours the captives brought to her by her children, or any servant that displeases her, taking the soul and corrupting it to birth new monsters to unleash into the fetid jungles. Each child is her eyes and ears, and at any time she can experience the world through the senses of any one of her spawn.
Scattered throughout the jungle are the gutted husks of an ancient civilization. Stone towers and columns, empty temples, shattered statues, and ancient, Greek-like buildings lie in ruin, choked by vine and tree. Those not captured by the rukshasa and used as slaves or food have scattered deep into the jungles. There are some communities, few and far between, spread out and living in deserted regions or up in the tree-tops, camps filled with desperate warriors and shamans who ensure the safety and sanity of their people. Most villages are woven into the highest trees, protected with spells of concealment to hide them from the eyes of the rukshasa.
The rukshasa worship Ravana, the Mother of Demons. No other faiths are tolerated in the Greenheart, and none have been heard of by the slaves and refugees. Once in a while, there is whisper of other faiths, brought in from outside the Greenheart, but none have truly taken root in the region.
The people of the Greenheart do not trust anyone from outside their own communities. Any stranger could be a rukshasa in disguise, and as such they will meet only rarely with those they do not know, and never introduce a stranger to their village, even after meeting them for years. Only when a shaman has cleared a person with many trials will they allow a person to approach their villages. The ‘test of salt’ is important to these people, to ensure one is not a member of the rukshasa.
In the rawest sense, the Greenheart is inspired by the ‘heart of darkness’ beliefs that were held for Africa in the past, and fleshed out with a number of horror concepts. The place is merciless to those who are not prepared, and lethal on many levels. Characters who are from this region have a lot to explain, as most people could not survive the region away from their community and have no concept of the outside world.
Because of the language used, and the small size of each tribe, names are very simple. A person has their name, and that is all there is. There are no family names, no generational names or last names, everyone simply has the name they have given themselves or have had given to them. Names are changed when the person wishes to change it – and because of the nature of magic, and the power of names to enslave, it is believed that changing a name after any important event may be for the best.
Male: Ade, Ajani, Bahari, Braima, Chimelu, Chinua, Diallo, Duka, Essien, Fisseha, Gamada, Godana, Haben, Hanzila, Ige, Iniko, Jabilo, Jafaru, Kasim, Kitoko, Lerato, Luthando, Mandla, Mikaili, Natine, Nyack, Oringo, Oya, Phomello, Polo, Reth, Roho, Sadiki, Simba, Tadelesh, Tenen, Uba, Upendo, Wasaki, Xola, Yaro, Yerodin, Zaire, Zulu
Female: Abeni, Ayanna, Banji, Bem, Chinue, Cyrah, Deka, Dembe, Elon, Eshe, Fabunni, Fola, Genet, Gimbya, Hada, Hazina, Isoke, Izefia, Jahzara, Jira, Kainda, Keshia, Liseli, Lisimba, Malaika, Milandu, Nala, Nyeki, Orma, Oya, Paleso, Phenyo, Qwara, Rabia, Rafiki, Safara, Selam, Tanisha, Tendai, Ujana, Uzuri, Venda, Visola, Walta, Winta, Xhosa, Xolani, Yassah, Yihana, Zhenga, Zuna
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