Wednesday 28 June 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #179: Settlements of the Northern Lake

Fifteen hexes north, one northeast of Alakran.


Untal: population 200. A wayside village on the east-shore lake road, which has been less popular than the west shore because Izuz is more pleasant than Giligillu and does not involve a stroll past Dragotha's poisoned hills. To remedy this, the villagers have carved monuments of stone five miles up and down the road extolling the village's delights, paved over the road where it runs through the village, painted the houses brightly, planted sweet-smelling shrubs, and extended the artistry of their ale-tent far past what would be expected in a place of this size. Whether it succeeds is not the point; the idea of being custodians of a pleasing thoroughfare has become an obsession, an identity for the Untali.

Taruisha: These villagers descend from slaves who escaped captivity downriver in a time when the abomionable custom still endured there. The place of 400 souls seems prosperous, unusually so. Lost in time is the secret that once Taruisha numbered a dozen dozens, the headman, Gulza, said, "No more!" and began to capture and sell back fellow slaves seeking refuge. The people of this village are desperate to deny any evidence of this history, but if they cannot deny it, they will grudgingly buy or enforce silence.

Katarga: The first of the hamlets of the Ul valley that stretches wesrward, Katarga is known for exaggerating the already incomprehensible dialect of that region to a grotesque pitch. The pranksters of this place of 250 speak a yammering nonsense to outsiders, and delight in discomfort and inept attempts to answer in kind.

U-Isshina: These 300 people, in a cluster of round houses, will never let you forget that their village was loyal to the Governor when the Ul Valley rose up two generations ago. The month of Kislimu is filled with feasts commemorating the oaths, arrival of troops, and battles in the short campaign to put down the Ul. Animosity to the people north and west is kept alive, as well. Armed groups moving north are  asked if they are going to rob and sack the Valley, and egged on to do so; while coming south from Ul, you will be asked what loot you have gotten, and if not, why the hell not.

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