A Fistful of Dragons
Chult has always been remote and isolated, forming a mountainous jungle of savage beasts, hulking dinosaurs, and disease-ridden swamps. Orc tribes, goblins, and even stranger monstrous folk haunt the thick jungles. Nevertheless, Chult draws adventurers who seek the legendary riches of the Dragons. The primordial Ubtao was almost exclusively revered in the land, for Ubtao was given dominion over the land of Chult in exchange for the deity’s vigilance over the threat from under the Peaks of Flame.
Life and Society
The Orcs of Chult live in tribal communities, consisting of a dozen or so families, which move from one area to the next when the poor soil of the largely-jungle covered peninsula becomes depleted. For hunting and defense they rely on non-metallic weapons like clubs, bows and shortspears. Harder metals like iron and steel are unavailable to them, and the few brought in by outsiders are nowhere near enough to sufficiently arm any significant number of people.
Magic is generally feared, and each tribal-family generally has only one wielder of arcane magic, who perform hunting ceremonies and brew potions to aid the hunters. Despite this restriction on arcane spellcasters, the number of people with an aptitude for magic is the same as anywhere else in the world. Subsequently, the Chultan attitude towards the arcane causes some arcanists to flee into the jungle to practice their art alone.
Aside from Orcs, wild dwarves, goblins, aldani, pterafolk, bullywugs, and gatormen also inhabit the land. Exotic creatures such as chuuls, hydras, nagas, troglodytes, trolls, and wyverns exist in smaller numbers. The dominant predators of the land are the dinosaurs, who are worshiped by many of the natives as the Children of Ubtao.
It was said by many that the jungles of Chult are the most dangerous places in Arkhosia. The plants are intelligent predators while the predators themselves are massive and armed with huge teeth and claws. Insects bite and sting travelers almost constantly, the heat and humidity are almost unbearable and the undergrowth contains a multitude of poisonous snakes. Worst, however, is the disease that runs rampant in the area. Most things in the jungle have some sort of illness or parasite and it is very easy to catch such illnesses off them. Even the water is tainted and has to be boiled if it is to be drunk. On top of all this, the intelligent creatures that eke out an existence in the dense foliage are perfectly happy and sometimes go out of their way to track travelers in order to hunt them down and kill them. Yuan-ti, batiri, and other species that have learned to survive in this place need food; adventurers tend to suit that need nicely.
One of the many dangers of Chult is the Undead that infested it.
Yet Exile and Dominion adventurers keep on coming in droves to the Chultan jungles as rumors of endless veins of Dragonshard, gold, huge gems, and the ruined empires of the Dragons stuffed to the brim with magic and riches keep surfacing in taverns across the world since the discovery of Arkhosia and many are willing to brave the dangers of the jungle for a slice of that fabled wealth.
Peaks of Flame
The Peaks of Flame are the abode of salamanders and other creatures of fire. The peaks are also said to sit over a pair of iron doors that lead to the Fugue Plane, the world of the dead. Legend had it that at the end of the world Dendar the Night Serpent will tear down these doors and break through into the world to eat the sun.
Valley of Lost Honor
In the thickest parts of the jungle lays the Valley of Lost Honor, once the last refuge of the Eshowe before they were destroyed. Legends say that all of their wealth was left behind in caves in the valley, while more sinister legends claim the evil deity of Eshowdow, resides there, recruiting followers and planning revenge.
The jagged and treacherous coast of southwestern Chult creates a hazard for ships, and merchants from Port Nyanzaru have learned to give it wide berth. Fearing not only the cliffs, sailors speak of whirlpools, freak storms, aquatic monsters, flying dinosaurs, and giant eagles. A few brave (or foolish) fortune seek to explore the caves along the coast, hoping they will lead into rich mines under the jungle.
The southern Chultan coast extends east until the Snout of Omgar, a mountainous island that marks the boundary between Chult and the coast of Samarach. The Snout is the domain of the tortle race.
The Dominion’s Crimson Legion maintains a permanent stronghold in Chult at Fort Beluarian. From there, Crimson Legion patrols strike out into the jungle to “pacify” territory and claim lost treasures. The commander of Fort Beluarian and highest-ranking member of the Crimson Legion in Chult is Axis Pheydra. She has complete autonomy in Chult, answering only to Emperor Myrcalus himself.
Mezro was the largest civilized area in Chult and a holy city to the Chultan tribes. The city was generally peaceful and few people carried weapons. The city was protected by the Spearbearers of Ubtao and the six undying paladin-like Chosen of Ubtao who ruled the city. The Chosen of Ubtao were holy champions each wielding one of the Six Dragonblades of legend.
It is said the city was once surrounded by a magical wall, preventing it from being seen and causing confusion in those who approached too closely, but after a victorious battle against the Batiri goblins this protection was lowered. After this it was a safe haven for explorers battered by the harsh jungle until the Fall of the Dragons, at which point it collapsed into the earth.
A harbor port, Port Nyanzaru is also a mighty fortress, built to withstand pirate attacks and the threats of the jungle itself. Only recently liberated from the control of the Dominion, Nyanzaru is a booming, densely populated community that brought in much wealth for its parent state.
Rumors and Legends
One of the most terrifying local legends of Chult involves a mysterious beast called the Uluu Thalongh. This entity is able to possess trees and plants, making their branches into violent weapons. Moreover, it can mimic the voices of previous victims. No one has ever been able to discover who or what the creature actually is.