Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #261
September 19th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: The Banks of the Red River’s Run of Taodeas – Part 2
Location: Central Taodeas between the Tuton Maug and the Danthas River
Population (approx.): 830 (Brown Forest Kin)
Brief: In the foothills of the Tuton Maug, runoff, snowmelt and rain feeds creeks, brooks and streams gathering to form the waterways of the plains of Taodeas like the Red and Danthas Rivers. The Red runs across and down the hillsides until reaching the first of the three waterfalls, the Cascade, concealed within the dense jungle of the Brown Forest that covers a wide swath of hillside. Below the Cascade fills a large shallow lake surrounded by and dotted with trees and brush. Unknown to most, the Brown Forest is home to a large community of rare and unique Kin living their lives concealed away and separate from the politics and structure of the Tribes of Taodeas. During this era the forest is currently ruled by the castes of the Grung, a race of short amphibious humanoids of unknown origin and rare occurrence.
R'Leh,33, female Golden Grung (a froglike humanoid), is the leader of the Brown Forest Kin. She is three feet tall and has an imperial manner. She wears dresses that showcase the flowers that grow around the Cascade Waterfall near where the tribe lives. R'Leh commands respect not through weapons or magic but through the gift of rhetoric.
R'Leh parents are both Golden Grung, and she knew she would be a leader when she was born. R'Leh learned how to be a leader from the other Golden Grung. When she was fifteen, her father died, which shook R'leh to her core. At twenty-five, R'leh took over the leadership of her tribe and settled down to making hard decisions for the Brown Forest Kin. Now, because of her leadership, all the Grungs are flourishing. The pool in which the Grungs lay their eggs has almost doubled.
R'Leh lives in the trees near the Cascade Waterfall. Her treehouse is slightly bigger than most, and she decorates it with small rocks and bird feathers. R'Leh lives with her aunt, p'Doon, and grandfather, c'Noob. Both advise her on tribal matters and lead small groups within the Grung.
Geography: The course of the Red River is over 80 miles from its sources in the foothills of the Tuton Maug until it merged with the Danthas River east of Blackstone Fortress (#15). Cascade Falls (location 1), the first of three major waterfalls upon the river, is about 20 miles southwest (downstream) from what ancient maps of the Cartographer’s Guild indicate is the source (no explorer, within recent memory, has backtracked the river to verify the maps) of the Red. The waterfall drops about 250 feet from a ridge into the tangle of the Brown Forest (location 2) to form an unnamed lake, home to the Grung.
The Grung Kin settlement, comprised of hollowed trees, raised tree houses and wooden huts, covers several hundred square yards of woods along the east side of the lake. The Brown Forest covers about 150 square miles of hillside evenly divided by the course of the river. The Red River exits the woods and turns westward toward the second waterfall of note. There are very few paths or trails in the hills above the 2nd falls. Some are even false hunting trails designed by the cunning Grung to lead the unwary into traps followed by servitude or death (depending on the size and nature of those captured).