Blood and Thunder
The Lush Jungle is an enormous tropical forest that marks the southern border of the known world. Nobody has explored it completely, because it is a very dangerous place. Mortal diseases and beasts like snakes and spiders of any size and degree of venomousness are only some of the dangers lurking under its trees. The Lush Jungle is the ancestral home of the Pygmies, a primitive race of dwarfed men who withdrew to the shadow of the mangroves shortly after the fall of the Dread Star. According to the Syranthian sages, they are the descendants of Keronian slaves, who came here to find their freedom.
Whatever the reason, they are very reclusive and possessive about their land. The Pygmies are deceitful, just like the spiders they love so much. They let you go deep into their territory and then they attack you with venomous blowguns, traps, and so on. Very few of those going on expeditions into the Jungle make it back. Why would a civilized man want to go to this wild land?
The reason is simple: greed. The bed of the Anaconda River, the main stream crossing the jungle, it is said, is littered with gold, ready for the taking by those so bold to dive into it, despite its crocodiles and giant water snakes. The mountains are even more appealing, as they are full of precious ore. These rumors have lured adventurers and desperate rogues from all over the Dominions. There is also a city, Verazar, founded fifty years ago by a drunken prospector. It is a place full of diseases, whores, and the scum of the world. It is also the starting point for mining expeditions into the jungle. Actually, although a certain quantity of gold can be found, the expeditions aren’t worth the trouble. Even if someone was lucky enough to find a huge amount of gold and come back to Verazar, avoiding the dangers of the jungle, the cutthroats of the city would rob and kill him in no time. But greed makes people optimistic and many are willing to try their luck.
Aurica and the Anaconda Springs
After a few shots of cheap liquor in a tavern in Verazar, many adventurers will start talking of a city entirely made of gold hidden deep in the jungle. It is deserted, because its inhabitants died centuries ago, and it is waiting to be found by a lucky prospector! Those who have detailed information claim that Aurica — that’s the city’s name — is located near the fabled springs of the Anaconda River, which no one has ever found. Many expeditions set off to find Aurica, but nobody every returned.
Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657