Blood and Thunder
The area of the Verdant Belt could be a true paradise on earth. It is a fertile land, where farming is easy and the climate mild.
But it is surrounded by vultures. It is threatened from the north by the Savannah Tribes, who often trespass into the Belt with their herds. To the south there is the dark Lush Jungle, from where the Pygmies and other dark things occasionally come looking for prey. But the greatest evil comes from east in the shape of Caldeian slave traders, who travel down the Slave Route ending in Heavensdoor, in Lhoban. They smile a lot, and bring drugs and precious metal weapons, but in exchange they want a huge amount of slaves.
The Verdant Belt is inhabited by farmers of the Ivory Savannah Tribes. They mainly grow bananas, the basis of their diet, and live in fortified villages. They use a particular farming technique called “fire and plant”: they burn large parts of the rainforest and then cultivate the deforested area for four-five years. After this period, the soil is depleted, so the area is abandoned and a new village is founded somewhere else.
The Verdant Belt tribes are fiercely independent, but in the last few years some of them have been subjugated by the White King of the Ivory Savannah. They pay tribute in exchange for the King’s protection and are starting to trade vegetables for cattle, a business that is mutually profitable. Obviously, Caldeia doesn’t look kindly on the new peace spreading across the Belt and, wherever possible, it tries to bring war to the area.
There is a legend among the Belt Tribes about a cursed race of Jaguar Men, who live in the thick of the Lush Jungle and leave only to hunt the Ivory Savannah Tribes. There is no evidence of their existence, but lately entire villages along the border have been found empty of their inhabitants. Is the legend true or is something even darker stretching its fingers over the Belt?
Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 24-25. Studio 2 Publishing.ISBN 978-8393179657