|Mudmen cover themselves with the rich silty mud of Loch Doldrum|
|Banth numbers have dwindled due to over hunting. Conservation efforts are ongoing.|
No one remembers the names of their cities and the Mudmen won't tell. Each one of them burned down to their foundations, nary an arrangement of rubble even the most optimistic adventurer could call a ruin left. Overnight all their conquests undone by their pragmatic and single-minded god: Tolhoth
|Tolhoth, God of Mudmen|
Quite apart from the struggles of his worshipers, he waged war in the realm of the jealous gods, a dimension of unending strife between many gods.
As his earthly following grew, his own victories diminished in glory and reward, eventually leading to a string of stalemates and eventually defeats. He descended to the earth and consulted the Great Oracle of Pellan, whose vision extended throughout all dimensions. She told him that as he was victorious on earth, he would suffer defeat in the sky.
Tolhoth appeared as a fiery giant towering over the tops of mountains, destroying every person and every temple in every city of village where he was venerated. Nothing remained of the nation that had worshiped him, and the neighbors swarmed in to take possession of anything of value that remained.
All except for the Mudmen. Sad and forced to flee from their conflagrating homeland into the cold waves of Loch Doldrum, they waited. Tolhoth saw them rise from the banks as the fires died and the cities crackled and popped. Covered in mud and hunched over from the crippling cold he thought they were restless spirits, quite understandably perturbed by his rending of the lands, and ignored them.
Still he fights his war, never quite victorious, never achieving his total monotheist dominion in the sky. We could speculate that he now doubts the words of the Oracle of Pellan, maybe even that he regrets losing one kingdom without gaining another, but it's unwise to speculate on the minds of Gods. The Mudmen certainly don't.
|Loch Doldrum: big, deep, cold. Considered to be neither use nor ornament by everyone except the "Elite Brotherhood of the Potters of Gaxen Kane" who owe their success to the fine white mud that lines its shores.|
Today the Mudmen are found primarily on the shores of Loch Doldrum and along its contributory creeks and rivers, never too far from their mud lest Tolhoth spies them and comes back to finish the job and finally win his war in the sky. In their minds the very survival of the physical world relies on that mud and who are we to argue?
|A Mudman war party on the look out for careless Potters.|
Their more traditionally civilized neighbors consider this superstition a great convenience as the Mudmen have lost none of their martial spirit and would undoubtedly cause all sorts of mischief were they to wander freely along the Spine or, worse yet, peddle their superior crockery in the markets of Gaxen Kane.
As it stands their only regular contact with foreigners is through the Elite Brotherhood of the Potters of Gaxen Kane who regularly send well armed expeditions to collect the eponymous mud, and almost equally often don't return with a full compliment of staff. These dealings go some way to explain the Mudmen's reputation as marauders and cannibals, but since the white mud commands such respect in their trade the Potters are resigned to its cost.