The massive Dwindor Swamp was once a fresh water swamp at the western edge of Dunstrand Vale. When The Sundering sank the west shelf, Dwindor was exposed directly to sea water. It is now a swamp/marsh of immense size and dangerous flows, eddys, and tides. Fallen places of the fallen Sea King empire, as well as ruins that were once part of Dunstrand Vale dot the landscape of sunken mountains, marshy plains, and bogs.
The Witch of Dwindor
Rumored to be undying, the witch of dwindor swamp is said to rule her realm with an iron fist. Ancient creatures of the Sea Kings and Bronzemen are said to be her minions, along with the Orrish of Dwindor.
- Eozrin – the first
- Neerislin the Seeress
The Orrish of Dwindor
The Orrish of Dwindor have resided in the swamp since the days of the Sea Kings – before it was a swamp. The Orrish that reside in the swamp now are what remains of the Orrish that once dwelled in Dunstrand Vale. After the Chaos Storm ravaged the nearby lands, there was a Scourge of Shadows that hunted them down and drove them to the west. They were abandoned by their traditional gods of darkness. Those that would not flee to the west, went into The Deeping. It was at this time that the Orrish legends of Dwindor first record the appearance of the creature who would become The Witch of Dwindor. The witch shielded the remainder. Over time, their worship gave her power, and she used the power to shield them from the successive rulers of Dunstrand Vale. When the coast sunk into the sea, and Scar Flow and Dwindor Swamp were formed, it became the home of “The Children of Eozrin”. These Orrish reformed into territorial tribes – it is unknown how many exist. Over time, the Orks died out – consumed by their own rage, violence and competition. There are half breed descendants, the occasional half ork and half ogre, and no darklings. Occasionally, Orrish fleeing their own kind seek safety in Dwindor (even Orks), it is a known refuge. Outsider sometimes find their way to live with the witches people – some even find acceptance and make a family.
Social Structure: The Children of Eozrin are not strictly matriarchal… but heredity is traced through the female side. There is no enforced monogamy or marriage. Everyone contributes in some way is the only rule. Some pledge bonds of love and mutuality, but this is the closest human practice has made a dent. They take care of their elderly. Hunting, gardening, crafting, etc. are all shared duties – most goblins of Dwindor possess a few skills as well as survival. The largest and the half breed are singled out for duties that best make use of their strength and size – but are not treated any different. There is a distinctly non might-makes-right perspective among the tribes.
Soul Seeing: On some occasions, bandits and those fleeing the law seek refuge by serving the witch. They are willing to give up their old life and join the tribes. Or, perhaps become an agent of the sith – a spy, the eyes and ears of her in the east of the Vale of Dunstrand. In the cases where the witch manages to hear their please as they wander lost, she will come to them. Her people will capture them, and she will peer into their soul to see the truth. It is said the truly evil will have their eyes burned and be cast back to the lands of the humans. Those that perhaps are guilty of an accident or poor judgement, are saved and indoctrinated. If they pass the test, they are considered one of the people. There are no races that are not accepted among the Children of Eozrin.
Like the Grollen, the Orrish of Dwindor gave up what they once were. Over time, they embraced the mystery of the witch. They are lead by several chiefs of different regions. Each chief has a pair of shamans, and the witch communicates directly with them. Sometimes the old Orrish ways rear their head, and renegades lead raids into the Duchy of Dunstrand, but the Orrish gave up these practices a long time ago. In fact, several times over the ages, the Orrish have unbeknownst to the inhabitants of the Duchy, fought for its causes. There exists a certain reluctance by the inhabitants to wage war against their kind in Dwindor, though there is still fear and malice. A lot of human customs have made their way into the Orrish culture of Dwindor, including a more stratified hierarchy. Tribes always have a permanent place of meeting – a “Council Home” where disputes are settled. About half are large tribes that have towns of hundreds and steadings of dozens. Some tribes are still quasi-nomadic in Scar Flow – living more on the sea in the warmer months, and further inland in colder ones.
Faith of the Tribes: The tribes of Dwindor actually worship the swamp and Scar Flow as a great spirit, and the Witch as a divinity. The shamans interpret the signs and auguries, and seek the protections of the Witch from the ancient forces still prowling the lands of Dunstrand Vale. The witch is real, she is physical, and her power rivals that of a god where the Value of Dunstrand’s boundary extends to. She intercedes directly in the affairs of the Orrish, and expects them to obey her commands in turn (which have never been unreasonable for her continued protection). The “clergy” of the Orrish contains a few Druids (though no true members of the Davrosian order) and priests of nature. The Green Church of the humanoids also has some adherents – though few – the Witch encourages it because it extends the power of her minions.
- Holy Days: The fall Equinox and the lessening of the sun is the holy day for the witch. The spring festival of Ezrilus is also observed. These are the only two universal “holy days” and celebrations common to all the Orrish.