History of the Jungle
The current human inhabitants of the Malatran Plateau are
descended of two separate human races: the indigenous
humans of southern Kara-Tur, and an ancient
spelljamming race from a distant crystal sphere.
Living in relative harmony with the modern Nubari are the
diminutive shu, the wild Korobokuru, the elusive tam’hi,
and the shape-changing katanga. None of the modern
people of the Living Jungle remember their ancient origins,
and archeological clues are rare. Here, then, is a brief
sketch of the history that contemporary characters do not
Thousands of years ago, the ancient Nubari were a very
tall and lithe race of humans, dark brown of skin and
golden yellow of eye. While still essentially human, the
Ancients had slightly larger heads, tapering to an
elongated crown, and but three fingers and a thumb on
each hand (missing the “normal” human pinky). They were
a people of art and magic, science and philosophy.
Nubari technology was quite advanced in some ways, but
mostly it was simply alien to, not superior to, the current
technology of Toril’s more advanced nations. For instance,
though they used metal for ornamentation, the Nubari had
developed a fantastically hard form of ceramic which they
used for tools such as knives. Traditional weapons were
unknown to them, as they lived a sort of Utopian
existence, using their magical technology to live with,
rather than against, nature.
The Ancients were a celestial race, traveling among
several home worlds shared by other spelljamming
peoples. Each of these worlds was a veritable paradise, so
while the Nubari knew of Abeir-Toril for millennia, they
deemed the planet unworthy of interest when so many
more beautiful worlds were theirs for the visiting.
In all crystal spheres, there are gods of strife and
misfortune. Ultimately, then, the paradisiacal existence of
the Nubari came to an end, as war came to the Nubari and
their neighbors. As in every war, the worst aspects of the
people came to the fore, and even the otherwise peaceful
Nubari found themselves embroiled in conflict.
One faction of the Nubari, however, refused to give in to
conflict. They chose to flee the war, making no claim to
any of the worlds disputed by the others. Rather, they
came to Abeir-Toril.
Arriving in great spelljammers, the Ancients barely
escaped the powerful invasion fleet which conquered the
last world they had inhabited. Resolving not to duplicate
the mistakes of their own ancestors, the Ancients swore to
form a society without war. In this, they were largely
successful. They chose the central jungle of Malatra as
their home, reasoning that it would not seem a desirable
location to the indigenous races of the planet. To dissuade
visitors further, they devised a great magic to raise the
land they had chosen far above the rest of the jungle floor,
creating a vast, insurmountable plateau.
It was an ideal place for them to live, since—once carefully
removed from the inhabited regions—the surrounding
dinosaur population could not easily climb the high cliffs
surrounding the plateau, and neither would the Ancients
disrupt the natural course of indigenous life on the planet.
This was their new paradise. They practiced their
philosophy of nonviolence very strictly, never killing the
natural predators which remained in their lands, but
learning to live in harmony with the animals and the land.
The Ancients began to create their vision of a Utopian
world. Unknown to them, they were not as alone as they
had hoped. River and bamboo spirits had lived in the area
for centuries. At the arrival of the Ancients, they hid.
Seeing that the newcomers seemed peaceful enough, the
spirits did not trouble them, nor did they approach to greet
them. Each lived in harmony with the other, the Ancients
never knowing of their neighbors.
The newcomer culture thrived and grew, ever mindful of
keeping itself secret. But Tymora and Beshaba forever
quarrel over Utopias, and Lady Luck cannot forever hold
out against Black Bess. So eventually, disaster struck.
The nature of the disaster is a mystery. It may have been
a natural disaster, an incredibly fast plague, or even a
magical experiment gone awry. Whatever it was, it left the
surviving Nubari without their former civilization, reducing
them to a primitive existence. The disaster also destroyed
most of the Nubari culture, buildings, and knowledge. For
whatever reason, the surviving Nubari fled the fragments
of their homes and took to life in the jungles and plains.
Years later, during a long but temporary decrease in the
carnivore population surrounding the plateau, some of the
natives of Toril – katanga, humans, and Korobokuru –
explored far enough to reach and even ascend the
plateau. How these peoples won past the cliffs and
magical barriers is a mystery, though Korobokuru legend
speaks of a great and long exodus from a distant
homeland, including a journey through sunless and
These wanderers stayed with the Nubari of the plateau,
either because they chose to remain or because they could
not return. The ancient humans and Nubari gradually
inter-bred, eventually becoming the new race of Nubari
which inhabit the Living Jungle today. The Korobokuru
thrived in this land, and the katanga took to the land as
naturally as if they’d always been there.
How the shu came to the plateau is another mystery, and
the saru seem to have evolved from the existing gorilla
population-though their accelerated evolution remains
undiscovered. For reasons unknown to the Nubari, the
dinosaur population rose once more, effectively isolating
the plateau from the surrounding world.
Keep in mind Malatran’s do not read or write, so there is no “written” history. They also do not have a numbering system that accounts for such thing, and nothing to set a start date to if they did. Years are named infrequently, and sometimes many years after the fact.
More recent history: Repetitions of year names occurs, but never within living memory.
Names are only used to in order to reference events that occurred which can be shared in the common experience. It is truly a ‘living memory only’ version of history. The Rainy Season marks the end of a year. Events that have been discovered in the past have been listed below.
c-800 years The Year of the Plague—The first Luroki plague that the fountain/statue ‘lived’ through in “Plague”.
c-400 years The Year of the Returned Plague—The Luroki destroy most of the jungle in “Plague”.
c-300 years The Year of Internal Strife—The Huroola who had controlled most of the Jungle, fall to infighting. The first tribe of Boos are formed.
c-299 years The Year of Mystery—The last Golden Child Juanitia vanishes under mysterious circumstances. Referenced in “The Golden Child".
c-199 years The Year of Tragedy—The Golden Child dies in infancy due to a mysterious illness. Possibly killed by Hodulla. (conjecture based on the timing, referenced in “The Golden Child”.)
-150 years The Year of Freedom—The evil Witch-Doctor Hodulla of the Saiyama is deposed by Bengoukee as related in “Lair of the Headshrinker”.
-120 years The Year of Five Fires—Five devastating fires strike the Savannah in one season as related in “Curse of Fire Mountain”.
-109 years The Year of Joy—A Golden Child is born to the Huroola. Referenced in “The Golden Child”
-99 years The Year of the Precipice—The Golden Child Noh, of the Huroola escapes and hides in taboo lands. The jungle nearly goes to war, as so many tribes look for him they get in each other’s way. Referenced in “The Golden Child”.
-50 years The Year of Hungry Warriors—After a brief war with the Huroola, a schism splits the Kukulaturi and Kukupaturi into two tribes. (Conjecture based on statements from “Sharp Teeth, Mostly Tasty”, and the information on the Huroola.)
-20 years The Year of the Loss—Evil caiman katanga kill Chief Toloka of the Saiyama, the tribe’s name changes after Bengoukee’s challenge is “won” by Bagoomba. (Campaign setting info.)
-5 years The Year of the Traitor—Council members are shocked when it is revealed that councilman Somari of the Wise Ones, and personal apprentice to Arkari herself, attempted to arrange an accident for his master in order to make a bid for chief of the tribe. (Back histroy from Death from Above)
-1 year The Year of the Fleeing Ebar (The first Council of Tribes names it thus in “From the Gods of Fire Mountain”, presumably this event marks the first few days of the year, and the 30 year sacrifice is the end of the year.)
The Year Of Awakening – When Fire Mountain erupted, the garuda return, the last headshrinker is killed, and the Cantombi are discovered.
The Year Of Discovery – When The Golden Child has his Gathering of Heroes, and an expedition is sent to recover Blue Heron.
The Year Of New Peoples -When no races entered the Jungle from elsewhere (current year)
Back to Main Page