The Newtlings of the Elder Wilds are the most visible part of integrated culture of intelligent marine life across the upper tributaries of the Arcos River and the Elf Sea. This culture includes intelligent fish, a variety of water spirits and naiads. This is not a structured or unified community, but newtling are aware of the variety subtleties of life in the river in a way that a human never could be.
They are rarely aggressive and are keen to cooperate when they can, however they don’t seem overly concerned by the monsters in the Elf Sea and Rivers of the region, and it is highly possible that some kind of accommodation between the two parties exists.
Newtlings see themselves as the children and servants of the river spirits and their history is one and the same. Newtlings have been present in the Elder wilds as long as rivers have been which goes back early into the Gods age.
In the first age newtlings of the Elder Wilds had a complex and difficult relationship with the elves of the Elf Sea who did not fully understand the nature of waterborne life and chose not to worship the spirits of the river.
They have never had a good relationship since. The two races rarely fight but just choose to keep their distance from each other and do not interfere in each other’s business.
Trolls have always been enemies of the newtling for no reasons more complex that the newtlings are seen as prey and their tails a delicacy by many of the Uz. Newtlings have always just retreated from troll areas of dominance and will continue to do so.
The absence of their cousins the Dragonewts in the Elder Wilds region leaves the newtlings with no natural allies in the region.
Historically Newtlings have seen humans as the most cooperative and friendly of the major races in this area, having had broadly amicable relations and trading with local votanki tribes since the dawn. However as the Lunar Empire came into conflict with the denizens of the Oslir river and refugees fled over to or travelled the river Arcos, the local Newtlings have become very aware of this much more serious threat from humans.
Legends & Myth
Most newtlings see the River Gods and by inference themselves as the unknown and unappreciated saviours of the Elder Wilds. They are very aware that the Seronde river daily sacrifices herself to send her waters to plug the hole in the world created near Festering Isle at great personal cost.
They know that the river of the damned flows upstream from the Serond to Festering Isle as the Lady of the River pours her waters into the breach to stop chaos swarming through. They feel other races and Gods ignore this sacrifice and fail to send to aid or help, and leave the Lady to fight this battle alone. They are often resentful of this lack of appreciation of the river and its peoples.
They also believe the rivers to be peacemakers in the land, with the rivers creating barriers between warring races, tribes and factions. They again see this as a role that stops the madness or pointless conflict which welcome chaos into the world. However newtlings are willing to engage in conflict if required but are generally passive preferring peaceful solutions to most problems.
Many newtling revere a water spirit called Assimar ‘woodbiter’, who mastered the magic which controls the great monsters of the Elf Sea. Early in the second age Assimar set these creatures upon the ships of the elves for slights both real and imagined. Within a generation the elves had stopped sailing on the seas and the rivers of the Elder Wilds.
The newtlings of the Arcos basin have prophesied of a hero or ‘Mendar’ to save them from the feared assaults from the Lunar Empire as it expands and to avoid the fate of newtlings of the Oslir River. Exacts facts are unclear and muddled apart from the knowledge that the ‘Mendar’ will not be a newtling and will a foreigner.
Newtlings live in villages of 50 to 80 bachelor and adult newtlings, which will be looking after a similar number of younger newtlings. These villages will always be well protected by water, but most are land based in such places as underground caves, islands, bank sides.
These villages are found along all the major rivers of Balazar and the Elder Wilds, but not in Troll or Elven strongholds, the coast of the Elf Sea is an area of particular concentration of villages.
Bachelors may be found ranging some distance from villages but still tend to stay close to major bodies of water.
Some groups of newtling villages in an area form looses alliances there are for such groups worth note in the Elder Wilds region.
- Kazzar Sha – A group of four villages on the south coast of the Elf Sea, they trade and cooperate well with the humans of the Tribe of Trilus. There focus is towards the mouth of the Moronde river and they are particularly close with the Sea Otter clan
- Khul Tan- Three villages whose historically were refugees from the Oslir river, they are based in the Elf Sea and the river close to soldier ferry, they are currently waging a guerrilla war against the Lunars and denying all humans in the area access to the river or the Elf Sea. They are lead by a Newtling claiming the title ‘Mendar’.
- The deep ones – Two villages of newtlings lie deep under the Elf Sea who revere and commune with the spirit Assimar. They are adept in the control and manipulation of many of the larger creatures of the Elf Sea and use them to ensure the sea is free of interlopers
- Healers of the wound – Three villages of newtlings exist close to mouth of the river of the damned and the Seronde river. They try to ensure that river of damned does not encroach into the Seronde river and that any chaos is kept at bay. The villages are suffering and newtling populations are low and dropping at the moment.
- Priestess of Seronde – An elderly adult newtling who will never been seen by other races, but much revered by all the River folk of the Arcos basin. She is based with the ‘Healers of the wound’ and oversees the containment of the river of the damned. She is a powerful shaman and has good relations with many of the significant river spirits of the upper Arcos basin.
- Mendar – Is a young adolescent newtling who is leading a fight by the Khul Tan against the Lunar invaders.’ Mendar’ really wants to be the leader he claims but in his heart he knows he isn’t. Though charismatic within newtling circles he is not a warrior or strategic thinker and has been saved so far by the fact the Lunar Empire has not yet recognised that there is an uprising in the River.
- Shazzam Knar – Never met by outsiders this entity can be contacted via newtling go betweens of the Kazzar Sha clan. He is a trader interested in river lore, magic, information and services rendered. He can supply most things found within the Elf Sea and its tributaries, it said by some that he can even provide safe passage across the Elf Sea