Eyr, a chain of islands of the Mystaran Archipelago, rises out of the mist to the east of where formerly Mystara could be found, and beyond Siren Cay and the Baleful Sea. It is protected by a crescent reef which lies in wait just beneath the waves, threatening to tear open the bellies of any cargo ships that dare to cross it. Steep, rainforest-flocked mountains jut into the sky, as small white specks of distant seabirds drift lazily on air currents around the peaks. Time seems to move slower here. Eyr is a massive mountainous island shrouded in secrets and mystery, a wild place full of promise and danger where much of the jungle still remains unexplored.
Fierce schools of Sirens guard the seas leading to Eyr, making the trip to the mysterious region treacherous. Some schools of sirens can’t be reasoned with; they attack any who attempt to pass through the Baleful Sea to reach the shores of Eyr, others readily accept bribes in return for free passage. Eyr can be reached by sailing due north from the Isle of Aradia for two weeks and it was a two weeks ship travel away from the Lost Isle of Mystara by sailing due east. Shallow-hulled ships fare best navigating the reefs during the highest tide on the full moon. The skeleton wreckages of past failed attempts can be seen spiking out of the reef during low tide, a grim warning to daredevil corsairs. Once beyond the reefs, access to the islands is via one of the many wide mud rivers that cut through the jungle lowlands and lead toward the center of the island.
Shalan’ti, the Ivory City
A day’s journey up the Kuvari river, Eyr’s largest and widest waterway, one reaches the rambling staggered wooden docks of the Port of Shalan’ti. Squatting at the edge of the mud river and bustling with traders, fishmongers, and boats of every shape and size -- from small tree canoes to the strange ships of Aradia with their spiney, fin-like sails, the scene is one of organized chaos. In the distance, the city of Shalan’ti rises above the jungle canopy, a gleaming white limestone goliath of improbable architectural mastery. Reachable only by a winding, uphill road leading from the docks, Shalan’ti looks down reproachfully upon the wooden huts, docks, and rain-soaked footbridges of the port. Immediately apparent is the extreme disparity between the primitive riverside port weighted down by poverty, and the white city of riches rising above it.
Shalan’ti is home to an elite society of the privileged; a highly diverse mix of humans, elves, half-elves, celestials, and those who seek edification, culture, and the arts under the benevolent rule of the Eyren Emperor Sayang Vega. Though diverse, the ivory city is rife with politics, and dynastic families vying for power and wealth. The oldest and most powerful, the Vega, are a family of humans as old as the city itself. Known for their signature black hair, fair skin and almond eyes, the Vega family seek to make strategic alliances, both in Eyr and abroad.
The city-dwelling people of Shalan’ti enjoy the wealth of civilization, dedicating their comfortable lives to pursuing careers in politics, music, arts, philosophy, and divination magic. Those lucky enough to live in the city are either related to the nine dynastic families, or serve them. Shalan people dress in cool, loose shifts of exotic, colorful fabric, where both the women and men are typically decorated with intricate jewelry and makeup. Shalan’ti is sheltered and protected from the wilds of the rainforests, where only the most intrepid explorers will venture out of the city and risk the dangers that befall them in the jungle. Many high-born Shalan people from the city have in fact never seen the riverside port docks in their lives.
Inhabitants of Eyr
Eons ago, in the long-distant past, Eyr was home to a great civilization of giants, and the crumbling root-claimed remains of these kingdoms hide within the dense jungles of the island. Giants of all types still roam the jungles and mountains of Eyr, but they are shy, primitive, and disorganized compared to their society of the distant past. The fearsome Naga of Lai-khan also trace their origin to these mysterious shores, and the dark-skinned drow elves now claim their home among the ruins of the giants’ civilization.
While to an outsider, it can be assumed that the rulers of the Isle of Eyr are the Civilized People of Shalan’ti, in truth they hold little sway over the vast untamed wilderness of the rainforests. The most numerous people outside of the citizens of Shalan’ti are the Jungle Elves, or Sum’ei’a as they call themselves. In one’s travels through the rainforests of Eyr, other common encounters are with the Bastet, Jungle Orcs, Jungle Goblins and the Naga. Rarer to find are Giants, Myconids, and the Treants of Rainwood, a cloistered jungle forest on the eastern side of the Eyren mountains.
The People of Shalan'ti
The people of Shalan’ti are racially diverse, however, the founding nine dynastic families were originally all human and at present, humans hold the racial majority in the city. Over the centuries, many of the families have interbred with elves, celestials, and other humanoids to produce beautiful and exotic offspring. The nine dynasties all had a common appearance, with silky jet black hair, almond shaped eyes and fair skin with golden undertones. Dress is fashionable, intricate, tailored of imported fabric decorated with an excess of beads, baubles and embroidery. The wealth of the Shalan’ti allow them the economic freedom to pursue the most revered professions; music and the arts, divination magic, philosophical studies, and mastery of the Mak, a long, bladed polearm festooned with ribbons of the wielder's dynasty color. In stark contrast, the people of Shalan’ti have a tarnished past; their gleaming white limestone city was built, stone-by-stone, upon the backs of enslaved. Eyr’s native peoples, deemed savages, consisted of the labor force that built Shalan’ti into what it is today. Only in recent centuries did the natives revolt, leaving hearts divided among those who claimed freedom for themselves in the remotest parts of the jungle, and those who choose to serve the dynasties and enjoy the fruits of civilization, medicine, and trade at the price of their freedom. Historians claim many of the native races chose to serve the Shalan families, rather than leaving to the forests with the rebellion, due to their benevolent nature, often bestowing their servants with inheritances, good marriages, and property of their own.
Jungle Elves, known as Sum’ei’a, are a tribal-based people. Jungle elves have medium to dark brown skin that is painted with lighter or darker striping patterns, to aid in camouflage. They have a slim build like that of their elf brethren with thick, dark hair and eyes commonly yellow or orange. Their ears point like elves however they are slightly uneven commonly. They often live in tribes that number from 10-30 members. Their families are the number one priority and they are a patriarchal civilization. The males greatest role is to provide and to protect. It is the greatest dishonor for a male to fail his family. However many males stay in their communities to teach the young while the females hunt and gather. Females are treated with great respect and honor. A female is more attractive if she is a good huntress. Tribes are run by a head Oba who is selected by a shamanic family. Oba can be male or female and it is very rare that two Oba live in one tribe. Jungle elves are very loyal to their tribe. Once a pair has coupled they mate for life and to leave a kinship is a great taboo, commonly punishable by death or banishment.
One of the most well-known traits of the Jungle Elves is their ability to tame a variety of fearsome jungle beasts and train them for mounts, both for travel and in combat. The Sum'ei'an people tame and train everything from the Dire Boar, to the Dire Panther, and even Jungle Elephants are ridden by the Sum’ei’a. The Jungle Elves use their relationships to the animals around them to their advantage. They revel in the uncaring savagery of nature, and love to unleash their trained animals on unprepared foes. Dire panthers outmaneuver Jungle Elf enemies, and elephants trample them. What combatants survive the onslaught are slain by superior elven archers.
Jungle elves are a versatile and adaptive race, and several individuals have been known to break away from tribal life, and join more urbanized societies, assimilating well and adopting more commonly-known elven customs and way of life (pictured right, a Shalan'tian Sum'ei'an). Since tribal and family life is so centric to the Sum'ei'a people, most who have joined other societies were shunned and outcast for a particular reason, or they took up a mindset or opinion that was utterly contradicting to the Oba's. In such situations, Jungle Elves make the difficult choice to leave, and rarely do they go back. Once the family bond has been broken with the tribe, the damage is often irreparable.
Both extremely intelligent and very rugged, the Bastet think themselves to be the true rulers of the forest. Their forms resemble that of furred humans, equipped with opposable thumbs and an upright torso, only much more feline in appearance. Some live in small tribes known as prides, united by fur pattern. Legend states that each bastet is a descendant of one of the “Great Cats”, Gods and Goddesses taking the form of a lion, tiger, cheetah, cougar, lynx, panther, and leopard, thus giving each bastet a distinct fur pattern. The Bastet race wasn’t always an inhabitant of Eyr, however. Their original home, an Island called D’vi, fell into the ocean after a violent volcano ravaged the land. Desperate for a new home, the Bastets set out in crews of small boats in all directions. A couple crews were lucky enough to wash up on Eyr’s shore, only losing a handful of bastets to the sirens of Sirens Cay, while the fate of many other crews is unknown. Each Pride is lead by one male and one female. The male, known as the Chieftain, hails from a noble bloodline that stretches back to the time when life was peaceful on D’vi. The female, known as the Shaman, is selected by the Chieftain to act as a religious leader and cultural record keeper. While so far from their old home, the task of keeping their culture alive falls to the Shaman. Each pride remains fairly independent of the others, but it has been kn
own that the prides of Eyr will gather and act as one during times of trouble. Should one encounter a Bastet in the forest, they’re likely to escape unharmed, unless they insulted the Bastet’s honor. Two things are important to a Bastet: Honor, and it’s Pride.
If monkeys were evil and could speak, they'd be a lot like jungle goblins. Jungle goblins are subspecies of the goblin race adapted for life in the high leafy canopies of tropical forests and swamps. Equipped with rat-like prehensile tails, jungle goblins are as at home in the trees as they are on the ground. Jungle goblins lead a savage lifestyle, and many live a barbaric lifestyle, though warriors and fighters are also common among the race. While spellcasting jungle goblins are almost unheard of among them, shamans in the service of demon lords or other dark gods are given a respect by other jungle goblins that borders on fear.
Jungle goblins are territorial, tree-dwelling savages with a sadistic streak a mile wide. Their skills at climbing and moving from tree to tree, combined with their cunning and vicious nature, cause even other goblinoids to respect them. Jungle goblins generally take up adventuring to gain personal power and serve their ambitions within their clans, or because they somehow lack the evil nature of the rest of their kind. The goblins delight in attacking travellers, using nets and poison darts to take prisoners, who are then presumably sacrificed to whatever demons the goblins worship. It is best to travel through jungle goblin territory in large, well-armed groups.
Jungle orcs live a simple existence, moving through the jungle hunting and gathering food in clan groups of up to 30. Although combat is common within the clans, it’s relatively bloodless and hardly ever lethal. Only when jungle orcs encounter other clans or other races do they show the true extent of their violent, evil nature. Conquest is a baffling concept to jungle orcs. They attack, take whatever strikes their fancy, and move on. They lack the discipline required to maintain the things they steal, so they always seek weakly defended settlements and caravans to replace those things that break or wear out in the humidity of the jungle.
Nagas are a race of intelligent snake-like creatures with widely differing abilities and alignments. They resemble giant snakes, humanoid from the waist and above with the powerful lower body of a snake, covered in glistening scales and ranging from 10 to 20 feet long . Their markings and coloration tend to compliment their native habitat, with Eyren Naga having a dark complexion and camouflaging tail markings. Nagas favor spells over other forms of combat, and all Naga possess a certain amount of spell-casting power. They have also been known to eat the flesh of humans, orcs, and other races. Some, but not all, are venomous, but every naga has the ability to charm and be charmed. The Naga of Eyr can be found in the swamps and low-altitude rainforests, and among the giant ruins.
Not a Playable Race
To outsiders, stone giants may seem more elemental than truly alive, enigmatic beings of stony silence whose flesh seems hewn from living rock and whose demeanors are as unchanging and tough as the earth itself. Yet the chiseled faces of stone giants are flesh, not rock; their hardened bodies skin, rather than granite; and in their veins runs blood as red as any other, not sand or dust. Myths about stone giants abound, and ignorant travelers in the mountains blame them for landslides, washed out roads, and even thunderstorms. Many flee at the first glimpse of a stone giant, believing such beings to be no better than some of their more destructive cousins.￼
If others tell tall tales of their kind, the stone giants have only themselves to blame, for they wear enigma as comfortably as their stone-colored hides. Reclusive by nature, stone giants generally avoid contact with outsiders. Those few who do mingle with other societies rarely discuss their own kind or traditions. They make no apologies for their isolationist ways, as the mixing of stone giant culture with those of others has never brought joy to their solemn people.
Myconids, or fungus men, are a race of intelligent fungi that live in remote reaches underground, far away from others. They are cautious creatures that deplore violence, with the exception of those who join adventuring parties and stray from home. Myconids resemble humanoid toadstools, standing around 3 feet tall. Their flesh is bloated and spongy and varies in color from purple to gray. Their wide feet have vestigial toes and their pudgy hands have two stubby fingers and a thumb on either side. Though adventurous myconids differ from common ones of their race, they tend to be somewhat unsociable compared to most races when first meeting, but they form tight bonds with any group after a while.
Myconids are quick to listen, slow to talk, and even slower to act. Although they are willing to act without planning, they are much less willing to act without a firm grasp of their surroundings and situation. Recklessness is unknown to them. Those who have adventured for some length of time will learn to act with less information if the situation forces them to, but a myconid straight from the colony is likely to be cautious to a fault.
Myconids, especially those removed from their colony, are hard workers, and prefer to finish an entire day's work in one continuous action. When the day's work is done their preferred form of recreation is a type of telepathically shared hallucination, but without other myconids to share the experience with they are likely to attempt to join in whatever form of recreation is common among those hosting them.
Myconids consider most people to be their friends, and enjoy large gatherings. Though loyal, they will not fight to help a friend unless to defend that friend. An enemy of a friend is not an enemy to a myconid, but someone who attacks that friend is. Myconids are most at home in the warm, humid and dark jungle floors and swamps of Eyr.
Read More About Myconids
Treants of Rainwood
In one of the most remote rainforests of Eyr, live the Treants of Rainwood, a sequestered valley about a week’s journey east by foot from the Port of Shalan’ti. Treants are guardians of the rainforest and speakers for the trees. As long-lived as the forests themselves, treants are slow and methodical in most things but terrifying when forced to fight in defense of their flock. Though they rarely seek out the companionship of the short-lived races, and have an inherent distrust of change, they have been known to tolerate those who seek to learn from their long, rambling monologues, especially if the pupils express a desire to help protect the wildlands. Yet against those who would threaten the forest, especially loggers who seek to harvest wood for lumber or those who try to clearcut a section of forest in order to build a fort or establish a town, the treants' wrath is swift and devastating. They are particularly gifted at tearing down what others build—a trait that serves angry treants well.
Treants are primarily solitary creatures, with a given individual sometimes responsible for an entire forest, but they occasionally come together in small groups called groves to share news and reproduce. In times of grave danger, all of the groves in a region may gather for a great months-long meeting called a moot, but such events are exceedingly rare, and millennia may go by between them.
The typical treant is 30 feet tall, with a trunk 2 feet in diameter, and weighs 4,500 pounds. The treants of Rainwood are unique in that they command the jungle vines and as such are able to trap enemies rapidly, where their own bodies move very slow.
Lizardfolk are a race of savage and cunning reptilian predators who are easily provoked and fiercely territorial. An ancient native race in the lands of Eyr, whose culture and tribal traditions remain unchanged for millennia, the Lizardfolk pride themselves on their conquests, skills, and their racially worshipped deity, Semuanya.
The Lizardfolk vary in appearance but are usually seen to be around 6 to 8 feet tall with various earthly colored scales that surround their bodies and large powerful tails that help them balance and swim at high speeds. They have been known to eat from various food sources that range from strictly vegetarian to almost cannibalistic.
They have no preferred method of combat either, able to be both brutes or spellslingers in equal capacity. The Lizardfolk of Eyr can be found mostly in swamps, sometimes even building small settlements to reflect a more structured life. But beware, for they do not look kindly on outsiders.
Jungle Halflings are a race of small humanoids, half the size of a normal human. They are avid trappers and fishermen, using the natural waterways to their advantage. The Jungle Halflings are a very territorial and mysterious people who practice the darker shamanistic arts, often incorporating necromantic practices in their magics -- lending them the ability to raise the dead, performing scenes of complex tribal rituals with one another in order to accomplish this feat.
Physically, the Jungle Halflings appear as any other halfling, standing around 3 to 4 feet tall on average. While slight of build, they are very nimble and their skins range from midtones of ashen grey to honey or caramel colored. Hair is typically worn in thick piles of dreadlocks adorned with artifacts and decorations of tribal status and range in color from light brown, tawny, blonde and grey or white for elders. Eye color is unusual for halflings, often yellow with very few exceptions. Nails are grown long and filed to points and clothing is simplistic, often incorporating fur, bones, and other natural items.
While it has been stated that the Jungle Halfling is very nimble, they also have low light vision and are quite stealthy, able to move through the jungle terrain quietly and undetectable. On the other hand, the one major drawback of them is that they are unable to lift anything over 100 pounds, no matter their size or muscle capacity. What they lack in strength though, they make up for in spell casting and their impeccable knowledge of the dark arts.
East of the Shalan’ti is the remote valley of Rainwood. It’s about a week’s journey, by foot, and is a dangerous trek to endure. Few natives dare tread into this isolated place; for the treants there do not take kindly to those who threaten the trees and will violently protect their groves. This has made it difficult for many would be explorers and colonists, leaving much of this part of the island unexplored. None knew of the existence of jungle dwarves, also called wild dwarves, that dwelled within until their recent migration west.
For untold generations, these nomadic dwarves roamed the valley. Recently however, they have become displaced. With the new arrival of Mystaran refugees and the ever growing expansion of the Shalan’ti, the treants have become more aggressive than usual. Fearing for their lives, jungle dwarves were forced to abandon their ancestral grounds.
Over the course of several millennia, jungle dwarves adjusted to living in Eyr. They adapted to the sweltering jungle and endure the effects of heat and heavy humidity. Jungle dwarves are resistant, though not immune, to diseases that foreign populations have trouble to overcome.
Climate and Terrain
Eyr is the name of a vast, largely wild island territory of swamps and jungles in the Mystaran material plane. A towering equatorial jungle, where tiny trading posts hacked from the vegetation dot riversides, sprawling vines and tree roots conceal cities of forgotten Giant societies, and races that predate civilization struggle to maintain their ancient traditions, the wilds of Eyr are unlike anything one could have known in old Mystara.
Eyr is known for dense rainforests and rough terrain. This mist-shrouded island is an enormous, steeply mountainous area filled with rainforests, swamps and jungles. Shaped roughly like a jagged kidney and flanked with Siren Cay to the West, the length of Eyr is over 1,000 sq. km, almost double the land mass of Mystara. Most parts of Eyr are unsettled, with the exception of Shalan’ti and the riverside huts and semi-permanent settlements of jungle elves and human natives. A few valleys and lowlands exist at various points, although most terrain is fairly rugged and mountainous. The highest mountains are about 8000 feet tall, and occur in a single jutting range which is just north of Eyr's center.
When adventuring in Eyr, the landscape itself is as much an obstacle as the jungle orcs, goblins and naga. Swamps, quicksand, carnivorous plants, poisonous foliage, dark jungles, deep rivers, biting insects, and oppressive heat are all factors to contend with. Common terrain includes marshes, tropical rain forests, and many bodies of water. For any native or explorer, knowledge of nature is a major asset, as is the skill of survival.
The primary diversity of terrain is that of the difference between swamp and rain forest. While both are very hot and wet, there are a few differences. Marshes tend to be more open and although it is still muddy and hard to travel through, at least the terrain is fairly clear, and one's line of sight isn't too badly obstructed. Jungles, by contrast, tend to be very dense in this land, and progress through them can be difficult and painfully slow. It is also more difficult to see or hear enemies approaching in a rain forest than it is in a swamp.
Water is common as well, and dozens of rivers and their tributaries can be found in Eyr, along with countless lakes, ponds, streams, and underground waterways. Knowing how to navigate the waters can be very important, as riverine travel is the fastest in Eyr. Explorers should beware the danger of drinking Eyr water as it can be known to make ill those who are poorly adapted to it.
Harsh weather is a regular occurrance in Eyr, especially torrential rain. Flooding is a constant danger. Eyrens say there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad shelter.
The temperature in Eyr is always warm, and during the summer, can become suffocatingly hot with the combined humidity. Typical afternoons on the island have a 2- to 3-hour squall of warm rain, which clears up as fast as it moves in. Lower elevation tends to be hot, sticky and humid and dense with swamp and jungle, higher elevations have slightly cooler air and ocean breezes with lofty rainforest canopies and less humidity.
Flora and Fauna of Eyr
Eyr has a diversity of wildlife to rival Mystara’s, its climate being ideal conditions for life to flourish. The higher elevation rainforests are hosts to an innumerable variety of insects, birds, amphibians, lizards, and primates. Most common high elevation creatures one encounters are the dire bat, parrot, striped boar, constrictor snake, couatl, dire ape, dire boar, dire tiger, giant centipede, giant frilled lizard, girallon, leopard, monitor lizard, monkey, tiger, toad, treant, yellow musk creeper.
Lower elevation swamps have fewer varieties of large animal but are just as diverse and deadly in wildlife. Home to the Naga, the Jungle Orcs and Jungle Goblins, the lowland swamps are treacherous and filled with deadly animals and plants alike. Constrictor snakes, crocodilians, giant frogs, giant leeches, manticore, poison frogs, shocker lizards, stirges, and will-o'-wisp are just a few of the potentially deadly encounters in Eyren swamps. Swampfire, Stranglethorn, Piranha plants, Gnarlwrick and Flowering Death represent the majority of dangerous plant life that adventurers should be considerate to avoid.
* This information can be obtained ICly through a Bookshop boon quest.
* Characters coming from Mystara may use Eyr in their backstories
* Old Mystara characters could have travelled to and from Eyr in the past (before Mystara was swallowed by the Mysts)
* Eyr Characters may use old Mystara in their backstories
* At this time the Stone Giants are not a permitted, playable race.