The Shade Isle Campaign
Nestived is a land of plains and steppes, populated mostly by ogres that live in nomadic tribes. Nestived is bounded by a narrow isthmus filled with impassible mountains to the north; the Elvenwood of Arettany to the west (and the elves are none too friendly with the ogres); the human Kingdom of Sariid to the south (also not particularly friendly); and the Highrun Channel to the east, the broad waterway which connects the Caesg Sound and Sylûl Bay to the Auradeep Sea.
What few permanent settlements there are in Nestived are wood-walled fortresses where the tribes occasionally send representatives to trade with foreigners: Mientz, on the shores of the Caesg Sound, is one such settlement; Lushka, near the southwest border of the country, is another. The sole exception is a stone fortification known as Kivograd, which serves as a sort of capital for the ogrish clans. Here, the chieftains of each great tribe send their own sons as daughters, as well as the sons and daughters of tribe shamans, to study and learn. It’s believed that if the future chiefs and shamans get to know each other as youths, this will promote bonds of friendship later in life that will foster dialogue between the tribes and so keep strife between the clans to a minimum.
The language of Nestived is called Nestivič (or Nestivitch). The culture of this land is founded almost entirely on hunting and war. Nearly every ogre clan belongs to one of five great tribes, each named for one of the five great totem-spirits revered by the ogres: the Bear, the Wolf, the Eagle, the Serpent, and the Cat. These five spirits also form the cornerstone of the ogres’ religion, which is animistic and guided by shamans. All things, they teach, have a spirit—forces of nature, inanimate objects, animals, people. All of the spirits must be honored in the way they prefer, but the five great animal spirits (as well as the ancestors of one’s clan) deserve the most attention, because they take the closest interest in the affairs of mortals.