To some, the term ‘swamper’ might be a scathing insult, but they take to the name as a point of pride. Swampers are the hardy souls that find ways to make a living amid the inhospitable Gray Mire
. To do so, they must be adept trackers, hunters, and scavengers whose survival instincts outweigh their sense of propriety. They strike outsiders as downright weird. Most seem oddly cheery in their insular, muck-covered villages, living lives of brutal practicality in one of the most deadly places in the Free Kingdoms.
- Swampers are extremely insular, and only a few hundred families exist in the whole of the Gray Mire. However, they are enormous, and composed of several dozen individuals.
- Otherwise, Swampers follow the same naming conventions as Heartlanders.
Major language groups and dialects
- Swampers speak Common. Many learn Draconic, due to the presence of lizard-folk in the Mire .
Culture and cultural heritage
- The true bounty of the swamp are frogs. Frogs make up a staple of their diet, and their iconography depicts many of their croaking-kind. Hunting them is a privilege, and the great frog-hunters of the Gray Mire are local celebrities, although it is a position exclusive to men.
Common Etiquette rules
- Since so many scoff at the ways of the Swampers, and as such, they have a mistrust of outsiders, and a sneaking suspicion that anyone from out-of-town looks down on them. Expect Swampers to be defensive and insular.
Funerary and Memorial customs
- Historically, Swampers inter folk in burial bogs, where they would be mummified naturally.
- In recent years, it has become a custom to build above-ground tombs and graves. This process is very expensive, and only the wealthiest Swampers can afford it.
- Men are traditionally hunters, fishermen, and scavengers. The most prestigious among them are allowed to hunt frogs, which are considered very important to the culture of the Gray Mire.
- Women, conversely stay home, raise children, and maintain social order in villages. Women are called upon to be spiritual leaders, mediators, and artisans. The female parallel to the frog-hunter is the Swamp-Wife, who serves as a village elder and herbalist.
- Swampers are encouraged to find partners and have children young.
- Like many isolated, clannish cultures, marriages are generally arranged by elders, the Swamp-Wives. This is usually done for those who seem unable or unwilling to find partners.