The Savage Empire is set in the Valley of Eodon, a hidden part of Earth in a time long gone when dinosaurs still roamed the land and humans were barely civilised. The tribes were brought to the valley long before by the Kotl to be their servants, but the tribes eventually rebelled and gained their independence. However, they remained prisoners of the valley - nobody could scale the high cliffs that sealed the valley.
From the manual: "The Valley of Eodon is, to a scientist, rather akin to a time capsule which was filled with amazing treasures and crucial information ... but flaws in its construction allowed moisture to seep in and corrupt the wondrous items within."
World maps can be found:
Scans of the cloth map can be found:
The above map was made by Kenn Rice, and is used with his permission.
The first tribe the Avatar comes in contact with is the Kurak tribe. Intanya, shaman of the Kurak tribe, is responsible for the Avatar's reawakening after his defeat by Darden. Under the direction of Aloron, the Kurak tribe must face frequent clashes with the Yolaru and the Myrmidex, but there is also an internal clash between the two Kurak princesses.
From the manual: The Kurak were one of the more interesting cultures of the lost valley. Evidently descended from certain South American Indian tribes (or so their dialect attests), they appear to have profited more from interaction with other tribes than their fellows. Their legends make it clear that they have frequently accepted exiles into their ranks, particularly exiled warriors and runaways from other tribes. This has certainly profited their gene pool and given them a reputation as the valley's "melting pot" tribe.
A tribe of deep jungles, the Kuraks revere the jaguars, and some of the tribesmen actually appear to develop emotional bonds with the wild felines.
The Kuraks are famed in the valley as stealthy warriors, as very accurate spearmen and bowmen. Though they have a history of warfare with the Yolaru, they are much like that tribe in many ways.
From the manual: The Yolaru are a black tribe dwelling in some of the deepest jungles of the valley of Eodon. Their antecedents are definitely African, but I have been unable to pin down even an approximation of the era they left their homeland and came to the Valley of Eodon.
I had the fortunate opportunity to live among the Yolaru for a time, and found them to be among the most civilized of the human tribes of the valley - civilized not in terms of technological advancement, but in the sophistication of their tribal laws and the tolerance in which they hold the beliefs of other tribes.
Their dialect of the common valley language contains elements of what I believe to be Bantu dialects. Their choices of weapons include the to - be - expected spear and knife, but the Yolaru warriors also had a certain affection for large wooden club - like maces featuring wicked - looking obsidian spikes.
From the manual: There is no double in my mind that the Nahuatla people are related to the outer-world Aztec culture. Indeed, it is my belief that the Nahuatla and the Aztecs both descended from a single culture, and that members of that culture were transported to the Valley of Eodon at a time in the ancient past. The very word "Nahuatl," in fact, refers to the language spoken by the Aztecs.
The Nahuatl, like their outer-world counterparts, build massive pyramids, temple buildings, and homes in stone. They work gold. They have a certain reverence for the sun, but they do not anthropomorphize it, or directly worship it: Like the other valley natives, and unlike the Aztecs, they withhold their special reverence for the valley's nature - spirits. However, Nahuatla legend and the behavior of a recent Nahuatla leader make me believe that ancient customs of human sacrifice were once part of the Nahuatla culture.
They are somewhat more technologically advanced than the other tribes, working copper and bronze for ornamentation ... although tradition has apparently kept them to the obsidian standard for their weaponry. And they are distinctly more agrarian than the other tribes, growing and harvesting much of their food, hunting and gathering the rest.
From the manual: Though I can detect practically no evidence of it in their dialect, the Disquiqui bear certain cultural traits in common with the peoples of the South Sears. Considered irresponsible and annoying by many of the other tribes, the Disquiqui tend to be happy, musical, and rather notoriously amorous.
However, in spite of their behavior, which tends to range from the humorous to the bizarre to the celebratory, I always recall how and where Captain Cook died, and keep my wits about me when dealing with the Disquiqui.
From the manual: An interesting race, the Barrab live atop a mesa on a distant corner of the lost valley. Their skin tone is somewhat yellow, and these racial factors, plus some unusual structures in their dialect of the common valley language, lead me to conclude that they originated in eastern or northeastern Asia of many centuries ago.
The Barrab live at a higher altitude than most of the valley residents. Their rulership combines both secular and mystical interests: Their chieftain is always their shaman. They are expert climbers, and my friends who have observed them in warlike situations say they prefer to climb to high altitudes and rain spears down on their prey, often utilizing the atl-atl, or spear-thrower.
They are a very polite people, as cultured in many ways as the Yolaru, but not as outgoing or tolerant of outsiders.
From the manual: I had very little opportunity to study the Barako, a northern tribe of the valley. They are mountain-dwellers, fond of high craggy places and heavy wrapped - fur garments; a Barako warrior is considered most noble when his garments come from the fur of the ferocious cave bear common in the Barako mountains. No fools, they do most of their hunting with the simple bow, and appear to use their heavy wooden clubs only in times of emergency.
The Barako are a matriarchal society, their rulership being handed down from queen to queen. Though, other tribes of the valley appear to have had independent queens, the Barako are the only tribe to whom this appears to be the norm.
A caucasian race, the Barako are insular (they are among the most isolated tribes to be found in the valley) and aggressive, but appear to form strong family bonds. Their dialect of the common language appears to contain more of the other dialects; it is therefore likely that they hail originally from prehistoric Europe.
The Pindiro warriors live by hunting on the nearby plains, and by fishing in the nearby lake. The Pindiro make rafts and acquire paddles from the Disquiqui to head out into the lake and catch the best fish. Although they have frequent clashes with the Barako, they are similar in many ways.
From the manual: It seems evident that the Pindiro have a distant relationship with one or more North American Indian tribes, particularly plains-dwelling tribes. Some dialectal phrases reminiscent of the Siouan language group, and their nomadic, plains-oriented lifestyle point to this origin.
The Pindiro appear to feel the closest kinship with the eohippus, or "down horse," ancestor of the modern equines; this mammal as large as a medium-sized dog, is very numerous on the Pindiro plains. The Pindiro hunt and trap the animal for its meat and fur, and keep some as pets.
Interestingly, though the Pindiro appear to be patriarchal in structure, their legends cite many independent queens, and the current ruler of the tribe at the time of this writing is a queen.
From the manual: A reverent and hard-living race, the Jukari occupy lands in the vicinity of the valley's active volcanoes. Their lives seemed to be dedicated to a few simple tasks: Finding enough to eat in the harsh, unpromising volcanologists' paradise they occupied; placating the nature - spirits whom they felt cause the earth to rumble and the mountains to "spit fire," and coping in a warlike fashion with the nearby tribe called the Haakur.
The Jukari are amongst the most primitive of the valley's tribes, and their dialect of the languages gives me few clues as to their outer-world origin.
Aside from being primitive and using weaker weapons than most of the other tribes, the Jukari have the disadvantage that they lost both their chief and shaman at once. This means that their current chief, Jumu, is young and inexperienced, while they have remained without a shaman. The same lava that killed their most important tribesmen also barred the way to their sacred cave, where their shaman would talk to the spirits and consult the sacred hide on which the history of the Jukari was written.
The Haakur are a tribe of tough neanderthals who favour the use of heavy weapons such as the stone axe. They live in caves and frequently fight the Jukari and a family of giant spiders who live in a nearby cave. It is interesting to note that there is only one female member of the Haakur tribe, which means that if she is killed, the extinction of this tribe is inevitable.
From the manual: Saving the best for last, I present the Haakur. My initial impression of their was that they were a tribe whose homeliness, excessive hairiness, characteristic facial features (such as jutting jaws, prominent supraorbital ridges, and oversized noses), and other factors were simply the result of inbreeding and perhaps cultural selection.
However, such turns out not to be the case. Examinations of an injured Haakur warrior - especially concentrating on the shape and volume of the skull (the brain case actually being greater than that of homo sapiens sapiens), the curiously limited characteristics of the vocal chords, their patterns of thought (far more intuitive and instinctive and far less rational) than the other humans of the valley - lead me to the inevitable conclusion that here we have living examples of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, or Neanderthal Man, extinct on the outer world for at least 30,000 years.
If the Haakur were the only evidence I had of such an amazing survival, I would be greatly tempted to dismiss it - to presume that conditions of health and breeding had led one insulated pocket of humanity here to develop neanderthaline physical characteristics. But, as will be demonstrated below, this is far from the only case of survival.
Ironically, though modern anthropological theory holds that the Neanderthals were more uptight that the brutish, bent - knees posture firmly fixed in modern folklore for the "caveman" - that, in fact, a shaved and suitably - dressed neanderthal would merely be considered somewhat homely by modern man - the Haakur come much closer to fitting the stereotyped image. Millenia of inbreeding and hereditary arthritis have conspired to make the Haakur of the valley of Eodon almost precisely into the stooped, hunched "cavemen" of pedestrian Saturday cinema.
The Sakkhra are the last remnants of the ancient Kotl civilisation. After being driven out of their fabled underground city, the surviving Kotl settled in caves and became the Sakkhra, just another tribe in the valley. The mystic powers and technology of the Kotl are remembered by the Sakkhra only in their most distant legends.
From the manual: The Sakkhra are a bipedal dinosaurian race. They stand some six to seven feet in height and weigh an average of about 150 pounds. And, though this statement will inevitably lead to consternation and mockery among my fellows in the scientific community, they have every appearance of being a sentient race, possessing language, the knowledge and ability to flake stone into weaponry, civilized customs, and the ability to learn and speak some of the human language of the valley. They seem to be an evolutionary offshoot of some bipedal carnosaur; my best guest places their ancestor in the family Dromaeosauridae. They feature cranial crests as, it would appear, warning mechanisms and secondary sexual characteristics, and the Domaeosauridae's distinctive sickle - claw on the lower legs is merely a vestige in the Sakkhra.
From the manual: Among the most exasperating peoples of the valley - exasperating in both a personal and academic sense - are the Urali tribe. It would be difficult to find a more suspicious, insular culture.
According to the legends of the Yolaru and the Kurak, the Urali once lived out in a marshy region of the central jungle area of the valley, east of the Nahuatla. However, over a period of centuries the marsh gradually dried out, forcing the Urali into an ever - smaller homeland ... for the Urali do prefer swamps to more congenial surroundings.
Eventually, again according to legend, the Urali just vanished as a tribe, not to be heard from again for quite a long time. (The natives say it was a thousand years, which is unlikely, but following the approximation of dividing by ten any such inflated number out of antiquity a century is not unlikely.) As it turns out - as modern members of the Urali will reluctantly admit - an Urali scout of that time discovered access to another, greater swamp region and the entire tribe migrated there in secret. It was not until recent years that the other tribes encountered Urali exiles and discovered that the Urali still existed; and only in recent months has contact with the Urali been extensive, as a recent chieftain led the tribe in raids against the other tribes.
Ever since Darden the Huge seized power and took control of the Urali tribe by imprisoning the statue of the Great Fabozz, the Urali started raiding the nearby tribes. Darden plundered the Nahuatla treasury and kidnapped Aiela, princess of the Kurak tribe. The greatest strentgh of the Urali is in secrecy, as no one seems to know where their tribe lies.
From the manual: But the Urali remain as secretive as ever, and will not willingly divulge the secret of the access to their hidden swamplands. As it turns out, that access is not too far afield of their original homeland (else the legends of other tribes might mention the Urali migrating before disappearing altogether).
On an academic level, the Urali are exasperating because it has been difficult - rather, impossible - to discern their outer - world origins. Based on the preponderance of rogues, outcasts, and exiles in their folklore, the blended quality of their dialect and racial characteristics, and other data, it is my belief that they are a tribe originating in the valley itself, being composed of exiles who fled to the seclusion of the swamps in order to elude enemies. This is certainly an appropriate origin for their suspicious tribal personality. However, this is merely a working hypothesis. It will take a more accomplished linguist and anthropologist than your humble correspondent to root out the truth about their background.
Far to the north, beyond reach of the tribes, is a village that appears to have been abandoned long ago. The village could once be reached by one of the teleporter pads, but since it no longer functions, the only way to reach the village is to use a great tree as a bridge over a chasm.
Several sources suggest that the village was once the home of the Pindiro tribe, though I have found no evidence to support this statement. Whoever lived there, it appears they were driven out or destroyed by the Myrmidex, whose presence in the area is very strong. The remains of the village, now engulfed by the ever-growing vegetation, are inhabited by Seggallion, who is looking for diamonds.
There's a section about the abandoned village at StrategyWiki's Savage Empire wiki that lists the various items you can find in the area.
Dr. Rafkin's whole lab was teleported into the Valley of Eodon when his experiments on the black moonstone went wrong. The lab contains many useful modern items, and is the only place where Rafkin can make bamboo flintlocks for you. The lab is a bit hard to find, so see the walkthrough for directions.
High atop a hill in the centre of the Valley of Eodon, a Great Drum was once built to summon the tribes to battle in the time of Oloro. Tuomaxx, who built the drum, still lives there. A new Great Drum can be built from a tiger hide to summon the tribes to battle once again.
The Kotl, an ancient race of intelligent reptiles, built a massive underground city by harnessing the powers of the black moonstone. They were later driven out of the city by the Myrmidex they themselves had created. All that remains in the city are the charred remains of battle, the automata that survived the Myrmidex raid, and some powerful devices created by the Kotl in the time of their glory...
Kotl city maps can be found:
The biggest network of caves is that of the Myrmidex. One should not try entering these caves before the tribes are united and summoned by the Great Drum, as Myrmidex can pour in and block the way to the entrance. In the northwest part of these caves one can find the Myrmidex queen, and the black moonstone right behind her.
Maps of the Myrmidex caves can be found:
Information on the various entrances is available as follows:
Caves scattered around the Valley of Eodon provide refuge to outcasts, prisoners, bears and even entire tribes. Some serve as tunnels to otherwise inaccessible regions. The crystals that provide potassium nitrate can only be found in caves.
Cave maps can be found: