N is for Newt
Newt, frog, slug and snail - amphibians and slimy relatives for tradeMousillon hosts large and numerous swamps and ponds. Natural home of amphibians like newt, frog or other slimy relatives like slug and snail, this area is inhabited by people living a harsh and dankly life. They must adapt to their environment and eat whatever is available to stay alive and healthy. Swampaires and frogwives are a common sight in Moussillion and have a true social status. These positions also exist in the other part of the Old World like in the Wasteland but without the same aura of importance.
Swampaires are hunters, gatherers and collectors of amphibians living in his area. It is an official job including a professional training and a nice badge to show around. Swampaires work under the authority of a local noble and only on his land. That’s the theory, as in reality almost everyone does it at various level. Conflicts and hunting swamp are managed through an informal guild. The job can be a dangerous one, all the training is about not becoming the victim of this hostile environment. Dangers are numerous: murky holes swallowing the unwary, poisonous fauna and flora, vicious predators. The worst being to guide and escort the poor bailiff in charge of the area. Inviting some relatives of a swampaire to the bailiff’s home before such visit is a sign of hospitality and respect. If that very important person doesn’t report back, swampaire family won’t either. A mutual understanding between gentlemen in service of a noble house.
Without Moussillon’s frogwives, that province of Bretonia would be deserted by humans. Frogwives are all the various hands transforming the animals into food or anything else used for trading. They have a strong knowledge of the different animals and plants of their region. They know how to prepare them to make the most out of them. Like keeping them alive when the newt must be eaten almost alive. Like cutting the frogs into piece without puncturing poisonous glands and by removing other organs. Like forcing snails to feast only on special herbs so that their flesh become edible instead of toxic. Like skinning newts for trading these colorful leather piece. Cooking and readying all parts in hot or cold dishes eaten by the poor inhabitant of Mousillon.
Swampaires and frogwives are the producer of most of the drugs, spell components used by people living in Bretonia and sometimes even farer away. For instance, they collect the eyes and tail of newt before cooking them. Both are powerful ingredients in hedgecraft and dark magic rituals related to divination. Also swampaires take a lot of risk to catch the purple tadpole of the bullfrog. This cow sized frog live in the remote part of Mousillon and is very territorial. Frogwives mixed the tadpole with alcohol of lily flower to create one of the most powerful aphrodisiac working on humans. Toothed snails are wanted as their slime is a powerful and easy to preserve soporific agent. Being produced only once a year by aggressive dog sized snail mating make it a rare and precious component.