The King's Frog Hunter



Ahmautahmin: (Ah-maw-tah-men): translates from the native language as “meeting place of the souls.” The cavern and catacombs discovered in The Wilderness of Toulon was an ancient burial site in which families celebrated with souls of their loved ones who had passed on. The term is also used as a general expression for the final resting place of a body whose soul has passed into the next life. As in, “Where will be my Ahmautahmin?”

Ambermal (Amber-mall): the name of the castle and walled city where the king of Ameram lived and conducted the affairs of the country. It was named for King Amberm who chose the defensive location on the cliffs of Cold Canyon and started the castle’s construction.

Banyon (Ban-yen): a kingdom north of Toulon that had always been a trouble-maker. It was controlled by a devious, opportunistic family that was always looking for conquest. They respected no boundaries, agreements or morals in their drive for land or wealth. The country was known for producing cheaply made and counterfeit products. It was in the Chorga region of Banyon that the vicious beasts called Chorgens were first bred and grown.

Barrunda (Bar-run-da): a wealthy industrial village that was the business center of the kingdom; producing a wide variety of merchandise. Other than food, the craftsmen in the forges and factories made just about whatever necessary or practical item was needed for living. The busy and financially powerful Great Hall of Business stood on the plaza in the center of the village. More than half of the members of King Ahmbin’s Council of Learned Men were lords or wealthy business men from Barrunda.

Bevie (bev-ay): a village and its surrounding land named after its owner and noble, Lord Shawnden Bevie, who served the king on the Council of Learned Men. The community was known for growing delicious fruit and abundant vegetables.

Camotop River (Kam-ot-op): a wide and deep channel of water with a strong current that flowed from the rain and a copious spring in Rainland through Cold Canyon, below Ambermal Castle, and on to the Great Water. There were only two places where it could be crossed without a boat; but in a wet season, even these usually shallow fords were impassable. The name is derived from ancient indigenous people. It means: source of life and death.

Dudoon (Duh-doon): a somewhat isolated village at the north end of the Middle Hills Road. It was a hard-working farming community, growing fruit and nuts in the foothills and grain along the Dudoon Run. However, because of its close proximity to the frog infested Dudoon Bog and no through road for travelers it was unfairly labeled as a place to be avoided. Records show a cruel expression used in the rest of the kingdom when telling someone they weren’t necessary: “You might as well go to Dudoon.”

Ello: a small, but important, village because of its water wells and its central location near a gap in the hills that held one of the few roads to the Great Water. The village enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere of trade and hospitality.

Escat Marsh (S-cat): a series of three large ponds linked together by narrow channels of water that had wooden bridges spanning the channel for travelers. But, over time, the marshes had enlarged, encroaching on the trails to the bridges resulting in making the passage more dangerous and, therefore, practically abandoned. The name is derived from the odor of the scat of the frogs.

Laundo Pond (La-un-doe): a great swampy pond in the lowlands of the mid-eastern portion of the kingdom that was named after a prince who disappeared there while hunting frogs. The pond, strangely enough, had its own tide that would rise and ebb with the phases of the moon, creating sticky mud bogs which could become fatal traps to the unknowledgeable adventurer. The ponds were inhabited by particularly aggressive frogs that were dark brown in color with black spots.

Marbala (Mar-baw-lah): A village west of the Escat Marshes and nestled into the foot of the Stone Hills. Known for its unique white or blue-grey marble that was quarried there in the hills, it was the home of artists, sculptors and stone cutters. The community enjoyed a good trade in its stone, and the artistic wares produced from the famous marble. The people of Marbala had a reputation for durability, independence and for speaking the truth.

Moxfet: a picturesque and friendly community of farmers and tanners who had built and maintained the first home for orphans. It was named after the land’s noble family, Steponus Moxfet.

Safedor: a box canyon in the western hills. It is also known as Ekala’s Surprise at Safedor and is commonly accepted in the ancient annals as the turning point for the throne of Ahmbin. The princess led her small band of soldiers in a shocking victory over a larger force of renegade and mercenary troops by climbing down the craggy walls of Safedor, a feat never done before or since, to surprise the troops and save the captive villagers of Ello.

Seena (See-nah): a region of the land that had rich faming soil and had been worked by the same families for generations. It was a major food source for the realm and therefore had always been protected; but with a breakdown in authority, unscrupulous soldiers took what they wanted with few repercussions.

Table Top Mountain: a remote flat top mountain with sheer black, craggy walls rising out of the northern Great Plain. There were abundant springs on the surface that created several creeks that flowed through hollows and rocky ravines until pouring off the edge of the Top into ponds at the base of the mountain. There were only two access routes (known as the North and West Gates), from the Plain to the Top. With its inspiring view of the Plain below and its seeming acceptance of those who were lost and searching, the Top became a refuge. It had always been a special place for Ekala who, along with Larma, started the Oleen community there in the hollows and the protected great shelf known as Larma Hollow.

Tamra (Tom-raw): a village that was named after a tasty small fish that flourished in the local ponds. It was so delectable and desired that over time the local people turned it into a profitable fish-farm business. As young children, they learned to swim in the ponds while working the nets and harvesting. Once, a frog moved in and Thalmus endeared himself to the villagers by harvesting it for the king.

Toubar (Too-bar): a mysterious, ancient, land many leagues east of Ameram. It was a dry and desolate terrain inhabited by resilient nomadic tribes of people who fought constantly for control of the few water sources in the land.

Toulon (Too-lawn): A kingdom to the north of Ameram, across the Sol Linden River and beyond the Wilderness of Toulon. Depending on which family was in power, Toulon was either at peace or trying to conquer Ameram. At the time of our story the two countries had been at peace since Ekala’s great grandfather.

Wilderness of Toulon: a thick, tangled forest that was once the realm of an ancient native tribe, now inhabited by wild animals and undesirables. The Wilderness stretched along the southern end of the Kingdom of Toulon forming a natural barrier. The forest’s stunted trees and underbrush grew to the edge of the Sol Linden River which was the border between Toulon and Ameram.

Woods of Rows: an ancient and mysterious grove (orchard) of trees with a thick canopy shading and darkening almost the entire woods. Distance and time was distorted within its seemingly endless symmetrical rows of trees. The Toulon people stayed away from its enchanting appeal because many who entered its rows were never seen again. It was the domain of the Kairtaykars and the goddess, Arborina.

Zinkila (Zin-kee-la): a small kingdom to the south of Ameram and a historical ally of doubtless support. Ruled by the same family for generations; the present King Dieten struggled with his four sons who were competing to rule the country when he died.