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Upper Heleng

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A forest of wandering nomads and god-guarded borders.

FIVE DAYS, THROUGH FOGGY UPLANDS

The river forks. The sun is out. Men nap on the bank, or dice in shabby cabanas. A young girl waves. “Guide?” she calls. “Need a guide?”

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The forest of Upper Heleng was Time’s lover; he refuses to flow within her borders, and their children the seasons govern her people as gods.

The people of Upper Heleng live amid wonders. They hunt yam-men, trade with rhinos. Demons fall from heaven as meteors. Honeycombs ooze mystic quicksilver — one taste grants indestructibility.

Do not be too greedy, interloper. The leeches here do not take blood. They take other things. A year of your life. A love you know.

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Upper Heleng is an adventure setting inspired by forest taboos and Bateq egalitarianism. A rules-less, 40-page forest-crawl with creatures, characters, and detailed black-and-white art. A die-drop map pullout. A die-drop name generator that doubles as a NPC generator. Ethnographic and cosmological hooks.

Part of A Thousand Thousand Islands, an RPG zine series inspired by the material cultures, lived stories, and mythistories of Southeast Asia.

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