The Vast Swamp Geographic Location in Archenbridge | World Anvil
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The Vast Swamp

The Vast Swamp sits between Cormyr and Sembia and is claimed by neither; it has served as an impenetrable no man's land between the two nations for hundreds of years. Swarming with lizardfolk, goblinoids, carnivorous plants, and worse, the swamp is left more or less alone by 'civilized people'. The swamp's proper name has been lost in time and it appears that Vast Swamp is just a nickname that has stuck.


The Vast Swamp was bordered on the north and northeast by the Thunder Peaks, Sembia in the east, and Cormyr to the west. To the south of the swamp ran The way of the Manticore which is the last land route between the two nations; the swamp is slowly, but inexorably inching its way to the road and threatens to someday cut off the land route between to two rival kingdoms. Out of the swamp's southern end flows the Darkflow River, a stinking and inky mess of a river that constantly shrinks and swells with polluted and sediment-laden waters from The Vast Swamp, it connects to the Lake of Dragons; nobody lives or farms near the river.


The Vast Swamp's ecosystem is unnatural and twisted and the tepid peat-filled bogs do not filter the water as a natural swamp does. The terrain is largely spongy and thick marshland covered with mid-density forests that make it appear more like a flooded forest than an actual swamp. The terrain is overrun by undergrowth and bogs with very little dry or clear land; the only paths through the swamp were muddy trails familiar to the swamp's denizens and often fraught with dangerous creatures who knew where to wait for a meal. The marshland itself was too shallow and tangled with plants for the use of boats or canoes.


The swamp is unnaturally warm compared to the temperate lands surrounding it, more akin to a subtropical territory. Even in the winter time the temperature rarely falls below 50 degrees and could reach into the 90's in warmer months. Rain seemed to fall constantly, often when it was least convenient to do so as if the very environment was there to annoy travelers and even in the depths of winter it never snowed. When it wasn't raining a mist would settle upon the entire swamp, making it hard to spot danger in the water.

Fauna & Flora

A number of mundane and dangerous plants and animals reside in the swamp, some diseased by the fowl waters and dark magic. There are also a number of intelligent creatures and some may not be immediately hostile to trespassers. Undead also reside within the depths of the swamp.  


The Adventurer's Guild of Archendale has encountered dangerous animals in the form of giant constrictor snakes and giant crocodiles in the swamp and avoided a swarm of stirges reported by one of their lizardfolk guides. Even the mundane animals such as squirrels, foxes, raccoons, and deer seemed to be unusually aggressive and many of them were diseased with rabies or swamp fever. Creepy crawlies like spiders, centipedes, mosquitos, and leeches were of course ubiquitous.  


Thornslinger bushes were a threat to travelers in the summer and fall and there were moving carnivorous plants such as tendriculos and shambling mounds were year-round threats. Flora of the non-threatening variety included blue-leaf and oak trees along the outskirts, with black gum, cypress, water ash, water birch, gall oak, and willow trees being more common in the interior. The trees of the swamp were essentially too gnarled and knotty to be of any use in construction or crafting. Other plants found growing in the Vast Swamp are common marsh reeds, swamp grass, and cattail. Meanwhile, duckweed floats on the waters. There are also a number of rare species of water lily; a few of these served as components for spells and potions, like healing potions.
Alternative Name(s)
That god's damned puddle - By Yurian Stonebow
Wetland / Swamp

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