South of the Kingdom of Aryia is the area known as the Misty Wetlands. As the name suggests, this area is made up entirely of swamp and marshlands. This, however, does not mean the land is uninhabited. On the contrary, the Misty Wetlands are home to the people of Rushil who settled in these lands millennia ago and live in peace with both their neighbors and nature. Some might think that because Rushil does not have a standing army, they would be vulnerable to attack, but those who have attempted to navigate the Wetlands without a map or guide can tell you how easy it is to get lost even after only walking ten feet. Indeed, these swamps are thought to be the main reason King Gautier Oweyn's descendants did not immediately conquer this small bit of land and instead focused on the larger kingdoms and nations to the east. The Wetlands, to outsiders, seem to be perpetually covered in fog and even at noon are dark, dim, and filled with creatures just waiting to drag anyone, even fully armored soldiers under the water's surface. The people of Rushil, however, would argue and say that the Wetlands are wetter than most places but they also see a lot of sunlight and experience warm weather that's good for farming nearly all year round and so long as they are careful, the animals that inhabit the area leave them alone. Still, this does not change that fact that many who have ventured into the wetlands with a guide find themselves getting lost when they attempt to travel the exact same path without a guide. Some whisper that the Misty Wetlands are actually a living entity that shifts and changes to protect the Rushil people within its boundaries but such talk is nonsense, right?
Theodore wildly looked around as he leaned against a petrified tree. No matter where he looked all he could see were tall twisted trees, mist and murky water that came up to his shins. It seemed like moments ago he had been traipsing through wet brush and grass that came up to his shoulder, but now he could see no trace of the grass he had cursed, nor could Theodore tell which way he had come. "Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn!" He cursed under his breath as he turned around and sped off in the direction he had just come from, hoping that by backtracking he could make his way out of the swamp. A louder, more expressive curse escaped him when instead of reaching the tall grassy area he'd expected, he instead stumbled upon an unknown ruined structure.
The Wetlands are made up of a freshwater marsh and a saltwater marsh with a large swamp between the two. The freshwater marsh is to the northern part, right next to the border with Aryia while the saltwater marsh makes up the southern coastal region of the area. Both types of marshes are void of trees, and instead, have a variety of tall grasses and shrubs that make up its plant life while the swamps are the opposite with trees being the main type of flora with few of grasses or shrubs growing around them. Numerous rivers and streams cut through the Wetlands, helping to give the location its name, which provides fresh water for both the people and fauna that live here. There are very few hills and absolutely no mountains to be found anywhere in the Wetlands, although the entire area is at a low elevation and topography level with some parts falling below sea level. In the swampy areas, the Rushil people make their homes; there is an abundance of fertile land that is given nutrients directly from the swamps and the peat found in its waters.
Fauna & Flora
Swamp:The swamps of the Misty Wetlands are home to some plants that are unique to the area. These include two different types of cypress trees, birch trees, willow trees and oak, the latter three of which are used in the Rushil Funeral Riteswhile the first two are used by the Rushil people to build their homes and buildings. Fetterbush, wax myrtle, vining plants moss, and ferns make up the majority of the none tree flora, with a few kinds of grass and sedges growing amongst them. Some flowers, like orchids, find the swamp environment more hospitable than others. A number of fish, frogs, snakes, turtles, and many other amphibians and reptiles call the swamps home. As well as birds such as herons, eagles, hawks, and ducks and mammals like beavers, mink, otters, raccoons, and a few deer. At the top of the food chain, are alligators, bears, cougars, wolves, and wild boar.
Saltwater Marsh: The saltwater marshes are mainly filled with salt resistance, or dependant, grasses, herbs, and low shrubs. Many fish use these marshes as nursery grounds for their young before they move to open waters. Birds also raise their young among the high grasses because the marsh provides both protection from predators and abundant food sources which include fish trapped in pools, insects, shellfish, and worms. Crocodiles, bobcats, cougars, bears, wolves, wild boar, and foxes call these tall grasses their hunting grounds.
Freshwater Marsh: Along with grasses and sedges, cattails, water lilies, arrowheads, and rushes are found in freshwater marshes. Though like with saltwater marshes, there are no trees. Common species include ducks, geese, swans, songbirds, swallows, coots, and black ducks. In addition to these waterfowls are some large fish such as the pike and carp. Bobcats, alligators, cougars, bears, wolves, wild boar, and foxes prey on these fish and fowl.
Swamp: The main resource found in the swamps are the trees themselves as the people of Rushil use them to make their homes, boats, and structures from but also they build their homes on or on top of the trees. The wood from various trees found within the swamps is also used in funeral rites for the people of Rushil. Flowers and some herbs are found growing in the waters of the swamp as well but they are of smaller quantities than those found in the marshes. A number of fish and other fauna provide food for the people of Rushil, though the presence of alligators often makes hunting or fishing a dangerous task even in groups. The skins and hides from these animals are turned into leather and furs that make up the clothing the people wear while teeth, fangs, and feathers are used for decoration and in rituals. The swamps, also provide a decent amount of farmlands that allow farmers to grow a variety of barries as well as rice, potatoes, water chestnuts, water celery, watercress, and water lotus.
Freshwater Marsh: The main resource the people of Rushil get from these marshes is the water found within it. The lakes, streams, and rivers, in these marshes, make up the main source of fresh water used by the people to drink, bathe and cook food with, after its first been boiled to get rid of its impurities. Reeds and tall grasses, much like those found in saltwater marshes are used in weavings and other flora, such as cattails may be eaten while flowers and other plants are used primarily for decoration. Birds, fish, and various other animals are hunted for food and hide.
Saltwater Marsh: From the saltwater marshes, the Rushil people gather most of the herbs used in potion-making. They also hunt and fish for food and use the tall grasses and reeds to weave baskets and thatch roofs.