Cloudbreather Lake Geographic Location in Jewels of Lockhinge | World Anvil

Cloudbreather Lake

There is an area of the Greymantle foothills that, though it is a difficult climb and in a contested border between two Lizardfolk territories, it is a safer route of travel than the particular stretch of swamp in the nearby lowlands. Several different communities use the area to hunt, it is an area of converging travel between multiple points of significance in Greymantle, and it is the site that a few different nomadic clans spend time at during their cyclical migrations.   However, despite this amount of traffic and the dangers that running into other inhabitants of the marsh can be, aside from a few very specific exceptions, one particular lake is universally tiptoed around.


In an abrupt valley found in the foothills, a pale, steely-blue lake can be found shrouded in a perpetual veil of mist. The air around the lake is distinctly warm and humid like exhaled breath, and there is a discomforting smell in the air that resembles brimstone but isn't quite the same. There are rumors of the water of the lake being both poisonous or miraculously healing, but not enough of are compelled to ignore the rampant rumors and superstition to test either theory. The area surrounding the lake is rocky and treacherous, with abundant loose gravel and loose stone to make footing dangerous.


The lake plays a key role in the conflict between two warring bands of Lizardfolk, as the location is significant--if reviled--and so who gets to play steward to it is disputed. The two bands can't agree on many things except for perhaps the lore and superstition surrounding the lake.   There is some variation depending on who you ask, but the general consensus is that the plumes of steam rising off of the lake are lost souls, eventually becoming clouds until they rain to the earth again. Some say that the surface bubbles with the roiling of the souls still in the water, some say that the souls are all from those who have drowned and so the bubbling reflects their final struggles, and some acknowledge that the lake is boiling like any pot of water might, and the anger of the spirits is what provides the heat. In any case, the spirits are seen as malevolent, looking for any chance they can to take their vengeance out on the living--especially in the versions of the tale that say they can only free themselves and find rest of they find other souls to take their place.   There are plenty of stories of wisps or other visions leading people to their death in the lake, including hallucinations of the lake appearing like dry land or the water appearing cold and cool to tempt thirsty travelers into drinking from it.   With semi-frequent travel in the surrounding area, there is a wealth of superstition on how to do so safely. Every guide in the area will tell you to bring more than enough water with you so you aren't tempted by dark forces into drinking from the lake, bring a walking stick to test the ground wherever there is a gap in the trees to make sure it isn't the shore of a lake in disguise, and do whatever you can to avoid sneezing, sleeping, or speaking outloud when anywhere near the lake--doing so will surely allow the spirits to take pieces of your soul until you join them in the water.
Alternative Name(s)
Rising Souls Lake, Mistmaker
Location under