How many secrets have sunk in these waters?
GeographyLocated at the southern tip of the , the vast swaths of land known as Greymantle have been largely undesirable to the majority of the civilized world on account of it being almost entirely swamp. Those that call the region home understand that this region is actually surprisingly varied, and many of its lands are just as beautiful as they are inarguably dangerous. To the south, the City of Lockhinge sits nestled between the last rocky throes of a mountain's foothills and a thousand tributaries draining into the . The land here is mostly flat and wet, with occasional patches of half-sunken muddy ground supporting whatever gangly trees haven't been tipped over by weather or time. To the north is what's known locally as the Uplands, a far more solid area that supports a proper forest and a few patches of tillable land. This area eventually bumps up against , but the land floods with such regularity that the city has all but given up on expanding further into the swamp.
EcosystemVisitors to Greymantle are often surprised to learn that it isn't entirely doom and gloom in the marshes. On the contrary--while much of it is incredibly deadly, the constant presence of rotting vegetation and mineral-rich water make for extremely fertile patches of land that can support dense populations of flora and fauna. The weather here is fairly predictable, usually overcast or raining. The summer months bring sunny weather along with thunderstorms, especially along the coastline. The muggy weather subsides in the fall, with mild snowfall and a periodic freeze here and there over the course of winter. Spring is a particularly beautiful time in Greymantle due to the abundance of wildflowers and algae blooms that thrive in the changing season.
Flora & FaunaThe plant life in Greymantle varies widely, but a good majority of it is extremely flexible and surprisingly hard to kill. The strains that survive are the ones that have evolved to latch into or crawl over whatever surfaces it can latch on to, if it hasn't simply adapted to life on or submerged in water. Many lilies, mosses, fungi, reeds, vines, and air plants call this place their home, and one would be remiss not to mention the many twisting cypress and mangrove trees that dot the landscape. This area is also home to a wide variety of insects, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The region is famous for their crocodiles, which can grow to enormous and frankly terrifying sizes in the wild--but it also hosts a wide variety of large and poisonous snakes. Herons, crows, and water-skimming songbirds linger in the marshes all year around, and several other species of bird fly here to spend their winters in warmer weather. A couple of humanoid creatures have called this region their home far longer than most. The have the most contact and political pull throughout the region, but , , and the comparatively-peaceful also roam the area with a few established settlements scattered throughout the swamp.
Rainbow BloomsThere are a few areas in Greymantle where, especially in warmer months, the algae blooms in such a wide range of colors as to create a strange, swirling rainbow effect in standing water. Attempts to harvest or otherwise intentionally cultivate this kind of algae on purpose have been largely unsuccessful, and no one is entirely sure what exact combination of conditions triggers this phenomena.
Marsh DeerMarsh deer are found in several different shades of tan (red-gold to tawny brown to nearly buff), most likely based on the general color of grass where they are originally found, with black muzzles and lower legs, and white markings around the eyes. Stags have slow-growing, forked antlers that are shed every year, rarely growing to large size with many tines. Only an old, dominant stag will have more than four large tines. The marsh deer's hooves are large in comparison to their thin legs, more flexible than those of most deer, with a web of skin between the toes to aid in swimming. They are quick on land as well as able swimmers, and can move through mud and over uneven terrain with ease. Their sense of smell is fair, but their eyes and ears are very keen. They see most clearly in diffuse and low light, adapted to spotting crocodiles lurking in camouflaging surroundings. Their intelligence enables them to learn the tricks of the various creatures and hazards of the swamp, and makes them clever and trainable when tamed.
The Elven VeinsThere's a patch of wetland in southwest Greymantle that's known for its particularly vibrant and lush vegitation. The trees grow strong and seem to thrive all year around, while blooms are bigger and more colorful here than anywhere else in the swamp. The air is always a little sweeter, and some say that the waters here can enchant those who linger in their currents for too long. While this area technically has another name, the locals have taken to calling it the Elven Veins on account of the bright algae blooms that turn its many winding rivers green--and the rumors that this place is bumping right up against the .
SlaughterswampThis is a dreary and unsettling stretch of swamp in west Greymantle. There's very little dry land to speak of, and swirling mist tends to cling to the long, unbroken stretches of murky water. Dozens of local ghost stories come from this area alone; some say the area is haunted by the villages buried under the mud of a massive flash-flood, while others claim that a hidden portal to the is poisioning the land with constant, supernatural decay. Amusingly, this area used to be a popular dumping spot for anyone who needed to get rid of a corpse. but the area has since become so haunted by the restless dead that even gang lords and cold-blooded killers are hesitant to try their luck in the Slaughterswamp these days.
The TeethIn west Greymantle, somewhere north of the Slaughterswamp, there's a patch of dense jungle scattered with the anchient bones of gigantic creatures. The bones are worn and hard to identify; theories range anywhere from a dragon graveyard to the resting place of an old, forgotten god. Hidden somewhere in this mess of trees and osteal remains is what's known simply as the .
Wetland / Swamp