Stretching for hundreds of miles in the north east of the continent of Euristan, the Destra Wetlands is an enormous treacherous mire, which acts as a natural buffer between the Empire of Turelion's provinces of Ultaru and Turelion and the Rebel Nation of Nova Norgantho. Despite being so close to the two richest provinces of the Empire of Turelion, the inhospitable nature of the Destra Wetlands means that no Emperor has ever considered trying to conquer the region. That is not to say that others, have not made the Wetlands their home. Once the region was the seat of an ancient civilisation, the Kingdom of Destra whose legacy lives on in the area's name. The ancestors of the populace of the Ancient Kingdom of Destra, the Hynafiad people still reside in the swamp, in small self-sustaining communities. The Destra Wetlands unique position so close to the central provinces of the Empire of Turelion, but outside its jurisdiction have also led to the creation of a city-state deep within its boundaries, the Free City of Desheart, a mecca for ne'er-do-wells, smugglers and those looking to escape from imperial justice.
Sandwiched between the Spears of Astartes in the north, the Relialo Plains to the west, the Worfal Tundra to the east and the Plains of Gold to the south, the Destra Wetlands are an enormous expanse of sunken land, which thanks to the numerous springs and rivulets that trickle down from the Spears of Astartes, has been turned into a near impenetrable mire. Islands of slightly higher ground, some little more than bare spits of land are surrounded by murky, stagnating swamp water, making it a treacherous place for those who do not know what they are doing to travel through or attempt to live in. The water levels of the marsh are drastically effected by the layout of the land they pool over, with the swamp water only being a few inches deep in certain places, and many feet deep in others. The situation is made worse during heavy rain storms, where run off from the mountains to the north and the higher areas of ground to the east and west, the Worfal Tundra and the Relialo Plains respectively, dramatically increase the water level in many parts of the wetlands, rendering normally dry land submerged for weeks at a time.
Fauna & Flora
Though it is a hard place for most humanoids to exist, the Destra Wetlands is a haven for all manner of plants, insects, fish, birds and animals that thrive in this wetland habitat. The Destra is one of the most biodiverse places on the surface world of Kelbonnar, rivalling the Ascar Giss and the Forest of Lormaniss in the breadth of the flora and fauna that call the place home.
On the face of it, the wetlands are devoid of resources, but those who choose to live there, and some of those who have been forced to live there know that the murky waters and mist shrouded islets contain many useful resources to help those who know how to find them survive. For example, the very peaty soil itself, once dry can either be burned as fuel or be turned into a sturdy, insulating building material and deposits of bog iron spread all through the region provide the raw materials too produce metal weapons and tools for those who wish to own such things. There are all manner of edible plants and abundant fish and small beasts that can be easily hunted to provide fuel, and those skilled in the arts of healing will find far more medicinal plants and herbs per square mile in the Destra Wetlands than almost anywhere else in Kelbonnar.
The Destra Wetlands were not always the waterlogged marshes that they are now, and at one point the area was a highly fertile, intensively irrigated and managed swathe of farmland, with prosperous towns dotted throughout, that made up the Ancient Kingdom of Destra. For over a thousand years the monarchs of Destra ruled over a rich and civilised nation, that for much of its history outclassed the city-state of Meltaro in the south, that would one day grow into the Empire of Turelion. Had fate been kinder to Destra, then it is likely that they would be the dominant power in Kelbonnar, not Turelion. As it turned out, however, the Kingdom of Destra tore itself apart when a collective of mages sought to wrest power from the last monarch of Destra, so that they could rule in their stead, and turn the Kingdom into a playground for their arcane pursuits, regardless of the lives of those who dwelt there. The civil war sparked by the mage’s insurrection raged for decades, those loyal to the Kingdom struggling against the fell forces brought to bear against them, including not only the magical spells and constructs of the mages, but monstrous beasts, including Dragons that the mages had convinced to fight for them, with the promise of great stores of treasures when victory was secured. In the end, the collective of mages overcame the forces loyal to the last king of Destra, but in a cruel twist of fate, the same fell forces the mages had called upon to aid them turned on them, destroying them and most of the people of Destra. Without labourers and farm hands to manage and maintain the irrigation systems and canals that stretched across the kingdom, the region began to return to nature. Water flowing down of the mountains burst the banks of the irrigation systems and canals, flooding most of the area and turning it into the Destra Wetlands that has remained there ever since. Now all that remains of that once mighty nation are references in dusty books and scrolls kept in the Imperial archives and other collections of historical curiosity, referencing events that took place over a thousand years ago, the ruins deep in the wetland that few from the Empire of Turelion will ever see, and the ghost of a name that is still attached to the location.