The Lake of Tears
Dominating the eastern half of the Middle Underdark, the Lake of Tears is thought to be the largest expanse of fresh water on Kelbonnar’s Material Plane. The lake is heavily associated with the goddess Thrina and the tale of her descent into madness, and it is said that her cries of anguish can still be heard echoing across the lake’s cold, dark waters.
Thought to be almost as large as the Centric Sea on the surface world above, the Lake of Tears is an enormous body of fresh water in the Middle Underdark. Though no one has ascertained this for certain, it is thought to be over a mile and a half deep at its deepest points and its waters are permanently dark and frigid. Several islands protrude from its waters, which, despite their isolation and distance from the shore have been settled by wild and sapient creatures alike. Whilst no permanent settlements of any size or distinction have been established on these islands, the northern most island is home to the fortress like structure known as the The Oubliette, a haven for bounty-hunters and an infamous prison.
Those who live or travel near or along the shores of the Lake of Tears, or who traverse its waters often report hearing ghostly weeping that echoes around the enormous cavern in which the lake is situated and many also report feeling grief, sorrow and sadness wash over them at random, even causing people to weep uncontrollably without warning or trigger.
MythologyThe Lake of Tears is one of the central locations in the myth known as the Lamentation of Thrina, detailing the grief and subsequent madness caused to the goddess Thrina by the loss of her consort, Orivious.
Fauna & Flora
The shores and islands of the Lake of Tears are carpeted with fungi, lichen and moss, and large groves of Black Bog Oaks can be found here too, some of which have stretched out into the shallower parts of the lake to form mangrove forests. All manner of strange creatures are said to live in the waters of the Lake of Tears, many of which have never been reported elsewhere on Kelbonnar’s Material Plane. Almost all of these creatures are said to be predatory, and it is a foolhardy soul that voluntarily chooses to enter the waters of the lake, as few who go in re-emerge without one foul creature or another attempting to eat them.
Whilst the Lake of Tears is full of all manner of strange fish, which have adapted to life in its frigid, pitch black waters, most of the sapient creatures that dwell near the lake, and a good number of the non-sapient ones, avoid eating anything caught there unless they are truly desperate. It is said that consuming the fish from the lake make one susceptible to the ethereal crying of Thrina, who is said to dwell still beneath the waters and that eating too much of the fish from the lake, or for that matter drinking its waters will eventually drive one insane. It has been reported that those afflicted in this way are eventually compelled to throw themselves into the lake and disappear beneath the surface, never to be seen again.
Definitely a very dangerous location, that's conveyed well. I'm curious about the Oubliette and how it sustains itself in such a hostile environment with no nearby settlements. The curse with eating the fish is cool.
C J Pyrah
Thanks, much appreciated! That's a really good point about the Oubliette, I'll have to have a think about that and add it to its article - cheers for the pointer.