Full of bounty, but only for those willing to work.
Elrik had been wandering in this damned endless swamp for three days now, and his fresh water supply was running low; he'd tried to drink from the abundant tributaries surrounding him, but he was still too close to the coast and all the water was brackish. "Why did I have to wind up in this hellscape..," he murmured rhetorically to himself, wincing as he gripped his wounded left side. Elrik had been on a ship sailing to the desert of Northern Alfurstad when they were caught in a voidstorm and marooned in a place called the Cliffwallow Marshlands. He'd been separated from the rest of the crew and was trying to find his way to whatever this place might have in the way of civilization, but wasn't having any luck. *snap* What was that? Somewhere off to his right the brush moved.... Elrik readied his blade and slowly approached the suspicious area. Before he knew what was going on, rows of sharp teeth and slimy skin were launching out of the water at his face. He attempted to raise his sword in defense, but knew it was too late. The large jaws snapped shut, but not around his head; opening his eyes again he saw the closed jaws mere inches from his face. The reptilian snout was clamped shut by a pair of faintly glowing vines that had seemingly come from nowhere, and as he inspected the rest of the crocodilian creature before him, he noticed that its hind quarters were also bound by similar vines. Elrik heard a chuckle behind him and whipped around to face the newcomer, but lowered his blade when he realized this being was the source of his salvation. Standing before him was a rather petite yet muscular woman. She had pointed ears and somewhat angular features like that of an elf, but her olive grey-green skin was unlike any he had seen before, almost as if she'd materialized out of the swamp they were both standing in. She did not appear particularly old, but her skin was weathered from what must be a harsh life in these lands, so he could not be sure of her age. Her hands, one above her head and one outstretched in front of her, glowed with the same faint energy that emanated from the vines; this was all the proof Elrik needed to know that she had just saved his life from... whatever that thing was. "Come," she beckoned, "my vines won't hold that beast forever, and it doesn't look like you're in any shape to handle her when she gets loose." "Should we not kill it?" Elrik questioned as he readied his sword to deliver a killing blow. "For what, defending her territory from a strange creature? No no no, we will go our separate ways peacefully." She retorted as she turned and walked off into the mist, "welcome to The Marsh...."
On the northeastern coast of the continent of Alfurstad, isolated from the rest of the land by the fork of the Serpent's Tongue mountains, lies the Cliffwallow Marshlands. "The Marsh," as it's often called by its hardy denizens, the Swamp Elves , is shrouded in a layer of mist brought about by the area's low elevation and humid climate. To descend from the surrounding mountains and penetrate said mist is to discover a land of rich biodiversity and harsh survivalism; a place where the strong survive and the wise thrive.
As a natural coastal wetland, The Marsh is full of brackish lakes fed by the many streams that descend from the split ends of the Serpent's Tongue mountain range; the pair of mountain ridges that surround this region have been aptly named, The Fork. Though much of the water throughout The Marsh is too brackish for most humanoids to consume, the rivers run fresh at the base of the mountains, creating a disparity in ecosystems between the two areas.
Fauna & Flora
The foothills of The Fork are a lush environment with a diverse ecology, while the lowlands dip below sea level and create an area that requires a much hardier breed of flora and fauna to survive.
Fauna of The FoothilsRazor-hoofed Gembeck - A hoofed ruminant that dominates the ecosystem and serves as a staple food source for the Swamp Elves . Though timid and peaceful in nature, the gembeck kicks fiercely when cornered, slicing through most hides with the sharp front edges of its hooves.
Flora of The FoothilsQueensblossom Tree - A small flowering tree that grows at the edge of foothills where the freshwater rivers begin to turn brackish. Queensblossom flowers are prized for both their beauty and their healing properties.
Fauna of The LowlandsMottled Scaleback - A giant water monitor with a leathery underbelly and a tough, scaled spinal ridge. This secondary consumer in the lowlands ecosystem preys on fish and smaller game, but finds itself a primary target of top tier predators such as snapjaw alligators and trolls.
Flora of The LowlandsTurtle Lily - An intricately veined flower shaped much like a turtle's shell, floating on the water atop a star shaped pad. The flower and stem are known for their ability to halt the progress of all but the deadliest poisons, while the pad is often used in poultices for burns from fire and acid.
The turbulent landscape of The Marsh might lend one to think it is a place of little value, however, they'd be sorely mistaken.