Panta de Veri
Stretching across a large part of the southern Vermell Peninsula, Panta de Veri sits between the shores of Lake Meridional and the Safir Sea, and is an enormous expanse of bog land crisscrossed with numerous streams and larger rivers that pass through between the two bodies of water. Bogs can be hostile environments at the best of times, but Panta de Veri is exceptionally challenging to survive in or traverse. The area of land on which the bog sits is extremely geologically active, and plumes of sulphurous steam billow from fissures in the ground all over Panta de Veri. This sulphur, along with numerous more toxic elements, belched up from the bowels of the earth have poisoned the landscape, making the soil incredibly acidic and created a nightmarish apparition in the south of the Vermell Peninsula.
Panta de Veri is a large area of bog land, which means that at its base the soil it is formed on is predominantly comprised of peat and is highly waterlogged. The terrain on which Panta de Veri is situated is very flat, though here and there between the areas of bog land there is the occasional hill that emerges from the shrubs and grasses. The area is not only covered in areas of stagnant bog water, but also has a large amount of streams and rivers flowing through it, all of which originate in the waters of Lake Meridional to the north. These streams tend to have very slow moving water in them, but their waters are often very deep and wide. Scattered across Panta de Veri, are thousands of fissure vents, physical tears in the earth out of which plumes of highly toxic steam billow from below the ground. These fissure vents bring a myriad of unpleasant at best, highly poisonous at worst, elements to the surface, where they leech into the soil and waters of the bog, and have turned the area into a very inhospitable area. Often fissure vents will stand several metres in height, having been built up thanks to the elemental deposits that are pushed out of them. Some fissure vents occur beneath the waters of one of the bog’s stagnant pools, and when this happens the waters will become a geyser, that periodically explodes heated water and more unpleasant matter across the surrounding area. Because of the high salinity of ‘Lake Meridional’s waters that feed the Panta de Veri, the bog has a particularly high salt content as well. The water that fills the stagnant pools of Panta de Veri is predominantly a murky brown in colour, and must be boiled and filtered numerous times, using mundane means, before it is safe to drink. Water that stands around the fissure vents will often be a much more vibrant colour, reflecting the elements that are brought up to the surface from beneath the ground. Pools of water that has been dyed yellow, thanks to the huge amounts of sulphur that have polluted it, are quite common in the landscape, but deep blues, greens and even purple coloured bodies of water have been reported in the bog. The water that flows through Panta de Veri from Lake Meridional to the Safir Sea retains is base brown hue, and when viewed from the air, the coastline where the sea meets the bog is stained a brown colour itself, a stark contrast to the Safir Sea’s normally crystal clear waters.
Fauna & Flora
Even in the hostile environment of the Panta de Veri, life can be found clinging on for survival. Over the millennia a wide variety of plants have adapted to life in the Panta de Veri, with the landscape around the stagnant pools of water and bodies of flowing water populated by various types of long grasses and shrubs that shield and obscure the open bodies of water in the bog. Near the fissure vents, the soil is often too polluted with a variety of toxic elements to allow for even the hardy grasses and shrubs to survive, and has instead been taken over by large expanses of moss and fungus, which often absorb the elements around them to produce a variety of technicolour hues. In terms of its fauna, Panta de Veri is home to a wide range of animals that have adapted to survive amongst its stagnant pools and poisoned waters. Because of the constant exposure to the poisonous elements that have polluted the landscape of the bog, the majority of creatures that live in Panta de Veri, are almost entirely immune to most of the poisons that have been dissolved into the waters or absorbed into the vegetation, and have also adapted to drink and live in water with a high salt content, adaptations that has allowed them to thrive. Indeed, there is an enormous number of small bog-deer that move in large herds across the landscape, along with a variety of rodents adapted to a more aquatic lifestyle, and Reaper Deer have been seen in smaller groups in Panta de Veri as well. Beaver dwell in large numbers in Panta de Veri, for instance, though those that dwell in waters near a fissure vent often have fur tinted a variety of different colours, depending on the elemental composition of the fissure’s excretion. As well as this, a variety of giant iguana-like lizards is widely spread in the landscape of Panta de Veri, that move in large family groups and mostly feed on vegetal matter, but they can be rather vicious when threatened. The presence of so much prey does mean that Panta de Veri is able to support a large and diverse population of predators, that are adapted to its unique bog habitat. Salt-water Crocodiles are perhaps the most numerous predators, but the size of Panta de Veri, and its large prey resource base does mean that several Green Dragons have settled there and made a comfortable and sustainable home for themselves. Regardless of what creatures travellers encounter on their journey through the Panta de Veri, one piece of advice is always given by the people of the Emirate of Taqwal who live near the bog; never eat the flesh of an animal killed there. The animals themselves are tainted by the elements that have poisoned the landscape, a poison that has soaked into their meat and is easily transferred to whomever eats it, and is not naturally immune to it.