The largest lake in the Mountain Principalities, Schwarze Lagune has acted as a natural defence and barrier for the city of Heimatstadt, once the capital of the Kingdom of Reinhart, and now a ruined relic of its former glory. The waters of Schwarze Lagune were once heaving with aquatic traffic moving to and from the island on which the capital sits and the settlements that were dotted on its mainland shores. Though the lake is still a major route for trade, especially between the micro-nations of the south and the north who are otherwise mostly cut off from one another by the Felsspitze Mountains, it is not nearly as busy as it once was when Heimatstadt was abandoned. Many of the towns that once lay on its shoreline have been abandoned, as the livelihoods of so many who worked as bargemen transporting goods to and from the capital dried up, and much of the lakes shoreline area has been taken over by thick beds of bulrushes and woodland. Nevertheless, the Principality of Biahofen, the City-State of Ravendorp, the Countship of Macbet, the Shire of Allbach and the Archduchy of Oosthout all claim parts of Schwarze Lagune’s shoreline, and benefit from the resources and trade routes it grants them access to, even if they do not exploit these nearly as much as the old capital did.
Schwarze Lagune sits towards the east coast, roughly in the middle of the area of the Mountain Principalities and is the largest body of standing fresh water in the area of the Felsspitze Mountains. Its shoreline hugs the surrounding quite closely on its south-western, western and north-eastern sides, greatly restricting the available pieces of land suitable for building or agriculture in these areas, though to the north-west and east there is a large area of flatter ground that is much more suitable for building. Indeed there are no mountains between the lake’s eastern shoreline and the coast of the Estrill Ocean, which gives the Principality of Biahofen and the Shire of Allbach a good swathe of fertile agricultural land that they can both use. The lake itself is renowned for being very deep, so much so that in most weather’s other than blazing sunshine its waters appear to be black rather than blue or clear. It is also known that the lakebed of Schwarze Lagune, is pitted with numerous networks of snaking tunnels and caves in the bedrock, which many suppose lead down to underground lake and river systems in the Underdark. The island on which the city of Heimatstadt sits is well known to have an intricate system of caves and tunnels carved into it, which can certainly give access to the Underdark, though many of these routes are flooded by the waters of the lake.
Fauna & Flora
The sheer size of Schwarze Lagune means that it is an ideal habitat for large species of freshwater fish, with carp and pike being particularly common. The large tracts of woodland that have been able to grow along the shores of the lake mean that beaver are particularly prevalent in the area, and their lodges can regularly be found along the lakeside. Because the lake is so deep, most of the wildlife is found closer to the shoreline, where the water is shallower and food more plentiful. In terms of its flora, most of the species in and around Schwarze Lagune appear on its coasts, and there are thick beds of bulrushes and reeds that join up with the woodland areas near to the shoreline to create a green belt around much of the lake.