From the base of Kouru Mountain flows a thin, briny river. This unnamed river snakes around coniferous trees into thickets and briars, never diverting as if driven by a singular purpose. This dolorous river shares the same name as the fetid, evil river in the outside realms: Styx. The green, sick waters slither on like a malformed slug. No fish swim these waters, no animal dare sip of its ugly taste. Indeed, for the mortal species it is a poison, for none can stomach it. The taste is of sun-rotten fish and a forgotten honeyjar of flies. Nothing wholesome grows on its banks, and heavy rain never sends the waters surging; it stays the monotonous pace. The mouth of the river drains, or is sucked rather, into the most abhorrent naturally forming location on the P.P.M. (Plane Prime Material). The mangroves and thickets in Ognatum Swamp sup on the oily waters of Styx. Somehow, the water only gets worse, the roots and pea-green leaves not filtering out any of the waters evil qualities. The water meanders further past the initial, healthy looking flora, infecting the long blades of grass with a dark quality. Vines hang limply like a gallows above the slow water, blowing eerily without any wind. Roots just below the slimy surface will catch any boat or canoe that dares traverse the waters. These roots are not connected to any known trees or system of trees in the area, even being found in the widest part of the river a thousand feet across. The vilest insects deem this place home. Mosquitos, as large as small bats, fly here and there, sucking any blood as voraciously as the swamp sucks the river into itself. These mosquitos are the progenitors of various diseases, often carrying as many as five distinct and deadly plagues. It is divine intervention that they do not escape their rotten home. Flies as big as Dwarf babies slump along the sickly gray bark of dead trees, feasting upon the rot that never decays and never goes away. Spiders and scorpions the size of a grown human burrow in the damp soil, waiting for the swamp antelope to stray too close to their nests. Slugs swollen from living on the malnutrition slop in and out of the waters, leaving behind noisome trails of hardened sludge, reeking to even the dead. Further still Styx flows until the swamp stills any movement. The waters this far in move perhaps a foot a year. There must be some drain, but none know where that egress exists. Here in the depths, there is no life or surely no life worth saving. Whatever things exist before the slowness are either horribly mad or nonexistent at this point in the swamp. No sounds of insects, large or small, fill the air as before. No sight of anything abnormal sticks out to even the keenest of Elves. Here time itself stagnates. Malicious vapors rise in vaguely green and yellow wisps from heart of the swamp. These fumes, toxic to any normal and sane creature, rot and rust armor and weapons on contact and slow the casting of magic. As such no real excursion has penetrated the deepest parts of the swamp, nor would anyone want to. No kingdom holds or wants a claim to such a place, for then upkeep would be involved. A few hundred years ago some clan chief felt divinely righted to clean up the swamp. He and his finest warriors began cleaning up on the high banks of the the river then unnamed. After months of little progress despite barrows of mud and rancid water being carried away, the chief admitted defeat. Having almost died to infection from the denizens of the area he cast the name Styx upon it as a warning, and no other aptly named thing exists in this world.
Great Swamp, Dead Swamp
Wetland / Swamp