Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Guide to the Crying Swamp

Thither lies near the mouth of the Xanthus river, situated on a plain between a dense tropical jungle and a wide swamp called the Crying Marsh.

The Crying Swamp is a network of meandering waterways forming dozens of large islands. The waterways flood at high tide, creating wide shallow swamps.

On the map above, the light green areas are forested with moss-draped Cyprus and mangrove but rarely flood. The ground is spongy, black, and soft. The dark green areas are covered in tall grasses and mangrove trees and are flooded by one to three feet of salt water at every high tide and are muddy bogs at low tide. The water channels, lakes, and ponds vary from five to ten feet deep.

The Crying Swamp is filled with danger, including: leeches both normal and giant; oozes, blobs and jellies; crocodiles and their dire cousins; man-eating gar; deadly eels; giant wasps and beetles; shambling mounds, blights, and ents; giant man-eating frogs and lizards; and various species of dinosaur! 

The Crying Swamp is also home to a tribe of lizard-men, a tribe of bullywugs, and a tribe of reclusive lemur-men known as tasloi. Hunters have also reported isolated sightings of strange malformed sub-men lurking in the trees.

The Crying Swamp gets its name from the strange sounds that emanate from the deep swamp at night. The sounds resemble hundreds of children crying in the far distance. Few stay in the swamp after sun-down because it is haunted by the spirits of the dead inhabitants of ancient Sinopia.

Sinopia was a major port city of the Erian empire known as Nedula Madhya. Sinopia was destroyed overnight by the Aslak in a global cataclysm known as the Wrath, wherein the gods known as the Aslak overthrew and imprisoned their predecessors, the Uuani.

Sinopia was struck by a massive ball of divine fire from the heavens which stripped the city clean of all live but left most of the structures intact.

Explorers and hunters report spotting a mile-wide wall of obsidian, 300 feet high, surrounding the old city center. No one has ever entered the crater, but it is believed that it is where the lizard-men, bullywugs, and tasloi make their home. It is also believed to be the home of Anuran, the frog-god of the swamp-dwellers.

Anuran is a minor god of the Uuani who makes his home in the ancient ruins of the city center. He hibernates every winter, rising from his slumber each spring at the equinox. Every year, the city of Thither provides him a virgin female sacrifice to prevent him from destroying the city.

Random Encounters

Roll Result
1 - 101 Swarm of Insects
102 - 177  Giant Leeches (Stirges)
178 - 253 Vine Blights
254 - 304  Lizardfolk
305 - 355 Ghost (night only)
356 - 406 Swarm of Quippers
407 - 442 3d6 Bullywugs
443 - 473  1d2 Giant Crocodiles
474 - 504  Giant Constrictor Snake
505 - 535 1d3 Shambling Mounds
536 - 561  1d4 Giant Frogs
562 - 587  1d4 Giant Lizards
588 - 613  1d6 Giant Toads
614 - 639  Crocodile
640 - 665 Treant
666 - 686  Constrictor Snake
687 - 707  Water Elemental
708 - 728 Black Pudding
729 - 749 Needle Blights
750 - 765  1d4 Giant Poisonous Snakes
766 - 781  1d6 Giant Rats
782 - 797  3d6 Poisonous Snakes
798 - 813 2d6 Giant Spiders
814 - 829 Behemoth (Plesiosaurus)
830 - 845 Ochre Jelly
846 - 861 Twig Blights
862 - 877 Water Weird
878 - 888  3d4 Stirges
889 - 899  Flock of Ravens
900 - 910  Swarm of Rats
911 - 921 1d4 Trolls
922 - 932 3d4 Ghouls (night only)
933 - 943 3d4 Green Jungle Orcs
944 - 954 Grey Ooze
955 - 965 Pteranodon
966 - 971  1d4 Druids
972 - 977  Hunter
978 - 983  Hydra
984 - 989  Young Black Dragon
990 - 995 Giant Eagle
996 - 1000 Wraith (night only)