The Great Swamp and it’s Terrain
The rivers and open water.
Deep flowing water, which flows along a bed of sorts, can change direction in a year or two if the weather is right. Usually the rivers are fairly clear of vegetation and often the safest place to be. Look out for the larger predators that hunt in the open water and all should be plain sailing till you meet a Lizard man hunting party that sets fire to your boat.
Deep areas of mud formed from rotting vegetation that can’t survive in the swamp that has grown around it along with the slow and inevitable washing away of the land. Mudflats are rarely a good place to visit with little vegetation and inhabited mostly by stinger eels and the assortment of mud fish that in more wholesome swamps would be good to eat, the occasional snake or other predator might come hunting the flats.
Ares of land being eaten away by the swamp and will eventually form a mudflat, the isles themselves has a limited amount of vegetation including grasses and reeds, and often the ground can be filled with mud fish of assorted types, most commonly found at the edges of a mudflat or river.
Low land level, constantly flooded to at least half a foot deep.
High reed and Tall grass content in the open fens.
The fens often mark out old river beds or even potential routes for the river to take in future years. While they tend to have limited dangerous flora, the fauna includes some of the worst the swamp has to offer and it’s not a good idea to go for a paddle as the open water means you’ll be spotted long before any warning.
Similar land/water level to fens but are dominated by thick mangrove forest along with more unsavoury vegetation such as the retch trees and Hanger vines. The mangroves, due to the canopy, are a dark place with an eerie green light and many vines hanging from the trees into the water. Almost everything, in the thicker mangrove forests, is covered in a heavy layer of moss.
Like the fens mangroves play host to a variety of things that bight only now they have more places to hide along with the debilitating effects of retch trees pods. In particular the large constrictor snakes prefer the mangroves as hunting ground as they can drop from the tree onto unsuspecting victims and use their weight to push the meal under the water level, so while the mangroves are the best place to find the snakes it’s also one of the best places for other things to find you first.
Not necessarily a lower water level than the fens the land is just a bit higher up, predominantly made of soggy ground with many pools. Still a high level of Reeds and tall grasses there can also be a varying variety of shrubs and brushes as well as some shorter grasses “on land”. Some trees, though generally unhealthy like all trees in the swamp.
While the land is most defiantly safer than the water for avoiding a nasty bite it’s the vicious shrubs and vines that will most likely get you in the bogs. Spiky thorns that leave you at risk from infections and the clawing vines that drag you into a dark pool and feed on your rotting corpse.
Some of what appear to be bogs are fens full of floating islands of peat. One of the main causes of the swamp’s shifting nature is that during winter months the grasses and reeds that anchor the islands in place die back and huge peat ‘rafts’ are free to move about especially if the water level get high.
The primary vegetation is much the same as a bog though Clawing vines are more common, being able to drag a victim though gaps in the peat and under the island.
The shallowest of the wetlands is mostly made up of damp ground with occasional pools. A large array of shrubs, trees and other vegetation, the animal life tends towards amphibians and reptiles including giant toads and the occasional large constrictor snake.
Being the driest land if there is nothing else close before nightfall a marsh area is the best place to sleep if you don’t have a boat. The lack of regular waterways however often leaves the problem of what to do with a boat or canoe if you need to cross the marsh.
A haven in the swamp and a valuable find, especially if there is stream access for boats. These limited patches of ‘dry land’ make valuable bases for camp-sites. Any that are found are often closely guarded secrets by hunters and trappers visiting the swamp.
Of course they often need to have the usual flora and fauna removed first.