At the heart of this dense swamp lies an area of evil that perverts nature into wicked monsters, dire, voracious animals, and twisted, dangerous fauna. This area is now known as the Perdition by sages, the Haunted Swamp by locals, and Deadmire by nearby nations.
Over 500 years ago, there was no swamp at all. This entire area was a lush forest of conifers, liveoak, elderberry, magnolia and sweet gum. The aboriginal peoples had lived in harmony with the wood elves and gnomes for a thousand years. Warnings began to surface from prognosticators and tribal seers that disaster was imminent. Although not the apocalypse that was foretold, it did set a series of events in motion that spelled doom for the region.
Carved on the side of one ancient temple can still be read a few fragments of text in Sanskrit, "…a goddess angered… transgressions… great flood… trees sinking... elves gone… plague upon the land…" and so on. A great, earthquake shifted the rivers and lowered the forest several feet, forming a shallow valley that began collecting runoff from the higher elevations. Over time, most of the plants of the forest were drowned. A marsh formed, and soon after a swamp grew. The elves left. Then the evil came.
Slowly, the druids caring for the Sinking Forest, as it was then called, were disappearing. Suspicious rangers went to investigate, but some returned none-the-wiser or not at all. Rumors circulated about a growing evil within the swamp. Magical diseases began to appear, such as Dire Theriosis and Yellow Fever, difficult for even spells to cure. Darker creatures arose, including witches, harpies, merrow ogres, Anthroaches, Lizardfolk, Serpents, and a black dragon. The dragon’s wrath was terrible, melting the nearby villages and farms with its acid breath. A plague of locusts and mice followed, infesting the surrounding lands. Afterwards, the swamp went silent. For a hundred years, few fell creatures were seen or heard from outside the swamp. Then normal animals began to transform into bizarre creatures and undead plants stalked the wetlands. Fear spread once more.
Travelers on foot can wade through the Perdition at the rate of 4 miles in a day. By punting on a bateau boat, it is possible to move 11 miles per day, presuming 16 hours of travel and 8 hours of sleep. Rangers and druids know little of the Perdition, so they are of little help for navigation purposes.