Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #279
October 7th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: The Dismal Marsh and Lotus Delta of Danthas – Part 6
Location: Northeast Wastelands where the Danthas River meets the Sea of Hethichol
Population (approx.): 47 (Shadow Rat tribe)
Brief: The ancient Dismal Marsh was dismal in name only during the centuries that the priests of the Monastery of the River (now Kana Sol’s demesne) repaired the corrupting influence of Wild Growth. With the schism at the monastery during the fall of the Ta’arnan Empire, the Rod of the Marsh (Wild Growth’s imprisoned form) awoke, and the marsh became dismal once again, attracting ne'er-do-wells such as an unending stream of river bandits and other aggressive tribes of Kin such as the previously introduced Hobgoblins and Lizardfolk. The few settlements of the marshes were ruined, the population driven away mostly heading north into Taodeas. The channels became dangerous for river traffic, ships frequently attacked with some captured and sailed off into the marshes never to be seen again. One such shipwreck, once a large, armored merchant vessel the Peregrine, is now the home to a small tribe of Ratlike Shifters (a Kin with Vybrant blood allowing them to enhance their bestial nature, adopting rat like features and abilities).
Storm, 25, a male Ratlike Shifter, is the leader of the Shadow Rat tribe. He is short and agile. He has jet-black hair and small black eyes. His left cheek has a small scar from the fight that won him the pack's leadership. Storm has a short temper and keeps the group in line with threats. He wears bits and pieces of armor he found along the way. He has a pair of daggers with slots to apply poison to the tips.
Storm is a survivor and attempts to keep the Shadow Rats alive. He thought bringing them to the Dismal Marsh would provide a ready food source. Instead, the group is going hungry almost every day. One of the other Shifters, Cobalt, 30, is attempting to take over. Storm hopes to find a regular source of fish or small game, so he won't have to fight Cobalt.
Storm comes from Blackstone Fortress and learned most survival tricks from his older brother, Ash, 37, a male Ratlike Shifter. When Ash died, Storm gathered his friends and made a play for the leadership of the Half-Hand tribe. He lost, and they were all banished. Ash had heard of the Dismal Swamp from a friend of his family and decided to try and make a home there.
Geography: In its heyday, the Peregrine was a glorious luxury merchant vessel, driven by magical paddle wheels, transporting goods and upper-class sightseers down the Danthas to the beauty of the Lotus Delta. Years ago, during a supernatural storm, bandits boarded the Peregrine, dispatched the guards, put the passengers overboard and sailed off into the marshes. The ship was grounded (location 8 see below) miles from the river, stripped of valuable fittings and left to rot. The wreck, somewhat intact due to superior construction, has been home to many different groups of fauna and Kin prior to the arrival of Storm’s tribe. Both Kana Sol (#20, #278), the Cold Paws Warrior Hobgoblins (#276) and Rushes in Sun Lizardfolk (#275) are aware of the new arrivals but pay little heed to them due to the group’s small size.