Friday, February 19, 2016

Region Spotlight: The Salt Marshes


The lands know known as the Salt Marshes were once the bulk of eastern Sytheria. These new lands were born when he tidal wave that smashed over the coasts of Sytheria and washed inland began to recede. Ancient Sytherian cities had been levelled or abandoned, and the once lush jungle was poisoned with salinity, withering away in a matter of years, forcing the survivors into the untouched lands of Sytheria and Sytheros to the east.

This tragedy, however, was seen as a blessing to a people that had almost been driven to extinction by the Sytherians: The Saurians, also called "Lizardfolk" in a derogatory manner. Once a proud shamanistic culture, they had been oppressed, and in some dark times of the past, culled, by the Ophiduans. Prior to the breaking, they eked out a miserable existence on the southern edges of Sytheria, reduced to a handful of tribes competing over meagre resources.

After the waters receded, the tribes cautiously began to move into these new lands, and found they were perfectly adapted to the marshy lands and mangrove swamps that began to form. With their shorter lifespans and fecundity, the Saurians have increased their number 10-fold in the last 200 years, becoming a dominant force in the Salt marshes. Saurians have a culture based around Shamanism, druidism and atavism, with places given spiritual significance as much as spirits or animals.

The Saurians are not the only claimants to these new lands, as the rapid adaptation of some species of aquatic creatures has brought new monstrous denizens to the Marshes. The Salt Marshes are an untamed and brutal lands, full of natural dangers and lost Ophiduan treasures.

The most dangerous claimant to the marshes are a race long thought to have gone extinct, the Dhashou, a race of Amphibious humanoids that were an ancient enemy to the Ophiduans. It was assumed they had been wiped out seventy thousand years ago, but now some Dhashou settlements have been sighted along the coasts and the archipelago of the Shattered Isles of the north east. The Dhashou have a fanatical belief that they are the only sentient species, and every other race is a lie sent by dark spirits from a metaphysical space they call Mharakhour. Dhashou are also psionically mute, and have a natural resistance to psionic powers, though they are not immune. They do wield a form of divine power that is similar to that used by clerics and paladins, but as yet no deity has ever claimed the Dhashou as worshippers.

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