Scales of War
Lake Rhestin’s eastern shore is hard to define, because the lake gradually gives way to a vast wetland known as the Blackfens. The Blackfens tend to be marsh, rather than swamp—that is, most of the landscape is a treeless maze of open water, reeds, and wet, grassy flats that shelter countless waterfowl. Isolated hummocks or islets in the marsh are covered with dense brush or forests. In the days of Rhestilor the marsh was much smaller, its spread controlled through locks and canals, but it has grown steadily since the kingdom’s dissolution. Half-drowned farmhouses, dilapidated barns and sheds, and sinking fieldstone fences tell the tale of settled lands slowly inundated and abandoned.
The population of monstrous denizens is slowly on the rise in the Blackfens, but their growth is stunted by the constant vigilance of several small groups of elves known collectively as the Tiri Kitor. These elves were the caretakers of the swampland before the rise of Rhest, and they still fulfill their charge centuries after Rhest’s fall. They patrol the Blackfens with the aid of giant owls, using lanterns flickering with pale green magical fire at night. They keep a wary distance from the humans who occasionally fish in the marshland borders.