Defile, The

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_T.pnghe Defile is a 500 square mile swamp fed by the foul waters of the Black River dumping into a wide, shallow basin. As the water flows into the Defile it slows to an imperceptible crawl, winding through a tight forest and narrow waterways.

Short, ragged trees with dense canopies and exposed roots cover the area. The dense canopy blocks out most of the light, so that even in midday everything is dark and murky. In between the trees grow a large variety of clinging scrub brush. Moss grows everywhere and hangs in long sheets from the trees. Many of Rilim’s flora, including small carnivorous plants, can only be found in the Defile.

Animals are common, mostly various rodents and birds. Large insects and hundreds of species of snake, many of them venomous, thrive in the area. Larger animals, such as crocodiles, can be found here as well.

Additionally, many tales can be found of all manner of evil monsters that live here, waiting in hiding to attack individuals for whatever nefarious reasons they have. One of the more common stories involves the Vaga’Yen, or Death Knell, so named because the shriek they make when they attack is the last sound you hear before you die. These large, pale, bloated insect like creatures are said to drop from the trees, or surge up out of the water at unwary travelers. Of course there have been no confirmed sightings of the Vaga’Yen, but such is the nature of swamps, is it not?

Travel through the Defile is difficult and slow, and almost always avoided. Solid ground is very infrequent, with slippery and dangerous footing the only constant. Water passage is equally troublesome as the few narrow waterways are always shifting or disappearing altogether. Fog banks and mist are common and visibility is usually only a hundred feet or less. The clawing odor of rot and decay are ever present.

Interestingly, the Defile serves as a filter for the waters of the Black River. As they slowly pass through the swamp, the plants and moss strip out the corruption and filth so that when they emerge on the other side and flow into the Solace River, the waters are clean and pure.

Defile, The

Chronicles of Rilim RedpointC