This strange rift in the floor of Oerth is over 180 miles in length and 10 to
30 miles in width. It is more than a mile deep in its most cavernous recesses,
and is packed with caves and caverns. Much of its length has been cleared of
monsters over the centuries, although some still remain in the deeper cavern and
The major importance of the Rift Canyon now is its home to some 4,000 bandits who have joined the self-styled Plar and his men, who originally occupied it. Some 6,000 humans now live in the Rift. They are a thorn in Iuz's side, since the Rift is largely barren and the bandits must emerge and raid for whatever they can get. The tremendous natural defenses of the Rift are such that bandits with good knowledge of its passes, slopes, and screes have a great advantage over any pursuers. However, it is likely that the bandits here will squabble among themselves given the preciousness of their existence. Iuz's servants will surely extract accounts of the place from captured bandits, and map key points of ingress for a final clean-out of these pests.
The V-shaped swampland above the neck of the Tilvanot Peninsula is sunken in
the center and cliffed along both coasts. This cupping causes water to form into
standing pools and sluggish streams and flows. The resulting morass of water and
vegetation is known as the Vast Swamp. The movement of water within it indicates
that it generally drains southward. It must be that there are underground
channels through which its outflow runs. On a limestone bed, clays, silts, and
peat from decaying vegetation have produced a rich carpeting. Fabulous lilies,
creepers, and ferns throng among swamp cypresses in the tea-colored waters.
The folk of Sunndi to the north regard the Vast Swamp with ambivalence. It is a great protection against land assault from the Scarlet Brotherhood, but it is disease-ridden and packed with hazards such as will o'wisps and many monsters. The gigantic crocodiles of the central swamp grow fat on a diet of bullywug and grung, but the numbers of those batrachians are almost beyond counting.
Lizard men and troglodytes compete for living space with the degenerate frog-folk, and all manner of poisonous toads, frogs, snakes, and insects add to the impressive range of unpleasant flora and fauna. These are said to be feral gray elves to the south, who are masters of vine-swinging above the virtually impassible swamp waters. There are many tales and legends concerning this area, especially in old times before the swamp was as extensive as it is now. The most oft-told one is that of the demilich Acererak, who is said to have ruled the swamp in the distant past and now has his burial place somewhere within its confines
The mix of marshland, semi-scrub, and watery broad land has historically
provided sanctuary to outlaw humans and demihumans fighting the evils of the
Overking of Aerdy. Some have drifted back to Rel Astra now, but most stay to
carry on their lives here. Unlike most areas of this sort, evil things fear to
enter the trackless Lone Heath, where there is said to be an alliance of druids
and rangers which has close links with those of the Grandwood Forest.
This comprises an extensive area of treacherous wetlands south of the Celadon
Forest. Its bogs are avoided during summer, since they buzz with
disease-carrying insects and are infested with poisonous reptiles. In the fall,
however, harvests of reeds, rushes, and swamp hay are gathered by Nyrondese
working from long, flat boats propelled with poles. Because of the poverty in
Nyrond, desperate souls try fishing and trapping here, and the harvest of human
meat happily eaten by alligators and scavengers, not to mention other monsters,
looks to increase substantially.
This great northeastern chain of mountains extends from the easternmost Ice
Barbarian lands right down to the Flinty Hills and North Province.
The Rakers are the original home of the most of the humanoids that have infested the Bone March, and there are plenty more where they came from. The mountains are named after the series of sharply-tipped peaks characteristic of this area. The mountain dwarves who still live within the Rakers have tended to retreat into deeper and deeper subterranean realms with the passage of time, settling in caverns of extraordinary beauty and complexity above the underdark lands, which can be accessed in only a handful of places below the peaks.
The Celadon Forest is technically shared between Nyrond and the Duchy of Urnst. Whereas Duke Karll enjoys great friendships with the (generally) peaceful elves and woodsmen of the western woodlands, the situation in Nyrond now borders on civil war. The former baron of Woodwych conducted extensive logging operations in "his" lands, fermenting anti-Nyrond rebellion. The new king has provided some hope to the wood folk. Mighty oaks and elms grow here, tended by treants, sylvan elves, and small groups of voadkyn. These folk prevent the harvesting of any live tree from the forest; those humans and elves who trade with the outside world are generally herbalists. The justly famous Keoghtom's ointment is said to derive from reagents gathered here. The southwest Duchy of Urnst is well served by rangers from the Celadon, mostly human and half-elven folk trained under watchful eyes at Stalwart Pines, the only known "organized" ranger school in the Flanaess. These protectors leave the forest for a period of one year after achieving "runner" status, when the world beyond the trees tests their passions, willpower, and dedication to their common cause. During this time of testing, the rangers provide invaluable service to the nation, aiding farmers, tending to wounded animals, and keeping the roads safe from highwaymen.