Tales From Janus Valley
South of Maynard’s Crossing is a vast marsh. Early settlers in the region deemed it too vast and dangerous to ever map, and it was thus dubbed “trackless.” The nickname has persisted, even though comparably safe pathways have been found through its outer reaches.
The Trackless Fen is a huge mangrove swamp, open to the sea on its western edge. It is home to abundant wildlife, from insects to alligators, and has a particularly robust variety of amphibians. With the exception of the lawless town of Brackwash on the coast, no permanent settlements exist within its confines. Small nomadic tribes of bullywug eke out a tribal existance, but tend to be hostile to outsiders.
Visitors to the fen are advised to minimize travel. The marshes are treacherous, and sinkholes can open up abruptly. Stinging insects are abundant, and natural predators can grow to vast size. Native bullywugs can prey on the unwary, and this doesn’t even account for the unknown hazards that claim hunters and explorers every year.
In ages past, the Fen was allegedly home to a vast predator called The Great Ebon Dragon. The huge beast attacked the fledgling village of Maynard’s Crossing before being slain in an unknown lair deep in the swamp. This cave has never been found again, and the Ebon Dragon remains a figure of myth.
The brave or foolhardy occasionally venture deep into the unexplored reaches of the swamp. Amidst the tall tales and fabrications, those that return occasionally have stories of mysterious ruins half-sunk into the mire. Others talk of sighting far-off glimpses of strange huts built unlike any they’ve ever seen. Some say that colored lights rise from the marsh to lead the unwary to a watery grave, and others speak of birds large enough to carry a man off to his doom. How much of these are exaggeration and how much fact are as yet unproven.