Mystara Campaign: The Journey...
Mere of the Dead Men
The Mere of the Dead Men (or Merdelain, meaning Slow Marching Court in Elvish) is a swampy area located along the Sword Coast north.
The name Mere of the Dead Men referred to the thousands of dwarves, elves and humans of the Fallen Kingdom in that area during the invasion of an orc army.
The Mere is located along the Sword Coast on the Sea of Swords between Neverwinter and Waterdeep. The High Road skirts its edges on its way through the foothills of the Sword Mountains to the east.
The Mere of the Dead Men is a cold saltwater swamp roughly 100 miles long by 30 miles wide along the shore. It is a desolate place full of monsters and few members of the civilised races. The swamp has constantly grown over time, swallowing homes and property located close to its boundaries. It is believed that the eastern boundary of the Mere was magically bound to the High Road, since attempts to reroute the road were futile and only caused the expansion of the swamp.
The Mere itself is full of trees, vines and quicksand and hidden islands and it is generally covered in fog, making visibility poor. The bones of fallen creatures are said to be clearly visible throughout the Mere. The water is deep enough that it could be navigated on a flat-bottomed boat, but the dark water and hidden obstructions made that choice dangerous.
Inside the Mere are the flooded ruins of a number of castles and settlements. Many of the castles had strange wards that would either strengthen certain magic or negate it.
The Mere was created in 615 DR. After the armies of Phalorm (the Fallen Kingdom) were overrun by the Horde of the Wastes in 614 DR, the few that rallied made their stand at Iniarv’s Tower, a tower that once belonged to Iniarv, the former Mage Royal of Uthtower.
King Uth VII begged him for help, calling upon Iniarv’s ancient alliance with Uthtower. Iniarv acquiesced, calling on the ocean to flood the entire area, killing all goblinoids and humanoids alike. When the waters receded, all that was left was a saltwater swamp. The land was never permanently resettled, although there were a few recorded attempts that were thwarted by the wetland and strange monsters released by Iniarv’s spell.
Over the years, various creatures have made the Mere their home from
• The great black dragon known as Ebondeath which made Uthtower its home and is said to have become a dracolich and has since disappeared along with the Ebondeath Sect (priests and followers of Myrkul) which sprung up around it;
• The Trolls which survived the Trollwars against Waterdeep;
• More recently Bullywog tribes, lizardfolk, giant frogs and toads, giant leeches, giant lizards, shambling mounds, snakes and will-o’-wisps;
• Undead are not uncommon;
• Tales speak of “the Black Death”, a black dragon which is the hidden power within Mere.
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