The Stockwood Scrolls
Mere of Dead Men
This vast salt marsh contains the ruins of the numerous castles, manors, and farms it swallowed as it expanded. It takes its name from the great armies of men, elves, and dwarves of Phalorm and Uthtower that fought against an orcish horde here before they were drowned when a powerful lich flooded their battlefield. Whereas once the High Road skirted the swamp, what now remains of that highway plunges through its expanded borders, and the route has largely fallen into disuse.
Those seeking to go south to Waterdeep from points north must often contend with the lizardfolk that claim the territory around the road. Alternative routes wind deeper into the mere or offinto the Sword Mountains at the cost of extra days of travel and peril.
Twisted trees, vines, and thick vegetation cloak the mist-shrouded surface of the cold saltwater swamp. Its air is foul with rotting stenches, and its water is black and opaque. Visibility, given fogs and rolling topography, is rarely more than half a mile.
For flightless creatures, travel in the Mere is slow and dangerous. Its dark waters are deep enough to permit a flat-bottomed skiff to pass, but many small islands rise from the swamp islands tangled with strange vegetation. The overgrown bones of long-fallen creatures lie everywhere. Quicksand is rare but mud all too common. Given the thick growth and frequent need to wade (and flounder), skiff-borne travelers can cover about eight miles in 10 hours.