The Troublemire (Asylon Supplement)
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The Troublemire is a vast swamp ruled only by anarchy. Its morass stretches from the southern reaches of the plains of Lilandor to the Black coast: Aina's southernmost shore. In between is stinking bogland as far as the eye can see. This land is believed to be everything from the home of Germordl, Prince of Madness, to the site of the worst Merran atrocities, but the only thing every scholar agrees on is that it is the result of powerful dark magic. Even with that universal agreement, all scholars have yet to turn up any evidence in support of this. There are a wealth of Merran temples and palaces visible within the mire, but what few that have been explored have turned up nothing remotely magical. Even Elante, an Altmer wizard who became so obsessed with the question that he constructed a tower in the southern reaches of the region has not reported any findings; it is feared that he has succumbed to madness in the wilds.
There are all kinds of monsters found in the Troublemire ranging from monstrous crocodiles and wicked bog hags to creatures that seem to come from some other world entirely. The only sentient species native to the Mire are the Hressh, lizardfolk with a powerful connection to magical forces. They live in constant competition with each other and the other creatures in the swamp, eliminating those more powerful than themselves by any means necessary. They judge power amongst each other on how many of their peers fear them, and by that criteria none are more powerful than Dark Mask. He is an aging Hressh who has set up a fortress almost in the geographic center of the Mire, and from there he commands a large host of resentful underlings, all Hressh who would rather submit to his will than be destroyed by it. Very little happens in the Mire without his knowledge, and while he can be dangerous to approach, it is often advisable not to attempt to sneak around what he considers to be "his" land.
There are a few notable locations in the Troublemire, the first of which isn't truly within it at all. The Last Tavern is situated just as the landscape begins to make a definite change from rolling plains into fetid marshlands, and is a small but significant establishment where the bravest of adventurers stop to recharge before heading out into what could certainly be their last adventure. It is run by Kjeld Wind-Eye, a retired Geat adventurer who is famous for his 17 journeys into the Troublemire: more than any other man or mer. Simshon is another noteworthy location, an outpost and dock for Dunmer military recruits. Elite Dunmer strike teams train on these grounds, exposing themselves to the harshness of the swamp for weeks on end before their training can be considered complete. Finally and most important is the Mad God, the largest tree in the Mire. It appears to be a tree growing upside down, with barren roots spreading into the sky and branches smashed into the ground. This gigantic tree with limbs thicker than most Atralonian homes is considered to be the physical home of Germordl, and is welcome shelter for thousands of small, ferocious critters.
- Imports: None
- Exports: None
- Alchemist: While perhaps not as plentiful as the jungles of Virrah, there are nonetheless a wealth of potion components to be found in the Troublemire. Alchemists from this region tend to focus on poisons and mutagens, as the herbs from the region are so much more apt for this line of work.
- Summoner: In such a treacherous land, it can be a huge boon to have a second (or third, or fourth) pair of eyes to keep an eye out. Given that Hressh are so inherently magical, Summoner is a perfect choice for them. A servant that is completely obedient (and subject to complete manipulation) is exactly what most Hressh crave. Having the ability to summon dozens of other creatures is no drawback, either.
- Witch: Sometimes eliminating an opponent is the fastest way to see personal gain, and the witches of the Troublemire understand this perhaps better than any other individuals in Aina. Mireborn witches often ally themselves with a coven of hags early on in their lives, and use it to their advantage until they pass on into the Aether.
- Sorceror: Hressh are naturally and powerfully gifted with magic and sorcery is a natural extension of these talents. The classic image of a Hressh perched on a log over a bubbling ooze simply isn't complete without at least one hand wreathed in arcane power.
- Oracle: Oracles are rare all across Aina, but the seem to be more prevalent in the Troublemire. Oracles from this region are almost always burdened by one of the Draenen. In truth, there has never been an instance of a Hressh (or any other mireborn creature, for that matter) being saddled with power by any of the Aenen.
- Ranger: The truly paranoid among the Hressh will sometimes sacrifice their grasp of complete arcane power in favor of abilities that are useful in those rare moments when magic is useless. These individuals certainly begin to break the mould in terms of what it means to be a Hressh in the Mire, but are nonetheless capable of some impressive feats of survival, even thriving.
- Barbarian: In rare instances, a Hressh will feel that the best way to cope with the hellish life of the Mire is to succumb to it and rage along with the land. Most Hressh that walk this path die early on, but some rise to prominence, and can gain notoriety amongst their peers.
- Druid: Druid is not the most popular choice for Hressh, perhaps because arcane magic is more appealing, or perhaps because the thought of a being who [i]controls[/i] the swamp is simply too terrifying. These individuals--though rare--are capable of exerting mastery over many of their fellows, not to mention frightful displays of power.
- Rogue: A far more likely choice than barbarian, rogues are still not popular amongst the Hressh. These individuals often become "mage-killers," feigning weakness to be taken in as a slave of a Hresshi caster, then striking from the shadows as soon as he lets his guard down.
- Fighter: The thought of a Hresshi warrior is strange. The thought of a [i]skilled and trained[/i] Hresshi warrior is almost unheard of. These individuals almost without fail wield polearms and attempt to bring down their magical brethren with brute force and from a distance; these individuals almost always fail.
- Inquisitor: Power is of the utmost importance in the swamp. Without power, one dies. Most Hressh discover it within themselves and rise as high as they can, but some precious few feel the call of the gods, recognize their absolute power, and submit to it like they would a powerful Hresshi sorceror. These individuals serve unquestioningly, although more than a few are likely keeping an eye open for a god's weakness at all times.
- Bard: There such a mirthless land, dancing and music are replaced with somatic components and chanting. There is no time for storytelling, and no time for the transmission of culture.
- Cleric: As creatures concerned only with power, Hressh are selfish. As selfish creatures, they wouldn't dream of serving a god without also considered the means by which to usurp its power. Clerics--whether evil or good--serve faithfully, and Hressh would never dream of such nonsense.
- Monk: To survive in the swamp requires lightning quick reflexes, assembling power as quickly as possible, and fast decision-making. All of these are foreign ideas to the monk tradition, and thus there are no monasteries within the borders of the Mire.
- Paladin: Hressh serve themselves.
- Cavalier: There are no creatures in the Mire that have been tamed or bound as beasts of burden, so there are no lancing knights charging throughout its murky waters. Also, again: Hressh serve themselves.