Rognosst Swamp is a treacherous area secluded from Men, hidden away behind the Forest of Shadows. It rests in the shadow of the Jagged Edge and Wizard Peak, and thus, some Chaos races from the Jagged Edge occasionally find their way into the swamp, where they are often killed (and frequently eaten) by the monsters there.
With its treacherous terrain and foreboding landscape, Rognosst Swamp is enough to frighten even some of the bravest adventurers. Its trees are sparse but always weeping, with thin branches hanging low and covered in long, drooping leaves. The oldest have long, supple roots and thick, twisted trunks covered in so many hideous gnarls that they can be mistaken for swamp trolls - which some of them are. The land is moist and unstable, composed largely of mud and frequented by pools and ponds of filthy, reeking swamp water. The air is always humid and sticky, and more often than not, thick fog lies over the entire swamp, making it difficult to see and adding to its unwelcoming atmosphere.
There are almost countless monsters dwelling within Rognosst Swamp. Most of them are beastfolk of various types, although there are also trolls and other monsters.
Lizardfolk and other Reptilian Beastfolk
Rognosst Swamp is home to what is perhaps one of the largest populations of lizard and other reptilian beastfolk in the realm. These creatures live in expansive, although primitive, civilizations with their own extensive customs and cultures developed from years of dwelling within the swamp. When Men took the lands, these beastfolk were pushed into the swamp, and there they have remained for many ages. There are many different types of reptilian beastfolk dwelling in the swamp, and many of them are divided into small communities that the largest civilization - the worshippers of Rognosst, who have built great stone pyramids to honor their god - are still working to unite under one banner. Most of the reptilian beastfolk in the swamp are lizardfolk, although there are also a few crocodile-men among their number. These crocodilefolk generally live more solitary lives than the lizardfolk, but it is not unusual to see the occasional crocodile-man living among his smaller reptilian kin, especially in the case of the worshippers of Rognosst. In terms of sheer strength and power of the beastfolk within Rognosst, the enormous crocodile-folk have no equal, making them one of the most feared monsters in the area, particularly with their habit of capturing prey in their powerful jaws and drowning them in the filthy swamp water.
Rognosst, the "Dragon God"
The primary deity of the reptilian beastfolk that dwell within Rognosst Swamp, particularly the lizardfolk, is a being they refer to as "the dragon god Rognosst," from which the swamp receives its name. This black dragon - who is only a few centuries old, making him young for one of his kind - is the only creature said to live within the Forest of Shadows. He truly lives within tunnels of the mountains north of the forest, although he frequently visits the corrupted woods, but he is very seldom - if ever - actually seen. The lizardfolk offer sacrifices to him on a daily basis, or more often on days of special occasion, in times of need or fear, or for some other unique event. The beastfolk worshipping him have built a mighty, if bloodthirsty, civilization in his honor, complete with enormous stone pyramids, great carvings, and even some primitive writings. It is said that, if the civilization of the reptile beastfolk is badly threatened, Rognosst will arise from the shadows of the corrupted woods to defend his worshippers.
There are many amphibian beastfolk dwelling within Rognosst Swamp. The frog beastfolk are lithe and agile, with long, wiry limbs and small, primitive communities built partially underneath swamp water. Many of these communities ally themselves with their larger, slower, and stronger kin, the toad beastfolk. While the frog-men often employ weapons such as spears and use their tongues to disarm their enemies, the toad-men generally prefer to use their strong arms and hands to fight. The toad-men also frequently employ their incredibly strong and sticky tongues to capture and swallow their enemies whole, letting them slowly digest alive in their enormous bellies. The toad-men are alongside the crocodile-folk as some of the most feared creatures in Rognosst Swamp for their enormous size, great strength and endurance, and tendency to eat their victims alive. They generally live solitary lives and do not care much for the affairs of others, instead fighting only to defend themselves or when hungry, but they are sought after as allies by almost every other type of beastfolk dwelling within the swamp.
Another commonly seen type of beastfolk (although they are not referred to as such) are the pixies. They generally live in secluded homes in the trees of the swamp. They are not known to maintain alliances with other swamp-dwellers, what with their chaotic, protective, and generally self-serving ways. They enjoy playing pranks on travelers, including petty things such as tangling their hair, tickling them, and moving reeds or trees to feign the presence of a nearby enemy, among other things. Sometimes, however, pixies will steal small trinkets (especially jewelry) from travelers while they are asleep. Pixies often disguise themselves as small balls of light - much like will-o-wisps, another danger of the swamp - in order to mislead trespassers. They may lead their victim into the lair of a solitary crocodile or toad beastman in order to make them kill the unsuspecting trespasser (who may even be another swamp-dweller, such as a lizardman), but more often than not, pixies merely lead other creatures away from their villages instead of directly to their deaths. Some pixies, however, may mislead travelers to their death for their own entertainment - which can lead to feuds within some pixie communities.
The swamp is home to many trolls, particularly the largely unintelligent and aggressive swamp trolls, who use their long, wiry limbs to disguise themselves as gnarled trees and ambush travelers. Regardless of their appearance, their strength should not be underestimated, and they have gained a particular taste for the flesh of beastfolk, men, and elves alike. Nearer to the Jagged Edge, some mountain trolls live their mostly docile and solitary lives, their enormous, rocky bodies blending perfectly into the stone of the mountains. Only one mountain troll lives at the base of Wizard Peak, however, and these larger and more peaceful trolls are considerably rarer than their swamp-dwelling relatives.
Many other dangerous creatures live within the area, ranging from various giant beasts (such as giant mosquitoes and leeches) to the occasional mysterious ghost who haunts the dismal swamps. These ghosts are often the spirits of various human soldiers who were killed in the swamp but left behind some reason for their spirits to linger. This has led some to say that those killed in Rognosst Swamp never truly find peace.