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Coconino Marsh


desolate milkshake

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Once host to a vast river civilization, the Coconino Marsh has shrank considerably since its cultivation over two thousand years ago by a tribe of Terrenus natives who shared its name. The Coconino were a shamanistic society that collaborated with elemental spirits. Many of their stone totems, worn down with age, remain scattered throughout the wetlands, but it's hard to make sense of their aesthetic; their art is sometimes too abstract for undiscerning eyes to recognize as anything other than random patterns, as the Coconino did not anthropomorphize the elements.
 
One of the most famous sites in the Coconino Marsh is the Crocodile Wall. It is thought to have once been the wall of a forum and its surface is painted with frescoes depicting a common coming of age activity for apprentice shamans: wrestling crocodiles that skeletons indicate could grow up to ten meters in length. From these paintings, other artifacts, and a band of archaeologists who practice divination with fervor, a few facts are known about the Coconino: they did not wear clothing, their skin and hair were bone white, their bodies were emaciated from a strict diet and a lack of physical activity due to their intense spiritual proclivities, and they had their eyes removed in an initiation ritual the day before the fated crocodile wrestling was slated to occur. As they are partly responsible for the Peaceful Woods, it is thought they were an egalitarian society, which lacked a material culture.
 
There is little evidence to suggest what happened to the Coconino; there are no signs of mass migration or a battle. They simply left, as did the spirits with which they consorted. Either the Coconino covered their tracks, or time, and possibly the Legion of Desecrators, erased all trace of their fate. They were known, however, to have collaborated with the Shawnee, a sister tribe that still exists around about the Shawnee Glacier.
 
Aforementioned archaeologists, who are part of a Blaurg based group known as HERB (the Historical and Ecological Research Branch), operate a series of small campsites all year round taking measurements, collecting and divining objects, and in general they attempt to preserve the state of Coconino Marsh, the ecosystem in Terrenus with the highest biodiversity and a major source of freshwater.
 
As of late, the marsh has been losing its health due to an insurgence of toxic foreign wildlife. The extinction curve for native species has subsequently risen exponentially, and much of the drinking water provided by the Coconino Creek needs considerable filtration, as waterborne illnesses have proven to be resilient. This leads to compounded distress because the Coconino Marsh is growing; it floods every spring, increasing its territory. Nobody wants a voracious, poisonous bog on their hands.
 
Rumors also indicate that a sahagin Tidemaster has been spotted scouting the area. For what purpose, no one is certain, as contact with the hostile sahagin has always been rare.
Canon
  1. Church on the Hill - Raid: Coth's first festival is interrupted by a horde of barbarian raiders. Noble heroes rise to defend it, but where was prophet Constans? Away with elf ally Ioreth dealing with a local mystery underground and contending with the further mystery of Constans' dagger-like stomach pains. Eventually Ioreth helps Constans expel an entire snake from his body, and the snake warns that Coth is in trouble. While heroes Nyra and Tirkas defend Coth, the barbarians gain the upper hand. Constans finally arrives and sets things right with a stunning miracle, turning the sun temporarily green, acting by the whim and with the power of his god to extinguish the fires which nearly engulfed Coth.
  2. The campaign trail: Joseph Tynes, the Nationalist candidate for Norkotian Chairman, successfully wins the election over his opponents. In a moment of reflection after his victory, Tynes reminisces on the numerous events and actions he took in order to achieve this success.
  3. Whispers in the Mountains: As the result of a battle between a triad (a necromancer, a witch, an unknown Limper) and the Kur (an ancient civilization) residents of an ancient city at the peak of Blaurg Mountain, Coconino Marsh floods. The inundation is brief but has still managed to impact the local ecosystem
 
Labyrinth Forest
It is argued that the forest itself is alive. Either the forest is alive or the spell that controls it is exceedingly complex, and some find this notion of such intricate and complete spell mastery to be frightening.

There is no permanent path in this twisting maze of a forest. There is some legend that says there is a cipher to the forest, some method to the madness that would allow one to crack the proverbial code and trace their way out of the forest's grasp with ease. This cipher is not one that can be logically or intuitively reached. It is guarded and handed down through the generations of a family of Satyrs, the only family alleged to know the secrets of the Labyrinth forest.

Another legend has it set down that there is a baleful specter that has decided to make the dead-center of the forest its home. It is said that this specter's malignant presence is what so causes the brittle branches to sway when there is no wind, and is the sole cause of the twisting pathways.

Though it is not necessarily impossible to make it out alive, it is nonetheless extremely difficult. Some hapless fools have managed to stumble into the waiting grasp of the Labyrinth forest only to miraculously find their way out not an hour later. Miraculous is the right word to use, as such cases are extraordinarily rare and almost always the product of fortune and mere happenstance. Others have come fully prepared, mind steeled against the insanity to be found here and packs full of useful gear and provision, only to spend the rest of their lives locked behind the trees.

This forest is a secret tomb to many.

Due to the constantly shifting, ever intricate nature of the Labyrinth Forest, it is also a hot spot for those who have something to hide that they never want found.

Canon
    1. A dance among the treesAdventures battle hard against a band of killers known as the Demon Troupe, where they learn the inner strength to over come their inner monsters and win the day.
    2. Building the Foundation: After only a few more days, Predator's Keep is on the fast track to completion. The Keep itself is nearly finished, the next day seeing the application of the final polish. Trading outposts and homes are being built, alliances formed, and the Baroness is making sure P.K. continues to grow. 
    3. Laying Down the Foundation: After a day's preparation and travel, Red Yusuke sent letters in hopes of gaining support and supplies. The current Keep was a crumbling mess but it had enough potential. Red managed to rally nearly 60 people in the first day, over a dozen of them supernatural or vigorous. It was more help in rebuilding the Keep than Psion could hope for and before the day was done the groups were organized and the current Keep was to the ground.
    4. The Ring in the Labyrinth: Two friends make their way into the Labyrinth Forest in search of the fabled Ring of Balance. There they discover a bandit encampment, discover that the leader is in possession of the ring, and are forced to fight for their lives. This thread ends with the camp set ablaze, the leader and his followers killed, and one of the two friends walking away with the ring while the other loots the corpses.

    Coconino Creek
    Creek is a misnomer. It's more like Coconino Creeks and Rivers Network with Some Ponds and Waterfalls. Nevertheless, the most recent people to discover Coconino Marsh found the wetlands by following a system of humble creeks upstream. Little did they know, all the creeks flow into an expansive river, which in turn feeds into the South Sea. After discovering the remnants of the Coconino tribe, and seeing similar totems found in the Marsh throughout the Creek, HERB (the Historical and Ecological Research Branch) named the whole system after the same people.

    Coconino Creek flows not only from Coconino Marsh, but from several ponds to the east and southwest, some located in Ignatz. There's also some delightful, humble waterfalls here and there. It connects multiple villages and various towns, as well as the two capital cities of Ignatz and Casper. Since it services so many places, there's always a lot going on, and the otherwise calm creeks are swarmed with merchants, small vessels, fishermen and kids on their swanky little pedal boats.

    Unfortunately it shares some issues with Coconino Marsh, and some of the water it provides to Terran citizens is tainted. The water filtration industry has been booming for the past two years because of this problem, and HERB is currently investigating the wetlands.

    A fishermen's myth has it that swimming up and down Coconino Creek is a queer creature, a magical carp with scales of gold. Legend has it that during the Gaian Crusades, people who did not convert threw all of their coin into the Coconino Creek, hoping the spirit of the stream would help them. Out of the depths splashed a golden magic carp, and it granted their wish; as they tried to catch it, Coconino Creek flooded and they were washed into the South Sea, only to wash up in what became Last Chance.

    If anyone throws away all of their livelihood in the name of repentance and prays for mercy, if their heart is as golden as their words, the magic carp will splash forth and grant their wish. Kinda. Many have tried to selfishly catch the magic carp out of greed, but they are rarely heard from again.

    Canon
    1. Adventure or BustAn unknown traveler wanders into the Coconino Creek and gives everything he has to the river, joining with the golden carp and removing him from the creek. It is rumored that that man became Blairville's regent in 26 AO, going by the name Induo Katamus.

    Edited by supernal

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