MoM:Monsters of Murkmire
Murkmire is an incredibly dangerous place, for both the locals and newcomers. This book highlights many of those dangers, with 31 original stat blocks of monsters, beasts, and peoples who can be found in the swamps of Black Marsh. Monsters aren't the only dangers in the deep of Murkmire. This book also highlights some of the more perilous flora that can be found, and which should be avoided, if possible.
Although the threats of Murkmire make up a large portion of the pages, this book also covers the different types of people that can be found living in or exploring through the marsh. Chapter 1 includes new player options, including a new subrace of Argonians: the Naga, along with two factions that your character might be apart of or come across while delving through the thick muddy morass. Chapter 2 provides 13 new magic and mundane items and treasures that can help you stave off many of the deadly threats.
Welcome to Murkmire
Aside from the coastal settlement of Lilmoth, Murkmire is mostly untamed swamplands that have been left to grow unhindered by the local tribes. The beauty of the natural landscape, untouched by man or mer, along with the promise of forgotten and unguarded treasures, gathers the attention of a diverse set of travelers.
The last time any part of Murkmire was seen in game was in the first of the Elder Scrolls series: Arena. Released in 1994, the limited graphic capabilities required a lot of imagination to really take in the wondrous and alien nature of the Argonians. In 2009 we were given a new glimpse of Lilmoth, this time with the written word. Several of the characters featured in the Greg Keyes novel, the Infernal City, lived in the city.
It wasn't until late 2018 that we were able to truly see the wild beauty of Murkmire with the release of a DLC of the same name in Elder Scrolls Online. We were able to learn about the unique creatures and tribes that live in the marsh, and learn more about how the Argonians look at life—a way that is truly alien to many of us, in world and out.
The Menacing Mire
Unfettered beauty might draw sightseers into the wilds, but the dangers of Murkmire quickly consumes those who do not travel with a seasoned guide. Only the bravest and boldest—and maybe the reckless—can make their way into the swamps without fear, but even they need to be prepared, or the deep murk will devour them too.
Completing even simple tasks in the murk can prove deadly. Simply gathering food is a dangerous proposition, even for Argonians. Salted meat imported in from other settlements proves to be the safest way to sustain yourself, and its preserved nature allows it to not rot so easily in the dampness of the swamp. If you are looking to find fresh ingredients to make local cuisine, it's best to bring a guide with you. There are many good looking foods that grow out in the wilds—knifeberries, toadskin peppers, ghost truffles—but these foods will kill most anyone who eats them. Without a guide, explorers can easily starve in the marsh.
Stepping outside the walls of Lilmoth offers far more dangers than simply finding food that won't kill you, and it's just as likely that you will be seen as food to something else. Even the most mundane setbacks can turn into mortal dangers in the swamp. Swarms of flesh flies threatens anyone who hasn't come prepared with deterrents. These billowing clouds of buzzing pain can quickly wear down even the most hardened explorers. Being bitten by poisonous snakes or spiky snails can quickly end an expedition. It's best to have a hearty supply of reliable curatives if the need should arise, and it likely will.
Traveling Through Murkmire
Making your way through the overgrown swamps is difficult, even for the local tribes. If the living dangers weren't enough, the thick mud and fiendish flora slows down any travel, and the constant and sudden storms can easily disorient diligent navigators. The weather of Murkmire is known to be nastier than a crocodile's bite.
Explorers who take on the task of making their way through the mire will face a series of difficulties. Travel speed is reduced, even for native Argonians and expert guides. Outsiders have an especially difficult time navigating their way, as anyone who doesn't have a deep connection with the Hist can easily get lost. Food that won't poison you is scarce, and the water found in the rivers carry diseases that can end an adventure in an unceremonious way. Dehydration and starvation are serious considerations and can make tracking fresh water and food exciting and terrifying.
Deep Fever Disease
Without the appropriate protection, flesh-flies start off as a nuisance but can quickly put an end to an adventure. Bug-repellent candles (chapter 2) is the best way to stave off the pesky insects.
Each creature who spends a day traveling in the Mire without such precautions, or a creature that attempts a short or long rest in the wilderness, must succeed on a DC 11 Endurance saving throw or risk being infected by the Deep Fever disease. The symptoms of the disease appear after 1d12 hours after being infected.
Once the symptoms begin, the infected creature has the following effects:
- their speed is reduced by 5
- they only regain half the normal number of hit points from spending Hit Dice during a short rest.
- they regains hit points as normal after a long rest, but gain one level of exhaustion.
At the end of a long rest, an infected creature repeats the saving throw, shaking off the disease on a successful save.
If you are looking for more concrete rules and tools to help you with your Murkmire expedition, take a look through the Dungeons & Dragons adventure 5e Core Rules. The book is full of rules for travel distance, navigation, diseases, and survival tools, as well as fantastic puzzles and locations that should easily fit right in with the untamed wilds of Black Marsh.
|Miscellaneous Creatures||NPCs||Fiendish Flora||Appendix|