Here I will discuss briefly the formation and positioning of swamps,bogs, and marshes. You will learn how and where to place them, and a fewtechniques for drawing them.
Swamps are formed in soft, low lying ground near to a source ofample water. That source may be the ocean, a lake, a river, or even anaquifer. They tend to be small and compact. Swamps are of each extremein the time that they exist: a swamp with a good water source and littledisturbance can exist longer than a mountain range. Swamps are earthquakeresistant, and only the greatest of tremors will cause a serious disturbance.Yet when a swamp dries up, it is rapidly swallowed up by the surroundinglandscape. You might consider creating separate maps for separate times,to distinguish the fluxuating of landscapes. dead swamps are the idealsetting for an ethereal encounter, or just a spooky place to venture through.A live swamp's vegetation would most likely be the remnants of a forestof some native tree, with about three feet of stagnant, still water coveringabout five feet of slippery, thick mud. This mud would arise in clumpsto form islands, which would be carpeted by a form of grass or moss, populatedby withered shrubs or reeds. Any swamp can have seperate vegetation, andnone of the above mentioned is mandatory.
Swamps are the ideal landscape for 'filling in' areas around riverdeltas, old lakebeds, etc. Just remember that the swamp, if a live one,must be close to some form of water. If you choose to create a dead swamp,you can place it anywhere that of old had a water source. Swamps placedin a river delta will be broken into separate sections by strong currents,and will be more likely to have quicksand than any other. Quicksand iscaused by the irregular flow of water beneath the surface of the swamp,and the channels of a broken river provide plenty of these. Remember thatcities cannot be built within a swamp, lest they burn down, fall over,and then sink into the swamp. (You Pythonites should understand that!)
How to draw swamps
Swamps are comprised of symbols roughly equalling \|/. (I willcreate the graphic necessary to show true swamp formation shortly) Thesesymbols are placed relatively close together, to create the effect of asaturated area. Any other form of swamp symbols are absolutely fine, butmay not be understood correctly if they are too obscure. Just use goodjudgement, or if worse comes to worse, a key, and things should be fine.
Some swamp names
Swamps have a very distinct naming mechanism. Consider these names:Wetwang, The Dead Marshes, Darnlan, and Nyissa. (© their respectiveauthors) Do you notice anything similar between them? If you don't, youshould be strung up here and now. These names (excluding Darnlan) beara favoritism towards the dark, the dead, and the sly. These names provokea sense of black, cold water, and dead, sun bleached branches. But thereis an exception. Darnlan evokes an image of a serene landscape, cool andthriving with life. Swamps, it seems, do not always have to bring up animage of despair.
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