Temple of Elemental Evil

Arrival: The Ruins of the Moathouse

But I like to think of it as a moat-home

moathousekeep.jpg

A scrub of thorns, thistles, weeds, and shrubs grows thickly along the edge of the track which leads into the wilderness. Even the track itself is mostly overgrown and cluttered with fallen branches and trees. Here and there it is washed out, in other places a mire.

Some game evidently still follows the pathway, for after a mile or so faint traces can be seen. But even considering this, going is slow. It takes about four hours to travel this distance, as much hacking and clearing must be performed. After two miles, as the track turns more northerly, the land begins to sink and become boggy. Tall marsh plants grow thickly where cattails and tamaracks do not. Off to the left can be seen the jagged silhouette of the moathouse.

The small ruined keep stands in the middle of the bog and is surrounded by a dank, algae filled moat The rotting timbers and rusted chins of an ancient drawbridge rest upon the soggy ground entrance into the main courtyard.

A side path, banked high to cross over the wetland to either side, just north to the entrance of the ruin. The track here is only about 15 feet wide or so, with crumbling embankments making travel near the edge dangerous. The bogs stink. The vegetation appears dense and prolific, but somehow sickly and unhealthy, creepers and vines throwing their strangling loops over the skeletons of dead saplings and living bushes alike. The rushes and cattails rustle and bend even to a slight zephyr, and weird bird calls, croaking and other unwholesome sounds come faintly across the fen.

The afternoon sunlight filters through the moss-covered merlons atop the crenelated moathouse walls, casting the bog in eerie, yellowish light and shadow.

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