The bog covered an area of about 8–10 square miles (21–26 square kilometers) mostly to the east of the Long Road. The stream disappeared into the bog, forming a landscape of thick mud that reached about 30 ft (9.1 m) at its deepest point, but averaged over 20 ft (6.1 m) deep across most of its sprawl. It was difficult to detect the edge of the muck without a sharp eye or some experience in the wilderness because it was covered with crabgrass and other small, hydrophilic plants, just like the more solid parts of the valley. Two or three strides into the bog was usually enough to reach the edge of the shallows where a medium-sized humanoid slowly sank hip- to chest-deep in heavy, sucking mud. Movement was slowed to a crawl and it took significant strength to pull someone out. If that creature moved any further into the Black Maw, or could not touch bottom for some reason, they began a slow descent to total immersion in roughly six minutes.
The narrower, western end of the bog was crossed by Ilikur's Bridge (known as simply the "Haunted Bridge" by most folks in the region) which carried the Long Road connecting Westbridge and Triboar. The enormous megalith spanned the Huntinghorn Water and bog for 100 ft (30 m) with another 100 ft of ramps on either end. At 40 ft (12 m) wide and 30 ft (9.1 m) above the Black Maw, it was easily the most dominant feature in the region.
As of the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, Ilikur's Bridge had been standing for at least 800 years and was described as "old" in records that dated back that far, so Black Maw Bog was probably even older. Over the years, it shifted and expanded, mostly toward the east.
Rumors & LegendsEdit
Rumors of treasure-laden merchant wagons and nobles' carriages submerged in the bog were enough to draw the brave, ingenious, or foolish to the vicinity of the Haunted Bridge in the hope to recover some of this lost wealth. Some well-equipped adventurers did find valuables on occasion, which served to perpetuate the stories, but most were lucky not to drown in the attempt.
The primary inhabitants of the region around the Black Maw Bog were bugbears, and they kept an eye on the bridge. Travelers from Triboar or Westbridge were often advised not to camp on the Haunted Bridge for superstitious reasons, but it was excellent advice for avoiding an almost certain bugbear raid.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ed Greenwood (May 2003). “Elminster's Guide to the Realms: The Haunted Bridge”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #307 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 57.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 32. ISBN 978-0786965786.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ed Greenwood (May 2003). “Elminster's Guide to the Realms: The Haunted Bridge”. In Jesse Decker ed. Dragon #307 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 56.