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Ghostlight Marsh

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Ghostlight Marsh,1 sometimes called the Ghostlake Marsh,2 is a swamp surrounding the joining of the Esk and Kestrel rivers3 that is named for the will-o'-wisps dwelling within its murky depths.45


The marsh is comprised of swampland stretching along the River Esk's banks and is known for its unsettling floating lights. It spans the border between the Hold of Belkzen and Lastwall, and orcs and humans alike avoid it.6


The will-o'-wisps have not always been a part of the marsh. In fact, they are the results of a single great sacrifice made within the marsh in 4237 AR, when the orcs of the Hold of Belkzen pushed their southern borders further into Lastwall. While most fled in the face of the orc horde, a few stood fast in defense of their homeland. One of these groups was the druidic Council of Thorns, who opposed the devastation the orcs were wreaking on the land.46

They were gradually forced back to the swamp between the Flood Road and the River Esk, and their final act was to sacrifice themselves in a bloody ritual. As their blood mingled with the swamp water, dozens of lights rose from the murky swamp. Those lights were the Council of Thorns reincarnated as will-o'-wisps who have guarded the Ghostlight Marsh ever since, although rumor has it they do not attack those well attuned to nature.46 The will-o'-wisps retained memories from their former lives as druids.6


An entrance to the Vault of Thorns, a demiplane of the Council of Thorns, lies within the marsh. A ghostlight lantern can guide travelers to the entrance if imbued with the light from a dead will-o'-wisp's husk.3


  1. James Jacobs et al. (2011). "The Inner Sea". The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 100. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  2. Gareth Hanrahan, Steve Kenson, Patrick Renie, Tork Shaw, and Jerome Virnich. (2012). Knights of the Inner Sea, p. 10. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-460-3
  3. 3.0 3.1 Larry Wilhelm. (2015). The Hill Giant's Pledge. The Hill Giant's Pledge, p. 7. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-726-0
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 James L. Sutter. (2008). The Hold of Belkzen. Skeletons of Scarwall, p. 61–62. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-099-5
  5. Tyler Beck, Jason Garrett, Alex Greenshields, Tyler Beck, Jason Garrett, Alex Greenshields, and David Schwartz. (2014). "Belkzen Gazetteer". Belkzen, Hold of the Orc Hordes, p. 10. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-710-9
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Larry Wilhelm. (2015). The Hill Giant's Pledge. The Hill Giant's Pledge, p. 8. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-726-0