Marais (which is human for ‘marshland’) refers to the tropical wetlands that cover a surface area of 150,000 km² of the Eastern Continent. This area is home to the most diverse range of species in Zihæt. The primary humanoid inhabitants of the area are the Tabaxi, though rumors persist of Voulgaropoulos Tribe settlements that choose to become part of the Holy Empire of Humanité.
The immense wetland covers the entire northeastern peninsula of the eastern continent.
Floodplain ecosystems such as the Marais are defined by their seasonal inundation and desiccation. They shift between phases of standing water and phases of dry soil, when the water table can be well below the root region. Soils range from high levels of sand in higher areas to higher amounts of clay and silt in riverine areas. Elevation of the Pantanal ranges from 80 to 150 m (260 to 490 ft) above sea level. Annual rainfall over the flood basin is between 1,000 and 1,500 mm (39 and 59 in), with most rainfall occurring between in the summer months. Annual average precipitation ranges from 920 to 1,540 mm. In the western river portion of the wetlands, water levels rise between two meters to five meters seasonally; water fluctuations in other parts of the Marais are less than this. Flood waters tend to flow slowly (2 to 10 cm (0.79 to 3.94 in) per second due to the low gradients and high resistance offered by the dense vegetation.
Fauna & Flora
The wetlands are home to a large concentration of iconic avian and mammal species including the river otter, capybara and giant anteater. The area hosts a diverse range of reptiles and acquatic life. This includes several reptiles over 15m in length, and the largest concentration of crocodiles and piranha on Zihæt. In all, the wetlands have more species of wildlife than the rest of Zihæt combined. Several variety of acquatic plants can only be found here, along with tropical rainforest plants, semiarid woodland plants. The wetlands and surrounding areas are home to several variety of large felines such as the Jaguar. These animals are often quite capable of hunting humanoid prey, in addition to other local wildlife. Several tribe of Tabaxi are known to inhabit the wetlands. They can often be found as travelers in other regions of the middle sea.
It is the only known location for the Cocoa tree. The harvesting of these trees are tightly managed by the native Tabaxi population who trade the resulting chocolate as a delicacy across Zihæt.
The Empire has tried on several occasions to expand into the wetlands, but each time met with failure. The environment and climate are not kind to the northern peoples. Troops and explorers are often go missing -- either eaten by local wildlife, or succumbing to unknown diseases.