You’ve probably heard of Hatya – the impenetrable barrier of magical forest that separate Lathnia in two with the only traversable point being the Kings Road given to king Ravenos thousands of years ago. What you’re not as likely to have heard about however, is one of the alternate paths from one side of Hatya to the other known as the path of the swamp. The path starts a bit south of Fürstenau in the north and then ends at the south edge of Hatya in what is known as Border of Life in a city that is very much located within Hatya known as Riedlingen.
While the swamp is the safest part of Hatya (except the King’s Road) it is by no means safe, and while the Border of Life is also relatively safe, the inclusion of Riedlingen on this list should serve as a testament to the dangers of Hatya, as it is located in the safest part of it. Even so, Riedlingen is a very recent inclusion to the list as a direct consequence of the destabilization of the region. While unwelcome guests from Hatya has always been a part of life in the city, the destruction of the local church of Kyrie have deprived the city of it’s most important layer of protection against the darkness of Hatya.
A high occurrence of violent crime is another strong factor contributing to the dangers of living within the city. Some travelers even state that the most dangerous part of the way of the swamp isn’t Hatya itself – but Riedlingen. While slightly hyperbolic, it’s true that one must avoid painting a target on their head while within the city if one wouldn’t wish to end up on the bottom of the swamp, assumed to be forever lost to Hatya. Riedlingen is a major hot-spot for smuggling or other illicit activity as anyone unwilling to use the King’s Road but not powerful enough to take the high road in the mountains gathers in Riedlingen, ready to take the low road in the swamp.
While in Riedlingen, it is assumed to stay as incognito as possible and be on alert at all times. It’s fairly rare to encounter unwelcome guests from Hatya, but a poor run-in with bandits is probably the leading cause of death of non-citizens – after all, there’s no way to tell whether a missing person got lost to the forest or to foul play.