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Skow Swamp

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Skow Swamp was located near Hawker's Trail between Hartland and Southaven in Westland. While the Boundary was up but weakening, it was one of the few places along Hawker's Trail that was safe at night from the heart hounds.

Skow Swamp was a low area of Hawker's Trail, surrounded by a sodden wood of cedar. The swamp itself was a bowl in the earth at the bottom of a sharp slope. It smelled of wet and rotting dense vegetation. Woody vines hung from slick twisted limbs of trees that stood in the water on roots looking like claws and smaller leafy vines spiraled around anything strong enough to hold them. Everything seemed to be growing on top of something else. Water, dark and still, sat in stagnant expanses as if it had been steeped with decayed vegetation, enveloping stands of fat-bottomed trees. Duck weed drifted in thick mats on the water, looking like manicured lawn. The lush growth seemed to swallow all sound, allowing only the native calls to echo across the waters. Large trunks of trees stood like columns in the mire.

Going through Skow Swamp, Hawker's Trail narrowed and struggled to remain above the black water. There was an island high enough to be dry off the trail surrounded by water no more than three or four feet deep. There were a few poplar trees at the high point in the center of the island and cedars at the water's edge, but mostly it was covered with reed and a smattering of irises.

A large number of big water snakes called this water their home. They had dark brown bodies with copper-colored splotches. The snakes were attracted to people entering the water, but went away, when the Sword of Truth touched the water.

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