The marsh was ever encroaching upon the ramshackle town. The buzzing flies, slithering snakes, slimy toads, and bad water were to be found in every cellar. When the swampy land was engorged by the yearly flood, the villagers waded through ankle-deep water wherever they went. And every year, someone lost a foot, a leg, or their life to marsh rot. They made their lives largely in two fashions: selling peat that they cut out of the mire and poisons they cut out of the snakes and frogs that dwelt therein. For the latter, they did brisk trade with the nobility.