The Nyr Dyv, here called Midbay, is too shallow to establish a regular port for most shipping traffic. Long, rippled sandbars have formed along the lake bottom and often come within a few feet of the surface. Grounded and abandoned ships are sometimes seen here, riding just above the waves until completely wrecked by a storm. The halflings sometimes send their small boats out to rescue the crews and passengers of sailing ships and galleys stranded in this region by wind, wave, or crew error, though they are careful lest the “stranded crewmen” turn out to be pirates seeking to kill halflings for sport. Abandoned ships are immediately looted, though some cargoes are kept in Elmshire intact in case their owners in Greyhawk or elsewhere wish to recover them. An interesting underground economy has sprung up around the sale of cargo and valuables taken from shipwrecks to interested parties in Greyhawk. A few retired halfling adventurers have contacts with the Greyhawk Guild of Thieves or various city merchants, all of whom are potential buyers of stray goods.
A deep channel lies to the west, marked by colorful buoys with continual light spells spaced at 14-mile intervals to show ships the proper route to the Selintan. These buoys (“Zagig’s lights”), riding in water up to 60 feet deep, are maintained by both Elmshire boaters and a small naval group of the Greyhawk Militia, jokingly called the Midbay Marines.
The halflings of Elmshire are frequently seen on Midbay, though nearly always within sight of the sandy, rocky shore. They build leather and bark canoes holding up to four crew, catching fish with nets or hooked lines. Reels are used to haul in large fish. Salt purchased from Hardby is used for packing fish for export to Greyhawk. A few halflings own flat-bottom boats or rafts using small sails, but oars are always used on canoes. The fishers have superb knowledge of the shallow waters in this area and the shipwrecks found there. Most fishers can swim, but almost none of them dive deeply.
Midbay is very shallow, which keeps much dangerous lake-life out of the region. However, some hazardous fauna such as giant water beetles, giant crayfish, and some predatory fish still come into these waters near the South Shore. Huge aquatic ogres (merrow) are known to lurk around the eastern side of the Great South Peninsula, but they rarely come to the South Shore. Scrags— aquatic trolls—are rarely seen but much feared, as fire cannot be used against them in the lake. Most halfling boats put to sea with pitch-covered torches on them to frighten off any scrags. Light and continual light spells are less successful unless adjusted to present effects resembling actual burning flames. (Any wizard can make this adjustment to a continual light or light spell with a few days of research. The adjusted flickering light and continual flickering light spells are otherwise as normal, and can be used to fake bright torches and bonfires, respectively.)
Though Rhennee are not allowed near the South Shore, shallow- draft boats are sometimes sent over by ships anchored some distance offshore. A few merchantmen, galleys, cogs, and other ships of the Nyr Dyv trade with Elmshire for various goods, and the town has gained a larger sense of the world through this contact. Craft from the Association of Rafters, Freighters, and Bargemen of the Selintan also dock here, hauling goods to and from points within Greyhawk’s domain. The treacherous waters here ensure that Elmshire will never be a major port on the Nyr Dyv, but in many ways that is fine with its inhabitants.