Lake Zher is a great lake of southern Zarhuy. It is an important source of the flow of water south of Antor and into the southwest corner of Antor. Its presence serves as a great natural resource for the peoples living around it, and a natural barrier to invaders of the remaining lands of the High elves in southern Zarhuy.
The lake is enormous, the largest freshwater body of water on Aiers, the lake's largest island about a hundred km long and over 8,000 square km. The surface area of Lake Zher is about 530,000 square km even removing the three main islands. Considering the deep center of the lake, the volume of water is estimated to be some 123,000 cubic km.
Lake Zher is a great basin formed with a ring of mountains or highlands around it. Water runoff that moves to the center accumulates into the lake, which has a rather deep center, but more shallow around its periphery, subject to seasonal and periodical rises and falls.
The lake is a natural consequence of a large basin surrounded by mountains. Even though only one large river flows into it, three large rivers issues out from it as it overflows its limits. Most water is added from numerous small rivers flowing through Thilien and the Stiel Mountains, and hundreds of mountain streams bringing in snowmelt and rains, and seasonal rains. One large river flows out to the northwest, another to the west, and a small river flows to the south in a seasonal rush to the nearby ocean.
The lake water level varies as snows finish melting and rains stop. The three outflowing rivers change markedly through the year or during droughts from torrents to water slowing to a low ebb.
The lake is subject to evaporation, although the mountains help mitigate that process by entrapping some of the water vapor. The land of Thilien is a major beneficiary in receiving new rains that originated from the body of water to its west. Clouds that escape the basin might fall as rain in lands to the west of the Stiel Mountains.
Lake Zher is more than large enough to generate its own weather patterns, or have an effect on the larger continental weather. Also due to the great size of this body of water is that storms overhead can generate some of the same effects as might be seen on a sea. So boats on the water or buildings on the shore might be inundated by wave action.
Antorian Orcs, Loranor, Wild elfs, Humans, High elves, and Dwarfs all derive benefit from Lake Zher. Indeed, further away, in the Saahdons, the froglike Saah, and more elves benefit from the additional water.
Lake Zher is a great lake with a great deal of fish in its depths and fowl along its variable shores. It is an important source of meat to the people living on its shores, and a source of sustenance for wildlife, and a destination for migratory birds. Wild elfs and Antorian Orcs even some distance to the north derive a benefit from animals that migrate to and from the lake.
The northwest river flowing from the Lake Zher is called the Shaa River and is of great importance to the peoples and wildlife living in southwest Antor. It is a steady source of fresh water into an often arid land. It joins the Antorian River rejuvenating it, and later flowing into the great swamp and jungle delta of the Saahdons, a great node of wildlife and migration.
Likewise, the westerly flowing river breaks into smaller branches that form small, but well defined deltas on the coast of southwest Zarhuy. These are also key areas of habitat. The short torrential southern river allows fish to migrate from the ocean up into the mountain lake.
The rivers are also a vital means of travel via canoe or riverboat for crossing the land with greater ease, and for hauling heavy trade items with minimal use of beasts of burden. Particularly when such animals are harder to maintain in the wilds of Antor. Communities along the rivers or on the various deltas prosper or exist because of the presence of trade as well as water.