The waters of the flooded Loudias river formed an extended swamp in south-central Macedonia, in the silted land between the Aliakmon and Axios rivers. In the years of the conflict between Greece and Bulgaria, this swamp, formerly accessible only to the local fishermen, was turned into a battlefield of Homeric proportions.
The safe access to its expanse of reeds offered a secure hideout, and control of the surrounding plain and any road communication towards northern and western Macedonia. However, the swampy, malaria ridden waters, combined with the trials of war, made living conditions so difficult that even the most hardened fighters sometimes succumbed.
The legendary figures of Kapetan Agras and Kapetan Nikiforos, flanked by certain local guides, came to be identified with the fighting in the sodden marshlands, and were given the central roles in Pinelopi Delta's well-known novel "The Secrets of the Swamp."