Saturday, 25 April 2015

Ix: The Deserts of Ix, Part 1: Uninhabited Regions

The desert people of Ix, known collectively as "Sandestine", divide the known plains and dunes into eighteen regions. Here follows their lore on those which are inhospitable to human life.

Regions Uninhabited by Men

1. The Dusklands / The Encroachment of Night
It is believed that, in ancient times, the northern sands were cool, hospitable regions, guarded by Seraphs (benevolent spirits of shade) and blessed with a profusion of oases. Since the beginning of the dark age, no life may flourish here in the eternal dusk.

2. The Desolation of Mount Abrax
Scarred by the frequent eruptions and emissions of the great volcano, whose name derives from the ancient dragon who dwells in its core, this region is hazardous to traverse and is shunned by all desert folk.

3. The Bowl of Shifting Sands
Inhospitable due to its twisting winds and treacherous dunes, the Sandestine regard this lowland region as accursed, home to Ahamol, spirits who devour souls, and ruled by the snake-deamon Boal, who resides upon a crystalline plateau lost among the dunes.

4. The Ashlands of Dis
East of the cities of Kalamd and Hul Nostra, all life ends. The desert sands are replaced with brittle ash and the air is filled with smoke. The extent of this toxic region is unknown, as no one has traversed its depths.

5. The Quiet Dunes
No Sandestine venture here as it is said that these placid, barren dunes work a sinister influence on men's minds, driving them to insanity, suicide, and cannibalism.

6. The Caustic Deadlands
No living Sandestine is said to have traversed the Cliffs of Abbaddon to descend to this region, but legends tell that it is utterly toxic to human life. The very sand is said to dissolve flesh, and the air to burn skin.

7. The Desert of Wailing Souls
Also legendary and unknown to those who traverse the desert sands in the current day, Sandestine believe that the souls of those who die without honour are banished to eternal torment in this land.

8. The Mazelands
This region of maze-like sandstone spires and ridges is inhabited, but not by humans. Strange beings of wood and smoke, known only as "maze-dwellers", live here. They are said to be the guardians of a gargantuan water-deamon who slumbers in a vast cyst of dark water at the centre of the maze. While the maze-dwellers are not said to be hostile to humans, the rapacious giant insects which also make their homes here are.

9. The Tombsands
The fell magic of the deamon kingdoms oozes across this land which was once home to an ancient people known as the Haddrim, who built great cities of imperishable, grey stone. The blasted remnants of their cities and mausoleums litter these sands. The dead have been awakened and scour the dunes for mortal life, which they drag into accursed tombs and crypts to perish in the dark.

10. The Transparent Wastes
The sands of the desert suddenly give way here to a seemingly endless plane of glass. Beneath the surface, terrifying forms are said to leer and swirl. Legends say that, after several hundred miles, the glass plane fades into a vortex of mist and sucking winds, pulling all matter into the hell-void at the end of the world.

Part 2 describes the lands inhabited by the Sandestine.

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