The Demesnes - Atlas

Wastelands


Bright Desert

The Bright Desert is a hostile land which remains almost completely unpopulated except for nomadic bands of lizard men. The Duchy of Urnst is the only human nation bordering the region, and maintains only a relaxed border presence since the lizard men do not covet more fertile lands. The climate of the desert is extremely dry and harsh. There are old rumours of fabulous mineral wealth and gemstone deposits in the hills in the middle of the desert, but expeditions there have proved either futile or disastrous. Blue dragons are known to make their homes in the desert. The hills surrounding the desert are home to roving bands of evil humanoids, which pose more of a threat than anything living in the desert proper.

Dry Steppes

This vast region north of the Sulhaut Mountains and west of the Crystalmist Mountains and the Ulsprues receives little rainfall, but manages to support a good number of nomadic steppe tribes. These tribes were originally Baklunish, but after the Rain of Colourless Fire have absorbed a good deal of Suloise blood. The tribes are not organised into political units beyond the occasional warlord temporarily extending influence over a few nearby tribes by force. The sparse resources of the terrain mean travellers can sometimes cover great distances without happening to meet any of the tribes. The steppes are also home to the occasional desert monsters, including blue dragons.

Land of Black Ice

North of the frigid Burneal Forest lies a land permanently covered in snow and ice. Oddly, the ice is a deep blue-black colour, broken up here and there by the white patches of normal snowfall. Nobody has been brave enough to venture far on to the ice, since strange arctic monsters lurk within. The white dragons which occasionally raid the northern areas are thought to live here too.

There are numerous stories and rumours of what lies beyond the Land of Black Ice, ranging from the domain of the gods to a rich tropical paradise replete with gold and gems, sited amidst a jungle on which the sun never sets. The only thing that is sure is that nobody knows the truth.

Rift Canyon

This is an enormous canyon, stretching nearly 300 kilometres long and from 10 to almost 50 kilometres wide. The steep walls fall one to two kilometres to the canyon floor. The rift is surrounded by a broken terrain of crags and badlands, frequented by the raiders of the Bandit Kingdoms. It is possible to descend to the floor of the canyon by various steep paths, but few do so because it is populated by evil humanoids and monsters. Great cave systems are said to extend from the canyon regions.

Sea of Dust

The Sea of Dust is the vast wasteland left after the Rain of Colourless Fire destroyed the ancient Suloise Empire over 2000 years ago. It lies mostly forgotten by the inhabitants of The Demesnes, hidden behind the Sulhaut Mountains and the Hellfurnaces. The land here is covered with a thick layer of ash and dust, in which nothing grows. Rain is scarce and temperatures soar during the days and plummet during the nights. In calm weather the terrain can be crossed as a desert, but when winds blow they pick up the dust and form blinding and choking clouds. The volcanoes of the Hellfurnaces along the eastern edge of the Sea of Dust contribute extra ash and cinders when they erupt.

Few people ever venture into the Sea of Dust, and fewer still return. There are persistent rumours of Suloise ruins still standing amidst the drifts of ash, where treasures beyond imagining are to be found. Stranger still are stories of an inhabited city, surviving from Suloise times, somewhere in the midst of the destruction.

The Wastes

This is a barren tundra, cold and inhospitable. The currents of the Icy Sea make this region colder than surrounding areas. Little apart from lichen and the occasional moss can grow in the permafrost. Herds of reindeer roam over great distnces to eke out the sustenance they need to survive, but little else can live here except cold-adapted monsters and white dragons.
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