|Population||806,857: Common: (humans, oruch, gobbers, arvek nar, giantborn) Uncommon: (half-orcs, khazad)|
|Government||Many different competing forces.|
|Religion||Taara, Deimos, Caracoroth, Gunahkar, Illotha, Kor, Angoron|
|Exports||Forged metals, furs, gems, mercenaries, raw minerals, slaves, diamonds, artifacts|
|Alignment||Any Neutral and Chaotic|
|Affiliated Characters||From the Desolation|
An enormous arid area that cuts a massive swatch of destruction for miles upon miles east of Alexandros, The Desolation serves as a great barrier to travel between the eastern and western realms. It houses monstrous forces and dark strongholds while ruins litter the landscape as testaments to the days of the ancient empire and its sudden fall. While seemingly a barren wasteland, tribes of ogres, orcs and other monstrous humanoids inhabit it as well as outlaws and nomadic tribes of savages, barbarians and more. Pirate covens dot the coastal areas as well as a few pockets of civilization and trade. The Desolation serves as a barrier between the Empire of Charn and the western lands of Aeryth, forcing them to either find creative means for crossing it or to circle to the north or to the south in order to find passage into the other lands of the world.
Life and Society
The Desolation is both a wasteland and a frontier and so it has a frontier mentality. The area stands as a buffer between brighter and more cultured and civilized regions of the world and more evil and depraved lands such as Charn and the Eastern Wilds which are lands of giants, ogres and dragons. There are few true civilizations here with much of the land being inhospitable to all but the most hardy of settlers or creatures capable of withstanding the worst that the land has to offer. Thus only the strongest and most savage truly prosper in The Desolation. Cities that do exist tend to rise quickly and fall hard. Many strongholds that do exist double as prison fortresses and training grounds for soldiers in lands distant from here. Evil folk ruthlessly control other parts of this land and rule what firm and established pockets of civilization do exist. A number of monstrous enclaves are notable as well such as sith'makar who have a few settlements here, far from their ancestral homes in distant Jammur.
The people of Aeryth see those who dwell in The Desolation as little more then mercenaries, vagabonds, outlaws and criminals of the worst sort. In truth, those who do dwell in The Desolation are no more or less universally evil then the people who dwell in green Alexandros are universally good but the wise traveler is encouraged to be wary of strangers and to bring powerful bodyguards with them.
Vandalheim: The city of Vandalheim has long been recognized as the central hub of mercenary, smuggling, thieving activities in south-central Aeryth. Nestled in the Great Desolation, Vandalheim has enjoyed years of relative freedom to do as it wishes although there are times this Bandit Kingdom must contend with the boot or heel of nearby Charn or attempts by Myrrish Allies to root out their corruption. The clergy of Deimos is strong here and welcome along with other faiths but the people of Vandalheim probably feel that Deimos best sympathizes with them and they with him. Parts of Vandalheim are situated in the massive Rift Canyon, which was said to have been formed by the falling sword of one of the gods during the ancient ages.
Major Geographical Features
The contrasts here tend to be extreme. The Desolation was once the breadbasket of Aeryth but it was transformed by the magical cataclysm into the harsh region of dry deserts and craggy volcanic wasteland that people know it for today. Portions of The Desolation exist as the highest forms of elevation in all Aeryth. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in certain parts of it continuously change the landscapes while weather patterns near the heart of it are perpetually distorted by the fluxes of the eternally turning Everstorm.
Vandalheim: Port city that extends through the Rift. Has an airship dock and a port on the western edge. No real walls or gates, but the majority of the city is built vertically through the <scar in the Vast>. Parts are run down, others are opulent, the city runs on the value of gold that a person brings in. It is also a known hideaway for anyone of the criminal persuasion (think city of thieves).
The Rift: This great canyon was formed, some say, by a duel between two mighty gods or other extraplanar beings. The sword of one of these beings struck the land and divided it into twain, creating The Great Rift which now serves as a perpetual hangout for black market dealings,
underground affairs and illicit activities. Vandalheim sits at the very southern mouth of The Rift, facing south to the seas.
The Bandit Kingdoms: The term Kingdom is used very loosely here for this is little more then a loose confederation of allied towns, guilds and mercenary camps that organize themselves. Thousands of mercenaries, rabble rousers, outlaws and cheerfully rowdy bandits make their homes in this area which includes The Rift and Vandalheim.
The Burning Wastes: This vast rocky region is heavy with earthquake and volcanic activity. The most active peaks here are actually believed to be portals to the elemental plane of fire as well as the resting lairs for a notable red dragon or two. Steam vents often burst through the ground here, expelling noxious gases as well as lava that flows just beneath the surface.
Skald: Skald was once a dukedom under the watchful eye of The Millennium Kingdom until its leader made a pact with the mysterious wielder of the Divine Sword of Destruction. This pact initiated the Daemon Wars and transformed Skald and its citizens into a cauldron of shadow that produced numberless and nameless hordes, some of which haven't been seen on Aeryth since. That was five hundred years ago. Today, Skald is a desolate empty region of ghosts and other remnants who wail as they recount the terror of those days in spectral voices.
The Everstorm: One of the defining features of The Desolation is The Everstorm which is a supernatural weather pattern that swirls and turns near the heart of The Desolation. This massive storm is hurricane like in strength and scope, making travel by airship very difficult to impossible in areas near it and certainly turning land based travel into an exercise ranging from cautious to suicidal. The Everstorm circles the area where the floating city of Kulthus once existed. Upon Kulthus' destruction, the storm swirled to life. Some believe it to be the gods efforts to prevent anyone from uncovering the secrets of the old city and others believe that it is resulting from a hole punched into the elemental plane of air that cannot be calmed. Whatever the belief is, attempts to calm the Everstorm by magic or other forces have proved unsuccessful as well as attempts to pierce it and reach its heart and calm eye.
Khotea: Khotea is an enclave of sith-makar who have established a lands along the edge of The Burning Waste and near some of the few oasis areas that thrive in The Desolation. They honor the Silver Empress from afar, though know her mostly from myth and legend. These small tribes of sith-makar eke out an existence for themselves that seems to keep them more content then most other races would be. Occasionally, some young members of the race give way to curiosity and so travel to more active cities, searching out rumor of the greener lands there. The rumors of a Portal re-opening have also caused a stir, and many of them seek to travel to the lands of their recent ancestors.
Skyhold: Located in the north eastern arc of The Desolation is a massive series of floating land masses and gigantic castle sized boulders not unlike what can be found in Dragonier. In one of these is a massive prison-fortress partially powered by Artifice and utilized by several nations by means of treaty to hold prisoners and criminals too dangerous to allow to live yet to important or difficult to kill. Magical and malevolent creatures, extraplanar beings that are unable to be banished yet are too dangerous to allow to roam free and worse; some of the most powerful and influential enhanced criminals the world knows of are often sent here from a Dran Juggernaut too powerful to control to one of the worlds most infamous thieves and sky pirates to even stories of half-golem mercenaries and criminals.
While the rest of the world rocks in chaos, even the Desolation is not immune. Rumors of demonic activity in Skald vie with rumors of Skyhold's success. With nations warring, the need for safekeeping of political, and dangerous, prisoners, increased. Skyhold has profited, so much so that they've begun to outfit certain of the prisoners "for hire," a quiet but necessary business of giving dangerous jobs to the people who have nothing left to lose.
Amidst this backdrop lies evidence that the Desolation itself, that great scar upon Ea, is expanding.