Little is known about the lands to the south as, until recently, the area had been covered in mists. However a new land lies in wait for those adventurous enough to seek it. A land that, if the legends are true, holds wonders beyond the ken of any mortal.
The Southern desert is home to the Dragons of the old world. Word has reached us that a new lord of the red Dragonflight has been promoted to replace Sil, as his duties as a god have precluded him from the day-to-day tasks that a leader must fulfil. There are rumours that some of the red Dragonflight now worship Sil as their own god and, while these rumours are completely unsubstantiated, it does show the further decline of the Draconic ‘hive mind’ into a more individualistic society. While the rumours abound about the Dragons themselves, hard fact is harder to come across. What we know for certain is that they have been staunch allies of the free peoples since we first made landfall on this world; that they are comprised of three Dragonfilghts, red, blue and yellow, who make up the casts of Dragon society and that each of these Dragonflights has a commander. It is rumoured that there is an overall ruler of Dragon society, a king of sorts, but as with much about Dragon society, this is merely conjecture.
As for the Southern Desert itself, the place is extremely inhospitable to anyone who isn’t a giant, magical, walking lizard; with extremely high temperatures sometimes reaching above boiling point in localised areas. The phenomenon is magical in nature, where a sort of ‘heat wave’ rolls across the dunes, flash frying anything unfortunate enough to be caught in its wake. This phenomenon is not impossible to avoid, as the searing sound of what little moisture is in the surrounding area being rapidly converted into steam, as well as the top layer of sand being turned into a thin sheet of glass give both audible and visual cues to its passing. The Fauna of the desert is equally exceptional, as only the hardiest of things survive here. The giant scorpion also calls this land home, as do several other terrifyingly large creatures. For example, the black desert wasp is the size of a full-grown man’s torso and, thankfully, solitary in nature. They stalk the desert in the dawn and twilight hours, looking for prey.
I would like to be able to say that the Flora of this area is less deadly, but I would be lying. There is the valley of the shrieking cactus not too far from the Dragon-capital; which is beautiful to behold despite how deadly it is. The cacti ‘shriek’ when they are disturbed; which is actually the sound of razor-sharp spines being fired from their trunk at great speed. The phenomenon is caused by a build-up of pressure by an internal air bladder; and has been documented as being powerful enough to send a half-inch thick spine straight through a knight in full plate.
There is however one place that seems to be free of the local Flora and Fauna, and that is the oasis that is known as the Sea of Bones; so named due to the large amount of undead that seem to reside around there. The exact nature of what draws the undead to this area is unknown, as none who have made the journey to the Sea of Bones have returned to tell the tale. It is the widely held belief that this is due to inexperience in the expeditionary forces that have been sent out, as well as a lack of preparation of said forces. With a full expedition, spearheaded by an experienced force, it is expected that the Sea of Bones will finally give up its secrets.
Ecerpt taken from 'The dangers of the Southern desert'; a paper penned by Dr. Frederick Townsend and supplied to the office of the Grand Expedition.
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