Just Desert

It's a common trend to mispronounce the name as Just Dessert. I personally prefer the incorrect pronunciation as those who end up banished there get what's coming to them!
 
The Just Desert covers a large portion of the Austral Wilds. So named because of the fiends and Fallen Folk who have made this place their home. Today, many settlements choose to banish criminals to the Just Desert, rather than outright executing them. Those in the True Life Purists religious order applaud these efforts. However, many Folk are concerned that the large gathering of criminals, fiends, and fallen folk will be the Western Continent's ultimate downfall.  
Folk of the Just Desert
  During the Age of the Placid Orb and before, The Just Desert was named Agwozara. Then, the primary inhabitants were keepers of secret knowledge, the Macji'Ozara. During the Devils' Storm and afterwards, the desert was overrun with fiends and fallen folk. The Macji'Ozara were ill-prepared for their invasion. Other Folk would corral their settlements' invaders to the desert, believing it to be the best place for the fiends, as few Folk could thrive in the sandy expanse. Unable to stop the incoming assault, many of the Macji'Ozara fled. Others defected to the fiends' side These are the Shari'Ozara. Some chose to stay, creating illusions to hide their settlements.   After the Devils' Storm, the Just Desert fell into the rulership of the Ravenous Reina, an ancient Blue Dragon. A cult of Noble Dragonborn rule settlements in her steed with powerful Fiend advisors. Particulerly, Rakshasa, Erinyes, and Abishai. Nobody knows why these fiends choose to act as advisors for the Ravenous Reina, but we believe that there is a greater plan at work. The magical blue Onis, though few still exist, act as the brute force to the Dragonborn Nobles. They enforce their rule for those in the desert who stray and plan attacks against the Catfolk of the Savannah Buffer and other Folk of the Western Continent. Lizard folk, snake folk, fallen folk, lower devils, and all other folk of the Just Desert are expendable pawns to the Ravenous Reina and the Dragonborn Nobles. They are used as foot soldiers in their reign of Terror.  
Environmental Hazards
  Be prepared for the extreme weather anomalies in the Just Desert. Blistering heat will plague you by day and hours after sunset, you must be prepared for numbing cold. Unexpected sand storms can throw off even the most experienced navigator. Stay fully covered while traveling. This will protect your identity as well as the dehydration from the sun. If you can afford to, purchase an Aqua Sirwal Jumpsuit. This loose fitted outfit has been magically-enchanted to collect your sweat and automatically filter it back into your body, helping to prevent dehydration.   Oasises are a necessary stop when traveling through the Just Desert. However, they are also the most dangerous locations you can be, as this is where most settlements are located. Stay close to the edge of town and avoid all contact with Dragonborn or Fiends, who tend to be more shrewd than the average Desert Folk.  
Beware the Beasts
There are many dangerous beasts that roam the Desert. Giant spiders and scorpions can offer a good source of protein. So long as you steer clear of their venomous fangs. But they can be formidable in battle. If the desert sands began to rumble, it is a sign of Giant Sandworms. They will swallow you whole without a second thought. Find high ground. If a shadow suddenly crosses the sun in midday, the Ravenous Reina may be out for an afternoon bite. Find cover, she does not discriminate between beast and Folk.
Don't Drink the Sap
No matter how thirsty you become, do not drink cactus sap. It is poisonous to most Folk and will cause hallucinations. In many cases, you may die as it increases the rate of dehydration. Instead, use cactus to find the water sources. If it is too dangerous to enter a desert oasis, you can possibly find water near desert vegetation by digging holes a few feet deep. Or, just make sure at least one of your adventuring crew knows the "create and destroy water" or "create water and food" spell and you will exponentially increase your chances for survival.
 
A Note of Hope
  Macji'Ozara still wander the sands of the Just Desert. If you are lucky enough to come across one, they can help you find respite.
Don't Go to the Just Desert
Adventuring Missions in the Just Desert are for Rank One Adventurers only! As a novice adventurer, a jaunt through the Just Desert would mean your death. I hesitate to write any advice at all about travel, as I fear it will encourage foolish wannabes to think they can survive. But unforeseen circumstances may strand you in the Desert. It is only for these reasons that we provide this information.   Do. Not. Go. To. The. Just. Desert.   If you find yourself in The Just Desert, your first line of defense is to hide your adventuring badge. Hide it well. If one of the Ravenous Queen's minions find you with that badge, it is an instant death sentence. Exiled criminals and other nefarious Folk from all cultures are plentiful in the Just Desert, so it will be easy enough to playact as one of them. Just be sure that you have a prepared backstory for any traveling Folk you may encounter.  
The City of Criminals
Just beyond the Savannah Buffer, a desert city cropped up primarily consisting of exiled Folk. Like all cities, it is ruled by a Dragonborn. However, its ruler is particularly lax, so long as the guilds pay their high taxes. You can trust nobody in this city, but the City is a good source of information. They also have extensive smuggling routes to get people out of the Desert. If your acting skills are up-to-par, use the Folk in this city to break out of The Just Desert.

Type
Desert
Inhabiting Species


Cover image: by Sketch 1999

Comments

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23 Jul, 2021 07:15

Sounds ... very cozy. *cough* May I just say: I love the name.

23 Jul, 2021 13:20

Thanks! I enjoy a good play on words.

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23 Jul, 2021 14:56

A humoursly name for a horrible place. Lovely. Sounds like a good location to hide oneself though. And good article, I like the cultist/minion part especially, as if the "Just Dessert" was not already dangerous!

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31 Jul, 2021 22:36

It's definitely a good location to hide yourself. So long as you don't get accidentally killed in the process. Thanks so much for reading!

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