The Southern Salt Geographic Location in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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The Southern Salt

Rumored remains of Thanged's oceans...   The great southern salt marsh, more commonly known as the Southern Salt or oftentimes simply referred to as the Salt, rivals Kundain in acreage and biodiversity. Even though humanoids have inhabited Thanged for over ten-thousand years, huge portions of the planet remain unmapped to this day. Driven as he was, not even the legendary explorer Deres dared plumb the depths of this expanse. It is easy to get lost even with the light of the Twin Suns, and the confusing terrain makes it seem like the waterways are truly endless. In addition to species found in Kundain and others exclusive to the Salt, the great marsh is home to a mysterious creature that in recent years has become just as iconic as the Grand Cresta.


Swamps, gravelly wetlands, streams, saltwater groves, geysers, and muddy deltas comprise the bulk of the Salt. Freshwater is obtainable from ground springs but these are far and few in between and tend to be hoarded zealously by wildlife. The saltwater itself is not necessarily toxic but not advisable to drink for obvious reasons, including but not limited to fever, fatigue, and varying degrees of explosive diarrhea. Swimming is not recommended without protective garb due to various pests. Not nearly as hostile as the Eastern Jungle, the Salt has hazards of its own. There are no major landmarks of note. Even with aerial surveys from Pegasi in recent years, huge swaths of the Salt remain unmapped. There are rumors of a "Frozen South Isle" but these remain unsubstantiated.
Southern Salt 2 by Mardrena
Made with Flowscape and


Razzer Sketch by Mardrena
Pencil sketch
Most wildlife found here has adapted to the salty environment and there are several species not found anywhere else on Thanged. Pei monkeys have made their way into the Salt, establishing courts in the scattered trees. Crestas avoid it due to the unstable footing. Tree bears love to feast on fish and wallow in the rivers. Kirya forage in the regions surrounding the Winding White delta. While gherfen and vitreelas dominate Kundain, other birds have proliferated in the marsh including egrets, herons, terns, and other waterfowl. The Southern Salt has the highest concentration of fish and insect life on the planet. The fabled and reclusive Razzer calls the marsh home.
The Razzer by Mardrena
Ink doodle

Ecosystem Cycles

The flood season frequently injects fresh water from glacial melt that makes its way from the Northern Ring through the Winding White. Some species of fish spawn in the delta before returning to the great river.

Localized Phenomena

The Southern Salt is the only location on Thanged containing both naturally-occurring oil and sulfur springs. There is no known volcanic activity but it is suspected there is a nascent hotspot in the south due to the presence of geysers. Caevas storms are frequently sighted. Tropical disturbances are a random occurrence.


Southern Salt 1 by Mardrena
Made with Flowscape and
The Southern Salt is extremely sticky and humid, requiring appropriate clothing and skin protection to ward off insects and stave off fatigue. Varieties of pollen from towering plants can cause severe aggravation for the immunocompromised. If traversing on foot, protective legwear such as waders are strongly recommended. Propeller engines would violate Roth's Edict, so boats are either operated by hand or steam engines. The preferred method of travel in recent years is via Pegasi on air. Portable air shield generators are a valid option to protect campsites on solid ground.

Fauna & Flora

Notable Plants

G'thru Reed
-Tall reed dotted with bowl-shaped pouches that produce a sticky sweet-smelling liquid to lure insects. Leeches trace chemicals through the root network and extracts nutrients while using byproduct for its lure. Pulped and rendered to produce G'thru extract which is used in Thangien hair products.  
Richtho Bush
- Ritho's Gift has made its way into the Salt and taken root on scattered islets among the waterways. Boasts numerous curative properties.  
Cresta's Grass
-Though the mammoth beast horses avoid the Salt itself, some have taken to naming this tall, prolific grass after the iconic beasts since they can reach heights nearly twice that of the wild plains horse.  
Squiggle Bean
-Popular dish among higher-ranked Houses, this strain of fungi grows into a distinctive springy squiggle shape. Not a legume despite the name.  
Blood-leaf Tree
-Tallest variety of tree found in the Salt, used by Pei monkeys to house courts.  

Notable Animals

Pei Monkey
-The "little emperors" have found a haven among the waterways where they are able to roam the reeds and ground without being as vulnerable.  
Gold-Furred Tree Bear
-The 'glutton of the plain' has a presence in the Salt, enticing fish from the wallows and gorging on fruit.  
Giant Reed Frog
-One of the few prominent amphibian species on Thanged, roughly the size of a bowling ball and capable of catching Pei unawares and swallowing them whole if they stray too close to the water.  
-The "Helmed Hawks" endlessly prowl the skies even to the far south, their eyries constantly at war with the Pei's courts. Sometimes steal fish from tree bears.  

Notable Cryptids

The Razzer
-The rude warden of the waterways, Thanged's most enduring, most famous, most prolific troll.
Prepare to be razzed....
Aquatic Ambush by Mardrena
A Helmed Hawk on the prowl
The Helmed Hawk by Mardrena
Close-up view of cute Pei
Gold Pei Monkey by Mardrena

Natural Resources

-Negligible. Trace amounts are present in gravel but not in enough significant quantities to be viable.  
-Common. Large amounts of salt, silica, calcite, quartz, and silt runoff from the Winding White.  
-Uncommon. Colloquially known as "black water". Can occur naturally as isolated springs. Requires specially-designed grasshopper wells to harvest safely without violating Roth's Edict.  
-Abundant. Found as mineral deposits near geysers. Residue can accumulate around reed stands. Frequency increases farther south.  
Precious & Semiprecious Gems
-Very Limited. Every now and then there will be a piece of gravel that stands out from the rest but not in high enough frequency to be of consistent income.  
-Very Abundant. Surpassed only by Kundain and the Eastern Jungle. If Thunthen were ever permitted to found a colony on Thanged, the Salt would actually be an ideal environment due to the large variety of useful plants and bountiful fish. Their scaly hides would no doubt protect them from biting insects.  
-Negligible. Blood-leaf trees are relatively short-lived, lasting only a few decades due to fungal, insect, and tree bear aggression. Most other varieties tend to be thin and stringy, not suitable for use in large-scale construction.  
-Very Limited. Most stone ends up so pulverized after the trip down the Winding White it's basically gravel. Though unsuitable for carving or heavy construction, it is useful in clay-fired bricks.  
-Very Abundant. Primarily saltwater, freshwater springs can occur on islets, often hoarded by Pei courts. There are theories that The Razzer attempts to alert travellers to the presence of potable water or warn of contamination based on the variations in its vocalizations. Potable water can be refined with specialized equipment.


The popular myth about Roth bequeathing Thanged's oceans to the Kikua to free up land has been debunked, but there is a grain of truth concerning the size of the Salt. Analysis of soil and river samples throughout the years indicate the Salt has been growing incrementally over the span of many thousands of years, however the salt content has actually been decreasing being dispersed over a larger area. It is suspected the Salt originally started as immense salt flats before Thuruk 2 ignited and glacial runoff from the Northern Ring through the Winding White dissolved it while importing silt from the northern hemisphere, eventually expanding to cover most of the southern hemisphere.  

The Solar Swap

  Early attempts to establish permanent dwellings had to be aborted, not only because of the soupy ground, but because of the planet-wide phenomenon primitive men recorded in their oral traditions as heralding the Dread Winter. Sickness gripped the river and polluted the marsh, forcing man and beast to flee to the north. Any relics of that period have long since been lost, drowned beneath the silt or corroded beyond recognition.  
Roth's Edict
  Upon founding Bainshaebo after the thaw, the goddess known as Wrawthe offered a pact: that she and the other goddesses would aid the people as long as they did not despoil the land. This placed heavy restrictions on the gathering of resources, and the Southern Salt Marsh was forgotten of for a time save by the roaming Freelanders while the newly-established Thangiens settled into the walls of the city and established gardens and farms in surrounding Kundain.  
Deres' Journey
  The eccentric polymath took it upon himself to fully explore the length and breadth of the great river, and long before he ventured north, he first traveled south and collected a bounty of specimens. He passed the delta into the Salt proper but interruptions by The Razzer spooked him so severely he aborted any plans of going further.  
Thangien-Thunthen War
  Scientists at the Traedeskaton uncovered a multitude of uses for black water and sulfur, primarily in engineering and medical fields. Deres had made prototype designs of non-hazardous wells that would not violate Roth's Edict. These would not be properly tested and deployed until millennia after his passing. Crews began harvesting black water in earnest leading up to and following the Battle of Banguk all the way to present day.  
A New Faction Emerges
  Bainshaebo has always relied on the practices of freelanding and various traels to curb the population and reduce risk of urban sprawl. Those who still enjoy access to the city but prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of the walkways often become lonesteaders and grow crops either for themselves or to barter at the Pavilion. However, in recent years a new movement has formed, spearheaded by those who cherish the open air as Freelanders do but still prefer the finer things in life. Calling themselves Svafmplanders, these individuals have taken to living almost exclusively on boats powered by clean-burning steam engines with paddlewheels. Since Roth's Edict remains in place, they must take extra care to avoid contamination of the Salt, but innovation and necessity allow them to live comfortably on their boats as they fish and sing to the waters.


The Southern Salt is loosely referenced but not explicitly named thus far in Age of Defiance. None of the main cast have yet visited the expanse, but it may be a setting for side characters...   Spoiler Warning: Possible Content!   Shannon's cousin comes face to face with a legend...
"Okay, the ground seems stable. This looks like a good spot to camp," Ph'li commented as his Pegasi Chauner finished sniffing the ground, whinnying in approval. Ko'li unslung supplies from Daemonsteel and unfurled a large mat then bedrolls. Shainie watched with a grimace as the Twins set up a tent and firepit before she even had the chance to ask if they needed help.   "There! Now we just need food! You stay here ShaTakin! Here, this will keep any insects out until we get back," Ko'li stated and jammed a long metal stake into the center of the islet. "The Pegasi can activate it remotely. We shall return soon enough!" Before Shainie opened her mouth to object, the Twins mounted their steeds and took off flying above the marsh. The air rippled in a faint dome around the islet. Shainie threw up her arms and slapped her palms against her thighs in frustration.   "Kind of hard to chaperone you guys if you don't-you know-let me do some chaperoning!" she grumbled and paced about the campsite. The airshield kept the area fairly cool, but she didn't want to start a fire right away at least until the Twins returned. She fumed and blew air through her bangs. Not that she could really do anything, she had yet to obtain a Pegasi of her own. The mechanical flying horses seemed just as spooked of her as she was of them, and Azuro's Skywrath couldn't be everywhere at once.   "THHHLLPPPPPPTHH!!!" Shainie made a face and jerked her head back slightly when she heard the sound from behind.   "...Well 'thlllpppptthh' to you too," she retorted loudly, looking over her shoulder when she heard the soft lap of water. She raised an eyebrow and turned around slowly, not seeing anything at first. "What? Five thousand years and no one's learned to razz back before?" she teased and sauntered over to the islet edge slowly. The Twins had told her about the marsh's famous resident, with healthy embellishments no doubt meant to scare her, being a "Oldworlder" and all. She crouched down at the edge of the water, peering into the murk. "C'mon, you don't have to be scared. I won't hurt you. I mean I literally can't. T'plaureth doesn't trust me with a sword anymore than I'd trust myself... I should be more scared of you, to be honest. For all I know you really could be a big scary monster that'll pop up and eat me!" she teased. No response. "Come on...don't be shy..." she coaxed.   She squinted when she thought she spotted something pale moving in the water. She had no idea if the airshield extended far enough to reach the shore, but she felt compelled to remain still as the entity approached the surface. She blinked in reverent awe, silent and filled with a sense of wonder she hadn't felt in a very very long time. The top of the head rose from the surface, the waterline coming up to just below the little black eyes. The skin looked smooth, like a dolphin or beluga whale. The little "ears" wiggled slightly and the beady eyes blinked slowly. Shainie's mouth slowly spread in a smile.   "'re pretty cute..." she whispered. The creature did not rise any further and stared back at her idly. "...I think...I think my little brother would've liked to see you..." Shainie raised her hand cautiously and slowly reached over with a fingertip. The creature bobbed slightly but did not withdraw, either not seeing her as a threat or genuinely as curious as she. "Boop..." Shainie giggled as she pressed the skin slightly with her fingertip. It felt soft and spongy. "Boop," she teased again, chuckling softly. A swarm of bubbles erupted from the water just infront of the creature's head. "Thlllpppphhhh," Shainie razzed teasingly. A larger swarm of bubbles appeared. Shainie razzed again. A small spout of water shot up a few inches before plopping back into the marsh.   Shainie reached forward and dipped her fingers into the water a few inches away from the creature's head. She flicked her fingertips forward, tossing some water in its direction. Another spout of water shot towards her, landing on the grass. She laughed and flicked some more water at it. The creature sent another stream towards her, barely missing her shoulder. Shainie wrinkled her face in a pout and cupped water in her palm and flung it at the head.   The creature shot a brief stream like a garden hose right into her face. Shainie squeezed her eyes shut and grimaced as water dripped from her hair. "...Okay, okay, I know when I've been beat." she grumbled and wiped water from her eyelids. She heard the lap of water and by the time she opened her eyes, the creature had vanished. She sighed and walked over to the campsite and fished a towel out from one of the duffel bags. "So, you got a name? or does everyone just call you Razzer?"   "Thppppphhhh!"   "No nicknames? Nothing creative? Like 'Razzmatazz'?"   "Thllllpppp!" Shainie couldn't help but chuckle. Here she was, having a conversation with a lake monster as she dried herself off with the towel.   "You know...we have someone like you where I come from. Well, my ancestors at least, you know, on the Oldworld. She's very old, and very famous, and everytime someone tries to debunk her: 'oh that's a hoax, oh that was just a little toy boat with some clay on the top'...every now and then someone sees something that they can't quite explain. Hey! What do you think about...'Rassie'?"   "THHHLLLPPPPPPTTT!"   "....Berrie?"   "Thhhhppppttt!"   "Okay, well I'm just going to take that as a 'yes' I guess," Shainie shrugged and draped the towel around her shoulders. She glanced to the horizon when she thought she heard a distant whinny and walked over to the shore swiftly and knelt down. The creature peeked out as she leaned close. "You need to go on, get out of here before they see you. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone," she tapped the skin gingerly again. "Boop. It'll be our little secret. I promise."
A trusty boat is a must when traversing the Salt
Southern Salt 1 by Mardrena
"Take the Mississippi delta, the Nile delta, the Amazon, the Everglades, Yellowstone, and the Great lakes, smoosh them all together, and copy and paste all over most of Thanged's southern hemisphere: That about sums up the Salt..."
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian
Alternative Name(s)
The Salt, Southern Salt Marsh
Wetland / Swamp
Location under
Related Traditions
Reeds tall enough for a Grand Cresta to get lost in
Southern Salt 2 by Mardrena
"Dragonflies that sound like small aircraft, frogs the size-and weight-of a bowling ball, insects liable to crawl up your rectum and refuse to pay rent, and vegetation tall enough for a Grand Cresta to get lost in-what's not to like about the Salt?"
— Sarah Ann Goode, xenohistorian

Articles under The Southern Salt

Cover image: Southern Salt Header by Mardrena