The Canyon of Khepri
At the southern border of the Red Sands lies the Canyon of Khepri, a vast gorge that runs along the Rusty Shore towards the east. Here, the Arkatrashians mine red stone for construction projects, further enlarging the canyon, and the Giranja rushes down here to the Pool of Masika where it presumably feeds into the Ocean Belt, since a large whirlpool at the center of the pool continuously sucks the water down.
The Riches of KhepriThe Red Sands are a harsh environment everywhere beyond the banks of the river Giranja, where the city of Arkatrash and its outskirts make use of the well-irrigated land. But where the gargantuan river crashes into the sizable canyon, it sprays a fine mist that carries far across the area, and irrigates the entire valley, which is covered almost entirely in lush jungle. Where it isn't, tall fairy chimneys rise out of the ground, or vast rocky patches stick out like strange sores. These are certainly interesting, for the red stone and marble within them is being extracted by a great number of Arkatrashian open cast mining operations. Stones are shipped back up the river and lifted over the canyon walls using a winch system.
The mining operations in the canyon are spearheaded by two major entities: the Royal Masons and the Khepri Mining Company. The former is owned by the Paro and their court, whereas the KMC belongs to one of Arkatrash's oldest families, the Ker-Kahûn. While these two dominate the mining sector in the canyon, there are a number of independent miners that own small quarries, often further away from the river. Around these logistically more difficult areas, one can often find small mining villages, so-called qaraltae, that were founded by two or three families each, hundreds of years ago. Unlike the RM and KMC, who mainly ship raw blocks upstream to be handled by craftsmen in the city, the qaraltae often have their own artisans and work the stone into ornate building blocks, ornaments, and tiles at site.
While palms and date trees are grown along the riverbank of the Giranja throughout the Red Sands, the density of the jungle in the canyon makes it far more attractive for logging, and it is the largest source of lumber for the nation of Arkatrash. Like the Royal Masons working in the quaries, the Royal Carpenters work the jungle, or, more precisely their logging division does. While the KMC doesn't have a stake in logging, there are many independent families working the jungle under so-called harvest absolutions issued by the Paro's court.
FishingThere are a number of small fishing villages along the river and the pools it forms inside the canyon. These fish aren't exported back to Arkatrash, but some cross the Iron Belt to Blackport. For the most part, however, the fish goes to the logging families and qaraltae, which have tight relations with each other and the fisher families. The KMC, RM, and RC also buy fish to maintain their operations, allowing the families to make a living.
The Sphere of KhepriActually known as the World of Noah by those who know its purpose and origin, this enormous black sphere hovers eternally above the tallest fairy chimney of the canyon. Scholars from all over Aqualon have ventured there to divine how it came to be there and what it is, and some meat its master, Noah, and are afforded a glimpse into his marvelous creation...