Most of the Surface of Araea has never been seen by human eyes. These shrouded lands are cloaked by such intense Blight that they are impossible to traverse and impossible to explore. Every city-state and every priest has their own idea of what lies beyond the veil of radiation, the seed of both heavens and hells.
We got as far as about a mile deep before. The land looked much like it had in the meza we just left, but there was a heat in the air. My skin felt like it was on fire and every breath made my lugns seize. Marak wanted to climb that one last hill, thinking there would be something beyond it. We left him to go there alone; I've seen enough sand and stone without being poisoned any more.The shrouded lands cover most of the world and no one knows what lies within. A few attempts that have been made and they've found little different from the regions of the world already known. The Shrouded lands are not entirely continuous, though. Some pockets remain free from radiation that humans have been able to visit them by underground passages. The unexplored lands are often lashed by storms and obscured by radioactive dust, proving another hazard to the unware. Worse, in many cases it is hard to tell when one has passed over to from safe grounds and into the deadly areas of radioactive without the expert eye of a Blight-Tracker.
What lie beyond?Not all travelers tell of barren, blasted land. Some return with tales of strange cities of crystal and valleys of a thousand colors; even plants growing in the depths of the shrouded land. For the most part, these are dismissed as the ravings of a mind broken by Blight, but some still wonder...
Flora and Fauna
Things are bad enough out here. Can you imagine what they're like to survive in there?The creatures who live in the shrouded lands are uniquely adapted to surviving where Blight would kill lesser beings. Some, like the legendary Mahu'ca, occasionally venture into the part of the Surface visited by humans. So far, very little is known about what, if anything, lives any further in than a few miles. There is no lack of speculation and every few decades, someone braves the certain doom to bring back the bones of creatures unlike anything else found in Araea.
The Shrouded lands form a natural barrier for how far humanity can travel across the Surface. Every city-state near the Surface have their own relation with the irradiated regions, either as a shield to prevent the march of hostile armies or a vice that constricts them into place. To some, it is the home of devils in the night that steal babes from their cribs while other see it as the logical end of the surface's inhospitable nature.
A World Unknown
Few ever venture into the Shrouded Lands without good reason and no one knows how far the continents stretch beyond the reach humans. Much of the world look like it will forever be outside the dominion of mankind.