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Safi-Tor

Safi-Tor (Zean: Far-reaching Stone) was established in 51 AU deep in the Great Eastern Desert as a home base for Nata-Kea researchers investigating the Erjat-Reh lichen and the ruins of Sifi-Nor. The name of the settlement was chosen puropsefully as a play on words on the name of the lost city.   The Great Eastern Desert was long considered as a wasteland by the Nata-Kea Council. While rumors of sefia deposits under the sands could never be quelled, they were never found, no matter now many expeditions were sent among the dunes. Still, more adventurous tribesmen ventured into the desert to seek fame and fortune. In 50AU, the members of one of the such scouting teams asked for audinece before the biennial assembly of the General Nata-Kea Council. They presented first maps and sketches of the desert ruins and asked for aid in further research. The response outmatched their expectations, as the Council decreed establishing a forward base of operations much deeper into the desert than any other Nata-Kea settlement.   Safi-Tor started as several tents, buffeted by the sand and wind, hoping that long, metal rods fastening everything in place will allow them to retain a relatively stable position. It took years for the Far-Reaching Stone to grow into its name. Nata-Kea builders first established a series of mile markers, stone monuments dug deep into the sand and crowned by a glowing lantern. Guided by them, they started to deliver stone to the settlement, and slowly but surely built a foundation, effectively paving a tiny section of the desert. To prevent it from being overtaken by dunes, stone walls bar their approach from the east and north, from where the winds most commonly blow.   The settlement supports on average eighty people at a time. They are mostly researchers and miners, working towards understanding and unearthing th Sifi-Nor ruins. A small cadre of scientists and alchemists work separately, to investigate the eerie biology of the Undying Growth. Finally, there are guards dedicated to defending the settlemets and providing maintenance work, for example in case an especially large dune crashes against the wall.   Existence of Safi-Tor is a badly kept secret. While few know about the lost ruins, as sharing the knowledge is grounds for severe punishment, it's hard to hide regular food, water and supply shipments into the desert from the surrounding communities. The desert camp is seen mostly as a folly of the Council, attempting to subdue the vast expanse of Aan-Ateki.

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