Stretching across the north and east of the continent of Austal, the Jem’Hal desert, like its sister the Kaldara to the east is a vast expanse of shifting sand that can seem impenetrable and inhospitable to those with no experience of traversing and surviving in such an arid environment. Life can be found here, from the herds of desert antelope that navigate the dunes in search of food and water to the Jem’Menar people, who have called the region home for millennia.
Like the Kaldara to the east, the Jem’Hal is an enormous sandy desert, whose dunes are constantly shifting and reshaping the lay of the land. However, unlike the Kaldara, the Jem’Hal experiences much more rainfall than its easterly sister, as weather systems are constantly rolling over the Maj’Athar Mountains that run down the middle of the continent of Austal. These weather systems, which originate in the Centric Sea, and which are partly responsible for the much more fertile and lush areas in the west of the continent, regularly dump rain on the Jem'Hal, but the lack of soil, the baking heat and the swift draining sand mean that little of this water actually remains on the surface of the desert, giving little hope for the area being revived into something more verdant. However, what the more regular rainfall does mean is that pockets of the desert regularly burst into bloom, with desert plants, whose seeds can last for decades amongst the sands capitalising on the appearance of water to spring forth and paint patches of the desert green, if only for a short time.
Fauna & Flora
The regular appearance of oases across the Jem’Hal desert tend to be driven by species of desert grasses that spring up whenever rain falls. It is rare for other species of plant to spring up in such oases as plants are required to have an accelerated life cycle in order to grow, flower and produce seeds in the weeks, sometimes only days where the nearby sands hold enough water. These desert grasses not only provide food for the animals that live in the region, but are also harvested by humanoids to produce the liquor Hag's Breath. With regards to the fauna of the Jem’Hal, the frequently occurring oases act as the major food and water source for large herds of desert gazelle and also camels that roam the desert travelling between oasis to oasis. These herds, support populations of predators, including the iconic Jem'Hal Sight Hound and Desert Samaban amongst others.