Syrcrahst — the Shifting Desert
“‘Tis the expanse — far and wide. Shifting sands as far as you could see, the harsh sun shining on your back. It is a place desolate, a place condemned by the gods, for all Gods of Man had abandoned it to the wastes!”Syrcrahst, also known the Shifting Desert, spans the whole of the southern Kenada, separated between the great river Sudak and The Pale Coast alongside the Dead Sea. Within this expanse of sand and dust sits the two rivalling cities Se-Sudak and Se-Almari, each vying to destroy one another as tension grows along the control of the river. Several other smaller townships also dot the region, but none could rise to the prominence of the two cities — one of life-giving water, the other of metal and forge.
Syrcrahst is a roiling desert where sands storm brew ever odd so days, dredging up old ruins and unknown ancient structures from its depths. It is located in the south, dominating much of the coastline as well. To its north is the Riverlands, marked by the great river Sudak that gives life to most of the civilizations persisting here. To its west are the untamed forested hills and minor city-states, leading toward the Ailidian Ocean. On its east lies the tumbling Fields of Arye, crossing over to the Blighted Forest and the Shattered Kingdoms. The south of the desert directly faces the Dead Sea, where bones and wreckage perpetually wash up upon the shores of the Pale Coast.
SudakThe river Sudak, more than a mile wide at any point, spans the entirety of Syrcrahst's northern border, flowing from the northeast to west. It is along there that the two major cities, Se-Sudak and Se-Almari raises their people. Se-Sudak, worshipper of the river, makes great use of the river silt and floods to farm copious amount of spice and grain, exporting it along the river in elaborated caravans. The river will eventually lead out in the western coast of Kenada into the Ailidian Sea, allowing trade with the Free Cities. The river Sudak is also named after the guardian god of the same name, of which Se-Sudak took its name from. Due to the importance of the river of the livelihood of the people, a prominent religion had formed around it. The river is usually controlled by the heavy flotilla of Se-Sudak, but the recent conflicts had decreased their presence somewhat, hampering the trade of upstream and downstream.
Sand and RuinsSyrcrahst took its moniker of The Shifting Desert due to its frequent "shifting" of the sands, the further in the desert, the more prominent it could be seen. Under the sand seems to contain a vast amount of ruins and structures that belonged to civilization ages past, buried deep in the depths. This, of course, brought up interesting implications as to how deep the desert actually is, or as to just how much lies buried under the sands.
Every now and then, a heavy sandstorm will occur, causing a mass redistribution of the sands. Due to the extremely deep reservoir of sand — nearing a kilometre towards to the centre of the desert — these events are incredibly hazardous to unprepared travellers. Only cities or villages built atop hills and solid stone can hope to survive more than a week, limiting the number of cities and townships that can be propped up.
Occasionally, the sands during a Shifting will push up and reveal some form of ancient ruins like driftwood in the sea. These structures would normally be inaccessible due to the mile-deep layer of sand covering them and the inherent instability of excavation in the unconsolidated ground. But to the fortune of archaeologists, scholars and prospectors alike, a Shifting can directly bring the ruins to them instead. In particular, the desert nomads are particularly interested in such endeavours, some believing that these ruins belong to their ancestors and holds the key to the revival of their once glorious civilization. Despite the disbelief, they do seem to be able to understand the strange, forgotten language...