The Tomokanga Desert - The Portal Wastes
I'm usually the first to tell you that superstition is for sailors and priests, but you listen to me good on this, The myths got one thing right about the Tomokanga Desert. It is a gods-forsaken, cursed land. Any place that even the Wild Hunt wont go is best left forgotten. - Jasper Cameron, Leader of the Bronze RavensWhen the world was still young, before time began, There was a meeting of gods that got out of hand. Who threw the first punch, nobody knows, But the tricksters were blamed, or so the story goes. If not of The Spider they would have been caught, At least in the version The Judge would have taught. But give them an inch, a mile, a day Tricksters excel at running away. So The Spider wove traps to confound and deceive, Allowing the Tricksters to soon take their leave. "What are you doing?" the Mule did bray, "Because of your webs they are getting away!" "Fear not," said the Hunter, having come up with a plan, "We'll have Messengers track them, as only they can." "What is the message?" asked little Sparrow, "The message is simple, Collar or Arrow?" So the messengers flew, as if shot from a bow, To go break the world, but how could they know? Some say that the chase goes on to this day, Others, its proof, even gods lose their way.
Whether true or not, the story of the Portal Wastes is often told as a warning of the consequences that occur when one jumps to judgement. The area known as the Tomokanga Desert is the only place in the known world to have spontaneously occurring portals. Some of these portals are associated with the many stone arches that litter the landscape (some natural, some obviously not), others are associated with doors standing or lying on their own. Still others simply appear and disappear. There is no reliable way of telling where the portals go, when they will open, or how long they will stay open. Some have lucked in everything they were able to from their surroundings, others have spewed out everything from a volley of arrows to a confused, if short lived, kraken. The portal that has stayed open the longest is on the eastern edge of the desert, appears as a swirling opaline void and has been open for just under 373 years. The subject of much study by arcane scholars the world over, nothing that has been passed through the portal has ever returned, indeed the only thing to come out of it is the sound of laughter and taunts directed at the current scholars in the area. (Some claim small pebbles have been thrown out of this portal with surprising accuracy, but no reliable observations of this phenomenon exist)