The Rhombic Obliques are an unusual land-form that occupies the entire Ventral C cube layer. While the vast mineral wealth of the Obliques remains difficult to tap due to the terrain, the cube has become a source of religious consternation between the Forgist and Biocosmist faiths. Members of the Burning Hearts Social Club see the place as a memorable destination for mountaineering, exploration, and contacts with the isolated tribes of Ovinex that call the region home.
Due to unknown geological processes, the edge and corner mountain ranges of Ventral C have expanded over time until the negative space within the cube has taken the form of a near-perfect rhombic dodecahedron, with the six vertices furthest from the center of that negative space touching the center of the cube faces. The slopes created by this phenomena are collectively known as the Rhombic Obliques. The term 'oblique' in the name Rhombic Obliques refers both to the seemingly endless grade of the terrain and to the perceived 'wrongness' of the terrain feature, with the Biocosmists who first produced written accounts of the place describing it as a "cancer of nature" and a "residue of sins against nature." In any event, the process that created the Rhombic Obliques remains undiscovered, with some geologists speculating that the unusually perfect angles of the land-form imply that it may be wholly unnatural - perhaps the earthworks of some unknown precursor civilization. This understanding of the Obliques lends itself to well to the Forgist belief system. All of these factors result in the Forgists and Biocosmists encountering one another in the region and having (occasionally violent) internecine conflicts there. The 'low' points where the vertices of the Rhombic Obliques touch the cube faces are where the commissures of the cube are located, though these fissures are more limited in diameter than most. The eight vertices not touching the faces of the cube are, as far as gravity is concerned, the 'high' points in terms of relative altitude. This creates an odd condition where a round object placed just outside of one of these vertices rolls away towards the commissures with increasing speed, despite an observer in one of these locations perceiving the vertex to be concave in nature. Visitors have described the phenomena as appearing "as though rainwater decided to climb out of a pond... and flow back up the hill of its own accord." Due to the consistent 45 degree slopes presented by the Rhombic Obliques, much of the Ventral C cube layer is uninhabitable by humanoids, though the nimble-footed Ovinex people might fare better. While the regions near the commissures actually go well below what would be considered sea level in other cubes - with the land cutting so deep into the crust of the cube that gravity is notably reduced in this region - the slopes eventually climb so high in relative altitude that the air becomes unbreathable without life support systems. Furthermore, while the entire cube is also closely connected to the Eastern Tesseract, water concentrations vary heavily with altitude. The regions near the commissures have nearly average atmospheric moisture relative to the other Ventral cubes, while the highest points are arid in the extreme. Landslides and falling rocks are always a concern in the Obliques, as is the risk of dropping something only to have it roll miles downhill before disappearing into a commissure.
Fauna & Flora
Though the air is notably denser in the Rhombic Obliques than in most other cubes, few plants there thrive above an elevation of 12,000 feet; plants are able to thrive below sea level in the Obliques due to runoff. The Obliques feature multible timberlines, with drought-resistant pines at the uppermost layers and dense forests of deciduous trees at the bottom. Birds make up the majority of animal life, with the separation between vertex depressions resulting in speciation among terrestrial animals. An isolated community of primitive Ovinex - perhaps the remnants of a lost Rostran Archipelago Confederacy expedition - resides around the Ventral C1 commissure. These Ovinex have managed to establish a basic hunter-gatherer society by utilizing their species' unique aptitude for high altitudes, though their population growth is limited by their isolation. Expeditions which have attempted to treat with this tribe have been met only with non-verbal hostility, though itinerant members the Burning Hearts Social Club continue to pursue diplomacy. Ethnographers from the Manifold Conservation Society believe that inbreeding will eventually render this community extinct without outside intervention.
Being part of the Ventral Tesseract, the Rhombic Obliques are believed to have vast deposits of heavy metals beneath their surfaces. While some exploratory digs near the commissures have indicated that this is the case, the lack of flat terrain for construction and aircraft staging has left the mineral riches of the Obliques relatively untouched. Scattered scientific outposts from the Free Faces League, Petalcap Vale, and Craterhold have been constructed in the Obliques to explore options for tapping local resources.