The Red Desert Geographic Location in Miurag | World Anvil

The Red Desert

The Red Desert is one the three largest Territories among the Dragons (To'vah, forming most of the southeast quadrant of the continent. (The southwest Twin Peninsulas and northwest Yung-An are the other two). This arid expanse is dominated by sand dunes, rock, and hard soil, most of which favors (as the name suggests) the many shades of red.


Geology and Resources

The Desert is home to numerous hearty plants, animals, and peoples adapted to the harsh landscape. Interspersed with the semi-barren stretches, which are unable to support more than a small village or camp, are the rare river or temporary stream, a few fertile valleys, and more than a handful of oases and hidden springs within canyons which support unique sustenance and ways of life. The largest cities in its history were largely supported by deep wells and aquafers.

Life in the Desert experience extremes in temperature through most seasons, from dangerously hot at midday to deathly frigid at night. The mildest seasons is winter, which may see an increase in rain, especially along the coasts, though summer sees its share of heavy rain and violent lightning storms sweeping in from the Kurgan Steppes or South Ocean.

Most natural sandstorms occur in the afternoon or evening, dust and sand blown sometimes hundreds of leagues from the storm burst which caused it. There exist tales of midnight sandstorms or beginning at dawn. Although not easy to explain, travelers often note a mage or mystic among them experiencing something very strange in the wilderness.

The Red Desert is also a giant peninsula with an immense coastline. The waters of the South Sea (west leading to Paxia) and Green Sea (east leading to the Kurgan Steppes) are warm but still support diverse sea life, thus drawing the larger sentient races northward to settle their shores.

The southern coastline is called the Sea of Fire. For reasons not well understood, is even warmer and largely barren of the fish and crustaceans thriving elsewhere, presumed to be missing the base creatures needed to feed the larger ones but no one knows what causes it.

The winds are also incredibly fickle in this section of the coast, sometimes roaring through to create massive waves that overturn ships, and sometimes entirely absent for weeks on end. Sailors following the coast of the Red Desert must plan and be prepared for the Sea of Fire; often, sailing it is as slow, arduous, and uncertain as passing through the least hospitable stretches of dunes on foot.


Civil Landmarks

The Red Desert has seen an abrupt decline in its centers of population over the last three thousand years.

The longest trade routes have ceased to be worth the risks and expenditures; most commerce takes place in short, familiar journeys or along the coastline. This enormous region is sparsely populated and has few civil landmarks in the current day.

Ironically, the only major landmark not created by the Desert’s natural forces is also the one place any local will warn any traveler to avoid.

Located in a barren wilderness of the dunes, almost in the center of the region, is a strange, black pillar which is said to have something to do with the decline and disappearance of the Five Realms of the Sorcerer-Kings. Estimates of its height and exact dimensions vary wildly, as survivors have only seen it from afar.

All those who declared they would approach it close enough to measure its size or search for markings have never returned.


History & Culture

For millennia, the major civil landmarks were the Davrin capital of V'Gedra and the governmental center of each of the Five Realms of the Zauyrian Sorcerer-Kings. Tundar trade routes were once based on these centers in relation to known water sources and rarely shifted.

Following an escalation of war which began outside the Red Desert, the delicate balance of the Dark Elf Queendom and the Sorcerer-Kings was destroyed when conflict overtook the peoples of the dunes.

A brief series of magical cataclysms left V’Gedra and all five centers of the Realms either buried by sand or contracted into a non-influential settlement, a tiny fraction of their once-robust population surrounded by eroding ruins.

The capitals of the Davrin and Sorcerer-Realms have disappeared from most current maps and the best chance to find these old locations is in the Clan archives of the Dwarves of Taiding.

Human descendants of the Zauyrian Sorcerer Realms remain the dominant sentient culture of the Desert, but their magic and political power rarely reaches outside of their local region.

Many of the stronger mage lines moved west into Paxia to found the city of Ahj'Zayr. A relatively new coastal city with much stronger influence, Ahj'Zayr functions as the naval-based trade center between the The Great Lake cities and the Twin Peninsulas.

The history and culture of the Davrin Elves has mostly vanished from short Human memories, and Tundar Dwarves tend not to volunteer gossip about races they haven’t seen with their own eyes in centuries.


Something Extra

Patreon exclusive content: Added secrets and insights about the location.
Surface Region, southeast quadrant
Roughly 500,00 (shrinking)
races: Davrin, Wilder, Zauyrian, Tundar, Paxian, Kurgan, Noiri, Yungian (rare), Srann (rare), To'vah, Orcs (extinct), nomads (mixed/minor tribes).

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Cover image: by Axelotl
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