Pāll-tanír Geographic Location in Rivendom | World Anvil


In the northern reaches of the world, across the sea, past the burning mountains of the Sylvari homeland, is a vast and desolate land inhabited by peoples shaped by hardship and bloodshed, much like our own. Whereas we prospered in the lush forests and tracts of farmland of our home after we broke our shackles, the children of the desert suffered from a vicious and merciless environment once they wrenched themselves free of the yoke of slavery.   The history of the Pāll-tanír is littered with bloodshed. In the millennia that the Dominion has held sway over its lands, the dunes have run red with blood more times than may have been desirable. However, the number of lives lost to armed conflict in the Pāll-tanír pales in comparison to the number of lives lost throughout history to the ravaging sands and the cataclysmic storms that sweep across the land.   And yet, despite hardship, the people of the Pāll-tanír have not only learned how to survive. They have learned to thrive. Though the wounds of their colorful histories remain stark in their cultures to this day, the children of the desert remain resolute in the face of adversity. The realms of the world could learn, perhaps, one thing or another about cooperation from the people of the Pāll-tanír, as they know the importance of community and hard work more than any other peoples.
  The Pāll-tanír is a large continent in the northern region of Sekhar. In terms of total land area, the Pāll-tanír is the second largest continent, but with regard to habitable area, it is quite easily the smallest barring the frozen landmasses at the northern and southern poles.


The Pāll-tanír is a relatively flat landmass largely devoid of prominent geographic features, dominated by rolling plains and vast tracts of flatlands. The most prominent geographic features in the Pāll-tanír are the Skywall Range, a mountain range that divides the continent into a northern and southern region, and the southern region into western and eastern halves, and the Eye of the Desert, a large crater in the center of the northern region of the Pāll-tanír.   The majority of the continent's surface area is comprised of desert pavement and large slabs of exposed bedrock. Despite depictions in popular literature, roughly only 40% of the Pāll-tanír's surface area is dominated by sand sheets and rolling dunes, of which 80% is located in the northern region.   Freshwater is extremely scarce on the surface of the desert due to the lack of precipitation. A network of underground rivers courses beneath the surface of the Pāll-tanír, known as the Veins of the Desert. These rivers contribute to what little freshwater is on the surface, forming rare oases where the pressure of the river is enough to force water to the surface.  


The Pāll-tanír has only two seasons: the calm season, and the stormy season. During the summer months in the northern hemisphere, the Pāll-tanír is ravaged on a regular basis by Arventir, desert storms charged with arcane energy. The frequency of these storms gradually lessens as winter approaches, but never stop altogether, before gradually increasing as summer approaches again.   Precipitation in the Pāll-tanír is so rare that in some places, it hasn't rained in four millennia of Dominion occupation, with precipitation of less than 1mm per square meter being reported near the coast only on two or three occasions in the same period of time.

Fauna & Flora

Despite being largely barren, the Pāll-tanír boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems in Sekhar, though much of this biodiversity occurs in the southeastern region of the continent in the tropical rainforest known as the Shar. Pāll-taníri literature points to five predator and four prey species of particular cultural importance to the people of the Pāll-tanír.  


Five species of large predatory animals found in the Pāll-tanír are viewed with wary respect and reverence. These five creatures feature prominently in the symbology of Pāll-taníri cultures, particularly with regard to heraldry.  

Storm Drakes

Venkharja (pl. venkhura) from the Arventiri words ventir meaning "storm" and kharja meaning "king" or "ruler", storm drakes are powerful, solitary, apex predators considered the rulers of the desert because they prey on the four other predatory species at the top of the Pāll-tanír's food chain. Due to their draconic appearance, storm drakes are considered dragonkin but are not counted among the true dragons because they are unable to produce an arcanalith, otherwise known as a heart of hearts.   Despite not having a heart of hearts and thus being incapable of the same feats of magic as true dragons, storm drakes, like other members of the drake family, display an instinctive aptitude for the use of magic. This aptitude is what allows drakes to perform powered flight despite physiological limitations. The use of magic to power flight is prohibitively expensive in terms of energy consumption, which ultimately limits the amount of time that a storm drake can actively fly. As a result, storm drakes prefer to glide from one high point to another, or ride the wind at the edges of powerful sandstorms, which is what gives them their name.   In some Pāll-taníri cultures, it is considered a high honor to fell a storm drake, while in some it is considered an utmost sacrilege. However, even among the cultures that permit the hunting of storm drakes, the endeavor is often discouraged due to the high costs in time, money, labor, and life that are often involved. Nevertheless, storm drake parts have historically been quite valuable if sold in the right markets, which led to a brief rise in storm drake hunting until the Dominion designated storm drakes as a protected species.  


Isaraje (pl. Isaruse), from the Arventiri words isal meaning "mountain" and araje meaning "lion," Craglions are a species of big cat that inhabit the mountains and the foothills of the Skywall Range. Craglions are ambush predators, found largely among escarpments and steep drops. While they are more than capable of chasing prey down, craglions prefer to drop on their targets from above.   Craglions demonstrate complex behaviors and have been shown to have preferred hunting spots that are passed down from one generation of the pack to the next. In any given area where craglions are to be found, there is only a limited number of spots that can be attacked from above without much risk of falling to death and craglions are fiercely protective of these places.  


Isatilqe (pl. Isatulqa), from the Arventiri words isal meaning "mountain" and atil meaning "bird," windriders are an opportunistic raptor species that inhabits the high peaks of the Skywall Range. Due to their proximity, windriders frequently clash with craglions, often following a failed attempt at stealing a craglion's recent kill. As opportunists and generalist predators, windriders will hunt and eat anything that they can, up to and including old, injured, or infant craglions.   When windriders cannot rely on other species to do the hunting for them, they are more than capable of scrounging up their own food. While smaller game like high-altitude hares and lizards are easy enough to capture and kill, when it comes to larger prey, windriders employ a unique but fatally effective method of hunting: dive-bombing. When hunting larger prey, windriders will pick up a sizable rock from nearby, climb to a certain altitude with it in tow, and dive steeply toward the target. To help with accuracy, windriders do not pull up out of the dive until the last moment, and when they do, they release the rock which continues with all the momentum from the dive. Often the attack will outright kill prey, but even if it doesn't, the injury that it inflicts is often enough to enable the windrider to finish the job without much risk.  


Risina (pl. risunha) from the Arventiri words risqe meaning "sand" and inah meaning "to walk over," sandstriders are a large lizard species that are found all over the plains and sand sheets of the Pāll-tanír, though they are most likely to be found near the sporadic oases that dot the landscape. Sandstriders are an indiscriminate predator and will hunt and eat anything that comes their way, though they favor the small game that flourishes around oases.   Sandstriders are long-distance travelers, with certain adaptations that allow them to limit their contact with the hot desert substrate. The range of an individual of the species can extend for miles, though its ultimate shape is informed by the oases within it. Sandstriders travel far and wide in their search of food. An individual captured and tagged just outside of Madras, for example, was found a short while later around Khabrel, a few hundred miles to the northwest.  


Tuqilha (pl. tuqulluha) from the Arventiri words tuq meaning "rock" and qilhar meaning "nightmare", sandwurms are not very well known. If not for confirmed sightings, they would occupy an almost mythological space in public perception. Considered a form of dragonkin, sandwurms are a type of burrowing reptile capable of moving through earth and rock with surprising speed. Their name in the common tongue is actually a misnomer as sandwurms are unable to move through loose sand and appear to actively avoid the sandy regions of the Pāll-tanír.   Little is known for sure about the diet of these creatures, but extrapolating from similar species such as the rockwurms of the Desolation in Di'Termalttë and the northern regions of IldRenn, as well as accounts in regional oral traditions, scholars can be reasonably certain that sandwurms will devour anything that they can despite showing a preference for larger animals.
Alternative Name(s)
The Stormlands
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