Law of Forsaken Sands

"Without the divine light illuminating the desert, only the scorching heat of the sun paves the way."

Some nebulous great crime caused the Gods of Rolara to altogether abandon and shun the region that became the Vast Desert. It is a harsh desolate land, devoid of life or magic. Some cultures told stories that may or may not have referred to this event; it was suspected to be so ancient as to elude proper written recording.   Due to the way the Law manifests within the Vast Desert of Eoperax, those who live and travel its immense wasteland despise and fear those who use or claim to use magic. The connotation of magic and evil is a strong one, because the these god forsaken sands drain the very life energy of those around the magic user. The Weave is stretched precariously thin in this desert, Ley Lines skirt along the mountainous borders, and only in Khephrite temples and hidden abode of the desert elves does the reprieve of divine healing exist.   After Akheth's banishment to the underworld by Aker, the Radiant Sun God, Nebethet, took advantage of his brother's predicament. Hoping to gain Akheth's wisdom and magical prowess, Nebethet gleefully detained him in the underworld. However, Akheth, with his wisdom and cunning, found a way to continue influencing the mortal realm despite his imprisonment.   In the underworld, Nebethet's realm, Akheth became one with the death and decay. He began to channel these forces in an attempt to influence the Vast Desert. When a spellcaster tries to weave a spell in the desert, they are unknowingly tapping into Akheth's power. Nebethet, unaware of Akheth's subtlety, doesn't prevent this, allowing Akheth to use this connection to draw life energy from the surroundings as payment for the use of magic.
When a spellcaster forms a spell, they are essentially creating a conduit between their own life energy and the surrounding environment. Normally, this results in a balanced exchange of magical energy. However, in the Vast Desert, this conduit instead becomes a one-way path for the life energy to be drained away, due to Akheth's influence.   This necrotic damage is a physical manifestation of this drain. When a spellcaster casts a spell in the desert, they are essentially summoning a small part of the underworld to the physical realm. This results in a temporary aura that drains life force from the area around the caster, causing necrotic damage to those within the aura.   If there are no other life forms within the aura, the caster is the only available source of life energy, and so they suffer the necrotic damage. This is Akheth's toll for the use of magic in the forsaken desert, a manifestation of the god's influence from beyond the veil of death.   Akheth's influence also explains the unpredictability of magic in the Vast Desert. As the god of magic, he is able to subtly manipulate the outcome of spells, causing them to have effects beyond their intended purpose or to fail entirely. This makes magic in the desert a dangerous and unpredictable force.   The spells that are meant to last an hour or more, instead of functioning as they normally would, begin to drain their magical energy into the environment around them. This seeping energy can have a variety of effects, from bringing life to plants, creating aberrations, or even opening rifts to other planes. These effects are essentially the echoes of Akheth's manipulations in the underworld, resonating through the thin veil of the Weave in the desert and altering the physical world.   Despite Nebethet's jealousy and detention of Akheth, the people of Rolara have found ways to work around these harsh realities imposed by Akheth's influence. They seek out magical oases created by the desert elves or carefully carry crystals from Mount Origin, which can restore a varying amount of magical energy and a random number of spell slots. These methods are a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the people in the face of the harsh conditions in the desert.


The Law of the Forsaken Sands is straightforward: "Without the divine light illuminating the desert, only the scorching heat of the sun paves the way." It is believed that the sands resulted from the disintegration of the region's innate magical fibers.  

Magic in Forsaken Sands

Beyond the confines of Khephrite temples and Desert Elf cities, divine magic ceases to work in the Vast Desert. Those who can perform divine miracles elsewhere in Rolara become merely mortal in the desert, frail and at the mercy of the sands. However, there's an exception: the Desert Elves of the Dune Sea of Akhiilor. They worship Qamara, the Elven deity of nature and light, and their divine magic not only works in their homeland, where Qamara is said to still wander, but also in the rare desert oases created by their ancestors.   Nonetheless, magic is not entirely useless in the desert. Non-divine spellcasters must exercise caution, as the magic resonating throughout the desert is finite and diminishing. Casting potent magic can be perilous, as it drains life energy from everything in the vicinity. When a spellcaster invokes powerful magic in the Vast Desert, the Law of Forsaken Sands exacts a toll in the form of life energy, putting all life within a certain radius at risk.  
Casting a leveled spell in the Vast Desert
Spells of the 1st level or higher partially rely on the life force surrounding the caster. Casting such spells creates a temporary aura that drains life force from the vicinity. A 1st level spell generates a 10-foot radius aura, a 2nd level spell generates a 20-foot radius aura, and so on, up to a 9th level spell, which generates a 90-foot radius aura. When this aura requires energy, spellcasters have several options:  
  • Creatures of CR 0 and non-creature plants within the aura die instantly.
  • If there are no creatures of CR 0 or non-creature plants within the aura, If there are no plants within the aura, creatures within the aura—except the caster—suffer d6 necrotic damage equivalent to the spell slot level. For example, a 3rd level spell slot for the magic missile spell would mean a roll of 3d6. This damage is evenly distributed among all targets and is non-reducible.
  • If there are neither plants nor creatures within the aura, the caster suffers d6 necrotic damage equivalent to the spell slot level, which is also non-reducible.
  Alternatively, a caster can choose none of the options, resulting in the spell failing and the spell slot being expended, but consumable material components remain untouched. Concentration spells keep the aura active around the caster for the spell's duration. The caster can then choose one of the effects from the list at the start of each subsequent turn, until they stop concentrating or the effect is dispelled.  
Restoring Spell Slots
In the Vast Desert, the Law of Forsaken Sands prohibits the restoration of spell slots during rest. However, wizards and warlocks are not entirely helpless. To counteract this harsh aspect of the desert, travelers seek out magical oases, rumored to have been created by the Desert Elves in ancient times, where the magical energy vibrations have been partially stabilized.   Another option is to carry Aetherite Crystals from Mount Origin. These luminescent purple stones can restore varying amounts of magical energy and a random number of spell slots. While it's generally believed that larger crystals are more potent, seasoned practitioners of the arcane arts understand that sometimes, power can be found in smaller packages. However, these crystals are rare, costly, and unfortunately, quite unstable.


The Law of Forsaken Sands is a localized phenomenon, specifically affecting the Vast Desert region in Rolara. The origins of this law trace back to a great crime that led the Gods of Rolara to abandon and shun this region, resulting in the desert's mystical transformation. The desert sands are believed to be the disintegrated remnants of the region's natural magical fibers. Consequently, the Vast Desert became a forsaken land, devoid of divine influence and suffering from a diminishing reservoir of magic. The unique metaphysical conditions of the desert – the lack of divine influence, the disintegration of magical fibers, and the resulting imbalance of magical energies – are what give rise to the Law of Forsaken Sands. Outside of this geographically and metaphysically unique region, these conditions do not exist, and therefore the law is not applicable. It is the unique intertwining of history, divine intervention, and geophysical attributes that confines this law strictly to the boundaries of the Vast Desert.
Metaphysical, Divine


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