Shizo's Death Sands
Where the black roses grow.
Up to the north of the eastern realms lies Shizo's Death Sands: a deserted expanse of grey sand, ash and perpetual clouds of smog. Throughout centuries the ashen sands of the north have been the site of countless bloodbaths and carnages. Legendary battles have been fought in this place that even the landscape has changed by the large amount of bodies and weapons laying around.
Even though it might look like a grey-sand desert, Shizo's Death Sands is fairly different from any other barren region. While it occasionally rains in this barren the acidic and infertile ashen sands of the region prevent plant life from flourishing. This rain often creates a thick mud that is characteristic of the region. The ashen sands are said to come from the eruptions of Fu Jioka mount, a dormant volcano at the top of the Hitoshi Mountains. For the most part, the wasteland is nothing but miles on end of grey sand that produce a mirage that often confuse travelers. In some areas of the sands rocky pillars are formed by ground fissures that spew noxious toxins which solidify into grey crystalized formations. Sites of battles have become part of the geography of the region. Travelers often stumble across vast regions covered with bodies, weapons, armors, and equipment from armies that fought in this region, which slowly get buried by the shifting sands. Sometimes these battlesites can seem neverending, extending for miles on end.
Fauna & Flora
Weeds and moss grow in few patches throughout the wasteland, and even some trees manage to thrive against the unforgiving conditions. For the most part, it is a lifeless barren of shifting sands and smog. Regardless, a species of poisonous flowers manage to feed off the acidic ash and grow normally, the black roses. Scavengers of all sizes cruise through these sands consuming the bodies of the defeated in battle. Perhaps, the most deadly of these scavengers are the purple worms, tower-sized purple creatures that shift the sands looking for mid-decomposing bodies. Other monsters found in this region are ankhegs, rocs, and the nomadic tribes that traverse the sands.
The expanse is named after Shizo, the leader of a long-extinct nomadic warband that threatened to lay waste to the coastal cities of the empire. His riders took advantage of the shifting sands as their camouflage; they were silenced by the howling winds and obscured by the ravaging sandstorms, becoming as undetectable as ghosts. It is said that Shizo built his fortress in the middle of the barrens which served to hold his trasures and protect his people throughout the harsher months of the desert, as the first seasons of the year frequent devastating sandstorms.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
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