Hollows Settlement in Synthacrosia | World Anvil


The Town that exists in the shadows of the desert

Sometimes I swear I hear voices out in the desert... Or I think I catch glimpses of people out of the corner of my eye, but when I look, they're gone.
Beachcastle citizen
  Hollows is a ramshackle town found in various locations within the harsh desert of the Third Floor. It never stays in one consistent spot, and as such the dwellings are light, and easy to move. The people of Hollows are reclusive; most of them having an intense dislike for the rest of the citizens of Synthacrosia. They choose to live and hide in one of the most inhospitable places of the tower, a massive desert swirling with accursed toxic clouds.  


On the Move

Residents of Hollows, known as the Hollow, always keep on the move, lest one of the regular tower folk discover their existence. The camp generally only stays in one location for a week, at most. They'll often pack up and move camp within a day or two of settling down in a location. Residents of Hollows have a communal rule they follow; it takes only one person to decide to move camp. Should any person within the camp feel they need to move, regardless of evidence, everyone else will comply and Hollows will change locations. The Hollow hold this rule above all else, and feel it keeps them most safe.

In the Shadows

The Hollow like to keep to the shadows, as daytime in the Desert can get incredibly hot, and nighttime unbearably cold. There is no twilight within the floor; every 12 hours, light levels change instantly from full bright, to full darkness. Thus, the Hollow travel in the shadow cast by the great dunes found sprawling across the Third Floor. Their path takes them through the crevasses, canyons, and caves that crisscross the dry exposed stone of the desert. As a result of this, the residents of Hollows have an insider knowledge when it comes to locating the many secrets scattered among the sand.



The Hollow choose to isolate themselves from the rest of the Synthacrosia, because they've lost trust with the majority of it's population. The distrust started around the time the first Processing Units began to appear, as less civil souls of Synthacrosia eyed each other, contemplating murder to gain Soul Coins. Some more wary souls decided to leave the general populous, moving to the Third Floor, hiding in the caves hidden within the sand.


Souls choosing to hide on the Third Floor have more in mind than just staying away from other people. They've also decided to watch, and protect whatever and whoever they can within the desert. It is the residents of Hollows that ensure the rest points on trade routes are stocked with water. The Hollow will watch for tired travelers on the brink of collapse, often moving them to shade and leaving them with water, before disappearing.

Related Reading

Inhabitant Demonym
The Hollow

Did you know?

The Third Floor is known as The Floor of Health. It's covered mostly by a massive, incredibly hot desert. Periodic dust storms ravage the desert, and kick up clouds of noxious gas in their wake, cursing and poisoning folk who stumble into them.   The Third Floor is where Thirst is reawakened in a soul. There are few spots to find clean water on the third floor, which makes it an incredibly difficult place to live.


The only actual thing souls on the Third Floor need to live is water. Residents of Hollows are well acquainted with all locations of water, knowing them the way an extremely pious priest might know scripture. A book is carried from camp to camp, containing locations of all known springs, ponds, and aquifers. The book, named "Aqualibrium", also details the level of toxicity found in certain sources of water. The center of the Third Floor is a massive swamp, the source of toxic water, and cursed clouds.

Hollow Housing

The types of dwellings the Hollow use are designed to be easy to set up, and easy to pack away. The town will only use the same location twice on rare occasions, so permanent structures are almost never built. Generally, houses consist of telescoping poles, rope, and canvas strung between them.

It was the damnedest thing... I was an idiot, and stepped into a big ol patch of quicksand. And I was alone, another mark against my intelligence there. I was sinking, panicking, freaking out... thought I was gonna die... finally my head goes under. I'm terrified, my hands still above the surface, grabbing at thin air in desperation. Suddenly, this strong hand grips mine, and I find myself pulled upwards, and out of the patch. Soon as I could breath and see again, I wiped my face, and opened my eyes... but no one was there.
— Near death experience, Third Floor Explorer


Author's Notes

Header image made by Stormbril, via Inkarnate   Location Map image via Unsplash, Edited by Stormbril..

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Sage Happy4488
Matthieu A.
19 Jul, 2019 19:47

I liked this town, actually reminds me of a similar one in my world, though they have an easier time there. xD   The fact that anyone could basically trigger a move left me a bit dubitative though, as some people might abuse it. Their knowledge of the area makes them pretty safe from outsiders though, and that quirk in the lightning must have changed their sleep schedules... overall an interesting location! :)   Gud job!

31 Jul, 2019 18:37

Thank you! :) I really enjoy wandering towns! It's a fun way to write about a community.   Some people might abuse it, yeah... but it's such a tight-knit community, that should anyone abuse such powers, they'd soon be exiled from the town. The rule forms the core of their community, so anyone abusing it would be a pretty terrible member of the town!