mean there aren’t any beautiful sections: an oasis’ and rivers and gorgeous bodies of water feeding lush, colorful flora and fauna. Due to its vast ecosystem, the Nuoj has a wide variety of plants, animals, and other inhabitants scattered all over, above, and through its sands.
The Nuoj Desert is the largest desert on Pangella and there is some debate of where it starts and the others begin. It’s eastern and western boarders are generally agreed upon seeing as it presses right up against both the Moon River and the Nott Ridge, but It’s northern boarder is often debated. Many people see the Jopuath Waebu as a smaller part of the Nuoj, while others see them as two entirely separate yet touching deserts and wastelands.
GeographyThe Nuoj is, as I’ve said before, incredibly large. There are a plethora of different ecosystems and weather patterns all contained in its sandy borders. There are some unifying factors, like the dry, unyielding heat, the pale, shifting sands, and smoothed rocks from harsh, constant winds. Primarily, the Nuoj is a desert, yes, but that doesn’t
Crumbling StepsAll along the northern border, at least the generally accepted northern border, are a series of plateaus stacked upon themselves like steps, separating the rest of the desert from the Jopuath Waebu. These plateaus have been worn smooth and thin by the wind over hundreds of years, carving out little current-like waves along its side. Several people have theorized that at some point in its history that these steps, and by extension, the rest of the Nuoj were underwater at some point in history before The Great Forgetting. There is no way to prove this, and its likelihood is incredibly slim.
When the wind blows at the right angle, the Steps sing, howling a melancholy tune out into the silence. The wind catches on little grooves, gradually hollowing them out until they are large pockets in the smooth stone dotted all along the Steps. These pockets not only cause several different notes when the wind blows but also provide housing for several different species that find their way into the steps. Even the Ryum Chyimon have set up camp in these areas when they pass by, using each different hollow as a separate living space. In the dark of the night, they claim the “steps Song” is just as beautiful as the wind through the Waw Forest
Tobu GroveThe Tobu Grove is the only real forest in all of the Nuoj, even if there are other large groups of rather sickly-looking trees seeking out very limited water. The Grove grows along the Moon River, tucking into a norther corner right where the rivers cut through the Abhalzh. Whatever grows here looks quite similar to the trees growing on the Botawth forest.
This little forest is Tob’s prefered place of work. They like spending time near the trees and water while staying isolated from the rest of the Flawkaw Pantheon. The forest itself fuels his forge when Fyre doesn’t burn hot enough. They personally tend to the Grove, making sure every aspect of it is healthy and cared for, and through its care, They got to know Totu when the need for water became prevalent.
The trees themselves aren’t anything to look at. When compared with the lush, thriving forests east of the Nott Ridge or even the Shaye Forest up west of the Brilens, this grove is actually rather pitiful. It’s thin, yellowed leaves and sickly, sporadic branches bleached by the sun provide little cover at all. But, to the people in the area, this little grove is beautiful and everything they need.
Southern GeographyIf the north is more craggy and crumbling rock, split ground, and heat stroke, The south is rolling sands, glittering, natural crystal and rock towers, and heatstroke. In the southern Nuoj is where most of the cities settled, driven there by the coastline and lack of Sand Worms eager to devour them.
The DunesAll along the south-western border along the Moon River are these huge dunes that block and redirect the eastern wind either north or south depending on the time of year and force of the winds. These dunes snake down the riverbank, making a clear border till they disperse around the coastline.
The Crystal PlatesJust above the Waw Forest are another series of plateaus. These are larger and more varied than the Crumbling Steps, and just under the wethered sandstone are chunks of Crystal, both natural and Waw. There are several cities nestled among the spires and there are carved designs moving along with the wind-wethering that read like a map towards large cities all over the desert to those who know how to read them.
Waw ForestAlong the south-eastern Border is the famous Waw Forest, a place of starched beauty, incredibly music, and hidden horrors buried just beneath the sands. Despite the beauty brought by the Waw Trees and their Crystal, this forest is the least visited place out of the entire Nuoj. The rumors of it’s danger have spread through every culture in the west, especially after the Hollows outbreak in 732.
MedicinalWhile not a major resource, there are several Medicinal plants that can be found out in the Nuoj, including Gumtawkh sap and even Staunch weed in some places, but there are several minerals that can be used to even out body chemistry, especially in Tieflings, like Sulfur, magnizium, and even, though not openly endorsed by most doctors, Silfys.
Fuel SourcesHidden under the sand and rock are pockets of oil. While not in demanding supply at the moment, there is a steady supply of it being drained and sent east to Ealdora and the other more technologically advanced places and the places without access to Fyre. The oil seems to have settled at the bottom of old Sand Worm nests.
ValuablesThere are a plethora of deeply sought-after valuables—gold, Iron, diamonds, emeralds, and other assortments of gems— lying just under the sands. More often than not, the Sand Worms eat it and churn it up to the surface where the Ryum Chyimon find it and sell it to the main cities, but there are those that mine it as well, like the local Dunne Dwarves.
IronIron is…well it’s Iron. A very common metal that can be found in abundance under the ground, practically untouched. It’s used in all sorts of things, from weapons to lanterns to infrastructure in more advanced architecture.
GoldGold is a bit rarer but it's found more towards the center of the Nuoj, deeper under the ground. It rarely comes up in Sand Worm trails, though it’s a very popular decorative asset.
GemsGems of almost all kinds can be found under the plateaus, both the Steps and the Plates. These are pulled from the rock itself only since mining in these areas is illegal since the risk of causing a collapse is rather high.
CrystalAll throughout the southern Nuoj is chunks of crystal. Most people assume its Waw Crystal, but that isn’t the case, even if it seems to center around the Waw Forest. In fact, it’s much more similar to the crystal found in the Cave of Mirrors. It’s deeply embedded in the Crystal Plates' base—it is what gave them their name—and can be found just under the sands more and more often the closer to the waterline you go.
Flora and Fauna
FloraFor most of the Nuoj, all the plants native to the area are rather dull-looking.
Harley RoseHarley Roses can be found all over the lower plains between the Dunes and The crystal plates. They grow in groups of maybe 10-20 in a single patch, covering the flat plains without spreading past the dunes and the river. These roses are often harvested and turned into the many pale, beautiful dyes that then cover practically everything in Krekkonian Culture.
Gumtawkh TreeThese trees are most commonly found up in the Tobu Grove along the outskirts and amid the straggly coniferous trees. Its leaves are incredibly small and curl in the heat of the day. At night they unfurl into long, loose triangle shapes. The Gumtawkh Tree can be used for medicinal purposes when ground into a poultice or a powder to help soothe sunburns, chapped skin, and venerable diseases. Its sap, once boiled, could be used as an antiseptic of sorts.
Cotton GrassCotton Grass is the most common grass found in deserts, specifically the Nuoj. Its thin, pale green and fuffy white top can be found everywhere there's water. It covers the ground like desert moss in the Tobu Grove, creates a soft bed in many of the little caves of the Crumbling Steps, as well as in most of the Gardens and cities in all of Krekkon.
Glass WyvernThe Glass Wyvern is a common menace of the Nuoj. They fly in swarms, like usual, sticking to places they can perch, like the many Plateaus, dunes, and cities that dot the Nuoj. They like staying near other living creatures, specifically people that feed them. They behave much like seagulls or particularly playful foxes do. Most of the locals know not to bother them very much, but outsiders often fall prey to their mischievous nature.
Sand WormsSand Worms are the Nuoj’s natural predator. They stay to the open, soft, sandy center of the desert, only spreading out to the edges when absolutely necessary. They are the reason most people avoid traveling through the desert, that and the unyielding heat. They occasionally move towards the plateaus and cities when a large enough amount of people spend long amounts of time out of city bounds.
MeerkrowLook, Meerkrows are strange as Eden, and there is no logical reason for them to be alive. They stay near bright places, like the very top of plateaus, city spires, and, of course, the Waw Forest. They are more commonly found in the south, probably attracted by the glittering waters or the rumors they belong to . Whatever the reason, the locals hate them. They’d get rid of them in a heartbeat if they weren’t both sacred and very magical.
The Song HollowsRoaming the Nuoj are a plethora of Song Hollows left over from the incident in 732. It’s suspected there are about 300,000 roaming free, but without going out and looking, there’s no way to know for certain. These are not like the etheral, gernerally peaceful Hollows found in back allies of krekkonian cities, these are brutal. They are a horryfying mix of being Song Struck and the normal Hollows. They seek out life to turn it to their ranks. They are the other reason people are advised to stay away from the center of the desert.
Back at the beginning of the issue, the song Hollows caused extreme chaos, but now that the people have grown accustomed to them, they are little more than dangerous hazards, just like the Sand Worms.
Cultures, People, And the LikeThere are several cultures that find themselves in the Nuoj. Mainly krekkonian, since that is the predominant nation, but you can also find the Ryum Chyimon, Baalzebul, Dispater, Zecha Fairy, and Mazeche.
The krekkonians are the most dominant presence in the Nuoj and, thankfully, they are rather kind to the environment. They typically stay close to their cities unless they absolutely need to venture further in. They harvest what they need and leave the rest, either from a concern for the environment or sheer laziness. Their lifestyle is focused on fresh produce and clean beauty meaning they don’t come up with much waste that needs cleaning, leaving their impact almost negligible.
The Ryum Chyimon
The Ryum Chyimon are a nomadic group of people. While a vast majority of them live in the Pach Groves, many of them wander the northern border between the Crumbling Steps. They are the main transients to live in the little caves carved by the wind, as well as being the ones who track and maintain the Sand Worm population.
The Baalzebul are quiet people. Well, no, they are crafty people that have learned the art of silence. They, in general, have little interest in the rest of the desert unless they can trick it in some way. They are drawn towards cultures, not places, and yet they do seem rather inseparable from Glass Wyvern swarms. Only occasionally do they venture out into the rest of the desert.
Like their cousins the Baalzebul, Dispater are generally quieter people. Except, these people love adventure. They can often be found exploring dangerous parts of the desert, seeking out an adrenalin rush from either the local flora and fauna or just facing the desert themselves with increasingly meager supplies. If there is any damage to their environment, the Dispater are often hard-pressed to notice, already moving on, but when they are made aware of their impact they often rectify their impact.