The Southern Desolation Geographic Location in The Sundered Worlds | World Anvil
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The Southern Desolation

A barren expanse full of a frigid nothing, the Southern Desolation is the last stretch of land before the southern ice cap of {PLANET}. The winters are too long and too cold to support most life, and the growing period too short for much of anything to thrive. Seasonal mining operations take advantage of iron veins and limestone deposits, and tough, bitter grasses can—with effort—be made into a textile with limited use. Even the southern stretch of {HIGHWAY} becomes unusable during the winter months, and Deep trade traffic increases as a result. Only monsters as wicked as the wind roam the Desolation.

The All-Consuming Winter

The Desolation is a diffcult region to study, and less is known about it than any other region of the Hinterlands. Winter comes early and stays late in this southernmost expanse, and is more viciously cold than geographers and meteorologists expect it should be. Packs of gnolls terrorize those few itinerants and travellers who make their way into the Desolation, and wolves made of little more than fur and bone prowl under the icy moonlight.
Scholars suspect Yeenoghu's influence but have found no evidence to support that hypothesis to date, save for the gnolls. Her magic doesn't typically manifest as cold, making the mystery all the more tantalizing for Abyssal researchers. Indeed, intrepid academics on field studies are the most common source of more wintercut gnolls.

The Southern Desolation Field Guide

Life finds a way in most climates and biomes; far more frigid and icy locales than the Desolation harbor living things. Whether by demonic interference or natural anomoly, very little has adapted to life in the southernmost stretch of {CONTINENT}.
Tough gritgrass grows low and stiff through the spring and summer. Frost nut—a truffle with a hard outer casing to protect the meat from the frost—can be dug up when the soil is thawed enough to break, but that doesn't happen every year.
Snowy owlbears and winter wolves prowl the foothills near the base of the Tels, but even they avoid the expanse of the Desolation for the roving wintercut gnolls and their demonic hunting hyenas. The occasional ice troll is spotted by itinerant miners, and the monstrous remorhaz seems to be the only creature that can go toe-to-toe with the gnolls.
Location under
Associated Cultures
No people live or build permanant communities in the Desolation

The Desolation Traveller

It is not recommended to travel the Southern Desolation.

Those in certain lines of work may find themselves headed toward the Desolation for a season. A mining party hoping to take advantage of the few livable months must absolutely observe the changing winds and be fully out of the region by the first snow; winter does not grow slowly in the Desolation, it arrives suddenly and completely.

The Mythalenairran outpost of Thaeana Ethyll at the southern end of {HIGHWAY} is the only scrap of civilization that far south, and a temporary one at that. It is a port of seasonal convenience, and the traveller is unlikely to find anything in the way of goods or services there. It's best to avoid the region entirely.

Cover image: by MarcelDominic via Pixabay
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