The Sorra Blanca
Stretching for miles and miles in the southern Esbalt Mountains is the huge flat expanse of the Sorra Blanca, a salt pan that is an inhospitable environment for all but the hardiest of creatures. Though it is apparently lifeless on the face of it, the salt pan is a vital lifeline for the Emirate of Taqwal, who have made much money from the trading of salt extracted from the Sorra Blanca to the rest of the continent.
Fauna & Flora
At its heart, the Sorra Blanca is devoid of almost all life. The lack of water, food and shade means that a creature must be incredibly specialised or hardy to survive for long in the central Sorra Blanca, without bringing in their own supplies. Anecdotal evidence from those that have braved the interior has suggested that the central Sorra Blanca is home to a particularly specialised form of Elemental, Salt Elementals, who draw on the salt that surrounds them to sustain and stabilise themselves. As so few people have returned from the interior of the area, it is hard to corroborate their tales. The fringes of the Sorra Blanca are home to more life than the interior, especially in the areas where the slopes of the surrounding Esbalt Mountains meet the salt pan proper. In these border areas thick groves of straight hardy cactus grow, and provide sustenance and shelter to small birds and mammal, mostly rodents, that have accepted and acclimatised to the harsh nature of life in the Sorra Blanca. Since the Emirate of Taqwal began to make a concerted effort to collect the salt of the Sorra Blanca in large quantities for trade and production purposes it has been noted that the number of large predators that stray down into the area from the Esbalt Mountains has markedly increased. At first, this increase in activity baffled scholars, who could not see how the predators were able to sustain themselves given the lack of a large enough food supply. However, it has since been realised that the predators are being attracted by the gangs of workers sent to gather salt, who are particularly vulnerable when labouring on the Sorra Blanca and can be easily picked off….