Once a lush valley, the Zhis Badlands are now a large open expanse of rocky desert, where the only plants that are able to survive in this harsh wilderness are cacti, whose tall spiny shapes litter the landscape. The shift in the Badlands’ climate occurred around the time that the area was settled by the dragon Ajrihaan and her Dragonborn children. Shortly after the settlement, another dragon, the Green Dragon Ustall, tried to claim the land for themselves, and drive Ajrihaan from the area. The almighty battle between the two drakes permanently scarred the land, turning the pleasant Zhis valley into the Badlands it is today.
The Zhis Badlands are an extensive area of rocky desert, littered with outcrops of warped and eroded standing stones and groves of cactus that are the only vegetation other than tough spiny shrubs able to reclaim some of the land. There is little surface water in the Badlands, though there is a plentiful supply that runs through a network of subterranean rivers that have carved themselves through the rocky ground, and that can even form small lakes within their watery caverns. The border of the Zhis Badlands is a belt of Mesa Mountains, with their distinctive flat tops and sheer, almost vertical sides. This mountainous border separates the Zhis Badlands from the jungle of Cape Verdant beyond, and acts as a barrier to the storm systems that roll onto the Cape from the Estrill Ocean. The Zhis Badlands are a rich source of heavy metals and minerals such as sulphur and phosphorus, which are important base materials for the production of magical consumables.