The Auric Wastes Geographic Location in Vallanna | World Anvil
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The Auric Wastes

The Auric Wastes; so named for both the light golden hue and shimmer of its sands, and the lost dwarven metropolis of Auricheim located within its borders; is a huge inhospitable desert to the east of The Kingdom of Vallanna's fertile regions. The Wastes are infused with a wild, unpredictable magical field, which makes travel within them particularly perilous. This magical field is a result of a magical catastrophe which transformed the once lush and temperate area into the Wastes as they are today.   This catastrophe, known as The Auric Sundering, occured in 717 AoAM. In response to The Great Vallar Impact, a conclave of some of the most powerful magical practitioners in the world planned to conjure a vast planetary-scale arcane shield, to protect Altea from any future impacts from astronomical objects. It is unknown exactly what went awry with their ritual, which was being conducted from atop a huge spire in the centre of what is now the Wastes, but while still in its nascent stages, the shield collapsed, funnelling all of its magical energies back into the spire. The spire itself and all within were instantly annihilated, and the wave of magical destruction spread outwards, scouring thousands of square-kilometers of Aetrun and creating the Wastes.   The Wastes are largely abandoned by the mortal folks of Vallanna, due to their inhospitable and unpredictable nature. There is little to gain from founding settlements within the Wastes, and any such settlement would find living off of the land basically impossible. As such, very few folks will venture into the Wastes in their lifetimes. That being said, The Kingdom of Vallanna does maintain two millitary outposts within the Wastes - Dustward Stronghold in the North, relatively close to the border with The Empire of Ruvaad, and Barrenwatch, in the South, on the easternmost tip of the Ice Spine Mountains, which extend some distance into the Wastes.   The Empire of Ruvaad itself, on its side of the border, has several smaller settlements within the Wastes, although the strength of the magical field that far East has diminished enough to allow several permanent bodies of water to form. It is around these that the settlements of Khemeset, Abva and Nektehennu have been constructed, along with the northern coastal settlements of Sharsa and Kusma.   The ancient, abandoned Dwarven metropolis of Auricheim can be found within a wide depression in the centre of the Wastes; one of the only remaining signs of civilisation from the times before the catastrophe which created the Wastes. The city lies mostly intact; constructed within the walls of the giant pit-mine, over two kilometers deep, which, when inhabited by the Dwarves, was the source of an unfathomable amount of gold. This gold mining operation gave the city its name.   The walls of reality are much thinner within the Wastes, allowing much easier travel between the Planes. This was put to use by the Arch Demon Val'Gorath and his forces during The Demon War, as they were able to summon additional Demons from the Lower Planes to join their army with much greater ease than if they had done so elsewhere in the land. This thinning of the veil between Planes has also led to the unexpected sightings with the Wastes of many entities and creatures not native to the Prime Material Plane, although not all can survive for long outside of their home Planes, despite the relative ease of their crossing.   Geographically speaking, The Auric Wastes are larger than the entirety of Vallanna's fertile lands, stretching away into the East. Vallanna claims an area of the Wastes about the same size as its fertile lands, sharing a border with The Empire of Ruvaad roughly 240 miles into the Wastes.


Once a varied, temperate region criss-crossed with rivers, forests and hills; the Wastes today would be considered a desert, by any metric. Mountain ranges and harsh rock formations remain, but the majority of the Wastes is a rolling hellscape of dust and sand-dunes.   The entire region is infused with magical energies, making navigation difficult, as the sands seem to shift of their own accord, and traditional navigation equipment tends to malfunction in the strong magical field.   Temperature-wise, the Wastes are, on the whole, much hotter than the rest of Vallanna, despite sharing a similar latitude. During the night, temperatures also drop much lower than the rest of Vallanna. Both of these effects are due to the concentrating effect of the strong magical field on the region's natural weather. This effect also acts in a somewhat similar fashion to a greenhouse-effect; trapping the rays of the sun and raising the temperature higher than it otherwise might be.

Fauna & Flora

Plant life within the Wastes is extremely scarce, and those plants which do find root are inevitably warped by the area's strong magical field into something which would be unrecognisable by a botanist of any sanity.   The same can be said for most common forms of animal life, although many species have adapted somewhat to life in the Wastes. These adapted inhabitants would most likely be considered a separate subspecies, when compared to the more common varieties found within the undamaged fertile lands of Vallanna.   The facts of life within the magical environment of the Wastes mean that those species which have adapted to life there broadly fall into two catagories - those which have developed additional capabilities and biological features as a result of the magic, and those who have developed an immunity or insensitivity to magical fields, allowing them to have some form of protection from the warping nature of the area.
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