The Lunar Scar Geographic Location in Varen | World Anvil
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The Lunar Scar

Day 21

Malgorzata stopped responding to her name last night, and she had that vacant look in her eyes. Michal cried until the sun rose, and words cannot describe the depth of the pit in my stomach as I write this... and yet, I must admit I am impressed. The Olthamite grenadier - David - had lasted but a day before we had to take him aside. Malgorzata had but twenty-two years under her belt, and she kept on fighting for close to a week. Mother's mercy... the poor girl... The two mercenaries are burying her away from camp. I hope they put her somewhere on a hill - the sun and the clouds above - but more than that? I hope they buried her deep.


At the very heart of Varen lies a land forsaken. There, blackened earth weeps and the dead call from within grey, murky waters; enticing passers by with whispers of a home gone forever. Do not look. There is no solace there. Whisps circle burned trees, lights away from the beaten path. Do not follow them. There is no hope for those who passed here. This broken landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. And here, no eye can see far. Some say the eternal fog lying over this graveyard is the energy of the Broken Mother herself. Others will claim that a cursed land will give cursed weather. Whatever the reasoning, one cannot deny that this land holds no good in it. No respite or solace. No quiet moments. The landscape can remain the same for days on end, only to change within a blink of an eye.

Day 22

The two men who took Malgorzata away didn't return, and the Captain put her foot down. When the sun was high enough in the sky, we packed up and left northward. Michal says he heard gunshots to the west, and asks for us to go looking for them, but the Captain never entertains the idea. I'm inclined to agree with her, most of the time - but on occasion, when all is quiet, I could swear I hear it too.

Only ruin exists here. Scattered remains of a once mighty empire remind travellers of the price one must pay for such pride. Tall shattered pillars of stone and metal, shimmering crystal obelisks and calcified remains of men, women and children pointing up to the sky. No scholars have been brave enough to travel through the Lunar Scar to track all these sites to recreate the last moments of the world before. Records exist of people who have stumbled across them by accident. That... seems to be enough.

Day 24

Michal is gone. To hear his watch partner tell it, the man just... stood from his seat and walked off into the darkness, leaving his weapons behind. I don't know whether to believe him, but some sick part of me is glad. It's one less mouth to feed, and besides - maybe some meat will keep our pursuers busy for a time.

The Captain says we wait until daylight, and then we move.

Fauna & Flora

Some say nothing grows in the Mothers Grave. Perhaps they wish for it to be the case. For there are beasts and things which dwell in that godless land, and those things ruin the minds and hearts of even the most level headed warriors. Should tragedy strike, the more vulnerable will enter, but they will become one with the wretched land, and never leave. These folk will decay, their minds will melt (literally), muscles dissolve and they will become Soul Rotten. Giant maggots eat away at horse and humanoid carcasses just off the beaten paths. Faceless Stalkers creep behind troops, ready to pounce at anyone falling behind. Bony, bull like Catoblepas roam the blackened fields, aimless and ever hungry.

The flora of this land has been just as twisted. Small flowering plants feed upon carrion and turn into corpse loti, vines in the earth come to life, strangling any life that comes near with tentacular growths. Spider legged, blackened trees crawl throughout the badlands, pained groans and yellow eyes staring out into the void.

Natural Resources

Day 28

The past few days have hit us like a hurricane. Grigor, snatched away in the night. Jadwiga, impaled on a tree branch. Bennet, tearing out his own throat. Cecil, decapitated by something too fast to see. Risiek... my Risiek... I cannot speak of what they did to him.

They are closing in. The Captain says they won't find us, but I don't believe her. Mother's mercy - why did it have to be now? Could we not have fallen four weeks ago, and saved ourselves the misery? Mother, please, let it be over.

They will find us soon, and I do not intend to run.

No man's land has resources. Not natural, but resources. Things such as Corpse Lotus petals and Soul Rotten amygdala are extremely valuable alchemical components. Some braver (or more stupid, depending on who you ask) Dorozi hunting companies offer "hunting deals" which involve members of said company going out into the Lunar Scar to hunt for alchemical components. These same companies take commission from nobles in Olthambria or Central Varen for rare trophies to mount in their homes.

Whilst much less lucrative, but still useful is dirt from the earth gathered in no man's land. The area's inherent magical properties make the earth a good substitute for things like enchanters chalk and other magical components. This material however is more often sold through illegal means. The magic inherent to the Scar is volatile, and if overused or not protected from properly, can have catastrophic consequences.

Day 30

We are in a town. There is noise, and music, and hot food - and not a bit of it gets through to me.

It is just the Captain and I. While she accepts her medals, I must travel to Szyla Nora and tell Rysiek's mother... tell her...

Oh, Ksieryca... help my poor soul.

— The Diary of Corporal Zenobiusz Sroczynski, of the Onslaught of Sylmaneth, 704 N.D.
Alternative Name(s)
No Man's Land, The Mothers Grave, The Arenian fault
Characters in Location

Further Reading

Soul Rotten
Species | Jul 19, 2019

The unfortunate souls of the Lunar Scar

Geographic Location | Jul 18, 2019

The white forest of the north.

Side effects of Black Dirt found in No Man's land include but are not limited to; incineration, possession, summoning of a random extra-planar entity, permanent deafness, blindness, impotence (or a mix of all three), sudden overwhelming urge to self harm, rapid ageing, turning all water in a 100 mile radius into blood, creating a zone of antimagic (random size and duration), an explosion of cursed terrain and soul rot. Please see your local alchemist for more details.
— Label on a bottle of Lunar Scar earth


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Jul 19, 2019 00:39

Is this an empire that is just forgotten or is there more about it in the future that you plan to write?   The description is very well done and clearly a dark place. Is the only reason to go there for these rare items? It seems way more dangerous than that is worth, unless just one trip sets you up for life. Curious how many people actually take the trip and survive.

Jul 19, 2019 00:57

There is history behind this land, that I'm working on which will be linked later. But no, no civilisation currently owns and actively lives in No Man's land. There are certainly reasons to go there outside of gathering rare items. Its covers a significant part of the continent. Soldiers often go there to cull populations of beasts getting too close to civilised borders. Recent history saw a large horde of beasts from No Man's land was aggrevated by a wave of negative energy and started to push on one of the elven borders. So going there from time to time is necessary.

Jul 19, 2019 02:01

This is very well written! I can picture the place in my mind as I read it. The narrative is chilling and also very well done. I enjoyed the read immensely.

Jul 19, 2019 04:20 by Orlon

This is a haunting place, and your presentation is top-notch. The way you go back and forth between the journal entries and the description of how terrible the place is really builds the tension - that is good storytelling as well as being good worldbuilding.   The list of possible side-effects at the end is hilarious to me, and I read it very rapidly like a radio advertisement for some shady pharma company. I might suggest you highlight that even further by putting that in italics or some other different font. I almost expected it to have a reference at the end: (Side effects may include liver disease, melting brains, or death. See your alchemist for details.) On the other hand, for me that changes the tone of what was a grim article and makes it funny. To maintain the grimness, perhaps all those notes about the use of dirt from the zone should go into a separate reference quote, like from an alchemical manual or a letter from an old wizard to an apprentice?   One thing I'm left wondering is why they were there in the first place, what the mission was? Why is the Captain getting rewarded even though they lost all but one member of the troop? I have to say also, it took me a moment to find the last journal entry, since it was in the sidebar. I might suggest swapping the journal entry into the main column and the alchemical uses into the sidebar, and see if that works for you. It would put end of the story with the rest of the story, and put the humorous relief off to the side - give the reader a bit of dessert at the end of the meal, without making the meal less spicy.   Thank you for posting this, it was great to read!

Jul 19, 2019 13:30

Ah that is a wonderful suggestion thank you. I am updating the article right now

Jul 19, 2019 19:51 by Orlon

The warning label is great!

Jul 19, 2019 11:19

I really love the journal entries you included in the article! Aside from hunting deals is there any reason someone would be forced to travel through there? Like are there areas where people have to cross through the lunar scar because there is no other choice?

Jul 19, 2019 13:28

(as answered above) There are certainly reasons to go there outside of gathering rare items. Its covers a significant part of the continent. Soldiers often go there to cull populations of beasts getting too close to civilised borders. Recent history saw a large horde of beasts from No Man's land was aggrevated by a wave of negative energy and started to push on one of the elven borders. So going there from time to time is necessary.

Oct 2, 2019 11:53 by Jimmy Shrekson

Me: *enters and sees an Eldritch monstrosity* "Finally, some good f***ing food."