Thantian Sand Sea
The Sand Sea surrounds the Black Cliffs, whose volcanic activity is responsible for much of the solid land masses visible above the sands.
The Sand Sea's name is derived from the fluidizing effects subterranean vents from the Black Cliffs has on the sands during volcanic activity. During periods of inactivity, the sands behave as normal for most other deserts. While natives and even experienced travelers have become familiar enough with the land to identify areas that can still offer solid foundation, it remains impossible for anyone to predict when such volcanic activity is about to arise.
The main feature of the Sea is the rolling sands that become fluidized by geothermal vents beneath its dunes. This makes traversing the dry sea on foot dangerous at the best of time and outright impossible at the worst.
Fauna & Flora
Animals that make their home in the Thantian Sea are greatly entuned to the geothermal activity of the area. During active periods, they find refuge amongst the cliffs and ridges beneath the sands, where fluidization is less severe and they can maintain their nests. Sadly, these patches of stability are often sorely limited in food and water, forcing migration during periods of dormancy. Similarly, vegetation can be found in patches where the sand is supported by rocks beneath. Experienced travelers know to keep an eye out for such signs of life as a sign of stable ground and refuge from the tumultuous sands.
In addition to the periodic instability of its sands, the Sand Sea's proximity to the Black Cliffs and its volcanic activity has also made the ground rich in ores including iron and copper. However, similar to the difficulties involved with mounting archeological expeditions to the region, mining operations have faced numerous obstacles in becoming established
There are a number of historical texts that reference a lost civilization located in within the Thantian Sand Sea. While some individual ruins and artifacts have been found throughout the region, expeditions for more thorough research have proved nearly impossible due to the nature of the sands.