Dead Man's Band
The underground waterway that runs beneath the Tripalm Spine Mountains
An infamous shortcut running beneath the Tripalm Spine Mountains in the Yudao Rainforest the entrance to which is said to lay somewhere in the ruins of the city of Ssarizzax in the Yudao Rainforest, the Dead Man's Band is an enormous, maze-like complex of naturally weathered tunnels carved out by ancient rivers that still flow through its inky depths, cutting through forgotten complexes lost to time, heaps of refuse from a bygone era, and all manner of locales both man-made and natural. Its caverns are filled with running water and running rivers that shoot along at breakneck speeds that seem almost supernatural, the current racing with such speed that it can slam a grown adult Human against a stone wall with enough force to cause concussions and death. It is poorly documented and almost completely unmapped, so much of it is unknown, but it is believed to contain a shortcut from the depths of the Yudao Rainforest out to the other side of the mountains in record time, and is even rumored to contain an underground waterway that extends all the way to the desert Oasis-city of Kharruba dozens and dozens of miles away. There are believed to be actual lakes that serve as stopping points along the waterways in the Dead Man's Band, but this has never been confirmed - all who venture in are either smashed to a pulp in the breakneck currents or simply never heard from again. As for its natural beauty, ancient records of the time of the tyrant Cao Lu tell tales of a beautiful set of caverns with glowing moss that resembles twinkling starlight, beautiful colonies of glowing fungi, and animals that have luminescent pigmentation.
The ecosystem of the Dead Man's Band is unknown - it is known to be home to large colonies of fungi and moss that give off illumination, as well as all sorts of underground beasts that normally dwell in caves and rivers - though they are known to be of a freakishly abnormal size and/or power, with many being dire versions of their monster counterparts and/or with glowing lumniscent blood or skin markings that let them shine in the dark. Most Notably, there exists the legendary Shikushi Warriors who are said to dwell within the caverns - legendary undead of such potence that they are said to be able to form swirling nexuses of screaming souls in the air and water, boiling both with unholy power in the lightless depths of the Dead Man's Band who drag down those foolish enough to travel its lightless waters to a most horrific fate... In some pockets of the Dead Man's Band, there have been strange reports of localized time-altering phenomena - pockets of the ecosystem on a loop over the course of days, animals and beasts stuck frozen in time, etc. These pockets are of an unknown source, and can prove lethal to those who get too close.
The ecosystem in the Dead Man's Band does not change with the seasons - it is a timeless, terrifying place where all are prey at all times.
Some pockets of localized time speeding up or slowing down or sometimes stopping altogether, the threating of the Shikushi warriors, and all manner of other undiscovered threats all post a threat to those who travel there.
Fauna & Flora
The natural plants that dwell within the Deadman's Band are strange things of massive, bioluminescent glory - giant moss colonies that grow alongside sprawling fungi colonies that overhang the oily black waters that race through the underground caverns are the most common. As for the fauna, few can say - they are things of terrifying size and proportion that lurk beneath the oily black waters of the Dead Man's Band, lighting the waters with their soft luminescence as they leap from the water and fall from the cavern cielings to prey on those who traverse the rocky halls.
Unknown. Many pockets of altered time, magical power, and natural True Elements all have been found in the Deadman's Band, but the presence of the deadly undead known as the Shikushi Warriors, other undead, and terrifying beasts makes it a hard ask to go find them.
The history of the Dead Man's Band is relatively unknown, but the history of the Shikushi warriors is relatively well known. These terrifying, ancient samurai-warriors who are sometimes depicted as headless are believed to be the remains of an ancient expedition funded by the Tyrant Cao Lu to fully map the Dead Man's Band - and after months of attempts, the warriors, unable to leave and unable to die by the unholy power of the deepest, darkest depths of the Dead Man's Band, were eventually subsumed by the cavern's powers and made into its ancient and most powerful guardians. As to the Dead Man's Band itself, few can say - it was believed to be carved out by the trappings of time and underground waterways flowing over the eons, but new theories suggest it was carved out on purpose by ancient Watermanipulators, who spent lifetimes hollowing out the tunnels below the Tripalm Spine mountains. There have been many who have attempted to catalogue the Deadman's Band and all the ruins and relics and historical sites along its rapids, but none have succeeded - not even the legendary Tyrant Cao Lu.
Hardly any creatures visit the Deadman's Band in modern times - though it is known to be a very quick shortcut from the Yudao Rainforest to the Great Gyatsoshin Desert, it is also exceptionally dangerous - and many of its routes are submerged wholly underwater, meaning only the daring or those with a map of some kind can brave its rapids. Combined with the dangers that lurk there in its lightless depths, and almost none are brave enough to risk its journey...but to the truly desperate or those who are interested in the ancient ruins, temples, carvings, historical sites, and beasts that dwell within its depths, it just may be what they seek.
The Suicide Riptide, Roamer's Ride, The Lost Highway of Kharruba
Underground / Subterranean