Dominated by Chinese colonists, most people refer to the red planet as Huo Hsing, rather than Mars.
The desert is like the sea, the sands shift ebb and flow and with them so does life. The tide is in ebb, and Xen'da'rik is dying.
There are few places more treacherous than pools of quicksand save for a sea of quicksand. Those who tread here quickly find that the lust for adventure or coin might leave them with a sinking feeling of despair.
I dream of rain; I dream of gardens in the desert sand
--Sting, Desert Rose
The shining city of glass and mirror within the forboding Karikun desert. Welcome to the home city and birthplace of the Ouzquin Dremorix.
City of Kings, City of Angels! Baisaltir welcomes all!
"Greetings travellers! You must have had a harsh journey through the desert."
"We didn't see this city was on the map."
"We're just a few like-minded folks trying to keep the world out."
"How many people live here?"
"Just a few of us, and now you."
"Today the name Abydos belongs to a small town built on the edge of the deep desert, but this was not always so."
A hidden gem in the hinterlands of Calcobrina
I did not think there was a crime heinous enough to deserve this place as a sentence..
"Zutul? You mean someone took time to give it a name?"
Maj. Rielle Law
The wastes are cruel, and beneath the desolation they hide many secrets.
An ocean of fine silt, shot through with pillars and islands of ancient stone, this realm would be a thing of harsh beauty were it not for the utterly lifeless nature of it.
The Great King long ago ceased attempting to police the wastelands of his Border Marches, and these debatable lands fell into the hands of petty counts, retired generals, and warlords, who constructed and then abandoned many keeps ripe for plunder.
During certain years, people in Akgku claim to observe a green flame coming from the sea and erupting upward. It can be observed from a distance of two days’ journey or more. After burning for a considerable time, the flame disappears.
—Falklyde Wodinger, Haraconian scholar, in route to wondrous Udross and legendary Akgku.
The Wastes can be beautiful. Here the land is toxic: slowly corrosive to the touch, causing illness and death with prolonged contact. The bubbling sulfur and ectomass pools (HellPits too) are especially lovely, if you have the right aesthetic. The soil is soft and any heavy object slowly sinks. If it was not for the special resources here (dyes, alchemical elements, resins, Grimrock, Verner glands, etc), it would be a place that no one would come.
The Ocadian Desert is a desolate place. The spirit of the land has been crushed, changing the region from a series of islands with evergreen forests and animals in a shallow sea, to one of the most inhospitable places on the Sphere.
The Horrors and Wonders of a distant, sun-drenched land. Everything you need to run a desert campaign!
With silent wings may your soul fly to the Spirit Home
A vast city nearly built in ages past by a long-lost race of giants. Now the vast stone structure contains no less then three seperate kingdoms.
Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.
By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.
Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).
To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.
To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.
When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.
What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.