Crimson Wastes

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Difficulty 4/5 The Crimson Wastes provide few resources for survival - nor are they under the protection of the Lanterns.
Entity Count 2/5 While uncommon, encounters with hostile entities have been documented in the Crimson Wastes.
Chaos Gradient 3/5 The Crimson Wastes are stark and lonely but are prone to rare yet harsh fluctuations in weather.
Basset-Fraizier Index 3/5 A nearly serene wasteland - expansive and strangely beautiful - but not without its acute and prevalent hazards.


Darkness envelops everything - with the ominous aurora and stars offering the only luminescence.


It is still unknown what causes the sky to dance in an unending crimson borealis.


One captured image of a Saltstorm - intense winds generate a massive sweeping bulkhead of salt.


The Crimson Wastes are vast and largely barren, yet travelers are still drawn to its secrets.

> Stars, Silence, and Salt

Above you the crimson borealis roars. Underfoot the white salt - which drifts down like snow - tears up your boots and shifts like loose shale. The air is crisp and cold to the touch, and dry. Immensely so. You have discovered the Crimson Wastes - a land very true to its name.

Survival here is strenuous at best.

Darkness blankets the entirety of the level; the Lanterns do not stray this deep into the Crimson System. The only relief from the eternal midnight is the haunting glow of the aurora, and the hanging, dreadful stars which many travelers have claimed "watch" the Wastes with unblinking omniscience. This feeling of being watched by the stars is eerily common… it's an unsettling awareness discerned by nearly all who traverse the Wastes.

Without the presence of the Lanterns, entities fester. Widely spread across the salty plains and nestled in the thickets of evergreens lie shadows and beasts who hunger for a fresh warm meal. Do not traverse the Wastes without caution, lest you're fated to encounter such a creature, and never converse with an Owl.

> Indifferently Inhospitable

The weather is nearly always calm and still - with a small drizzle of salt drifting from the skies. However - extremely rare cases of intense weather systems have blown across the expanse. These spikes in weather are known as Saltstorms: when ridges of pressure create towering walls of salt which sweep across the Wastes in an unescapable wave of destruction. Luckily, Saltstorms can be seen billowing in the distance from hundreds of miles away - giving travelers facing these rare occurrences time to seek or create shelter. The most intense recorded storm lasted several cycles… an unprecedented storm which completely changed the face of the Wastes in its wake. The wind and salt can erode anything standing in its path. Humans directly exposed to the wrath of a storm are shredded apart as if sandblasted; or buried underneath the brine - surely perishing.

What's more: no food grows here - nor is any water found potable. The saline nature of everything in the Wastes leaves little for human sustenance.

The Crimson Wastes, being so casually hostile to any form of human presence, has been largely unexplored. However - the discovery of the enigmatic ruins have brought foolhardy groups to this level out of curiosity again and again. These mysterious structures have been found littered across the Wastes in shallow valleys and at the base of mountain ranges - described by some as "abodes" with ornate stone construction. They are tucked away in safe spaces that are untouched by the winds of Saltstorms and so have been preserved for unknown millennia. Who, or what created these structures is entirely unknown.

Many have died trying to study them. The ruins are just as barren as the Wastes and offer little in the means of survival. For the sake of humanity, do not find yourself among the dead by chasing these lost relics.

> Expedition Log Excerpts:

The following excerpts from expedition logs illustrate the nature of the Crimson Wastes through first-hand account.

> In search of the Mantis - Stonewall Exploration Crew

> The Prayers of the Wastes - Salt Mining

As more archiving is completed, more relevant information will become present here.

> Entrances and Exits

The Crimson Wastes lay deep above the Crimson Forest in a most peculiar manner.

Due to its relative position to the Forest, the Wastes is often called the "roof" of the level below it… and sometimes its "basement" as well. Fissures in the ground found in the Forest may run distant and far into the soil - resulting in abyssal cavernous openings to the Wastes on the other side. Midway through these fissures will the gravity flip - letting travelers know when they have reached the threshold of the two connected levels.

In much the same way - if one were to dig deep enough into the ground of the Wastes, you would surely pop up in the Forest below. In the strange reality of the Crimson System up would be down, and down would be up - with gravity always pulling you towards the nearest flat surface, alternating as it pleases in its surreal transient manner. Are the Wastes above the Forest? Or below it? Such things will not be known until we discover the true nature of the Crimson System.

It is unknown what lies above the Crimson Wastes among the stars, above the aurora, or why a drizzle of salt endlessly falls from the ominous heavens. Perhaps that knowledge is privy to none but the stars themselves. If only we could ask them their secrets.

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