The Searing Steppes

rating: +10

10 votes (+10, -0) 5★

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Flora/Fauna Dangers 0/5 Many beasts once roamed under the lost canopy, but like the former megaflora, they were wiped out.
Natural Awry Phenomena 4/5 A tectonic anomaly has exposed these lands to the fury of the magmatic material deep below the surface. Even when sticking to the high ground, the sheer amount of activity humbles all who believe themselves to be safe.
Humanoid influences 1/5 While many races call this place home, the overall population is astoundingly low.
Ease of Traversal 3/5 Whilst the network of high bridges allow for relatively safe travels, multiple threats still linger with every step.

Moranoch-Shields Tally: 1.75/5



Borders of the Searing Steppe Fiefdom. Courtesy of Lawrence & Sons Cartography, Bodia branch (with help from Sir Moranoch of Holm).


From "A Traveler's Guide to the Half-Tamed Wilds", pg. 36


Here, lone adventurers are faced with the full fury of the lavafields found within The Searing Steppe. Flareups like these are spontaneous, common, and are a sufficient reminder to all to stay well alerted.


One of the many volatile plateaus. Barely visible through the rising steam are small segments of sprawling structures found throughout the fiefdom.


A segment of the chasm separating The Searing Steppe from the Kavragost Reach. This geological feature brought upon by the tectonic shift greatly inhibits travel between the two fiefdoms. Even with this setback, sea travel is still partially viable via The Sickly Waves.

> The Everlasting Flame

To understand this fiefdom, dear reader, you must understand its tumultuous past. Upon first inspection of the gargantuan latticework of metal-laced wood reaching high above molten plateaus, it may seem alien. These flames and this frame is all that remains after an unforeseen catastrophe.

Currently, The Searing Steppe consists of multiple flat plateaus, with molten material flowing through every crack of the burned, battered earth. This magma is constantly being channeled upward, breaking the surface and later hardening into new ground. Magma can also be seen in temporary “lavafalls” which flow downward from higher plateaus to lower ones.

From the numerous waterways and channels leading out to The Sickly Waves is a constant flow of seawater, which fills boiling reservoirs and fuels potential geysers. Steam constantly emanates and bursts out of the burned ground, scalding many who walk upon the solid ground.

Due to the obvious hazard the fields exhibit, travel is often restricted to inland locations where atop the ground lies a latticework of wooden pillars laced with metal. This expansive wooden frame reaches truly staggering heights. Protruding outward from the main pillars are bridges which connect the massive tree-trunk-like pillars.

> The Erstwhile Hyperborean Woodland

Historically, the Searing Steppe was once a great forest of massive proportions, the canopy reaching hundreds of meters into the air. The wood of these trees, which still stands long after the tectonic shift, is composed of tightly-woven lignin and multiple metals. Branches would connect to one-another, transferring resources between high-reaching segments.

Throughout the hundreds of years the Great Forest has been inhabited, it has remained out of the attention of most and lacked commerce entirely. To you, reader, this may seem absurd, but such beautiful scenery paired with a supposed magical resource doesn’t always mean droves of people will immediately say goodbye to their homes to visit a secluded corner of The Half-Tamed Wilds.

Large networks of branches and foliage of staggering heights provide the perfect cover for a myriad of arboreal beasts. Even the wood, like steel pre-mass production, serves little purpose due to the enormous challenge of harvesting the resource.

Although not well documented due to the dilution of facts passed through person after person, as well as the addition of rumors and myths passed off as truth, the bigger picture is still clear: A shift far below the ground's surface rendered the soil inhospitable to the present megaflora. Even after the trees had perished and magma flowed through the cracked burning lands, a frame composed of most of the sturdier branches remained.

> Tips to Remember

- Nothing Is Common

While supplies are hard to come by throughout the plateaus, many temporary camps in sturdier positions may contain goods. More often than not, these abandoned structures are abandoned.

Likewise, people are not common within this fiefdom. There are more pressing threats than your fellow man- or other race of people, for that matter. Competition for supplies is scarce because of this low population.

- Never Settle Alone

Whilst there are many locations where boiling water or molten material will not break the surface at any given moment, the chances of these freak events in any given location is never zero. If you are forced to stop anywhere, stop where at least a couple others are settled. Hanging gardens built out from the sides of plateaus or atop the network of bridges are ideal locations, especially if there are already people there.

- Be Useful & Well Prepared

People may be skeptical as there are rarely any who pass through this place, but remember that race or cultural rules is not what matters to these people. In The Searing Steppe, all that matters is what you are able to bring to the table.

> Noteworthy Locales

Sickleworth Shore

  • One of many prominent settlements on the coast of The Sickly Waves.
  • A portion of the few routes through The Gray eventually lead here.
  • Total population is about 370. The settlement is split between three points, the majority of the population calling the northeasterly island of The Searing Steppe home.
  • The island has suffered less below-earth activity than the simmering mainland, allowing for very limited farming.

Reasons For Visiting: The only viable commercial hub in the entirety of the fiefdom. If you’re here to sell objects from far-off lands or gather objects sourced from this secluded corner of The Half-Tamed wilds, this is the place.

Village of Astetsk

  • Total population always sits at less than 80.
  • This settlement lies on the border of The Kavragost Reach. Unfortunately, this fiefdom border may look easy to cross on the map, but it is virtually impossible to do so conventionally.
  • Astetsk is the largest village in the steppes confirmed to exist before the collapse of the megaflora.
  • Has entirely mapped out the fiefdom, as most of it lies under open sun.

Reasons For Visiting: This village contains histories and stories of the space before the death of the forest, heavily guarded from the hostile environment. These people are hardened by the cruel habitat they now reside in, and are willing to do many hired jobs outside of the fiefdom, as long as they can return in due time.

> Neighboring Fiefdoms & Phase Points

The Searing Steppe borders the following fiefdoms: The Gray to the west, Kavragost Reach to the south, and The Sickly Waves to the north and east.

There is one known phase point throughout the plateaus:

  • In the waves of the Twin Waterways near the northwest of the fiefdom, multiple holes can be found on the near-shore seafloor 4-7 meters below the surface. Traveling through these claustrophobia-inducing water-filled passageways will take you to the murky waters of the Mire of False Men.

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