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Raurin Desert

The great Raurin Desert covers a large area from the Raurin Alta, sometimes called the Raurinshield Mountains to the Plains of Purple Dust and all the way west to Fuirgar.

The Raurin Desert, or Dust Desert, is an entirely different type of desert than the Plains of Purple Dust or the Quoya Desert . Sand, blown into towering dunes, is common, along with areas of eroded, round hills. These are cut with gullies and terraced with bands of strata of pinks, reds, and browns. Salt crystallizes on the surface, leaving the impression of snow-capped hills and plains. There are occasional patches of ancient lava, now weirdly weathered into bizarre shapes. Sinkholes and circular pans of rock-hard clay only add to the variety of the land.

Rivers are nonexistent in this area. Only dry gullies for occasional run-off exist. Most of these disappear beneath the surface. What few pools of open water can be found are ringed by white crust-a sign the water is too rich with salts and minerals to drink.

Although the temperatures do not swing to extremes between summer and winter, the Raurin stays more consistently hot and, if at all possible, has less rain than the Quoya desert. Another notable feature of the Raurin is the garmsil, a powerful windstorm that sometimes strikes during the summer months. The garmsil blows generally to the southeast. Itís a very dry and hot wind, normally raising temperatures to 120 degrees or slightly more. The wind speed is normally 20 to 25 miles per hour. As a result, the garmsil is a scorching sandstorm. It normally lasts for no more than a few hours to a day, but on rare occasions the garmsil will blow for three, four, or even seven days without stopping. Only a few hours of this wind is sufficient to strip the leaves off scrub trees and ruin the cotton and fruit of oases.

Along the southern edge of the Raurin Desert is a broken series of mountains called the Dustwall by those who live to the south of the range. Along the western tail of the Dustwall is an area of blasted landscape that is rumored to be haunted by remnants of the old gods. Called the desert of curses by the wandering nomads of the Raurin Desert the Dragonslayers visited this area during the adventure of Khamsa's Folly.

The nomads in the southern regions of the Raurin use the phrase "Khamsa's Folly" as a parable to chastise excessive pride, for though little is remembered of his rule, the very mention of his name humbles the most boastful of men. According to legend, Khamsa's conceit soared so excessively that he descended into madness, rejecting the known gods as false, abolishing their worship, and proclaiming his own divinity. This brought the gods' ire upon him, for nothing is more likely to stir the anger of the gods than a claim of superiority over them. Hallstatt and Semphar profited from Khamsa's example, for they built great armies of warriors and wizards in anticipation of this revenge. Khamsa Anura, instead, sapped the vitality of his people for his own personal glorification. His fall is remembered still many hundreds of years later although not for the reasons that Khamsa wished to be remembered for.