The Dunes of Endless Sun
Much like the other regions around the great river, The Dunes of Endless Sun are vast and expansive. It took the First Pharaohs and their people decades to cross the sandstorm-plagued realm. The entire region is covered in golden sand swept in countless dunes that constantly shift and undulate across the landscape, their ever-changing nature perpetuated by windstorms, whirlwinds, dust devils, and worse storms. The entirety of the terrain is eternally shifting, making accurate charting or mapping of the land impossible. Not much is known about the Dunes of Endless Sun, and only the Halflings roam there, though oftentimes clans that travel there are not seen again for years or decades. Oases are known to dot the sun-scorched desert, serving as the only true sources of water for the beings that dwell there.
The makeup of the Dunes of Endless Sun is just that – endless dunes of sun-baked sand. There are no true named regions of the land, for no region is permanent and all sands shift to reshape the dunes anew each day. Even the oases seem to move, and many believe that the entire desert is supernatural, with magical forces controlling the weather, the terrain, and everything in it. The entirety of the Dunes is just a swirling mass of coarse, golden sand. Most interesting, however, is what lies beneath these sands. The winds sometimes unearth things long since buried and forgotten – the ruins of structures eons old, the bones of colossal creatures, even weapons and artifacts from days before memories.
These exhumations often serve to pique the curiosities of peoples beyond the Dunes of Endless Sun. Expeditions are occasionally organized, explorers sent to the Dunes to excavate what the winds unbury. Most never return.
There does not seem to be any form of civilization or society in the Dunes of the Endless Sun, though there are reports of some sentient peoples that exist there. Nomadic giants, assumed to be sand giants, are said to roam the Dunes, hunting the beasts resilient enough to lair there. Genies are known to traverse the Dunes, their supernatural prowess allowing them to disregard much of the dangers of the land. Undead are rumored to rise up from the sands when the wind disturbs their burials; skeletons, zombies, mummies, and desiccated monstrosities rising up from unveiled monuments and the ruins of ancient civilizations. There are whispers of a cabal of efreet necromancers who ply their dark magic within the dunes, raising new legions of the dead to serve some malign purpose. Others speak of a race of strange jackal-headed humanoids who are in constant search for something lost beneath the sands.
The most fanciful rumor involves the shadow of a massive dragon that soars over the Dunes, one that disappears whenever one looks skyward.
Most mundane animals cannot survive the Dunes of Endless Sun, and only the toughest, most resilient species can be found there. Giant land tortoises that can survive for months without water trudge across the dunes, and giant scorpions scuttle across, submerging beneath the sands to hide from the storms. As with any climate or region, other forms of insects can be found, mostly carrion beetles and scarabs. The treacherous windstorms and sandstorms keep any sort of bird away from the dunes. Magical creatures have more of a foothold in the Dunes of the Endless Sun; dunewinders and ashworms churn beneath the surface, while sentient cacti trudge undaunted across the sands. Strange burrowing dog-like creatures called ghals hunt in packs, and even elementals are known to wander there.
The oases can sustain impressive arrays of plantlife, including fruit bearing trees such as coconut, pineapple, date, and fig. The most resilient forms of cacti can also be found growing out in the dunes.