Land of Prax
The Land of Prax
Prax and the Wastes are some of the most inhospitable lands on the continent. The fertile valley of the River of Cradles (also known as Zola Fel) separates Prax to the west and the Vultures Country & The Wastes to the east.
Prax is an uninviting expanse of barren plains, unbearably hot in the summer and unpleasantly cold in the winter, scourged with strong, capricious winds and parched by periodic drought.
Vultures Country and The Wastes
The climate of the arid high plateau of Vulture Country to the east is even worse, and only the hardiest nomads (driven there by the Lunar invaders) can survive there. The further east one travels into The Wastes the worse things will get.
The River of Cradles
The River of Cradles lies in a great fertile valley that runs from its source in the Desolation Hills south to the Rozgali Sea, dividing Prax from the Vulture
Country and the Wastes. The natives call the river Zola Fel after its resident deity.
The river valley is comparatively fertile, and its grazing lands are much sought after by the nomads. However, the valley is presently dominated by civilized farmers, and the nomads are no longer welcome in their ancient tribal grazing ranges.
Scattered throughout Prax there a few (too few) oases. These are the only places with a year round supply of water. Every oasis is a sacred place to the nomads.
This oasis is home to a mushroom forest, similar to those normally only found deep within troll lands. Praxians say it was not always so, but a generation ago the Twisted One came out of the ground here and grew the mushroom forest overnight. No one is sure if the Twisted One is a large dark elf or a small, deformed human. He maintains a shrine to Mee Vorala (see Troll Gods, Troll Cults book), goddess of fungus, at which he lets people worship (for a fee). No one denies his power, for he sells many potions which are not available elsewhere.
Where the Mother of Wells Rests. In the Golden Age, Camenura was the wife of Seolinthur. When her husband was slain by chaos, the waters of Prax began to dry up. Her sons, the mighty Serpents [rivers] of Genert’s Land, are now all dead. To save her daughters, the Wells [oases] of the land, Camenura travelled among them, putting them to sleep until the world should be restored. Praxians believe that Camenura herself never went to sleep, and so this is the legendary Last Oasis, the one which did not dry up during the Darkness. Whether or not this is true, Camenura did walk through Prax again before the Sun rose, waking her daughters. One still sleeps occasionally, which is why the Hidden Greens are not reliable.
This oasis is one of the most sacred in Prax. When Waha freed the Protectresses from Darkness, they fled for a day before finally resting at this spot. Waha stood guard while his mother’s daughters slept, and so began the restoration of life to the world. The sacred ceremonies which lead up to Waha’s holy day are always especially grand here.
Another reason this oasis is so favoured is because of the curse Waha pronounced here. As the Protectresses tried to rest, they were assaulted by fleas, lice, flies, and other parasites. Waha banished them so his mother’s daughters could rest, and his curse remains in force to this day. Any herd beast which enters this oasis will be free of fleas, lice, flies, and other such pests for as long as it remains.
Where Gates of Horn Guard the Path to the Underworld. This oasis lies at one end of the Eiritha Hills. An ancient holy place, considered cursed by the nomads, lies within. A tunnel is said to go miles under the ground until it reaches fabulous ruins beneath distant Yiskoz Mountain. Some elders say Waha once covered the entrance to these haunted ruins with immense gates made of animal horns, but that foreigners ripped them down ages ago. Currently, the oasis is home to a group of Chalana Arroy healers.
Other Holy Places
The Block is the most sacred place in Prax for the berserks who worship the Storm Bull, for beneath it lie the remains of the Devil. A permanent Storm Bull camp can be found there, filled with worshipers who would rather die than allow the Devil to rise again.
H3. Dead Place
In his fight with the Devil, the Storm Bull was thrown to the ground, nearly dead. Eiritha stripped the earth of its power and gave it all to her lover. With renewed strength he leapt up to continue the fight, which he eventually won. The Dead Place is what remained, a region of flat, sun-baked terraces broken by steep gullies. Only the hardiest plants grow there, and they are mainly poisonous. Native beasts refuse to enter this area.