Chaldis > Stone Wastes
These rocky wastelands form much of the surface of Chaldis. Haunted by the ghosts of dead whales and slithering aberrations, the stone wastes suffer extremes of temperature due to the erratic rotation of the sun mirrors. Civilisation is not possible on the stone wastes. The very substance of the rock still resounds with the curse of the gods. No vegetation or grain will take root in the rocky soil. The aberrations, cursed souls transformed after the Fall, can only be sated by the blood of humanity and will seek out the wanderers and travellers, drawn unerringly towards them like a shark scenting blood in water, miles away from the location of the kill.
Before the Domains were created, Sumahn clans continually scurried over the stone wastes, keeping one step ahead of their monstrous pursuers. Through their natural cunning, they constructed various passageways from one clan cave to the other and devised strange tokens to warn them of the approaching dangers. Despite these precautions, Sumahn society was eventually consumed by the wastes when the Grand Reconciliation failed to appease the gods.
The red-brown rocky desert environment that covers the surface of Chaldis. This landscape has a harsh atmosphere and only the toughest and most adaptive of creatures have managed to survive here. The Great Stone Wastes are partially covered by the various realms and is distinguished by features, such as the Obsidian Mountains and the huge chasm of Hell’s Reach.
Tradeways link the domains.
An Alternative Depiction of the Stone Wastes
By Stonewight Druid Groksog Fire-Eye
Those that cower in the Domains, mewling like pathetic children to Khepheru and begging for water and sunlight do not see the grandeur of the so-called ‘Stone Wastes’, the natural surface of Chaldis, free of crawling vegetation and civilised, mortal lice.
Here is an infinity of grandeur, the towering majesty of wind-eroded shapes clawing at the sky. Great chasms, gashed into the scarred surface. The crystallised bones of dragons atop flat-topped mesas, with the wind whistling through their skulls making the whispering, chiming music that can be heard for miles around.
The Stone Wastes are illuminated by the true and natural light of the Cold Sun, the a distant star whose light dimly touches the scarred rock of Chaldis.
Abysses clawing deep into the honeycombed surface of the world, exposing further playgrounds of the Khepheru. From the lip of the Hell’s Reach chasm, one can hear the screams from the True Hells.
The rock shifts and cracks – the Fire Caverns where the children of the Minotaur live – lava spurts up, great arcs of flame, poison plumes gust into the air in magnificant geysers.
The abyssal worms, beloved children of the honeycombed world, shift and stir in their prison at the world’s core. Chaldis calls to them, and they strive to answer their anciet stone-mother, shelterer of eggs until the time came for them rise up into the dark between the stars. Chaldis mourns these lost migrations – the rock will shift and shake, topple and buckle with this lost grief.
The great expanses of rock have been smashed with the impact craters of fallen asteroids, metal from the stars that have been said to be able to slay a Khepheru. Shaped when Chaldis was ruled by seas, now vast trenches are exposed. Here, the ghost of the great sea kings lurk, too powerful for even the demons of the True Hells to claim. These sea kings: ghosts of city-sized whales, of ship-devouring krakens, wraith-like fish flitting like shadows along the exposed, rocky trenches. Sea sirens call out with their melancholy songs.
The litter of ancient empires can be found, scarred, by the Khepheru’s attempts to claim Chaldis. Smashed by asteroids, cursed by the wrath of the feuding beast-gods, uplifted by the arrogance of wizard-kings. Here, tombs exposed to the rock and wind reveal mummified curses of the past.
The Stone Wastes welcome the Fallen, those who have turned their back on the Khepheru. Twisted into pleasing new shapes by the jealousies of the Beast-Gods.
One can look at the Cold Sun directly and not be burned. This is the true light of the world!