Shimmering with illusion and power, dŐResh is a vast desert. It ranges from shifting dune seas to rugged salt flats of baked earth to wind-carved badlands, but the parching heat is constant throughout. ItŐs a hard place to live, but they have the best sunsets anywhere in the Moonlands.
The Sands of D'Resh is a vast desert of shifting dune seas, wind-carved badlands, and rugged salt flats of baked earth. The land is harsh to live in; the only vegetation that thrives is cacti (and some of them are Dream Creatures). The parching heat is constant throughout, and the winds can cut as sharply as any knife.
The D'Resh sunsets are incredibly beautiful though. As the sun sets over the sea, the incredibly brilliant display of colors brings the inhabitants out of their homes.
The desert terrain of D'Resh actually includes a wide variety of terrain types. In the center of D'Resh are vast sand dunes. Wind and sandstorms are a hazard. Far more dangerous is getting lost without any constant terrain features to follow.
The eastern portions of D'Resh are rockier, including rough badlands and sandstone hills. There are sandstone caves where some D'Reshi shelter. Cacti are common here, and other rugged desert plants also live. Olums are common in this area as well.
In some places, the sandstone has been carved by winds into arches or spires. Some of the sandstone spires have large knobs at their top; the wind has carved numerous bizarre shapes into the sandstone.
Far to the west, near where D'Resh ends in the ocean, the salt flats become more common.
The land of D'Resh is one of the most challenging of the Moonlands. Hazards come in a variety of forms. D'Reshi and experienced visitors prepare before venturing into the unforgiving waste.
The first challenge is the heat. The temperature in D'Resh during the daytime is at least Hot (91-110°F). At this temperature, unprotected characters must make successful Fortitude saving throws each hour (DC 15, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. Characters wearing heavy clothing or any kind of armor take Đ4 penalties on their saves.
Occasionally, the temperature rises to Severe (110-140°F), and unprotected characters must make successful Fortitude saving throws as above once every 10 minutes. Characters with partial heat protection must still make the save once per hour.
Damage suffered from this extreme heat is known as heatstroke. Characters suffering any damage from heatstroke are also considered fatigued. If a character falls unconscious, they begin taking lethal damage with no saving throw. The damage from heatstroke cannot be cured until the character is cooled off - either by finding shade, surviving until nightfall, or getting doused with cool water.
At night, the temperature rapidly cools off, becoming surprisingly cold (below 40°F). Unprotected creatures may suffer hypothermia.
Dehydration is another threat of the desert. Characters must consume 1 gallon per day normally. In the heat of the desert, this rises to 2 gallons per day (or 3 gallons if the temperature is Severe). A creature may go without water for 24 hours + their Con score in normal environments, 12 + Con in the desert when it is hot, and only 6+Con in severe heat. After this time, the creature must make a successful Constitution check each hour (DC 10, +1 for each previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. Characters who have taken damage from lack of water are considered dehydrated. Dehydrated characters are automatically fatigued, and any damage from temperature (see above) becomes lethal. Like heatstroke, dehydration damage becomes lethal once the character falls unconscious, and the damage cannot be restored until properly treated.
Treating dehydration requires 24 hours of care, and twice as much water as needed for the conditions. If the character has also taken lethal damage from lack of water or from a hot environment, add 5 to the Heal DC and double the time required to recover (to 48 hours)
Travel across the sands is also difficult. Travelling across sand typically costs 2 squares of movement per square moved.
Mirages are also a common hazard in D'Resh, and the region is widely known as a realm of illusions. The mirages in D'Resh are more common and vivid than in other deserts. A mirage appears as an oasis, lake or sometimes even a city on the horizon. The illusion always appears to be about a mile (or more) away; as the traveler approaches, it seems just a little farther away. Of course, the traveler never actually reaches the mirage. An observer can make a Will save (DC 15) to disbelieve the apparent image.
In D'Resh, the mirages sometimes take on a more tangible aspect. These mirages remain stationary. Travelers can enter them, and drink the illusionary water, eat the illusionary fruits, and rest underneath the illusionary shade. Of course, the wearer actually is gulping sand, and is still unprotected against the sun's heat. Disbelieving these more potent mirages requires a DC 18 will save. Some clever D'Reshi creatures hide in these mirages, and ambush any traveler that falls under its spell.
For more detailed information on desert hazards and conditions, see Sandstorm.
The only permanent settlement known to outsiders, Sasha Dan is a loose collection of buildings. It lies near the Weave and the foothills of Kybar's Teeth. Sasha Dan acts as a gateway into D'Resh, and serves as a trading post and meeting point for non-D'Reshi entering the region.
The other primary city of D'Resh, though with only a few hundred residents, it is small in comparison to other cities on the Moonlands. Samorrah is the site of the D'Resh Academy of Magic. Samorrah is mostly unknown to non-D'Reshi, and it is cloaked with illusions to hide its presence.
The Academy of Magic is something of a misnomer. It consists of a modest library combined with several rooms for research and study. A few D'Reshi serve as instructors, teaching D'Reshi illusion magic, oracular skills, theories about recurring creatures, and other somewhat esoteric topics.
In various places in D'Resh, a visitor may find ruins of a settlement of buildings made of stone. These ruined cities and villages seem to be ancient, now overrun with sand. The modern D'Reshi say little about these settlements. The sandstone walls and dwellings can sometimes form a welcome shelter from the hot sun. But sometimes other creatures already hide there.
D'Resh also has many sites which seem to be enormous skeletons, larger than any known D'Reshi creature - some are larger than houses. These skeletons are even stranger since dream creatures vanish back to the dream plane when defeated. These mysterious bone structures hold secrets known only to the D'Reshi elders. Their appearance heightens the ominous feeling most visitors endure while in D'Resh.
The D'Reshi themselves have taken to using bones as a decorative item. Many D'Reshi wear skulls as hats. These are functional as well - many skulls lying on the sand actually serve to hide a D'Reshi observer buried in the sand.
The D'Reshi are primarily a nomadic culture. They migrate from place to place, on a path determined by the elders of each tribe. Each tribe usually has a number of sites they repeatedly visit, moving from one to another to avoid depleting the natural resources of any one location.
Among the D'Reshi, telling tales is a favored way to pass the time. D'Reshi talespinners frequently concoct outlandish stories to illustrate a particular point - the wilder the better. Factual accuracy is far less important than a good story. D'Reshi tribes even select their elder based upon storytelling prowess. A good storyteller can use his skill to help in diplomatic situations. D'Reshi also value songs and other performances.
Among the D'Reshi, the oracles play a major role. Oracles link all D'Reshi to both their past and their future.
The predominant flora of D'Resh is cactus. D'Resh has a wide variety of cacti and other succulent plants. Some of the cacti have beautiful blooms. The D'Reshi know which cacti are edible. Few are poisonous, though some are mildly hallucinogenic.
The fauna of D'Resh is as varied as anywhere on the Moonlands. The dream creatures have a wide range of shapes, abilities, and temperaments.
Some of the Dream Creatures are recurring creatures. These creatures have formed a bond with the D'Reshi as a whole. The D'Reshi offer tales of the exploits of one of these creatures, and in return may gain the service of one for a day. The recurring creatures enjoy listening to tales about their fellows.
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