The Skirts Edit
Here you will find the first dusty tracks of the Wound Road, the highway which connects the Rifters to the outside world. The Skirts are largely uninhabited by dragons, particularly civilized ones. There are no buildings beyond the occasional lean-tos or scrap tents, which are usually situated very far away from the Road. Mirages, dust storms, bandits, and the occasional inexplicable event are common problems for travelers on this portion of the Road.
The Skirts contain the following major landmarks and locations:
The Rusting Shores Edit
The portion of Wasteland territory which borders the Sea of a Thousand Currents. The Shores, true to their name, are red in colour, and the erosion of sand under the tireless pacing of the waves has led to a “rusting” effect in the water, darkening the Sea to a murky purple-blue. There are piers and mooring stations here, most of them in various stages of disrepair ranging from “could use some TLC” to “actively disintegrating.” This area is largely under the control of the Greenteeth maren family, who has regular business relations with the Rifters and generally keeps the area clear of riff-raff.
The Crinoline Edit
Known also as the Veiled Country or simply Veil, this area is what outsiders would recognize as the Wandering Contagion on any standard map. The Rifters’ name for the area is derived from the webbed appearance of the land here, which is crisscrossed with various forms of plant matter and mycelium and rippled by winds, giving it the appearance of having a netted veil laid over it. The soil here is known for being loose and unstable, leading to the formation of maw-pits – large sinkholes which can swallow even grown imperials whole.
The Mother's Teeth Edit
The border between the Crinoline and the Boneyard is marked by the emergence of what visitors charitably call “any recognizable geography whatsoever” and peculiar stone formations which resemble termite mounds or certain types of prehistoric fungus – or, to particularly imaginative Rifters, the teeth of the Plaguebringer Herself, hence the name. This is a common area for ferals to hang out in, as well as a popular locale for bandits and other ne’er-do-wells unwilling to test their luck in the Deep Country. The winding, twisting nature of the Road and the blind spots afforded by the Teeth make ambushes a real concern here.
The Deep Country Edit
This area consists of the Contagion-Boneyard border and the entirety of the Abiding Boneyard until it reaches the Rotrock tableland. Much of the Deep Country is sprawling flatland, pocked intermittently with buttes, canyons, and chasms of uncertain depths. Travelers will often see the shapes of mountains and monuments along the horizon, half-obscured by the persistent miasma, but attempts to reach these structures will always fail. The deepest point of the Road going through here is referred to as Cruckhook, where the Road takes a peculiarly circular detour through one of the Boneyard’s many so-called “oases” of wetland territory. Here you’ll find the first sign of trees (as well as opportunistic megamycelia) and scrub.
Sicklemaw Springs Edit
The Boneyard is veined with sourwater springs formed by the unstable, shifting nature of the Wasteland’s soil. Sourwater is not potable to non-Plague dragons and only just desirable to even the thirstiest Plague native. It’s rife with bacteria and disease, and often miscoloured with organic runoff or mineral leaching. Sourwater colour ranges from more typical yellow and brown to slightly more exotic red, black, and what locals call “fever teal.”
Leechroot Landing Edit
The Boneyard swampland. Leechroot boasts the greatest proportion of wild megaflora in the entire Wasteland. This area has seen periods of draconic colonization over the years (both before and after the Rifters’ arrival to the region), each one effectively ending in failure. The swamp is slowly sinking in on itself, making housing and farming both very difficult and very inefficient here. Few dragons live in Leechroot, and those that do are considered unusual even by Rifter standards. With much of Leechroot unexplored and unknown to the general County populace, stories abound that the place is haunted, Shade-touched, or maybe some mix of both, leading most Rifters to view Leechroot with a fearful reverence. Tricklight (foxfire) is common here, as well as tones (indistinct, omnipresent, untraceable chatter), visitors (dragon-shaped entities that may in retrospect not have been dragons at all), and other forms of unexplained phenomena. Still, despite its reputation, Leechroot has its uses: there are plants and animals that live in Leechroot that are found nowhere else in the Wasteland, and the intractable, disorienting nature of its swamps makes “misplacing” undesirables and upstarts extremely easy. The area is protected by the Ladies of Leechroot, an enclave of secretive thaumaturges who believe that the swamp’s integrity should be preserved at any and all cost.