On the outer fringe of Khorvaire both physically and socially, The Demon Wastes are a foreboding realm of barren rock and arid soil. Tribes of human and orc barbarians eek out a living here in the shadows of demons and night hags. The last remnant of the ancient civilization of the rakshasas that ruled Khorvaire before the Age of Monsters terrorize this land from their home in the ancient city of Ashtakala.
North of the Shadowcrag and Icehorn Mountains, beyond the Eldeen Reaches, lies the deadly, barren landscape of the Demon Wastes. Little is known of this remote and inhospitable land, and even more is willfully ignored by the people of Khorvaire. In addition to its long border with the Eldeen Reaches, the Demon Wastes border the Shadow Marches to the south via the Crescent Bay, the Eldeen Bay to the east, The Barren Sea to the west, and the Demonsong Channel to the northwest, across which are Icewhite Island and the Frostfell.
Two major barbarian cultures occupy the Demon Wastes. The orcish Ghaash'kala clans reside within Labyrinth, a great canyon network, where they work to fight back the forces of evil. By contrast, Carrion Tribes worship the imprisoned demonic Overlords, resulting in a violent, bloodthirsty society. The Ghaash'kala consider it their duty to keep evil, including the Carrion Tribes, contained within the Wastes, so violent conflicts between the two cultures are common.
Though most visitors meet only the humanoid inhabitants of the wastes, the true power here is the fiends. There are two major fiendish factions in the Demon Wastes: The Lords of Dust, a vast society of rakashasa that is based in the hidden city of Ashtakala, and the night hags. There are exactly 9 night hags in the Demon Wastes, but they are powerful enough fiends to be a significant force here despite their lack of numbers, negotiating with both humanoids and the rakshasa.
The Carrion Tribes are the most common of the humanoid societies in the Wastes. These vicious, demon worshiping tribes have their origins in refugees from Sarlona who arrived in western Khorvaire over fifteen centuries ago. Since then, the tribes have evolved into a complex culture of demon worship, with each tribe worshiping a different Overlord. However, many tribes find themselves serving lesser powers than the Overlords, for night hags and rakshasa delight in using the tribes as servants. The Moon Reavers are one such tribe, serving the Wastes' resident night hags rather than an Overlord. Another notable Carrion Tribe is the Plaguebearers, who worship an Overlord of pestilence and disease. The Carrion Tribes are, as a rule, xenophobic and violent even towards other Carrion Tribes. They are nomadic and use only stone-age technology, apart from what they scavenge from victims. They also practice ritual scarification, with each tribe having its own distinct patterns that imitate the appearance of fiends. Occassionally a tribe will attempt to leave the Wastes for the Eldeen Reaches, but the Ghaashk'kala clans have so far been able to stop this with brutal force.
The Ghaashk'kala worship a force called Kalok Shash, an orc term meaning "the binding flame". Ghaash'kala is orc for "ghost guardians", and the clansfolk believe that this sacred force calls upon them to prevent the evils of the Wastes from escaping into the wider world. The Ghaash'kala clans are largely made up of orcs, but half-orcs, humans, and even former members of the Carrion tribes are welcomed into their ranks, so long as all follow the sacred cause of the binding flame. Though fierce, they use diplomacy when interacting with peoples from beyond the Wastes, encouraging them to avoid the cursed land. However, they show no mercy to the other natives of the wastes. All who attempt to leave the Wastes are thought to be tainted with evil, be they humanoids, fiends, animals, or even returning travelers, and the Ghaash'kala are determined to keep them from leaving the Wastes. The technology of the Ghaash'kala is better than that of the Carrion Tribes; rather than the stone-age tools of the tribes, the Ghaash'kala have metal weapons and leatherwork armor. The Ghaash'kala brand their warriors with the power of the binding flame, which they claim protects them from demons. Certainly, many with this brand manifest the holy powers of Paladins, which are quite useful in combatting fiends.
Very little is exported from the Demon Wastes, and the natives tend to be isolationist and self-sufficient enough to not require imports. Indeed, the native tribes actively work to keep foreigners and dragonmarked houses out of their lands, though the Carrion Tribes and Ghaash'kala have differing motivations for doing so. Therefore, what few resources are present here - largely minerals and Khyber dragonshards - are inaccessible to outsiders. Still, a few brave (or foolish) folks have attempted to establish settlements in the wastes. Some outsiders join up with the Ghaash'kala tribes, while others have established the town of Rotting Blade, ruled by a night hag named Vraria. The town of Festering Holt serves as a haven of sorts for travellers from the rest of Khorvaire, with an inn, general store, and regular entertainment. In the last few years House Tharashk has established the small outpost of Blood Crescent on the coast of the Crescent Bay, from which they export narstone and dragonshards. Though successful so far, the town requires a large retinue of guards to protect against the horrors of the wastes.
The Carrion Tribes primarily worship the fiendish Overlords, many of which dwell beneath the Demon Wastes. In practice, however, they often find themselves serving the Overlords' rakshasa servants, night hags, or other fiends. The Ghaash'kala culture is centered around worship of the binding flame, Kalok Shash, which is said to be made up of the souls of great warriors. In reality, the binding flame and the Silver Flame are one and the same, though there is little to no contact between the two groups of worshipers. Still, Ghaash'kala clans regularly produce paladins with same powers and goals as paladins of the Silver Flame, though aesthetically they appear quite different.
Power Groups Edit
In the great and forgotten Age of Dragons the three progenitor dragons formed the world that we know today. Khyber imprisoned in the coils of Eberron spawned unimaginable horrors called fiends which surged to the surface world through cracks and volcanic eruptions. At that time dragons as we know them, were a shadow of their current power. Fiends overran the world and the Age of Demons began. Powerful rakshasas, zakyas and night hags reigned over the world for thousands of years.
Though it is not known how, what is known is that the dragons rediscovered the Draconic Prophecy which reminded them of their heritage and great power. Spurned by the new revelation the dragons launched all-out-war against the fiends of Khyber. The end of the war came, but at a great expense. The greatest of the fiends could not be destroyed, they could only be bound by the sacrifice of the couatls who imprisoned the powerful fiends in the depths of the Dragon Below. The lesser fiends who were not destroyed escaped to the region known as Fah'lrg or the Demon Wastes in Infernal. It is here that the fiends formed the Lords of Dust vowing the release and restore the imprisoned rajahs.
Under Galifar Edit
Little attention has been paid to the Demon Wastes over time and the Kingdom of Galifar was no different. Though Galifar I claimed his kingdom spanned the length and breadth of Khorvaire his holdings at the rim of the continent were tenuous at best and the Demon Wastes especially saw the least effort of reclamation. In fact the region of the Demon Wastes is the only region of Khorvaire not included in the oldest lasting maps of the original Five Nations as if by simply ignoring its presence the region might disappear. The attitude, it would seem, has carried on to the people of Khorvaire as well to the present day.
Cities and Settlements Edit
|Cities of the Demon Wastes|
|Ashtakala · Blood Crescent · Festering Holt · Ghaash Dar · Maruk Dar · Rotting Blade|
Other Notable Features Edit
- Broken Stone
- Burning Keep
- Icehorn Mountains
- Lair of the Keeper
- Lake of Fire
- Shadowcrag Mountains
- Starkcrag Rock
External Links Edit
|Regions & Nations of Khorvaire|
|Aundair | Breland | Darguun | Demon Wastes | Droaam | The Eldeen Reaches | Karrnath | The Lhazaar Principalities | The Mournland | The Mror Holds | Q'Barra | The Shadow Marches | The Talenta Plains | Thrane | Valenar | Zilargo|