The Nagasíf Wasteland
At first glance, the Nagasíf Wasteland seems to be barren and untouched, save for the horrendous monsters that lurk behind the towering red rocks. Only those with a death wish tread the treacherous, dry landscape. Monster hunters frequent Nagasíf in search of glory kills. The culture cultivated by these hunters is that of proving your worth as a warrior.
Monster hunters aren’t the only people unwise enough to travel this desert. Many criminals find themselves hiding from the law in the various pockmarked rocks. No one has been crazy enough to structure a government in these harsh conditions which has created the opportunity for a lawless community to thrive.
The surface of this desert is littered with tunnels within the ground and in the sides of great big rocks. Whether they were nesting grounds for wandering monsters or the city system of an ancient civilization, no one is quite sure. Frankly, if you asked any of the hunters or crooks in the area, they’d tell you they didn’t care. These tunnels and caves have become secret meeting places of those that make camp in Nagasíf.
Within the caverns of the desert, there are taverns, shops, and inns in varying degrees of order. The many hunter taverns are seen as places of merriment. A place to brag of your hunts and the victories achieved over grand, horrifying monsters. The taverns managed by the more corrupt of this “society” tend to be seedier establishments where frequent bar fights erupt over petty arguments.
Cracking this desert in half is a wide, surprisingly lush canyon. Some have dared to reach the bottom of it where the tunnels are larger and more intertwined. People have created small, town-like structures in the mouths of these caves. They say these tunnels seemingly go on forever, perhaps as far as the ends of the desert but no one has dared travel more than a few miles inward.
There are very few similarities in the ideals of the typical scum who find themselves in this wretched hive of a wasteland, save perhaps for generally villainy. That being said, there are some things you can expect to see if you happen upon the desert dwellers of Nagasíf.
Though there are plenty of lone wolves out there, there are just as many monster hunters who find themselves grouping together. Many structure themselves similar to mercenary companies, going to the trading posts of the Dulgar Mountains. They work with these merchants, selling off the pelts, scales, bones, and teeth of monsters from their hunts. Some hunter groups find themselves simply enjoying the spoils of their hunt and living off the land.
Of the escaped convicts that live here, many follow the beat of their own drum. However, you may be surprised to find some making a living for themselves. Two petty thieves falling in love and having children together might seem strange to some, but to the thieves themselves, it’s a second chance at living a normal life. You may even find falsely accused criminals who find Nagasíf to be their only hope for the free life they should have had.
Because most Nagasif people come from other nations, they follow the naming traditions of those nations. Native Nagasif names take (out of game) inspiration from Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages. Regardless of one’s birth, surnames are not used, in favor of a simple descriptor, which may change over time. While some unscrupulous types might go by “the butcher” or “the sly,” most Nagasif are just people living their lives, and it’s reflected in the titles they use. Descriptors can be used before or after a name.
Example names: Pahlavi, Leila, Yucel, Emre
Example Descriptors: Traveler, the Serpent Slayer, The Elder, Green-eyed
Allies and Enemies
Being an un-harmonious bunch, there are just as many opinions in Nagasíf as there are mysterious caverns. Many of the fugitives harbor hard feelings towards their home countries but just as many monster hunters are fiercely loyal to theirs.
The rest of the world views Nagasíf as a barren, dangerous wasteland. Some from Selucia find those from Nagasíf crazy or strange for being dumb enough to walk straight into danger. Nomadic tribes of Jardium respect the call to adventure but may wonder to themselves how the desert dwellers survive. Oathsworn, orcs, and ogres are particularly impressed by the warrior-esque monster hunters, such to the point some may willingly join their ranks, if only for a season or two.
Monster hunters make quite the names for themselves with the exotic resources they bring to their neighboring regions. The dwarves are keen to make armor from the tough hides of large beasts. Selucians, though averse to the desert itself, find beauty in the iridescent scales of basilisks and naga. Particularly superstitious Oathsworn may purchase the claws and teeth from the most horrific monsters to protect themselves.
Fugitives have a rather open black market of sorts. Thieves and wrongdoers of all creeds dream of procuring the nastiest delights from Nagasíf’s sellers. Some towns at the bottom of the canyon hold open markets where anything goes. With no laws to hide from, there’s no reason to hide your wares, no matter how scandalous.
With a nonexistent government and loose society, common holidays are nearly non existent. From time to time, multiple monster hunter groups will gather together for annual hunts of specific monsters but that’s the most consistent “holiday” you’ll get out of the folks from Nagasíf
For a place as hot and dry as the desert, mid-day activities are usually left out of the sun. Here is some popular entertainment of the region:
Common Sayings and Dialect
Nagasíf: Literally translates to “Naga’s fangs” or “Naga’s teeth” in the ancient drow tongue.
“A bad copper always turns up.”
“The largest fangs own the dune.”
“To not how to dance and claim the sand is shifting” (to blame one’s tools for shoddy work)
“It’s hard to live in the den and strive against the dragon.” (Don’t pick fights with people you live/work with.)
“Ask not of his crimes, ask of his knowledge.”
“The last hunter carries the beast, but they also carry the souls.”
As the desert tends to be a harsh and unforgiving place, Nagasífians find themselves in light flowing garments. Leather and bone armor made from a monster hunter's fresh kill are also incredibly common.