Do you see those ridges on the horizon? That’s the edge of the Goddam Desert, and you don’t want to go there.

The Nine Realms are infinite, and all of them end here, in the desert where even time itself grinds to a halt. The desert is so-called because of its intense stasis field: it is a land with no memories and no potential: one cannot exist within its borders for long without one’s very thoughts skittering into stillness, all Past and Future possibilities blocked from the mind by a never-ending Present.

The Goddam Desert is not a Realm itself, but manifests within each according to the unique properties of that Realm and its inhabitants.

In Twis’tangle, it is a standard geological desert: no plants, just endless dirt and sand and rock formations.

In Tarnation County, it is acres upon acres of barren fields where nothing will grow.

In Crating, it is a vast parking lot, with a few immobile vehicles scattered about. No bustling, no shopping, no pickups, no deliveries, no sale.

In DownTown, it is the dreaded Archived File District.

In warrens of Kentwood, it is a labyrinth of apartments and hallways interminably under construction or closed for repairs.

Denleighton is a bit of an oddity (which vexes its natives to no end): here, among the immaculate winding streets and respectable sprawl of homes and gardens, the Desert is an expansive patch of post-conflagration embers and smoldering detritus. As fire is the element of pure change, it seems contrary to the nature of the Desert’s stasis field, but in Denleighton, change is frowned upon anyway (or at least subjected to rigorous review by the neighborhood associations). Perhaps the stasis field is amplified by this attitude and simply incinerates anything within its reach. Or perhaps it is just doing it to annoy the Denleightonites.

Wezzyders are an excitable lot, held together by social connections and their fierce loyalty to their colorful, liminal Realm. Here, the Desert is simply a vacuous void of empty, incomplete homes and closed-off streets.

In Line One, the realm of paths and doorways, the Desert is a one-way portal to the Coninodo at the center of the Gri’x. One wrong turn here, and you’ll find yourself in a one-way life, your entire physical existence bound up in a consensual reality so strong that only those with the strongest will can retain memories of any other state of existence. Just try telling native ‘Nodians about the Gri’x. They’ll only smile and nod and ask why you don’t channel all that creative energy into something practical, like advertising. Or building a web site.

Santa Pez being Santa Pez, they turned the Desert into a Snobbleball course. But it’s doubtful that you can ever play there.

And only through the Santa Pez portal can anyone reach the old Hantayi ruins, where the trouble all started.

Line One Wezzyde Twis'tangle Tarnation County Santa Pez Kentwood DownTown Denleighton Crating Back to the Main Map Dreams Over Zero Mall28