Saturday, June 2, 2012

Satan's Spine: Anvil of the Sun

Map on the left.
Anvil of the Sun:
A vast expanse of broken, sun-blasted earth and black sand, the Anvil of the Sun girds the center of Satan’s Spine, creating a nearly impassable barrier between the northern and southern extremes of the landmass.  The desert is home to a host of strange and often hostile life forms, each caught up in the desperate, savage struggle to survive.
Food is scarce, and water even more so. In addition to the searing heat, frequent high-energy sandstorms, each of which is believed by the residents of the desert to be a separate manifestation of the one true eternal sandstorm, which they call the Groove, rip across the barren landscape; the sand laden wind of the Groove moves with such force that it can scour flesh from the bone, and turn the bone into dust all in the space of two or three heartbeats. 

Nomadic gangs of scavengers, brigands and outcasts prowl the interior, searching for artifacts and valuable mineral deposits and warring amongst themselves.

Known universally as The Squandering, the story of the Anvil’s formation is told several versions, the minor details of which vary from region to region; the most prevalent version of the tale states that at some indefinite period in the past, what is now the Anvil of the Sun was the last pure place in Satan’s Spine. Green fields stretched form horizon to horizon; all people lived in harmony and in peace with the beasts of the land. The water, the food and the air were all clean and mutation was unknown.  The gods, it is said, stored their most valuable treasures here in the last pure place- among them, the pool of eternity: a body of shimmering water, which, if bathed in, would grant any mortal eternal life. 
Attracted by tales of the beauty of the Pureland and rumors of the Pool, the humans came; in their avarice and despite the best efforts of the gods and their faithful servants, the humans brought about the destruction of the Pureland. The gods endeavored to spirit away the Pool of Eternity, but were destroyed; somehow, the Pool was lost in the resultant confusion. Its ultimate fate and location remain unknown until this very day. In the end, the last whisper of purity in the world was ravaged the gods were killed, and the humans were, as is usually the case in such stories, responsible. 

Although there is no concrete evidence to support or contradict the existence of the Pool of Eternity, it is obvious that at some time during the deep past two gigantic forces clashed across what is now the Anvil.  The ruins of many settlements are known to nestled beneath the black sand, thus proving that at one time what is now desert was perhaps something else. As to weather or not humans were responsible- or even involved, as they are completely absent throughout the Spine today, who can say?