A small settlement of shanties, inns and warehouses, known as the Dunes, lies in the shadow of Skull. By the consent of Coil, three insector hive-brothers govern there. Merchants unwilling to enter Skull (there are many), deep desert nomads, salvage prospectors and drifters account for much of the town’s transient population; however the Ministry of Control and the Dogmen both maintain a visible presence and act as a constant reminder of Coil's power. There are several taverns and rooming houses- kept separate, as per the Insector custom. The Dunes is notorious for its population of lawlessness rapacious vermin. More than one unwary traveler has fallen asleep in the Dunes and awoken to find herself covered in sand leaches or linked to a slave chain bound for Skull.
Due to the angle at which the god-skull rests on the desert surface, the lower orbit of the right eye socket is situated but three chains from ground level. An ancient stair, carved into the eyesocket leads from the desert floor up into Skull proper and the Ministry of Control's (MoC) fortified checkpoint. The MoC must vet all visitors to the city. Only those who can prove they have business in the city, or wish to become citizens are allowed beyond this point and into the Forecourt. Merchants are directed to the Exchange and prospective citizens are led off to the Tower of Control for processing. Nymphs, free and bonded, are everywhere here, scurrying and watching as they always do.