The Endless Waste
Many travelers see the Endless Waste as a godforsaken hellhole, a land at best forgotten, at worst excised completely from the map. Aside from a few curiosities and hardy breed of horses, they see nothing of value in the Endless Waste.
These travelers are universally wrong. By dividing east from west, the Endless Waste plays a significant role in the development of both the Western World and the Oriental Lands or Kara-Tur. Without it to divide the two areas, each would not have developed its distinctive cultures. To a great extent, the formidable barriers of climate and geography cause this separation.
The Endless Waste has earned its name for good reason. Brave travelers who would dare journey from east to west (or vice-versa) must face cold deserts and steppes almost as desolate as deserts, for all the meager forage they provide. There are steep sloped dusty mountains, thick stands of birch and swamp, peaks that tower above the sun, crumbling glacial fields, and icy flat expanses of tundra. Many of these hazards are on a scale far more expansive than the traveler had ever imagined.
The sages in the Western World call it the Endless Waste. The mandarins of Kara Tur know it as the Plain of Horses. It is a land of many names and many places— Solon, Ra-Khati, Semphar, Khazari, the Northern Desert and the Land of the Snow Demons; it is a nameless wasteland, a vast expanse of emptiness.
It is a land well-known to travelers and yet a mystery to all outsiders. There are no cities, no great capitals, yet legions beyond number march together in great armies. The rulers print money, have their own writing, and obey written laws, yet live lives of nomadic barbarism, traveling across the steppe and desert from oasis to oasis. It is a poor, penniless land, yet the greatest riches of the world travel across its paths. It is a land of contradictions spread out over the northern section of the Central Area.
There are several large landmarks throughout the wastes, such as the Jorhat Shan that can not be found anywhere else in the world. Those that wander the Endless Waste long enough are sure to come across the Grave Mounds scattered along the steppe.