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Although the Drome Lands happen to be the largest country, the Wasterlies are much larger and take up the largest portion of the continent. Two Drome Lands could easily fit in the Wasterlies. I’m also going to have a few colored pictures, because if I didn’t a lot of the drawings would end up looking like this:
Not terribly exciting.
Anyhow. The Wasterlies is a vast desert, or perhaps a collection of deserts, that has some of the hottest and some of the driest parts of the world within it. There are parts where not even bacteria live. The majority of it is flat, landmark-less, and cracked. Most of what you’ll see in the Wasterlies will look like the below.
Sometimes the cracks in the ground get much larger, and there’s parts where even the massive river running through the continent is dried or hard to find, so if you want to travel through the Wasterlies then you really ought to have a guide.
There are different landscapes in the Wasterlies though, like you’ll find that (especially in the northern parts) there are dunes here and there
or some really strange rock formations.
And though there’s a chance that you won’t run into anything in the Wasterlies, if you do run into something, chances are it’ll be weird. Abandoned vehicles or suits of armor or dolls- discarded objects find their way into the desert somehow.
Another one of the odd things you’ll find are the vast cemeteries.
You’ll see them off in the distance, if you’re paying attention, and for whatever reason there are massive graveyards here and there in the desert. There are various goblin and spectral myths that the deserts once belonged to a grand kingdom that trespassed laws with the gods and so all their land was turned to sand and rock- and that only these mournful cemeteries remain as a reminder.
Loch, of the Drome Lands post, often makes ventures into the Wasterlies to graverob from these places.
And although I forgot to draw it, one of the few places of note within the Wasterlies is the supposed “Ghoul Kingdom”. A large gathering of ghouls claimed one of the largest cemeteries (near the southern parts) as their own and made something of a massive castle out of coffins and tombstones and sepulchers and what else have you.
The Population of the Wasterlies
The Wasterlies, despite its size, does not have a whole lot living in it. The estimation of the population would be around two thousand. The majority of these beings are ghouls-
Oh shush, King Ghoul. I’m talking about your people first because they’re about the only people stupid enough to live in the Wasterlies.
Ghouls are almost the perfect creature. They can eat about anything to survive, they can endure through most elements, they’re compact and hard to injure- they’re almost perfect. The only problem is that most of them are so dumb they make bricks look like rocket scientists.
There are a lot of variations between the ghouls, but generally they are humanoid, most are child-sized, and most have scary dangerous bacteria-covered teeth. Most also have the ability to take a hyena form.
Many also have mutations associated with inner-breeding. Perhaps because of this there are many exceptions. Like King Ghoul for example. We’ll talk about him later, but he’s freakishly tall and more humanoid and just as dumb as a brick instead of dumber than a brick. He’s also unable to take a hyena form.
Other ghouls are less humanoid or unable to take a more human shape and some are smarter or stupider or faster; the list of differences between goes on and on. You can read more about them, their structure, and their abilities in the first and second part of some field guides.
Generally though, they abide by the description above. They also tend to move in small, nomadic groups of four or five ghouls (usually called ‘a family’) through the Wasterlies. This has recently been challenged by a fine fellow who calls himself King Ghoul who decided they should have a kingdom. The Kingdom only has about two hundred ghouls within it right now, and anyone who knows about it thinks it’s a joke.
Ghouls can be dangerous because, if they capture you, chances are they will eat you. But they’re easily avoided, easily outsmarted (unless they’re “too stupid” to really be outsmarted and it’s then like trying to outsmart a rabid dog), and they’re pretty lazy so just run if some find you.
There is also a people known as renegades in the Wasterlies. Generally these are individuals who were either cast out from or decided not to live in the Spectral Lands. The renegades live in tribes, generally keep to themselves, and will only attempt to bring harm to others if low on food or in need of supplies. If you can get a renegade as a guide through the Wasterlies, consider yourself safe.
There are also monsters. The monsters I’m only going to touch on because they live more in the mountains and there’s just one in the Wasterlies that I’ll talk about.
Monsters start out looking like normal animals or goblins when they’re younger, but grow quickly and into incredible almost impossible sizes. They’re often slayed by ‘heroes’ from the Fey Lands as examples of bravery or heroism, so there aren’t many that live to grow larger than the size of an elephant or so. Monsters are dangerous because of their power, their size, and their often violent ways- but generally monsters tend to eat their own kind and devour something of an element. For example, Sammeth, the monstrously large many-legged wolf that roams the mountains, eats lava. Then there’s the Goremother (above the picture of Sammeth) who just eats her own children now and again.
Notable Characters of the Wasterlies
Since we were just talking about monsters, we’ll start out with Gramesh. I haven’t settled on a definite design for him yet, thus the multiple pictures above, but my favorite is the sketch malepartus did, which is the last of the pictures.
Gramesh is one of the two monsters that survived long enough to get the size he is, the other being Sammeth. They are considered the first and second-born of the Goremother. Gramesh, generally, is pretty docile. He hibernates under the ground in the Wasterlies most of the time and he eats sand. Of which there is an abundance where he is. People and creatures generally interest him and every once and awhile he’ll surface just to find someone to talk to. And, as mentioned, he’s pretty docile and the most trouble he causes is due to his size. Many claim that Sammeth, his brother, got all the anger and violence and left none to Gramesh.
And then there’s King Ghoul.
King Ghoul is, in fact, a ghoul. He’s abnormally tall and has a touch more of smarts than other ghouls (though this doesn’t mean he’s smart, he’s just smarter in comparison.) that help him have more aspirations in life than just eating whatever comes across his path. He thinks he’s pretty awesome.
King Ghoul was part of a traveling ghoul family when they met up with another family and instead of going their separate ways he was like, hey, hey… why don’t we…. TRAVEL TOOOOGETHER? So they did, and King Ghoul noticed that, although some things were harder (like supplying food with more people), there were some things were a lot easier. The larger conjoined family came across a very large cemetery, something like a buffet to them, and King Ghoul declared this their kingdom and he their king. For ghouls this basically means they go to him with problems, look to him for organization, and find him to be simultaneously a great scapegoat for all their complaints and swell guy. Whenever a family of ghouls came across their path, King Ghoul welcomed them into their kingdom and eventually the kingdom grew.
Some notable things about King Ghoul is that he somehow formed a friendship of sorts with the Spectral King and, later, stole the prized spectral crown from their kingdom. You can read about that story and his exile into the Waking Realms that followed after right here.
After his exile, the kingdom remained for a bit but was more or less a large group of disorganized ghouls. Eventually it dispersed back into the smaller groups, but ghouls now had extravagant myths of the Trickster King, Lord of All Ghouls, Ruler of the Wasterlies who stole the Spectral King’s crown and who had a kingdom that was like unto a paradise on earth. Neither he nor his kingdom would seem much more than pathetic to anyone else, but to the ghouls he generally was that important.
At one point, he does actually meet the trickster god who is known for favoring fools (like King Ghoul) with fortune and luck, but King Ghoul’s too stupid to know who this being was.
Other things about him:
-Really likes chickens.
-Introduced a form of currency in his kingdom in the form of buttons stolen off of bodies in the graveyards. His buttons are a sign of wealth and power.
-He’s really gross and likes gross things like poop and boogers and used condoms.
-Expert at picking his nose with his tongue.