Desert towns





1. Snake-eye. All water sources within fifty miles have been totally contaminated with snake venom. The natives can drink venom, and they go around with snakes biting onto their chins as ceremonial beards. Outsiders can buy distilled water for extortionate prices.

2. Thief town. Thieves use a massive series of inter-connected water caverns to smuggle goods in and out of the desert. Their beggar king rules them from a massive ruin in a strategically placed cavern. A small town has sprung up on the surface based on the trade below, pretending to be legit.

3. Dahakha. It is illegal to show more than five inches of naked skin - except in the court of law, where it is illegal to wear any clothes. Once a year, everybody goes crazy and the whole town descends into an orgy of sex and violence. No-one mentions it the next day.

4. Empty town - everything still in place from when people lived here. Cactuses grow everywhere where people once stood.

5. Salthaven. Natives walk everywhere on carefully marked pathways, strewn with salt every day. Most keep a  satchel with salt on them at all times. Anyone who falls off the pathway while in town is tearfully exiled, and will soon be infested with demons.

6. Knife. Women have no flesh on the ends of their fingers, so their fingers just terminate in little skeleton nubs. Big flesh-eating termite mounds all around town - girls must put fingers in as secret womanhood ritual.

7. Aldivra. Constant red dust storms obscure everything five feet in front of you. All native adults wear white masks in the shape of their spirit animal, believe they are already dead.

8. Monastery town cut in the side of big rock. Peaceful desert monks secretly get drugged up and become crazed  Hashshashin's at the behest of their leader - a blind, deaf, dumb old man who weaves his instructions into a tapestry in the inner monk sanctum.


9. Super-advanced dwarven society lives underground to escape heat. Constructed like a series of giant wheels; as you go further up the path of enlightenment, you can live closer and closer to the secret heart of the city.

10. Grave town. Poor rabble live in the massive tombs of some long-forgotten previous civilization.

What's inside that hole?

  1. Nothing. The hole collapses, burying you.
  2. A nest of scorpions.
  3. Termite eggs.
  4. A secret genie treasure hole, with a beautiful trapped maiden! Genie will return shortly.
  5. It's a sleeping giant's ear-hole.
  6. A bottomless pit. A quaint society of termite-folk lives in holes carved out of the side. You can see light at the bottom.
  7. A rabbit warren.
  8. Utopian ant society.
  9. Entrance to hell.
  10. Ancient buried ziggurat.