47. Regions — Crimson Waste
The Crimson Waste is a large desert area with deep red dunes, extreme temperatures and little water. From the rocks to the plants, nearly everything in this environment is toxic. The surface of Crimson Waste, known as Cinder, hosts a sandstorm that envelops the sky. However, many tunnel networks exist beneath this landscape, leading to areas vastly different from the hot, desolate surface.
Cinder is the hottest area on the planet. The raging winds from the sandstorm create a thick near-impenetrable layer around the outskirts of Crimson Waste which usurps the barrier generated by the Obelisk. Red dust mixes with ash, giving a contrasting aesthetic of black and red. Cinder is hostile to all life, and despite the winds, the air is like fire due to the heat, which has no trouble permeating the climate.
Although the sky is a dark swirling bruise that hosts periodic thunder cracks, light still manages to diffuse through thick cloud cover, faintly illuminating the region from every direction.
Ulum’s Landing is situated at the centre of the Crimson waste and acts as the access point to the realms beneath the surface. The eye of the never-ending sandstorm rages above, and layers of various types of rock and crystal act as a makeshift canopy that protects the landing as the transit point to the world beneath.
Standing tall in the middle of the landing is the Obelisk, which hosts a damp and overgrown surrounding area with puddles, strange plants, mushrooms and Lighted Hairgrass. This large open area has entrances to the various tunnels. Some of these lead back to the surface, others a dead end.
As the eye of the storm rages above, sand falls through cracks in the ceiling, a reminder that this peculiar sanctuary provides insufficient protection. The different types of rock protecting this area are dotted with an array of crystals and, at times, mimic what would be a starry night sky beyond the sand storm above.
Hell’s point is on the east side of Ulum’s Landing — an outcrop of rock that takes one further underground, leading to primarily pitch-black areas. However, luminescent plants dot these caves with a faint fluorescent glimmer. Some release colourful acid, which drips down the walls creating pools of light in an otherwise black void.
At the bottom of Hell’s Point are the Cradle Pools. These mini-reservoirs of bubbling acid release a faint glowing fog infused with light from radiant flora like the Giant Luminescent Hazelnut.
The maze-like tunnels descending from Hell’s Point lead to various unknown destinations. However, a single path grants access to the Howling Rift, a higher area just north of Hell’s Point.
Howling Rift is one of the narrowest tunnels beneath Crimson Waste. Wind rages, enveloping the area in sand. However, a scintilla of vegetation has grown in some parts, seeking refuge in various cracks. Although there is access to the surface, high walls and few ledges make the journey nearly impossible.
Northwest of Ulum’s Landing is Anguith, a corridor leading to a vast graveyard. The further one travels down this path, the more alien the environment becomes. Thousands of glowing crystals jut from the rock, and occasionally a peculiar sound emanates throughout the tunnel as pebbles or debris bounce off them.
Many fossilised remains form part of the structure of the caves, such as a petrified thorax, which makes up the central archway.
When entering the graveyard, one should be wary as a large section of the surface area is a deep pool of acid, which dissolves all but the crystals that find their way here. Periodically, tremors below the surface release plumes of toxic gas. Indeed this green reservoir of disintegration seems to be the largest acid source in the entire region.
North of Ulum’s landing is a pathway to Soka’s Garden. Sand pours constantly from the surface above, obscuring the entrance to the garden, which is difficult to pinpoint. However, with Gravity Boots, one might find their way to it.
A sloping pathway lit by acid streams and tiny mushrooms leads to further sandfalls. Beyond the sandy curtains, one eventually arrives at a large open area overgrown with plants and mushrooms powdered with sand. Giant Prayershrooms form a forest, and two prominent stone peaks stand tall, covered by countless flowers and fungi.
Magnopass sits southeast of Ulum’s Landing, characterised by electromagnetic plants which spark, crackle, and glow.
Magnopass leads to an area with the largest Giant Luminescent Hazelnut in the Crimson Waste. This large hazelnut hangs from the ceiling above a giant pool of bubbling acid, which covers most of the cave floor.
The most accessible pathway towards the surface of the Crimson Waste is the Southern Passage. An extensive knee-deep water system operates here and is a beautiful translucent green. Unlike the acid pools in other parts of this region, the water is harmless.
Vines and plants hang from various rock formations, and of all the tunnel systems, this is the most peaceful and pleasant to explore. Giant boulders, towering rock formations and colonies of mushrooms abound, and due to its vast interior, one might forget they are underground.
In Ulum’s Landing, one pathway remains blocked and what lies beyond is unknown. Giant slabs of rock lay stacked atop one another and form what is known as Heido’s Dam.