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Outside the inhabited areas such as Simurgh and Utuseb lies The Open Steppe.

From shifting sand to dry parched scrub, and broken cracked earth, The Open Steppe is a harsh and unforgiving mistress that can kill the unprepared quickly and leave no trace of them ever having stepped out of the comfort of civilisation.

Traces of long forgotten civilisations can be found.
Here we see a tomb as chronicled in Dinner for Wolf.

Hidden amongst the rocks lies a partially buried set of roughly carven stone steps that lead down into a burial chamber carved from the living rock.

It was empty when Erland took refuge there, so we can not be sure what was there before the Tomb Robbers first removed it of its treasures.

The Free Oases started first appearing in the year of the Hyena.

Dotted along the main East - West trade route, these simple structures offer sanctuary from the Burning Sands.

All are welcome here as long as visitors observe the single rule.
No blood to be spilled inside the oases walls.

From the decorations we can see that Apis is represented here.

Occasionally a desert storm will shift the great sands and reveal glimpses of civilisations before men learnt the secrets of steel.

The most recent such storm unearthed an ancient highway.

This broken highway leads to a ruined temple, no doubt still used by various cults to carry out their foul rites.