Lords of the End of Time
Katapesh the Country
Katapesh encompasses many different land types and climates, almost as varied as the goods in its marketplaces. To the west and north, looming mountains slope like spearheads, blocking the way to Osirion. Flatter foothills and mountain passes offer passage to the northern country, but most travelers prefer to reach Osirion by ship. Gnolls live in those mountains, and they know the passes and easy crossings as well as anyone. Unprepared souls who attempt to traverse the mountains generally wind up on a ship anyway: in the belly of a slave galley on its way to the Fleshfairs.South of the mountains, warm green savannahs stretch for miles. Clusters of tall trees, with long branches that extend only from the very tops of the trunks, stand like open umbrellas to offer moderate shade. Thin rivers and still pools provide water for the many animals that roam the fertile plains, such as camelopards, Katapeshi lions, gazelles, and more. At times, the savannah gives way to lush jungles that develop around hot spots: underground heat vents that warm the area, turning fresh water murky and sulfurous and fostering the growth of plant life. Farther south still, the plains dry up into arid stretches of desert. Here lies the breadbasket of Katapesh, the heartland from which its citizens’ livelihoods spring. In the desert reaches, pesh grows. The bulbous, spiny cacti produce the milk farmers ferment into pesh, the pleasantly euphoric, mildly addictive drug for which the country is famed. The potential to cultivate pesh and make large sums of money from its sale makes the dangers of desert life—scorpions, jackal rats, sand eels, and ancient curses—worthwhile.