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High Desert - obsolete 2018-11-05


Now part of Wastelands article


This picture is open-source and labelled for reuse

The whole of the wastelands is, for the most part, fairly inhospitable. And yet there can be found signs of life, if one knows where to look. Cacti and shrubs and other forms of tenacious plant life pepper the landscape. Reptiles and coyote and Suujali find their shelter in the shade of outcroppings or in underground coves.

But in the high desert, life is a fiction. The high desert is roughly twenty miles square of visibly elevated land, its sands a richer brown, and its epicenter is sketched out by a neat ring five miles in diameter, where the silica has given up its identity as particulate and fused to form a large, flat disc of highly reflective crystal. At high 9 in the morning and at 3 in the afternoon the sun strikes this disc at such an angle that the resulting light can be seen from orbit. Its light has been known to blind on sight and, for nearly an hour before and after those times, raises the desert to temperatures forbidding of life.

Travel across the glass disc is feasibly only at night, and curious effects can be observed at this time of night. When the moon washes over the crystal disc instead of the sun it refracts at odd angles that illuminate the desert and wash it in silvery beauty. The moon's pull is greatly amplified during its Full phase, somehow generating a denser atmosphere so that one feels as if one is moving underwater. The moon's amplified presence also has the notable side-effect of vastly increasing divination abilities.

During the autumnal equinox, the interplay between the aurora valucreaus and the quartz crystal of the glass plate make the skies lurid with color.

Edited by supernal

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