Braving the Wasteland
Emperor Tzaul IV has claimed the high desert and has tasked explorers to unlock the secrets of the as of yet uncharted land to the Southwest. It is a harsh place and there is sketchy intelligence about what lies undiscovered. There is life however, and with life, there is bounty.
You begin in the land of Dahl, a small town on the edge of the High Desert. This is a trading hub, where species from the mountains and desert trade and barter for goods from the towns to the east and the river to the north. There is much to be found here and most of it exotic, which is exactly how you would describe the eclectic clientele that live in and pass through Dahl.
You gather around a royal crier in one of the many bazaars who is spewing out information in multiple languages. Some you know, many you do not.
"Fame! Glory! Prestige! Have your name immortalized on every map bearing the Emperor's seal! Unlock the mysteries of the High Desert! Great rewards are offered for any band that can find safe passage to the Thuen Oasis!"
The Thuen Oasis. You've heard that before. Who knows if it even exists. Dwarves in the Tzu-Thuen mountains say that at least one river flows southward away from the mountains. Everything else seems to gravitate toward the Viviane. If there is a river, then it has to end up somewhere in that desert. And where there's a fresh supply of water, there's life. Life that won't easily give up its claim either.