The burning plains of the Storval Plateau known as the Cinderlands are perhaps the most inhospitable location in all of Varisia. This wasteland of ash and sand seems an unlikely place to find any life, but it is home to a number of peoples and creatures who brave the emberstorms and the heat.1
The Cinderlands are a geographically unique region that sits atop the Storval Plateau. Nearly a desert, the region is highly volcanic with black blizzards known as emberstorms that race across the land, frequent brush fires in the grasslands, and deadly eruptions of poisonous gas.2 The badlands run roughly between the Wyvern Mountains to the west to the Mindspin Mountains to the east, and from the Kazaron River to the north to the Storval Rise in the south.3
The Cinderlands are home to several hardy forms of life, several of them highly dangerous in their own right. Storval aurochs, a large and aggressive breed of the common aurochs, roam the Cinderlands in herds.4 Cinder wolves are common and aggressive predators,5 alongside burrowing ankhravs. Storm rocs nest in the peaks of the Wyvern Mountains. Bush tigers, a type of hyena found only in the Cinderlands, are common scavengers, and feed on the remains that the region's predators leave behind after feeding on a kill.6
A variety of giant gecko known as the horned spirestalker is native to the Cinderlands, and is typically found among rocky crags where they wait to ambush passing prey. A rare black variant inhabits the Cinderlands' most volcanic regions, where their scales provide them with camouflage against the black volcanic rocks. These areas are also home to basilisks, which refrain from attacking the geckos due to them preying on local vermin.6
Bands of savage gargoyles have long made their home on the Storval Plateau. In the Cinderlands particularly, the ash- and brick-colored gargoyles of the Ashwing tribe soar from aerie to aerie, snatching up whatever meals they can and taking wing when the fires of the land grow too near.1
Raiders from the Hold of Belkzen and brutes from Urglin frequently prey upon the same animals as the native Shoanti, and upon the Shoanti themselves. Fearful of the deadly land, they rarely linger for long, yet it's not uncommon to find the charred remains of orcs who were unable to outrun an emberstorm.1
The Shoanti tribes of the Sklar-Quah, Lyrune-Quah, and Skoan-Quah wander the Cinderlands,8 preying upon the lands' deadly predators and following migrating aurochs. The flames of the land have long held a place in the faith and traditions of these warlike barbarians, most noticeably in the fearless charges of the burn riders and in the rite of passage all quah members must face: the Burn Run.1
The wandering cousins of the Shoanti occasionally make their way through the Cinderlands, always either on their way somewhere else or just to say they've been there.1
Places of interest
- Acropolis of the Thrallkeepers
- Ash-Blown Lands
- Cindermaw's Feeding Grounds
- Bolt Rock
- Feeding Ground of the Quah-Kael
- Flameford Gathering
- House of the Moon
- Kallow Mounds
- James Jacobs. (May 6, 2008). People of the Cinderlands, Paizo Blog.
- The Inner Sea World Guide, 195. Paizo Inc., 2011 .
- “A History of Ashes” in A History of Ashes, 21. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Pathfinder's Journal” in Edge of Anarchy, 70. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “Bestiary” in A History of Ashes, 84–85. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- “The Cinderlands” in A History of Ashes, 64–65. Paizo Inc., 2008 .
- Curse of the Crimson Throne, 224–225. Paizo Inc., 2016 .
- “People of the Storval Plateau” in A History of Ashes, 69–72. Paizo Inc., 2008 .