Spellscar Desert

From PathfinderWiki

Making up the vast majority of the eastern Mana Wastes, the Spellscar Desert consists of rocky desert, huge flat lands, and jagged cliffs and furrows.

Though the natural elements of this wasteland, such as scouring winds and searing heat, would be dangerous enough, of even greater potency is the roaming winds of raw magic that pass through the land. These currents can manifest in many unpredictable ways, but rarely are they benign to unprepared travelers. Despite these currents of energy, magic does not function here, making travel even more perilous.

Although the environment is hostile, native creatures do indeed eke out an existence in the blighted land. Vermin, often engorged and mutated, thrive in some areas, well adapted to their habitat. Forgotten undead and semi-functioning constructs prowl the landscape, forsaken relics of the now ended conflict between Geb and Nex. Tribes of mutated humanoids also struggle to survive in the harsh desert (typically kholo,1 human, goblin and dwarf). However, they have been mutated to the point of being unrecognizable as their original ancestries.2 With the absence of magic, firearms are greatly prized among these locals.

Of the few less violent inhabitants of the wasteland, the calikangs warrant special mention. Formerly servants of the archmage Nex, these beings dwell on the coastline, doing their utmost to release arcane energies into the Mana Wastes in an attempt to 'refill' the land with magic. Most believe this effort to be futile, and the magic blighted desert to be a lost cause, but the calikangs persist in their task nevertheless.3


Paizo published a major article on the Spellscar Desert in Cradle of Quartz.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Paizo referred to all kholo as gnolls until the publication of The Mwangi Expanse, and renamed all gnolls to kholo across Player Core, GM Core, and Monster Core. For details, see Meta:Kholo.
  2. Ron Lundeen. Spellscar Desert” in Cradle of Quartz, 67. Paizo Inc., 2022
  3. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 113. Paizo Inc., 2011