Redlands: History and Rumors

From The World of Layonara
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Redlands is tied to the existence of Sunset Lake. Legends speak of when Corath's fist or a chunk of rock from the sky, depending on who you ask, hit the island before it split during the Cataclysm. The resulting shock, in the words of the naturalist Kae McOushi,

...blew down the trees in front of it, sending searing heat across the earth and stripping the soil down to rock. If you dig down far enough you'll find a glassy brown layer; that's where the wall of fire and air melted the ground. You can see it in the pit, about midway. Some trees farther on were spared being incinerated but died shortly after the land was made desert and have stood dead since.

As far as the history of the Redlands before the Cataclysm, there is nothing except the evidence that this was a forested region. Even the maps that the ancient elf Ademia made of Cal'ar were damaged over time and don't show the northeastern portion of the landmass where the Redlands exists today. This has not stopped scholars from speculating that the Redlands may have been the place where the headwaters of the River of Whispers began, however.

The one effect of the massive heat and shockwaves has been the clay layer that has formed. The clay of the Redlands is a potter's dream; easy to mine, easy to work, and strong at low firing temperatures. Vessels and jars, dishes, bricks, tiles, even furniture is made of this resilient material and comes out of the kiln strong and chip-resistant. One downside, at least to artisans, is the fact that the clay is self-glazing and therefore does not take paint well after firing, and most pigments burn off if applied before the kiln. But this is a small price for such a tough material and jars made of the red clay have been found that appear to have been made just after the Cataclysm. It continues today to be a major export for the Telish Throne's economy.

One unfortunate result of this superior clay is the Yaubu pit, however. The clay deeper in the desert layers has the best properties, being moister than the clay on the surface. Because of this the natives of Valianto dug, and dug, and dug, until they finally dug too deep and found far more than the clay they were looking for. After the initial discovery of seven dead clay miners in 1327, there were several investigations. Only one revealed a possible explanation; a creature from the deep earth that was malleable, vicious, and left slime trails of tar. After the last group sent to come up with a definitive answer failed to return, Huangjin and Valianto both declared the pit closed and have a new policy stating exactly how deep one can dig for the clay. The pit has taken on water since then and lies dormant in the Redlands, a quiet testament to ambition gone wild.