Dark Sun: Trials of Ash and Silt
Monolith Oasis is located approximately 50 miles west of South Ledopolus. Sandwiched between salt flats and salt marsh, with scrub trailing eastward, it is effectively off the beaten path as far as the Tyr Region’s roads are concerned. Currently maintained and guarded by a handful of merchant houses led by the enterprising Korsun of House Mareneth, the village cropping up around the oasis is free from sorcerer-king rule.
Monolith Oasis gets its name from the large cylindrical chunk of limestone that juts out of the center of the oasis waters. The limestone monolith is roughly twenty feet across and rises fifty feet above the water. It points in a southeasterly direction where the sun would rise when at Lowsun, the midpoint of the year, and the “coolest” days and nights the Tyr Region ever sees.
Legend has it, several attempts have been made to harvest the limestone by enterprising dune traders and adventurers, but were always violently punished by a Dwarven wastelands druid by the name of Esheria. Oasis beetles and arthropods are “the cherished children” of Esheria, who herself transforms into a piling swarm of stinging centipedes. In recent years, Esheria has ceased her vigilant defense of the monolith and the oasis; it is presumed she has moved on or has perished. However, none seem willing to test the legend, and leave the limestone rock alone.
House Mareneth is the lynchpin that holds the growing village of Monolith together. Through some innovative negotiation and judicious application of wealth, Korsun, the master of House Mareneth, has invited two other merchant houses to share responsibility and establish trading posts at the oasis. Most of Mareneth’s trading out of Monolith are granite and marble, imported from the harvesting done at the ruins of Celik; sandstone is imported from South Ledopolus. Other various sundries and exotic items come through Monolith, and it is rumored that Mareneth moves some contraband as well. Mareneth’s local efforts are maintained by a very tall, moustached man by the name of Zarif, who is said to be one of Korsun’s lieutenants.
House Wavir, despite being a major house, has the smallest installation at Monolith Village. Most of what comes through Monolith by Wavir hands are hardwoods, ceramics, and slaves. Hardwood is essential for the continued building of both Monolith and House Mareneth’s headquarters at the ruins of Celik to the south. Ceramics are important for storage of food and water, especially in a relatively damp environment like the oasis. House Wavir’s headwoman in Monolith is a stately middle-aged human woman named Filia, said to be an ex-mercenary from Balic.
House Vordon‘s camp is equivalent in size to House Mareneth’s, but over half of the village’s collective defenses come from Vordor-trained soldiers. Vordor’s Enforcer, an ex-gladiator Mul going by the name Vehan Tor, is regularly seen with a steel-headed gouge bearing ancient Davek and Iokharic inscriptions. As an enforcer, he is bound by the economic decisions of his superiors in Tyr, but the compound at Monolith is his to organize and administer. Naturally, Vordon’s main trade is iron, but there is rarely a store of iron and steel goods at Monolith. Weapons of all makes, textiles, and medicinal salves are the mainstay of Vordon interests in the Southern Wastes.
Slaves and several indentured servants are used at Monolith, primarily for the manufacture of mud bricks and the construction and maintenance of new buildings. House Mareneth’s strict “no slave” policy seems to hold even here. Vordon’s camp has the most slaves.
Layout of Monolith Oasis