Beyond the Spider Moon
Closest to the fiery sun is Ashen, a searing hot world covered by a desert of white dust. Whatever once lived on this planet − and the half−buried pyramids give silent voice to some culture existing here long ago − has been dead and gone for eons. Despite their age, these ruins continue to attract treasure seekers from across the system, for the hoards of magic hidden beneath the sands are legendary.
Climate / Terrain
Ashen is hot, dry, and dusty. Daytime temperatures on this desert world average 120° F, and can reach as high as 150°. This heat can have deadly effects (see Chapter X in the Dungeon Master’s Guide for details).
However, at night the temperature drops rapidly, sometimes going as low as 60°. This sudden temperature shift often creates howling dust storms (as described in Chapter X of the Dungeon Master’s Guide).
Very few creatures exist on the surface of Ashen, though there is at least one clan of dust mephits roams the surface, searching for lost treasures. Their chief rival in this quest is a nomadic band of jann.
Blue dragons – rogues who have shunned the Council of Io – and a few copper dragons – after their own devices – live here as well (if you find a safe-looking cave, there’s a good chance that a copper dragon either lives in or has lived within). Packs of withered, hungry ghouls and ghasts wander the desert, looking for anything living. Sand-dwelling versions of the purple worm swim through the dust, breaching the surface only to devour the unwary.
A wider variety of creatures is found in the buried (and thus protected) ruins that dot the surface. Bodaks and mummies haunt cursed sites. Monstrous spiders spin webs in dark caverns. Magically bound fiends wait eventual release at the hands of unlucky treasure-seekers. Destrachans, gricks, hydras, lamias, ropers, and other strange beasts lurk in underground lairs.
Ashen’s primary resource is its mystery. What reduced this world to its current state? Who built the pyramids and obelisks that now lie crumbling and sandblasted? Who created the magical treasures that brave adventurers pull out of the sands year after year?
Regardless of the answers, the clarion call of riches beckons explorers, tomb-robbers,and lore masters alike to Ashen. Some indeed find their goals, but far more end up as another set of bleached bones in the dust.