godforsaken: (adj.) lacking any merit or attraction; dismal
At the end of the last age, the armies of two warring kingdoms met on the fertile plains of Chumvitupa. The opposing commanders were both grand clerics, one serving Veshah, the other paying homage to Cro*. The latter cleric, Sjarel the Seven-Fingered, agreed to parley with Lus-Neske, Grand Cantrix of Veshah, one last time before the two armies clashed.
Sjarel delivered an impressive string of expletives and threats so grotesque and imaginative that several of Lus-Neske’s aides turned pale and trembled. Lus-Neske herself remained calm, even bemused. After Sjarel had vented his spleen, the Grand Cantrix smiled.
And then she sang a transcendentally beautiful ode that smote even Sjarel’s twisted heart, shaking Cro’s champion to the very core of his being. In tears, so overwhelmed with emotion that he could barely speak, Sjarel surrendered, falling to Lus-Neske’s feet and abasing himself before the Grand Cantrix.
Cro was so amused by this turn of events that he sent a howling wind that drove a flood of scorpions before it. This chittering, stinging tide of poison swept across Chumvitupa, scattering both armies. Sjarel the Seven-Fingered screamed until stinging things clogged his throat. Days later, when the flood of scorpions dispersed and skittered away, the fertile plains of Chumvitupa had been transfomed into a godforsaken expanse of dust and bizarre formations.
Today, nothing native to Chumvitupa isn’t deadly. Scorpions, spiders, spitting cobras, and beaded lizards abound. Chumvitupa’s sparse plant life is inedible. What water can be found collected into hollows turns sour quickly, even should it fall during one of the region’s rare, violent downpours. Salts and noxious substances seep from the ground, quickly turning fresh water into a toxic soup.
Cleric and druid spells are also affected by Cro’s curse on Chumvitupa. Anyone who casts a cleric or druid spell, including spells cast from magic items such as scrolls, must roll 2d6 and consult the following table:
2-3: The caster suffers 1d6 points of damage per level of the spell. The spell is wasted.
4: Another one of the caster’s spells takes effect instead.
5: The spell takes effect, but targets the caster.
6-8: The spell is wasted. It has no effect.
9: The spell takes effect, but against a random target.
10: The spell takes effect, but at 50% its normal strength, range, duration, et cetera.
11-12: The spell takes effect as normal.
* Veshah, the Goddess of Good, Archery, and Music. Veshah represents the good things in life. She defends her commmunity with her bow and arrows, and she enriches the spirit with her music. Complex exhibitions of orchestral archery are part of Veshah’s high rites.
Cro, the God of Truth, Chaos, and Opposites. Cro always speaks the truth. Cro always lies. Cro stands firm against what is evil. Cro revels in evil, his hands stained with innocent blood. Cro is all things, and all things are Cro.