The huge desert on the western side of the world pillar mountains is in the common tongue known as the land of vultures in reference to the giant vultures which live throughout the area. This vast expanse of sand and rock is a harsh land populated by few besides monsters and the occasional heard of camels. In ancient times it is said that the land was home to an empire of unimaginable wealth and power but due to some ancient hybris the realm was lost in the sands and little knowledge of their legacy remains. In the depths of the desert ruins of this ancient civilization can be found buried beneath the dunes, sometimes exposed by the shifting sands. Many adventures have been lost in the explorations of these ruins never to be heard from again. Some are caught by surprise when the sands shift and suddenly find themselves buries beneath the sands, others properly lost to the ancient traps and horrors in the ruins.
The edge of the desert is the home to tripes of humans know as the sand people, who have made a living in the desert for generations. They are adept at traveling and surviving in the desert, and if one needs to travel through the desert it is well advised to pay one of these tribes folk to lead the way through the sands. The sand people live with large herds of camels traveling along the edges of the desert and between the hidden oasis their people know of. The tribes live a nomadic life traveling from oasis to oasis trading with others when they make camp and if they come upon a settlement they will often invite the inhabitants to a celebration to enjoy the meeting between people. In the desert, they have a unique ability to find water even in the driest areas where little life is found. This mystical connection between them and the land is said to come from an ancient pact with Thalax the great worm who most of the tribes worship. Every tribe usually also has at least one shaman of Salak patron of the winds, who help guide the winds and secure the tribe's travel.
Each clan is usually ruled by a chieftain who is supported by a witch doctor. This witch doctor will often be a servant of Thalac and the chief spiritual advisor of the tribe. The division of power is often a bittersweet struggle between the physical survival and the spiritual enlightenment and in most tribes, they strike a careful balance between the two to ensure the survival of the tribe. In most tribes, there will also be a council of elders providing advice for the chieftain. It is a highly respected position to be invited to the council of elders and the members wear their markings of the position with pride. The welcoming of a new elder to the council is always a cause for celebration and the tribe will settle for some time at an oasis to mark the event with a celebration that runs for at least 3 days culminating in the ceremony of appointment followed by a big party.
Once every year the leaders of the clans gather at a great conclave to discuss matters which affect all the clans. When the conclave passes a law each of the clans is required by tradition to uphold the law and enforce its punishment. The conclave is held at a sacred location known only by the witch doctors. When the time for the conclave arrives it is the chieftain and his loyal guards who venture to the meeting aided by the witch doctors' magic. They wear a talisman which guides then to and from the conclave.