Sunlight spills through golden clouds, illuminating a vast plain of parched grass and dusty ruins. These are the remains of Hakara and Odoro, two great cities built by men. Dead now, like their founders. Dead but not abandoned.
Among the ruins, zombies stagger. This is what humanity has been reduced to, limping corpses shuffeling along paths existing only in the memories of their decaying brains. They grunt and moan, aping the actions of their living selves.
Hakara and Odoro are dead and they belong to the dead.
Following the sun's trail, walking west, you leave the plains and pick your way through petrified forests. If you are wise, you'll keep a weapon at the ready. Many things shelter in the stone woods, monsters forced out of the lost Underdark: hook horrors, oozes and worse. Game is scarce in the stone woods, and your flesh would taste just as fine as any hunk of venison.
Onward, into the west, the ground breaks into deep chasms and crooked canyons. In the canyon's perpetual twilight you can just make out small figures. Duergar possibly, or gnomes.
Best to avoid them both.
As I said, your flesh would sate as well as any stag's haunch, and even gnomes cannot be trusted. Not here. Not now.
Skirting the canyon's edges, you creep along. The sun is far ahead now, halfway to the distant Mountains of Desh. You adjust your cloak's hood, to protect your eyes from the glare, and press onward.
As you leave the canyons behind, the ground begins to rise. The parched grass is long here. A single spark would turn these hills into an inferno. You glance at the sky, blue and clear, not even a wisp of cloud to mar its empty perfection.
When was the last time it rained? You can't even remember. You wonder some times if it will ever rain again.
The sun is falling now, dipping below the western horizon. The sky is darkening. It turns the color of an ugly bruise. There is no moon. Not any more. It was lost during the War.
Descending the hill's western face, you find unexpected shelter. The shrine is half sunk into the hill, as if the earth turned to water around it, and the building sank like a boat. Lighting a torch, you drop it into the shrine's gaping doorway. The flames illuminate cracked marble floors and walls, a topsy-turvy altar to one of the Lost Gods.
It looks safe enough. You crawl into the building and retrieve your torch. Outside the night sky is slashed with red. You eat a handful of your rations, swallow a mouthful of precious water.
You wanted to be in the mountains for the night. There are aarakocra settlements in the Mountains of Desh, and rumors of an angel. They say the angel weeps in its sleep, crying enough silver tears to form a stream.
You would like to see that angel.
You would like to kill it.
The thought warms you, as you extinguish your torch and pull your cloak tight about you.
You drift off to sleep and dream of the red night sky and angels weeping rivers of blood.