The Outer Reaches
The Outer Reaches (“Beyond the Beyond”)
Though residents of the Steadfast tend to consider anything outside the bounds of the Nine Kingdoms to comprise “ The Beyond”, there are farther reaching territories that even the Beyond does not include.
The Clock of Kala
This impossibly tall, impassable mountain range makes an nearly perfect ring around the region known as Augur-Kala. Viewed from above, the range looks almost like a clock face, interrupted by one perfectly straight, wide pass called the Sheer. Other than the Sheer, the snow-capped peaks of the Clock rise 30,000 feet or more and afford no passage. Even traveling over them is difficult thanks to the powerful storms that rage with a constant ferocity. The walls of the Sheer are frequently punctuated with waterfalls that drop the entire height—about 10,000 feet on average—and collect in pools and streams that disappear beneath the mountains again. At the western end of the Sheer, the town of Norou serves as a waypoint for travelers and merchant caravans. The Sheer has no real stops along the way, so Norou is the last place to resupply before heading east and great deal of trading occurs.
In the middle of the eastern end of the Sheer stands a tall structure of violet crystal that resembles a tree, a tentacled sea creature, or perhaps a polyp 80 feet tall. This strange artifact is used by approximately 1,000 people as a sort of town. Slightly more than half of these people are Augurs. Touching the crystal transports you into an extradimensional space that appears to be inside the “tree.” The sky and ground are deep purple, hard and smooth. At any given time, anyone in Wislayn can mentally access the “exit” and simply appear back in the normal world.
Not technically part of the Beyond, the land known as Augur-Kala is as exotic and strange a place as anyone in the Steadfast could imagine. The people of this realm are called Augurs. Although they appear no different from the humans of the Steadfast and the Beyond, they come from entirely different stock. They are, on average, smarter, stronger, faster, more attractive, and far less prone to disease. The expected lifespan of an Augur is 300 years. Augurs have a strong affinity for the numenera, but unlike the people of the rest of the world, their knowledge of it seems to be declining rather than increasing. Long ago, generations of Augurs had such a close relationship with the ways of the ancient past that they almost seemed like the people of a prior world themselves. But with each passing year, their expertise fades as older folk die and take more and more knowledge to the grave.
As if to punctuate this decline, near the center of Augur-Kala is a large metal structure that appears to have burst violently from the earth long ago. Legend has it that the Augurs descend from people who dwelled within this structure, sleeping underground for aeons. If true, it happened so long ago that no Augur has any memory of it, nor memory of anyone who did. Augurs have their own language, but some— mostly traders and merchants—speak the Truth. Occasionally, they use speaking machines to translate what they say and hear. The land of Augur-Kala is green and fertile, with rolling hills, babbling streams, and pleasant weather. Villages and small communities are rarer here than elsewhere in the Ninth World, with a higher percentage of the population living in cities. Many cities exist, but the two best known to outsiders are Urzat Zarteri and Sada Emidu.