The South Span
General Geographical Information
The southern region of the Sagolii is referred to as the South Span by the Dunesfolk clans who reside there. Much like the rest of the Sagolii, the uppermost portion of the South Span is heavily coated by rolling sand dunes which are difficult to traverse and navigate by foot. It is uncommon but not unheard of to find the wreckages of failed expeditions interspersed over the area, often dishearteningly close to one of the region's most unique features: the mountain crags which span across the south-most tip of Aldenard, from which the region obtained its name.
While the heat is still oppressive within the mountains, the steep, rocky terrain towers tall enough to cast a generous amount of shade during most of the day. The shade and the presence of moisture gives way to various forms of flora and fauna to grow unimpeded, which also allows a diverse range of creatures to flourish within the region as well. These factors are likely what attracted the Dunesfolk inhabiting the area as well as the Amal'Jaa, who are not shy about making their neighbors feel unwelcome.
While such a place might seem a welcome respite to the unyielding lethality of the Sagolii, its shade and comparative comfort obscure two potentially fatal features of the landscape. The canyons and paths through the mountains have a maze-like quality to their natural construction, while the moisture and dew captured by the cooling rock surfaces are only enough to sate the thirst of desert plants and smaller creatures. The main source of life sustaining water for Dunesfolk, Amal'Jaa, and larger beasts appear in the form of migratory geyser basins. This might explain the lack of permanent dwellings within the crags, despite the intermittent presence of expansive caves throughout the landscape. Thanks to the unpredictability of water supply and the perceived incursion of Dunesfolk into Amal'Jaa territory, the two peoples have been at bitter odds with each other for decades.
Beyond the mountains of the South Span lies the southern Aldenard coastline, and Cape Deadwind. The area has a fairly mild climate when compared to the other parts of the Sagolii, but remains largely uninhabited by the Dunesfolk clans on account of how separated it is by both terrain and hostile Amal'Jaa tribes. Green foliage and various creatures inhabit the area inland, while the natural curvature of the coast has created a small bay. The waters are milder here, allowing for ships to anchor without fear of risking damage to their vessel. The shore itself is surrounded by the mountains of the South Span, meaning that it is largely separated from any official Eorzean presence.
Local smugglers and merchants from other continents often make landfall within the bay to trade with the Dunesfolk inhabiting the South Span. There are only a handful of clans who are willing to brave the journey to and from the coast while escorting smugglers or merchants. These clans are well known throughout the Sagolii and are widely regarded as some of the most deadly of the Dunesfolk clans, even by the other mountain clans. Their profits are made both through guide fees and through selling the first pick of goods to the other mountain clans. From there the goods typically make their way northward between mountain clans, until being sold to the sandmaster Dunesfolk clans to be taken to Ul'Dah. Through this, the South Span clans have managed to profit and flourish, while remaining relatively unknown by the majority of Ul'Dah and Eorzea in general.
A one of a kind feature can be found within the Sagolii, on the soft-border of South Span and the Deep Sagolii. A tremendous desert oasis can be found there, isolated from the dunes by sheer rock cliffs and referred to as "Hihiko's Wake" by the Sagolii clans. The rocky walls surround an expansive lake that appears to be fed from a source deep underground. All Sagolii clans revere this oasis and regard it as sacred ground, and have honored it as a place of peace and unity. Each clan provides a portion of its greatest warriors to protect the oasis, and to ensure that it remains neutral ground. The clans meet there once every few years under a general truce to attend to a myriad of functions which include marriage arrangements, business, and inter-clan politics.
See Dunesfolk Clans for information regarding surrounding regions of the Sagolii.