The W’adrhŭn, due to their unique physiology, require near constant sustenance, with both established and roaming tribes being deeply dependent on the great oases for the procurement of their ever important nutritional hoards. For as long as the dead of the Old Dominion remained an elusive, scattered threat, this – often violent – balance was working, ensuring the survival of the W’adrhŭn. But after the forced abandonment of the Lost Lands, the Ukunfazane realized the inevitable – and unaccountable – calamity that would descend onto her people from the east. And to this, she spotted a threat beyond the violence of war: food shortages.
Losing a single oasis, even for a short period of time, would strain her people, possibly beyond their limit. Thus, she devised a twofold plan; on one hand, she would… nudge her Hummingbird, Nagral, towards leading many of the roaming tribes beyond the Gate. This way, not only did she ensure the continuation of the W’adrhŭn people, while preparing the ground for the rest of her people to follow if needed, but also reduced the population that relied on the oases for sustenance. The second part of her plan was less deceitful though no less impactful: to begin weaning her people from the oases they had called home for so long, the Ukunfazane envisioned an agricultural undertaking of mountainous proportions.
Immediately after Nagral’s departure, the goddess ordered for the construction of multifaceted terrace farms upon the eastern slopes of the Claustrine Mountains – beginning from the base of the mountain-range and expanding upwards near its frigid peaks. Bound laborers would arrive at the mountains en masse, accompanied by veteran Speakers and monstrous beasts of burden, birthing the Ukunfazane’s vision into reality.
Thus, the rocky dermis of the clustered mountains has begun being molded and hewed into ascending terraces – packed with layers of gravel, porous stone, and fertile soil to create a patchwork of alpine farms. To populate such unique plots, the hardiest of vegetation and greenery were selected – carefully picked from the W’adrhŭn’s oasis-bound homes for their nutritional value and shared ability to persist through adversity. Such crops prominently included jade corn – whose starch-abundant kernels are akin to bone in hardness – and death’s head tubers, whose vile-tasting roots can derive nutrition from the most inhospitable of soils. To feed this manufactured cornucopia, the Ukunfazane has ordered for the carving of an expansive web of irrigation channels, drawing precious water – from the cavernous glacial lakes dotting the very top of the Claustrine Mountains – and distributing it amongst the segmented slopes of the farmlands below.
While a good portion of the crop yields are ferried back to the oasis homes of the W’adrhŭn – hauled atop monstrous, scale-covered beasts that form sprawling caravans – a sizeable portion is instead stored at the base of the mountain-range. Inside immense silos of compacted earth and stone, the living goddess is hoarding precious stores of life-giving sustenance – for she knows that her people will need it for the challenges that lie ahead.
Vigilant within their sky-bound holds – that are strewn across the crest of the Claustrine Mountains – the Order of the Sealed Temple have become aware of the W’adrhŭn’s agricultural machinations on the eastern side of the mountains. Fear is beginning to bubble across the order and the strength of old compacts is being questioned – as the threat of a W’adrhŭn migratory deluge into the Hundred Kingdoms is inching ever closer.