New zone added to the SB: Planet Desia page!
Constantly irrigated by the Mollu Glacier's melted runoff from the Overlook Plateau, the Grasping Plains have long been the fertile "heartland" of the northern Desian continent. It fares much better than its neighbors, the Barren Valley and the Searing Sands, although the Grasping Plains' ecosystem is certainly more strange.
The Grasping Plains are home to the Strider nation of Kiliat. The Kiliats once roamed the plains and hunted the herds of rhinoceros-like Huutas, but a few hundred years ago, the Huutas suddenly became scarce. An entire generation of Kiliats was faced with famine, and many Kiliats migrated to other zones where game was more populous. Those who stayed soon discovered that the Huutas were vanishing because they were being systematically devoured by an enormous creature which lived beneath the fertile ground of the plains. Its tentacles snaked through the ground like an eel through water, and it seemed to have the capability to recognize where creatures were walking on the ground. Any slight vibration of the loose topsoil would trigger a wildly flailing tentacle to shoot up from the earth, snatching up whatever it could and pulling it underground in an instant to be immediately devoured.
The Kiliats feared for their lives upon making this discovery, and they moved their portable homes onto the large, rocky outcrops that dotted the plains. It seemed that the beast's tentacles could not penetrate solid rock, so the Kiliats were safe for the moment. Perhaps out of rage or perhaps out of starvation, the Kiliats quickly began to strike back. They set up traps to coax the creature's tentacles to burst from the ground, and the ambushing Kiliats would charge at the tentacles and slash them to bits. After a few war marches on the demonic tentacles, the Kiliats realized that the tentacles were perfect for nutrition, as they were almost entirely composed of muscle. One severed tentacle could feed an entire village of Kiliats for weeks, and there never seemed to be a shortage of this monster's flesh.
Since then, the Kiliats have adapted to their situation and have settled in a permanent home on the rocks, regularly venturing out to chip away at the beast's appendages for the next big feast. Their tormentor became their sustenance. Nobody understands how, but for every tentacle that is removed, two seem to take its place. But the beast's rapid growth is becoming increasingly troublesome; its enormous tentacles are venturing closer and closer to the Kiliats' rocky fortresses, and they seem to grow larger with each passing day. If it gets any larger, the beast will very likely wipe out the Kiliat nation. Several recent expeditions have attempted to find the head of the beast and kill it, but not a single adventurer has returned. It's coming down to the wire; if this thing isn't dealt with soon, it seems there will be no end to its growth.