The World of Xarintep
The Ljerka Empire
Settlers from a now forgotten continent, the Ljerka Empire first arrived before the Wasting. Due to that cataclysmic event, knowledge of their homeland was lost. The primarily human, dwarven, and gnomish survivors regathered farther inland under the banner of the desert lily, one of the few surviving forms of plant life in the wasteland.
Not naturally attuned to life in Raja, the ingenuity of the Ljerka Empire allowed its survival in Upper Raja, The Maw blocking the main force of the wastes. Despite their innate disadvantages, the wealth of the minerals brought to rise enabled unique contraptions, with their hydration suits being their most prized possessions, the markings and intricate work involved telling any number of facts about the wearer (or whoever the wearer acquired the suit from, usually through inheritance).
The Empire has three major cities in the desert: Drazen Ljerka, the capital; Magda, a magical fort overlooking the Hole; and Zhubin, an outpost near the steppes that contains the Empire’s warmage Academy. Each of these cities maintains a vital role in sustaining the Empire, which is constantly seeking new ways to survive the wastes. The heart of the Empire, its moisture farms, allow the Empire to expand and sustain its population when natural sources of water are so scarce.
In addition to being fully function hydration suits as described on page 102 of Sandstorm, these suits have history etched, worked, or painted into them. The identification these suits provide serves as an upfront forewarning, though for more personal interactions, such as getting into a city, the helmet must be lifted to prevent any attempt at faking an identity. Wearing a suit that is not your own or that you have not legitimately inherited carries a hefty penalty.
Ljerka Moisture Farms
The moisture farms of Ljerka are the heart of the Empire. These farms use a combination of machinery and magic to farm water, either from deep underground, the rare morning dew, or even metaplanes. However, some farms, specifically the ones that farm the morning dew, are fought against by Raja’s natural species, which need the dew to live. Because of this, dew farms are considerably rarer and heavily defended. The standard layouts for each farm are as follows:
Well Farms usually consist of one large building containing multiple wells. By using magic to provide a path through the sand and put up supporting walls, these wells can at times be miles deep. Typically the building has a number of wells proportional to the size of the water source, and never too many, least the source be depleted.
Dew Farms consist of many moisture catchers, powered either by complex machinery or magic, over a field with a certain distance between each harvester. Farmers then gather the collected water from the machines and pot it. While large farms are rare, some pioneers attempting to escape the city maintain homes with only a few harvesters to support their family. These hermit and family farms are rarer than the communal farms, since survival depends on the community in the desert usually, but the wildlife does not seem to resent these small farms.
Metaplanar Water Farms are the main source of water aside from the well farms. These are permanent portals, in very specific locations, to certain points on the astral plane. From there a continuing portal leads elsewhere, such as to the metaplane of water. The water is collected and brought back, where it is put through a water filter to purify it and allow consumption.