|a||Mench||9h||Doing a bit of everything.|
|And 22 more hiding and/or disguised|
A vast stretch of arid sun- and sand-blasted wasteland beyond the walls of Withmore City.
Geographical features found in the Badlands include forest, mountain, plain, plateau, and desert regions in what is presently known as Southern California. The majority of the Badlands are arid plains stretching north, south, and west from Withmore City until encroaching on the foothills of two mountain ranges to the north and south, the Pacific Coast to the west, and a vast dry plateau to the immediate east. Skirting the southernmost edge of the southern mountain range is a vast desert of rolling, high dunes. A buffer zone of woodland oases extends between the southern mountain range and the Pacific Coast and skirts the northernmost edge of the northern mountain range.
Weather and climate are capricious and dependent upon prevailing wind and pollution patterns, with temperatures ranging from 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to -15 degrees Fahrenheit during the deepest part of the night. Low levels of water saturation leave the Badlands dry for a majority of the year, though there are cyclic periods during which the region is inundated with torrential monsoons.
Ecological destruction due to radioactive contamination, industrial pollution, and global weather shift have left only the hardiest plants to thrive in the Badlands. Local flora such as cacti and scrub brush are prevalent, though Badlands oases are often inhabited with stunted descendants of trees found within the region such as Pacific redwoods.
The Badlands are host to a wide array of hardy mutated organisms that are capable of surviving the region's myriad dangers. Notable fauna include the giant rad scorpion, the Badlands cockroach, and the dune dragon, but humans have also adapted over time to the ecological blight that is manifest within the region.
Despite the inhospitable nature of the Badlands, human settlements sparsely dot the region. Most notably, Withmore City is the primary habitation within the Badlands, housing over sixty million inhabitants and providing the majority of legal goods and trade as well as a relative level of safety within its borders. Nestled into the high dunes to the south, rugged and lawless San Mara is the nearest human habitation within traveling distance to Withmore City and acts as a regional outpost and nexus of illicit smuggler trade. Additionally, roving bands of raiders have taken residence in a number of defunct surveillance facilities and bunkers throughout the badlands, using these structures as bases of operation for everything from raiding to slave trade. Rumors also abound of secretive colonies and small populations nestled into the mountainous regions of the Badlands that are cut off from or unwilling to interact with the outside world. It is also important to note that there are a great number of roving communities within the Badlands with no fixed habitation. These scavengers and nomads are an as yet uncounted population that is speculated to number in the millions.
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