The Zao Steppe is a rugged terrain that receives little rain yet is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. By some definitions it is not strictly a steppe since it still has trees, but their growth is greatly stunted to the lack of rain and it can be assumed the whole land will turn into a desert if there continues to be little rain. This dry condition may be result of the Orcs activity on the continent. The numerous Tree Stumps around the terrain suggests there once existed a healthy forest. The Orcs have cut a large number of trees in order to build their war machines, which may have destroyed the balance of the environment and changed the climate.
To the west are mountains that contain the underground base, Farmine, a distant Castle-like building that is rumoured to be haunted and a somewhat hidden tribe of Cavemen higher in the Zao Mountain. To the north are the Dragonblaze Peaks, home to several different types of Dragons; and beyond that is the Muggy Plains. To the south-east is an area that has not yet become a steppe and still contains some fertile ground. To the south is the ocean.
Native creatures like the Sandcrawler and Insect Swarms can be found everywhere in the steppe. Gnarlhounds are usually near their caves but are still seen in the company of Orcs or wandering freely. Terror Birds are not as common but can be found at various location along the ocean line. Killer Caimans, Terramites, Lancer Beetles and Wailing Widows are only seen in their respective homes underground.
Besides the natives, foreigners have moved in to claim the land. Orcs have founded bases in the middle and to the north-west corner of the Steppe. They also have set up siege against a Lizard stronghold, Zzaion, in the fertile lands in the south-east. The Orcs reside in their respective camps but they have many scouts that wander their perimeters, including the formidable Orc Marauders who patrol around the siege camps but have been known to chase enemies across the entire Steppe.
The ongoing fight between the Lizards of Zzaion the Orcs erupts about once a week when the Orcs breach the gate and the Lizards try to repel them. The lizards are always accompanied by one of their great leaders, so be extra cautious during such a raid.
The central and northwest parts of the steppes are now under the control of the Orcs, but these areas were once ruled by the Lizards. The lizard statues and buildings in the orc camp and other places are evidence of this. However, the entire land was once inhabited by humans. The lizards had taken the land by force. According to Lazaran, chief of the caveman tribe, the snakemen had hunted his people and forced them to live on the western mountains.
The Dragons who live in the northern peaks do not make their way down to the step, but there are a few who live on the ground level and can find their way out to the Steppe, so be careful.
Finally, in the south a strange tower has been erected. Once in a while, a portal is opened in the top of the tower.
Zao Steppe NPCs
|Curos||Tribe Leader||✗||Zao Orc Land, in the middle of the Zao Steppe|
|Zalamon||Cleric||✗||Eastern Zao Steppe, in his palace.|
Creatures in Zao Steppe