|Primary Races:||Desert Wyvern|
|Area:||98,947 mi² (38,204 km²)|
Blacksand is comprised entirely of Desert Wyverns. There is no racial diversity - any other race that ventures into this nation would likely be killed for food. Females overwhelm males heavily in the population, at a ratio of around 5:1. This is due to the heavy infighting between males for dominance and fame. However, males still take positions of power rather than the females due to their strength and naturally selected dominance.
The language of the nation is the same throughout - a growly, curt dialect of the Wyvern language Slikurr. No one in the nation can read or write, since there's no written language.
Overall, the nation is comprised mostly of chicks. These take up around fifty percent of the population, since most of them die off anyway as they grow older. Older males kill each other in fights for dominance as well, so the adult male population is very, very small compared to the rest.
Population is very, very thick in the center of Blacksand around the temple. Most of the population lives in an area of around 92km² (36mi²), but the patriarch lays claim on all lands to multiple horizons beyond. Other small congregations of wyverns live in this area, adding to the population, but they usually have their own local leaders. In all, the area of Blacksand is about 2/5 the size of real-life France. But in truth, most of its population lives in only one city.
Blacksand is very bleak in architecture. Huts, roofed circular stone piles, and rough houses make up the majority of the nation. Desert Wyverns lack intelligence to build complex structures and are also hindered by their physiology. A lot of their buildings are on the verge of collapsing at any moment. The only exception of this are the largest and important buildings: the food store, hatching grounds, oasis, and temple.
The food store is a large circular structure roofed with a sort of thatch made from dried strips of cactus. It has thick walls made of clay and sand which support the large roof. The center of the structure has a large natural column of stone the Wyverns build around for support. All around it is piles upon piles of dried food - desert fruits and animals alike. None of it is rotting, however, since the nation is in constant need of food. It goes through it far faster than it can be stockpiled. Only when there is a lull in population due to starvation does the food store get stocked up high.
This area's protective structure is probably the most impressive ever built by the Desert Wyverns. It's a large oblong defensive wall made entirely of stone and clay, stuck together in a way that the sharp pieces of stone point outwards rather than in. Inside, the wall of smoothed with clay and sand. Guards are constantly posted at intervals on the wall, mostly females. The guard leader is typically the largest son of the ruling Wyvern. He's to blame if any egg goes missing or a guard is lost. The wall itself is around five meters high and has sharp spires pointing upwards to discourage flight over it.
The oasis is more of a natural place than a structure, but it's still important to mention. The entire nation of Blacksand is built around the oasis, which is a very large pond in the middle of the desert. It's spring-fed and is the nation's main source of water. It's guarded by large walls similar to the hatching grounds, minus the smooth inside and height. Since water is such a precious resource, guards have to be posted 24/7 to prevent intruders from stealing the water. However, it's unlikely the oasis will actually run out of water any time soon.
The temple is the house of the ruling patriarch. It's a large structure made of stone resembling the temples of real-world Aztecs, but simpler. The stones are much smaller, able to be carried by teams of two Wyverns, and pasted together with clay. The top of the temple has a sunken in portion where the current ruler sits and watches over the rest of Blacksand. Inside, there are sleeping quarters, a table for discussion which doubles as a place to decide court rulings, and a large pool of water fed by an underground spring.
Environment and ClimateEdit
Blacksand is named such for a reason - in certain areas of the nation, the sand has been colored black. This is residue from volcanic activity far off years upon years ago; the ground-up obsidian from the slopes were brought to the desert by river which has since dried up. The wind pattern of the desert circles around the area where Blacksand sits, blowing all the old obsidian bits into a few areas. Since the Wyverns settled there, the winds have mostly been blocked from blowing this sand away, allowing it to remain.
Blacksand is built entirely around a large oasis, which in turn is surrounded by some tropical plants and trees. These plants provide desert-specific fruits and resources to the Wyverns, who carefully harvest this in hopes to not kill their precious plants. The oasis itself is around three meters deep at its deepest point, where it's fed by a large underground spring.
During most of the year, Blacksand is baked in horrid desert heat. Temperatures soar upwards to 45°C (113°F) during the day, but plummet to 20°C (60°F) at night. Rain is a curse and a blessing when it ever actually comes - usually one to three times a year. It can wash away the sand or clay huts built by the Wyverns in a matter of hours and damage their other structures, but it provides well-needed heat relief and free water to all. It also helps cool down the oasis and fill it up further.
Blacksand is infested with cactus in its outer reaches, where Wyverns are forced to constantly cut it down or relocate it. In these places, cactus-based structures are much more common than elsewhere.
Government and PoliticsEdit
Blacksand is led by a patriarch - the strongest male of all the males in the area. He fought his way to get there with tooth and claw. He will lead the Wyverns until he is challenged or until he dies - most likely at the claws of a challenger. He calls all the shots without question, and is looked up to as the father of all Desert Wyverns by his subjects. Many females try to coerce the leader, but usually he sticks to a group of certain females he considers his own that live in the temple by his side. They often give suggestions to him, but usually are dismissed in favor of his own options.
The name of the leader of Blacksand isn't known since he never leaves the nation and no Dragon or other Wyvern race has bothered to go there.
If a squabble needs to be solved in a court style, the patriarch is usually the judge. The two will argue their case at the patriarch's temple, and then he will decide who is right and figure out punishments for any criminals. His judgement is almost never questioned.
Blacksand has no currency and is based on a barter system. Water and food is in very high demand and trading said things will get one very far in materials. Otherwise, there is not much of an economy. The Wyverns will take what is available for them, usually limited by the patriarch, and go on with their lives.
Some Wyverns may take up crude crafts in their free time, though, and attempt to barter their goods on the market. Luxury items aren't in very high demand, though, and usually only large quantities of some sort of shiny will get them anywhere.
Otherwise, jobs aren't really a thing in Blacksand. Wyverns build their own houses and do their own thing - the only real profession is being a guard or a sort of soldier. These jobs aren't optional either - if a Wyvern's told to do X job, they have to do X job or risk being punished.
Blacksand doesn't have much history. It started out as a small tribe around the large oasis and it just grew from there - immigrants from other tribes helped expand the pool of Wyverns until eventually it spans as large as it does now.
Blacksand has no real military, but there are expeditionary forces whose members are referred to as soldiers. They will go out and gather resources from far off, often fighting other tribes for them. Otherwise, the only real standing army are the guards posted around important areas in the nation.
There's not much to say about culture in Blacksand. Wyverns mostly live by instinct and necessity and aren't bright enough to create much of a unique culture. There's no real age at which they're sexually mature and family life is basically the same as everywhere else - females protecting nests to their dying breath while other females feed them. In Blacksand, though, they really don't need to be so protective since they are already surrounded by guards. Yet, instinct forces them on to bare their teeth at anyone who approaches that isn't a trusted companion.
Young males in Blacksand often try to prove their worth by fighting with others their age, staining the sands with blood. Most die in these fights for dominance, but those that survive to adulthood above all others tend to live long and rather healthy lives. Infighting tones down in mid adulthood, though occasionally squabbles still happen.
Young females will just help try to tend to the new generation or will tend to their own needs - eat, drink, sleep, repeat. Once they're sexually able to reproduce, they will try to join the large 'mating groups' that happen every so often out of instinct to procreate.
Siblings in Blacksand are more likely to stay together than elsewhere. Most of the time they'll build places to live next to each other and stay in contact, often just enjoying each others company. Usually these are a brother and many sisters or just a group of sisters - brothers are more likely to fight each other than talk.
Due to their rough lives in the desert and vicious male infighting, death is commonplace in Blacksand. It's not uncommon to have to step over a corpse of a Wyvern that starved to death in hard times or was just killed in better ones. Starvation is a widespread issue during the times of year that food is scarce, although dehydration isn't really an issue in the parts of Blacksand close to the oasis. Other causes of death are heat stroke and illness.