Ruins of the Old Empire
Sarakri is the lesser of the two best-known subcontinents on Ammunar. To the south and a little east of Usteidunn, it was first colonized some-what fitfully by Deurrack. Going under the ocean rather than over it, the Shadow Kingdom established a few halls and outposts in the great Vannlak Mountains of the southwest. A few of them are still inhabited in the modern day. Unlike the north, however, the southerly settlements never had any reason to interact with the human race and their allies, so new dwarfs are vanishingly rare here.
Instead, the first real inhabitants of the continent were the tieflings, who were transported here en masse by infernal means some 1800 years ago. Most of the area they inhabited is in the rain shadow of the Vannlaks, stony and dry even if just this side of desert. What the tieflings could keep of their outworld civilization was maintained in the dozen or so largest oases of those which string from the northeast to the southwest following the path of what some savants believe is a vast underground lake. All these were rapidly overpopulated, however, and food was often a problem, so much of tiefling society these days is nomadic, leading flocks from one sere and brown patch of grass to another over long distances. Many a tiefling adventurer’s career began with an oath never to look at another twice-damned sheep again.
The other center of tiefling civilization was the north coast of Sarakri where the breezes off the ocean and some of the moist winds curling past the end of the Vannlak Mountains made the land a little more suitable to farming. A series of large villages and small cities were founded there, and who’s to say what they might have become if left without interference? Their few centuries of independence ended, however, when Ilmandish mariners discovered them and they were annexed to the Empire over the course of a few decades by a few ambitious nobles.
In the modern day, the north coast is a mix of human and tiefling, with the former more common as one moves up the social ladder. On the other hand, whatever opportunities were ended for the tieflings were replaced by new avenues to the north across the water. There are now tiefling families who can consider themselves natives of Usteidunn, having lived there for hundreds of years, but all trace back to men and women who left Sarakri—a process that has continued unabated down to this day.
For that matter, there are many opportunities for profit here. The coastal settlements were organized in a loose trading confederation until recently, and are still much oriented toward profit. The coastal cities of Halniz and Sondasi have vied for trade ever since the fall of the Empire, and still do so now despite the Sable King. These two are in relatively close proximity near where the line of oases slashes towards the northeast coast. Halniz is nearer of the two to the interior route, while Sondasi has more arable land and a better harbor. Competition for caravan trade from the interior between the two is intense.
Besides humans, tieflings, and the occasional eladrin, the south is also home to about a quarter of the dragonborn. Not only is the drier climate more to their liking, many have immigrated here for spiritual reasons. The desert is (relatively) full of solitary dragonborn who have put aside warrior ways for a more religious lifestyle. The hermits are accepted (and even revered) by the tiefling nomads, who will often seek them out for mystic guidance—to the annoyance of the hermits, for obvious reasons.
Assuming visitors are not looking for adventure and profit in the trading cities or the oases, chances are they are following the line of settlement into the interior. The journey is relatively safe as the Tomb Horde was muted here by tiefling cremation customs. Some oases have dried up and been abandoned through the centuries making them ripe for exploration. The more ambitious carry on all the way to the last oasis in the southwest. It is only a few days journey from the foothills of the Vannlaks, and the old dwarfish settlements that have been left untouched for up to two millennia as the Shadow Kingdom contracted.