Desolate Sands indeed appears desolate; parched and cracked, the only liquid a scatter of oily pools. The landscape is torn by rifts and chasms, dark smoke still rises from some of the cracks in the surface. The bones of monstrous creatures, vast in number, are scattered across the surface of the land and embedded in it, numbering perhaps one hundred different species. No-one has been able to identify the creatures that these skeletons belong to. These, in addition to the skeletons of human prisoners sent into the Sands to die, have been picked clean over the centuries by the elements as well as Blood Hawks and desperate lacuni.
"There are knife and tooth marks on every bone. None of these animals died naturally."— A Demon Hunter(src)
According to the Zakarum scholar, Brast, the Desolate Sands were once an oasis of surpassing beauty, but were created thousands of years ago, after a mage-clan battle sent out explosive energies that devastated the entire area. Legend had it that there were no survivors from that battle, at least none that ever left the land, that the magic twisted them, possibly into cannibals or worse, and that they slept beneath the sands waiting for darkness. Travelers were warned not to drink anything, nor sleep in the region.
"In thousands of years of records, I cannot find a single account of a prisoner surviving exile to the Desolate Sands. The wastes are littered with bones that have been picked dry by the endlessly circling blood hawks or desperate lacuni. Those who die there meet their end without the sanctity of the Light."— Lysra(src)
Kehjistan had a policy of sending prisoners convicted of treason to die upon the Sands, given nothing but the clothes on their backs. Over thousands of years of records, Lysra was unable to find a single account of a prisoner surviving exile. Zakarum tried to end the emperors' policy of exile, but they had no luck, and prisoners were still sent into the area to die.
The Desolate Sands are an area in Diablo III.
- Vault of the Assassin (guaranteed)
- Cave of the Betrayer (guaranteed)
- Vile Cavern
- Cave of Burrowing Horror
- The Veiled Treasure (Ancient Device)
- The Fowl Lair (Ancient Device)
- Waypoint (Adventure Mode)
- Entrance to Vault of the Assassin
- Entrance to Cave of the Betrayer, Level 1
- Rock face with bones, possibly spawning Mysterious Jars holding Pazuzu.
- Giant submerged skull, possibly spawning Nine Toads.
- Bone circle with Stilgar's corpse; drops 'chest' loot, spawning several Rockworms.
- Lacuni Stalker
- Lacuni Slasher
- Dust Shambler
- Dust Eater
- Vile Swarm
- Desert Raptor
- Desiccated Imp
- Desert Hornet
- Sand Dweller
- Sand Dervish
- Raiha the Vicious
- Plagar the Damned
- Pazuzu (small encounter)
- Nine Toads (small encounter)
- Shaitan the Broodmother (small encounter)
- Ernutet (Ancient Device)