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"Nothing survives in the Desolate Sands."

- A refugee in Caldeum(src)

Desolate Sands

The Desolate Sands

Desolate Sands is a zone found during Act II of Diablo III.


"There are knife and tooth marks on every bone. None of these animals died naturally."

The Desolate Sands indeed appear 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.[1] 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.[2]


"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)

The Desolate Sands were once a tree-lined oasis of surpassing beauty, and the site of Mage Clan battles against the Vizjerei thousands of years ago.[3] According to the Zakarum scholar, Brast, the current conditions were created when one such battle resulted in explosive energies that devastated the entire area. Legend had it that there were no survivors from that battle, or 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.[1]

Kehjistan had a policy of sending prisoners convicted of treason to die upon the Sands, given nothing but the clothes on their backs.[2] Insane Mages were also banished here.[4] 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.[2]


The Desolate Sands are an area in Diablo III.


Entrance from[]

Exit to[]



  • Entrances to Vault of the Assassin and Cave of the Betrayer
  • Waypoint
  • Ancient Device (random, x4 as a bounty or x1 as a non-bounty Event)
  • 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-equivalent loot, spawning several Rockworms
  • Descending bone spiral with a Resplendent Chest in the center; spawns three waves after looting as ramp is re-ascended, with Bone Warriors, Skeletal Sentries and Bowmasters, Returned Executioners, and Charged and Smoldering Constructs
  • Desert Raptor Nest; when broken, several Desert Raptors descend and attack
  • Stone circle with a Resplendent Chest in the center; approaching causes a tornado to spin out of the chest and drift around while Dune Dervishes appear and attack, with the tornado dissipating and chest becoming openable after they are killed