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D4 Region - Dry Steppes

The Dry Steppes

The Dry Steppes is a geographic area in Sanctuary, located south of Scosglen, west from the Fractured Peaks, and north of Kehjistan.

Lore[]

Dry Steppes-map

The Dry Steppes on the world map

The Dry Steppes are a harsh and rugged wilderness,[1] consisting of amber grasslands, deep canyons, and wide salt flats dotted with geysers of boiling water.[2] Vegetation is rare, and what vegetation there is consists of poplar and saxaul trees.[3]

The Steppes are an incredibly dangerous place to live, and only the most ruthless or most desperate call them home.[2]

A variety of beliefs exist(ed) in the Dry Steppes. These include elements of wind worship (e.g. "wind favor you")[4] ancestor worship (e.g. "Ancestors keep you"),[5] and polytheistic worship (e.g. "oh gods").[6] Some believe that spirits haunt the Steppes, calling out to the living through the Crag Song.[7] Old folklore in the Steppes states that khazra bones ward off curses.[8] In the past, some willingly offered themselves to the pools of the Boiling Plains as an act of ritual suicide. The Steppes' conception of an afterlife involves/involved "the plains beyond."[9] In ancient times, a being known as the Grinning One was worshipped.[10]

Terrifying effigies are a common sight in the Steppes, built as offerings to appease great evil. To dress oneself in their image is to invite their fury.[11]

History[]

Early History[]

"If the Zakarum want answers, they have to get them elsewhere. You think you can march in here and take whatever you want?"

- A Dry Steppes villager(src)

Dry Steppes-salt

A salt flat in the Dry Steppes

The Dry Steppes gave rise to native civilization(s).[3] They were once ruled by the Overseers; a line of slaver kings who ruled out of Guulrahn. Even long after their end, their relics remained spread across the Steppes, leaving suffering in their wake.[12]

At some point, Zakarum established a presence in the region. The Zakarum architecture was more distinct and refined than the native one, and in addition to Orbei Monastery, established a number of storage and keep-sake areas.[3]

The Sons of Rakkis marched across the Dry Steppes during the Zakarum Crusade,[13] and set sail from the Scarred Coast.[14] By this point, undead roamed the coast, and the Paladins did what they could to cull the undead. In the end, they only served to add to the undead's number.[13]

By the time of the Zakarum Inquisition, the church had effectively annexed the Steppes (or at least part of them), and the Hand of Zakarum oversaw the Dindai Flats. "Heresy" was rooted out through violent means, much to the anger and grief of the locals. In some cases, entire villages were left in ruins, and it appears that some of the locals were converted to worship of the Light, willingly or otherwise.[15]

After the destruction of Mount Arreat, a splinter group of the Barbarian Oxen Tribe made their way into the Steppes. The city of Ked Bardu grew around their encampment.[16] Similarly, with Zakarum having collapsed, the town of Jirandai was built on the ruins of Zakarum's old empire.[17]

The Great Enmity[]

By the Great Enmity, the Steppes were ravaged by war due to the power vacuum Malthael created when he decimated Sanctuary.[2] The Zakarum's storage sites and keep-sakes were laid to waste, and Orbei Monastery fell into ruin.[3]

Cannibals-turnaround

The Cannibals in the Dry Steppes

Many years ago, the Cannibals appeared in the Steppes and spread their terror into lands beyond.[18] However, other groups still operated within the Steppes, trying to win the hearts and minds of the people living there. With Lilith's return, the darker side of mankind became more dominant, and many in the Steppes gave into it, giving into the darkness for more power and turning to cannibalism.[2] The Triune, which now served Lilith, marched across the Steppes and took a number of unfortunates and brought them to Mount Civo, where they were slaughtered.[19] Others willingly joined the Triune, as the cult promised an escape from their suffering.[9] The Triune also burnt trading caravans.[20]

At/around the time of Lilith's return, the situation in the Steppes was further deteriorating. In the north, wasp attacks caused farmers to flee their fields and enter Farobru.[21] In the west, bandits blocked the pass to the south of Ked Bardu, which meant that merchants stayed inside the city.[22] Guulrahn fell to the Cannibals, the survivors fleeing to Ked Bardu.[23] Jirandai managed to keep the Cannibals at bay, but at heavy cost,[17] and rumors spread of secret Cannibals lurking in towns.[24]

Recent Events[]

The Malignant spread to the Dry Steppes after Lilith's defeat, encroaching on towns with each passing day. The Wanderer was entrusted by Cormond to hold them at bay while he searched for a cure.[25] The Malignant Tunnels in the Steppes were cleared out by the Wanderer,[26] and ultimately, the Malignant were wiped out.[27]

Later, Zir ordered the Blood Seekers and their vampire forces to conquer the Dry Steppes.[28]

In-game[]

Dry Steppes-town

A settlement in the Dry Steppes

The Dry Steppes are one of five major geographic regions to be explored in Diablo IV.[1]

Development[]

Initially, the Steppes were concieved as grasslands. The decision was made to add dark rocks that complement the pale blonde and rusty grasses. To help provide extra visual interest in the region, the Environment Art team created a salt flats biome.[3]

Notable Locations[]

Dry Steppes-road

A Dry Steppes road

Main article: List of Dry Steppes locations

Regions[]

The Dry Steppes are divided into the following major regions:

  • Chambatar Ridge
  • Dindai Flats
  • Fields of Hatred
  • Khargai Crags
  • Kotama Grasslands
  • Norgoi Vigil
  • Saraan Caldera
  • The Accursed Wastes
  • The Scarred Coast
  • Tusmaa Rift
  • Untamed Scarps

Structures[]

Towns[]

Other[]

Trivia[]

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This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
  • Based on the nature of its flora, the Dry Steppes could be considered analogous to Central Asia and especially Mongolia.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 2019-11-01, BlizzCon 2019: Diablo IV Announced. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2019-11-10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2011-11-11, BlizzCon 2019 Diablo IV: World and Lore Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2020-04-26
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 2022-03-29, DIABLO IV QUARTERLY UPDATE—MARCH 2022. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2022-04-08
  4. Diablo IV, Saran
  5. Diablo IV, Blistered Heart
  6. Diablo IV, Corroding Mettle
  7. Diablo IV, Kith and Kin
  8. Diablo IV, Phases of the Moon
  9. 9.0 9.1 Diablo IV, Nekhii's Confession
  10. Diablo IV, Augury of Bones
  11. Diablo IV, Brutal Idol
  12. Diablo IV, Curious Curios
  13. 13.0 13.1 Diablo IV, The Unlucky Ones
  14. Diablo IV, Exhuming Knowledge
  15. Diablo IV, Firsthand Knowledge
  16. Diablo IV, Bonfire
  17. 17.0 17.1 Diablo IV, Ucuna
  18. 2020-02-26, DIABLO IV QUARTERLY UPDATE—FEBRUARY 2020. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2020-02-28
  19. Diablo IV, Weight of Sin
  20. Diablo IV, Curious Curios
  21. Diablo IV, Wasp Corpse
  22. Diablo IV, Urgem
  23. Diablo IV, Notice Board
  24. Diablo IV, What Remains
  25. Diablo IV, Season of the Malignant, A Plague of Hatred
  26. Diablo IV, Season of the Malignant, Holding Back the Flood
  27. 2023-10-31, Your Season of the Malignant Stats Are Ready, Name! (promotional email). Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2023-11-01
  28. 2023-10-04, BITE DOWN ON DARKNESS IN SEASON OF BLOOD. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2023-10-06
Dry Steppes Zones (Diablo IV)
Cellars
TBA
Dungeons
Ancient's Lament
Betrayer's Row
Bloodsoaked Crag
Buried Halls
Carrion Fields
Champion's Demise
Charnel House
Dark Ravine
Forgotten Depths
Guulrahn Canal
Guulrahn Slums
Grinning Labyrinth
Komdor Temple
Mournfield
Onyx Hold
Pallid Delve
Path of the Blind
Sealed Archives
Seaside Descent
Shifting City
Whispering Vault
Malignant Tunnels
Crypts of Orbei
Ravening Pit
Regions
Chambatar Ridge
Dindai Flats
Fields of Hatred
Khargai Crags
Kotama Grasslands
Norgoi Vigil
Saraan Caldera
The Accursed Wastes
The Scarred Coast
Tusmaa Rift
Untamed Scarps
Strongholds
Temple of Rot
The Onyx Watchtower
The Ruins of Qara-Yisu
Towns
Alzuuda
Farobru
Guulrahn
Jirandai
Ked Bardu (Magistrate's Office)
Qara-Yisu
Other
Orbei Monastery
The Grinning One
Locations in the Diablo universe

Astral RealmBurning HellsDeluged PlaneEtherFractured PlaneHigh HeavensLimboMirrored WorldNephalem RiftsObliterated RealmPandemoniumRealm of the BanishedRealm of the DeadRealm of ShadowRealms of FateVoidWastelands

SanctuaryAncients' CradleAranochBakuli JungleBilefen (Valostre, defunct) • Cold Isles (Pelghain, defunct) • DreadlandsDry SteppesEastern SteppesFractured PeaksGreyhollow IslandHawezarIvgorod (defunct) • Kehjistan (defunct) • MarshlandNahantuSamauren Empire (defunct) • ScosglenSharval WildsShassar Sea (Fahiran Empire, defunct) • Skovos IslesStormpointUieWestern Kingdoms (EntsteigKhandurasWestmarch) • WojahnXiansaiZeleny Lowlands
Related — Towns

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