After working on it off and on for about a month, I finally have the book cover for Atlas of Central Fao marked off as complete!
The cover depicts the Black Fire Ascent, a point of interest in the Palm Corridor. Here, the god Auhel is depicted in nearly their standard appearance—one arm raised high, the other across their chest, both with closed fists, and no outward sexual characteristics. Longer strands of hair, giving the god a more feminine appearance than is the norm, billow and mix with the intense magical energies that shield the structure from outside intervention. At night, the site’s naming becomes clear: the distortions emanated from the structure create an impermeable purple-black halo against which the god of the void can be seen, shrouded in the distance by the stars they themself wrought in the sky. (I may make an alt cover for the night-time version later, just for fun, especially if people are curious.)
Due to its elevation and the magic fueling the monument, the region immediately surrounding the Black Fire Ascent is significantly cooler and more bountiful with life than anything within one hundred miles. Regardless, almost no mortal or form of wildlife nears the monument, despite the bounties of nature nearby, likely warded off by the deep, nearly painful thrumming emanating from the Ascent. Ambitious explorers can reach the base of the monument by protecting themselves with powerful magic of their own, but none of they few who have made the journey have been able to breach the energy vortex surrounding it. Nearly all moisture in the area congregates here, leaving none for the trolls of Buatrazaxi to the north, or the barren Hellstrand of the orcs to the west (subregion guide coming soon!)
Despite its immense size, immaculate construction, and mastery of the arcane, the team of people who crafted the Black Fire Ascent have not been firmly identified. It first appeared soon after the Ascension of Auhel and the forging of the Palm Corridor, a time in history known for its poor record keeping. Theories abound, principally around the god’s own contemporaries and disciples born into the Age of Schisms, but they who wreathed the ascent in flame have, as yet, no name.
Let me know if you like it!