Âruk is a vast grassy plain beginning north of Damreth and ending far southeast at Hullbreaker Bay. It teams with life with tens of thousands of non-threatening herd animals and their accompanying predators. This includes enormous reptiles, dinosaurs, and bipedal hunters like the earth giants out of Eylami and the giants coming down from the floating landmass Gindinâth. On the fringes there are gnoll, mongrelfolk, lizardfolk and Khazarar camps. These smaller hunters have fortified camps on the periphery because the herd animals of this vast plain are of the dire sort. This means they are bigger, more rugged, and pack a bigger punch than their normal namesakes.
Early in the Second Epoch, when the Khazarkar Empire was expanding west, they tried to establish settlements in this plain. These did not last long, the herds here were just too big and troublesome. The stampedes and blind rage of their bulls were a constant threat.
5 Saunas 1114: Yetat Camp, apparently built on migratory route of dire buffaloes, on returning to camp from hunting expedition, entire camp and party of fifty trampled to dust, breastplates flattened. Camp lost, most of fur and hide harvest ruined.
- Bazrâ Zirik, journal entry by hunting party leader out of Ardilthôr - "Dire Herds of Âruk"
Even the giants as far back as the Titan Empire Aslauthroa tried to make settlements here, but suffered the same fate. They said that even the great size of giants were of little protection against the massive size of the area's herd animals.
In the northern part of Âruk, deep shadows cover areas of the plain. These conditions are the result of the sky island Gindinâth, yet true darkness never falls on Âruk. This is because of the Shards of Takarrûs which litter the plains in the tens of thousands. These deep red crystals have burned with an intense fire since before anyone can remember. The giants claim the shards have been here since the time of the Creation War. Sages with deep knowledge of that war and the Dawn Era, say that Takarrûs was a mighty angel of the gods that fought against the primordials. When he was slain, his body exploded in a flame so intense and bright that even those normally resistant to fire were destroyed by its holy radiance.
Across the plains of Âruk, these Shards of Takarrûs range in size from the height of an ogre to those towering as high as a giant's tower. Their fiery glow baths the living of Âruk in a soothing aura. Even in the strongest night storm with torrential rain and wind strong enough to knock over a horse, a Shard of Takarrûs can be seen somewhere. The shards have been here so long that animals and beasts no longer fear them; or it may be that the nature of the shards makes animals not fear them.