A barren wasteland that connects the northern and southern continents is the unlikely battleground for many ware fought by global powers. Largely devoid of resources, there is very little reason for this country to be fought over, but human countries have waged war over it for decades nonetheless. Decades of war have done little but embitter the native inhabitants of the Woestyn, and make them distrustful of other humanoids. The natives, collectively referred to as aard kuit* are themselves humanoids, but almost all of them have distinct elemental ancestry. Various nomadic tribes live throughout the Woestyn, but they fall into two distinct groups: ifrit (humanoids with ancestry from the elemental plane of fire), who subsist on hunting and gathering what little they can throughout the wasteland; and sylphs (humanoids with ancestry from the elemental plane of air), who herd lugkoei**, which large draft animals that closely resemble winged cows.
The ifrit have a high value for beauty, and use their natural ability to control fire to create magnificent jewelry, which are often imbued with magical properties, often cosmetic, but sometimes with great practical abilities.
The lugkoei that the sylphs herd are used for their meat, milk and skin, and as load-bearing dray beasts. The leather made from lugkoei skin is lighter than similar materials made from animals native to the prime material plane, but just as strong, making it highly sought after by foreigners.
In addition to the nomadic ifrit and sylphs, there is another race whose settlements are more permanent; the oread (humanoids with ancestry from the elemental plane of earth) build their structures out of the earth and use their magic to give nutrients to the dead desert sand, allowing them to grow crops where others would find it impossible. In addition to their agriculture, the stationary oread tribes trade with the nomadic tribes as they pass through, taking jewelry and magic items from the ifrit, and meat and leather from the sylphs.
Despite the cordial relations and economic ties between the tribes, the vastly different cultures of the three races cause too much discord among themselves to allow them to organize a successful force to repel the human invaders. There are, of course, small pockets of resistance against the humans, but no force has been raised that is strong enough to keep out the humans. Too often the resistance evokes strong retaliation from invading armies; the uprisings are thus few and far between as the aard kuit take their time to recover.
The last inter-racial uprising was nearly fifteen years ago. In recent months, there has been a small movement to raise forces again; a rumor has been spreading, carried by ifrit and sylph traders, that the organizing group is led by the child of two races, but claims differ as to which two races gave birth to this mythical leader.