The sun is dying and the wreckage of countless aeons litters the parched wastes of Vaarn, that desolate country that common folk call the blue ruin. It is said that these sky-coloured sands hide the graves of the first Autarchs, have swallowed the buried arcologies in which the true seed of humankind was preserved through the Collapse, and conceal forgotten crypts of memory, the decaying crystalline lattices of ancient ego-engines upon which the dusk-blue dunes encroach without pity. From the New Hegemony to the south come drifters and dreamers, desecraters of the tech-tombs that lie sunken beneath the azure wastes. Light-years overhead, golden-keels ply their tender routes between the spheres, and miles below a pilgrim’s feet, strange wombs are kindled once more with life undreamed of.
These are the hinterlands, where humanity’s great works have fallen to everlasting decay, where machine and animal and fungus think to crown themselves our equal. The phthalo-sands, where newbeasts hunt proudly with boots upon their hind paws and chromepriests chant unending binary devotions to their nameless synthetic god. Only the desperate or the mad would seek to make a life here, to roam the blue desert in search of the secret vaults of Vaarn.