Shurruk is a scrappy and rag-tag settlement not far from The Black Pits. Subsisting mostly on animals that have been poisoned by the fumes rising from the Pits, the inhabitants of Shurruk are stained black with grime and tar. Water, metal, and crops are all in short supply here, and the people are ready to turn to Banditry if they can get away with it. A trail winds from Shurruk, past the Pits and eventually joins the Steps between Der-Maki and Sirara.
Sirara is a thriving farming community set amongst the Dust Slopes near to Last Home. It is surrounded by a patchwork of stepped fields, bright bands of corn and chilli, dotted with Kail trees and dust slope blooms. The central village clusters around terracotta pipes where water channelled from nearby springs is drawn for drinking and irrigation. The largest buildings are quite grand, the stucco walls brightly painted, while smaller houses are scattered through the fields.
Sirara sits close to Ningaur's Steps, which is at this point a wide and irregularly paved avenue of ancient manufacture that runs between low stone walls down towards the Twilight forests, which are easily visible from Sirara. Dirt paths wind through the stepped fields, running from the avenue past small houses. Order Magi from Last Home visit Sirara once a year to renew it's warding spells.
Soletta is a One River settlement near to the ruins of Nammu, a base for adventurers and treasure seekers to venture into the ruins, for good or ill. Officially a scion village of Nistray, Soletta is nearly lawless. The appointed Aedile rarely leaves their palace, and their Bonded Ones are more concerned with taxing treasure looted from Nammu than with preventing people from entering them.
Soletta sprawls along both sides of a river channel, with the Aedile's palace on a low hill on the turnwards bank. Wooden jetties jut out into the dark water, festooned with red and yellow lamps. Most of the habitations are on the counter side of the channel, and the majority of the docks are on the same side.
Sorgan's Fall is a small town built where the Iceway crosses the Coldwater, a wide and rapid river that thunders through the black ice Hills rock and surges away Daywards to the One River. The waterfall known as Sorgan's Fall was the site of a famous battle between Ur and Derzak in the 6th Century of Empire. The river is navigable to small boats both below and above the fall, but boats must portage around the falls themselves.
The town of Sorgan's Fall is built on the Turnwards side of the river with a long bridge of rough wood crossing a series of stone piers just above the top of the falls (which are level with the road). A steep trail leads down to the lower part of the river, where a second dock is located. Small barges unload at this lower port and transfer their cargo to the upper one. Often this cargo is then loaded on a second boat, but sometimes the boat is raised by crane and winch to the top of the falls.
Sorgan's Fall is beholden to Ur, but the lands of Derzak lie just on the other side of the river, where a small guard tower is located to watch the crossing. It is 3 days Counter of Tarfell.
Still Water is a small village lying at the Sunwards end of the Pass of Eagles. Its most significant feature is the spring fed oasis pool that gives it its name, though the surrounding trees can be spotted at some distance across the razor grass plains. Small houses of mud brick and grass thatching ring the pool, nestling beside a tumbled ruin. Although the locals are willing to offer many personal theories on the origin of this ruin (fort, palace, mage's house) no history actually remains, and much of the structure has long since been robbed to build the villager's houses.
Sword Landing is the name given to a small port village on the Sunwards bank of the One River about 100 Klegs Turnwards of Ur. Although larger and more convenient ports lie to the Counter, Sword Landing is the first spot firmly outside of Ur's control that gives access to the lands beyond Nistray. As such it forms the main landing point for Derzaki and Chaldian ships bound for the Reachway and Hellgrass Reach.
Despite it's strategic importance to Derzak, Sword Landing is not a huge community. Almost everyone here is just passing through, and local industry is confined to ship repair and fishing. The Landing is nevertheless well fortified with thick walls of mud brick and wooden beams, and presents an intimidating prospect to travellers from the landward side.