The Game of Many Things
The Amber Wastes
Named for its gently rolling hills covered in long golden-brown grasses, the Amber Waste spent most of its time unclaimed and largely uninhabited. For a long time the only people who called the Amber Waste home were the monstrous races. Until the humans and dragonborn began to cultivate it, it was largely given up to wild creatures.
With little else in the way of natural resources, the first settlers in the Waste turned to farming the surprisingly fertile soil. With careful tending, the Waste turned out to be quite the opposite. Crops from the farms that dot the plains are known to grow the best-tasting produce that can be had on Taalenar. The prosperity has its drawbacks, however. Chief among which are the Waste's first inhabitants: the monsters. They are, quite frankly, everywhere. As a defense against raiding parties and random attacks, most of the Waste's farms remain small and hide behind carefully maintained defenses.
The other major threat is the desert to the south. The Barrens, as it is called, is slowly expanding northward, and with it comes an ever-increasing monster population. There are whispers that it may be the work of a dragon, but the Barrens are so inhospitable that no one who journeys out to discover the truth ever comes back.
The Amber Waste did not really have a capital city until it absorbed the southern mountain region of Migduar. Until then, the northern city of Gil Dorei served as the hub for civilization. When the mountains were finally taken, the large and well-fortified dwarven/gnomish city of Mardum became the universally accepted capital.