WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore and story of Worlds Adrift
<A Saborian edition of an introductory section of an old tourist guidebook>
Southern Sabor and the Studded Desert
The south of Sabor is home to only one large city - the sprawling Conos. The name Conos is believed to have been derived from the ancient "Koinos", the southern continent from which all humans came. The city itself is a fiercely hot, but otherwise upholds the modern living of its northern counterparts.
The people of Conos tend to be a good bit more laid-back than the itinerant northerners, but the flipside to this, is that they seem to be more bigoted, and are quick to distrust outsiders. Look no further than their relations with the Bandini, who even in these happy times are used as cusswords.
The Pilipai seem particularly underprivileged in the south, and although my guide in the region made a point of heading to the Pilipai club, on the outskirts of Conos, a place for hard-working farmers and miners to relax, I wasn't convinced. Especially when I insisted we visit the Studded Desert (see places to stay) and I saw a group of nomadic Pilipai known as "wastrels" collecting and chiselling gemstones in very basic conditions. "They're happy enough," was all my guide would say on the subject.
In the city though, there are some wonderful moments. The Apocali Gardens are mesmerising (see Entertainments) and the Saborians certainly know how to have good clean fun. Beyond Conos, there is wilderness in every direction, with the Mount of Plenty being a memorable three-day excursion.
Places to Stay
As with the north, accommodation is free, and there is nothing shabby about the hotels in Conos. They have a different vibe to them than the ones in the north. Roomier, with great big fans to keep them cool. You will seldom find hoteliers at their desks however, as it is widely accepted that Conos citizens are the laziest workers of all Saborians. You might find your hotelier lounging on the terrace, or down at the Cloistrum. The music nights in the summer at the Turgus Hotel are captivating, though you don't have to stay there to enjoy them.
If you want to stay in the wilderness, you are entirely in the hands of your guide, who will often know a Pilipus well enough to organise a night's stay. I once stayed in a wonderful seaside resort at Gratta (where Saborians citizens go to relax in mid-summer) where the Pilipai grilled fish on open fires, and the swimming and boating was fabulous. The trouble is, it can be quite hard to steer your guide, as the towns outside Gonos are small and frequent, and have little understanding of fun.
A delicious speciality of Conos is a savoury pastry called "Mallum". Mallums are conical and have a range of fillings. Sour cheese and the dark Mallum leaf from which the snack takes its name is the traditional and most common one. if you can make a trip to the Mount of Plenty, you will find fish and berries and much else besides. A good guide can make the hike up to the mount one of the trips of a lifetime if he knows how to forage. Some guides are better than others, so think twice before eating anything you are given.
The Apocali Gardens in Conos contain every known species of plant in Sabor. Particularly exciting is the "Danger Zone", a living museum of some of the weirdest and deadliest plants in Foundation. On entry you are given a set of long rubber gloves, and an eyemask. Like many museums, it was recently opened up to Pilipai, Citizens and visitors alike. Therefore expect a good crowd.
Dancing is extremely popular here, including the salacious belly-shuffles of ancient times. do not be fooled, the dancers may be looked at, but it is deeply ungodly to even approach one of them. There are dance halls everywhere, and you will be encouraged to participate in some of the other dance styles such as Mestallus, a sedate and sensitive dance that requires a rhythm in three-time.
Most of the other entertainment on offer in southern Sabor relates to trekking and exploring the desert wilderness. There are specialist citizens designated for this exact purpose, so expect to wave goodbye to your city guide. in reality, exploring is not as free as it sounds. The guides stick to set paths, and will almost certainly refuse to deviate from them.
The Studded Desert - many have been taken in by this breathtaking sight, a glittering carpet of gemstones buried in dirt. What caused its formation is unclear, but its place in Saborian life and legend is massive. It provides the seemingly endless source of mineral resources (although strangely little Atlas) upon which the four cities thrive.
The largest town in the desert is Jeiuna, perhaps home to a thousand gem scratchers. It has water, but that's about it. Expect to be well-prepared, and your guide to baulk at the idea of heading into the desert, since Citizens never wish to be too far from the city.
Watch Out For
Be careful if you do enter the wilder parts of South Sabor. There are wildcats everywhere, the Fear Cat being twice your size, and partial to the taste of human flesh.
There are special perils in the Mount of Plenty region, including the Siren plant that reacts to contact with the skin by giving off a chemical alerting all of its species to your presence. The Sirens will all then simultaneously expand to five times their size, attempting to corral you.
An experienced guide will often keep a long knife for just such situations.
Ditching - As was noted in the section on Northern Sabor, entering the country is expensive, restrictive and brief.
Some travellers choose to circumvent this by "ditching". I.e. landing skyships unauthorised in empty parts of Sabor in the name of adventure. Apart from the fact that you are committing a crime (punishable by death in the worst cases) you will find it extremely hard, even in the laid-back south, to avoid questions about your identity.
The little book of entitlements not being in your possession will put even a Pilipus on alert, and with the rewards, make them likely to report you to the authorities.
Bandinians - You will notice there are quite a few Bandinians in this region, although not in Conos itself.
They are immediately recognisable by their shabby dress, and the men by their long moustaches. They are the only non-Saborian nationality with free passage, and are left unsupervised and unrestricted in their travel around Sabor. There are several reasons for this, according to Thaumenon, one of my guides in Bandinia. One he says, was that Bandini used to get past the border control or ditch so often, that it was tiresome for the Saborians to regulate. Two, the Bandini are so afraid of the Saborians, that they generally don't stay for long. Three, they provide a valuable exchange of goods with the Pilipai when travelling around. Bandinians travelling in Sabor are often dangerous to non-Saborians, as they will think you an easy target for crime.