Sskah Den

"Shadows' wisdom."


Originating from the Emberlands on the continent of the Burning Lands, Sskah Den began its colonization of Praetoria shortly after the fall of the Wizards’ Veil. Its capital, New Sskah City, is nestled within the Wastes of the East in the Great Lowlands. A constellation of smaller settlements surrounds it, all connected by a complex network of tunnels that are part natural, part serpentine-engineered.


The Consensus

Sskah Den is governed by sortition and headed by the Consensus, which is filled by a lottery of qualified citizens rather than by election or privilege of royalty. Eligible candidates must meet minimum standards of education, wealth, and status, although these requirements are generally inclusive and ensure a diverse representation of the serpentine populace.

Those selected to the Consensus oversee all matters of governance within the den—including executive, judicial, and legislative affairs—with policies deliberated and decided upon much in the same way as a jury would decide criminal cases. With their collective wisdom, they steer the path of the den. Moreover, the Consensus shoulders the responsibility for law, order, and the den's defense, and military service is a shared burden of every citizen.


Sskah Den’s economy relies heavily on mining. During the construction of its tunnels, serpentine drudges uncovered rich veins of precious stones and minerals. Now, miners extract these valuable resources for sale and trade.

The den has also developed a robust agricultural system adapted to the harsh environment of the Wastes of the East. Underground aqueducts and moisture traps collect and distribute a sustainable water supply for crops and livestock. Meanwhile, serpentine artisans are renowned for the detail and intricacy of their jewelry, textiles, and pottery, which are highly sought for their unique aesthetic and superior quality.

Sskah Den mints a variation of the Burnlandish currencies that serve as the primary medium of exchange in the Great Lowlands.



The citizenry of Sskah Den is almost exclusively serpentine.


Nestal, Goddess of Sorrow and Despair, is the den’s patron deity, although she is depicted as a serpentine rather than a ravenfolk.


Wisdom and secrecy are held in high regard in Sskah Den, which is reflected in the many aspects of its culture. Art is characterized by its complexity and symbolism, often featuring patterns and motifs that convey deeper meanings and messages than visible at first glance. Folklore and mythology is rife with tales of shrewd heroes and wise sages, while philosophy revolves around adaptability, survival, and the competing virtues of candor and cunning.

The performing arts are an elaborate affair. Flutes and stringed instruments twine in complex rhythms and melodies, accompanying the fluid and hypnotic dances that only a serpentine can master. Plays often incorporate both music and dance to portray their stories, which often involve some manner of deception by the protagonist to win their hearts desire or save the day.

The architecture of both New Sskah City and its surrounding settlements is carved from the mud rock and sandstone of the Wastes of the East, blending seamlessly with the terrain. Further, they extend belowground—where buildings rise from or are carved into the bedrock of enormous caverns. The entrances to the labyrinth of tunnels that connect these settlements are found in public areas like parks, squares, and on prominent intersections.

Grain, barley, and legumes are staples in most dishes, which often include rodents, lizards, and insects spiced with wasteland herbs. Eggs, particularly ostrich, are considered a delicacy.

Sports include challenges of both physical and intellectual prowess. The most popular is the Gambit Royale. In it, competitors face off in a series of feats that test their strength, agility, and cunning. It is a game of alliances and betrayals as they attempt to outmaneuver their opponents and be the last serpent remaining.

Last updated

© 2024 Splinterlands, all rights reserved.