Numenéra: Gift of the Calimshan
There may be dangers and strangeness in the kingdoms of the Steadfast, but at least one knows the rules there. The Aeon Priests help to foster peace and understanding while the monarchs of the various nations keep order within their borders. Outside of the Steadfast are places so alien that even those used to numenera aren’t willing to travel.
One of these places is the Cloudcrystal Skyfields, a northern waste with spinning, drifting clusters of crystals that fill the air and a strange land below filled with corpse-cities, invisible lakes, and cities built amid the massive pipeworks of previous eras. The Black Riage mountains that form the eastern border of the Steadfast hold hidden and disturbing secrets, like a fungus-city inhabited by grub-things, a hidden city where a god holds the moon every night, and a massive mountain that may or may not house a god-like machine intelligence. You do not want to mess around in this place.
Beyond the Black Riage are other strange places, such as the star-shaped Caecilian Jungle where natural and mechanical creatures hunt and strange ruins are being swallowed by plants of all sorts. South of that are the Plains of Kataru, which hold what is apparently a crashed starship, a field of broken white stones with a floating tree in the middle, and a semi-abandoned space elevator. Farther east you find Dessanedi, the Jagged Wastes, which has its own bizarre features, including a good number of mutant settlements; however, it is also important as the gateway to the incredible Clock of Kala (see below).
South of the Plains and Jagged Wastes is another jungle, the Ba-Adenu Forest, which has everything from a massive city of exotic savages to pools of mud which periodically birth bloodthirsty, hound-like creatures. Continuing south and east you reach the crusted-over salt sea of Errid Kaloum and the twin Divided Seas where strange cults of salt-worshipping monotheists and devotees of a giant, floating android head can both be found.
Across the seas are the constantly-undulating Amorphous Fields, my favorite feature of which is the underground city of Vebar that merges Menzoberranzan with Cthulhu and includes the phrase “the local god, Ourthalas, and the homes of his blind wife-priestesses.” Awesome.
Back towards the Steadfast is the land of Seshar, once a prosperous kingdom of the Steadfast, which has now collapsed into disorder. Bordering both Seshar and the Pytharon Empire is Matheunis, the Cold Desert, which is far from empty. It features the crawling citadel-artifice of Nihliesh and the fortress of psychics called the Citadel of the Iron Saint, to name just a few crazy locales.
Beyond the Beyond
The Beyond may be weird but at least it’s merely strange lands. Through the numenera of past ages, people have also found their way to a variety of dimensions, worlds, and other strangeness.
The Clock of Kala beyond the Jagged Waste is a miles-wide ring of stone as tall as a mountain that is broken by just one passage, a 320-mile long cleft through the Clock called the Sheer. Within the ring-mountain is a paradise-like land called Augur-Kala, inhabited by strange folk who look human but live for centuries and see the world very differently.
Entirely outside of the Ninth World is the parallel universe called the University of Doors, a place of unknown origin and demanding academics. You might find a hidden door in a massive tree, at the bottom of an invisible lake, or in the mind of a retired headmaster. The University combines a means of “magical” travel, an Illuminati-type organization, and a source of information on obscure numenera all rolled into one place.