"We traveled for an eternity across that arid wasteland. How long...? I couldn't say."— Marius(src)
"This desert is hell. No food. No water. You go where the vultures go. They know how to survive."— Slavut(src)
Boasting one of the harshest climates in the world, the deserts of Aranoch claim the lives of many each year. Only the most robust and highly-trained nomads survive longer than a few hours in this scorching environment. These nomadic clans either live as wandering traders or dwell temporarily in vast subterranean caverns to escape the desert's oppressive heat. Geographically, mainly comprised of vast, empty tracts, punctuated with but a few specially-adapted plants and trees. Water is a rarity among the sand dunes of Aranoch, with dry spells reportedly lasting for years. The climate of this desert ranges from life-threatening heat during summer days, to dry frigid winds during winter nights. Although a few bands of nomadic people have found ways to survive in this hostile desert, most steer clear of these sandy wastelands. Bandits are an issue however, especially along major trade routes.
The perilous nature of Aranoch's unique and deadly environment is without equal. Few creatures could survive in habitats so unforgiving, but some hardy beasts have managed. The lacuni are one notable example.
Ivgorod once controlled the northern reaches of Aranoch. The Valley of the Ancient Kings was used to bury their Patriarchs.  Likewise, the land's east once served as a colony of Kehjistan, with the Vizjerei establishing military outposts. However, by the Mage Clan Wars, the empire had begun to pull back, which allowed for the port-city of Lut Gholein to fill the power vacuum the empire left. Vizjerei temples were possibly left behind. For much of its history however, Aranoch remained a natural geographic barrier. Much of what the people of the east knew about the west was gleaned through Kehjistani merchants who traded in Lut Gholein.
Eight centuries later, Aranoch would be traversed by the Sons of Rakkis. At the behest of Emperor Tassara of Kehjistan, Rakkis would lead an army to spread the Zakarum faith to the people of the west. After landing at Lut Gholein, the city's mercantile guild agreed to supply Rakkis with additional soldiers and provisions in exchange for continued autonomy. Moving on from the city into the desert's northern reaches, Rakkis's army met its first resistance in the form of the kingdom of Ivgorod, which was opposed to Rakkis's army both physically and culturally. The two sides clashed among the dunes in a series of one-sided engagements. The Kehjistani soldiers were masters of warfare in open terrain, and shattered Ivgorod's hold on the land. Never again would Ivgorod reclaim its former desert territory.
The army pressed on west, eventually crossing the Tamoe mountains and crossing into the lands beyond. Finally, Aranoch had been crossed.
"For some time now, we have been under siege by an evil power that I cannot identify. Strange...It all began when a Dark Wanderer came this way, looking for the Tomb of Tal Rasha. No one knows exactly where Tal Rasha, Keeper of Baal, is entombed, but it is certain to be far out in the desert. Now, my people whisper tales of the dead rising from their tombs and horrible creatures lurking amongst the moonlit dunes. Even I have witnessed things which I cannot explain."— Jerhyn(src)
With the coming of the Dark Wanderer, Aranoch was beset by ill tidings. The people of Lut Gholein whispered of the dead rising from their tombs, and monsters roaming the dunes at night. The land was temporarily shrouded by an unnatural eclipse caused by Claw Vipers.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Act II Bestiary, The Arreat Summit. Accessed on 2013-10-22
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Book of Cain
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Hunger
- ↑ Legacy of Blood
- ↑ Diablo II, The Secret of the Vizjerei
- ↑ Book of Tyrael
- ↑ Diablo II, The Secret of the Vizjerei, Jerhyn Gossip
- ↑ Diablo II, The Secret of the Vizjerei, Tainted Sun