The Nem is a large desert to the east of the Exalsee. At its east it blends without stopping into the deserts of the Dominion of Khanaphes. To its north is the continuation of the mountain range at the southern extent of the Wasp Empire, although these slopes begin to become forested as it nears Forest Alim. To the south is an un-named ocean. The centre of the Nem is considered sacred and is dotted with ruined abandonned cities.
Imperial agents venture into the desert to provoke the Many to attack Khanaphes once again, in a ploy to counter Lowlander influence within that city, and extend their borders once again. While there, an artificer of the Engineers Corps learns that the Many make use of a rock oil which they just harvest from the sand. This has much superior properties to coal.
The Empire has realised the potential of the oil in the Nem and send an expedition to subjugate the Many and exploit this new resource.