Kanat, Havlama, and Temel, the great gem cities of Ophira. These three jewels of Ophira sparkled around the great inland sea of Aptal, often called the Sea of Glass. Aptal and the surrounding areas were the most populous areas of Ophira, stemming from years of drought and a slowly spreading desert region. Crops did not grow in the dusty and barren soil. Great storms of sand and dust roiled across the nation, parching the land and sapping strength from the citizens. Much of the nation became abandoned as people moved to the larger cities, hoping to find ways to sustain themselves, now that they were unable to farm and most game had fled the ravaged lands. This caused the few viable cities left in the nation to swell with people, leaving most of the nation prostrate. The three gem cities were hit the hardest, the cities bursting at the seams with refugees and people looking to survive. Great tent cities formed around them, and sprawled out around the inland sea of Aptal.
Eventually, the Caliph's guards and the military began to turn people away as they approached the city. They patrolled the tent cities endlessly, and were quick to dole out harsh sentences for any that broke the law or crossed the guards. Those that were turned away, or fled oppression in the tent cities, made their way to the east to the Bastion of Eagles, deep in the mountains. Elemarc, the Vice Chancellor of Raven's Crest, the name of the eastern mountain range, eagerly accepted the aid, building deep tunnels and immense underground structures. These were built as barracks for those working, and were used to store goods, treasure, and supplies. Elemarc believed that he would have the first completely underground city, affording rich minerals, shelter, and the best defense system of any known city. If stories are believed, at least one entire mountain was riddled with tunnels, making their way through twists and turns to the Bastion of Eagles.
One entire city, the city of Harap, was abandoned during this period and became a scavenging ground for treasure hunters and criminals. Harap was originally a major city in the west, protecting the fringes of the nation.