The original name of the Dodenrike is long forgotten. It was once Venrike's western neighbor, a hilly plateau running from Vesa River in the north to the Thunder Bay of the Gray Sea in south.
Some time during the wars that founded the Empire of Night or perhaps even during one of the rebellions afterwards, the entire land was subject to a massive curse. Nothing can live in the Dodenrike, and anything that enters it dies soon enough. The boundary between Hanist and the Dodendrike is clear on the ground: on one side, green grass and living things, and on the other, perfectly preserved yet centuries old dead grass.
The exact cause, effects, and remedy for the curse on Dodenrike are unknown to the few fumbling practitioners of magic among the Resistance. Presumably, sages and archmages among the Luminals know much more, but apparently are doing little to study it and nothing to counteract or reverse it.
The Iter Magnartis runs from Ulvik in Hanist to some terminating city in the west beyond Dodenrike, but the road has not been seriously maintained since the curse fell on the Dodenrike. Even the parts of the road located in western Hanist and Venrike are ill-maintained, and only the great skill of the original construction allows them to be passable now.