The Grand Choke is a legendary desert that lies just to the east of Val Roa. It exhibits complete suppression of magic, from horn-based magic to pegasus flight and weather abilities, which makes it a deadly obstacle successfully traversed by only a handful of travellers within Val Roan recorded history. The inhabitants of Kihutaja and Rohbredden refer to it as the "Blight" or the Plains of Magical Drought.
Mortuana confirms that the Choke was created specifically by Verlax to serve as an "anti-magic" trial for the Austraeoh, as well as possibly a way of enforcing the isolation of herself from the rest of the continent.
From west to east, the Grand Choke consists of a flat, featureless desert prone to wind storms (length unknown, but taking days of flight to cross); a system of canyons likewise prone to sandstorms; and an ocean where physics itself seems to stop working sometimes (traversed in approximately one month, the viewpoint character not being very reliable at this point). East of the ocean there is a series of islands that forms Kihutaja.
Plot relevance Edit
The Choke was first mentioned by Red Turnip back in the very earliest chapters of Austraeoh, who says that he has seen it himself. He claims that it "...was once the home to an ancient race of equines", though the source of his rumors may have confused this with the nation of Silvadel. He describes a somber village on its west edge, a "great sea" beyond it, and a way to bypass the Choke by traveling far to the south, though this was admitted by Queen Chrysalis to be not entirely correct, mainly intended to lure Rainbow Dash east.
In Val Roa, a unique funeral rite for old warriors is to march into the Choke's desert and keep walking as far as they can until they die. Their cadavers line the desert east of Val Roa, well preserved- apparently the Choke is too inhospitable even for microorganisms to live long. Beyond the desert is a vast, stark canyon, with cliff slopes almost perpendicular to the ground. Once this obstacle is traversed, one will eventually come to a sea.
The Doomed Expedition made camp here at the sea, where they attempted to make a raft and traverse the sea. However, one Val Roan falls to cannibalism, as detailed by the journal Rainbow Dash finds.
Rainbow Dash's crossing Edit
Having reached the point where the expedition failed, Dash takes their raft across the sea, christening it Scootaloo, and eventually comes to a tower above a whirlpool that has the Yaerfaerda symbol over it. Climbing the tower, Rainbow dash finds Whitemane inside- or at least, primordial spirits of Urohringr changing their forms to Whitemane in an attempt to make themselves more endearing to Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash is empowered by the spirits, and the Choke returns to normal physics: rain, flight, et cetera, are restored. Rainbow Dash is urged by a disembodied voice to take off from the tower and reach an island a short way ahead. Rainbow has no other option than to, once more, fly east.