"War makes monsters of us all, and where else should monsters be forced to live?" (Final message carved into a stone in the dead lands near a recovered body)
The Dead Zone is a no-man's-land between The Circle and Goran territory. It's north edge is far enough inland to prevent runoff into the ocean, while its southern edge is somewhere in the mountains near the Kushani border. It is overlooked by The Wall, and extends for the maximum range of the mechanical artillery placements on top of it. No vegetation, animals, or anything living exists in this space, and it is instead filled with the slowly decaying bones of Goran and animals who attempted to cross it, covered with a layer of fine, reddish gray powder.
Members of the Circle of Shields that man The Wall often wear breathing masks and other chemical-safety gear, especially when going into the Dead Zone to level the bodies and collect their equipment, despite the Technocracy's denial that they are not using chemical weapons. Even if this was the case, this would not be a violation of the BarrenSoil treaty, as the Wall is a defensive line, and the Dead Zone has not been significantly expanded since the Great War.