Gold is a vast wasteland of sand, full of ruins of old cities and structures. Oniga, being the only exception to this, is lush and green, and shows a flashback of the past before Gold became a desolate wasteland, and before it was called Gold.
The original protector, before Ryart, was a great dragon named Bai Kai. It's said that he was a master of wind with scales that could change his form and render him invisible. He, like many others, was slain during Zera's invasion of Gold.
Many people meet their ends in the wastes, looking for the ruins of the old Onigan empire. While the desert is littered with ruins, it's not perfectly clear if they are Onigan, or belong to an ancient civilization predating them.
The unnatural phenomenon of Gold, where the sand covers all but a small portion of the land. About 25-35 years ago, this was not the case; Gold was still known for its sands, but they referred to the shining sands of its shores. However, ever since the beginning of the Oniga Sigrogana War, the sands crept in from the shores and towards the center of the continent, burying many villages and towns in the process, shrinking Oniga to a fraction of its former size and glory. The cause was never confirmed, but many believe the druids cursed the land in response to Oniga's conquering campaign. The effect escalated during the last year of the Oniga Sigrogana War and is a major reason why the Onigan Revolution occured.