While I am still sorting through the various entries in deciding for whom to cast my votes, I had a few thoughts to share.
Like most of the folks here, the living stone / pillar concept was quite nicely put together. And yes, it is true that some of the ideas are not fairly enough teased out.
That said: I think some of the comments about using real world geopolitical shorthand is perhaps a touch unfair, considering that there are highly artificial constraints placed upon the entires in terms of word length. Consider: If you really wanted unique architectural flairs for each of these main segments and were able to describe them, how much other space would there be left in the entry? I think in a "real world" submission where a country description would be accompanied by illustrations or by more space with which to flesh out some of the individual areas of interest would have solves this issue.
Of the entries I have read so far, this was the first I wished to comment on. Thank you for an intriguing central seed that separates out generic desert settings.
PS: Yes, I would vote for the 'kreen as well. gotta have your mantis warriors. :)