When the wallpaper contest said that they wanted to capture the "soul-shattering atmosphere" of Gears...
...I couldn't really think of anything worse than "Char." Here's a little bit of background from the Gearspedia-
"The Char was a large area, encompassing an estimated 75% of the land on Sera.
When the COG realized the advance of the Locust couldn't be stopped by conventional means, they utilized the Hammer of Dawn to enact a 'Scorched Earth' policy, destroying key targets they believed the Locust might be able to take advantage of. This was done in the hope that by denying the locust the use of critical facilities, their advance would be slowed or halted altogether. Huge areas of Sera's surface were scorched by the Hammer of Dawn strikes. Towns and cities were either completely vaporized or turned to ash by the intense heat of the particle weapon.
Inhabitants of civilian centers were given advanced warning of the tactical Hammer of Dawn strikes. They were given approximately 3 days to evacuate to Jacinto and escape the oncoming strikes. While some managed to leave and reach Jacinto in time, countless millions were left behind. This has become the ultimate symbol of the Locust-War. The region was littered with the remains of the people caught in the Hammer of Dawn counterattack, who remained in ashes, trapped in their final moments."