You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Dark Sun  (Read 17478 times)

The Prophet of Misinformation

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Dark Sun
« on: April 05, 2012, 10:38:50 AM »

"For thousands of years, the Tablelands have remained untouched: its politics frozen in a delicate stalemate, its life in a balance even more delicate. It is true that the Dragon Kings amused themselves with their petty wars, rattling sabers to punctuate the passing of ages. It is true that, occasionally, another city would be swallowed by the wastes. But there were no surprises. The Dragon Kings steered everything from their omnipotent perches, content in their superiority, but ever thirsting for challenge. All that has changed. The Tablelands have been thrown into turmoil, the likes of which have not been seen since times forgotten. The Dragon Kings have been thrown into confusion, grasping for the tedium they so recently lamented.

And yet I fear the worst is yet to come. Change is in the air, and change has never come gently to Athas."
-- Oronis, Sorcerer King of Kurn



Athas’ savage, primal landscape is the result of long centuries of ecological and magical abuses. The world is dying. It breathes its last gasps as water turns to silt, grasslands become sandy wastes, and jungles decay into stony barrens. Still, life finds ways to endure even in these hellish conditions. In fact, it thrives. Children growing up beneath the crimson sun don’t aspire to become heroes. True heroes who champion causes or seek to make the world a better place are as rare as steel on Athas. Living to see the next dawn is more important than defending a set of beliefs, so survival ultimately motivates all living creatures—not virtue or righteousness.

Dark Sun is a setting atypical from its contemporaries; a broken realm of nihilistic tyranny and unrelenting misery for those too weak to survive its predations. It is a world of ignorance and hardship perpetuated by its would-be dragon gods, fearful of their master's return. There is no true escape from its hardships. Only to some the promise of surviving to the next morning to further suffer its endless, innovative cruelties. The following encapsulates its most pertinent elements:

Tone and Attitude - Athas puts the survival of the fittest concept to its fullest. Those who cannot adapt to endure the tyrannical sorcerer‐kings, the unrelenting sun, or the many dangers of the wastes will certainly perish. Illiteracy and slavery are commonplace, while magic is feared and hated. The term “hero” has a very different meaning on Athas.

A Burnt World - Thousands of years of reckless spellcasting and epic wars have turned Athas into a barren world, on the verge of an ecological collapse. From the first moments of dawn until the last twinkling of dusk, the crimson sun shimmers in the olive–tinged sky like a fiery puddle of blood, creating temperatures up to 150° F (65° C) by late afternoon. Waters is scarce, so most Athasians need to come up with alternative solutions for dealing with the heat or perish.

A World Without Metal - Metals are very rare on Athas. Its scarcity has forced Athasians to rely on barter and different materials, such as ceramic, to use as currency. It also hampers industrial and economic development as well; mills and workshops rarely have quality tools to produce everyday products. Even though most Athasians have developed ways of creating weapons and armor made of nonmetallic components, but the advantage of having metal equipment in battle is huge.

A World Without Gods - Athas is a world without true deities. Powerful sorcerer‐kings often masquerade as gods but, though their powers are great and their worshipers many, they are not true gods. Arcane magic require life force, either from plants or animals, to be used. All divine power comes from the Elemental planes and the spirits of the land that inhabit geographic features.

Planar Insulation - Barriers exist between Athas and other planes. In the case of other planes of existence, the Gray impedes planar travel, except to the Elemental Planes. Consequently, travel via spelljamming is impossible, and planar travel is much more difficult. The same holds true for those trying to contact or reach Athas. The barrier formed by the Gray impedes travel in both directions.

The Struggle For Survival - The basic necessities of life are scarce on Athas. This means that every society must devote itself to attaining food and safeguarding its water supply, while protecting themselves from raiding tribes, Tyr–storms, and other city‐states. This essentially means that most Athasian must devout a large deal of their lives just to survive.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 04:19:01 PM by EO »
"The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts in the hour of danger."
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Dark Sun Characters in Ravenloft
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 05:06:20 PM »
Dark Sun Characters in Ravenloft

The following is an excerpt from the Forbidden Lore boxed set, Dark Recesses booklet, pages 22-28. You can scroll below to find more detailed information on playable races and classes from Dark Sun, which apply to Kalidnay.

The world of the DARK SUN game was undiscovered country when the RAVENLOFT game was first unveiled. Connections between Athas and Ravenloft are few and far between. However, it is possible for a Dark Sun character to end up in Ravenloft. The two environments are so alien to each other that such a character would feel lost and alone in the demiplane of dread. As for the demiplane itself, the inhabitants of Athas tend to be deliciously wild and vicious.

As a rule, the mood of Athas and that of Ravenloft are not very compatible. Ravenloft is an environment in which the character is drawn into a web of supernatural evil. By contrast, Athas is a ruthless world where self-preservation is a monumental task. Since the horror of Ravenloft is best presented in contrast to innocence or purity, it is difficult to work with DARK SUN characters. They are already hardened to the harsh lessons of life and don't scare easily. This doesn't mean that DARK SUN characters should never journey to the demiplane of dread. It merely means that it is a difficult task to draw gothic horror out of the world of Athas.

Role-Playing: The cultures of Athas and those of Ravenloft are dramatically different. The clothes people wear, the way they speak, their attitudes and values all differ greatly. It is virtually impossible for a DARK SUN character to disguise himself as a native in most Ravenloft domains.

The use of psionics is commonplace in Athas. Characters from that land would not think twice about using their powers for ordinary purposes. Of course, the populace of most domains would label such characters as wizards. It would also be puzzling to the Athasian that few of the people of Ravenloft seem to use psionics.

Something as simple as water creates a large cultural gap. To an Athasian, wasting water is a grievous sin. Seeing a barmaid washing a floor with a bucket of water rather than just sweeping it would be shocking. The sight of a river or pond would produce wonder or awe. The sight of an ocean would be overwhelming. Damp cold, like mist or snow, are completely foreign to a character from Athas. He would have no concept of what this substance is. As a result, it would probably frighten him.

On a smaller scale, it is quite likely that spitting would be considered a grave insult to an Athasian. Crying would be the ultimate expression of sorrow, reserved only for extreme situations. An Athasian might cause quite a stir with his willingness to drink just about anything liquid.

Another simple difference is in the types of animals that are present. Horses are unknown on Athas. An Athasian is likely to assume that it is a wild animal that can be killed for food. Riding one is certain to be an alien concept. Most farm animals would also be strange and confusing to the Athasians. Athasian mounts, such as the crodlu or kank, would cause panic in most any town in Ravenloft.

In Ravenloft, plant life, particularly forests, are plentiful. Black soil that is moist with water would be quite strange to most Athasians. The halflings would be best suited to this environment, since it resembles their jungles. Along with the flora, Ravenloft has much more plentiful animal life.

Players are encouraged to role-play their sense of wonder and fear at their new surroundings.

Mists and Mirages: Fogs and mists are unheard of in Athas. When Ravenloft intrudes upon this land of sand and desert heat, it is in the form of a mirage. The doomed characters see a shimmering image of vast stretches of water and lush green trees. Even if they flee, the mirage rolls over them. The characters all succumb to heat stroke, no saving throws. When they awaken, they are in Ravenloft.

Fear and Horror Checks: Characters from Athas are more used to seeing scenes of violence and horror in their daily lives. As a result, they get a +2 bonus to all fear checks and a +1 bonus to all horror checks.

Races of Athas: For the most part, the racial abilities of the people of Athas are unaffected by the laws of Ravenloft. There are some common sense rules that must be followed. For example, the half-elven ability to befriend an animal is obviously limited by the choice of animals in the area.

Some of the races will be shunned by most people in Ravenloft. The demiplane of dread is primarily a land of humans. The sight of a half-giant or thri-kreen in most domains is likely to cause panic. Unfortunately, there is no way to disguise their alien nature. Unless the rules for a particular domain specify otherwise, half-giants and thri-kreen will be treated as monsters by the populace.

Character Classes: Most of the character classes in the DARK SUN game are common to other D&D campaigns. The exceptions are the gladiator, the templar, the defiler and the preserver. As a result, most of the character classes are not affected by the insidious twists of Ravenloft. Unless otherwise noted, the character class alterations in the RAVENLOFT rules also apply to the Athasian equivalents.

 :arrow: Fighters, Rangers, Gladiators, Specialty Wizards, Rogues, and Bards: These character classes all follow the rules given in the DARK SUN setting, with any restrictions described in the RAVENLOFT setting.

 :arrow: Defilers: This character class is unique to Athas. Although in most respects a defiler is just a normal mage, he destroys the environment with his spellcasting. Every time a defiler casts a spell in Ravenloft, it has the environmental effect described in the DARK SUN setting rules. Knowingly destroying the land like this is cause for a Ravenloft powers check. Essentially, every time a defiler casts a spell, he must roll a Ravenloft powers check!

Normally the percentage for the Ravenloft powers check is left up to the judgment of the game master. For greater consistency, a simple rule is that the percentage chance equals half the level of the spell, rounded down. For example, a 3rd-level spell gives a 1.5% chance, rounded down to a 1% chance. Casting a 1st-level spell is safe, since rounding down leaves a 0% chance for the Ravenloft powers check. The defiling effects of the 1st-level spell are minor enough that the Dark Powers ignore the casting.

If the spell description in the RAVENLOFT rules calls for a powers check, then the defiler suffers from double indemnity. Rather than roll a Ravenloft powers check twice, double the odds and roll once. No spell or condition ever has more than a 5% chance to fail a Ravenloft powers check.

 :arrow: Preservers: Unlike their opposites, preservers do not risk Ravenloft powers checks just for casting spells. They operate under all the normal restrictions for the wizard class in Ravenloft.

 :arrow: Templars: These characters are treated like clerics and continue gaining their powers, even if they are no longer on Athas. How a sorcerer-king continues granting powers beyond the mists is a mystery best pondered in-game.

 :arrow: Clerics: Since the clerics of Athas derive their magic directly from the Elemental Planes that they revere, their spellcasting abilities are unaffected in Ravenloft. The Ravenloft rules for turning and dispelling undead take precedence over the Athasian rules.

A cleric of Athas still turns undead using his elemental powers. He has no holy symbol, but he can use water, fire, dirt, or a breath to make his turning attempt. This will come as quite a surprise to many self-willed undead used to seeing clerics holding ornate holy symbols.

 :arrow: Druids: The druid in Athas is connected to a particular place -- a grove, oasis, cave, etc. Once drawn into Ravenloft, the druid is cut off from the spirit of his guarded lands. As a result, he loses his spellcasting ability. If the druid genuinely believes that he is forever imprisoned in Ravenloft, he can forsake his guarded lands and look for a spirit of the land to serve in a domain in Ravenloft.

Such spirits of the land do not have to be evil. There are forces in the demiplane of Ravenloft that resist the influence of the darklords. Unfortunately for the druid, many of the spirits associated with the land are evil. It may take a long time to find a suitable spirit. Once the druid has established a new guarded land, his movement is restricted. He can travel anywhere in the domain where his guarded lands are located. Anytime he is removed from the domain, he is cut off from the spirit of the lands and loses his spellcasting ability. It returns immediately once he returns to the domain, but he must rememorize his spells for the day.

Guarded lands in a domain can be dangerous for the druid. The darklord of the domain feels the loss of the lands immediately, since he loses any control he once had over the land and the creatures there. Depending upon the darklord and his goals and desires, he may decide to confront the druid. So long as the druid is alive and in that domain, the guarded lands are under his protection and cannot be commanded by the darklord. Knowing this, most darklords tend to kill Athasian druids who attempt to set up guarded lands in Ravenloft.

Metal: In Athas, metal is quite rare. It is highly likely that an Athasian character will be amazed at the vast quantities of metal that are available here. His first thought will be to buy up all the metal that he can get his hands on. The hope is that these pieces will go back to Athas with him, should he escape the demiplane of dread. The immediate problem with this plan is that the Athasian character is unlikely to be able to buy anything in Ravenloft. He probably enters the demiplane with a pittance for money. If he's like most characters, however, he will most likely steal what he needs rather than buy it.

Kalidnay: Kalidnay is a former city-state of Athas that has been drawn into the demiplane of dread. This domain can serve as a means to draw Athasian characters into Ravenloft.

Kalidnay is an "Island of Terror," a domain surrounded on all sides by the Mists and not connected physically to any other domains. The domain consists of a sandy desert island surrouned by the Sea of Silt. The largest settlement is the city of Kalidnay on the southern coast. On the northern end of the isle lies the village of Artan-ak. A dirt road leads from Kalidnay to the village. Surrounding the village are the best farmlands of the domain. The ruler of the domain is the sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma, but no one has seen him in decades. All official rulings and proclamations come from Kalid-Ma's chief templar, the female half-elf Thakok-An

The people of Kalidnay are typical representatives of any Athasian city. There is no noticeable difference in dress or customs. They revere the name of Kalid-Ma as a deity, but they refer to him as their sorcerer-king. The folk are unlikely to receive strangers from non-Athasian lands gracefully. Elves, dwarves, and other demihumans are seen as quite strange and different. Xenophobia runs high in Kalidnay.

In Artan-ak, there is a particular hatred of the city dwellers. In this smaller village, they believe that Kalid-Ma has been wrongfully usurped. Although they had no love for the sorcerer-king, they rightly blame all of their current problems on Thakok-An. Renegades and rebels are welcomed here with open arms. The underground in Artan-ak is very ineffective and riddled with spies.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 08:51:58 PM by EO »

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Map of Athas
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 05:14:24 PM »
Map of Athas
Spoiler: show

You can view a close-up interactive atlas of this map here:
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 04:16:32 PM by EO »

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Dark Sun Timeline
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 05:19:13 PM »
Dark Sun Timeline

King's Age Calendar/Timeline of Athas

King's Age Calendar
Y 1. Ral's Fury
Y 2. Friend's Contemplation
Y 3. Desert Vengeance
Y 4. Priest's Slumber
Y 5. Wind's Defiance
Y 6. Dragon's Reverence
Y 7. Mountain's Agitation
Y 8. King's Fury
Y 9. Silt's Contemplation
Y 10. Enemy's Vengeance
Y 11. Guthay's Slumber
Y 12. Ral's Defiance
Y 13. Friend's Reverence
Y 14. Desert's Agitation
Y 15. Priest's Fury
Y 16. Wind's Contemplation
Y 17. Dragon's Vengeance
Y 18. Mountain's Slumber
Y 19. King's Defiance
Y 20. Silt's Reverence
Y 21. Enemy's Agitation
Y 22. Guthay's Fury
Y 23. Ral's Contemplation
Y 24. Friend's Vengeance
Y 25. Desert's Slumber
Y 26. Priest's Defiance
Y 27. Wind's Reverence
Y 28. Dragon's Agitation
Y 29. Mountain's Fury
Y 30. King's Contemplation
Y 31. Silt's Vengeance
Y 32. Enemy's Slumber
Y 33. Guthay's Defiance
Y 34. Ral's Reverence
Y 35. Friend's Agitation
Y 36. Desert's Fury
Y 37. Priest's Contemplation
Y 38. Wind's Vengeance
Y 39. Dragon's Slumber
Y 40. Mountain's Defiance
Y 41. King's Reverence
Y 42. Silt's Agitation
Y 43. Enemy's Fury
Y 44. Guthay's Contemplation
Y 45. Ral's Vengeance
Y 46. Friend's Slumber
Y 47. Desert's Defiance
Y 48. Priest's Reverence
Y 49. Wind's Agitation
Y 50. Dragon's Fury
Y 51. Mountain's Contemplation
Y 52. King's Vengeance
Y 53. Silt's Slumber
Y 54. Enemy's Defiance
Y 55. Guthay's Reverence
Y 56. Ral's Agitation
Y 57. Friend's Fury
Y 58. Desert's Contemplation
Y 59. Priest's Vengeance
Y 60. Wind's Slumber
Y 61. Dragon's Defiance
Y 62. Mountain's Reverence
Y 63. King's Agitation
Y 64. Silt's Fury
Y 65. Enemy's Contemplation
Y 66. Guthay's Vengeance
Y 67. Ral's Slumber
Y 68. Friend's Defiance
Y 69. Desert's Reverence
Y 70. Priest's Agitation
Y 71. Wind's Fury
Y 72. Dragon's Contemplation
Y 73. Mountain's Vengeance
Y 74. King's Slumber
Y 75. Silt's Defiance
Y 76. EnemysReverence
Y 77. GuthaysAgitation

Timeline of Athas
1st World's Age (-14,630)
-Ral's Fury
Creation of the King's Age calendar by the nature-masters based on the rotation of Athas's two moons. Originally titled "World's Age." Original calendar uses "Ocean" instead of "Silt," and "Island" instead of "Desert."
4th World's Age (-14,322)
-Ocean's Slumber
Discovery of the nature-benders, corrupt nature-masters who experiment with life in immoral ways.
-King's Slumber
First appearance of elemental clerics on Athas.
-Enemy's Reverence
Evil elemental clerics form an alliance with the nature-benders.
7th World's Age (-14,091)
-Island's Agitation
War between the nature-masters and the nature-benders until Ral's Vengeance of this age. In the end, the nature-benders are defeated along with their cleric allies.
8th World's Age (-14,014)
-Ral's Defiance
Nature-masters of Ty'agi attempt to expand the lifeforce of the ocean and accidentally create the Brown Tide-which brings about the end of the Blue Age.
-Friend's Reverence
Surviving nature-masters create the Pristine Tower to destroy the Brown Tide. This action changes the sun from blue to yellow, destroying the halfling civilization and bringing about The Rebirth.
-Island's Agitation
The new races of The Rebirth - humans, gnomes, dwarves, elves, and others - appear across the face of Athas. Great cities such as Tyr, Bodach, and Guistenal are founded to house the new races. Last use of "Island" and "Ocean" on the World's Age Calendar. Beginning of the Green Age.
-King's Slumber
Ruler of the rhul-thraun, High Lord Rhan Thes-onel, leaves the Jagged Cliffs to locate any rhulisti remaining on Athas. He never returns.
-Guthay's Agitation
First use of psionic powers by the races of The Rebirth.
9th King's Age (-13,937)
-Ral's Fury
"World's Age" changed to King's Age by the rules of various cities. Dates remain the same.
-Ral's Vengeance
First reported sighting of the Messenger by a Tyrian astronomer. The comet appears every 45 years until the 190th King's Age/Enemy's Slumber when the cycle is mysteriously broken.
11th King's Age (-13,783)
-Enemy's Fury
Birth of Rajaat the War-Bringer.
55th King's Age (-10,395)
-Ral's Reverence
The thri-kreen of Athas, a previously thought unintelligent race, migrate from the Crimson Savanna to the Tyr Region. Though short-lived and alien in appearance, the thri-kreen possess great wisdom and insight. The current king of Tyr welcomes them with open arms. They give no reason for the migration.
66th King's Age (-9,548)
-Wind's Defiance
Mareet, ruler of Saragar, is visited by a time-traveler from the future. He tells the king an appending doom to Athas before disappearing. Obsessed with the warning, Mareet orders his most powerful psionicists to breach the time stream and determine the nature of the warning. They are later joined by a third psionicist.
-Desert's Slumber
The psionicists breach the time barrier and learn of the impending Cleansing Wars, Rajaat, and defiling magic. Mareet wants to warn all of Athas, but the psionicists disagree and take control of their leader. The three use their formidable powers to shield Saragar from the rest of the world. The Mind Lords are born.
78th King's Age (-8,624)
-Friend's Slumber
Current ruler of Urik persecutes the kreen and orders the death of all their kind in the city. Many thri-kreen across the land leave the cities to live in the wild. Migration of thri-kreen from the west comes to a halt.
81st King's Age (-8,393)
-Silt's Agitation
Rajaat arrives at the base of the Jagged Cliffs where he conduits experiments with the powers of life for the next 200 years.
84th King's Age (-8,162)
-King's Defiance
After nearly two centuries of experiments Rajaat discovers the basics of magic, but is nearly killed in the process. After recovering he leaves the Jagged Cliffs and travels to the Pristine Tower to refine the magic process, creating defiling and preserving magic. The Time of Magic begins.
87th King's Age (-7,932)
-Ral's Slumber
An unknown disaster befalls the city of Celik, which casts it into ruins. Survivors blame the ordeal on the reckless use of psionics.
123rd King's Age (-5,159)
-Wind's Fury
The feral halfling scout Too'lane discovers the Last Tree atop a mountain in the Forest Ridge. This ancient living artifact's location is kept secret by the halflings.
125th King's Age (-5,005)
-Guthay's Reverence
After three eons of study, Rajaat emerges from the Pristine Tower to teach magic to the Rebirth races. He teaches preserving magic openly, and defiling magic in secret to those of "questionable" character. For the next 1,500 years Rajaat studies how magic interacts with the Rebirth races, and decides that humans have the most potential of all to suit his needs.
134th King's Age (-4,312)
-King's Agitation
Rajaat begins a jihad against the preservers of Athas for the next thousand years. Preservers across the land go into hiding while fighting a losing battle against the followers of Rajaat.
144th King's Age (-3,542)
-Priest's Contemplation
Rajaat sends all but a few of his students away. Using the power of the Pristine Tower and the mysterious Dark Lens Rajaat creates his Champions.

Each Champion is ordered to eliminate one specific race from the face of Athas in an effort to bring about the return of the Blue Age. The Cleansing Wars begin.
147th King's Age (-3,311)
-King's Slumber
Sacha of Arala, 1st Champion of Rajaat eliminates the last of the kobolds from the face of Athas.
155th King's Age (-2,695)
-Ral's Defiance
Daskinor Goblin Death, 14th Champion of Rajaat exterminates the last goblin from the face of Athas
-Ral's Slumber
Wyan of Bodach, 12th Champion of Rajaat obliterates the last pixie from the land.
156th King's Age (-2,618)
-Friend's Contemplation
Uyness of Waverly (later known as Abalach-Re), 5th Champion of Rajaat slaughters the last of the orcs from the face of Athas.
160th King's Age (-2,310)
-Guthay's Defiance
Kalak, 2nd Champion of Rajaat kills the last of the ogres of Athas.
-Ral's Reverence
Gallard (later known as Nibenay), 6th Champion of Rajaat massacres the last of Athas's gnomes.

Keltis, Lizard Man Executioner arrives at Saragar despite the powers of the Mind Lords. The Mind Lord's cleverness hides the entire population of lizard men from the Champion, and he soon leaves the Last Sea.
-Desert's Reverence
The First Sorcerer orders the defiler Qwith to explore the workings of the Inner Planes as a possible means of power.
-Wind's Fury
The great cities of Ebe, Waverly, and Arala are swallowed by the expanding Silt Sea, though later it recedes from Waverly. The nearby city of Bodach is spared, but becomes surrounded by silt.
-Mountain's Vengeance
The warlord Irikos, the left hand of Rajaat, sacks the city of Bodach-but is killed at the conclusion of the battle. His sword (a creation of Rajaat's), the Silencer, is lost for 2,000 years.
161st King's Age (-2,233)
-Ral's Fury
Infuriated at her lack of progress, Rajaat turns research of the Inner Planes over to Qwith's subordinates. Shortly after an accident of unknown origins opens a gate to the Inner Planes, and obsidian flows across the land for hundreds of miles in each direction until the gate is closed by the Seventh Tree. Thousands die in the disaster.

Those killed by obsidian rise as undead through a mysterious power from the Inner Planes. Rajaat's servants arise as the rulers of this land, becoming powerful thinking undead wizards and psionicists. The Dead Lands are born.
-Silt's Agitation
All life across the obsidian plain is obliterated except for the Seventh Tree, which becomes immune to defiling magic. Soon after the undead defiler Gretch discovers necromantic magic to replace the loss of defiling magic.
Necromancer magic is born.
162nd King's Age (-2156)
-Friend's Reverence
Keltis (later known as Oronis), 10th Champion of Rajaat believes he exterminates the last of the lizard men. In reality several tribes survive, protected by the Mind Lords.
-Wind's Slumber
Tectuktitlay, 9th Champion of Rajaat destroys the last wemics on Athas.
163rd King's Age (-2,079)
-King's Vengeance
Myron of Yorum is replaced as Troll Scorcher by Manu of Deche, later known as Hamanu of Urik. He is given the sword the Scorcher, created by Rajaat, to complete his task.
164th King's Age (2,002)
-Friend's Contemplation
Hamanu, replaced 4th Champion of Rajaat, kills Windreaver-the last troll of Athas and king of his people.
-Desert Vengeance
Rkard, the last dwarven king of Kemalok, is slain by Borys of Ebe in mortal combat-though Borys himself is gravely injured. The Champion's attendants spirit him from the battlefield leaving his sword, the Scourge, still buried in the dwarf's chest. Before he can retrieve the sword, Hamanu tells Borys of Rajaat's true plans for Athas.

Becoming aware that Rajaat intends to wipe out all races except the halflings, Borys leads the Champions in a rebellion against their master-from which they emerged victorious. Rajaat's halfling servants are banished to the Black as punishment for siding with the War-Bringer. Despite their power, the children of Rajaat cannot destroy his mortal remains. Instead, Gallard separates the First Sorcerer's essence from his physical form, placing each in a separate location. Aided by the power of the Dark Lens, Gallard creates the Hollow, where he placed Rajaat's essence. Gallard then creates a cyst of enchanted stone called the Black Sphere in which he places Rajaat's substance. He then hides the Black Sphere in a location known only to him and Borys of Ebe. Sacha and Wyan, who remained loyal to their master, attempted to breach the cyst before it is hidden away. Their plan is discovered and they are beheaded by Borys.

Through the use of the Dark Lens, Borys rewards the remaining Champions by beginning their transformations into sorcerer-kings. This process links each of them to living vortices, which allows them to grant their followers clerical spells.

The Champions realize that Rajaat's prison will not hold. Even segmented, Rajaat's power is supreme and he would one day be free. Hence, the Champions once again used the Dark Lens to transform Borys into the Dragon, whose power would keep Rajaat imprisoned for all time.

Borys's transformation causes him to become temporarily insane, beginning a century of rampages across the land. In the confusion, two dwarven knights named Jor'orsh and Sa'ram steal the Dark Lens. The remaining sorcerer-kings each claim a city of Athas and barricade it from the rampaging Dragon.
-Friend's Fury
Lead by Abalach-Re of Raam, the sorcerer-kings storm Guistenal and kill Dregoth, Ravager of Giants just before he is to become a 30th-level Dragon. The battle destroys the city, the land, and most of its population. Afterwards, Hamanu throws the Scorcher into the Silt Sea.

With the aid of his high templar Mon Adderath, Dregoth is returned to life as an undead dragon king. The surviving populace is gathered soon after, and construction of New Guistenal begins.
165th King's Age (-1,925)
-Wind's Defiance
Borys emerges from his insanity and learns Rajaat's prison is on the verge of collapse. Soon after he collects a levy of 1,000 slaves from each sorcerer-king, using their lifeforce to reseal the First Sorcerer's prison on a yearly basis.
167th King's Age (-1,771)
-Ral's Agitation
In an attempt to increase her power, Sielba, Queen of Yaramuke attacks Urik. Hamanu easily defeats her army and personally slays the sorcerer-queen. On the heels of victory, Urik's army sacks Yaramuke and burns the city to the ground. To appease the Dragon's wrath for killing a sorcerer-queen, Hamanu presents Borys with a levy of Yaramuke's riches-which pleases the beast and spares Urik.
-Silt's Defiance
Borys uses the booty gained from Yaramuke to build Ur Draxa, which becomes the greatest city on all of Athas. At the center of the city Borys places the Black Sphere for him and his city to protect.
-Enemy's Reverence
The sorcerer-kings call for a jihad against the druids of Athas. For the next three centuries the blood of druids across the land stains the sands red in what would be known as the Eradication.
168th King's Age (-1,694)
-Desert's Fury
After years of study Dregoth finally deciphers halfling records found in the caverns beneath Guistenal. The end result is the creation of the first generation dray, which Dregoth deems a failure and banishes to Kragmorta.
-Friend's Defiance
The thri-kreen prophet Ka'Cha begins the first of several journeys across the Tablelands to spread the word of peace and enlightenment to the thri-kreen, as well as other races.
-Guthay's Agitation
After several more failures Dregoth succeeds in his experiments, and the second generation of dray are created in his own image.
170th King's Age (-1,540)
-Guthay's Slumber
Dregoth, Ravager of Giants, discovers the planar gate. After a decade of research, he uses the device to travel the Outer Planes of existence for the next 19 centuries.
-Wind's Slumber
After being nearly wiped from the face of Athas, the remaining druids of the land go into hiding for the next 1,000 years to a secret location in the Forest Ridge.
171st King's Age (-1,463)
-Silt's Reverence
Daskinor Goblin Death slips into insanity following this year's levy, and builds an army to slay the Dragon upon his return the following year. Borys learns of his plot, and not needing the levy to maintain Rajaat's prison never returns.
Keltis, Lizard Man Executioner, has an attack of conscience and denounces being a sorcerer-king. Over the next centuries he strives to become something more noble. Because of the actions of nearby Daskinor, Borys never returns to Kurn and both cities become isolated from the rest of Athas.
174th King's Age (-1,232)
-King's Contemplation
In an effort to increase his power, Kalid-Ma attempts to further his dragon metamorphosis to a power near that of Borys of Ebe. The attempt is successful, but his mind is destroyed in the process. The dragon that was Kalid-Ma destroys his city of Kalidnay and begins to move into the rest of the Tyr region. The creature is later slain by the combined efforts of Borys of Ebe, Kalak of Tyr, and Hamanu of Urik.

With the loss of Kalidnay, the levy to keep Rajaat imprisoned becomes a firm 1,000 slaves from the seven remaining sorcerer-kings.
177th King's Age (-1,001)
-Guthay's Reverence
A powerful Druid named Tehnik creates the four artifacts known as the Hearts of the Drake, and dies in the process.
179th King's Age (-857)
(Silt's Defiance
Tarandas of Raam, a powerful psionicist and teacher throughout the Tyr Region, disappears without a trace. Her students insist she has ventured beyond her mastery of the Way into realms unseen by lesser beings.
183rd King's Age (-539)
-Guthay's Fury
With the aid of a wizard named Besteren, Oronis (formerly known as Keltis) develops the preserver metamorphosis spell to counter Rajaat's vile magic. The spell nearly kills him, but in the end Oronis emerges as Athas's first avangion.
184th King's Age (-462)
-King's Fury
Oronis gives the preserver metamorphosis spell to a preserver/psionicist named Nerad, who becomes Athas's second avangion.
-Wind's Fury
After revealing himself to the Veiled Alliance of Tyr, Nerad is discovered by King Kalak-who in turn contacts the Dragon. Borys later kills Nerad south of Tyr. In his grief, Oronis hides all copies of the preserver metamorphosis spell.
187th King's Age (-231)
-Ral's Vengeance
The Silencer is uncovered by an elf named Rimmon in the ruins of Bodach, who uses its power to lead her bandit tribe against the city-state of Balic. She is easily defeated by Andropinis, but the Silencer is again lost.
189th King's Age (-77)
-Mountain's Slumber
The Obsidian Man is discovered in the mines of Urik. After returning the artifact to Urik, the sinister device activates and nearly kills Hamanu before he learns to control it with a golden circlet.
-King's Defiance
An unnamed psionicist discovers the presence of the psurlons, a powerful psionic race of worm-like creatures, on the Astral Plane. With their own world being destroyed a millennia before, a few psurlons migrate to Athas where the psionic nature of the world makes them potent enemies.
-Enemy's Agitation
The Scorcher is recovered from the belly of a silt horror by an ex-gladiator named Vorr. Soon after Vorr disappears in the Valley of Trevain.
-King's Agitation
Andropinis of Balic fails to come up with 1,000 slaves for the year's levy, presenting the Dragon with only 900. In his anger Borys levels a portion of the city and takes the remainder levy from among Andropinis' templars. For the next several years the sorcerer-king of Balic does extensive slave raids across the southern Tablelands to rebuild his slave population so this would never happen again.
190th King's Age
-Friend's Vengeance
A templar of Urik removes the golden circlet from the head of the Obsidian Man, which animates and kills him. The artifact is later traced through the streets of Urik, but disappears into the desert.
-Desert's Slumber
After years of investigation into the death of Nerad, a preserver/psionicist named Korgunard learns of Oronis of Kurn. Though reluctant to have another death on his hands, Oronis gives him the preserver metamorphosis spell-but does not allow him to retain a copy.
-Priest's Defiance (Free Year 1)
King Kalak of Tyr is slain by the Heartwood Spear through the combined efforts of Rikus, Agis, Neeva, Tithian, and Sadira. Tithian becomes the next king of Tyr and frees all slaves. Tyr adopts the Free Year calendar.
-Wind's Reverence (Free Year 2)
Hamanu of Urik send his army to capture the iron mines of Tyr from the upstart king. In response Rikus forms the Crimson Legion and defeats the approaching army while wielding the Scourge of Rkard and the Belt of Kings. Afterwards Rikus takes the Crimson Legion to sack Urik in search of the Book of Kemalok Kings, but is defeated by Hamanu himself. The Crimson Legion is destroyed, though a few survived. Rikus returns the Belt of Kings to Kled, but is told to keep the Scourge. King Andropinis pays an extra 1,000 slaves to make up for Tyr's share of the levy.

Aided by the Veiled Alliance of Urik, Korgunard becomes Athas's third avangion.
-Dragon's Agitation (Free Year 3)
In an effort to protect Tyr from the Dragon, Sadira seeks out the Pristine Tower and its ancient magic. In return for her pledge to slay the Borys of Ebe the shadow giants of the Pristine Tower transform her into the Sun Wizard, giving her power akin to that of a sorcerer-king.

Avoiding Tyr, the Dragon attempts to take his yearly levy from the dwarven city of Kled. In the end he is driven off by Sadira and Rikus bearing his old sword the Scourge. During the battle Neeva gives birth to her mul son Rkard, named for the dwarven king who battled Borys 2,000 year ago.

For the next several years King Tithian of Tyr secretly supplies the Dragon with a levy of 1,000 slaves captured from outlying villages.
-Mountain's Fury (Free Year 4)
The ancient artifact the Psionatrix is activated by the Order, a powerful organization of psionic purists, nullifying psionics across the Tablelands and causing thri-kreen to be driven into an insane frenzy.

The avangion Korgunard is slain while trying to convince members of the Order to deactivate the Psionatrix. One of the members, a halfling named Pakk, consumes the avangion's remains.

Deep within the recesses of the Dragon's Crown, the Psionatrix is deactivated and several members of the Order are slain. The remains of the artifact mysteriously disappear.
-Silt's Vengeance (Free Year 6)
Led by Queen Trinth, the Githyanki of the Astral Plane discover a way to safely breaches the Gray and invaded Athas from the Black Spine mountains. The githyanki's plans are foiled by a group of heroes that travel through the portal and kill the queen. With Trinth dead, the portal collapses.
-Enemy's Slumber (Free Year 7)
The comet known as the Messenger fails to appear at the prescribe time, and many across the Tablelands take it as a sign of a forthcoming doom.
-Ral's Reverence (Free Year 9)
Armed with information stolen from the dwarves of Kled, Tithian learns of the location of the hidden Dark Lens-with which he can become a sorcerer-king. Agis of Asticles catches up with him and reluctantly aids him in his quest. After the pair retrieve the Dark Lens, Tithian kills Agis.
-Friend's Agitation (Free Year 10)
Dregoth returns to New Guistenal from the Outer Planes with aspirations of becoming a god. Unsure of the condition of Athas he sends his templars to the surface to learn the state of the Tyr region, learning too late the events that lead to the death of several fellow Champions.

Sadira kills Abalach-Re with the broken tip of the Scourge of Rkard on the Ivory Plain. The sorcerer-queen's body is completely consumed by a black ooze leaking from the broken tip.

Rikus of Tyr breaks the Scourge of Rkard a second time, this time in the snout of the Dragon. The sword again issues forth a black ichor that completely consumes Borys of Ebe.

Tithian uses the Dark Lens to free Rajaat's substance from the Black Sphere, causing his essence to also be released from the Hollow. After 2,000 years of imprisonment the First Sorcerer is once again free. The result of escaping his prison destroys much of Ur Draxa in a grand explosion.

In the ruins of Ur Draxa Rajaat battles his former Champions. Rajaat imprisons Andropinis of Balic in the Black, then grabs the Dark Lens from Tectuktitlay of Draj and crushes the sorcerer-king's skull. The remaining Champions scatter while Sadira steals the Dark Lens and heads for the Ring of Fire.

Sadira of Tyr discovers that the key to Rajaat's defeat is his shadow, which gives him substance. Using the Dark Lens, the young Rkard casts a sun spell it magnifying its power ten-fold. The resulting brilliance obliterates Rajaat's shadow and sends his essence back to the Hollow, while his body is boiled away by the heat of the spell.

Having been in contact with the Dark Lens as Rkard cast his spell, Tithian becomes mystically connected to the Black and Rajaat's elemental nature.

The result is Tithian becoming the Cerulean Storm. Sadira tosses the Dark Lens and the Scourge into the Ring of Fire, placing powerful wards around it so that no one can obtain the artifact and once again free the First Sorcerer.

As Rkard's spell lights up the sky, a great earthquake rocks the Tyr Region. The full force of the quake is centered west of the Tablelands beyond the Ringing Mountains. The resulting quake creates the Great Rift, a passage leading to the Crimson Savannah of the Kreen Empire.
-Desert's Fury (Free Year 11)
The Wanderer discovers the lost halflings, the rhul-thaun, of the Jagged Cliff.
-Priest's Contemplation (Free Year 12)
After leaving the Jagged Cliffs, the Wanderer travels north and learns of the Last Sea. There he discovers the bizarre land of the Mind Lords. The Coruscation begins, the Day of Light prophesied by the dray when the blood of a thousand unbelievers runs in rivers at the feet of Dregoth. This sign is to bring about the coming of a new age where Dregoth is supreme.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 04:16:54 PM by EO »

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Extinct Races
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 07:32:53 PM »
Extinct Races

The following common D&D creatures/races are extinct on Athas and thus unknown to characters native from there:

Pixies/Nixies/Grigs/other faerie races
Livestock/farm animals (pigs, cows, chickens, geese, goats, etc.)
Mustelids (weasels, badgers, otters, wolverines, mink, skunks, etc.)
Hill, Mountain, Frost, Fire, Cloud and Stone Giants (there are new, different giants now living on Athas)
Standard D&D Dragons
Most hooved herbivores such as deer, moose, elk, giraffes, buffaloes, bison, etc.
Most fey races (dryads, sylphs, nymphs, etc.)
Most common birds like ravens, thrushes, finches, songbirds, pheasants, quail and the like
Wild boars
Arctic/Antarctic creatures
Mind Flayers
Rust Monsters

Lizardfolk and marine animals are only still alive and protected by the Mind Lords of the Last Sea, which very few Athasians are aware of, let alone have traveled to.

Animals such as crocodiles and amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, newts) live in the few swamps found in the Crimson Savannah, another area few Athasians have traveled to, although thri-kreen and Rhul-Thaun are familiar with that region.

Freshwater fish can be found in any place where clean, fresh water exists, but as this is a rarity on Athas, these creatures are a rarity as well.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 02:21:50 PM by EO »

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Playable Races of Athas
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2020, 02:11:30 PM »
Playable Races of Athas

While there are innumerable races on Athas, and multiple playable races in the PnP setting (including Half-Giants, Thri-Kreen, Pterrans, and others), only the following races are supported on POTM: Athasian dwarves, Athasian elves, Athasian half-elves, Athasian halfings, Athasian humans, Mul, Rhul-Thaun halflings, and tareks. They are described in greater details in our Subrace Roleplaying Resources and Lore thread.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2023, 01:29:23 PM by MAB77 »


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Playable Classes of Athas
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2020, 02:19:38 PM »
Playable Classes of Athas

All classes supported on POTM are available to characters of the Dark Sun setting. They are described in our Base Classes Roleplaying Resources and Lore thread. Psionic classes are not supported at this time.

Further details about Dark Sun supported classes are available in Dragon Magazine 319 and the Dark Sun Campaign Setting (AD&D). Information about Druids is taken from the AD&D version since the Dragon Magazine version diverged drastically from other Dark Sun sources.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2023, 03:05:53 PM by MAB77 »