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The Dark Sun Atlas

What Is Dark Sun?

The world is a desert.

Vast salt flats and stony barrens extend beyond the horizon, baking beneath the oppressive heat of an ancient red sun, and even the fertile regions see little rain. Cities and villages are sparse, clinging to scattered oases and thin verdant belts throughout the region.

The world is savage.

Raiders, slavers, barbarians, cannibals, and vicious natural predators rule the wild places of Athas, and the city states are ruled over by sorcerer kings, immortal tyrants revered nearly as living gods.

Metal is scarce.

In this dying age, the planet has been stripped of all metal, and what remains is precious beyond comparison. Familiar weapons and armors have instead been crafted out of bone, stone, wood, obsidian, or even the hides, claws, scales, and chitins of the natural creatures of Athas.

Arcane magic defiles the world.

Arcane magic, an immeasurably powerful force, comes at a terrible cost. Casting such a spell drains power from the living world nearby, reduces plant life to a nutritionless ash, and wracks living creatures with crippling pain. This cost may be cancelled through the art of preserving, but such spells are weaker and slower than their defiling counterparts, and few sorcerers take the time required to learn the art.

Sorcerer kings rule the city states.

Immortal defilers of absolute power rule over the city states of the Tyr Region. Though rarely seen in public, these tyrants govern through priesthoods or police-states of power-hungry representatives, known as Templars, lesser defilers who have been gifted with a measure of their sorcerer king’s power.

The gods are silent.

Legend says that long ago, when Athas was still green, gods walked the earth and consorted with the mortal races. Whether these powerful creatures abandoned Athas of their own accord or were forced out in a more sinister fashion, they are now long gone, and the last remaining cults and religious sects have no special power and no large place in society. In the absence of the divine, psionic power is common, and even the lowliest natural creature may exhibit some measure of facility in the Way.

Fierce monsters roam the world.

The harsh environs of Athas breed only the hardiest of creatures. People ride on massive lizards, such as the inix or the house-sized mekillot, or flightless, featherless birds such as the crodlu or smaller erdlu. The desert plays home to baazrags, vicious id fiends, and elemental drakes of immense natural power.

Familiar races aren’t what you expect.

Elves roam the desert, running long distances in raiding parties or herding their wild herds. Halflings are vicious and xenophobic cannibals from the depths of the Forest Ridge jungles. Half-giants serve as brutal mercenaries or bodyguards, while the half-dwarf half-human muls are prized as powerful gladiators.

Geography of The Tyr Region

The Races of Athas

The Cosmology of Dark Sun

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