The Dying Sands of Athas
A Brief History of Athas
The Blue Age
Long ago, when Athas was covered in crystal-clear water and dense forests, the halflings ruled. Using their powerful psionic talents, they shaped the world, a world in which they were the only denizens. This lasted quite a long time, until the halflings began to experiment too much, and the world began changing. The sun changed, losing its yellow glow and gaining a dark crimson shade. The halflings retreated underground for a time, until they resurfaced to begin a new age.
The Green Age
Once the Sun had changed its color, the halflings resurfaced. They had found the sea had receded in places, and left massive forests. Renewed, the halflings began The Rebirth. Using their abilities, they gave birth to the multitude of races on Athas. As the new races emerged and began taking their seats around the world, the halflings began losing their civilization. Soon, the time of humans, dwarves, and elves rose to prominence while the halflings fell to obscurity.
The Time of Magic
No one knows where Rajaat came from, or what he was. Some say he was the First Dragon. Others say he was a halfling gifted with all the memories and abilities of all halflings who ever lived. No matter his origin, Rajaat was a force to behold. Rajaat was the first sorcerer of Athas, and began teaching his ability to others. Of those he taught, 13 had a special aptitude, and these he made his Champions.
The Cleansing Wars
Once Rajaat had his Champions ready, he put them to task: All demihumans would die so that the superior humans could thrive, and return Athas to the Blue Age. However, the Champions soon discovered the true intentions of Rajaat were the deaths of all non-halflings on Athas. Unhappy with this task, and realizing the plan was too far along to simply walk away, the Champions banded together and imprisoned Rajaat, so he could not finish his cleansing war.
The Age of Sorcerer-Kings
After Rajaat was trapped away from Athas, the Champions parted ways. Many of them either founded or captured a city-state to rule over. It was in these city-states that the newly-named sorcerer-kings would continue the destructive magical practices that began to drain Athas of its life-force during the Cleansing Wars. Instead of returning Athas to the Blue Age, Rajaat had run the death knell, and his former Champions, complacent with kingdoms to rule, subjects to serve, and power overwhelming, the tools of its destruction.