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The Dying Sands of Athas

Athas is a dying world. For ├Žons since the Cleansing War, the land has been bled dry of nutrients and life by the defilers, leaving only hard rock, barren sand, and endless silt.

Athas’ story is imbued with death. Long ago, when the gods first arose, they were struck down quickly by the elemental titans, who themselves would fade into memory ages later. With no gods, there was no one to stop Rajaat, the terrifying Master of Defiling, from teaching his dangerous artform to his Champions, who once they gained his power, destroyed him, and half the races of Athas.

Athas is a world clinging to the edge of life, with eight magnificent cities ruled by the despotic, immortal Champions of Rajaat. Rumors of rebellion and a changing tide ebb and flow each year, with nothing to show but broken hope and bones bleaching in the sand.

Do not waste your water on Athas; it is already dead.

Getting started? See the Character Creation Page to see how to get started on making a character to survive the world of Athas.

What to know about Dark Sun

1. Life is cheap, and death is commonplace, but the people of Athas are hardened by the harsh environment and ubiquitous violence. Very few die a venerable age. There is no place for the weak.
2. Metal is rare, and extremely valuable. A steel dagger will fetch more coin than the lives of a few slave laborers. Athasians have long-ago learned to improvise with tools and weapons of bone, obsidian and chitin, among others.
3. Arcane magic is outlawed and blamed for the slow death of Athas. Arcane energy is drawn from natural life, and centuries of careless defiling have drained away the world’s vitality, leaving the barren waste it is today.
4. Religion is dead, and gods are a myth of the ancient times. Clerics worship the elements, drawing divine powers from the spheres of earth, fire, water and air.
5. Psionics are common, and nearly every Athasian creature possesses inborn psionic talents. Few, however, can afford the intensive training required to master the powers of body and mind.
6. Morality is a luxury of the wealthy. ‘Evil’ and good’ are relative terms. Most do what they need to do, if only to survive just one more day.
7. And, always remember… it’s hot! Water is a precious commodity, as is shade, rest, and comfort.

The Dying Sands of Athas