geography

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Geography of Athas

Boulder Fields

Broken, jagged rocks dot these fields, creating a landscape rife with canyons, chasms, and cover. Be careful in these fields; the terrain makes them perfect for ambushes, Razorwings and packs of Jhakars use boulder fields to snag lost travelers who wandered too close to the mountains. At night, swarms of bats rise from the hidden nooks and crannies and take to wing to eat their fill of insect life. Due to the difficult terrain, the ease for ambush predators, and lack of naturally-occurring water or plant life, these areas are best avoided whenever possible. Luckily they are none too common, occurring mainly at the base of mountains and dormant volcanoes.
Speed Multiplier: 3/4
Forage DC Modifier: +2

Dust Sinks

An explorer’s greatest fear is finding a dust sink the hard way. The best-known dust sink is the Sea of SIlt. Winds from the sea blow silt, ash, dust, and other material across the plains, and they accumulate in depressions in the ground. Sometimes these are small depressions—you think you have solid footing and then you find you are up to your ankle in silt. Other times things are worse, and you find yourself sinking rapidly into silt. The largest dust sinks are found on the coast of the Sea, but smaller sinks, big enough to endanger a single creature at a time, are littered throughout Athas. Beware any terrain where the ground is lighter colored than its surroundings—a telltale sign of these dangers.
Speed Multiplier: 1/2
Forage DC Modifier: +2; Disadvantage

Mudflats

Rare formations on Athas, Mudflats are areas where there is a water table, and it is nearer the surface. Usually the mudflats are cracked, parched clay covered by dust, but occasionally they are wetter and nearer the surface; when this is the case numerous animals can be found in them, burrowing underground for water, and new vegetation can be seen taking advantage of the newfound water.
Speed Multiplier: 3/4
Forage DC Modifier: Advantage

Rocky Badlands

These areas can be mazes for those unaware. old, dried-up streambeds and ravines twist and turn their way through dry dirt; tall canyons and mesas that go on for miles add days to travels if there is no mapped route. Many are the unfortunate explorer who wandered through a canyon hoping to find a way out for days, running low on food and water, only to come to a dead end and face the tough choice of doubling back or scrambling up the hundred-foot canyon wall. These areas are common on Athas, and they are best avoided unless one is properly prepared for the peril and tedium.
Speed Multiplier: 1/2
Forage DC Modifier: +0

Salt Flats

Salt Flats are, in some ways, worse than any other type of terrain. These can stretch for days of travel, completely flat in either direction. Rare is the creature caught on the open salt flat, because daytime temperatures on the flats can reach fatal highs. Sun Sickness is doubly potent. A prepared explorer, however, can take advantage of the completely flat ground, high winds, and low beast content of the flats to make fast travel. It is this kind of travel that has caused the Ivory Triangle to prosper so much.
Speed Multiplier: 1
Forage DC Modifier: +2; Disadvantage

Salt Marshes

These shallow, ephemeral lakes form near salt flats or dust sinks. Most are small, but there are a few that extend for hundreds of miles. These marshes are occasionally called a Fool’s Paradise, for although they tempt a weary traveler with enough water to sustain them for days, the water is too salty and alkaline for most animals to drink. As a testament to this, many dead animals can be found on the shores of these marshes, their bones picked clean by kes’terkals. The only life that lives in salt marshes are the tough shrubs and trees that grow in them, the jankx that feed on the shrubs, and the insessent humming insect life.
Speed Multiplier: 3/4
Forage DC Modifier: +0

Sandy Wastes

Nothing is as monotonous as the Great Alluvial Sand Waste, but seveal of the lesser sand wastes give it a run for the money. Wastes are long plains of great dunes that change composition with the wind. On a still day, it appears as a long plain of rolling hills. On a windy day, you cannot see anything because of all the sand, and the ground becomes unstable and rolls like slow waves. Strong enough winds can whip the sand so harsh it scours flesh from bone. While flat sand wastes are easy to travel, duney sand wastes are worse, as travellers must climb tall dunes that shift under their weight, slowing travel considerably.
Speed Multiplier: 1-1/2
Forage DC Modifier: +0

Scrub Plains

These long savannas are hard dirt that contain some amount of plant life, although “life” is often too kind a word. Tough-growing weeds and sharp grass grow through the parched cracks of land, while scrawny trees grow here and there. Scrub plains are one of the rarest landforms on Athas, and exist mainly in areas where powerful primal guardians lay in wait to destroy defilers who would come to steal its life-force, or run off any Baazrag herd that wanders in looking for an easy meal.
Speed Multiplier: 1
Forage DC Modifier: -2; Advantage

Stony Barrens

Made of hard bedrock and red dirt, the stony barrens are the feature that gives the Tablelands its distinctive name and color. These rise as plateaus that can go on for miles at a time, and are perfect for desert traveling, as the hard ground offers little resistance to wagon wheel or foot heel. Better yet, cacti litter the barrens, as the clay that gives the dirt its distinctive coloration has excellent water retention. Be forewarned, however, that not all cacti is edible, and some is even predatory.
Speed Multiplier: 3/4
Forage DC Modifier: Advantage

geography

The Dying Sands of Athas muuphish