Athas. The scourged world. The desert world... The dying world ..
"This is my home: Athas. It is an arid and bleak place, a wasteland with a handful of bleak cities clinging precariously to a few scattered oases. It is a brutal and savage land, beset by political strife and monstrous abominations, where life is grim and short." - The Wanderer
Just What is Dark Sun?Dark Sun is a campaign setting for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It's not only a role-playing game, though. Even those who don't play AD&D can enjoy it, for there are several novels and computer games based on the campaign setting.
Dark Sun is set on the harsh, desert world of Athas. The is a dark crimson, dying orb. The heat from this crimson sun is relentless, reaching 130-150F before giving way to night. The landscape is equally harsh, as varied as it is deadly. Scattered throughout the deserts are towering mountains, vast obsidian plains, salt flats, jagged cliffs, and even stll a few forests.
If the landscape is strange and varied, the inhabitants are even more so. Not just your AD&D basics, the inhabitants of Athas are all somewhat different from their counterparts. Elves on Athas are not the passive, forest-dwelling types seen on other worlds; they are tall, strong runners that run across the dunes in large tribes. Halfings are forest-dwelling savages. Dwarves are hairless, a big difference from their bearded cousins in other settings. Even humans are often mutated in some way. In addition to the basic races, Dark Sun is home to muls (human/dwarf crossbreeds), half-giants, pterrans, the bird-like aarakocra, and alien, mantis warriors known as thri-kreen. And those are only a few of strange creatures that inhabit this desert wasteland.
On Athas, water is in worth its weight in gold. Of course, metals are also extremely valuable, as all metals are scarce on the desolate planet. People have been forced to turn to alternative materials such as bone, obsidian, and stone for making many things -even weapons- in the resource-depleted world.
Heroes are rare on Athas. For most people, it is far too difficult to survive to take the time to champion causes. Unfortunately, the dying world needs heroes desperately. Its future is uncertain, hanging in a delicate balance of hope and destruction. If the world is to survive, heroes must step forward and take action.
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