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    What is Dark Sun?

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    dhlevine
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    What is Dark Sun?

    Post by dhlevine on 2010-08-16, 09:42

    If you're new to the world of Dark Sun, you're in for a treat! Introduced with the 2nd Edition of D&D, Dark Sun takes place on the world of Athas - a desert world blasted by some ancient magical cataclysm. Here are a few quick basics, but this thread is for questions you may have about the setting.

    1. Arcane Magic Kills the World

    Arcane magic, on Athas, "defiles" the environment unless the caster is very disciplined and careful - plants turn to ash, the soil is depleted, and creatures writhe in agony. The world you know is now almost entirely desert, barrens, and silt, having long been drained dry by Defilers --- arcane practitioners who care nothing for the land. Some say there was a war, some say a mad crusade, some say it was just the inevitable pull of easy power and an incremental apocalypse. Most people now are too busy trying to survive to wonder much about it.

    2. Points of Light are Pretty Dim

    The centers of civilization are the seven great city-states: Balic, Nibenay, Gulg, Raam, Draj, Urik, and Tyr - your home. All but Tyr are ruled by Sorcerer-Kings, ancient defilers of immense -- some say omnipotent -- arcane and psionic power, backed up by their priesthood/enforcers, the Templars. The Sorcerer-Kings are benign only compared to the horrors of the wastes outside their walls - most people are slaves, and most of the rest little better than slaves. The Sorcerer-Kings even control history, sending out their Templars to claim and destroy any artifacts that might belie the myth that they have ruled forever.

    All except Tyr. Six months before the campaign's start, King Kalak of Tyr was slain in the middle of a terrible ritual. Now his chief Templar, Tithian, is trying to keep control in a fractious city... that is a world of opportunity for adventurers.

    3. Everything is the Same But Different

    Races are different, twisted by the environment of Athas. Many familiar faces can be found there, and they are echoes of the more common settings... but Elves are nomadic wanderers with little sense of honor and Halflings are cannibals who live in insular communities within the world's few remaining cliffside forests. There's too much to summarize here - check out the campaign setting or ask if you want to know how your favorite race is different.

    4. The Gods are Dead

    On Athas, the primordials won their war against the Gods and created the world in their savage image. There are no Clerics or Paladins... most people devote their spiritual lives to fearful worship of the sorcerer-kings, or awe of the raw elements.

    5. Everything is Scarce

    Especially metal. Weapons are likely to be made of bone or obsidian, and your fighter's plate mail may well be formed from a huge insect's chitin. Steel weapons are masterwork items of exceptional rarity.

      Current date/time is 2017-10-22, 18:59