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Know, O Shadow King, that between the years when the Messenger disappeared from the gleaming night skies, and the rise of the sons of Ledo, there was an age undreamed of by your humble servant, when shining city-states lay spread across the world like amber mantles beneath the stars—Urik, Raam, Draj, Gulg with its treetop dwellings and headhunter patrols, Balic that bordered on the bone-white waves of the Sea of Silt, Tyr whose wizards wore iron, silk, and gold. But the proudest city-state in the world was still Nibenay, reigning supreme in the Tablelands. Hither came Karadao the Malkan, black-haired, sullen-eyed, psicrystal at hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic mekillot zombies and gigantic girth, to tread the jeweled thrones of Athas under his sandalled feet.
p()>. ~The Cerulean Chronicles1

Welcome to the Tablelands in the Year of Mountain’s Fury in the 194th King’s Age. Dark Sun is a Dungeons and Dragons campaign setting originally created during 2.0. It was TSR’s first really non-Tolkien inspired campaign setting, using as inspiration instead the sword-and-planet fantasy worlds of Burroughs and others as well as many historical Earth cultures. Wizards of the Coast chose to not publish their own Dark Sun campaign information for 3.0 and 3.5, instead letting both The Burnt World of Athas and Paizo Publishing create separate (and not fully compatible) versions that were both “official” adaptations. This campaign uses a unique blend of the two, most obviously seen in the character creation guidelines.

The world of Athas hides many long lost secrets. Literacy is outlawed, so history is almost always passed down orally. All it would take is someone psionically powerful enough, and the proper bits of history can be expunged from the mental record. The saying goes that knowledge is power, so those who can unearth the long-burried secrets of Athas can become powerful indeed. To what ends will a man go to find just one? Theft? Murder? For some, even worse things are worth the prize they seek. Can anyone stop such person? Or should they try to beat him to the punch?


1 With appologies to the late Robert E. Howard for the parody of The Phoenix on the Sword

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