Beyond the Tablelands


#1

How much of Athas is known, in official sources? And unofficilly, how large did you do the planet?


#2

Well, here is a map compilation I was directed to in another post. I hope it helps http://ds.daegmorgan.net/


#3

In “official” sources, geographically; the Tablelands, the Ringing Mountains and Forest Ridge, the Crimson Savannah, the Hinterlands, portions of the Southern Wastes, the Forgotten North, the Dark Lands, and the Sea of Silt. Beyond these, it is all speculation and imagination.

Here are two great (fan-made) maps:
http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/darksun/images/e/e8/Athas_map.jpeg/revision/latest?cb=20131005234711


#4

I looked at an online version of that map ( http://digitalwanderer.net/darksun/ ). All the listed Tohr-Kreen cities show up as being on the fringes of the Kreen Empire. Just how big is the Kreen Empire?

Also, what is in the opposite direction, to the east of the tablelands?

If you have any actual information on this, that would be very interesting. As it stands, however, this is how I would answer the questions I just asked is I were DMing. I would say that the Kreen Empire actually stretches to cover most of the planet’s surface. The reason I say this is because Athas used to be covered in water during the Blue Age. After the Brown Tide and the dawn of the Green Age, much of the water formally held in the area now called the Crimson Savannah had evaporated, leaving a vast expanse with the equivalent properties of the sea of silt. The rebirth races, having the advantage of already having a civilization, immediately took all the dry land for themselves, colonizing the tablelands. The Kreen were pushed off into the silt regions. When the silt settled and life began, the Kreen began building an empire. At the same time, Rajaat began first the preserver Jihad, then the Cleansing Wars, and then the tablelands fell. When more water evaporated, the Silt Sea became what it is now. That part of the original ocean had been deeper than what is now the Crimson Savanah, so it evaporated later. But the Kreen required little food or water in any case, so they continued to thrive.

Thus, the Kreen Empire is still massive. The bit of it we can see are actually just outposts for a coming invasion of the tablelands. The tablelands terminate into the jagged cliffs to the north and to the south, but the jagged cliffs end where the boarder of the sea of silt begins. The Rhul-Thuans have settlements all along the Jagged Cliffs, which are all in communication with each-other, forming a large halfling nation. The core of the Kreen Empire is on the opposite side of the Silt Sea. The Silt Sea meets the Jagged Cliffs shortly north of what is visible on the map, and the half the map’s length south.

In this large southern bulge to the west of the Dead Lands is, (if you will indulge me for a moment) a small civilization of elves. They are the remains of an elven civilization whose capital was in the dead lands, and who have had to make do. There are no humans, dwarves, or common halflings among them, nor are they good runners like their cousins. In fact, they believe that the apocalypse that hit their home killed the rest of the rebirth races. They still maintain to old psionic traditions, and even though they do not have mind lords like Saragar, the common citizen actually has more psionic training than most others on the tablelands. The average elf citizen has at least one level in psionic adept. Their favored class is Erudite (from the Complete Psionic), and instead of Elf Run, they gain 9 racial psionic power points and the ability to manifest the Metaconcert and Mindlink powers as a psion of their effective character level (in the case of Metaconcert, they gain it when they are capable of manifesting powers of 5th level or higher). This is because these elves have chosen a different adaptation than most others to deal with their enviroment, that is, they have turned to communal psionics, copying the Chat-Tho of the Kreen. They are aware of the the Kreen, and are even aware of the difference between the barbaric Kreen to their north and the civilized Kreen to their West and South. They also know of the Rhul-Thuans, Bvavnen, and s’thag zagath, but are unaware of all other races. They remember how to create Guardian Orbs, but only subject Kreen and s’thag zagath to the process. They have no cities, just a scattering of large fortified villages. Much of their armor is created out of the chitin of Kreen, and is often psionically enhanced.

Anyways, that’s my idea.


(Jacob) #5

http://ds.daegmorgan.net/
These maps aren’t canon, but are interesting to say the least. The old supplement that pitted you against the Dragon in Valley of Dust and Fire had a peek at the east coast and in 2e it explains how big the silt sea is and that the Ringing Mountains encompass it. But could this be wrong? Maybe.
Food for thought:
The Lask come into the region of the Barrier Wastes from somewhere. Perhaps west from the northern reaches of the Crimson Savannah. Maybe? Or Maybe they come from a different area entirely. Are there any maps of the Forgotten North?
Another thing is that we don’t see much of the Crimson Savannah, even the Kreen may not know how far it ends.
Maybe a former sorcerer king or queen (Sielba) or a former champion (Myron) were exiled there or ran away. I think Myron may have been spared and forced across the then sea into exile before a possible primordial turned the sea into silt to get back at the Champions(maybe?). And Sielba could have escaped and relocated?


#6

So, from what I read, the Silt Sea was a defiling radius?
I just read up on the Lask. perhaps they have their own culture to the far west. Maybe they are even at war with the Kreen Empire. After all, the description seemed to imply that the ones normally encountered were lone travelers, perhaps exiles.

The adventure you sited seems to imply that their is an empire of great riches at the far side of the Silt Sea. Plot twist: it’s the Lask empire. Perhaps they are modeled off of a fallen version of a composite oriental culture with a very rigid social structure. The ones commonly seen are those who rebel against that structure.

Myron is dead. Killed by Hammanu. I don’t know what happened to Sielba.

A thought on Sielba. If she is still alive, she could be a sort of great enemy of the Lask empire. Let’s say she becomes a shadow shifter like in Legends of Athas. She could become a shadowy enemy like Fu Leng from Legend of the Five Rings. She could have shadowy allies such as wraiths and shadows, and an army of templars with the Shadow and Madness domains. On the other hand, the Lask could have Shugenja, like those in Oriental Adventures. The tone would have to be adjusted slightly, but I could imagine they could have developed a formalized version of elemental magic. perhaps their emperor made a pact on the behalf of his kingdom to allow them that power.

Their enemies would be the Kreen Empire. The Kreen have more advanced psionics and combat procedures, and their Zik-Chil use lifeshaping (nature bending). However, they actually lack a central authority. The Kreen are ruled by the Zik-Chil, who influence the whole by terrifying the clan leaders into submission. They want to capture the Lask as test subjects.

The Lask Empire (according to me) originally was a collection of primitive tribes of Lask wandering the far east of the crimson savanna. they often came into contact with the Kreen, who had already formed an empire, but they had none. All that changed when Sielba came. Sielba had recently been disgraced in her attempt to destroy the Pterrans. She left before the other Champions betrayed Rajaat out of fear of reprisal, and began to study Shadow Magic. Eventually, she developed enough power to become a Shadow Shifter. She set herself down near the tribe, far away from her enemies. She took one tribe and transformed them into her personal servants, the Siel, shadowy versions of Lask similar to Shadow Giants in form and Dray in creation. This tribe began attacking the other tribes with impunity.

Prior to this point the Lask did not even have a name. Then the leader of one of the tribes named Lask formulated a plan. He knew of a coven of Drake Guardians who worshiped and served a quartet of True Drakes. He went to the cult to ask for an audience with the Drakes. In desperation, he pleaded with the drakes to lend his tribes the power to halt the advance of the Siel. the Drakes agreed, as Sielba’s existence was harming the power of the elements. However, they asked for the loyalty of his clan and of all other clans of his kind, and a rejection of the paraelements. Lask agreed, and his tribe was granted the powers of a Shugenja. Lask drove back the Siel into the Dark Lands (so called because the Black had leaked into it), and established his empire. Now he and his descendants had the power to grant the power of Shugenja to anyone in the Drake’s names.

Not all Lask liked the new order. they sought a land to the east in which they could live their primal existence.


(Jacob) #7

The adventure you sited seems to imply that their is an empire of great riches at the far side of the Silt Sea.

Eh Really? I didn’t see anything of the sort?

Hamanu killed Myron? Maybe, or maybe that’s what everyone thinks. Hamanu still has honor, so maybe Myron is out that way. The Lask probably are north of the Crimson Savannah. Perhaps there is an archaic half ling city in the far east. I do think you got good ideas.

Sielba may be west or east, but I don’t think she is done for.


#8

It said so in the description of the Silt Sea. It’s very early on. It could have been referring to Ur-Draxa, though.

I’m thinking that anything that far from the tablelands would likely have no knowledge of arcane magic, and would not have any experience with Advanced Beings. Thus, Sielba would be terrifying on at least 2 accounts.

I’m thinking the Lask empire would be very repressive. They would kill anyone suspected of being a paraelemental cleric or templar of Sielba, often without evidence. Shugenja would fill the role that Templars fill in administration and oppression of the people, yet they would be doing it to preserve the fragile natural balance. They would be what would happen if Druids ruled an empire.

For the Kreen, I imagine that their Chat-Tho would produce a religion of sorts closer to the heart of the empire. I imagine they would have shaman-like ardents. Their focus on ancestral memory would trigger very focused psionic states akin to mantles. Ardents can choose any number of mantles, but the Kreen would likely choose from Conflict, Consumption, Guardian, Elements, Life, Knowledge, Natural World, and Mental Tower. Shugenja, of course, choose from among the elements, and Sielba (as mentioned before) grants the Shadow and Madness domains. That would be religion for Crimson Savanna.

To become a shugenja, the emperor must lay his hands upon the subject and invoke the pact with one of the four drakes. Then one level of any given NPC class in converted into the first level of shugenja. The emperor or the given Drake can revoke this power, though in the case of the emperor he must lay his hands upon him again.

Sielba’s realm, the Dark Lands, would be permeated by the black. In effect, all spells using the Black as a power source would be treated as if in one “terrain” better. The area also has developed the following planar features related to the Black: Cold Aligned, Enhanced Shadow Magic, and Impeded Light Magic. Natives of the Black, especially Psishadows, are particularly common, leading to the local myth that the land transforms travelers into living shadows (it’s actually the Psishadows who do this).

Civilized Lask:
+6 Str, +4 Con, -2 Cha.
Medium size. Lasks have neither benefits nor penalties due to size.
Lask base speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Racial Hit Dice: Lask characters start with two levels of humanoid (lask), which gives them 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base save bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +0.
Racial Skills: A lask‘s humanoid Hit Dice give it (2 + Intelligence modifier) x5 skill points and their class skills are Climb, Hide, Listen and Spot. Note that lasks do not receive the x4 modifier when taking their first class level.
A lask‘s humanoid levels give it one feat. Most lasks take Multiattack as their feat.
Weapon Proficiency: A lask is proficient with all simple and martial weapons.
+3 natural armor bonus.
Natural weapons: 2 claws (1d4), 1 bite (1d4).
Automatic Languages: Common, Lask. Bonus Languages: Elven, Gith, Tarek, Thri-Kreen.
Favored Class: Samurai. Civilized Lask hold to an ancient tradition of warriors who commune with the spirits of nature much like rangers.
Level Adjustment +1.

Siel Demons:
+8 Str, +6 Con, -2 Cha, -2 Int, +2 Wis
Medium size. Lasks have neither benefits nor penalties due to size.
Lask base speed is 30 feet.
Low-Light vision out
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Racial Hit Dice: Siel characters start with two levels of Outsider (Siel), which gives them 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base save bonuses of Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +3.
Racial Skills: A Siel‘s outsider Hit Dice give it (8 + Intelligence modifier) x5 skill points and their class skills are Climb, Hide, Listen and Spot. Note that lasks do not receive the x4 modifier when taking their first class level.
A Siel‘s outsider levels give it one feat. Most lasks take Multiattack as their feat.
Weapon Proficiency: A Siel is proficient with all simple and martial weapons.
+3 natural armor bonus.
Shadow Taint: One of the Siel’s hands is enveloped in shadow. The hand functions as normal, but is cold to the touch and appears jet black. The Siel Demon gains a +1 bonus to Hide checks. Living creatures with an Int score of 3 or higher who see the shadow taint must make a Will save DC 11, or become shaken for 1d4 rounds. Black-touched creatures and creatures from the Black are immune to this effect.
Chill Touch: The Siel Demon can use chill touch as the spell once per day per class level.
Shadow Casting: In the unlikely event that the Siel Demon takes a level in wizard, he automatically uses energy from the Black instead of from plant life to fuel it’s spells.
Natural weapons: 2 claws (1d4), 1 bite (1d4).
Automatic Languages: Common, Lask. Bonus Languages: Elven, Gith, Tarek, Thri-Kreen.
Favored Class: Samurai. Civilized Lask hold to an ancient tradition of warriors who commune with the spirits of nature much like rangers.
Level Adjustment +2.

I doubt any halflings live on the Savanna. seems a little far from their point of origin.


(Jacob) #9

I think they meant Ur-Draxa. I really think perhaps Hamanu may have spared Myron, because he intitially was his commanding officer. In my head cannon the Summer Sea was already feeling the affects of defiling, but a primoridal changed it to punish the Champions.

In my head cannon there is there are grasslands with touches of forest in the East and Myron rules this area. He left with 20 of his best, loyal men and about 50 slaves (30 female, 20 male) and crossed the then Summer Sea. He encountered enclaves of druids and preservers and took a few with him till he reaches the eastern side. He conquered a human tribe and a feral halfling tribe and built his city of Lycea there and had minor contact with the west till the Silt Sea became as it is now and contact was harder. Now Lycea has a few outposts but to the south are the Drake Lands and farther east are forests and a halfling city with some Blue Age tech. Beyond that is a mountain range, perhaps that is far off (like from the coast and 6,000-7,000 miles away), a pass that may lead to the other side of the far western part of the Kreen Empire or perhaps a giant jungle system that spans a large area and pops up on the western edge of the Empire.

So much is heresay and it’s fun to speculate.

Btw the Crimson Savannah is west of the Tablelands, I have heard other say north. Which is it?


#10

It’s both west and north. The jagged cliffs have a slant to them

Also, I doubt a primordial would have made the Silt Sea. It’s against the best interests of the elemental powers to harm Athas on any large scale, as it effects the resources they can bring to bare in their realm.


(Jacob) #11

How about Ral and Guthay?


#12

I am in the midst of working on that in my Expedition to the Barrier Peaks adaptation: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks Dark Sun Adaptation Guthay is full of alien life-forms, most of which have only a primitive intelligence at best (such as the Silk Wyrm and Shambling Mound), with the exception of the benevolent Silthilar, who learned life-shaping from the Rhulisti. However, diseases have advanced on Guthay at an unprecedented rate. The natives are immune, but any visitors become subject to the Guthay Fungi, a plasmodial slime mold which causes the subject to rapidly mutate out of control and die from genetic degradation. Ral is a dessert world like Athas, but has a surprising amount of intelligent life, mostly insectinoid. This includes the Dromite, Tsochari, and Diopsid races. Dromites are naturally psionic, and possess a caste based system which is surprisingly equitable, as well as a biologically enforced democratic system in which two of their members are chosen as the Queen and Consort and produce all the eggs. Dromites have very little in the form of religion. Tsochari are a worm-like race which infests hosts. They have individual hive minds and telepathic abilities, and their culture is very stratified. Diopsids are barbaric creatures similar to Kreen in mindset but appearing more like beetles. They worship the spirit of the Great Mother (Athas, which their world orbits) believing (correctly) that all change originates from that world. They also worship the Green Sister (Guthay), the Red Sister (Ral), and the Dying Father (the sun). They are treated as druids. There are also monstrous lizard species such as the fabled Tarrasques (yes, multiple). Also, the Psurlons are native to that world, though most have left for the Astral Plane. They have knowledge of psionic secrets that would make the Mind Lords of Saragar green with envy. I have not delved into the cultures of those worlds with much depth, so any ideas are welcome. Also, this is all non-canon speculation, so different interpretations are welcome.

Also, there is a stat write-up of Myron in Legends of Athas if you wish to see it. It’s under the Champion of Rajaat heading. It has a few errors in it, specifically under the Genocidal Focus heading, so I would double check both the template that follows it and the canon information about Myron to make necessary corrections. I imagine Myron could have wandered into the Cerulean Storm after it’s formation, attempting to produce a Cerulean advanced being.

Also, the Kreen have made low orbit, using psitech from the Green Age. This consists of a guardian orb and an obsidian engine. The Guardian Orb is taken from Lask psions and used to power the engine and provide propulsion using telekinesis. The obsidian engine provides lift and produces an area of compressed air which is breathable in space. The Guardian can power it indefinitely because of it’s construct status. Lesser forms of these craft use giant Trin carcasses as hulls, and can only fly in atmosphere. These are used in the war against the Lask as transports. The craft that have made low orbit are actually partially life-shaped. The Zik-Chil use nature bending to change a giant Trin into a living transport, which provides recycled air for it’s passengers (who are kept in a separate gland). It also allows the ship to propel itself by normal means in atmosphere using wings. It’s brain is replaced with the guardian orb, which can control the creature’s limbs. These are experimental, and do not have a practical purpose yet.