Early descriptions of Draj described it having an advantageous geographic location connecting to cities to the north. It still does, but with Eldaarich where I have it and the Silt Sea cutting off bypassing Eldaarich means the locations further east might be more isolated than I intended.
That, or it would mean by necessity Eldaarich ends up more visited by merchant caravans than was planned before. Maybe that’s cool, maybe that is undesirable. I can see a scenario where Eldaarich’s enviable position and ownership of the bridges across could lead to paranoia that everyone traveling through wants what you have, but you cannot survive without the visiting trade.
I’m not sure still so I added a trail line through the northern, lava-filled fault split in the mountains to the north.
I didn’t move Eldaarich further south because I saw it peeking into portions which Valley of Dush and Fire showed as silt sea and it was a goal of mine that if that map showed silt sea I left it silt sea. But moving the islands further south would allow the option to make a land connection to Kurn that bypasses Eldaarich’s bridges monopoly.
The thought of the Mons Olympus volcano also makes me think for some reason of the planet in Subnautica – it’s of course an opposite environment, but the biome the game takes place in is in a crater that drops off into an ecological deadzone with deep sea gigantism leviathan class predators. What if the lowlands of Athas – the craters etc. had a similar theme in Athas – some of the trenches would be filled with super predators more dangerous than anything in the tablelands – mutated dinosaurs, xenomorphs/tyrannids, let your imagination run wild.
I’m also thinking of the early fluff that suggested, I believe, that there might be OTHER dragons on Athas besides the Dragon of the Tyr Region.
I also think some of the John Carter novels have some interesting ideas for Athasian biomes – the underground realm of the first born, the mountain realm of the thern, and the artic realm at the top of the world of the yellow men could all be inspirations for other Athasian realms.
I like the idea of super predators mutated from whatever forces seemed to create the big threats of the Tablelands, but regionally-themed.
Since I’m taking the Sword and Planet fantasy inspiration to Dark Sun quite explicitly for this, the Barsoom of John Carter would be ripe for the grabbing.
I kinda wish spirits of the land went more kaiju-scale in size, but my knowledge of the breadth of sword and planet isn’t compete enough to know if monsters that size are represented in the genre. I kinda want it anyway but have always wished D&D did a better job at foes of scale large than gargantuan.
I think the reason we don’t get proper kaiju monsters in D&D often is the simple fact it is very hard to justify fighting them. If you’re a dude with a sword, no matter how magic that sword is, it gets a bit hard to explain how the blade can actually get deep enough to do any serious damage.
Don’t get me wrong, games like Shadow of the Colossus prove you can make that work. But it’s the sort of thing that D&D isn’t really built to represent particularly well. Not to get too off topic, but I think the best compromise is to give individual monsters of kaiju scale their own rules for how fighting them works. Kind of like how hydras or krakens have sometimes gotten special rules to account for their multiple heads/tentacles being attacked as “sub-monsters” almost.
Which is also why ToB didn’t go far enough. If you have a ki-conductive blade, and pump enough ki into it, suddenly your effective slash size is 20’-50’ long. And by the time you hit that point, you should already be able to project your ki, so you can toss said slash a few hundred to a few thousand feet.
Obviously that sort of thing is around upper high level to low epic level play.
I agree that the current iteration of D&D was not designed with that in mind, though it is not really hard to add it with a small amount of effort, given that they already have Gargantuan+ and Titanic creatures. Add a Behemoth size category and change Titanic from a template to a size category, and maybe add Leviathan size category and you are most of the way there.
If you want to give the nod, add a Kaiju size category too, lol.
Just found this map and love it so much. I think it’s honestly my favorite map I’ve ever seen and I love that you’ve done it in a way where it’s compatible with 99% of canon. It would be easy to swap this map.
I really hope you do this at some point too. this would be an incredible combination of ideas.