Athasian Security Measures

The tech level of glasswork in Athas is generally less than most fantasy realms. Most of this is due to the lack of a steady supply of metal tools. Heck, there’s a ton of sand and some ways that directed sun heat might be able to make some larger, crude glass blocks - but it isn’t common for most housing. So clear windows would be nigh near unheard of. Couple this with a lack of metal locks and security suddenly needs to be approached a bit differently. While this makes thievery easier, let’s visit some of the ways people would protect their valuables.

  1. Bars across doors, dummy bars, wooden/bone jail cell style bars in larger windows.
  2. Security. Guards, trained animals/pets, etc…
  3. Traps. Deadfalls, murderholes, alarm style bells, magic, etc… Possibly even psionically empowered systems for the truly wealthy and elite.
  4. The occasional wizard rune or templar/cleric cast ward… likely paid at a higher cost than even standard listing price. Possibly even with a retainer cost for resets as they’d be more likely to become tripped.
  5. Straight up sneaky hiding/smuggling style tactics/burying loot or just not having it where you sleep.
  6. Undead. Heck, coin could even be hidden in a zombie’s stomach cavity. I know I wouldn’t look there.
  7. Sometimes having the item/loot stolen isn’t a big deal if you’re good at tracking it and hunting it down. A reputation is also a strong ward itself.
  8. Psionically hardened wooden or other material locks.

What else have you used in game?


I imagine the wealthy wall off their homes as well as having a guard or two. Stupidly, I’ve rarely used guard animals and I believe that would be very common.
Poor people don’t have much to steal and what they do have, I imagine the keep on their person as much as possible. What they must leave behind in their homes is probably hidden.
Although, payments to the local gang, even if the gang is Templars, could ensure that your home is watched over.


Knots. Have you heard the expression “a lock only keeps out an honest man”? Well knots can work the same way. If you have a unique knot that only you know how to tie it becomes like a signature. Sure, someone could cut, it or possibly even untie it. But unless they can retie it in exactly the same way you did then you’re going to know someone’s been there, and sometimes that’s all you need. Knot tying is something that many Defilers and Preservers have already mastered if they record their spell books in khipu, and both groups have secrets to keep so it’s not too much of a stretch to think that they would have signature knots.