In the scope of Athas, it’s generally assumed that the oceans were replaced with the Silt Sea. Some rivers and lakes might be mud flats. However, I do think that we are missing out on some unique opportunities, with terrain and adventure opportunities. LiiiiIIIIiiiiike…
Going through this list I found many of these landmarks had common elements. Going over them in each description started to feel redundant. Here are some generalities…
Geology- All of these (with two exceptions) are geological. That makes them ideal for Earth shrines. Air is also a strong contender for many, due to whistling and others noises wind would make in passing. I will bring up other elements as I feel relevant.
Psionic monasteries- Thematically, many of these would suit for psions seeking seclusion. The location would have to be remote, assuming you are going for the monastic or hermitage lifestyle. Historically, you also had groups like the Shinto monks who would hole up in naturally defensive locations, like Mount Fuji.
Sea bottom Desert- A good number of these I found were formed when they were under the sea. que singing crab In the real world this would have been an incredible long process. However, given what the oceans of Athas went through, we can assume many of these were formed naturally, then suddenly terrestrial when defiling destroyed the Athasian seas.
Sahara El Beyda- huge chalk deposits left by dried up ocean. Good place for encounters as it does provide shelter. It could be sacred to Water people. Provide it with some source of fresh water. The clerics focus on what was, and tell tales of a lost ocean. Given how fast defiling can make an ocean vanish, you can also rule that ships and creatures were left stranded. Now they form odd relics…
Stone Forest of Shillin, Tsing de Bemaraha- I am lumping these two together as they are similar. Giant forests of giant stone daggers. That is all kinds of awesome. I do think for action scenes, the lack of visibility would be an intriguing extra challenge.
Hai Long Bay- I am using this one has a catch call. Would be a good way to have unique set pieces or terrain, while highlighting the tragic nature of Athas. Just imagine Hai Long Bay. Then take away the water. Leave it with silt, or even just dry ocean bed. I can easily imagine aaracokra living there, or some group with flying psionic powers, or an affinity for bridges. You can do this with most any coastal area really.
Great Barrier Reef-I use it for the big name recognition, but coral reefs in a desert would be fascinating for an Athasian. Of course they would be dead, dried out husks but remain fascinating. The average Athasian would have no idea what they are. The most similar thing in their experience might be pumice. I can imagine a reef being an exciting but finite resource as it gets plundered for spell components, jewelry and relics.
Sunken Ships- Once at the bottom of the ocean. Now in a desert. Need an idea of what that would be like? Check out the ships in the Namibia desert! Adventure locations ready to go! Unlike coral reefs, most Athasians would liken these hulks to buildings or oddly designed argosies.
Not under the sea but still aquatic related
To the average Athasian, the idea of having so much water that it needs to be controlled, or is otherwise harmful is strange indeed.
Dry Canals- While I would expect these to mostly disappear due to misuse or neglect, these would be at least fun flavor. I can see people using these as landmarks. Canny explorers would realize that many of these would link ancient population centers. Also, you can use them to kill graboids.
Abandoned Dam- This one would be a great example of a vertical dungeon. I’ll admit I’m thinking of Hoover Dam, but a dam with extensive inner passages has so much adventure potential. Especially if alien forces have made openings in the sides to access them. Athasians would likely be baffled at the idea of so much water, that you need a wall to hold it back! Maybe Earth clerics revere it, believing it holds back Silt, Sun and Air. Or perhaps a druid presides over a wholly unique ecosystem within?