Ice Cubes in Athas- Sandstorm

There’s a lot of cool stuff in this suppliment. A generic supplement for deserts and arid terrains, it’s got an interesting mix of “yes this will totally help my Dark Sun campaign” and “No way this will fit.” Some of the highlights are an excellent terrain chapter. I do really like their touchstone system. It’s a cool way to bring some extra color and lore to Athas, and meddle with divine powers without wondering about gods or elementals.

However, I am going to focus on the monsters. There’s a bunch of really good ones, like ashen husk, oozes, golems, vermin, plants etc. However, there are some serious highlights to me.

Crawling Apocalypse- Long story short. During an apocalyptic series of wars, some desperate people made mummified giant squid. These ancient doomsday weapons are extremely rare, and vulnerable to those with the right command words. It can swim through sand like it where silt. It’s similar but different to silt horrors. “We’re inland! I thought silt horrors couldn’t get us here!”

Giant Ant Lion- Something needs to eat those antloids!

Saguaro Sentinel- It’s an treant made out of cacti. Why didn’t we have these guys already?

Cursed Cold One (Gelun)- This why I entitled this post aboue Ice Cubes. The gelun people are wonderfully weird. These humanoids are heat sinks. They are fine when in hot, arid environments. However, when the sun goes down they need to find ways to stay warm, or they are encased in giant blocks of ice. Frozen through and through. How they got so cursed is unknown. They drain warmth on attack, but also have ice stares.

What do you folks think?


They were all already defiled into extinction. :grin: There’s one in a 3e adventure from the WotC website, from before Sandstorm was a thing - a genius idea.

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Yellow mold will lower the temperature to freezing, I feature this in my campaign. My SK uses ice cubes in his drinks and as air conditioning in his palace using yellow mold to freeze water. It also will be in the Underdark and dungeons giving heat resistance PCs and npcs something to worry about. Also deserts and other arid places get very cold at night, it would be easy to freeze water in some places.

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The mention of the Gelun immediately made me think of this entry in Thri-kreen of Athas page 60.

“Thri-kreen hell is a cold place called Kano, which simply means cold. According to thri-kreen myths, there is a frozen insectoid monster, Galug, who guards Kano….

The thri-kreen hell is actually based on a real place in the outer planes, Caina, the 8th plane of Baator…. Galug is any gelugon, a form of
greater baatezu native to Caina. Kano is believed to be a source of monsters, and while based on a real place, in the thri-kreen belief system it encompasses all other planar sources of monsters, from the Astral Plane to the Abyss.”


Ohhhh the role-playing applications make the head spin. Do the thri-kreen pity them? Use them as an abject example for hatchlings? Assume they are refugees from Kano? Or think them emissaries of that foul place?

How do the gelun feel about thri-kreen? Hmmmm.

I can’t help but notice the thri-kreen think of hell as being cold, yet Fire is the one element they seem to fear and avoid. AKA not much to support that but fire clerics among them is quite right.

Do you suppose gelun might have been made by a curse from an ancient tohr-kreen? Food for thought.


Dang. I keep forgetting about DEFILING! It can be the explanation of any plant absence, among other things.

However, I would keep saguaro sentinels around for sure. Some great RP waiting to happen there. I imagine an over protective one keeping watch over an oasis. The players are preservers and druids, desperate to gain access to the water, but unwilling to bring full force against the misguided guardian. Meanwhile, a cunning defiler is not so patient…

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I hadn’t thought of yellow mold. Good thoughts all. I can easily imagine an SK using ice as a luxury item to show off in front of guests.

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If the Turks were making ice 1-2000 yrs ago, I’m sure they were making ice somewhere during the Green Age…

I could see Nibenay secretly having ice cream 1/year as reminder of his past life…


If I recall correctly, they would transport the ice from mountain tops. In special boxes. I would surmise that Athas is too arid, even if the mountain was high enough

Check the maps, you will find many lakes on the world map, especially near mountain ranges, so there is plenty of moisture in the mountains. It also gets very cold at night. It is entirely possible that ice could be transported from the mountains to an ice house, like what they had in Persia.


In the city state of Tyr book didn’t Kalak have a room where he’d conjure walls of ice to make an air conditioned room? It was meant to entertain important guests but given his temperament that pretty much never happened.

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If I recall correctly, there was a room in which chilled water dropped from the ceiling. Kind of like the opposite of a sauna.

Page 53 Of City State of Tyr.

“In an adjoining room, blocks of frozen water would be created enabling guests to enjoy their refreshing chill… Due to Kalak’’s obsession with attaining dragon form and his caustic attitude toward the other sorcerer-kings, no imperial guest has used these chambers in over 10-score years. ”

Adjoining rooms to this “ice” room is a sauna and a “rain” room


See, this sort of thing should utterly be doable via psionics. Now we just need a Call (Ice) Asteroid power.

I’d love it if Nibenay were lactose intolerant. He has the once a year treat and is immediately sick as a dog!

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But still does it again next year…

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Yup. You know the SMs…they’re trapped into their routines :wink:

Why not? In RaFoaDK you see Hamanu eating bread made with a wheat from his youth. I want to say Himali wheat. That he dips in honey. It’s certainly not for nutrition. As a champion he doesn’t need to eat. It’s just something he enjoys.

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