Inner Planes and Athas

Simple question, are the Inner Planes linked to Athas?

Yes. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be elemental clerics. the outer planes ARE NOT linked to Athas, however. Or rather, they are and yet are inaccessible. Fact of the matter is, Athas would not be what it is without the inner planes, and in this case that is a good thing (with the possible exception of the dead lands)

Perfect! But, if that is the truth, than there are at least Four deities which lives in the Elemental Planes and could reasonably be interested in Athas, the four Elemental Deities, Istisha, Akadi, Kossuth and Grunbar, and the eight Elemental lords. On theory, nothing ban these entities to take an active role in a plane which they would have limited concorrence, now something does?

I am pretty sure those deities are limited to Forgotten Realms. Also Dark Sun campaign setting specifically states that there are no gods. They have left Athas to its doomed fate.

The elemenar deities are not limited to a single Sphere; Plus, why ignore a whiole material plane were you are pretty much the only avalaible deities, bar a group of glorified mortals?
I frankly could not care less of what the setting specifies; The elemental deities are a good source of clerical powers, they arenormally alouf and distant, so they didn’t interact too much directly with Athas, up to the moment the Elemental Lords discovered it too. Much more active then the true deities, theyr actions will stir the aforementioned Deities in a more direct activities; It weorks perfectly with the campaign I have in mind.

I have always been under the impression that elemental clerics on Athas do not draw their power from any elemental deity, but the plane itself. Its perfectly logical to run a campaign with the elemental deities themself intact as a hombrew spinoff of Dark Sun. I was just putting it out there that “canon” Dark Sun has no deities or pantheons. Changing that kind of takes away from the original feel of Dark Sun unless maybe you tried to run it in a way to bring back true deities/quasi deity primodials through an epic storyline spearheaded by the actions and choices of the pc’s themselves. Would probably also do well to make heavy use of the druidic Rhuan-thul and their lore and knowledge of elemental planes or even seek the assistance of one of the SK’s.

To be honest, while I always liked the overall feeling of the setting, the no-deity bit has always felt wrong to me; This look to me as a way to fix this thing that I percieved as a flaw, without reworking the setting completely; I have that too, in mind, as a part of a larger campaign/setting.

One interesting way to reintroduce the elemental deities would be for the players to discover that the elemental deities never truly left or abandoned Athas but instead may have retreated into a primordial slumber. The steps to reawaken them could be as follows:

  1. Pc’s find or acquire some ancient undecipherable rhulisti text.
  2. Adventure arc that leads to its translation
  3. Find out that at some point that each of elemental gods were weakened and their divine essence was splintered into three shards, each shard bound into a different form. One form a creature of immense power (a fire drake, silt drake, etc…). Second form some inanimate object or artifact (Hearts of the Drake just an example). Third form would be bound directly into its corresponding elemental plane.
  4. Pcs have to track down the splintered essences and figure out how to combine them (Ex. Find the ancient Fire Drake Magmexicklori and beseech it by gifting it with a Heart of the Drake, perform a ritual reminiscent of the SK’s ascencion to dragonhood, and have it taken to its rightful elemental plane where it must absorb the ambient power of its plane for 101 days while inside an immense lifeshaped crysalis.)
  5. Rinse and repeat for each elemental deity (though it may take multiple campaigns as each would probably bring the characters from 1-20th and to the point of retirement)

Very interesting point of you, but could not such deities simply have continued to grant powers, without bothering to manifest themselves, until a certain moment?

Yes I imagine they could. I am just simply trying to offer a more interesting way to reintroduce the ekemental deities into a campaign that has long been known to be abandoned by the gods. You could simply do as you are suggesting but that seems to be to simple in terms of the way Gods work. The elemental deities have an especially alien and obscure mentality in all campaign settings. The idea of of them all of a sudden just reappearing after countless eons of never being around in the first place just seems a little bland and to straightforward for elemental deities. Maybe you could start introductions by having a cleric pc or npc receive voices from an aspect of the splintered deities disembodied conciousness. As a DM.of 20+ years experience I feel like it would help not only you but also your players develop a feeling of importance or attachment to the setting by allowing them to become part of such a world changing story arc. This way it wont be just something taken for granted and will give them and yourself a true appreciation and personal feeling of accomplishment in instating such a change, not to mention justification in the immense change that would come with the Rebirth of the elemental gods, which could lead to bringing other gods and goddesses back into Athas.

You know? You have convinced me. It would be really good for a campaign.

I am very glad to know you like the suggestions and I wish you much luck on the endeavor. I imagine with such a story arc your players and yourself will.find more enjoyment in something like this over just saying “this is how it is.” Keep me up to date with your goings on in the campaign pls. I would love to hear or read a recap of the progression and it could also be fun to work your own pcs storyarc into my own campaign at some point. Maybe my players could hear tales of your pcs and the possibility of the return of the deities. I love integrating friends campaigns into my own which provide stories, fluff, and history beyond the scope of my own campaigns. Doing so gives world a sense of evolution beyond what one party can accomplish and could allow for more interesting world and plot developement. I have definately enjoyed our little convo here. :slight_smile:

I shall keep you informed!

Something to add, I personally think that the idea of “deities” is subjective. Certainly, there are known canon entities that exist above and beyond the power of the others, but it is very heavily implied in several sources that elemental clerics get their power from one or more patrons they make informal pacts with. While I would find the idea of a common elemental granting pacts somewhat laughable, more powerful versions (such as Elder Elementals, Archomentals, and even Elemental Lords and Ruvoka) could easily fill this roll. In effect, these beings would be the “gods” that correspond in other worlds. And powerful beings such as Kossuth could simply be Elder Archomentals or incredibly powerful Elemental Lords or Ruvoka. The idea of what constitutes a “god” is highly subjective. The Sorcerer Kings are effectively gods, as they can grants spells and do not age, as well as having enormous personal power. Mind Lords could also claim to be gods, being ageless and powerful as well, and possibly producing from devotion some ardents or divine minds. So, if you want a “god” to exist in dark sun, all you have to do is justify why it doesn’t quite qualify as a god.

I thought the main reason that no entity could ascend to god hood was the lack of an Astral Spark.How would one of the Primordial Lords circumvent this, would that have to create a primordial version?

I use Pathfinder rules, no Primordials in there, but however, I always thought that Athas couldn’t have deities because the Astral Plane links were lacking; If it does have Inner Planes links, however, the Elemental Gods would be able to reach to the Red Sphere.

What I was saying is that, officially, Athas has no gods. It does, however, have entities who are functionally identical to gods, but with radically divergent accompanying fluff. So yes, there are no astral conduits, and thus no “actual gods” can interact with athas. But if you want something functionally identical, like the elemental lords, you can simply introduce them as a more powerful version of existing elementals who happen to have god-LIKE power. This becomes interesting, because it begs the question of “what actually qualifies as a god, and why doesn’t athas have them”, which you can answer for yourself.