Seasons now and then

Looks like there are virtually no seasons in the Tablelands (with a little bit in the Forgotten North region).

But back before the sun turned red, did the Tablelands have seasons? Summers, and winters with snow?

I think I never heard of snow … anywhere in the lore. (Not talking about mountain peaks.)

I believe the tablelands in general don’t see much in the way of seasons. High Sun is likely to be a few degrees hotter and the day between Sun Descending and Sun Ascending is likely to be a few degrees cooler. I had a temp sheet I used to use that had High Sun see temps shooting up to 150 on the hottest days while Sun Descending and Sun Ascending usually topped out at 130.

For the Trembling Planes they have Coldnights, Flamesky, Fruitbirth, and Ral’s Rest. I haven’t seen Lost Cities of the Trembling Planes but I figured Coldnights was centered around the Sun’s lowest point, leading into Fruitbirth then Flamesky around the sun’s highest point going to Ral’s Rest which happens after the scorching heat sets fire to the prairie and smoke fills the air.

Other regions further north or south near the poles might see some snow that’s not just mountain tops.

My thoughts, and same information I have.

Could the plateau (the circular Hinterlands, Ringing Mountains, and land ringed by those mountains – the Tablelands and Sea of Silt) be at the equator of Athas?

Based on various maps I’ve seen over the years, the Tablelands are above the equator. I’ve seen a half dozen versions that all boil down into something similar to this one in various full or partial views.


Hmmmm…there could very well be seasons in the Tablelands. I am not aware of anything canonical on the subject, but I think there could be seasons where the wind shifts and more sand storms kick up or something or other like that.

If Athas has no real axial tilt, then there won’t be any seasons - so it’s entirely possible. With some axial tilt, there will be variations in temperature, if not true seasons. I live in Abu Dhabi, at the edge of the Empty Quarter desert, and it ranges from around 25C/77F in the winter to 50C/122F in the summer. You get corresponding changes in wind and sandstorm patterns as the seasons shift.

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When’s the rainy season?

Not sure how I missed this post from Sept 2020. But i recently started looking into seasons on Athas. Here are my comments to some of the posts above.

Per 2nd Ed rule book seasons of 85:

“Each year is made up of exactly 375 days: the exact time between highest suns. Athasians have no seasons that govern their thinking of time-there is no marked difference in temperature or weather patterns. However, the year is divided into three equal phases: high sun, sun descending, and sun ascending. Highest sun is the first day of the year in the calendar of Tyr and lowest sun indicates the midpoint of the year (which, incidentally, occurs at midnight…”

I am unaware of season sources prior to current age.

The fact that Athasians recognize a high sun and low sun does indicate that the planet does have a tilt. High sun when the tilt is pointed toward the sun I.e. summer. And low sun when the sun is pointed away from the sun. I.e winter.

Faces of the forgotten north seem to detail five seasons in the Trembling Plains. See pg 142

“ An unusual situation occurs in the Trembling Plains, where five Spirits of the Land, Coldnights, Flamesky, Fruitbirth, Ral’s Rest, and Windflood, divide their dominion of the vast Trembling Plains by season rather than by geographical boundaries. While other Spirits of the Land tend to dominate a smaller area, the Trembling Plains are dominated by five separate spirits known as Coldnights, Flamesky, Fruitbirth, Ral’s Rest. Each of the five Spirits of the Trembling Plains embodies the land in one particular season”

Windflood is omitted from this second listing in the above paragraph but appears to be a typo.

Flamesky season is mentioned once in Trade Lords on page 10. I am guessing these five seasons presented in FFN are attempt assign seasons to the “quinth” (a fifth of a year) as presented in Lynn Abbey’s non-canonical book “Rise and Fall of a Dragon King” and the quinth definition also presented in Trade Lords on page 16.

See also FFN pg 62:

“Azeth‘s Great Caravan departs Kurn on the 20th of every quinth except for Flamesky, and arrives in Azeth‘s Rest on the 25th. Every quinth except for Flamesky, Azeth‘s Rest holds a trade fair shortly after the Great Caravan arrives.”

If one wanted to have a rainy season and have it coincide with written material I would use the Windflood season. However, the order of the seasons are not presented. I am guessing the list above is just alphabetical.

I would possiblly treat Windflood as the fourth quinth and have it coming after coldnights.
Meaning I would put it starting around day 226 after the high sun. Or octavus the 11 in the Merchant calendar. Though I could be persuaded otherwise with more evidence or research.

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Thank you for this. I never really paid attention to seasons or lack thereof, in Athas, so this information is excellent.

Okay. This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. While some portions of it obviously don’t jive with the rest of canon to a degree that creates major issues, Rise and Fall has never been officially removed from canon. Further, unlike, say, the depiction of the Wanderer in Tribe of One (or most of Tribe of One, for that matter) large portions of Rise and Fall, mostly the historical portions, were considered canon by the writing team. Finally, the 2nd edition version of Dregoth Ascending not only has direct quotes from Rise and Fall in it’s pages (which crossed over to the 3e conversion), but has an expanded timeline in the back of it, which puts several past events from the book onto the official timeline.


Just so nobody has to take my word for it, here’s a few of the relevant sections from the timeline at the back of Dregoth Ascending 2e:

163rd King’s Age (-2,079)

King’s Vengeance

· Myron of Yorum is replaced as Troll Scorcher by Manu of Deche, later known as Hamanu of Urik. He is given the sword the Scorcher, created by Rajaat, to complete his task.

164th King’s Age (2,002)

Friend’s Contemplation

· Hamanu, replaced 4th Champion of Rajaat, kills Windreaver-the last troll of Athas and king of his people.

Desert Vengeance

· Rkard, the last dwarven king of Kemalok, is slain by Borys of Ebe in mortal combat-though Borys himself is gravely injured. The Champion’s attendants spirit him from the battlefield leaving his sword, the Scourge, still buried in the dwarf’s chest. Before he can retrieve the sword, Hamanu tells Borys of Rajaat’s true plans for Athas

· Becoming aware that Rajaat intends to wipe out all races except the halflings, Borys leads the Champions in a rebellion against their master-from which they emerged victorious. Rajaat’s halfling servants are banished to the Black as punishment for siding with the War-Bringer.

· Despite their power, the children of Rajaat cannot destroy his mortal remains. Instead, Gallard separates the First Sorcerer’s essence from his physical form, placing each in a separate location. Aided by the power of the Dark Lens, Gallard creates the Hollow, where he placed Rajaat’s essence. Gallard then creates a cyst of enchanted stone called the Black Sphere in which he places Rajaat’s substance. He then hides the Black Sphere in a location known only to him and Borys of Ebe.

· Sacha and Wyan, who remained loyal to their master, attempted to breach the cyst before it is hidden away. Their plan is discovered and they are beheaded by Borys.

From the text of the adventure, a quote from Rise and Fall:
“I never understood why Rajaat created the Champions. He possessed ultimate mastery of both the Way and Sorcery, and could have cleansed Athas of every race save the halflings in the course of a day. Yet he did not. For three millennia I have tried to answer this question, and each time I believe I have the answer two more questions arise. I have often thought that the key was the Pristine Tower, though I’ve been reluctant to return there. The first time I stood before its marble-white spire my life was changed beyond my control, and the last began an age on Athas I sometimes regret. To my knowledge none of us have ever journeyed there, even to reminisce of a time when we thought we ruled the world. Should the choice be mine, I shall never see it again.”

Manu of Deche

On a historical note: Dregoth Ascending 2e was also where the “Pyreen are the last of the Rhulisti nature masters” comes from. There is also a brief section in the 2e version where Hamanu, Nibenay, and Lalali-Puy talk to each other about whether or not they should try to bring Daskinor and Keltis in to help. Finally, if a character touches the replica of the pristine tower in its second chamber (in the middle fo the poison water) in the 2e version, it allows them to perceive all things in the tower and the forest around it, even piercing Dregoths wards and seeing onto coexistent planes of existence.

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That being said, does anyone have an idea of when the 5 seasons presented in FFN began? And the order? These are all referenced in the unreleased Cities of the Lost Plains. Was anything written there?

I would assume flamesky as the rough equivalent of summer or high sun, but did they present it as starting on the first day of high sun or so high sun falls in the middle of it? What are the order of the seasons that follow?

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I’ll have to check, but the Lost Cities I have access to is out of date and missing 2 chapters, so I’m not sure if it will have the answers. I’ll look though.

Edit: Have looked briefly. lots of info on the seasons, there is some info on timing:
The periods for the Trembling Plains seasons are identical to the quinths of Urikite calendar -I have no idea if this is helpful at all

The Flamesky quinth of the Trembling Plains corresponds to days 1-75 of Sun Ascending on the Merchant Calendar. -some actual dates!

In Merchant Calendar terms, the Ral’s Rest quinth begins on day 26 of High Sun, or 26th day of Scratch the Basilisk, and ends on the 100th day of High Sun, or the 25th day of Fiddle the Beetle. -Hope someone else here knows the calendars better than me

In Merchant Calendar terms, the Fruitbirth quinth begins on the 51th day of Sun Descending (Saurus 21), and ends on the last day of Sun Descending (Sylk 30). -More dates for someone else to interpret.

In Merchant Calendar terms, the Coldnights quinth begins on day 76 of Sun Ascending, or 10th day of The Dragon, and ends on day 25 of High Sun, or 25th day of Scratch the Basilisk. -more dates

Thats what I’ve got from a brief look


I read in one of the modules that there is a rain/wet season. I do not remember which modules and I dont remember the details.

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That’s what I was looking for.

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I know the calendars very well. So I wanted to come up with something that correlated all the info.

Here is a graphic I put together that should be consistent with the info presented in the draft of Lost Cities. But I’m not so sure I agree with the placement of the names of the seasons. And I would move some around. The inner circle is the corresponding names of our Earth seasons for reference.


Here is the table I made correlating the info:

The order is as follows:

Ral’s Rest
Cold Nights

The middle of Ral’s Rest falls on High Sun, or the first day of the year. Dominary 1.
All are 75 days long.
Flamesky starts on the exact midpoint of the year. Low Sun. Which is also day 1 of Sun Ascending, or Morrow 3 on the Merchant calendar. I’ll get a graphic up to help explain it.

I am also noticing that my table is not lining up with what the author used for the day numbers assigned to the sign months. But my table is consistent with the months presented in Ivory Triangle and the Merchant Calendar. It’s possible he is ignoring the “on the cusp” days in the zodiac and assigned those to a sign instead on their own 5 days.

I started working to try to figure out if that was the case, but my laptop battery died and I don’t want to go get the charger out of my car.

I was able to locate a copy of a draft of Lost Cities on the DS Facebook page. It has the same information that @Bdmdragon so generously provided above.

The problem with the info in there I have is that it incorrectly assumes Low Sun is the beginning of hot season in the year and not High Sun. It incorrectly sets Low Sun as when flamesky starts. Which is consistent with how I made my graphic. But other DS resources place high sun as the beginning of the hot season or summer. Which is why my graphic also shows the “normal” four seasons seemingly contradict.

In the copy I found, with a date of possible 2017 from its last update, It says on pg 54

“ Low Sun corresponds to Low Sun on the Merchant’s Calendar. True to its name, this first day of Flamesky is the hottest and longest day of the year, and there is no wind. Not even bandits roam the Trembling Plains on Low Sun, although they sometimes make one last raid immediately afterward, in early Flamesky. In Kurn, Azeth’s Rest, and the entrenched camps in the badlands outside the Trembling Plains where some herders have holed up for Flamesky, no one works except for the watchmen. Those who have sufficient water, drench their clothes in an effort to survive the heat. No one sleeps the night before Low Sun; there is music and dancing, and for those who can afford it, broy that has been kept buried deep in the ground, just for this occasion. They celebrate because the night may be their last; more elderly Eloy die on Low Sun than on the rest of the days combined, because of the heat.”

The low sun point should be the winter solstice and the high sun the summer solstice. Additionally although high sun wouldn’t be the hottest day, just be day the sun is highest in the sky, marking the beginning on the hottest season. the planet would continue to heat up over the next several weeks. Like on Earth June (20-21) is the first day of summer, longest day of the year, and summer solstice. The hostess days aren’t for another month or so.

I think this can all be corrected by just changing the references that mention Low Sun to High Sun. I would also change the phrase:

this first day of Flamesky is the hottest and longest day of the year,


this first day of Flamesky is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of the hottest days of the year,

This would all be consistent with how the Info in Ivory Triangle is presented. This will cause the need to check for discrepancies in the the other seasons mentioned and for the days on which they begin and end.



I was finishing my city-state of Urik sourcebook and I had an issue on the inconsistency of what actually is a quinth in terms of how many days it encompasses.

Cinnabar Shadows (July 1995) pg.7 and pg. 122 both claim a quinth is 25 days long. So there are 5 Quinths to a season, (125 days) 3 seasons = 375 days.

But …

Rise and Fall of the Dragon King (march 1996) pg. 57 and page 94 both say a quinth is seventy-five days. Thus there are 5 for 375 days…

Interesting. I was never aware of the use of the word in Cinnabar Shadows. I have never read the book or searched for the word quinth there. Though I’ve been aware of its use in RaFoaDK.

Both are written by Abbey. But it seems she changed her mind on the definition a year later. Usually in a situation where there is a disagreement between source material I favor the oldest, the one that first defined the idea, over the newer.

However, it’s clear authors of 3e material favor the 75 day version. So I would go with that and write the older version off as a typo. But I would still at least look for a way to fix the typo to make it consistent with other material.

Personally, I’ve never really liked the use of a quinth and have tried to ignore it since it was first found in Abbey’s books and it was never in any 2e game material. I also need think there are better ways to divide a year in smaller parts than by five. (Divide by three or four come to mind :wink: )

The Lynn Abby books seem to present Urik as excited about the number 5, so that’s at least a flavorful and interesting way to divide up the year. There’s 5 satellite villages around Urik for animal slaughter/butchering/ etc, right?

But, interesting and flavorful aren’t always the same as good when it comes to ideas - as a general statement.

Note, I have no specific feelings about quinths; just about flavorful, but bad, ideas. :grin:

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Thanks! You help, make up my mind. I will make mention of it, but ultimately ignore it.

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