We all have an idea on whom the monarchs are. It’s probably in some parts the same, but it’s for shure different in many ways.
Is this their real personality, or a masquerade, covering, their real identity?
We do not know…
But this is what they show, and what the public see
Be not offended if we meddle, with your idear on your favourite sorcerer king.
It’s your setting, you decide what to use, what to discard. Please share your opinion here, who are they, to you?
We all have an idea on whom the monarchs are. It’s probably in some parts the same, but it’s for shure different in many ways.
Lalali‐Puy, The forest goddess, Inenek
Title: “Aarakocra Scourge”
Info: Sorcerer Queen of Gulg.
Whom is the Oba.
She is an enchanter, a charmer.
A beautiful woman, in her early twenties.
She is usually laid back, but can explode, having a gigantic temprement when lighted.
She hates compliments on her beauty, grown tired of men threw kings ages, coming on to her, and women envious of her.
She does know that beauty, is one of her prime powers though, and know’s how to use it…
She is intelligent and will seldomly be take by surprise.
The sorcerer queen of Gulg
The beast Inenek arrived in the Cresent Forest many ages ago, broken, dissolutionatet and on the brink of madness, it had killed as a Champion, and knew nothing but to destroy, it was clear now, that to destroy did not have a purpose.
In the forest Inenek saw the harmony that was the Oba.
Gulgian’s today believe the Oba is a goddess who take human form, the Oba was in fact something else then, a great spirit.
Inenke quelled her madness, with the peace of the forest, and somehow bound the Oba to her.
They became “The two of one” dwelling here for many years.
One day another champion came to the crescent land.
Inenek new that King, it was the one that dwelles in the shadows.
He had taken a people with him, whom build the city of Nibaney.
The Oba became sad, this people did not respect the land, they cut down the forest and plowed earth leaving big scar’s where they went. Feeling part of what was her in agony, inraged Inenek, the beast slew all the Nibanese that forested there.
After years of slaughter"The two that was one"realized another solution better could stop these newcomers.
In the forest another people lived in peace with nature, one of these mortals was the beautiful Lalali-Puy.
They now became, “The three that is one”
Lalali-Puy gathered the judagas under her in one strong city, and became their Queen.
This resulted in the Queen of Gulg demonstrating three personalities.
A love for destruction and power
A love for the forest
A love for the people
And always in that order.
Abalach-Re, Uyness of Waverly .
Title: “Orc Plague”
Cleansing Time: 889 years
Info: Sorcerer Queen of Raam.
Appearing to be of age 16, small of stature.
Described as ivory-skinned beauty, with peaked eyebrows and huge dark round eyes.
Narrow nose ending in a sharp point, full libs as red as rubies, and a slender chin.
Charming in her way, playing the part as a spoiled teenager, or an incompetent leader of Raam.
Catching most off guard, mistakin her for week willed and unfocused.
Witch is far, far from the truth.
She is devious, holds grudges longer then any.
She was the mastermind behind Dregoths fall.
Patience is probably her weak spot, she knows this and tends to find, adviser’s or husband’s threw the ages, whom can quill this problem, and hold her back.
A debate on Abalach-Re as a ruler
The Grand Vizir of Raam and her late husband’s.
Referred to as, Bala or Belle, in "Abalach-Re Returns"
The Vizir has priests, known as saddhus, priests of Badna.
We know that in the center of Raam, you find the Square of Bada, we also know there is a giant statue here of him, we know the city has many shires attributet to this creature.
Four-armed male dressed in a long loincloth.
That’s what we know about this entity, mentioned.
But who or what was Badna?
Was he just imaginary, was or is he real?
Here is my take on that. It’s a first run threw, so I will make some brush ups later.
That night the star konstallation of Pyrus the Wheel, shone brightly, on the Athasian western hemisphere.
On a small cliff above the flat grasslands, stood a singular large tent.
Below the cliff hundreds of others were scattered.
Most of the camp was silent, there were many small campfires, some of them still weakly glowing. Few guards were scattered around.
This was far from enemy lines, most of the hardend veterans slept deeply, for the first time in months.
In the tent on the cliff, a slender woman sat.
In front of her was a small platter, containing a bowl of steaming untouched limsan tee.
Her silk cloating blew slightly in the breeze.
She looked no older then one in her mid teens.
Unyess sat there in total silance.
After all… everything had come to this…
What was there left to say, or even do.
Everyone one she loved, was gone or changed forever.
The messenger said, they had been to late…
No one escape Waverly alive.
Every child, mother and grandfather was burned to the crisp.
She remembered Rajaat’s promise.
" Take care of the quest Uyness, I will se to your family. "
It had all been empty lies, as desolate as the heart in her brest was now.
She looked down at the beautiful weaven carpet she sat on. Wondering if she ever could find the will and strength to rise again.
She had been the target, of many spells in her time as Champion.
Non of them could compare to this.
Then she spoke.
“When I was younger of life then today,
I decided to leave this city.
It seems ages ago now.
Father wanted me to merry that old Prince in Waverly.
I would have become one of his harem, you know I couldnt go thew with that.
I regret many things, but I will never regret sneaking away that night.
The breeze and Guthays purple shimmering light, was the first feel of freedom I ever had.
I did not ask you to follow me…
But I knew you would brother.
You always stood up for me, took my fights.
I did what I wanted, never thinking anything thew.
You were always there to catch me, give everybody a beating, even though, it was I that deserved it.
I am spoiled, and it’s partly your fault, I ended up that way…
But this here disaster is my doing… Do you understand? !
They are all dead, everything we new and loved is gone!!
We have only us…and I don’t even recognize whom we are anymore.”
She sat quietly for a moment, desperatelly trying to gather the pieces of sense still left.
“You follow me, you new it was the only caravan that left the city that night
Did father put you up to it?”
The large man in the corner of the tent didn’t move.
She new, he couldn’t answer, maby he still understood. Sometimes she hoped he didn’t.
If she could, she would grant her big brother that mercy.
She drew her hand across her big brown eyes, and continued speaking into the night.
"How we ended up at the tower, I don’t really know Badna.
It was something new, a promise of making something out of life.
I really believe Rajaat saw something in me, that I had potential.
She shook her head, and pulled the scarf over her coal black hair.
"Yes, he saw something in me, but what he saw was not talent or a lost daughter, he saw a monster.
Yes Badna, he saw the monster inside me, and used it, brought it out.
When you got hurt on that carru horn, his accursed tower transformed you, into an awful creature too.
People don’t know differently, but I know that’s not what’s inside of you.
Looking up from the carpet, Unyess glanced at her brother. He had follow her threw the Cleansing, taken blows for her all the way to this day.
Many Orc’s had met their end, at the point of his battle picks.
There wasen’t much to recognize of man he once was… maybe something in his eyes, something in his pose, and then again protective of her as always.
The large beasts four arms, were folded across its hyde breast.
It’s face resembling that of a bull Carru showed no expression,.
The beast stood there in silence for some time.
Suddenly it moved to the tents opening, and vanished into the night, not looking back.
She gathered all her power and screamed.
“Come back Badna, Rajaat promised to reverse the transformation the pristine tower made!”
She knew that promise, was a lie now, she also knew Badna did not care anymore.
Her words felt like they were crumbeling in her mouth.
“Don’t leave me brother, I need you.”
Uyness never saw him again…
Recommended read on Abalach-Re:
Collection of Athasian Myths and Stories
“The ritual”( found on this sight )
Title: “Goblin Death” the 14th Champion, The old spider. Harold & Lama of the eastern mountain people. First Founder of the righteous cleansing flame.
Cleansing Time : 822 years
Sorcerer King of Eldaarich. Descended into insanity and paranoia.
Silt’s Reverence (Free Year -1469)
Daskinor Goblin Death slips into insanity following this year’s levy, and builds an army to slay the Dragon upon his return the following year. Borys learns of his plot, and not needing the levy to maintain Rajaat’s prison never returns.
Daskinor mind was eroded by his struggle against the taint. He began having delusions and in the end used magic and psionics to allow strange aberrations into Athas.
Keltis, High-King of Kurn tried to help his brother, but could not.
Fearing Daaskinor’s abominations would siege the other cities Keltis drew his own Periphary between the cities of the north and the cities of the Tablelands, thus Kurn and Eldaarich became the Lost Cities of the Forgotten North.
Keltis, the 10th Champion: Lizard Man Executioner. He believed his cleansing to be successful but tribes of lizard men were secretly hidden by the Mind Lords.
Oronis the Avangion (LG male Champion of Rajaat stage IV avangion, preserver 5/shaper 5/cerebremancer 10/loremaster 3/avangion 5) guides the paths of the twin cities. Oronis spent centuries redeeming himself, going so far as to change his very nature from evil to good, though he still feels he has a long way to go to make up for his acts as a Champion of Rajaat and a sorcerer-king. For this reason, he has dedicated himself and his citizens to working toward the eventual restoration of all Athas. While in Old Kurn, Oronis wears the guise of a normal human. In this psionically and magically induced disguise, he appears as a tall, lanky, middle-aged man with short golden hair, pale-blue eyes, and a closecropped blond beard. He covers himself in the trappings of a sorcerer-king, wearing a golden circlet on the crown of his head and carrying an obsidian-topped walking staff. In New Kurn, however, such disguises aren’t called for. There he openly displays his true avangion form—a tall, thin, hairless humanoid with golden skin, silver eyes, and gossamer wings.
"The Mighty and Omnipotent, Father of Life and Master of the Two Moons
Title Wemic Annihilator, Sorcerer-King of Draj
Champion of Rajaat: Wemic Annihilator
Cleansed in 162th King’s Age (Wind’s Slumber[Y60]) It took 1409 years
Sacha of Arala:
1st Champion of Rajaat, “Curse of the Kobolds”;
Exterminated the kobold race in 268 years.
Sacha, along with Wyan, stayed true to Rajaat when Borys betrayed him, and was later beheaded.
His headless corpse served Kalak until Tyr’s lord was assassinated. Then he served Tithian until his skull was crushed by Rikus of Tyr when it was discovered he was trying to free his ancient master.
I’ve always seen Abalach-Re as the seductress out of her and Lalali-Puy. As you say, paitence wasn’t her strong point and I can see her flitting from conquest to conquest just out of a hedonistic boredom to pass the time. That said, if we’re to believe Lynn Abbey’s Rise and Fall of a Dragon King (yes, I know the long standing controversy over that book), neither could hold a candle to Sielba when it came to pleasures of the flesh. I’ve always wondered whether Abalach-Re had a hand in Sielba’s downfall - one of her rivals next door. Could she have been whispering to Sielba, subtly suggesting she could make a move on Urik’s obsidian? I guess we’ll never know.
And just what is Nibenay’s interst in “the time before” - is he looking at time travelling back? Feeling nostalgic? Again, I’ve wondered whether Nibenay and Oronis would have common interests if Oronis took more of a hand in the Tyr Region - and would Nibenay take the option of Avangion Metamorphosis if he knew about it.
Just some thoughts.
Thank you Kalindren
Your take on Oba, Abalach-Re and Sielba is appreciated.
I Agree on the fackt, that Sielba was widely known, as the most eye catching of the champions, as far as feminine attributes, could be concerned.
As you can se this forum is just started.
I hope many others will be inspired to share their views.
You are welcome, to join in on it as you see fit.
IIRC, the Wanderer says that a dispute about the obsidian quarries led to the war that led to Yaramuke’s destruction. I think that is too cut and dry. The obsidian was probably an ongoing dispute, but why should it lead to their utter destruction? Look at Gulg and Nibenay in comparison.
I think the Wanderer got it partially right, but he isn’t necessarily privilege to insider history.
Therefore something else is in play. My hypothesis? Sielba was experimenting with the calling of outer planar creatures, from beyond the Gray.
In Black Waters we see Sielbas magical lab. In that lab there is this -
Room 3 Summoning Chamber: The floor of this room is covered with circles, spirals,
and other strange patterns. If the drawings are described to him, Farcluun recognizes this
as a summoning chamber. All summonings made in a room such as this are guaranteed
to succeed. The only drawback is that it takes more than 100 years to enchant such a
room and only its creator can use it. This area can be searched thoroughly in 50 turns.
A summoning chamber that is guaranteed success? That takes 100 years to enchant? Looks like an artifact to me. What if this was the source of the dispute? With Yaramuke slowly building up its forces of bound Baatezu, Sielba forced Hamanu’s hand. The final straw was her incursion into the obsidian quarries, with the bulk of her forces being Baatezu.
Like you, I think the Wanderer’s story, about the dispute on the obsidian quarries, led to destruction of Yaramuke, is only part of the story.
In my campaign Sielba: 7th Champion "Destroyer of Pterrans"
Was the most beautiful and greedy of the champions, her downfall was what one could expect, thinking her self invincible.
Rajaat gave Sielba, a Sun Crystal, to fulfill her quest,.The Crystal was a powerful artifact.
Challenging the sun rays through this device, she possessed tremendous power.
She used it to literally fry the Pterrans homestead’s, and their capital of Ptogarr, burning the fleeing survivors out of the sky.
I believe she had controversies with both Hamanu and Abalach-Re.
After all Yaramuke has been described as a wealthy city state. It was placed in the middle of everything, I belive, her taxation law’s on anything passing threw her lands, would have been ridiculous high.
At that time, Harmanu, had a striking yong Templar, named Anonton in his priesthood
Anonton manage to charm himself, into the queens quart.
He then gained access, tamperd an altered, the Sun Crystal.
When Hamanus great armies finally, stood at the walls of Yaramuke.
The Queen tried to use the Crystal, to lay his legions to ash.
But instead of challenging the Suns energy in to the powerful device, it sucked her essence into the Crystal.
The body of the queen, was salvage by her devoted followers. ( I read this last part in som magazine " think it was an issue of the dragen")
The people stood helpless, and were gather up in shackles, send to work in the mines their queen wanted to poses…
Her essence is kept in the crystal, deep in the doungeons of Destiny kingdom.
Hamanu did experiment on altering, the crystal back to its original power, but abandon the idea ages ago, not wanting to risk freeing the Queen trapped within.
Now the ancient device, and it’s prisoner is tucked away, dusty and all forgotten…
By the way redking, I liked your narrative on Farcluun and Abalach-Re.
Interesting take on the Hamanu Sielba battle. You got that story about the sun crustal from a Dragon magazine? Do you know which one?
There are a few stories about the war between Sielba and Hamanu.
From the timeline of athas - Sielba wanted to increase her power by seizing Urik. Hamanu defeated the invading army and then sacked Yaramuke.
Black Flames though has Sielba conspiring with merchant houses to embargo Urik. When Hamanu learned of the plot, he invaded and destroyed Yaramuke.
And the Wanderer’s Journal has the story already mentioned about the dispute of mining of obsidian as the cause.
Sorry Band2, I don’t remember the issue.
Maybe king Hanakasam.
Just wait a moment, I think part of the Ida came from here…though here it is a star rock, someone later indicated that the artifact was link to a observatory build by trolls in the green age.
I do have a original papier copy of:
Return of a sorcerer-Queen. By Daniel Bandera
It’s a 28 page adventure, you won’t find on the net, guess it was lost when wizards of the coast put everything on lock down.
In my campaign Anonton, manage to break a small shard off the artifact.
And disappeared into the north with it.
What happened to the traitorous Templar, is lost in history. You might find a recollection of it in the old library in Kurn.
The shard from the Crystal did reappear in Eldaarich, ages later.
Now it sits on the top of king Daskinors keep.
It’s potential is much lesser, but it can still be used, to fry an angry mob of Giants attacking the city.
If Daskinor ever used it I don’t know, and I don’t know if he is aware of the larger Crystal in Urik.
It is still left to be seen if Sielba has realized that the Crystal is partly incomplete, and if this fact could be a means of her escape, from the prison within.
“Destroyer of Pterrans”;
Former Sorcerer-queen of Yaramuke
Both the city-state and the queen was destroyed by Hamanu and his army.
The city-state’s riches were rumored granted to Borys, to appease his anger at the sorcerer-queen’s destruction and the following reduction of his levy.
The source of the conflict between Sielba and Hamanu is listed as the obsidian mines, thou conflicts regarding tax, which made Yaramuke prosper over other citystates in the region, properly led to nailing the coffin.
In the end Sielba and her city-state was destroyed because she refused to heed Hamanu’s warning against prospecting on his land.
That’s the official story on Sielba, see some of the non canon, in the corospondance above, if you need further inspiration.
I remember reading somewhere that Oronis camped his army at the gates of Yaramuke, during the end of the Cleansing wars, this hints at a portion of trust between the two.
Maybe friendship, family ties or even love.
Nibenay The Shadow king.
6 th Champion “Bane of Gnomes”
Alignment Evil, Level 29
Home City-State of Nibenay
How does this sound?
This is totally home-brew.
A little bit about Albeorn/Andropinis
Back in the cleansing wars Albeorn was given the task of wiping out all elf’s beneath the dark sun. Back in those days the majority of elf’s lived in elven city’s.
When Albeorrn started the Jiihad against the entire elven race, the elf’s started to run and gathered up in small clans instead of elven kingdoms. The elf’s was very competent to the desert life - Albeorn army was not. It made the task of wiping out the elves extremely complicated because Albeorn army were to slow and heavy to keep up with the elves.
Therefore Albeorn had to use all his wit to complete the task, he have been granted by Rajaat.
The strategy was clear, he needed to make traps at the rendezvous the elf’s used. He gathered lots of necromancers and got them to make entire legions of undead beings to sit and wait for decades even centuries for any elf runner to come by. Every time an elf runner comes by one of those places, all the undead, golems etc in that area will animate by magic and slay all elven intruders.
Another favorite tactic Albeorn used and still do, is to let elf’s fight each other.
Albeorn/Andropinis have spy’s everywhere to make intriguies in many clans, especially his all time favorite clan “Night runners”, who specialize in murders, assasinations and intrigues.
Albeorn him self takes great joy of seeing elf’s fighting elf’s. Still this day Androponis is having many elven spy’s in the different clans. Andropinis saw the end of the Cleansing wars as a defeat, and he bears grudge. In Balic to day, there are around 10% elf’s. He loves to have elf’s around him, for as much as he hates the race, as much he admire them.
Many of the palace concubines are of elven blood, and he takes great pleasure in abusing them and break them down. None of these concubines have ever escaped the palace and lived to tell about the horrors going on in Mighty Andropinis private chambers.
Andropinis loves going to the Arena of Balic to watch elf’s fighting elf’s. He loves to set up scenes where elf’s are being mutilated, killed and humiliated. In his private chambers in the palace there is a lot of paintings on the walls showing all kind of bizarre complications where beautiful elf’s Are destroyed and torn apart. He is obsessed in many different ways of killing elf’s and have a huge dungeon to torture and mutilating elf’s.
The elf’s are his toy, like a cat is playing around with a mouse.
Rumours says that he have an entire island in the Sea of Silt, where he made an entire society full of mutilated, twisted and amputated elf’s. This place is rumored to be one of the worst, cruelest and most bizarre places in the entire Tyr region.
Silly question- In the 4th Edition Material, aren’t there some hints dropped that Abalach-Re is of outsider origin? The 4E Dark Sun stuff irritates me so I’d hate to have to go back and look at it, but it seemed to hint at her being some kind of fiend or half-fiend before beginning metamorphosis.
On the subject of Nibenay, after the Pentad novels he starts to seem like an… alright kind of former genocidal warlord that is seeking some sort of metaphysical solution to the problems of Athas? Hammanu kind of comes across in the same light, but with more of an eye towards the actual physical/day-to-day well being of things. Oronis always seemed to be wearing a boo-boo face, cowering in his false utopia trying to make right on what he did, knowing he can’t, and getting his apprentices killed in the process. Given those 3 are the not-undead Sorcerer-Kings left at that point, no wonder things had to be kind-of rebooted. They were too likable and sympathetic, and the Sorcerer-Kings were supposed to symbolize how uncaring and hostile the setting could be.
This is one of my favorite threads, so I’m going to revive it (hopefully). I sadly almost never looked at the old wizard’s forums while they were active, so I don’t know much about the discussion of Abalach-Re as a ruler, but my two cents on the matter, as the owner of almost every dark sun book ever made, is that I always saw her as secretly extremely competent, with her apparent decadence being a mask. Tecktuktitlay I always saw as a braggadocios coward, but one whose personal abilities are actually fairly strong, he just doesn’t know how to rule a city, a trait her shares with the so called forest goddess.
Lalali-Puy I’ve always seen as the far less competent of the two between her and Abalach-Re. Her city state is at least as dysfunctional as Draj or Raam, and only it’s geographical location and enslaved spirits keeps it from crumbling in a week. Unlike Nibenay, she doesn’t know how to manage or rule properly, which results in her sticking her fingers into everything on whatever whim takes her. The whole city twists to her whims and is mostly kept intact by family units in spite of her, not because of her. It barely even qualifies as a city. Abalach-Re actually keeps a careful eye on her city, and knows how to remake it if it suits her plans. Lalali-Puy just doesn’t care, and her personality and city state are basically as feral as Draj and it’s ruler. She’s just actually delusional rather than cowardly and stubborn.
Ok, I was just lurking and reading, but I gotta chime in about this one:
“Unlike Nibenay, she doesn’t know how to manage or rule properly”
I strongly disagree. The core sources clearly show that Nibenay has little to no interest in managing or ruling his city-state. He’s so hands-off and indifferent that his populace regularly (in generational terms, at least) comes to the conclusion that he literally doesn’t exist. THAT is why he’s called the Shadow King. He’s barely existent, like a shadow. His templarate runs the show. He only bothers to make an appearance when the talk of his death or nonexistence gets out of hand, and then only to make a big show before slinking back to his wtf studies.
Conversely, Lalali-Puy’s city-state is actually very cohesive and well-run. Her populace actually LOVES her (whether they should or not, well . . . ). She tales an active role in the day-to-day of her city, the people have a vibrant culture, and their needs are generally met. Out of all the city-states, hers is the only one where you could genuinely make the argument that the citizens are generally happy and content (relatively speaking).
When all is said and done, I would argue that ALL of the sorcerer-monarchs (except maybe kalak at the end, when his obsession overtook his competency) are EXTREMELY adept at ruling. It’s important to remember that these people are actually literal geniuses, the top minds in their field who have had thousands of years of practice at playing Sim City with their citizens. To treat ANY of them as cowardly or incompetent is a disservice. At worst, they’re simply disinterested (like Nibenay) or their priorities have taken a turn (like Kalak, who intended to sacrifice his entire city). Those that take an active role must be understood to know what they’re doing. Hamanu has a very hands-on approach with his city, which is arguably the most well-run of the region. Andropinis likewise takes an active role in the elections of his city. Tectuktitlay puts a lot of effort into reinforcing his divine participation in his cult and city. Lalali-Puy regularly engages and interacts with her citizens. Kalak is specifically said to have been immensely competent, but ultimately has zero shits to give when he reaches the state of lighting his citizen-kindling. Dregoth is hardly ever around, having apparently delegated municipal authority to his seconds, much like Nibenay (the difference being that while Nibenay is a literal absentee father whose existence his citizens frequently doubt, Dreogth is explicitly worshipped as a god). Abalach-Re certainly foments the idea of her own incompetence, but I seriously doubt that is anything other than a smokescreen hiding something else.
And yet, his city state is actually one of the most efficiently run city states, specifically because of the system that he set up. The ivory triangle box set is clear on that. It is ultimately because of him that his city state works, and, yes, he might no longer be necessary for his city’s functionality, but he clearly showed his capacity to govern and rule.
The fact that Lalali-Puy engages with her citizens does not make her competent as a ruler. Every source, from adventures to the ivory triangle box set, that features her has made it clear that Gulg is a far weaker and less civilized city state than Nibenay, with many of the systems that it runs on being hilariously incompetent or at least inefficient. (her high templar has a wisdom score of 9 in dark sun 2e. 9) The fact that people love her just means she has good PR. And unlike Abalach-Re or even Tecktutitlay, she appears to be actually delusional about her effectiveness, too caught up in being the “forest goddess” and binding her citizens to their own little forest world to bother making a system held together by anything more than prayer.
I don’t remember the exact quote, but I believe that somewhere in the ivory triangle box set, it actually specifies that her hands on approach results in very strange shifts in Gulgan life at times, because she tends to focus on problems in isolation and on a whim. This is why I call her an incompetent ruler. Not because she isn’t smart, but because she runs her city like a cult. Which is the reasoning behind my statement above where I said that if it wasn’t for the geographical bounty of Gulg, the city wouldn’t last more than a week.
Aside from the rampant hatred of outsiders, I’ve seen nothing to indicate that her city is either cohesive or well run, in any way that isn’t just a cult of personality. Which is to say she has personal charisma that makes people believe that they are amazing and under the protection of a goddess, but that doesn’t make any of those things true. The same applies to Tecktuktitlay and Daskinor, only many of their citizens don’t even believe their bullshit. Conversely, Nibenay, Hamanu, Kalak, Oronis, Kalid-Ma, Andropinis, Hamanu, Dregoth, and yes, even Abalach-Re (if she would actually focus on it again), have all demonstrated the capacity to actually make and run city states that wouldn’t implode immediately if they died. Borys doesn’t give a shit, and we don’t know enough about how Sielba ran anything to make judgements there.
This is why I consider Borys, Tek, Daskinor, and Lalali-Puy incompetent as rulers, and all of those except Borys have demonstrated major incompetence in general.
I doubt any of the Sorcerer Monarch’s are incompetent - criminally negligent, maybe, but that’s because of disinterest rather than inability. About Lalali-Puy being a cult leader - big agree. I take that a step further. The Oba is an epic thrallherd. Many of the citizens of Gulg are her believers.
In my conception of Dark Sun, I’ve taken the thrallherd concept to heart. There is only one thing more forbidden in the city states than magic, and that is the practice of thrallherding. Thrallherds cause endless disruption. Slaves runaway from their plantations to join thrallherds. Thrallherds gather cults around them. When thrallherding in a city is suspected, the authorities investigate to find out whether someone is thrallherding or is just popular. To know, they have to see how the guru interacts with the followers. Investigators of thrallherds are always templars of sufficiently high rank to execute a suspect on the spot, because allowing a thrallherd to live is dangerous.
Of course, that doesn’t help when the thrallherd happens to be the Sorcerer Queen. Out it the desert there are dozens of thrallherds, running their own little cults. Here are two 3.5e feats known to the Oba. Adapted from Epic Leadership and Legendary Commander.
Epic Thrallherd [Epic]
Your psychic call to thralls and believers strengthens.
Prerequisites: Twofold Master, Leadership score 25.
Benefit: The Thrallherd gains an Epic version of the Thrallherd class ability. You attract thralls and believers as shown on Table: Epic Leadership. In all other ways Epic Thrallherd functions as the normal Thrallherd class feature.
The Thrallherd class ability provides no benefit for leadership scores beyond 25.
Legendary Thrallherd [Epic]
You have learned to modulate your psychic resonance to connect with vastly more people.
Prerequisite: Epic Thrallherd, Diplomacy 30 ranks, Sense Motive 30 ranks, must have a cult compound or lands sufficient to maintain the believers.
Benefit: Multiply the number of followers of each level that you can lead by 10. Thus, a Leadership score of 25 would allow you to lead 1,350 1st-level believers, 130 2nd-level believers, and so forth. This has no effect on thralls.
Agree on the second, disagree on the first. The sorcerer king’s may have been able to scour the world as champions, but that isn’t indicative of their capacity to rule in a functional manner, or heck, even their ability to be functional in others ways. Having godlike power gives you a lot of freedom to be inept and still survive in such a harsh world. None of them would have been chosen by Rajaat if they were hopeless, but after millennia without a proper challenge or connection with their peers, some of them are likely bored out of their minds and looking to stave off ennui rather than create anything functional for the mortals who serve them, or heck, even plan long term. Whether or not this means they are incompetent, is, yes, somewhat subjective, but it certainly gives the appearance of such.
Moreover, and to my point about Lalali-Puy vs Abalach-Re above, sources from the Forest Maker adventure to 4e lore show that Abalach-Re is far smarter and better at planning than she looks. In the one adventure Lalali-Puy appears in (baring Dregoth Ascending. I’d really love to somehow acquire a 2e copy so I can see if she has a role in it like she does in the 3e version), she leaves her most valuable possession out on a table to get smashed! And she doesn’t even come after you for vengeance afterwards.
I like this. How much epic stuff have you made? Because you seem like a bottomless well of epic dark sun rules.
Still a work in progress. Most of my stuff is not epic. Its just that Dark Sun is the first epic setting for D&D.