Travel to the moons

So you want to travel to one or both of Athas’ moons? I wouldn’t recommend it. In my mind both are more barren and lifeless than Athas and travelers would find nothing there to alleviate living conditions back home. The focus of Dark Sun should be living on Athas and not living on its moons, but sometimes you just have to go there to find out for yourself. Here are five methods of getting there I recommend, that stay in line with published material.

The first three methods are found in the 2e book Dragon Kings. There you find the story of Thorlin, the leader of a farming village of Arkhold, who heard voices from the moons. He was commanded by Ral and Guthay to visit them to receive their wisdom. The wisdom he received, he claimed, would lead to prosperity for the village. He then instructed the villagers to burn all the crops and sacrifice all the livestock. It ultimately ended in famine and people abandoning the village; as killing all livestock and burning all crops so often does.

The legend mentions he used some sort of magical device to get to the moons. Three different magical devices are offered as one of the modes of travel: a jozhal-drawn chariot, a net carried by air elementals, or a spoon.

The first seems pretty straightforward. Jozhals are known for their attraction to magic items. I suspect they found or detected this magical chariot and stole it from the original owners and now use it to secretly offer trips to the moon and back. To find these Jozhals is to find their Moon Chariot. The chariot is capable of supplying air to the travelers and can travel at a speed quick enough to arrive in a few days. Be sure to bring supplies for the journey. I recommend the astronaut ice cream. (You can have it on Athas because you don’t need to keep it cold.)

The second is also straightforward; a large net lifted by four air elementals - one on each corner. The traveler and all his or her supplies are placed within the net and up, up, up it goes. I’m guessing the air elementals supply sufficient oxygen and pressure so that you don’t suffocate or explode in the vacuum of space on the journey there.

The last of the three is Thorlin’s Spoon or the Moon Spoon; the most obvious choice for moon travel. I tried to somewhat stat this out. This is a giant wooden spoon measuring 20ft in total length and the handle is about a foot wide at its widest. The bowl of the spoon measures 4ft by 6ft, and 2ft at its deepest, enough to fit a medium sized creature and his equipment somewhat comfortably. Treat this as a Carpet of Flying 5x10, able to carry up to 400 lbs. The spoon also operates as a Necklace of Adaptation allowing the user to breathe even in a vacuum. I’m not sure if a traveler prefers to ride “in” the spoon, ride with the handle between his legs, or ride standing up on it. I’m not even sure which is considered the front or back of the spoon or which direction is preferred to move forward. But I am certain that any character in one of these will look nothing less than awesome flying towards a waxing gibbous Guthay against an olive tinged sky.

The fourth method comes from another legend beginning on the same page in Dragon Kings. Here a human known as Uncle Tontor visits King Snakewing, king of silk wyrms, to learn where silk wyrms come from since no one has ever seen them breed or has seen young silk wyrms. Tontor is then told “when a mommy and daddy silk wyrm love each other…” No, he is not told that, but rather upon the king’s orders Tontor is simply carried away by 100 silk wyrms to Guthay to discover it is really a giant egg hatching silk wyrms fully-grown. It is unknown if these silk wyrms can also travel to Ral or why the need for 100 silk wyrms to carry him to Guthay when maybe less than a dozen would do the trick. Nevertheless, the journey is most likely a horrifying experience and probably involves being bitten, paralyzed for several days, and encased in silk. Lucky travelers are those who arrive without having their blood sucked dry.

I couldn’t find any moon-traveling in the 3.5 material, but perhaps I will turn something up one day. So the fifth method of getting to the moon comes from a 4e source.

The most straightforward way of getting to an Athasian moon in 4e is found in the campaign setting book page 17, by simply using what is referred to as a “moon gate”. Not to be confused with the Moon Gate of Draj, mind you. Stories tell of these ancient moons gates that apparently operate at unpredictable intervals which will lead the traveler to the moons. Unfortunately the moons of 4e are a paradise compared to Athas and I doubt a traveler would ever want to return. Which is why I prefer dead, moons in my Athas. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that a 4e sorcerer king or two escaped to one of these moons just to chill for a few thousand years. But one of theses gates sounds like it will get you there to stop their nefarious chilling.

Of course there may be other options of getting to the moons, but I find little evidence in the books that substantiate it. All I can say is “good luck” and check out some of these options and ideas to see if they will get you there.

The Crimson Monolith
The Nightmare Gate
The Planar Gate
An artifact ship similar to the Jade Marquess that travels on moonbeams
Teleportation. Like the magic spell.
Teleportation. Like the psionic ability
Plane shifting with githyanki
Some Lifeshaped space vehicle
A spell jamming ship. (Or maybe not)
Finally, a spaceship flown by halflings. (I know, I know, this never happened. And if it does in your game, please keep it to yourself.)

And with that, I am off for a ride on my Moon Spoon to Ral. Astronaut ice cream anyone?


I’d say that the chariot and the spoon are actually the same, with the moon chariot superficially resembling a giant spoon made of silver, with the bowl of the spoon is where the passengers sit and the handle is actually a sort of prow.


Check the spelljammer write-ups for Dark Sunspace (AKA the Crimson Sphere) This one is the best:


The spoon is actually part of a catapult. If you survive the escape velocity, and the space voyage, you’ll get to the moon… eventually.

If you perform a search check on the spoon, you’ll find strange runes etched in an inconspicuous part of the spoon: A.L.I.C.E.

The spoon makes a BANG! and ZOOM! sound when in operation.


I was thinking more along the line of a sound like the cars on The Jetson’s.

1 Like

My comments on the sound effect and the ‘strange runes’ were a reference to an older TV show. If anyone doesn’t get the reference, do a search for “to the moon alice” on youtube. ^-^