"This was once a green world, a world of seas and forests. The cruel and tormented world in which we live today was shaped by our own hands." — Garek Sandstride
- The world is a desert - the world is savage.
- Metal is scarce, arcane magic is rare, and psionic powers are common.
- The gods are silent; clerics worship the elements instead.
- No chromatic or metallic dragons; Cloud Rays dominate the sky.
- Water is more valuable than gold.
- First appearance of the Half-Giants (Goliath).
- Unique Race: Mul
- Race Variants:
Dark Sun is set on Athas, once a verdant paradise but now mostly desert, some of the races have managed to adapt to the new, harsh environment: elves are heat-resistant long distance runners, aarakocra are vulture-like thermal soarers, halfling cannibals monopolize the last stretch of jungle remaining. Its people escape the terrors of the creatures and plants that survive in the sands by huddling in city-states, ruled over by the oppressive reign of an evil sorcerer-king who wields god-like power. Templar's serve as priest-bureaucrats to the sorcerer-kings and are the only people allowed to cast magic, read and write - knowledge is power; any non-noble found to be literate faces severe punishment. As a result, no one can administer the law because no one knows what the law is. Trade is effected, bribes are common, and anyone could become a slave. People fight in gladiatorial arenas, or bet their valuables on the outcome: crystal, stone, bone, obsidian, and wood (to some degree) are the only workable materials. Athas has almost no metal, or most precious of all, water.
Magic is shunned and mistrusted as the power which defiled the land, while psionic powers have become commonplace. Athas has been deserted by gods, so clerics worship the elements instead. Dwarves swear oaths they never break and sire half-cast sterile offspring with humans; far beyond the mountains, half-giants pull trader's ships through deadly seas of sand and other, stranger races, more like insects or pterodactyls than men, watch it all. Dark, grim and deadly, Dark Sun presents a very different alternative to the traditional high fantasy setting.
Dark Sun fan