This is a post about my Dark Sun game.
Like any pre-made setting, everybody runs their favourites a little differently. It occurs to me that because Dark Sun is so weird and different from bog standard D&D, it might be useful for me to have something I can point my players to and say "It's like this".
Here are some unique people, places, and ongoing conflicts in my version of Athas:
King Tithian of Mericles
The current (mortal) king of Tyr.
Tithian was born into a noble family. After giving up on learning the Way (Psionics), he became a Templar of Kalak, serving the immortal sorcerer king for many years as his Master of Games, and eventually his Master of Works as well.
Only a few weeks before Kalak's attempt to ascend to godhood by sacrificing the city of Tyr did Tithian turn against his master. He aided the other Deposers of Kalak (gladiators, a patriar, and a Veiled Alliance witch) in overthrowing and killing Kalak, driving the aged sorcerer's own pointed crown through his blackened heart.
Tithian now wears the same bloody, melted crown upon his head.
As king, Tithian's first act was to abolish slavery in Tyr, freeing all the slaves in the region. His second act was to install the templars as the nominal law enforcement of the city, beholden to him and the council of nobles. Beyond that, little is known about Tyr's new king. He has shut himself away within Kalak's golden palace while his templars try to keep the peace in a city that is tearing itself apart.
For those mercenary enough to work for or with the much despised templars, King Tithian has a bounty board of nigh impossible tasks:
- Investigate and clear out the monsters in the iron mines - 5000gp
- Destroy the gang of criminals known as the Iron Rats, hiding in the Under Tyr - 2000gp
- Capture of any spies sent from the six remaining sorcerer kings/queens - 2000gp
- Infiltrate the Blacksun Villa - 1000sp
- Capture/Expose any member of The True, a cult of Kalak revivalists - 700gp
- Creating a working map of Under Tyr's crypts - 100gp per mapped room
|A mural of Lady Penumbra in her villa in Tyr. Drawn by Sam Mameli|
|Actual Lady Penumbra|
When the slaves were freed, many noble houses and merchants struggled to cope. Suddenly they had to pay fair wages for work, or they'd find themselves without a labour force. Lady Penumbra seems unaffected by this; her hundreds of servants and workers have remained loyal to her, and are willing to work for almost nothing in order to remain in her care and employ.
While many patriars attest that Penumbra's kind treatment of her slaves before and after Kalak's death is what keeps them so devoted and loyal, more than a few merchants suspect her of sorcery.
Little is known about her past. It is known that she is a native of Raam, but has lived and worked in almost every city state. She occupies a Ruling House in Altaruk and has bizarre relations with a tribe of halflings in the Ringing Mountains.
Lady Penumbra is always looking for skilled individuals willing to do difficult jobs with a certain level of discretion:
- Assassinate Tectuktitlay, sorcerer king of Draj - 10'000gp or permanent property in Tyr
- Recover any magical items found across Athas - trade for metal equipment/favour
- Destroy a rival Trade House of Altaruk - 1500gp
- Recover specific objects from the iron mines - 1000gp each
- Delve into the Door of Drakes - trade for specialized items/weapons/favours
- Create a working map of Kalak's Ziggurat - 100gp per mapped room
Aris Ariphistaneles and the Veiled Alliance
The current head of the trade fortress of Altaruk, and widely considered the most connected person in the region.
Aris is a modestly handsome man raised in the trade fortress. While most citizens of the town are visitors from other city states, Aris calls Altaruk his home. He alone cares more about the fortress' prosperity and continued existance than about making a profit. This is evident in him pouring his family's vast fortune into Altaruk's reconstruction after it was last destroyed by giants (The city of Altaruk has been destroyed/rebuilt many times over the centuries).
Aris is also secretly a member of the Veiled Alliance: one of the six living Guiding Hands. Other than perhaps his other contacts in Tyr and Balic, Aris is the highest ranking member of these secretive preservers in the Tyr Region.
"Those who wear the Veil" are always looking for informants and soldiers in their fight against the sorcerer kings of Athas. More often than not Aris' goals as the head of Altaruk overlap with his goals as a Veiled agent, and he will reward anyone who can accomplish any of the following:
- Assassinate any of Abalach-Re's viziers - 5000gp each
- Caravan guard duty from Altaruk to Balic/Altaruk to Tyr/Altaruk to Raam - 1000gp
- Spy on Lady Penumbra, report plans she has back to him - 10 survival days per useful report.
- Uncover the whereabouts or weaknesses of "The Wastewalker" - 500gp
The Sorcerer Kings
Athas is dotted by nine city states, each ruled by an immortal tyrant of one form or another: the sorcerer kings. Most believe they have always existed, others think they must have been human at some point in history. They, and their templars, make claim to the world of Athas and all of its resources. They are the closest things to gods in this world.
|Tectuktitlay, The Master and Father of Draj|
Nibenay, The Shadow King of Nibenay
|Hamanu the Lion, Warrior King of Urik|
|Dregoth, Undead Nightmare of Guistinal|
|Lalali-Puy, the Oba of Gulg|
|Queen Abalach-Re, Great Vizier of Raam|
|Andropinis, Dictator for Life of Balic|
|Seilba, Cursed Queen of Yaramuke|