The Burnt World of Athas

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Dear friends,

It has been a very long week of travelling, and we have quite far to go still. I shall send one final clairvoyant missive in the name of the Athasian Survey Project to you before I rest again.

Our craft continued to limp its way west, passing the ruins of Shault. Over the past century, I’ve been informed this island had become surprisingly verdant for being in the middle of the silt sea, thanks to the active efforts of an unlikely ally of the Consortium.

Our craft stopped on the shores of this forested island, and I parlayed with the first giant I met on the shore, telling them I was there to meet with Mearedes. He and his companion escorted me and the ship’s captain to her grove.

When one pictures beings who actively work to restore the world, it’s easy to let one’s own prejudices colour their expectations, or even lead them to discount many races from the struggle. But we must never forget that this world ultimately belongs to all of us. Whether their species has inhabited this land since the Green Age, or if they were artificially created by bad actors, any being who earns their survival on Athas deserves a chance to live as long a life as this world can spare.

So I began my meeting with the half-giant druid Mearedes and her tribe of noble giants with just this suspension of judgement. By virtue of this decision, I was thus able to maintain her respect, and buy the assistance of her tribe in getting the remnants of my crew and our skimmer back to the mainland safely.

This image you see is a view of part of the settlement inside her grove. The scale is deceptive– those doors are sized for a full-grown giant. Being a former slave of Raam, she has brought her conceptions of civilization to the giant tribe she now leads, which has created an interesting dichotomy. I once met an archivist back in Urik who insisted that the giants had their own highly sophisticated civilization back before the Cleansing Wars, one of the many things that was completely annihilated by the champions. Seeing this settlement made me wonder what such a civilisation of giants could have looked like.

Tomorrow we will experience a truly remarkable journey back to the mainland, literally standing on the shoulders of giants.

Until next time, may the moons guide you.

Giant village on Shault
Asp Shault by Neujack

(I am aware this might be trickier than most to place, so I will up the ante on my prize for guessing this location. How about a second hand lightly used silt skimmer to anyone who can guess?)


Been playing Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs since 1987. Been playing Dark Sun since it was released. Returned to Athas in 2020 for its expanded timeline and geography.