We live in a world of fire and sand. The crimson sun scorches the life from anything that crawls or flies, begs, fights or flees, and storms of sand scour the foliage from the barren ground. Lightning strikes from the cloudless sky, and peals of thunder roll unexplained across the vast tablelands. Even the wind, dry and searing as a kiln, can kill a man with thirst.

This is a land of blood and dust, where tribes of feral elves sweep out of the salt plains to plunder lonely caravans, mysterious singing winds call men to slow suffocation in a Sea of Silt, and legions of slaves clash over a few bushels of mouldering grain. The Dragon despoils entire cities, while selfish kings squander their armies raising gaudy palaces and garish tombs.

This is our home, this Athas. It is an arid and bleak place, a wasteland with a handful of austere cities clinging precariously to a few scattered oases. It is a brutal and savage land, beset by political strife and monstrous abominations, where life is grim and short.

Though the picture I have painted so far is of a stark and rugged land, I do not mean to say that Athas is dreary or monotonous. To the contrary, it has a majestic and stark beauty of its own. For when first light casts its emerald hues over the Sea of Silt, or when sunset spreads its bloody stain over the Ringing Mountains, there is a certain feral beauty that stirs the untamed heart in all of us. It is a call to take up spear and net, stone and steel, to flee the city, to go and see what lurks out in the barrenness…

This is a 2nd Edition AD&D Play-by-post game.

This game assumes that the PCs have answered the call to aid Athas, along with many other adventurers. Aside from this basic premise, the game is an open sand-box, story-lines are mostly non-linear, you are free to pursue (or not pursue) any plot-hooks you see, and you are free to strike out on your own and explore whatever takes you fancy. What does this mean? Here are a few major points to keep in mind:

The world is not scaled to your level. Unless you commit genocide, you can expect to keep encountering hej-kin and tari at level 20. Likewise, unless you are cautious, you can expect to encounter larger, scarier monsters at level 3. Sometimes discretion is the better part of avoiding a TPK.
After the first session, you should expect a lot of plot-hooks on a regular basis, whether from rumors around town, random strangers in pubs, or even as random encounters while you are on another mission.

There are other adventurers doing the same thing you are (both other PCs and NPC parties). If you choose not to follow a hook, another party might take care of it for you. Other parties might even choose to pursue the same mission simultaneously with you. Don’t count on a given mission still being there if you decide to pursue something else.

There is a regular influx of new recruits. If a PC dies (and the party lacks the funds or desire to raise him), the party can just go about and find a replacement. Replacements might also turn up as other adventurers who are either brave enough to explore on their own, or who were separated from the rest of their party (or are the lone survivor of a failed expedition).

Also, remember, if you write a cool character background that gives me some possible plot-hooks, a nemesis, or anything else useful, expect it to be used. Player collaboration on the story is greatly appreciated.

The DM reserves the right to change any rule on this wiki at any time. All such changes will be documented here.