The Burnt World of Athas

The official Dark Sun website

Beriah's Tale

A story about what happens when one defies a sorcerer-king.

Beriah's Tale

Author Unknown

Walking through the market streets of Draj, little Beriah could only look around her in wonder at all the sites, sounds and smells as this was her first time going to the market with her mother. She stared back and forth from painted nobles in divans carried through the throngs on the backs of slaves to grim faced templars and their massive half-giant guards. Each new sight made young Beriah’s eyes grow wide in amazement even those of beggars in the alleys and the slinking elves with daggers pulled ready for murder.

She had just begun to examine a stall selling exotic fruits when a sudden commotion could be heard from the king’s pavilion in the center of the market. Beriah could hardly control her excitement as she turned from the stall to look in the direction of shouts and growls. Through the throngs of people running from the pavilion a glimpse of their king could be seen.

As he walked to the center of the square his voice boomed throughout the marketplace. "I have discovered that many are not happy with the life they have here and wish to better themselves by conspiring against me. To those who have lost their loyalty to me I will show the foolishness of such actions."

Without another word a faint mist poured from the hands of the sorcerer king and began filling the area. Without warning the people closest to the king began to fall to the ground screaming and withering into heaps of bones.

Beriah’s mother grabbed her hand and yelled, "Run!" Beriah ran as fast as she could towards the edge of the market scrambling between others in similar flight and quickly out distanced her mother who was forced to slow due to the mass of people.

At the edge she turned to see her mother trip over a bench and fall to the ground. Wordlessly her mother yelled to Beriah to continue running, but Beriah was frozen as she watched the line people falling in pain edging closer to and then reaching her mother. Her mother began to scream and convulse as the very flesh from her body withered and fell off her bones. Horrified Beriah could only watch until something in her mind forced her to turn from her mother and run from the square.

As she ran the last images of her mother gasping for life kept running through her mind with the force of a rolling boulder. Reaching her house she ran into the door and cried, "Father!"

"Yes precious one? I am in the shop." her father replied. Sobbing she ran into her father’s arms. "What is this? What is the matter Beriah?"

"Mother...she...dead...and the king...bones..." were the only words Beriah could get out between sobs. Her father’s face clouded over as he picked up his only child. "Hush my precious one, everything will be all right", was all he said as he quickly sat down with little Beriah in his lap and slowly rocked her till she cried herself to sleep.

7cb432fd9e951ebe5a3f8377df09c346

Raddu

Original creator of The Burnt World of Athas back in 1995 or so...