Journal of Athas
Since the beginning Athas has always been a place of wonder. First it was oceans which covered the blue world. Then it was forests which covered a land of green. Now it is the crimson which covers the blood soaked wastes. How many beings have perished? How many have been destroyed simply because of their existence? How many unsettling souls wonder the eternal mists of The Gray in search of answers, in search of justice, in search of vengeance? I, as a historian and former journeyman, have undertaken the task of finding the answers, finding the justice, and avenging those who have gone before us. Many dark secrets lay concealed in the barren wastes today. Many, through bravery and greed alike, have done outstanding things that have changed this world in some way. For better or worse, those who wonder The Gray do not like to be forgotten. They want the bards to sing their tales, the sages to record their deeds. But many do not care and their feats are as long lost as the cities beneath the Sea of Silt. That is why I write this Journal of Athas today, so that those who have contributed will not be forgotten. So that the people may follow those who have done good and despise those who have done foul. So that Athasians may finally have a noble history to be proud of. I bring you these tales of ancient struggles of noble Athasians.
|Aeolus Sage of Tyr |
Year of the Dragon’s Slumber
190th King’s Age
Free Year 14
First Entry, Tears of an Athasian
Year of the Mountain’s Defiance, 156th King’s Age
He was a quiet man who rarely spoke. He was a wanderer who never rested. Whoever he may be his honor is not to be challenged, for he is one of the last of his kind. The clerics of water worship the forgotten element. If it is anything that Athas needs it is water. If it is anything that Athas has, it is not water. Most are repulsed for they turn away from his lost faith. Yet he faces the challenge like a gladiator champion facing the Dragon. He knows that the cause is lost. He knows it would never by the same again. Through his visions and dreams, he listens to the desperate cries of his masters. One day, they always say, the Blue Age would be restored. Perhaps Rajaat was right after all. If the mad warlord restores the Blue Age to Athas, water will once more be the dominant element. But he fails to see how destroying the races of the rebirth would add one single droplet of water to thirsty Athas.
Aeolus Sage of Tyr
It was that time once more when a gathering of the hardiest Athasians occurred at the edges of the world. Roth stood atop a ledge gazing down upon the canyon below him. Deadly boulders and dried shrubs below gazed back at him. The last traces of crimson were disappearing on the western sky. The majestic beauty was breathtaking. A light breezed carrying the last of the day’s merciless heat, touched the half-elf water priest’s body. Another day had ended.
Roth sighed deeply as he picked up his belongings and headed for the valley below, where he would camp for the night. In the distance a strange creature howled in pain. It echoed across the walls of the shadowy canyon giving it an almost haunting feeling. With a careful pace and the agility of a halfling, Roth descended upon the canyon floor. The night was cool and almost pleasant. There was only silence save for the sound of the gentle wind and inix hide sandals against the ground. Finding a comfortable place behind a large boulder, Roth set his belongings down and dropped to his knees. He closed his eyes, lifted his head, and muttered a prayer to the lost lords of water. Water, the giver of life and healer of pain, if only Athas had more of it. Roth cleared his thoughts and leaned himself against the giant boulder still warm from the sun. Withdrawing a small wooden bowl from his belongings, Roth muttered a few incantations. Precious water appeared instantly in the bowl.
Roth gulped the water down greedily. The day had been a long and hard one, he had traveled for many miles. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn, he would be on his way once more headed for Shazlim, a village located at the southern tip of the Dragon’s Bowl. There a friend of his said that a young cleric wished to pursue the path of water. Roth gave an abrupt chuckle and filled his mind with cynical thoughts. An initiate of water, the rarest and most desperate element on all of Athas. It had been a very long time since another had joined the thin ranks of the water clerics. In fact Roth believed he was the last one when he forged the pact of water in the Lake of Golden Dreams twelve years ago. But nevertheless, Roth was glad that someone was still interested. Every four years, all of the water clerics around the Tyr region gathered at a sacred place of their element. Last time four years ago it was the Dragon’s Palate, an island abundant with rain but inhabited by defensive giants. During the last gathering only twenty five clerics came. This time, Roth hoped it would be twenty six when his order gathered at Lake Island.
The cluttering of a few rocks from behind the boulder, startled the water priest dragging him from deep thought. Roth stood up and his hand instinctively went for the sharp bone sword sheathed at his belt. There were a few moments of tension, but the only sound was his own breath and the wind. Roth scanned the moonless night but his vision revealed only boulders and shrubs. Suddenly something poked Roth in the back, rather painfully. In a flash, Roth whipped out his sword and spun around. He stared into the glowing red eyes of a tall silhouette…