The Burnt World of Athas

The official Dark Sun website

Ashes of Athas pregen contest

Baldman Games, who produce the shared-play Ashes of Athas campaign, are holding a contest for the best level 6 pregens. The deadline for submissions is on January 12th.

http://forums.baldmangames.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=244

Ur-Draxa [Dragon]

Dragon Magazine brings us an article on Ur-Draxa by Travis Stout and Rodney Thompson.

Filling the heart of an island whose name has been lost to time, the Valley of Dust and Fire sits like a festering wound. Volcanic ash chokes the air, and an ever-present storm of silt scours anyone foolish enough to try to reach the island’s surface. Sightings from a distance have spawned both tales of wonder and tales of horror, because depending on which bard you believe, within the valley lies a city that is either the last refuge of Athas’s verdant past, a land of ease and plenty, or a twisted nightmare citadel, the birthplace of the death of the world.

Given the bleak, harsh nature of Athas, it is no surprise that the latter legend is far closer to the truth. Two millennia ago, Ur Draxa, the capital of the island nation of Ebe, was a paradise. The draconic ascension of Borys of Ebe reduced the island to a blasted waste that was haunted by strange elemental spirits. Ur Draxa has become a city of the unquiet dead, her citizens’ lives snuffed out to feed the grotesque sorceries that transformed Borys into the Dragon.

Next month, an article on the Cerulean Storm that destroys the dragon’s city! (Well, if history is any precedent….)

Death Mark Novel Review

Robert Schwalb’s first novel Death Mark is scheduled for release on December 6th, 2011. Robert Adducci (Raddu) reviews the latest Dark Sun novel.

It’s easy to tell that Schwalb not only knows the setting (he is one of the 4th edition authors), but that he’s a fan.

Read more of Raddu’s Death Mark novel review

The Nine Swords of Tyr [dungeon]

new dungeon article, The Nine Swords of Tyr

In the dark days before the death of Kalak of Tyr, the Veiled Alliance hatched a desperate plan to craft weapons designed to destroy the sorcerer-kings. A council of Veiled Alliance leaders met in secret within the city, the first and only time in memory that such a risky gathering was attempted. The greatest arcane minds that the resistance had to offer compiled secret instructions for the creation of weapons that would defend their wielders against the most powerful of the defilers’ attacks, and undermine their greatest defenses.

Terrors of the Silt Sea

A new article up in Dungeon magazine:

As if the Sea of Silt were not dangerous enough, filled with fine powder that suffocates human-sized creatures, many frightening beasts call it home. Veteran sailors of the Sea of Silt tell tales of nightmarish monsters, such as the notorious silt horror. Such stories inspire terror in those both who ply the Silt Sea on skimmers and those who live on its shore. Among the horrific creatures that inhabit the silt, two of the most frightening are the azraloka and the oasis beast.

AoA Chapter 2 available

Ashes of Athas chapter 2 is available for non-convention play.

Ashes of Athas is proud to announce that we are expanding play opportunities for our popular Living style Dark Sun Campaign to events outside of larger conventions.

What does that mean to you? It means that if you cannot make all the large shows that AoA premieres at you can still keep up with the storyline and friends until the next time you can. New Chapters for the campaign will still premiere at larger shows around the world but a few months after will be released for games run at local store or even your basement (just not your mom's basement - do not ruin our geek street cred please).

Order your copy here.

The House of the Mind

By Rodney Thompson

Teaching the Way, the art of manipulating psionic power, is forbidden in the city of Draj. By the sorcererking’s decree, the only place to learn psionics is at his own academy, called the House of the Mind. There, Tectuktitlay personally oversees the training of future masters of the Way. Though none but Tectuktitlay can know his motivations, whispers spread throughout the city-states that the sorcerer-king is cultivating a private army of psionicists to unleash upon his enemies. Other rumors claim that Tectuktitlay is building a psionic priesthood to speed his transformation into a dragon and thus challenge the Dragon of Tyr.

The school’s headmaster, an elderly human named Ixtabai, oversees a staff of lesser and greater masters of the Way, as well as a handful of templars who act as the school’s instructors. All the masters at the school are former students who managed to graduate to advanced ability, and each is said to possess secret techniques that only he or she is privy to. Many of the students regard Ixtabai as a figurehead, but the rest of the staff obeys his instructions with good reason: Ixtabai has planted subtle psionic traps in the minds of his students, so that if one becomes problematic the aging mentor could simply trigger the trap, rendering the subject mindless.

The House of the Mind DDI article (subscription required)

Encounter: Threat from the Gray

Neuroglyph games has posted an interesting 4e encounter featuring a couple of customized undead critters. Designed as a mid-heroic tier encounter, it makes good use of Gray-based (as opposed to your standard) undead.

I like the idea of posting explicit packaged encounters for Dark Sun, and if anybody knows of any other encounters like this, please send me an email.