Mirrors in the Desert
At the night the desert sleeps, like a tembo in repose: coiled, cruel, and for a moment the danger passes. The caravan master sits close by the fire, while the guards pace warily about. They do not wish to stray far from the warmth of the fire, but they know that the desert, like the tembo, awakens quickly.
You are one day’s travel by silt skimmer from your destination, the city-state of Balic. What brings you here? Are you a templar, returning from some quiet undertaking? Are you an agent of the Veiled Alliance, come to turn Balic’s false democracy true? Perhaps you are a slave, shipped to service in a nobleman’s house, or a slave trader, looking for a few more pieces of ceramic in your coin pouch. Maybe you’re nothing but muscle for hire, and Balic is just one more break in your travel across the wasteland landscape.
Truthfully, your identity doesn’t matter in the wilderness; here, we are all insignificant and vulnerable against the might of Athas, and until we reach Balic, we share a goal: live.
Welcome! As this game begins, you are – as you might have guessed – members of a silt skimmer on the way to Balic. Your characters are level 7, and in the Dark Sun campaign setting are experienced individuals of some talent. Of course, as this caravan approaches its destination, not everything goes as planned, and you will find yourselves caught up in a high-level struggle over an otherworldly power…
During this campaign, you will have the opportunity to makes many choices, some of which will decide the course of the plot. I encourage all players to use their Perception and Insight skills when dealing with Athasians — and their character’s conscience when weighing options.
If you have any questions or comments or compliments, let me know. Even if am too busy to make a proper post, I check my PMs and threads pretty much daily.
This campaign takes place within the Dark Sun setting, a year later than the official book describes. Athas is a tough, dangerous world, and your characters will be tested in challenges outside of combat. Even in combat, there’s room to bend and push the rules. You may fight lower-level enemies that use superior tactics, or enemies four levels too high for you that have an easily exploitable weakness. (The reverse is possible as well.)
My knowledge of Dark Sun is derived entirely from the 4E Campaign Setting book, so anything in the novels or previous editions cannot be assumed. I can and probably will change items not specifically covered in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, such as the origin or the world or the cosmology of the planes. As far as common character knowledge, however, everything in the books applies to this campaign.
Athas is a large world, and as such, there’s lots of room for player improvisation. You’re welcome to add small, minor details to the lore, so long as it doesn’t change the nature of the setting. For instance, your character might have been a member of a thieves’ guild in Tyr, run by a corrupt templar. That guild then becomes canon! You can’t, however, make the Dragon of Tyr an exarch of Tiamat and your long-lost twin brother, and also you are the secret lover of Lalali-Puy and avatar of Ao.
If you haven’t read any background on Dark Sun, go do so! This wiki, however, does provide some of the information you will need for our campaign.