Athas, an old world with many scars. It has a long intricate history, not all painful, but mostly forgotten. For who can waste their time looking into the past, when they stuggle to survive on a dying planet?
Arid wastelands broken up by jagged mountains and seas of silt; that is what you have to look forward to when you live on Athas. Ten or twenty years of backbreaking labor and then death by thirty; that is what you have to look forward to when you live on Athas. Fierce monsters roam the wastes and prey on traveling caravans and small villages... Wait, you come from the city? Behind those high walls? Then you are doubly cursed, for at least those people outside have some freedom mixed with their suffering. You, you must serve a tyrant of the worst kind, a Sorcerer-King, and all of his corrupt templars.
It would be better to just end it now, save yourself a life of torment, for what can you hope to accomplish with such odds stacked against you? You are no hero, there are no heroes in Athas. Only dead men walking.
The following is a discription of the way it is on Athas (details may vary depending on location):
Many stories are told about the rise and fall of cities, or even of Athas itself. All are lies, or half truths. No one really knows what has come before, at least no one that is talking today. Much of the stories have a common theme though, that may be as true as not. Once Athas was green and lush. Once Athas had heroes who fought for honor & love, not mere survival. Something happened, some foul magic. Defilers? The Dragon? Perhaps. The world was twisted; everything died or became something tough enough to survive this harsh existence.
The truth of what happened to this world is out there somewhere. In a ruined library buried under the sand? A dark secret kept by the sorcerer kings? Shouted out in the mad ravings of an undead monster? One of the Dragon's memories? Perhaps you will be the person to piece all the lies together into the truth, but more than likely you will die never realizing your dream is a hopeless one.
The safest and most repressive out of all of the options. You are the least likely to die in your sleep, but you are subject to harsh laws and the whim of sorcerer kings, their templars, or the nobility.
A few of the most common laws are thus: Magic is illegal. Reading and writing is illegal. If you piss off a templar, noble, or the sorcerer king you are as good as dead. Justice is only as good as your coin purse is deep.
All is not hopeless in a city though. A clever mind or cunning knife can earn the respect of the powerful in the city, which are always fighting amongst themselves for power. An entrepreneur can even make money while templars and nobles fight each other; just watch that you don't get caught in the middle.
The game will start in the city-state of Tyr. Recently, the city's sorcerer king was killed. Now the city is in chaos as a new government is established. Slavery has been abolished, but this had led to all sorts of problems in the streets. Assassinations, murder, and theft are all common place and growing by the day. The threat of outside invasion also grows as other sorcerer kings gaze on Tyr with greedy eyes. ((More Details to Follow))
Who are these adventurers that brave the harsh world of Athas? What sort of men does this dying world birth? How long can a true hero survive, or how heroic can a true survivor be? Shall we find out?