History of Athas

15,000 – 14,000 Years Ago: The Blue Age

• The planet of Athas, containing a world-spanning ocean along with a few lush forests and wide grasslands, is ruled by halflings, the only known sentient race.

• Halflings use magic to manipulate nature, such as increasing agricultural yield or mitigating natural disasters, to benefit society. They do so without destroying the natural world; these are the Masters of Nature.

• Benders of Nature, a splinter group who manipulate nature more heavily and harm it without care, become increasingly prevalent.

• In the ensuing civil war, the Benders of Nature are captured or eliminated by the Masters of Nature.

• Masters of Nature attempt to expand the life force of the ocean, cultivating algae on a massive scale. They unwittingly create the Brown Tides, an ever-expanding field of mutated algae that warps whatever it comes into contact with by flooding it with uncontrolled life force.

• A set of towers are created as a magical network to contain and destroy the Brown Tides. These towers pull energy from the blue sun to fuel their containment magic.

• This effort succeeds, halting the spread of the algae, trapping it within the tallest of the towers, the Pristine Tower.

• However, the life force of the algae is too much for the Pristine Tower to contain, and within weeks, the mutagenic life force overflows, seeping into the surrounding territories.

• The blue sun, partially depleted of energy, turns green. This is the end of the Blue Age.

14,000 – 9,000 Years Ago: The Green Age

• Halfling civilization, having sacrificed so much to stop the Benders of Nature and the Brown Tides, is severely weakened.

• The life force overflow alters many creatures, ranging from sapient halflings to barely living plant creatures, into different sapient races.

• This marks the origin of Humans, Giants, Gnomes, Elves, Dwarves, and more; this is called the Rebirth.

• Society rebuilds and begins the Green Age. Kingdoms ruled by dwarves, humans, and elves spring up. Great cities such as Tyr, Bodach, and Guistenal are founded to house the new races, rivaling those of the halflings.

• The Tyr Region, with the city of Tyr at the center, formerly the hub of the Masters of Nature and many halfling kingdoms of the Blue Age, becomes a center of civilization once again, including kingdoms of many races.

• Rajaat, an unusually magically inclined halfling, is born in the city of Tyr. He becomes obsessed with returning the world to its Blue Age, an age when the world was covered by a vast ocean and ruled by halflings, the only intelligent native race.

• Via his aptitude for sorcery, Rajaat artificially extends his own life by several hundred years. He journeys to the Jagged Peaks and begins centuries of study.

• The thri-kreen of Athas, a race previously thought unintelligent, migrate from the Crimson Savanna to the Tyr Region. Though short-lived and alien in appearance, the thri-kreen possess great wisdom and insight. The current king of Tyr welcomes them with open arms.

• Mareet, ruler of Saragar in the Tyr Region, has a prophetic vision of the future, telling him of an impending doom to Athas. Obsessed with the warning, Mareet orders his three court mages to breach the time stream and determine the truth of what will happen.

• Mareet's mages breach the time barrier and learn of the impending Cleansing Wars, the rise of Rajaat, and defiling magic. Mareet wants to warn all of Athas, but the mages disagree and take control of their leader. Two of them use their formidable powers to shield Saragar from the rest of the world, while one – a druid – departs the city.

• The current ruler of Urik in the Tyr Region persecutes the thri-kreen and orders the death of all their kind in the city. Many thri-kreen across the land leave the cities to live in the wild. Migration of thri-kreen from the Crimson Savanna comes to a halt.

9,000 – 2,000 Years Ago: The Cleansing

• During the next three eons, Rajaat attempts to orchestrate the extermination of all the "impure" Athasian races created since the Rebirth. This series of campaigns will later be called the Cleansing Wars, granting Rajaat the title of War-Bringer.

• Rajaat travels to the ruins of the Pristine Tower and studies to refine his magic. He creates the concept of defiling – beforehand, magic was not widespread, and the few mages that did exist always preserved by default.

• After three eons of study, Rajaat emerges from the Pristine Tower to teach magic to the Rebirth races, popularizing wizardry across the Tyr Region. He teaches preserving magic openly, and defiling magic in secret to a select few. During this time Rajaat studies how magic interacts with the Rebirth races, and decides that humans have the most potential of all to suit his needs.

• The druid of Saragar warns his kin of their future struggles. In preparation for the spread of defiling magic, druids begin to create Trees of Life. These are magically enhanced trees which can grow anywhere, survive for centuries even despite having their life sucked away by defiling, and radiate preservative magic around them.

• Rajaat makes his first move, and begins an inquisition against the preservers of Athas for the next thousand years. Preservers across the land go into hiding while fighting a losing battle against the defiling followers of Rajaat.

• Rajaat sends all but a few of his students away. He harnesses the power of the Pristine Tower, which channels magic directly from the sun, and an artifact called the Dark Lens, which can be used to modify life force and infuse it with magical energy. Rajaat uses these artifacts to create his Champions, fifteen human defilers transformed into nearly immortal conquerors.

• Each Champion is ordered to eliminate one specific race from the face of Athas in an effort to bring about the return of the Blue Age. The Cleansing Wars begin.

• Sacha of Arala, 1st Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the kobolds of Athas.

• Kalak, 2nd Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the ogres of Athas.

• Dregoth, 3rd Champion of Rajaat, kills nearly every giant of Athas. He enslaves the remaining few, along with their magically spawned half-giant children, and secedes from the Champions to form his own military city-state of Guistenal.

• Myron of Yorum, 4th Champion of Rajaat, is tasked with eliminating the trolls of Athas, wielding Rajaat's Scorcher, one of the three powerful weapons forged by Rajaat. He learns of Rajaat's true plans, but lacks the means to gather the loyalty of the other Champions. Rajaat kills Myron and replaces him with Hamanu of Urik, who successfully eliminates the trolls of Athas using Rajaat's Scorcher.

• Irikos, 5th Champion of Rajaat, is tasked with eliminating the gnomes of Athas. He sacks the city of Bodach, which harbored many Rebirth races in an effort to protect them. However, Irikos is killed at the conclusion of the battle. His sword, Rajaat's Silencer, is lost for two eons. Rajaat replaces him with Uyness of Waverly; she finishes what Irikos started.

• Gallard, 6th Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the orcs of Athas.

• Sielba of Yaramuke, 7th Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the naga of the Tyr Region; however, she fails to destroy the final colony of naga, which retreats to the Crimson Savanna and ally with the thri-kreen.

• Albeorn, 8th Champion of Rajaat, fails to eliminate the elves of Athas. Rajaat kills him and replaces him with Andropinis.

• Tectuktitlay, 9th Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates or enslaves the minotaurs of Athas. He keeps the last tribes for slave labor and presses some into military service.

• Keltis, 10th Champion of Rajaat, tasked with slaying the lizardfolk of Athas, arrives at Saragar despite the powers of its two mages. However, their cleverness hides the entire population of lizardfolk from the Champion, and he soon leaves Saragar.

• Inenek, 11th Champion of Rajaat, fails to eliminate the aarakocra of Athas. Rajaat kills him and replaces him with Lalali-Puy of Gulg.

• Wyan of Bodach, 12th Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the pixies of Athas.

• Egendo, 13th Champion of Rajaat, fails to eliminate the dwarves of Athas. Rajaat kills her and replaces her with Borys of Ebe.

• Daskinor, 14th Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the goblins of Athas.

• Kalid-Ma, 15th Champion of Rajaat, successfully eliminates the khenra of the Tyr Region; however, he fails to destroy the final nomadic tribe of khenra, which retreats to the Forest Ridge for a few decades.

• Rajaat orders the defiler Qwith to explore the workings of the Inner Planes as a possible means of power. She begins examining potential methods of magically connecting them to the Material Plane.

• The magnitude and prevalence of defiling, in addition to the gradual death of the sun, begins transforming the planet into a desert wasteland. The vast ocean begins transforming into the Silt Sea as its water disappears, filled with dust that runs like a liquid.

• The great cities of Ebe, Waverly, and Arala are swallowed by the expanding Silt Sea, though later it recedes from Waverly. The nearby city of Bodach is spared, but becomes surrounded by silt.

• Infuriated at her lack of progress, Rajaat turns research of the Inner Planes over to Qwith's subordinates. Shortly after, an accident of unknown origins opens a gate to the Inner Planes, and obsidian flows across the land for hundreds of miles in each direction until the gate is closed by a particularly powerful Tree of Life.

• Thousands die in this disaster. Those killed by the obsidian rise as undead through a mysterious power from the Inner Planes.

• Viewing them as the most loyal of his Champions, Rajaat informs Sacha, Hamanu, Wyan, and Daskinor of his true plans.

• Rkard, the last dwarven king, is slain by Borys of Ebe in mortal combat. However, Borys himself is gravely injured in the duel. The Champion's attendants spirit him from the battlefield leaving his sword, Rajaat's Scourge, still buried in the dwarf's chest.

• Before Borys can retrieve the sword, Hamanu tells him of Rajaat's true plans for Athas: humans are to be exterminated, leaving halflings as the sole rulers.

• Becoming aware that Rajaat intends to wipe out the Champions, Borys leads them in a rebellion against their master, emerging victorious. Rajaat's halfling servants are banished to the Black as punishment for siding with the War-Bringer.

• Despite their power, the Champions of Rajaat cannot destroy his mortal remains. Instead, Gallard separates Rajaat's essence from his physical form, placing each in a separate location. Aided by the power of the Dark Lens, Gallard creates the Hollow, where he places Rajaat's essence. Gallard then creates a cyst of enchanted stone called the Black Sphere in which he places Rajaat's substance. He then hides the Black Sphere in a location known only to him and Borys.

• Sacha and Wyan, who remain loyal to their master, attempt to breach the cyst before it is hidden away. Their plan is discovered and they are beheaded by Borys. Due to the undead nature of the Champions, Sacha and Wyan survive, but are forced to submit.

• Through the use of the Dark Lens, Borys rewards the remaining Champions by spurring their transformations into draconic sorcerer-kings. This process links each of them to living vortices of magic, which allows them to grant their followers clerical spells. These vortices draw on the power of the sun of Athas.

• The green sun, further depleted of energy, begins to turn red. This is the end of the Green Age.

2,000 – 1,500 Years Ago: The Red Age

• The Champions realize that Rajaat's prison will not hold. Even segmented, Rajaat's power is supreme and he would one day be free. The Champions once again use the Dark Lens to accelerate Borys' transformation into the Dragon, whose power would keep Rajaat imprisoned for all time.

• Borys' transformation causes him to become temporarily insane, beginning a century of rampages across the land. In the confusion, two dwarven knights named Jor'orsh and Sa'ram steal the Dark Lens. The remaining sorcerer-kings each claim a city of Athas and barricade it from the rampaging Dragon.

• Lead by sorcerer-queen Uyness of Waverly, the sorcerer-kings storm Guistenal and kill Dregoth just before he is to become a second Dragon. The battle destroys the city, the land, and most of its population. Afterwards, Hamanu throws Rajaat's Scorcher into the Silt Sea. With the aid of his high templar Mon Adderath, Dregoth returns to life as an undead dragon king. The surviving populace is gathered soon after, and construction of New Guistenal begins.

• Borys emerges from his insanity and learns Rajaat's prison is on the verge of collapse. Soon after he collects a levy of 1,000 slaves from each sorcerer-king, using their lifeforce to reseal the War-Bringer's prison on a yearly basis.

• The Veiled Alliance forms around this time. In most cities, this secret league of preservers begins working together to protect their members from assassination and harassment by sorcerer-kings.

• Sielba of Yaramuke attempts to increase her power by attacking Urik, held by Hamanu. He easily defeats her army and personally slays the sorcerer-queen. On the heels of victory, Urik's army sacks Yaramuke and burns the city to the ground.

• To appease the Dragon's wrath for killing a sorcerer-queen, Hamanu presents Borys with a levy of Yaramuke's riches, which pleases the Dragon and spares Urik.

• Borys uses the ruins and treasure of Yaramuke to build Ur Draxa, which becomes the greatest city on all of Athas. At the center of the city Borys places the Black Sphere for him and his city to protect.

• The sorcerer-kings call for an inquisition against the druids of Athas, whose magic threatens their rule. For the next three centuries, practitioners of nature magic are hunted viciously by templars.

• After years of study Dregoth finally deciphers halfling records found in the caverns beneath New Guistenal. The end result is the creation of the first generation dray, which Dregoth deems a failure and banishes to Kragmorta.

• After several more failures Dregoth succeeds in his experiments, and the second generation of dray are created in his own image.

1,500 – 10 Years Ago: Strife Amongst Champions

• Dregoth discovers a planar gate. After a decade of research, he uses the device to travel the Outer Planes of existence for several centuries.

• After being nearly wiped from the face of Athas, the remaining druids of the land go into hiding for the next thousand years at a secret location in the Forest Ridge.

• Daskinor of Kurn builds an army to slay Borys the Dragon upon his visit to Kurn the following year. Borys learns of his plot, and not needing the levy to maintain Rajaat's prison, never returns to Daskinor's territory. Because of the actions of Daskinor, the city-state becomes isolated from the rest of Athas.

• Keltis has an attack of conscience and denounces being a sorcerer-king. Over the next centuries he strives to become something more noble. He renames himself Oronis, the lizardfolk word for "atonement".

• In an effort to increase his power, sorcerer-king Kalid-Ma attempts to further his dragon metamorphosis to a power near that of Borys of Ebe. The attempt is successful, but his mind is destroyed in the process. The dragon that was Kalid-Ma destroys his city of Kalidnay and begins to move into the rest of the Tyr Region. The creature is later slain by the combined efforts of Borys of Ebe, Kalak of Tyr, and Hamanu of Urik. With the loss of Kalidnay, the levy to keep Rajaat imprisoned becomes a firm 1,000 slaves from the seven remaining sorcerer-kings.

• A powerful druid named Tehnik, an ally of the Veiled Alliance, creates the four artifacts known as the Hearts of the Drake. Tehnik dies in the process.

• Tarandas of Raam, a powerful preserver and teacher throughout the Tyr Region, disappears without a trace. Her students insist she has ventured beyond her mastery of magic into realms unseen by lesser beings.

• With the aid of a wizard named Besteren, Oronis develops the Preserver Metamorphosis spell to counter Rajaat's vile magic. The spell nearly kills him, but in the end Oronis emerges as Athas' first avangion, a paragon of preservation magic.

• Oronis gives the Preserver Metamorphosis spell to a talented young preserver named Nerad, who becomes Athas' second avangion.

• After revealing himself to the Veiled Alliance of Tyr, Nerad is discovered by King Kalak, who in turn contacts the Dragon. Borys kills Nerad south of Tyr. In his grief, Oronis hides all copies of the Preserver Metamorphosis spell.

• Rajaat's Silencer is uncovered by an elf named Rimmon in the ruins of Bodach, who uses its power to lead her bandit tribe against the city-state of Balic. She defeats Andropinis, sorcerer-king of Balic, but Rajaat's Silencer is again lost.

• Rimmon is slain by the templars before she can finish the job on Andropinis. He reasserts control and begins increasing the number of templars in his court.

• The Obsidian Man is discovered in the mines of Urik. After returning the artifact to Urik, the sinister device activates and nearly kills Hamanu before he learns to control it with a golden circlet.

• Rajaat's Scorcher is recovered from the belly of a silt horror by an ex-gladiator named Vorr. Soon afterwards, Vorr disappears in the Valley of Trevain.

• Andropinis of Balic fails to come up with 1,000 slaves for the year's levy, presenting the Dragon with only 900. In his anger Borys levels a portion of the city and takes the remainder levy from among Andropinis' templars. For the next several years the sorcerer-king of Balic performs extensive slave raids across the southern Tablelands to rebuild his slave population.

•  A templar of Urik removes the golden circlet from the head of the Obsidian Man, which animates and kills him. The artifact is later traced through the streets of Urik, but disappears into the desert.

• After years of investigation into the death of Nerad, a preserver named Korgunard learns of Oronis. Though reluctant to have another death on his hands, Oronis gives him the Preserver Metamorphosis spell, but does not allow him to retain a copy.

10 Years Ago – Present: Struggle for Freedom

• King Kalak of Tyr is decisively slain by a single anonymous commoner. Nobody is quite sure how this happens.

• Kalak's templars formally endorse the assassination of their master and take control of Tyr, which is now lacking a sorcerer-king. Tithian, head templar, takes the title of King, and abolishes slavery.

• King Hamanu of Urik send his army to capture the iron mines of the recently overthrown Tyr. In response King Tithian forms an army of former slaves and defeats the approaching threat.

• King Andropinis of Balic pays an extra 1,000 slaves to make up for Tyr's share of the levy. For the next several years King Tithian of Tyr secretly supplies the Dragon with a levy of 1,000 slaves captured from outlying villages.

• Aided by the Veiled Alliance of Urik, Korgunard becomes Athas' third avangion.

Geography of Athas

The Forest Ridge
Other Planes

Although most events on Athas transpire on the Prime Material Plane, this world has experienced minimal contact with other planes.

• The Black is the Athasian equivalent of the Shadowfell. It holds no natural denizens, but contains a few scattered outposts of Athasian exiles. Halflings who supported Rajaat the War-Bringer, for example, reside in cultlike enclaves amidst the shadowy wastes.

• The Grey used to be the Athasian equivalent of the Feywild. Defiling reduced the majority of its verdant expanse to a blank grey waste, and what remains of this once lush plane is no bigger than the city of Tyr. The few Eladrin who reside there forbid the use of arcane magic on pain of death.

• The Inner and Outer Planes are in fact the same Inner and Outer Planes from other worlds. Athas' physical location within the Prime Material Plane means its corresponding Feywild and Shadowfell planes are isolated from the Feywild and Shadowfell of other planets. However, the same does not apply to the Inner and Outer Planes, which are physically vast enough that one can reach them by traveling from Athas just as easily as from Abeir-Toril.

Athas Today

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