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Athas was a desert planet located in a crystal sphere that was cut off from the rest of the Prime Material plane. Travel to and from the sphere was impossible by physical means and extremely difficult even by magic.[2]


The crystal sphere that contained Athas was not connected to any of the usual spelljamming routes out of Realmspace, Krynnspace, or Greyspace. Its location in the phlogiston was not documented in any book or chart. Some speculated that the crystal sphere was simply too distant from known space, so much so that traveling there would take several lifetimes.[4]

The world's inaccessibility was the result of a property of its crystal sphere that rendered it impenetrable to spelljammers and almost completely cut off from other planes.[5] The border of the Ethereal plane within the sphere was replaced by an environment known as "the Gray", which caused anyone in it to become lost and slowly weaken. It was extremely difficult to overcome by planar travel even by powerful spells such as teleport without error and plane shift, which had a risk of sending the caster into the Gray instead of the intended destination. Even the contact other plane spell had a chance of pulling the caster into the Gray.[2]

One of the few ways of accessing Athas was through Baba Yaga's dancing hut, which traveled all the worlds and planes. In its Hall of Gateways, a portal called the World Gate linked to every world Baba Yaga knew of, including Athas, as well as their respective Shadowfells and Feywilds. This was guarded by a pair of oath wights from Athas, who believed they were defending their world from trespassers.[6] Another means of achieving this was the powerful planeshifting fortress known as The Planar Sphere, which had one room that became occupied by a group of Athasian halflings after visiting the desert world.[7] Thirdly, the multidimensional World Serpent Inn had among its hallways full of portals a door that opened into Athas, though it was kept under lock and key.[8]


The majority of Athas was a desert, with most civilization concentrated in a 1,000,000‑square-mile (2,600,000‑square-kilometer) area known as the Tablelands.[9] Beyond nomadic tribes and villages,[10] most of the Athasian races lived within one of seven city-states. Six of these city-states were ruled by tyrants known as the Sorcerer-Kings, powerful arcane spellcasters[9] who made themselves out to be deities or god-like.[11] In place of what was once an ocean of water,[12] the Tablelands were boarded from the east by the Sea of Silt, a great ocean of sand and silt[9][12] dotted with mudflats, islands, ancient ruins, and horrible creatures adapted to life in the sand,[12] such as sink worms.[13]


When Factol Mallin of the Mercykillers died, his successor Alisohn Nilesi requested of the Dustmen that his body be buried on Athas.[14]

In The Year of Despair, Malatran calendar, late 14th century DR, a group of heroes of the Living Jungle were sent from the Malatran Plateau through an elemental gate to the far-away world of Athas. Immediately upon arrival, the group was captured by Athasian elf slavers. They eventually managed to escape alongside a young Athasian thri-kreen named Ka'cha when a sink worm attacked the caravan. They went on to return the thri-kreen to his tribe, the Windrunners, then at their instruction traveled to the Ringing Forest for a way back to Toril.[15]

In the late 15th century DR, a book on the history of Athas was part of the collection of the arcanaloth headmaster of the Dweomercore level of Undermountain.[16] The library-fortress Candlekeep also had tomes of lore on Athas, but they were few in number and kept within hidden rooms one had to use ward tokens to teleport into.[17]





Video Games

Organized Play & Licensed Adventures

Referenced only
Shadows of Change

External Links[]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.


  1. Bill Slavicsek (October 1995). “The Wanderer's Chronicle”. In Dori Hein ed. Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Expanded & Revised (TSR, Inc.), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-0162-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bruce R. Cordell (1998). A Guide to the Ethereal Plane. Edited by Michele Carter, Keith Francis Strohm. (TSR, Inc.), p. 16. ISBN 0-7869-1205-7.
  3. Bill Slavicsek (October 1995). “The Age of Heroes”. In Dori Hein ed. Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Expanded & Revised (TSR, Inc.), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-0162-4.
  4. Curtis Scott (1992). The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook. Edited by Barbara G. Young. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 13–14. ISBN 1-56076-347-7.
  5. Nicky Rea (1996). Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas. Edited by Bill Slavicsek. (TSR, Inc.), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-0383-X.
  6. Craig Campbell (November 2011). “Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut”. In Steve Winter ed. Dungeon #196 (Wizards of the Coast) (196)., p. 52.
  7. BioWare (September 2000). Designed by James Ohlen, Kevin Martens. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Black Isle Studios.
  8. Chris Flipse (January 2007). “Athas and the World Serpent Inn”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #351 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 32.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 David Noonan (May 2004). “Dark Sun: Player's Handbook”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #319 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 25.
  10. Bill Slavicsek (October 1995). “The Wanderer's Chronicle”. In Dori Hein ed. Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Expanded & Revised (TSR, Inc.), pp. 33, 37. ISBN 0-7869-0162-4.
  11. Bill Slavicsek (October 1995). “The Age of Heroes”. In Dori Hein ed. Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Expanded & Revised (TSR, Inc.), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0162-4.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Bill Slavicsek (October 1995). “The Wanderer's Chronicle”. In Dori Hein ed. Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Expanded & Revised (TSR, Inc.), pp. 31–33. ISBN 0-7869-0162-4.
  13. Tom Prusa, Louis J. Prosperi, Walter M. Bass (1992). Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix. Edited by C. Terry Phillips. (TSR, Inc.), p. 83. ISBN 1-56076-272-1.
  14. Tim Beach, Dori Jean Hein, J.M. Salsbury (June 1995). The Factol's Manifesto. Edited by Ray Vallese, Sue Weinlein. (TSR, Inc.), p. 100. ISBN 0786901411.
  15. Tom Prusa (September 2002). Dark Suns. Living Jungle (RPGA).
  16. Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  17. Ed Greenwood (2023-02-25). "Candlekeep's lore on other worlds". Greenwood's Grotto (Discord).