Raiders of the Obsidian Sun
Treasure and Rewards
“The Tablelands are replete with ruins. Decaying towers rise
from sandy wastes. Abandoned fortresses loom over stony
barrens. Long-lost dungeons lie hidden in badland labyrinths. Sometimes, a vicious creature or brutish monster
lairs within, eager to make a meal of the unwary traveler.
Once in a while, a priceless treasure is sheltered in the
remains. Only the bold and adventurous know for certain.”
—The Wanderer’s Journal
People of Athas do not remember. They do not look back through history’s veil to recall better days and dimmer threats. Records about peoples, places, or cultures other than those currently dominating a given region are not kept. The reason is simple: Sorcerer-kings rule as immortals. As far as the people know, sorcerer-kings have always been and always will be. This deception keeps the populace from imagining any other way of life.
In the course of maintaining their power, the tyrants seek out historical records and artifacts, plundering anything that adds to their personal power and destroying everything else. Over the centuries, Athas’s rulers have purged the world of knowledge about the time before their rule and how they came to power. In a land stripped of its history and artifacts, heroes have few opportunities to pluck cherished prizes from dusty ruins.
The historical barrenness of Athas is exacerbated by its general resource-poor nature. As a result, adventurers cannot hoard wealth and accumulate magic items as they might in another setting. The valued accoutrements simply do not exist.