DARK SUN & SPELLJAMMER

* UPDATED AND COMPLETED - 16 FEB 2000 *

Despite what TSR says, some DMs want spelljammers in Athaspace. I've seen plenty of questions on the Net about the 'Closing of the Sphere' and the true nature of Athaspace, and I'm pretty sure that TSR avoided the issue entirely (apart from just saying 'Athaspace can't be travelled'). So I designed my own Athaspace.

It meshes in with the TSR standpoint on spelljamming and Dark Sun, and the crystal sphere is quite unusual in and of itself. I can't see my players taking to the skies soon, but travel in this Athaspace is so difficult I'd never need to worry about it ruining my campaign.

If you like my Athaspace, or really hate it, email me and tell me. I thought the kreen and Rhulisti homeworlds were a bit much (see below), but my players will probably never see them anyway.

Apparently, the game department of TSR planned on rewriting Dark Sun in the same fashion that Dragonlance was revamped into the Fifth Age. Perhaps they were getting angry fan mail about the death of Borys and the sorcerer-kings, I don't know. The Big Change was hinted at in early Dark Sun products, but TSR closed the line before it ever came to fruition.

TSR had an interesting (but bizarre) idea for how Athas would be transformed. Apparently the Rhulisti would return to Athas to recreate the Blue Age. Remember the suspended animation halflings in The Amber Enchantress, and the prophecy from the adventure Mystery of the Ancients? The seeds of the invasion were planted even then. What really amazed me was the description of these halflings returning in 'planet-killer space-ships'.

TSR apparently had the same concept of Athaspace as I did.

In truth, I guess I just read between the lines (I own all the DS products, and a few for Spelljammer and Planescape too). It seemed almost obvious to me that the life-shaping Rhulisti would have developed a space-faring culture. Many of the Spelljammer products have space-faring thri-kreen (in fact they maintained an empire for almost 1000 years). It's pretty obvious that Athaspace is home for the kreen, which means that at some point in time the crystal sphere must have been heavily frequented by spelljammers.

There's also a big fat sci-fi Rhulisti picture on p.26 of Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs.

In my own campaign (which occasionally crosses over to Toril, Krynn or Oerth), the human and demi-human races of the multi-verse were created by the Rhulisti and spread throughout the universe by spell-jamming (Krynn excluded). Many also fled Athas through Planar Gates during the Cleansing Wars. I'm pretty sure this was one of the concepts TSR was working into Dark Sun. God, I wish they had kept the line open so I knew for sure! Now I know how close I was with my guesses on the future Dark Sun never got to see, I wonder how many of my other ideas paralleled those of TSR? Hmmm.

I also wish I had told someone about my 'space halfling' theory. Unfortunately I couldn't tell my players without giving away some pretty big campaign secrets, and I wasn't about to suggest spelljamming Rhulisti to any true, hardcore DS fan on the Net.

Anyway, here is my version of Athaspace.

ATHASPACE

Athaspace

History of Athaspace

PLANETARY BODIES

(In order of placement from Primary - 10 planets, 1 sun, 1 asteroid belt)

Dark Sun

FireIce

Char Ball

Thok

Ffara-klet

Dej

Athas

Blackjag

The Star Road

Exodus

Ket-tahn

Rhul-O

main

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