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Themes

Slavery is like a blight on the soul of Athas. It causes the hearts of slavers, slave owners, and those in bondage to become hardened and allows hate to seep in. It is everywhere and invades nearly all aspects of life in the Ivory Triangle. Slavers and slave owner begin to see their slaves as nothing more than chattel, it allows the savage gladiatorial games to continue and the sorcerer-kings to continue to rule with an iron grip. Slavery has touched you all and harmed you in some way, do you push those feelings down and ignore them, do you seek to use the hatred, or do you embrace the dead feeling? Similarly the gladiatorial arenas that dot the Tablelands are host to blood and death, but can also be a source of glory and honor. How do your feelings of the gladiatorial games affect you?

The cities of Athas teem with life like no other places. With life comes complications, intrigue, and politics. City fields, noble villas, and client villages, while outside of cities bring some of the dangers of the wastes close. Each of the seven cities has it’s own feel and culture. Traveling to each of them to witness their beauty and savageness is a goal only a few gladiators, merchants, elves, and templars ever realize.

Seeing the seven cities requires traveling through the wastes, often for weeks at a time. Even a well protected caravan can be hijacked by elves, lost in a sandstorm, raided by giants, or plagued by mysterious magics. These are the things that merchants and those who would travel the cities endure to get to the shrinking points of civilization under the blazing sun. Between the dots of civilization lay forgotten memories of Athas, ruins of last week and centuries ago. What treasures and knowledge remain undisturbed in these long lost vaults and what creatures of the wastes protect them?

What will motivate your characters to brave the wastes and survive the brutality of city-life? Being hounded by a Consort of Nibenay will help. How will you defend yourselves against the relentless pursuit of the forces of Nibenay? Who will you turn for help? Nobles, the Merchant Dynasites, slave tribes, the rumored Veiled Alliance?

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