Excerpts Archive | 8/2/2010
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Atlas of Athas: Sea of Silt
Dark Sun Excerpts

The Sea of Silt is a great dust sink that extends for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles eastward from the shores of the Tyr Region. Long ago it was a great sea of water, vast and deep, but now the shore slopes down to meet what looks like an endless plain of gray dust -- and today's Dark Sun Campaign Setting excerpt.

On a calm day, it seems that one could walk out onto the plain as if it were fine sand, but the silt is too light to support a human’s weight and too deep to wade for any distance. The Sea of Silt is an impossible barrier to travel, passable only along its margins by silt skimmers or waders that remain in shallow dust.

"The slightest breeze stirs up a silvery pall of dust that clings to the surface like a fog. It becomes impossible to tell where the silt-laden air ends and the dustbed begins. When the wind blows more strongly, as it often does, the Sea of Silt becomes a boiling cloud of dust, the edges tinged with crimson sunlight. On such a day, a traveler near the sea cannot see more than a few feet in any direction. The dust coats his clothes, his face, the inside of his nose, and even his lungs. He cannot see the ground or the sky, and when he walks, his feet drag through inches of thick silt. He grows disoriented, and it becomes an easy matter for him to wander into the sea and disappear forever."
—The Wanderer’s Journal

In addition to natural hazards, those who brave the sea must contend with the monstrous creatures that dwell in and around the silt. Tentacled silt horrors prowl the deeps, and giants roam the shallows, walking on secret roads only they know. Even the islands in the Sea of Silt offer as much peril as safe haven. Their isolated locations make them ideal hideouts for unscrupulous types who don’t want their activities to be observed, and the austerity of life on the islands turns many inhabitants to savagery.

Like the Ringing Mountains to the west and the Southern Wastes to the south, the Sea of Silt forms one of the borders of the T yr R egion. For most people, the sea effectively marks the end of the world; no traveler has crossed its emptiness and returned to tell the tale. Attempts to circumnavigate the silt are likewise perilous—far to the north, a traveler faces impassable fjords and chains of active volcanoes that bar the way. T o the south, the traveler ventures into desolate regions of salt flats and sandy wastes, bereft of life or shelter. In that direction, the sea appears to continue for thousands of miles without narrowing or coming to an end. It is a daunting barrier, to say the least.

(846 Kbs PDF)

Friday: "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."

Excerpt Schedule

Monday Friday

July 12

An Introduction to Dark Sun

July 16

Ch 1: The World of Athas

July 19

Ch 2: Races of Athas

July 23

Ch 3: Character Themes

July 26

Ch 4: Character Options

July 30

Ch 5: Atlas of Athas: Tyr

August 2

Ch 5: Atlas of Athas: Sea of Silt

August 6

Ch 6: Running a Dark Sun Game

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