Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas
Valley of Dust and Fire (legend)
It is said that in the heart of the Sea of Silt there is a city among the sands, a lush and verdant paradise where people live in ease and wealth. There is no want and no thirst, no slaves and no masters. There the image of Athas as it might once have been is preserved in these dying days.
Once in a lifetime a man standing at the shores of the Sea of Silt may be granted a glimpse of this place, a sweeping mirage of rich fields and pleasant fountains, hovering beyond the endless silt. One traveler claims to have seen the city from the road that goes from Draj to Ket; another traveler claims she saw it while standing in the shadow of the Bleak Tower; and yet another swears it lies beyond the isle of Waverly. Great heroes and powerful warriors have sought the city in all these places. Most likely they met their deaths in the suffocating dust, or at the hands of hostile giants. Few ever return from such a quest.
Yet another, darker tale is sometimes whispered about caravan campfires, or shuddered at by scholars in the golden palaces of the sorcerer-kings. Some people believe nothing but death and madness lie in the Sea. Scattered hermits and wandering traders claim to have seen the Dragon racing ashore from the very depths of the Sea, breaking on the shores like a dust-storm. Those who have collated these scattered accounts claim that the paradise in the center of the Sea is the Dragon’s home – death to any so foolish as to venture there.
Perhaps the strongest evidence that the Valley exists lies in the tattered journal of Galek Sandstrider, a famed traveler and adventurer who lived nearly 100 years ago. The journal was lost for many years after the death of Galek. No one knows how Galek met his death; some say the Dragon came upon him in the wastes and devoured him because of his dangerous knowledge.