Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas
Vision of Kataal
Where Giustenal should have been is an endless expanse of water. Rising out of this unbelievable sea is a city of growing rock, populated by halflings! These are not the feral creatures that roam the Forest Ridge. These are civilized halflings, living in a place that makes even the grand city-states seem like ramshackle villages.
“This is the Blue Age,” a voice speaks in your mind. “lt was a time when halflings were the masters of the world and nature itself bowed to their commands.”
The scene shifts before you. The waters recede, giving way to a ragged shore. Now the lay of the land looks more familiar, except where the Sea of Silt should be there is a sea of sparkling water. Instead of the sandy wastes the land is covered with thick forests, like the Forest Ridge, as far as you can see. You recognize the walls of Giustenal, though they are new and solid, not broken and crumbling. The city is full of people, though not one of them is a halfling. You see humans and elves and bearded dwarves, along with a score of creatures you can’t identify. Some are small with brightly colored wings. Others look like thin dwarves. There are so many you can’t begin to absorb all of the details.
“This is the Green Age, after the Rebirth, before the Time of Magic,” the voice explains, “this was the time I was born to, a time when the Way was supreme.”
Time passes, and you watch the city grow and change. It stretches along the coast and expands to the islands nestled among the rolling waves. Castles become keeps, keeps become fortresses, and stone towers reach higher and higher in to the sky. Soon magic joins the Way, and the two sources of power work together to turn Giustenal into a paradise.
A new leader arises during this period. He is a giant, with the head of some strange cat creature, and the people love him. They build statues of this king and dedicate temples to his name. All the varied races live within his domain. Giustenal is a city of harmony and happiness, of peace and tranquility like you have never dreamed of: Then the Ravager comes.
With an army of humans and a thirst for conquest, the Ravager attacks Giustenal and its giant-king. You watch this fierce battle rage, trembling in terror at the power you witness. The giant-king is a master of the Way, that much is obvious. The Ravager commands the Way as well, but he also wields sorcery. In the end, the Ravager claims victory, slaying the giant-king, and declaring himself Dregoth, sorcerer-king of Giustenal.
“This is the start of the Cleansing Wars,” the voice says.”The sorcerer-kings raised armies and marched to slaughter the races created during the Rebirth.”
Giustenal’s armies, led by Dregoth, ravage the land. As more and more sorcery is used, more and more of the lush countryside withers and dies. The races you couldn’t identify are systematically wiped out as you watch the years roll by. The land becomes more desolate, but the wars finally end.
“So began the Age of the Sorcerer-Kings,” the voice intones. “An age that still exists but is rapidly coming to a close.”