This will be a sandbox style game, which means that you can go anywhere and do anything. Yes, I mean that, but keep in mind what you are reasonably able to achieve at each level (ie, don’t expect to kill a sorcerer king at level 3). So, if you want to dungeon crawl, that is always an option, just as if you want to role play, or become trade lords. There is a metaplot of what is “happening in the world” that will influence (directly or indirectly) what’s going on where you are, and your actions can affect that. Keep in mind that you will be of interest to various groups, so if you do nothing, these groups will do things to you.
About The World
All of us have played in Dark Sun before, but some things deserve repeating. Dark Sun is a brutal world where survival often outweighs other concerns. The ancient sorcerer kings have ruled for millennia unchallenged by lesser beings, until recently. In the past 13 years, several cities have been shaken by the deaths or disappearance of their immortal monarchs. In Tyr this has led to a more open rule, but the results overall have led to a more tense world, with the eternal kings and queens now more paranoid than ever. Rumors of ancient dangers returning are on the tongues of all the merchants, but none can say much beyond their shadows of fear. Some also whisper of the strange actings of the Kreen, and notice how the mantis men often unconsciously look to the west. The merchant houses are in a near constant state of trade war as they compete to satisfy the paranoia of the sorcerer kings. Magic, ever a concern, is now hunted more strongly than ever before, with pogroms of suspected wizards being a weekly occurrence in the cities, and villages treating newcomers with more suspicion. The temples to the elements, often grudgingly tolerated by the sorcerer kings, are now being restricted, and their clerics are being watched for signs of disloyalty. Times are as troubled as any since the Cleansing Wars, and many worry that life’s precarious hold on Athas is slipping.
2 years ago: The Sorcerer King of Draj fully reincarnated in the body that his psions had prepared for him. Draj is now a more perilous place as this SK is furious at his embarrassment. However, he has opened trade with the North through House Azeth in order to increase his income to build up his army.
1 year ago: Nibbenay and Gulg abruptly started and stopped a war over the forest, and have now signed an alliance. Nobles from both cities have been forced to marry each other and move to the other city. The templars of both cities seem confused by the arrangement. Strange priests in yellow were in many cities of the land proclaiming “The Day of Light”, and claimed to be stopping false priests from accessing powers. Some clerics reported difficulties, but those ended after a couple of months. The SKs then rounded up the remaining yellow robed priests and killed them.
Past few months: The templars of Balic have returned and re-taken over the city. They now wield shadow powers, and rule as a council, but there are whispers that they take their orders from a shadowy shape claiming to be Andropinis. Laws in the city have reverted to the old rules, with the exception of there now being a curfew at sundown in most parts of the city. Former slaves are rioting in Tyr, demanding the abolishment of noble titles. These riots are rumoured to be led by a half-giant with no previous connection to the city.
Past two months: Contact with the southern city of Celik has been lost, and no caravans who travel to it return. templars from Raam are being seen everywhere, apparently looking for something. Urik is mobilized for war, but no one knows who they intend to attack. An organization named The Shadows has declared war on House Tsalaxa. Many suspect House Wavir of instigating this, but, while pleased, they don’t appear to know much about it.
Past month: Rumours of a reconciliation between psionic academy factions. The “Purists” and “Hedonists” factions have decided to drop their philosophical opposition to each other. Both of these factions are rumoured to be sponsored by other organizations. Druids are withdrawing from all settlements. A new type of infused obsidian has been found in the South, Balic hopes to exploit this resource for wealth and power.
A Note on Laws
Magic is illegal in most places, and always carries a harsh penalty. Anyone found aiding a mage is also punished harshly. Possession of magic items is also illegal, but doesn’t carry the same penalty (in some cities there may be ways of obtaining a pardon for this). Some cities may also forbid anyone but templars,nobles, militia, or agents of merchant houses from carrying weapons in public (this is the case in Balic). There are different penalties for breaking laws depending on your class (real or perceived). templars from other SKs are required to announce themselves at the gates, and are not guaranteed entrance to the city (depending on the relations between the rulers of the cities). Unannounced templars are put to death in most cities.