Athasians are about as welcome in Sigil as a Hole in the Head.

They’re violent, with the strength to back it up; dangerous, with weird magic that destroys the land and psionic powers that’ll blow your brains out. It’s a Blasted place: The land’s blasted hot, the people are blasted tough, and the Sorcerer Kings blasted awful. The Crystal Sphere in which Athas lies is sealed, so Spelljammers can’t get in. Even Astral travel ain’t easy…and nobody really knows why. One thing’s for sure, the Lady don’t seem bothered by it all, ‘cos she’s quite happy to open and close portals to the place in her random way.

But hey, don’t let that put you off taking a visit there. Do, however, let this fact put you off: Most planewalkers who take a jaunt to Athas are never seen again, and that ain’t just ‘cos their portal gets closed, neither. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…


“Berk, those Athasians are amazing! See what can happen to a world when the primes renounce the powers? I mean, would you mess with an Athasian in a dark alley? Exactly! Sure, the place is a bloody desert, but that’s the fault of the Sorcerer Kings. Guess what: They reckon they’re as good as gods. Can you see a pattern emerging here?”


“Bloody awful place, that. Land ravaged by magic, people twisted into strange abominations, every man and his pet kank with sinister mental powers: It’s madness. It’s wonderful. Besides, you’d have to be barmy to want to go there.”


” ‘Don’t think! Do!’ Well, with a few exceptions. You’d be a fool if you jumped through a portal to Athas without thinking, berk. In fact, if you gave it some thought and then jumped through, you’d be a fool too! Believe me: Most layers of the Abyss are less nasty.

“Forgive me: I exaggerate. Make that some.”


“Athas is a world on the brink of destroying itself. The land decays under the touch of magic like no other place in all the planes. If we could find the secret of this “defiling” power, perhaps we could use its power to hasten the coming of the time of entropy.”


“Athas is a fantastic opportunity to make jink, if you’re tough enough. It’s a world without iron, so you can import the stuff and flog it for huge piles of jink. Trouble is, the clueless sods pay in bits of ceramic: Pah! A clued-up blood demands payment in psionic items: They’re two-a-penny there, but rare in the rest of the planes. Anyway, why am I telling you this? Go pike it: Athas is my golden goose!”


“The Athasians would appear to have passed through one stage of trials to find themselves faced with even greater ones. Most of the common cutters have mental powers, which suggests perhaps the population as a whole is transcending. Further, the sorcerous rulers of their societies have discovered powerful transfiguration magics which elevate their physical forms to quasi-power levels. Surely Athas is an example in hand of our philosophy.”


“Fascinating place: Shielded from the planes at large, imbued with psionic powers but forgotten by the powers. Unnaturally low quantities of the ferric and precious metals, and a great abundance of vastly powerful monsters. Why should this prime world be so unusually different from so many others? Further research is needed.”

Hands of Havoc

“Athas? Athar! That plane got infiltrated long ago by the Athar, trying to impose their corrupt philosophies on whole worlds! It’s actions like that which we fight against, berk! Next time it might be another faction: The Harmonium have their little police state of Ortho all regimented and harmonious. What next? Tear ’em all down, that’s what we say!”


“We’re contemplating a strict policy of arresting Athasians in Sigil on sight. They’re more trouble than they’re worth, what with their psionic powers, defiling magic and super strength. If we had our way, we’d seal up all the bloody portals to that gods-forsaken plane.

“That’d stop the bloodthirsty berks from disturbing our peace!”

Heralds of Dust

“Well, everyone’s already dead, you know that. The poor sods on Athas know this better than anyone: Death is part of life in that harsh land. The strange connection between Athas and the plane known as the Grey is interesting indeed: It would seem the spirits of Athasians who “die” are trapped there. They may be denied the release into whatever lies beyond, or perhaps they have found the final goal. Who can tell? Whatever it is, we should also notice that the walking dead on Athas are very different to those on other primes. Could Athas hold the key to our previous lives?”


“If you want to go there, that’s your look-out. just don’t expect any of use to risk our hides coming to get you out of trouble, berk!”


“Athasians are trouble, and no mistake. I can’t tell you the number of the bloody sods who’ve killed prison guards with their bare hands trying to escape. They’re not so chirpy now, though: We made sure their cells were lined with lead so their poxy mental powers couldn’t get at us. Unfortunately, Athas is becoming a popular destination for runaway criminals of all planes of origin: The sods have learned that Justicars are unwilling to follow sods back there.”

Mind’s Eye

“If I imagined the whole multiverse, there’d be somewhere I’d never want to go. Somewhere where the everyday struggle for survival was a matter of life and death. It wouldn’t be like the Abyss, because at least the Abyss has belief to make it valid. No, this place ain’t even justified, it’s just dying, and dragging everyone who lives there down with it.

“When I imagined this place, I called it Athas.”


“Feel the heat of a dying sun blistering your skin! Taste the sand of a shattered world as it scours your face! Smell the sweat of a thousand gladiators tearing an army to pieces!

“Oh, heavens no, don’t go there…we’ve got it all recorded in our Sensorium. No need to leave the comfort of the Festhall at all, cutter.”


“Athas? What’s that? Never heard of the place. Oh sorry, didn’t introduce myself, did I? My name’s Rajaat. I’m the first.”

Source: Jon Winter,

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