A Burnished Throne
People of Athas
Athas’s savage environment and its populace make it unique among the Dungeons & Dragons worlds. Each city-state’s social order starts with the sorcerer-king at its pinnacle. Templars and nobles make up the upper caste. Merchants and other free citizens form the middle ranks, and the ubiquitous slave laborers act as the citystate’s foundation.
Humans dominate the racial composition of most city-states. Indeed, all the sorcerer-kings are (or once were) human. Elves ply the dunes and marketplaces; many are known as shifty traders or opportunistic raiders. Dwarves labor, often as builders or farmers, with resolute determination. Many goliaths, also known as half-giants, work as bodyguards or mercenaries for the wealthy and powerful.
Nomadic tiefling bands roam the wastes and outskirts of civilization, raiding and slaughtering at will. Dragonborn, or dray, are often mercenaries, sorcerers, or slave traders. They live in tight-knit clans and shelter in secret citadels. Halflings feel most at home in the Forest Ridge, their ancestral land, and other Athasians fear their “savage ways.” The secretive eladrin live in the few wild places the Lands within the Wind (the Feywild) still touches. Eladrin are rare in the mortal world.
In addition to the more familiar D&D races, Athas is also home to muls and thri-kreen. Taller than most humans, muls are a race of half-dwarves. Strong, tough, and quick, muls often serve as slaves, gladiators, and laborers. The nimble, mantislike thri-kreen can survive on little. Their packs hunt in the wastes and view everything through the predator-prey relationship.