The Burnt World of Athas

Letters from the Golden Tower

I am left to resort to writing, as insecure as it is. But I felt you deserved to receive this message before you made your choice and you have ceased all other communication.

I know what you are planning, there is no point in denial. I have told none of the others, though I’m sure if I figured it out then Nibenay and maybe others have as well. But I haven’t alerted the Dragon, so it is not too late yet.

You are repeating Dregoth’s final days. Do you remember the fate he befell? Of course you do, you are proud of that story. Abalach-Re, Sielba, you and I working together to fell him for his crime, for breaking the pact.

In the legends that arose you are described as matching power with Dregoth and myself. But you were there and you know the truth. I saw your recognition of my might, and how you paled in comparison and struggled to even comprehend it. I know what you felt because I felt it as well, when I first encountered Rajaat’s true power. So there is really no need for threats when it should be so clear. But as I said, I feel your deserve to hear this before you make you decision, so I will put it plainly.

If you perform the ritual, whether successful or not, I will slay you. Then I will lay waste to all you have ever accomplished. Tyr will be a smoldering ruin. Any who worshipped you or followed you or drew power from you or loved you (if such fools exist) or feared you will be gone. And your name will only live on as yet another small, pitiful follower of Rajaat who had no real power of his own and was struck down by the true forces of Athas.

Now that this is out of the way, I also have a question and whatever you decide, however it is we meet again, I hope you will answer it:

What has happened that would make you take such an action? If you fear something even more than the combined wrath of the champions then tell me so we can act.

It’s not yet too late. I await your reply.

(Hamanu’s seal)

Dated a week before Kalak was skewered by Sukir.

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A carbon copy rubbing of a letter: From Kalak to the master of the archives.

Your job is merely to account for the required number from the available pools and then to erase any mention of those selected. In the archives you will make up a reason they are gone, death in the iron mines, traded, etc. In my personal roster you need only mark them as Dragon’s Tribute. I am well aware they total to one thousand a year. It’s of no concern to you where they go. If we cannot keep up then inform Tithian and Lucien we need to increase the capture of slaves in the Tablelands. But the number is immutable, it must be a thousand and it must be on the timetable I have laid out. If you are incapable of doing this I can find a new Archivist and your final task can be to add your name in the logs as a Tribute.

(Kalak’s seal)

(Dated about 20 years ago)

 

My Liege, the Great King of Tyr, crown jewel of the Tablelands,

I understand you are not to be disturbed but you also indicated to me, at the time I swore my oath to you, that any communication by “talons” or “emissaries of the dragon” must be answered immediately and by you personally. Someone claiming to be a talon of Borys is in Tyr and has requested an audience with you. He is a Goliath, imposing in figure and bearing strange tattoos along his body. When I advised him you were busy he made demands that I found most imprudent. Were it up to me, I would strike him down as a lesson to stay his tongue around his betters. But I remember your words as to this particular matter. Please forgive my intrusion and advise me how to proceed, in a manner fitting your wisdom and power.

Your humble servant,

Mashastra

(5 days before Kalak was skewered by Sukir)



 

Kalak, the Great, Ogre-Doom, rightful Ruler of Tyr,

I am writing so you have a record of this, and can be assured there is no trick. This is my word: I will allow you to monitor my followers in your territory however you see fit. They can be stripped, any magics dispelled, and shackled with an escort if you see fit. But all I ask is that you allow them access to Narran, or go see for yourself. We need to uncover what Rajaat’s ultimate plan was if we have any hope of survival.  All the others are scouring the ruins in their sphere of control, while you have access to the most important. The Forest Ridge and Ringing Mountains are the key to Rajaat’s interest. And yet you leave their depths unplumbed.

The forest may offer clues as the Rhulisti. And the significance of those twisted creatures under Mount Narran. What created them if not the Rhulisti and why was Rajaat so keen on leaving them alive as opposed to all the other creatures of Athas? In his world it would have been just the halflings and the gith. Why? To what end?

And even in your city itself there is the mystery of the library. What happened decades after Rajaat’s death to change it and make it so we could no longer gain access to its depths? Does none of this matter to you? Can you be so small minded? What is the point of ruling over a dying world.

You can trust me, please, for all of our sakes,

Abalach-Re

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