War of the Burning Sands
The Elemental Chaos
Underlying the rest of existence is the Elemental Chaos, a vast, churning realm from which all the energy and elements of the world were formed. Some sources call this realm “the Elemental Planes” or “the Inner Planes.” In cosmological terms, Athas is close to the Elemental Chaos, and vortexes such as volcanoes, sand gyres, and desert flats known as “anvils” link the planet to corresponding parts of the seething realm. Elemental influences grow steadily stronger and more chaotic as one travels farther away from the Tablelands, suggesting that the presence of civilization or natural life holds true elemental power at bay, or that, in the distant past, the region was shielded from unchecked elemental manifestations. Lately, the barriers between Athas and the Elemental Chaos seem to be weakening, allowing unchecked elemental power to spill over into the world and spread violent discord in its wake. The cause of these breaks is unknown, but new elemental rifts seem to be opening more and more frequently, and moving closer and closer to the centers of Athasian civilization.