War of the Burning Sands
Stretching from the foothills of the Ringing Mountains to the Great Ivory Plain, the Tablelands are a vast territory of sand, stone, and scrub plains. The picturesque mesas and buttes for which the region is named jut from the plains or rise like broken ramparts from the badlands, painted in broad striations of orange, yellow, and ocher. These ancient lands, inhabited by a wide variety of almost all the speaking peoples of Athas, hold dusty trading posts, hidden villages, and crumbling ruins. When city-dwelling Athasians think of deserts and desert people, they usually picture the Tablelands and its denizens. In fact, some city residents use the term “Tablelands” to describe everything between the Ringing Mountains and the Sea of Silt.
Two city-states dominate the Tablelands: Tyr and Urik. Tyr claims the broad central belt, and Urik’s influence extends over the northern portion. With the death of King Kalak of Tyr, the old rivalry has taken on a new complexion. Tyr’s revolutionaries dream of spreading their uprising to new cities, while Hamanu of Urik considers plans to widen his influence. However, there is a difference between what each city claims and what it truly controls. Outside a narrow belt of patrols and outposts ringing the two cities, the only laws a traveler need worry about are the laws of the desert: Trust no one, guard your water, and watch where you step.