In the Shadow of Kings
Today, Athas is a world of sand, rocks and burning heat, with huge deserts almost devoid of life. Every living being have to work almost constantly to survive, and even then, life is no guarantee, as one never knows how long the water supply will last. But old tales passed on from generation to generation tell of a time where things were better, and people lived in an abundance of booth food and water. Historians call this time the Green Age, and the truly controversial even speak of a Blue Age back when Athas was young. Below is a summary of these campfire stories.
The Blue Age
At the dawn of the first men, Athas was a world covered by a world-spanning ocean broken only by a few small islands. Some old sages talk of such wide and deep bodies of water that not even the tallest giant could cross between the islands. But the sun which at first was pale and blue grew larger and darker, and soon, the oceans began to shrunk.
The Green Age
Thus began the Green age, in which the forests grew as fast as the water receded, and people could seek cover from the sun and the weather under the thick tree crowns. The oceans had now stopped shrinking and the forests were more bountiful than ever. Cities and civilizations blossomed, but people remembered the days of the Blue Age and still depended on the water from which they were born, clung to the coasts. They were afraid. Afraid that the oceans would again start to disappear. At this point, the Princes came to the world; three Primordials older than Athas and more powerful than any man. They convinced the people that the Sun Goddess was to blame for the vanishment of the oceans, and that death of the world was imminent if the Goddess was not defeated.
The three Princes, Mual-Tar the Chained Serpent, Tabrach-Re the World Breaker and Erek-Hus the Devastator, lent part of their immense power to mankind and created what is today known as defiling arcane magic. The mightiest human defilers and kings joined their ranks and together, the Champions and the Princes managed to capture the Goddess and imprison her on Athas in the Crystal Tower somewhere far away from civilization. The intent was to sacrifice her and harness her powers to create a second Blue Age. But the Princes were full of lies, and in reality, they only wanted the power of the Goddess for themselves.
However, in her Tower, before the ritual could be finished, the Sun Goddess soon managed to convince some of her captors of the Princes deceit and turned them against their former masters. Thus began the Sorcerer Wars, where men fought against men, and powerful Defilers fought against Defilers. No ones knows what really happened or even how long it lasted. Some say the war went on for ten years, some say a thousand. But everyone knows that this was a war without any winners; empires fell, entire races were exterminated and the once bountiful world was cleansed from almost all life.
When the dust had settled down and the last battle cry had faded away, the Sun Goddess had disappeared, and so had the Princes. The Seven that sided with the Princes and during the Wars worked to destroy the world were gone as well, except for Dregoth the Dread King. The only ones left were the nine Sorcerer-Kings that came to reason and helped to save Athas. But the world that was left was not what it once was, and the Desert Age had begun.
The Desert Age
An eternity has passed since the Green Age, and time and the harsch new world has wiped away all the knowledge of the previous Ages from the memories of the survivors. Left is a red world under a blazing sun, and the tyranny of the Sorcerer-Kings and Sorcerer-Queens.