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Defiler

Defiler

Beneath the burning orb of the Dark Sun, the savage world of Athas turns. Here, magic operates differently from the magic of other campaign worlds. Energy for spells and magical effects is drawn from living things (usually the land and plants). Decimated by centuries of irresponsible magical manipulation associated with this drawing of living energy, Athas struggles to survive. Some few—the druids and those who call themselves preserver wizards—fight to restore the land, to save it before all is lost. Theirs is an uphill battle. Ranged against them are most of the remaining sor- cerer-kings and the defiler wizards, those who leech the life from the plants and the very soil to power their spells without giving anything in return. Defilers have turned the once verdant forests and plains of Athas into wasteland. Their predations have left tracts of barren ground lifeless and scarred.

The gray and black ash, all that remains of the plants that once grew in the defiled areas, intermingles with the dry dust and blows across the shattered remains of the world. As more land is defiled, fewer plants are left to anchor the soil or to return water to the atmosphere.

More land becomes barren every day, and deserts grow larger with each passing year.

Defilers absorb every bit of life energy they can hold, with the result that the land they tap into is leeched and left barren of nutrients, incapable of supporting plant life. Plants in the defiled area die and turn to ash when the life spark is removed. Unlike with natural death, however, the decaying process occurs in an instant, and nothing remains within the dead ash to continue the life cycle—plants killed by defiling magic return nothing to the soil and don’t revert to life-giving fertilizer when they die. Defilers, therefore, are vampiric, stealing life energy not only because they need it to utilize magic, but for the rush of power it gives them. Basically, defilers take the quick and easy road to power, caring little that they leave devastation in their wake.


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