|The Ivory Triangle|
|Author(s)||Kirk Botula and Curtis Scott|
Nowhere are the stark contrasts that define life on Athas more dramatic than within the Ivory Triangle!
In the forests of Gulg live elite hunters called the Judaga Warriors, who claim the heads of their prey as trophies. Behind the walls of Nibenay (built with the toil of countless slaves), decadent markets promise myriad experiences to those who have the money to spend and courage to spare. Across the desolate slat flats of the Great Ivory Plain, a handful of bold merchant outposts and slave tribes struggle to exist and to exploit unwary wanderers. Amidst all, a sinister poisoner of the Tablelands plies his trade on the border between life and death. These dangers and more lie within that region called the Ivory Triangle -the ideal setting for continuing adventures on the deadly world of Athas!
The Ivory Triangle (1993), by Curtis M. Scott and Kirk Botula, was a special boxed supplement for the Dark Sun line. It was published in May 1993.
Continuing the Dark Sun Series
The Dark Sun product line was largely composed of adventure and sourcebooks published under a bewildering variety of module codes such as "DS", "DSE", "DSM", "DSQ", "DSR", and "DSS". However, TSR also tended to publish one prestige-format supplement for the line each year. The first two releases of this sort were the original Dark Sun boxed set (1991) and the hardcover Dragon Kings (1992).
The boxed Ivory Triangle was the third. It was clearly a new core supplement for Dark Sun, based on its extensive details of a new area for adventuring. Like Dark Sun's adventures, The Ivory Triangle includes an Athasian short story, showing the lines continued commitment to multimedia.
Laying Out the Boxed Set
As a boxed set, Ivory Triangle could include extra cool stuff. Six reference cards were particularly well received, all featuring specific information on the Ivory Triangle cities Gulg and Nibenay, including demographics, equipment lists, and more.
War World Battles
When Dark Sun was first imagined, it was War World, a setting that could spotlight TSR's Battlesystem (1985, 1989, 1991). That crossover had mostly faded by 1993, but nonethless The Ivory Triangle's war-torn setting includes some very short descriptions of the armies of the main cities in the area.
The Ivory Triangle is set in the Tyr Region, which had been the heart of the Dark Sun setting since its release. However it moves away from the more familiar cities of Tyr and Urik, going southeast of the Tablelands to detail the eponymous Ivory Triangle — a region defined by the cities of Gulg and Nibenay and the village of Salt View.
As a result, the Ivory Triangle immediately became the best-defined area of Athas. The cities of Gulg and Nibenay each get a 32-page book. They were also the first cities other than Tyr to receive maps, causing Nibenay to become the foundation of many Dark Sun campaigns. The Ivory Triangle also details: the forts at Fyra, Harbeth, Inix, and Outpost 19; the training ground at The Cache; the tribes at Losthome, Poortool's Horde, and Salthome; and a variety of wilderness regions in the Crescent Forest, the Great Ivory Plain, the Mekillot Mountains, the Verdant Belt and the Windbreak Mountains.
Despite the newness of the region, there's a lot of integration with past Dark Sun products, particularly DSR1: Slave Tribes (1992) and DSR2: Dune Trader (1992).
Monsters of Note. A handful of new monsters appear in this book including an Athasian treant and a salt zombie — but only the cilops (a one-eyed centipede) had much in the way of legs in later products.
About the Creators. Scott was a freelancer who worked in the industry in the late '80s and early '90s. He was tragically killed in a car accident on the way to Gen Con / Origins '92 (1992). The Ivory Triangle was his last work, and is dedicated to him. Contrariwise, Botula was just getting his start freelancing for TSR, having contributed to DSE1: Dragon's Crown (1993) earlier in the year. He'd write a few more books, through 1998.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Thanks to Robert Adducci for Dark Sun advice. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter 1: Merchant Forts
Chapter 2: Raiding Tribes
Chapter 3: Lands of the Ivory Triangle
Chapter 4: Monsters of the Ivory Triangle