The Last Sea is the final surviving remnant of the Green Age, a time long since past. The lands around it recall happier days, before the coming of the monstrous evil of Rajaat and his genocidal Champions. It is a place unspoiled by magic, and its caretakers—Mind Lords and mortal residents alike-take great pains to ensure that it remains that way. To most denizens of Athas, the Last Sea is the most amazing sight that they will ever behold.
Nowhere else on the planet is there a body of water to be found anywhere near as large. In fact, on a world in which an entire town can be founded upon the existence of a single murky well, it seems that something as huge as the Last Sea would support a metropolis of staggering size, or even an entire nation composed of such cities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marnita is surrounded mostly by small fishing villages inhabited by people who manage to eke out a living from the sea. (Of course, the very idea of having enough water to put a boat on is astonishing to most Athasians. Sure, such craft work on the Silt Sea, but that’s dirt—tiny pieces of solid stuff. How could something like water hold up something as heavy as a boat? Upon first hearing the idea, most Athasians think that such a contraption would sink like a pebble dropped into a glass of foamy ale.) There are three reasons why the Last Sea isn’t the site of the densest population center on the face of Athas. First, the Last Sea is salt water. Most Athasians have run across a pool of foul water before, something so brackish as to be undrinkable. To a newcomer, the Last Sea must seem like the cruelest joke ever: to have enough water to actually swim in, but not to be able to drink a drop of it.
The waters of the Last Sea are clear and a deep blue-green. They are full of interesting creatures that most Athasians outside of the valley have never seen-things such as fish, seaweed, and even sharks and dolphins. Sailing ships crisscross the Last Sea’s surface like elves skating across the dunes that cover the rest of the planet. Second, it’s not easy for outsiders to get to the Last Sea. It is a long way from Tyr, a place from which so few people have been to the Last Sea that they nearly all consider Saragar to be something out of legend. As explained earlier, there are many physical barriers in the intervening distance, any one of which can be deadly. Third, the Mind Lords like things the way they are within their valley. They have set up elaborate security measures (known as the Border of Guardians) to keep outsiders out and insiders in. For this reason, not even the ssurran traders that make occasional trips to rendezvous with envoys from Saragar have managed to settle on the shores of Marnita. They simply aren’t allowed.