Savage Sun of Athas
Tyr was ruled by the sorcerer-king Kalak. While ruthless, Kalak was perhaps the most honest of all sorcerer-kings. Ruling by the power of his magic and tremendous psionic abilities, he placed his own security and the stability of Tyr above all other considerations. The residents of his city understood that the best way to insure their own survival, and avoid the slave pits, was to do what benefits Kalak and not oppose his will. Hence, Tyrian society had functioned very efficiently for the thousand years that Kalak has ruled the city.
Of late however, old King Kalak seemed to have become senile. For the past twenty years, he diverted much of the city’s slave labor to building a mighty ziggurat. Nobles were tolerant of his folly initially, yet over the past years, Kalak had grown frantic to finish the massive structure, appropriating so many slaves there was almost nobody left to work the fields or work the mines, completely shutting down iron production.
This lack of labor (especially the iron mines) has caused the city’s economy to crash, leaving merchant and noble alike nearly destitute. Slaves are starving, and even free craftsmen receive only meager grain rations in return for their services (and only if their work had contributed directly to the construction of the ziggurat). Earlier this year the ziggurat was completed, however Kalak still had directed labor to the interior of this strange structure.
Other cities depend upon Tyr’s meager raw iron to supplement their economies. Many, most notably Urik and Raam, had sent emissaries to King Kalak with dire warnings concerning the consequences of failing to resume iron production.
In private gatherings, Tyr nobles whispered plans of rebellion and merchants had fled the city in droves. It seemed even the iron grip of the templars could not keep the city from potentially erupting into a violent inferno.
As far as most Athasians are concerned, Tyr has always existed. And throughout all the long years of its existence, it was a city-state enslaved under the unyielding power of Kalak.
That has all changed…
In the courts of other city-states, rumors of King Kalak’s overthrow are only whispered, but in Tyr, the proclamation is howled through the streets. King Kalak is dead. Killed by a handful of brave rebels and the head of the templar guards, Tithian. The templar Tithian, himself has claimed the throne, attempting to keep Tyr from slipping into anarchy. He has abolished slavery but his power is far from absolute.
Now many scheme to succeed Kalak, with templars and other power groups vying for control. King Tithian struggles to keep the city-state from disintegrating into anarchy at the hands of people eager to enjoy their freedom. Nobles and merchants clamor for influence, and commoners and freed slaves openly celebrate, challenging civic authority and social boundaries at every turn.
The City-State of Tyr is located in the northwestern portion of the Tyr Region, nestled at the feet of the Ringing Mountains. The city is situated over top of one of Athas’ deepest, oldest aquifers. As such, despite the desolate landscape surrounding it, the citizens have ample access to the life-giving water.
Tyr has seemingly existed for as long as Athas has been populated. The city has been built on top of its own ruins so many times that history has lost count of how many layers comprise the maze-like warren that is Under-Tyr. It is due to the city’s longevity and ability to survive and rebuild that entire populated region of Athas derives its name as “The Tyr Region”.
Tyr is ruled by the former High Templar Tithian. In the wake of Kalak’s assassination, Tithian assumed power. He holds his throne in the midst of a delicate balance between a number of disparate power groups. Many seek the throne for themselves, many seek to see the people newly freed citizens of Tyr rule themselves, while some groups have even darker aims.
Despite the potential unrest, the Templars still hold sway in Tyr, though now the people do have a far greater say in their own governance.