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DSR4 Valley of Dust and Fire (2e)
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DSR4 Valley of Dust and Fire (2e)

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For thousands of years a great and terrible secret has lain hidden in the depths of the Sea of Silt. In the heart of this vast dust basin, an endless storm of ash and shrieking wind guards the deadliest concentration of evil and power found on the dying world of Athas - the Valley of Dust and Fire.

Valley of Dust and Fire more than doubles the known portions of the world of Athas. Intrepid explorers will discover new wonders and perils within the deadly Sea of Silt, from the beautiful island of Shault to the savage Mountains of the Sun. New rules for traveling the dust basin and surviving its many dangers are included.

With luck and determination a skillful and well-prepared party just might pass through the Great Ash Storm and enter the Valley of Dust and Fire. But this realm of shattered badlands and awful monsters is so deadly that only one man has ever reached the valley and returned to tell the tale.

Product History

DSR4: "Valley of Dust and Fire" (1992), by L. Richard Baker III, is the fourth Dark Sun Reference book detailing the setting of Athas. It was released in November 1992.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. There were lots of "DSR" supplements in 1992 — four to be precise, beginning with DSR1: "Slave Tribes" (1992). However, the fourth volume, DSR4: "Valley of Dust and Fire", was something new. Where the previous volumes had all been organization splatbooks (covering desert tribes, traders, and magic-users), "Valley of Dust and Fire" was instead a geographic splatbook — a first for the Dark Sun line.

"Valley of Dust and Fire" was also the final book in the "DSR" line, but it was reborn in the next year as the "DSS" line. TSR was constantly changing their module codes in the early '90s. The first "DSS" book was another regional sourcebook, DSS1: "City-State of Tyr" (1993).

Adventure Tropes. "Valley of Dust and Fire" is both a regional sourcebook and a sandbox that players could adventure through — full of tougher and tougher obstacles. One of those obstacles is an entire enemy city, Ur Draxa, ripe for PC infiltration. The idea of infiltrating evil cities was popular at TSR at the time, with an even more notable standout being WGR6: "The City of Skulls" (1993).

Expanding Athas. Players had been puttering around the central cities of the Tyr region and the nearby deserts in 1991 and 1992, then "Valley of Dust and Fire" offered a major expansion to the playable area of Dark Sun — essentially doubling the setting's adventuring space.

The expansion of this adventure all occurs on the eastern side of the Tyr region. Though "Valley of Dust and Fire"'s main focus is on the eponymous valley, it also provides the first details on the Sea of Silt, a region that would continue to receive attention in the rest of Dark Sun's run.

This is also the adventure that includes the most detail on Dark Sun's dragon and his home, Ur Draxa.

Monsters of Note. Several fun new monsters appear in this book, including the magma golem, the silt drake, and the black silt horror. Some would reappear in Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors beyond Tyr (1995) and then some of those would also make the jump to D&D 4E.

Future History. The Sea of Silt reappears in two major adventures later in Dark Sun's history: DSE1: Dragon's Crown (1993) and City by the Silt Sea (1994); the latter offers even more details on the area.

About the Creators. In 1993, Baker was still a newcomer at TSR. He'd quickly reappear as one of the contributors to DSE1: Dragon's Crown (1993).

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. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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April 6th, 2005
Simply put, this is one of the best 2nd edition D&D sourcebooks ever released. It provides extensive detail on the mysterious and forgotten city of Ur Draxa, the city of doom, which is found on an island deep in the Sea of Silt. This immense walled [...]
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Product Information
Artist(s)
Rules Edition(s)
Pages
96
Edition
1.0
ISBN
1-56076-316-7
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2413
File Size:
70.75 MB
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File Last Updated:
November 10, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on November 11, 2014.