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DSR3 Veiled Alliance (2e)


Few safe havens exist on Athas, and fewer still for preservers. In the hidden places of the cities - a potter's shop, a crematoria, even under the very palace of a sorcerer king - the Veiled Alliance abides, aiding and protecting preservers and auxiliaries, and standing against defilers. In Tyr, Balic, Draj, Gulg, Nibenay, Raam, and Urik, protection from the dark forces of Athas endures.

Secret recognition signals preserve their identities. For those seeking membership comes a testing: after true intentions are proven, tests are administered and, if failed, lead to a terrible death. If successful, the candidate looks forward to years of perilous work and strife - the results of which may never see the pages of a journal. And no one quits the Alliance without facing requital.

Veiled Alliance presents the DM with all the information required to create Alliance - centered campaigns on Athas - detailed information about the five aims, adventure hooks for each Alliance, recognition signals, and maps of various headquarters. All the features you need to create thrilling, fundamental challenges to the Alliance on the ruthless world of Athas are now revealed.

Product History

DSR3: "Veiled Alliance" (1992), by Allen Varney, is the third Dark Sun Reference book detailing the setting of Athas. It was released in September 1992.

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. "Veiled Alliance" was the third of the "DSR" reference books. Like its two predecessors, "Veiled Alliance" details several related organizations. Previously, DSR1: "Slave Tribes" (1992) had covered a number of desert tribes, while DSR2: "Dune Trader" (1992) described merchant houses. Now, "Veiled Alliance" turns its attention to the secret cabals of preservers in the major cities of the Tyr region.

As such, "Veiled Alliance" is a somewhat unusual sort of wizardly splatbook, detailing more about where wizards are from than what they do. That's a big difference from Defilers and Preservers: The Wizards of Athas (1996),a much later book that was also a more typical splat.

Genres: I, Spy. The Veiled Alliances of Athas are covert, and that provides the opportunity for a very different sort of campaign. With its focus on secret societies, hidden handshakes, and other private signals, "Veiled Alliance" could support an espionage campaign — something fairly unusual for the D&D game. There's actually quite a bit of fodder for campaigns of this sort, as "Veiled Alliances" is set up so that the Alliances want to fight defilers, templars, and sorcerer-kings — which are all great hooks for PCs as well.

Expanding Athas. The Veiled Alliances had been mentioned in many early Dark Sun supplements, but this was the first time that they appeared center stage. The book includes details on the Veiled Alliance as they appeared in seven different cities of the Tyr Region: Balic, Draj, Gulg, Nibenay, Raam, Tyr, and Urik. It not only details the form that the Alliance takes in each city but also gives some details on the city itself — expanding on the city backgrounds found in the Dark Sun Boxed Set (1991), which had previously provided about a page of detail on each of these cities.

About the Creators. Though much of Varney's freelancing was for West End Games and Steve Jackson Games, he also did occasional work for TSR. "Veiled Alliance" was his only contribution to the Dark Sun line.

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

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John R March 13, 2021 3:11 am UTC
Pod please.
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Allen V January 07, 2015 6:57 pm UTC
Allen Varney here. I worked a fair bit on the Dark Sun line. I co-wrote (with Aaron Allston) the story "Boneyard Lights" in DSQ3 "Asticlian Gambit," and I designed a short DS adventure called "The Year of Priest's Defiance" in Dungeon magazine. I also edited the "Dragon Kings" Dark Sun hardcover and wrote some of its introductory fables. "Veiled Alliance" is my only Dark Sun work where I got cover credit.
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TSR 2411
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29.3 MB
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This title was added to our catalog on September 30, 2014.