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Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs (2e)


And so I found myself learning about a folk that I had never heard described even in rumors. These halflings are an ancient people-in fact, they gave a new definition for "ancient." Their race is older than any other on Athas. They remember times before the Warbringer, before magic, and before the advent of the Way. 
-The Wanderer's Journal

To the west of Tyr, the proud strongholds of the Jagged Cliffs defy everything that is known about Athas. The history of the halflings who live there is as old as Athas itself. Their origins lie with the rhulisti, who were masters of the world during the Blue Age-and you caused the end of an age when a simple experiment went horribly awry.

Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs details the lives of the rhul-thaun-the descendants of the rhulisti and the keepers of the ancient knowledge who practice the most unusual and arcane art under the crimson sun: the shaping of life itself.

This 128-page accessory for players and Dungeon Masters alike is the first in the "Wanderer's Chronicle" series that explores new areas of Athas. It features:

  • Details of the Jagged Cliffs region, he rugged land that lies between Tyr and the Kreen Empire.
  • Living tools left from Athas's dim past, including organic weapons, armor, and flying vehicles.
  • Secrets of the swamp at the base of the Cliffs, and its link to all magic within the world of Athas.
  • Details for creating these unique halfling characters.
  • A complete adventure for existing PCs or newly created rhul-tan characters.

Product History

Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs (1995), by Monte Cook, is the first book in the Wanderer's Chronicle series for Revised Dark Sun. It was released in December 1995.

Origins. Cook was given the name of this book and a few notes on windriders from Dark Sun Campaign Setting Expanded and Revised (1995). From there, he was able to follow his own vision while writing this new Dark Sun sourcebook — a degree of creative freedom that was common at TSR during this time.

The life-shaping magic of Windriders was in part influenced by Cook's previous work on Dark Space (1990), a science fantasy setting for Rolemaster and Space master. Cook would more fully return to the topic in his own d20 book, Chaositech (2004).

Continuing the Dark Sun Series. In late 1995, TSR released Dark Sun Campaign Setting Expanded and Revised (1995), a new iteration of the Dark Sun setting that was intended both to move the world of Athas beyond the events of the Prism Pentad novels (1991-1993) and to expand it beyond the traditional boundaries of the Tyr Region.

Windriders of the Jagged Cliffs showed how they were going to do so. Not only did it detail a new geographical region but it also dove deep into the history of Athas, revealing the Rhul-Thaun — a halfling race from the Blue Age that has a long (if fragmentary) memory of the planet's past.

This supplement was meant to be the first of the "Wanderer's Chronicles", which would have continued to expand the world of Athas, but only one more was released before the setting's demise: Mind Lords of the Last Sea (1996).

Love It or Hate It? The supplements from Revised Dark Sun were often controversial because they expanded the setting in dramatic and outré ways. If people didn't like Windriders, it was because of the biotech-like life-shaping magic of the Rhul-Thaun. This magic suggested the science-fiction themes that Dark Sun would develop in its final books.

Expanding Athas. Windriders offered one of the biggest expansions of Athas to date. It introduced the Jagged Cliffs region, to the west of the Tyr region,
and detailed it with a beautiful full-color map; it also hinted at the dangers of the Thri-Kreen empire lying beyond. As already noted, Windriders also originated the Rhul-Thaun, a second race of halfings, and their life-shaping magic. Finally, it delved deep into the history of Athas, going all the way back to the Blue Age.

About the Creators. Cook was recently arrived at TSR and Windriders was one of his earlier works. He'd come of his own in 1996 with a slew of Planescape releases.

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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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File Last Updated:
June 23, 2014
This title was added to our catalog on June 24, 2014.