Dark Sun: Spirit Champions
Area around Tyr
A wide, shallow valley surrounds Tyr like a sinkhole in the mountains. Through the heat shimmer, a traveler can just glimpse the great ziggurat and Golden Tower of Tyr rising above the city walls.
To the north and east of the great city are the sprawling estates of Tyr’s nobles and higher-ranking templars. Fields of faro and gray cotton stand in regimented rows along the fertile (by Athasian standards) bottom of the valley. Other plantations provide gladiatorial training grounds and holding areas for vicious animals or monsters captured for the arena. Private soldiers patrol the nobles’ lands to ward off raiders and dangerous beasts while laborers toil beneath the burning sun to bring the crops to harvest. Several paths and small roads run between and around the various estates, converging in a common road that leads to the stadium gate.
Sweeping west, the fields give way to isolated patches of rockstem and stunted cactus.
The area west of Tyr is largely unsettled. A hedge of scrub plants encircles the perimeter of the lower node of the walled city (that area that houses the templars’ quarters). The hedge, known as ¨the barrier,¨ flanks the area near the Grand Gate, through which valuable iron shipments pass from the mine. A 20-foot buffer exists between the barrier and the road approaching the grand gate. Farther out, where the valley’s walls rise in knotted ridges to meet the Ringing Mountains, a scrub plain covers several miles of landscape. Herdsmen sometimes forage among the sandy-root trees there, but not overly so. Druids of the scrub plain watch the area and kill those who damage the local environment. Grazing is permitted provided it doesn’t outstrip the land’s ability to regenerate the foliage lost. Predators prowl the thickets, though, and losses are high to animals and herdsmen both!
The herdsmen of the Tyr valley primarily drive herds of erdlus and z’tal. A nearby plantation raises large numbers of kips as well. The owner supplements their foraging with regular shipments of garbage from Tyr.
The road curves southwest from the grand gate, skirting the foothills for eight or nine miles through the southern Tyr valley. The ground grows steeper then, the road becoming more twisted as it weaves its way through boulder fields to end at the Tyrian iron mines. Here, that most precious metal, iron, is wrested from the bowels of Athas at great cost, both in terms of gold and of men.