Raam is Burning.
In the mythic Green Age that exists only in the stories of your grandparents’ grandparents, Athas was a land teeming with life. Water stood in abundant lakes and fell from the sky. Such excess could only exist in legends.
Athas now is a vast, savage desert, almost lifeless. The only civilization that exists is within the protective walls of the great city-states. rough roads and trade routes connect these bastions, and the rest of the world is filled with savage creatures and barbaric tribes.
The sun burns heavy and red in the sky, its roiling surface baking away what life is brave enough to remain.