Athas - General Knowledge
They also believe that there were once great beings that existed beyond the physical realm, the gods. They know that people used to worship the gods and the gods would reward or punish them accordingly. Then, one day it all ended. Something cataclysmic happened that changed everything. The sun turned red, and began to burn the world. Plants, people, animals, everything began to die. A time of madness descended. It was the Sorcerer-kings that eventually ended it as their city-states rose from the ashes of the civilization that existed before. Though they could not return the land to it’s former glory they were able to offer a modicum of safety to the people in their city-states. They have ruled with iron fists ever since.
It was during the time of madness that the great dragon Menetnashte Rasui (Men-et-nash-te Raz-wee) arose. His purposes have always been a mystery, he confers only with the Sorcerer-Kings, but every year he arrives at each city-state and demands a tribute of 1000 slaves. Those city-states who have defied him in the past have paid dearly, some with their very existence.