Ruled for centuries by Andropinis, the sorcerer king, Balic is the richest and most powerful city state. It lies far to the South, at the coast of the Great Silt Seas. The power of the waterways, the Southern crossroads, Balic trades with all of the other kingdoms of Athas and has amassed great wealth. Bringing curious peoples and creatures from around the world, its markets are a place with nothing is forbidden and everything is permitted.

Balic is the beating heart of Athas’ slave trade, fueled by its endless expansion deeper into the surrounding wastes. The great merchant houses taking contracts to build public works, or to uncover lost cities in the desert always need more lives. Slavers roam the outskirts of the kingdom, preying upon the unwary, as Templars condemn the unlawful to servitude inside the city walls.

The Criterion, the great marble arena of Balic, is unmatched in size, beauty and brutality. Thousands perish there every year as millions come from every corner of the globe to witness the spectacle. The Great houses endlessly scheme and maneuver to gain position, spilling blood in the arena rather than in the streets in open conflict. The House that boasts the Champion of the Criterion wields power and influence matched only by the Sorcerer King himself.

It is also, paradoxically, the city state that grants the most freedoms to its citizens. Templars and senators are elected by the people, granting a level of independence not to be found outside of Tyr, the ragged free city of the North. Citizens may travel freely, own land, conduct trade and cannot be robbed of their freedom without due process in the courts of Andropinis.

It is a place of astounding opportunity, ruthless exploitation and unimaginable wealth. Life and death, fame and obscurity, chance and ruin. They are the specters that haunt the marble streets of Balic. It will be the site of your greatest triumphs. Or your tomb.


The Criterion tooneism tooneism