A 25-year-old abandoned Dungeon & Dragons adventure has been completed and released by a group of dedicated fans. The Emissary takes place on Athas, the Dark Sun Campaign Setting's world, which celebrated its 30th-anniversary last year. The Emissary is one of several projects that Dark Sun co-creator Tim Brown worked on in the 1990s left unfinished when TSR pulled the plug on the Dark Sun setting. Wizards of the Coast then acquired TSR and allowed the fan community at The Burnt World of Athas to produce Dark Sun materials for Dungeons & Dragon's 3rd edition and 3.5 rulesets. It is that same fan community that completed The Emissary for release.
Though a standalone adventure, The Emissary is also a spiritual successor to another abandoned Dark Sun adventure completed by The Burnt World of Athas community, Dregoth Ascending. That adventure featured Dregoth, undead sorcerer-king of the city-state Giustenal, both of which had been left for dead by the other sorcerer-kings of Athas. The Emissary sees Dregoth making a new move, sending messengers to contact someone, or something, dwelling in the mysterious Dead Lands to the south of Athas' central region, the Tablelands.
The Emissary's release follows Burnt World of Athas's release of the Secrets of the Dead Lands supplementary book, which Tim Brown was also working on for TSR in the 1990s. The book details the southern region, only known as a vast plain of obsidian where undead roamed in previously released Dark Sun materials. I haven't had the chance to do more than scan the PDF, but I noticed there's a region called "the Crunch" and something about a "first deadbug invasion," so yeah, I'm interested.
The Emissary is an adventure that introduces adventurers to the Dead Lands, recommended for 14th level characters. Between this adventure, Secrets of the Dead Lands detailing the region, and the previously released Terrors of the Dead Lands serving as a regional bestiary, there's an entirely new region of Athas to set a campaign. Another upcoming product, Faces for the Dead Lands, covers NPCs and other mechanical details about the area, offering another tool for Dungeon Masters running a Dead Lands campaign. These releases have to be the best news Dark Sun fans could hope to receive short of new, official support for the setting from Wizards of the Coast.
The Emissary, Secrets of the Dead Lands, and Burnt World of Athas' other Dark Sun releases are available to download at Athas.org. Older Dark Sun materials designed for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons are available via DriveThruRPG.