Almost a thousand tsán upstream from Jákalla, along the muddy banks of the broad Mssúma River, stands the city of Béy Sü.
The name means Soul of the World in the Bednálljan tongue. Though it has undergone many changes, this mighty metropolis has remained the capital of Tsolyánu for millenia.
“First time, eh?” Tékoru hiSashán, your caravan-master, asks sympathetically. “La! You’ll see it all. You’ll get a peek at the Pyramid of Ssirandár III, the Governor’s Palace, the Hirilákte Arena, and a lot more. And you shall have a litter and a guide to show you around and see you don’t get lost.”
Welcome to Tékumel
Welcome to a world as complex and fascinating as our own, but unlike anything you have ever experienced.
The world of Tékumel, the creation of Professor M.A.R. Barker, is an incredibly detailed science fantasy world which, to my mind, is easily the match of the creations of J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert or Stephen Donaldson. However, in comparison, Tékumel remains largely unknown and unexplored by the general public.
I was introduced to Empire of the Petal Throne, the first role-playing game based in Tékumel and second game published by TSR after the original Dungeons & Dragons, as a 12-year-old in 1978. I feel a special debt to the game; it captured my young imagination and inspired me to to detail ‘underworlds’ and design character sheets, setting me on the path which eventually led to my adult career as a graphic designer. Tékumel’s rich, lovingly detailed atmosphere seems as alive to me now as it was back then. I find it continually surprising that this remarkable creation has not received the widespread recognition it deserves.
I hope this site inspires you to look deeper into this beautiful world. This web site is designed to be an exciting nexus for the literature and visuals of Tékumel, to give Professor Barker’s world as much exposure as possible. There have been several games and novels based in Tékumel, and a wealth of material waits to be uncovered. I welcome all comments and contributions. If any material offends copyright, please inform me at and I will credit it or remove it immediately; but remember this is a totally non-profit site, and my motives are only to inspire interest in the world of Tékumel.
Site designer Peter Gifford
The World of the Petal Throne site is designed for browsing, reading and many, many visits. The main sections are always accessible at the top of your browser window.
The Eye of Incomparable Understanding (About the Site) is where you are now. In this section you will find a welcome and ‘how to’ section, introductory information about Tékumel, a chronological list of changes to the site, and a comprehensive site map. Here also is the Tékumel FAQ and the Tékumel Product List.
The Eye of Illuminating Glory (The World of Tékumel) is the ‘meat’ of the site, and contains separate, detailed sections on some aspects of life on Tékumel; currently History, Gods, and Lands. This section, like the rest of the site, is being continually expanded.
The Eye of Opening the Way (Gaming on Tékumel) is devoted to role-playing, boardgaming and miniatures gaming, for those who wish to adventure among Tékumel’s inhabitants. Here you’ll find a wealth of roleplaying systems, adventure materials, game system supplements and playing aids.
The Eye of Retaining All Things (The Tékumel Archive) is where you’ll find many pages of previously published information about Tékumel from now-defunct fanzines and online mailing lists, and includes downloadable desktop images for your computer and banners to link your site to this one. The Tékumel Tales section features fiction set on Tékumel. There’s also a link to the site of Tita’s House of Games, distributor of Tékumel merchandise; information about joining the current Tékumel Mailing Lists; and entry to The Blue Room Mailing List Archive, a vast repository of past Tékumel discussions.
Visit the Site Chronology to keep track of the latest changes to the site. Updates and additions are made to the site as regularly as possible, the real world permitting.
Tékumel and its related products and materials are copyright © 1975 and 2010 by Prof. M.A.R. Barker. This work is not intended in any way to infringe upon that copyright or other intellectual property rights of Prof. M.A.R. Barker. Material reproduced by permission.
Website design and graphics copyright © 1994 - 2012 Peter Gifford T/AS Universal Head unless where indicated. All Rights Reserved. No material on this site may be reproduced without written permission from the copyright holder.