Atal is a denizen of the Dreamlands. The son of an innkeeper he was brought up in the town of Uthar and was a witness to the strange event that led to the law that forbade killing cats in the town (HPL: "The Cats of Ulthar").
Having survived his ill-fated master he returned to Uthar and was eventually visited Randolph Carter by which time he was well over 300 years old and the patriarch of the Temple of the Elder Ones. Despite his age he was "still very keen of mind and memory" and, knowing the danger, initially refused to divulge information on Kadath. However after many drafts of moon-wine from Carter, he drunkenly reveals a key piece of information that points towards the mysterious fortress. As befits his age and station, Atal sports a long beard (HPL: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath).
Atal is also the synonym of a person who portrays braveness and determination. Most people with this name are believed to be highly knowledgeable and creative. The name also indicates a strong sense of selectiveness.