After Winter Dark: The Codex of Aihrde


SKU: TLG 81621


Welcome to the After Winter Dark Campaign Setting!

The World of Aihrde is your storyboard. Its vibrant mythology, and unfolding history, make the World of Aihrde an unparalleled fantasy setting. With a wealth of playable material, Aihrde is like a tapestry unfolding, one that you can make your own!

Rich in adventure hooks, Aihrde is like no other on the market today. It infuses character generation with an energy unique for its genre and arms the game master with material that is both fixed and malleable.

The world of Aihrde spins upon an earth-like axis of ancient civilizations where good and evil have struggled for countless years. It is a world that bears the markings of its past; where ancient evils slumber, stained with the power of eldritch wizardry; where gods dwell in bejeweled halls of wonderment, worshiped by men and women of all creeds; where dragons live in great dens of heaped treasure; where the new stands upon the ruins of the old in beds of ancient glory.

The Codex of Aihrde includes everything you need to get started adventuring in one of the most expansive game settings you’ll ever enjoy.

The Codex is presented in two parts:

Part 1 The Almanac (roughly 170 pages): In part 2 we dive into the particulars of the gods, the people, countries, places and realms of Aihrde. There are over 50 gods outlined for play, a dozen peoples including all your favorites (dwarves, elves, men, halflings, gnomes, orcs, goblins, giants, trolls, dragons and more). Each of 30 plus realms are intimately detailed with history, government, economy, military, present rulers and other specific information. Beyond that we have terrain that is detailed as well.

Part 2 The Andanuth (roughly 102 pages): Here we learn the story of Aihrde, from its uttermost beginning to the present age. It follows the journey of All Father, the creation of the gods and the world. We learn who the gods are and how they interact long before the coming of the dwarves and man. The story covers the creation of these people and more and all their long journeys and travails from their arrival to the realms of the day. The Andanuth is generously sprinkled with stories and tales of gods and men, dwarves and goblins, war and peace. You’ll not wonder what happened before…you’ll know.

Appendices: Several Appendices cover extra material such as detailed time line, calendar, weather patterns, languages, and flora of Aihrde.

All this in one book!

Unique Approach: The Codex of Aihrde begins in the year 1197, 80+ years after the fall of the Horned God Unklar, who ruled in Aihrde for a thousand years. What this does for you, the player and game master, is presents you with a world both old….thousands of years of history to build upon…but at the same time very young. For the new Kingdoms are only a few decades old. They are fresh and ripe for expansion. Its more than enough to get you started, but leaves you plenty of room to develop.

Its your world!

In Aihrde heroes tread in iron shod boots and wizards lean on crooked staffs to plunder the buried wealth and power of the ages. Here, the eternal struggle goes on, age after age, for Aihrde is a world of adventure, of undaunted heroes, untainted by the decadent philosophies of those meek who suffer in the shadows of lesser men. For here the stone columns of history are wiped clean, awaiting the bold to carve their mark and gain entry to the halls of immortality.

Additional information

Weight 3.2 lbs
Dimensions 11.25 × 8.75 × 0.75 in




Page Count






Product History

Note: This is a history of the Codex of Aihrde (Erde), not the world of Aihrde. The first iteration of what is now Codex of Aihrde (previously also called Codex of Erde) was The After Winter’s Dark Fantasy Campaign Setting by Stephen Chenault. This short, 24-page book, was the fourth of four books that launched the Troll Lord Games company. The setting book was saddle stitched and sported a blue cover with the image of a dragon on it drawn by Jason Walton. It included a short section on world history, deities, terrain, and countries. There was only one printing of this book, and it debuted at Gencon in 2000, being sold with a large map drawn by Davis Chenault. That book was nominated for an Ennie (TLG’s only nomination, as they quit sending material to the nominating committee), sold very well, and was very well received. Because of that success, work began almost immediately on expanding the material into a hardcover book. Stephen Chenault began expanding the material at the same time that Troll Lord Games signed agreements with Gary Gygax. Part of that agreement was for Gary to write a short adventure for the coming Codex. Mac Golden and Davis Chenault joined in on the writing, concentrating on the game mechanics side of the world, with several new classes, monsters, magic items, and spells. Steve concentrated on the history, mythology, and regional information. While at Origins in 2001, Mac Golden stumbled upon an artist, Doug Kovacs, and some of his art. He found a piece that he fell in love with and thought was perfect for the coming Codex. It was shown to Steve and the decision to buy rights to it was made. This became the first cover for the Codex of Aihrde, at that time called Codex of Erde. The Codex of Erde first printing debuted late in 2001. It was a black and white hardback book of 256 pages. It included a short adventure by Gary Gygax called In Search of a Lost City. Stephen Chenault wrote the world content; Mac Golden wrote the game content. Through some strange misunderstanding at the printer, each of these books was individually shrink-wrapped, and they shipped to distribution outlets that way. That led many distributors and retailers to conclude that the book contained adult content, and it was sold as such. Troll Lord Games found this greatly amusing, and they continued to field questions about the content for the life of the book. The book’s cover design is noted by its orange spine, designed by Mac Golden to increase its visibility on the shelf. The book was intended to be the first of three hardcover books to be released that year which would build off of one another. The second was Canting Crew by Gary Gygax and the third Codex Germania, which was originally supposed to be written by Rob Kuntz. Only the Canting Crew saw the light of day and the Codex and Crew sold in tandem for many years. There was no world map with this first printing. Davis’ original map was tubed sold separately. The lack of an integral world map was a major problem that the Aihrde setting suffered with for a long while. That problem was overcome with the release of After Winter’s Dark Aihrde A Fantasy Campaign Setting. This folio edition included a large folder that contained an abridged version of the Codex of Erde content, world, and area maps. It replaced the Codex of Erde in the TLG stables for many years. Not only had the format changed but so too had the name of the world.  Steve, who was very interested in German history, had chosen the German name for earth, Erde, as his world-setting name, intending for “Erde” to originate in the game-world’s dwarven language and to provide more realism than “After Winter’s Dark Campaign Setting.” The name “Erde” however, had unintended consequences for German fans of the setting, who just found the world name to be “earth”. To counteract this in the folio version, the name was altered to “Aihrde,” and the word “Erde” given the meaning of “father.” Note: Because of this Steve began developing a dwarven language and dictionary book. With the growth of Castles & Crusades, demand for content for the world setting grew, and in 2015 TLG launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign which included large world maps, area maps, a new printing of the Codex of Aihrde, and a Players Guide to Aihrde. Overhauling the Codex began immediately, with new maps by Peter Bradley, and new and refreshed art being added. The game content was removed from the Codex and placed in the Players Guide. An odd hiccup happened just before printing, whereby the editor inserted edits directly into the print-ready pdf. This caused hyphens to crop up throughout the book. Most of these were removed, but some remained in the book, creating this strange instance of hyphen-divided single words in the middle of a sentence. In the Codex of Aihrde, information was divided into the Andanuth and the Almanac, with the Andanuth providing a narrative of in-world lore and the Almanac presenting information more systematically and accessibly. This is the first appearance of the word “Andanuth,” which word references the dwarven pact to pay back the All Father for the gift of life as appears in the tales of the book. The Codex included a full-color, fold-out map of the Lands of Ursal in the world of Aihrde, tacked in the back of the book. This was technically a new title and a new printing, though it pulled from and was the spiritual successor to Codex of Erde. The Codex of Aihrde 1st printing was released in late 2015. It carried the same Doug Kovacs cover as the Codex of Erde. The book became an evergreen product, selling several thousands of copies over the next several years.In 2023 it was time to renew the printing and a Kickstarter campaign was launched for it and the Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde. The new printing would sport a new cover by Anato Finnstark, all new art, and a rearrangement of material rearranged, with the Almanac now preceding the Andanuth. The Codex of Aihrde 2nd printing was released in October of 2023.


Authors: Stephen Chenault Cover Artist: Anato Finnstark Interior Artists: Peter Bradley, Nathan Nada, Zoe DeVos, Jason Walton, Tatii Lange, Sandra Tang, Tomas Honz, Cowboy Hob, Joel Chaim Holtzman Editor: Finley J. E. Clayton