WHY THIS SETTING

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.

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 lives 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!

After Winter Dark is a massive campaign setting the likes of which you’ve never seen. In the 256 page Codex of Aihrde you’ll find:
A setting where your characters control their destiny and that of the world.
A world with zero metaplot.
Reborn after a long history, you set the tone.
15,000 years of detailed history as a foundation to create.

  • A host of adventures
  • Dungeon crawls
  • Political intrigue
  • Ancient artifacts and the stories around them
  • Content to build character backgrounds like no where else
  • Guides & Orders tied to the setting

Detailed playable mythology

  • Legends that play into your game
  • Detailed inner world, the World of Inzae
  • Rings of Brass that allow you to plane travel

A world beyond the world

  • There is plenty of room for your to grow you own campaigns and build within the world

All this in the Codex of Aihrde, but with more expanded material in a mountain of support books: Monsters & Treasures of Aihrde, Trail Guide to Aihrde, Dictionary of Airhde, Expansion books and adventures.

AFTER WINTER DARK

The World’s History is told in Seven Orations
(see: Codex of Aihrde)

In the First Oration, “The Days Before Days”, years uncounted, we learn:
Of the All Father, who created all things, and of his time in the beginning of days. We learn of the terrible beast of destruction called the Dragon upon the Void, and of the Maelstrom, the embodiment of the Dragon’s power over destruction. We learn of the Val Eahrakun – the gods, both the Named and Unnamed – and their wars. We learn of how the All Father made the world upon the face of the Void and unfurled the Arc of Time. We learn of his spawn, the gods, and see them in their youth and how they partook in the creation of Aihrde, the world to be. This is accounted the First Rin upon the Arc of Time.

In the Second Oration, “Of the Beginning of Days”, years uncounted, we learn:
How the All Father created many things, and of his greatest creation the dwarves, and how he set them on the path of the Andanuth. We learn of All Father’s creation of men, giants, and other diverse peoples. Ornduhl the Red God, greatest of the Val Eahrakun rises in dominance and fortifies the Wretched Plains and begins many contests with the other gods. We also see the coming of the merfolk and the love of gods. The Chroniclers account this the Second Rin upon the Arc of Time.

In the Third Oration, “Songs of the Dwarves”, that lasts 6000 years, we learn:
How the dwarves ordered their world to repay the Andanuth, the Debt of Life. We learn that Narrheit, one of the Named Val Eahrakun, riddled the dwarves and Ornduhl to go to war. The Red God creates the goblins and the worst of men. The fall of Mordius of the Named Val Eahrakun and the Red Cloak and the rising might of the Red God and his fall. Of the long wars and the lamentations. The Chroniclers account this the Third Rin upon the Arc of Time.

In the Fourth Oration, “The Dwarven Laments”, that lasts 5000 years, we learn:
Of the days of sorrow and loss, when all that came before changed forever. The long, brutal Goblin Dwarf Wars, four in total, before the Stone Wars and the wastage of both peoples and the collapse of most of their kingdoms. The last act, Ondluche unleashing the power of the runes and how they splintered the mind of the All Father and their came to the world elves, orcs, halflings, and many other people beside. We learn that the power of the Folk waned and men rose. It is the end of the glories of the Days before Days. The Chroniclers account this the Fourth Rin upon the Arc of Time.

In the Fifth Oration, “Of the Age of Man”, that lasts 2300 years, we learn:
How men assume the mantle of the world and the rise of the Ethrum and the Aenochians in the Lands of Ursal, wherein lies much of the power of the Val Eahrakun. We learn of the rise of gods as men turn to worship them and their reordering. This age sees the rise of the Red God once again and his greatest war with Corthain of the Named and Judgement of that God. Narrheit bemuses the Aenochians and brings sorcery and the age of wizards begins. The rise of the God-Emperors and the Aenochian Empires and the coming of Trigal and how sorcery brought Unklar the Horned god to the world. The Chroniclers account this the Fifth Rin upon the Arc of Time.

In the Sixth Oration, “Of the Winter Dark”, that lasts 1200 years, we learn:
Of the conquest of all the world by Unklar, one of the Named Val Eahrakun, and his reordering of things. This is an account and history in brief of the Millennial Darkness, or the Long Centuries, most commonly called the Winter Dark. We learn of the Warping of the World, the Binding of the Twin Sisters, the myriad Wars of Unklar, the Horned God, of Aufstrag and Hell’s creation, the Mogrl and other beasts, of the Winter Dark Wars and Unklar’s banishment and a world reborn. The Chroniclers account this the Sixth Rin upon the Arc of Time.

In the Seventh Oration, “After Winter Dark”, but 60 years old, we learn:
Of the beginning of days after the fall of Unklar and the diminishment of Aufstrag. The rise of Kayomar and New Aenoch, and all the Young Kingdoms. Held to be the last Rin before the Gonfod. This is the Age of After Winter Dark, the seventh Rin of the World.

PEOPLES OF AIHRDE

DWARVES

Dwarves were many and varied in the Days before Days, though generally, as a people, they are short of stature, stout, and strong. Their skin is thick and tough, built for extreme temperatures. They sport thick beards, smaller eyes, and full, round faces. They are thick-limbed and have large hands and feet.
The dwarves hold one overriding religious belief, and that is they owe a debt to their creator. Only through action and deeds can that debt be repaid. It is for this reason that there are few evil dwarves and many of their people, if not all, are very skilled craftsmen.
It is important to note that a dwarven paladin's deeds speak as loudly as a smith's creations, so that one may repay his debt on the battlefield while another repays it on the forge.

HUMANS

Humans did not take to the teaching of the All Father, but rather divested themselves in the worship of Mordius. They were generally taller, though not as great as their giant kin, nor as stout as their dwarven cousins.
They migrated to all corners of the world. Eventually these peoples became numerous and distant from their ancestors, and few, if any, realize their origins. The humans settled in far more climes than the dwarves, almost as many as the giants. They are hearty and versatile, adapting to their new homes where ever they lay. Early in their history they divided, moving to different locales, and have ever since been associated with 13 tribes, or divisions: six large and seven smaller, each very different from the other.
They all speak their own languages and worship a diverse number of local deities and their customs and clothing is as diverse as one can imagine. It should be noted that many worship the same deities, but the names, faces, and religious symbols are different

GIANTS

When the All Father breathed life into the dwarves upon God's Forge, his breath spilled out upon the discarded giants, so life came to them. They were many and varied, some taller than others, some wider, and so on. Many wandered away into the wilds and these spread far and wide and they were the first of the Faulerde to see the world. Some, though, stayed and listened to the All Father teach the dwarves the Language of Creation. Others turned to others of the Val Eahrakun and from them learned different skills.

There are many types of giants, the better known are cloud giants, frost giants, fire giants, stone giants and storm giants.

ELVES

Long after the dwarven kingdoms were founded, the physical form of the All Father ceased to be, and his mind opened upon the world of Aihrde. And gates to other realms were laid bare. Thus it was with the Land of Seven Rivers, Shindolay, where dwelt the elves. A realm born of his dreams, Shindolay had long housed the elven folk. They came of the same thoughts and design that had created Wenafar in the deeps of the Void, long before the world came to be. There a many elves, from the High Elf peoples of Shindolay and Fontenouq to the Mist Elves, Twilight Elves, Wood Elves and Wild Elves. They speak their own languages and have customs that are often alien to man and dwarf.

HALFLINGS

During the Winter Dark they were hunted mercilessly by the agents of the Horned God, mostly for sport. So great was the genocide that few survived into the new era and they became an oddity, fierce and battle-hardened. They have since recovered and some few have settled again in the cities of man, reverting to their old habits of comfort and ease, but many have taken a suspicious stance to the other peoples and interact only when they must.
Larger than their civilized cousins, nomadic halflings average three and a half to four and a half feet tall and weigh 50 to 70 pounds. Their skin is tanned, and their eyes are typically brown or black, but sometimes green. They wear their dark hair long, sometimes in braids or tails. Facial hair is very rare. They tend toward light dress of simple and practical design, and prefer not to wear footwear.

HUMANOIDS

The goblins were the first of the humanoids. Created from the rage of Ornduhl the Red God the goblins sprang into being and made war upon the Dwarves. They brought sorcery to the world and with it unleashed the wild imaginings of the All Father. From that came the orcs, bugbears, gnolls, and other creatures. But the greatest and most dreaded of all the humanoids came during the Long Centuries of the Winter Dark, forged upon Klarglich, the forge of Aufstrag, by Unklar. The ungern were his dark soldiery and aver after plagued the world of Aihrde.

MORE ABOUT AIHRDE

WORLD OF AIHRDE

Aihrde is large world, nearly 24,000 miles in circumference.

The world possesses vast oceans and seas, one primary continent and five smaller continents. Her south and north poles are covered in thick sheets of ice year-round.

It is a land of wild adventure, peopled by the fierce Aenochians and their mortal enemies the Ehtrum, Elves of the Lands of Seven Rivers, Halflings, and the Earagoth, the First Born, the Dwarves. Upon her many shores are monsters from the madness of dawn's creations, dragons, giants and beasts of fierce design.

It is an a world of Epic adventure with over 15,000 years of recorded history.

DIVINE ORDERS

Deities are divine beings of great power tied to the fabric of creation. Very few of the inhabitants, if any, worship a single deity. Instead, the people of Aihrde exhibit a healthy respect to most all powers aligned with their ethos. Some pray to those powers that can best aid them in time of need, and most invoke the names of various deities important to daily life in a hard world. Even priests and clerics of a specific deity might call upon a power similarly related to their own patron. For example, a cleric of St. Luther might call upon the light of Durendale if battling a vampire. Such situations are those that would generally unite followers of various deities against a single cause.

In Aihrde, the idea of deities is a complex one. It refers to creatures that are greater than mortals and are able to intervene in the workings of the world. Some of these creatures derive their power from the All Father, others from the worship of their followers. The source of a deity’s power does not define it as more or less powerful. There are some very insignificant creatures that the All Father made in the Void, creatures that could never stand up to even the weakest of the mortals, but they are special in that they do not derive their power from others, and are truly immortal and almost beyond destruction.

Beyond the All Father and Inzae, there are three orders of deities in Aihrde: Val Eahrakun, Val Austlich, and Val Tulmiph. Beyond the Three Orders, there are the peoples of Aihrde.

The Val Eahrakun

The Val Eahrakun are the creatures made of the All Father’s labors in the Void. Many remained in the Great Empty, but some removed themselves to Aihrde and settled. As is written, “Of the Val Eahrakun there are twelve named and are ac- counted the greatest. They are Corthain, Mordius, Ornduhl, Narrheit, Ealor, Tefnut, the Sisters Mailuhm and Mailahm, and Wenafar. Toth is the Shadow of the All Father and though accounted one of the Val Eahrakun, he is different, for he alone possesses all the knowledge of the All Father, and he was cast into shape before the Forge of Creation was made. To their number were added the dragon god Frafnog and Unklar the Horned God. These latter came to the world only after it was formed, and had little role in its making.

The Val Austlich

The Val Austlich are creatures and magics forged from the Language of Creation by the Val Eahrakun. Many of these creatures owe their existence to the Judgment of Corthain as they were created by the Val Eahrakun to carry out those tasks the older deities could no longer perform. Durendale, Ogoltay, the Rune Lords, Aenouth, Athria, Bur- asil, Ore-Tsar, Glorianna, Grotvedt, Imbrisius, Urnus Gregaria, Wulfad, Amenexl, Angrim, Krateus, Adrius & Zernius, and Rhealth are the most obvious.

Some deities actually walk the plane, and, as in the case of Durendale, are active in shaping the history of the world. Churches and temples to these deities are the largest and most powerful as well. Unlike the Val Eahrakun, the power of the Val Austlich waxes and wanes with the number of worshipers and/or the type and amount of sacrifices given in their name.

The Val Tulmiph

The Val Tulmiph are beings such as Agrol, Aristobulus, Augustus, Da-ladon, Dolgan, Falkenjagger, Nulak-Kiz-Din, St. Luther, Utumno, etc. These range from the simple hero to the very powerful demigod. They are much akin to the Val Austlich, but their deification has nothing to do with the Val Eahrakun, but rather their own deeds, destiny, and well-earned power. These demigods are generally associated with only a few specific provinces. The peoples of Aihrde call upon them in time of need as would be appropriate. Worship of the demigods varies from being widespread to very localized.

LANDS OF URSAL

The history of the people of Aihrde begins in the Arnhul Mountains, upon Mount Austerien, where the All Father cast the dwarves, giants, and men to form. In the 3rd Rin of the World the dwarves spread far and wide, from Arnhul they moved into the east until they came to the shores of the Inner Sea. There they built mighty kingdoms and a bridge to bind the two lands south of the Inner Sea as one. This they called the Ursal Bridge.

In after ages, when the dwarven realms but one, were laid to ruin, men rose to power. And their greatest Kingdoms stood astride the Ursal Bridge and these were the Aenochians and Ethrum. And they warred with one the other over these lands, the Lands of Ursal.

The Lands of Ursal comprise the heart of the world. Here is the power of god concentrated, the gates to Hell set up for the bold, the Kingdoms of men, dwarf and elf come together. A land of giants, where dragons prowel. There is a reason Ursal is called the Cradle of the World.

COSMOLOGY

The cosmology of Aihrde consists of several complex, interwoven planes. Surrounding all is the Void. Within the Void spins the many planes of the Firmament, and where they collide lies the great cloud of matter, the Maelstrom. At the heart of the Maelstrom lies the Material Plane, Aihrde, itself surrounded by the Wall of Worlds.

Within all this is the inner world of Inzae. Through all this flows the Arc of Time, which begins in the Void and ends in the Endless Pools, Stone Fields, the Shadow Realms and other lesser domains. Beyond the Pools lie the Wretched Planes and the Stone Fields. The Eahrtaut, the Living Tree, stands in the Material Plane, but its branches and roots grow into and through all the planes.

The Net of Ea-Raena lies over all. Intersecting these many planes lie the multi-verse, both a part of and apart from them all. Lying over all, like a mornings fog, is the Dreaming.

CLIMATE

Weather Aihrde is a lively, active world with a wide variety of regional climates, from the tropical moist of Inklu-Naid to the Boreal Forests of northern Aenoch, to the moist continental of the lands of Ursal to the dry tropical of the Nabian Deserts. Here local flora and fauna thrives; dwarves, men, elves and others live out their lives, monsters hunt the unwary, and gods play.

Each of these biomes possess local climatic conditions peculiar to their latitude, proximity to the deep waters or frozen ice caps, wind conditions, physical geography and all the myriad factors that make up regional climates.

In general Aihrde is a moist world, that enjoys a great deal of precipitation, both in the form of rain and snow. For all the Long Centuries the world lay bound in an age of ice and winter and the residual affects of Unklarâ's rule remain.

CHRONOLOGY

Calendar reckoning The standard calendar year is that of the Millennial (Dark) Age (as begun by the Dark God Unklar). The current year is 1197md. There are, however, four calendars of reckoning, Dwarf, Elf, Olden Year and Millennial. All campaign dates are given in md. 

Conversion chart:
Millennial Age (md): 1
Olden Year (oy): 800
Dwarf Year (df): 12188
Elven Year (ey): 3452 

To arrive at the Olden Year, add 800 to the present md. For Dwarf year add 12188, and for Elven year 3452. A History will read: In 1129md (13317df; 1929oy; 4581ey) the Dwarves of Grundliche Hohle made peace with the 47 clans of Gnomes.

KINGDOMS

From the ashes of the old world humans rose to prominence, many of diverse races spread across the known world, but the Aenochians and Ethrum came to the Lands of Ursal where so many of the Named Val Eahrakun had dwelt. They gained by it and suffered for it like no others and they ushered in the thousand year reign of Unklar.

But at last he was overthrown in the Winter Dark Wars and driven from the world and the realms are born anew.

All the free peoples spread far and wide, building new realms on old foundations, and yet the world bore the imprint of Unklar’s thousand year rule. The roads and calendar, all the vestiges of his imperial rule survived. Many of his servants still crawled the earth in search of vengeance, seeking a way to bring back the Winter Dark. Distance of time removes the pain of the Horned God’s rule, and the horror of the Winter Dark is recalled by only the very old.

Aihrde lay a world filled with the promise of adventure and glory, of lost treasure and power arcane, and battle against dark things that linger in dark places, at least until the Red God should return and the Gonfod at last begin.

There are 39 kingdoms and realms, regions and places in the Lands of Ursal. From the medieval castles of Anglaymay, the old Kingdom of Kayomar, to New Aenoch and the orc realm of Onwaltig, to the Spartan realm of Tagea and the Romanesque Brindisium, play what you want. It is varied world of many peoples and one of high adventure.

Each realm, as covered in the Codex of Aihrde, has a complete

  • Rulers
  • Heraldry
  • Military organizations
  • Notes on society
  • Political structure
  • History

THE AIHRDIAN CALENDAR

There are 367 days in a year. Originally the calendar was based off of the dwarven calendar. This consisted of 24 Eval, of 15 days each. The 15 days signified the amount of time it took to walk by foot from the gates of Gorthurag to Gods Forge at the top of Mount Austerien. This journey was a holy journey for dwarves and called the Forahnock. The dwarves set aside 7 days at the end of each year as a time of rest; this was called the Rik.

During the Winter Dark the calendar was changed to reflect a more orderly world. The cycles were set to reflect the cycle of the moon and the seasons. The dwarven Eval were converted into 12 months, however, the measurements were never perfect, reflecting Ea-Raenaâ's constant rebellion against Unklar and the number of days in a month were adjusted, some possessing more days than others.

After the collapse of Aufstrag, both calendars were combined by the Council of Light. The year now is divided into 13 months. Twelve of the months each have thirty days, but the thirteenth month is a celebratory month, the Feast of the Unmaking, and is only 7 days long. Though there are many local and religious holidays, the Feast of the Unmaking is celebrated throughout many of the Young Kingdoms as a time of thanksgiving for the destruction of Unklar.

Time is generally tracked by the day of the month that it is, not the eval or rik/week. So one would say it is the 14th of Trocken.

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?

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.

CREDITS

Aihrde is a fantasy game world created and written by Stephen Chenault and published by Troll Lord Games. The full world is discussed in a number of publications from the novel The Andanuth to the game setting book the Codex of Aihrde, Players Guide to Aihrde and Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde.