In the beginning, the Void existed without shape or form, and the All Father moved across the face of the Void, pondering the great emptiness. He saw the great Dragon Inzae, and realized there was life apart from himself. The All Father wondered at this and sought to master meaning in existence. To this end, he set about creating all manner of things.
He fashioned creatures from his thoughts. For behold the All Father knew the Language of Creation, and he understood that life begets life. These creatures, slivers of the All Father, failed to embody what he imagined so he lay them aside. In this way, a great many beings came into existence, powerful manifestations of the All Fatherís memories or imaginings. Most of these creations were benign, but some few possessed great intelligence, and they knew the differences between good and evil.
The Rings of Brass
or After Winter Dark
is a game setting from Troll Lord Games for their Castles & Crusades
line. It summarises the world of Aihrde and it's population, chronicling the history where the Dark God Unklar was manifest in Aihrde and his forces rampaged across its face.
I'm currently working on a conversion for the world so that I can use FC to run it instead of C&C (C&C is a lovely little system but a bit too fuzzy for my players to handle). Below I've outlined some thoughts (so I'm pretty much typing out loud to everyone
) and I'd appreciate some comments.Races
First there were the Trees, given life and knowledge of all the makings of the All-Father's creation. Long-lived though they mabe be, eventually the bark of flesh would decay but their seedlings would live on albeit being less than their elders. However some would grow greedy for more and thus begat the Troll Lords and henceforth the Trolls. When a Troll becomes old, he becomes weighted down with his evil and reverts back to the tree that he was.
When the great Dragon Inzae took note of the All-Father's creation; she bartered some of her eggs in return for a Tree. Thus did the Dragons, Drakes and Lesser Wyrms come to Airhrde, and the first and greatest of these was Frafnog who would become a God unto his kind.
Next came the Dwarves, forged from the sparks of the All-Father's anger as he shattered his great hammer on the anvil. In the beginning, the Dwarves took many shapes and sizes.
- Those who took to the mountains would eventually become the Giants.
- Those who took to the lower lying hills would become the Halflings, brave warriors all.
- Those who took to the forests would become the gnomes, the gardeners in the ways of nature.
- Those who took to life above ground would become the Muen, who would later form the tribes of Men.
In time, the Dark God Thorax Red Bull took interest in the Dwarves and, finding some separated from their kin in the deepest darks, he did snare them with songs vile and twisted. In this way, the Goblins did come to make war upon their cousins the Dwarves. This war would last for centuries and there would be many casualties but none more tragic than the All-Father himself.
As he lay dying, the All-Father's mind splintered and released all his thoughts and dreams. From this dreams came many beings and creatures both benign and cruel. Amongst these are numbered the Elves who came from Shindolay with their beautiful Queen Wenafar.
And the Red Bull did go amongst the tribes of Muen and manipulating their greed, he did corrupt them into making war upon his fellow Gods. In time he was cast down by his brother Corthain but not before their sister Mordrius the Green had been slain and her beloved groves befouled. Corthain did curse the Tribes of Muen so that forever more their days would be short and their lives spent in hurried vanity; and in so doing, pronounced Judgement to all the Gods such that they could no longer walk upon the world of Aihrde.
It would not be long before the ambitions of Men would stretch too far. In this manner, Dark Unklar was summoned to this plane and he smothered it in eternal Winter. He fought the Gods and bound many of them; he enslaved the Dwarves and Goblins such that they rose together as brothers-in-arms against his tyranny. The Elves too, were not spared. Most sought to hide themselves away in Shindolay but many were angry with this and chose to remain, thus did this Fair Folk become splintered in kind. The Halflings were almost exterminated; they took to the nomadic lifestyle to protect themselves.
After a thousand years of Winter and Darkness, Unklar was finally cast down and banished back to the Void that spawned him. The Shroud that had blighted Aihrde for so long was torn asunder and the light of the Sun revealed in her true glory. New adventures await the people of this age for although Unklar has been banished, his Empire is still there and there is a new hand on the reins of power.
Okay, so based on the information above; I have precedence for the following Species as PCs: Rootwalkers, Drakes, Dwarves, Elves, Giants, Goblins, Gnomes (Pech), Halflings (Pech) & Humans. Orcs are potential characters but I'm working on that along with explanations for the Unborn and Ogres.Creatures
This isn't going to be a major problem for me; most of the conversions are straightforward but there are some funky creatures in Aihrde.Magic
Tricky one this but rather than restricting things in a mechanical sense, I'm going to use the game setting to restrict the learning of certain spells. Mages who are built in the traditional D&D Wizard/Sorceror mould, will be affiliated with the White Order, the Knights of Wizardry or the Mystic Enclave. These Guilds will teach spells from any discipline except for Necromancy or Healing. I'm thinking that I'll shuffle a few more around so that they each have specialities that make them different to the other.
To learn the Healing Discipline, you need to be aligned to one of the Temples. To learn Necromancy, you need to seek out a teacher who will show you the Paths of Umbra.Religion
The Gods are divided into three tiers; the Val-Eahrakun (The Eternals), the Val-Austlich (the Spirits) and the Val-Tulmiph (the Immortals).
- The Val-Eahrakun are the beings that were formed of the Void or of the All-Father's mind; they are knowledgable in the Language of Creation (yes, this does mean that the first Dwarves were Val-Eahrakun). They are bound by the Judgement of Corthain and cannot manifest on Aihrde for any length of time.
- The Val-Austlich were created by the Val-Eahrakun to act in their stead, thus they handle the majority of interactions with the mortal races. They are bound by the Judgement of Corthain and cannot manifest on Aihrde for any length of time.
- The Val-Tulmiph are those extraordinary people who, through deeds or patronage, have achieved Apotheosis. They are only partly bound by the Judgement of Corthain thus they can manifest on Aihrde to pursue their agendas.
Their followers can be divided into four categories: the Laity, the Ordained, the Clerics and the Priests.
- The Laity will be the common worshipper in the street.
- The Ordained are those who have taken the vows of Clergy and act as the main functionaries of the Temples. The Clerics are the wandering preachers who travel the lands to right wrongs (these will mostly be Mages).
- The Priests are those whom the Gods truly favour, granted the abilities to call down miracles (Priest class, anyone?).
The Clerics and Priests will most likely be wandering warrior-priests for the most part but they eventually settle down to adminster a Temple as they advance in rank (and years).
So that's what I have so far - I'd be interested to hear what people think. If you've got the Codex of Erde or the After Winter's Dark folio; I'd like to particularly hear your thoughts on what I've written and whether you have any additional ideas.