|The age of the
empires of men is past, and few are left to mourn its
passing. A new age has dawned, bleak and hard, where
survival is the greatest goal of every day. It is an age of
monsters, an age of tyranny and oppression. It is an age of
frost and shadow.
The sixth campaign to be set in the world of
Theeurth finds the ancient world at the dusk of a civilized age
and the shadowed dawn of a new dark age. The twilight struggles
against barbarism (depicted in previous Theeurth campaigns)
ultimately failed. Ancient evils have left the places of their
ages-long slumber and come upon the world in full fury.
In the Successor States and across the
north, wherever the mysterious god-emperor Hoarwinter has spread his cruel
dominion, the land has gotten colder, with short summers and long,
frigid winters. Famine, disease and slavery have taken a terrible
toll on the once-vital nations now caught in Hoarwinter's icy grip.
In the south, from Luxur and Har'Akir to the Valesian
City-States to the Accolon, the Shadowmasters of Marador are once
more on the move, and lands that were once vibrant centers of
commerce and learning are now slaves to the will of evil men and
their alien soldiers.
Almost alone in a sea of barbarism and cruelty, the
Conorrian Empire remains free for the moment, its borders much as they have
been for two centuries. But the empire is hemmed about with
enemies and has become an armed camp, suspicious of strangers and
intolerant of dissent. The Emperor has dismissed the Senate and
now rules as an unrestricted autocrat. He has the full support of
the churches, particularly the Great Church, whose priesthoods
have been devastated outside the Empire.
The Silent Land
Information and news once flowed freely,
albeit slowly across the breadth of Vatheria on the lips of
merchant caravans and in the correspondence of the learned. No
longer. Little information flows between the shattered lands once
united under the Conorrian Empire. Caravans no longer make the
long treks across the plains or over the mountains, and travelers
are few. News that once spread across the continent in months may
now take years or decades.
This means that few know much about what
happens beyond their daily world, and most of those few are agents
of the dark forces which shattered civilization.
The Frozen North
The rule of Hoarwinter extends as far
south as the Golden Sea, and as far east as the borders of the
Carhallas Empire. Throughout that Empire of Frost, petty,
monstrous warlords known as Archons rule over the remnants
of once-great nations and pay fealty to their lord in his
forbidding fortress at the top of the world.
But the Empire of Frost is held in a grip
more secure than that of the Archons - the grip of frost
itself. In the twenty years since the Frostwar, the land has
gotten much colder. The already harsh northern winters are
now fierce, threatening the survival of all living things.
The summers are short, and farmers barely have enough time for a
single growing season. Thus cold and starvation have killed
tens of thousands, and the people grow more desperate every year.
Archons and Legates
In cities such as Tirgon and Sirion, life
goes on, after a fashion. The rule of the Archons is
enforced with brutal efficiency by scores or hundreds of
men-at-arms or orcish mercenaries. Few dare to defy their
The will of Hoarwinter the Ice King is
enforced by a corps of fanatically-loyal servants known as Legates.
Most legates work directly at the behest of the local Archons, but
some report directly Hoarwinter and are among the most feared
creatures in all the lands of Theeurth.
Twilight of the Gods
The god-emperor Hoarwinter holds a peculiar
hatred for the gods of the Great Church, and has banned their
worship throughout his lands. Worship of the gods of Woe is
permitted, however and even actively encouraged. In the
years after the Frostwar, Hoarwinter's troops hunted down and slew
every good priest and holy warrior they could find. Such
priests are very rare, now, and the holy warriors are merely