Early Dark is a world rife with human conflict, fearsome natures, and uncertain magicks. Millennia ago, kings and commoners witnessed the birth of a new power, a magick capable of controlling time, shifting continents, realigning the very stars. Through three generations of war, great Weavers wrought all forms of ill against nature, pitting mighty civilizations against one another before their own kind died out, taking the power of the Loom with them.

Centuries of migration and lost learning followed, and the world went about settling the chaos and hemming the ruptures left by the Weavers. Humans, left to their own devices, went on building new civilizations and new empires oblivious to the past. In time, those who craved magick found secrets of an earlier age hidden deep within the earth. Their grasping thrust the world around the Hara Sea into war again. It is at the very end of this war that the events of Early Dark take place.

Ours is a world of magick, yes, but not a world of fantasy. Our goal in designing the societies of the Hara Sea was to invoke a world populated with realistic human minds and ecologies. What would societies with dark, uncanny magick really look like? How would this magick work and who would believe in it?


Heroes in Early Dark come from five main civilizations, each a mash-up of two real-world cultures. You begin the campaign as part of one particular social milieu within that greater civilization, which gives your character realistic motives and relationships, and a position in society.

Alignments in Early Dark do not represent your hero’s ideals or principles; instead, Alignments bind your character to a particular group, faction, or clan. You share their beliefs and values and fight for them.

Heroes gain power by gaining Epithets, titles, or names that you go by in the various stories and songs that come after you. Your friends will give you different Epithets than your enemies will. You decide.