The Lands in Shadow series provides detailed looks at the various places and peoples one can find on Urth.
Song of the Woad
By Cecil Howe
If you were to ask the scholars of Rûl to discuss the origins of the Woad, they would likely speak to you about “simple, savage, debased tribes descended from the First People,” and perhaps they would venture forth that they are “common in descent from the beastmen,” and “little different than those corrupted creatures.”
But these academic musings would be sadly misguided at best: while they might share some archaic and nomadic customs with the first tribes of mankind, and are rightly characterized by their bestial nature, the Woad came to the lands much later than either humans or beastmen, and from a place no scholarly mind could ever grasp.
Propelled across the Void to Urth by the last gasping scream of a genie succumbing to madness, the Woad came from a world destroyed and forgotten long ago. They are a people who struggle to maintain their ancient customs and beliefs in a world that was initially alien to them upon their arrival, and has been hostile to them ever since.
Song of the Woad explores the various tribes of the Woad, a largely independent and wild folk who have long resisted efforts to be either absorbed or destroyed by the many great civilizations that have risen and fallen in Rûl in the centuries since their arrival on Urth. The Woad’s steadfast refusal to be assimilated has resulted in a general view of them by most peoples of Rûl as hopelessly backward, beastly, and barbaric.
However, a closer look reveals that there is far more to the wild folk than one might expect, as you will discover in this addition to the Lands in Shadow series.
Kingdom of God
As the Empire crumbles, cultists emerge from the shadows to work their wickedness in plain view, the undead armies in the Desolation gather strength and numbers, and signs of the coming doom become more widespread. In these troubled times, all eyes look to the Holy Kingdom for salvation.
This holy land has been the spiritual heart of the Empire for centuries, shining like a beacon through the gathering darkness. Surely, of all places on Rûl, the Holy Kingdom should be the best hope for the future against the apocalyptic times being foretold in by the troubles besetting the land. Surely, the Holy Kingdom will rise to the challenge and gather to its banners the other provinces to crush the orc uprising and restore order to the land. Or will it?
Kingdom of God reveals the details of one of the Empire’s most important provinces, offering a look at its history, lands, and people. In addition, this entry in the Lands in Shadow series offers a selection of new paths for characters, whether in service to the New God or in opposition to the cult.
Borderlands of Tear
By Robert J. Schwalb
The last conquest of a dying empire stands between two arms of the Shield Mountains. A province forged from necessity, its territory drenched in blood spilled across countless battles fought over the long years since mortals first stumbled across this land, the Borderlands of Tear stand as a reminder of the Empire that was, and what could be once more. The Borderlands were ever a foreboding and dangerous place, a land that spawned hordes of beastmen, fell monsters, brigands, and far, far worse. Long believed cursed, it took the son of an emperor to bring the territory to heel and establish the rule of law, ensuring stability and peace, but now, with the Empire in turmoil, all eyes turn to the last heir who rules Tear for a way out of these desperate times.
Borderlands of Tear examines a battle-scarred corner of the Empire, detailing its history, people, and places. Written by designer Robert J. Schwalb and illustrated by Svetoslav Petrov, Cecil Howe, and Jack Kaiser, this 12-page entry in the Lands in Shadows gives you everything you need to set your adventures in a wild and dangerous place!
City of Death
By Robert J. Schwalb
The northernmost city of the Confederacy, Azūl, the City of Death stands commands fear and respect for it is a place where doom stalks the streets, where the Black Hand can snuff out a life for any reason and at any time. In this ten page gazetteer, you will find everything you need to explore this grim community, whether you are visiting its streets to hire one of the infamous killers, to join the dreaded society, or simply to escape its cold embrace. Written by Shadow of the Demon Lord game designer, Robert J. Schwalb and lavishly illustrated by Kim Van Deun and cartographer Cecil Howe, the City of Death is a place you don’t want to miss!
Freehold of Nar
By Steve Dee
On the Empire’s northeastern edge, perched on the giant rocks that tumbled down into the swirling waters of the Auroral Ocean can be found the Freeholds of Nar. Once a string of fortresses belonging to the doughty dwarfs who mined, prying gold and jewel from the stone’s tight grip. The wealth unearthed and the skill of the artisans established the holds as a place of wonder and riches, a reputation that lasted until, one day, the ring of hammering went silent, the light of torches guttered out, and the dwarfs who had made the place their home disappeared.
Today, the Freehold is a stark place of stubborn people. Founded by the desperate on the bones of the dead, each generation fears this year will be the year the Empire comes to bring them back under the lash. That fear has made them strong, but has also eaten at their minds and hearts.
Lands in Shadow takes a closer look at the most important places on the continent of Rûl to give you what you need to explore these fantastical and often terrifying locations.
Kingdom of Sails
By TS Luikart
Five days sailing east of the Northern Reach’s city of Gateway, if the wind favors you, there rises the first of a series of sixteen islands arrayed over the Auroral Ocean in a massive crescent that stretches southwards over hundreds of miles. The cultures across the islands are diverse, with a few seemingly having little in common, yet they all regard themselves as one people, the Tide Born, and owe allegiance to a single nation: the Kingdom of Sails.
This entry into the Lands in Shadow series reveals details about the Kingdom of Sails, one of the nations that managed to resist falling under the Empire’s influence. The details are meant to be a starting point for campaigns set on the edges of Rûl, offering you information to spark your imagination and get your creative fires burning. You can use the material as written or adapt it in any way you choose to make it fit the stories you want to tell.
Weight of the Underworld
By Steve Dee
Everyone dies. For some death marks the end, but for mortals, death means passage to the Underworld, a realm of glooms and sorrow ruled by Father Death to purge the souls of their memories and loose them into the world once more. In Weight of the Underworld, writer and designer Steve Dee (The Flute of Farewell and Freeholds of Nar) and illustrator Ivan Dixon pull back the veil of death and explores just what this strange and harrowing place holds for those who descend into its depths. In addition to setting material and mythological lore, this supplement introduces two new creatures to the game: the dirge and the terrifying grim reaper. Are you ready to face Father Death?