Long ago, in a time remembered in the echoes of myth and legend, the world was alive with magic. Humans, dwarfs, and elves lived alongside more exotic races like the reptilian t’skrang, diminutive windlings, and stony-skinned obsidimen. Thriving forests sheltered plants and animals, and the peoples of the world  grew and prospered.

The Namegiver RacesThis bounty came with a price. An elven scholar discovered ancient texts that revealed magical energy rises and falls, a natural cycle spanning thousands of years. At its peak, dread creatures enter the world, causing a time of suffering destruction that would last for centuries. He called these creatures the Horrors.

Armed with this knowledge, magicians and scholars came together to learn more about the coming disaster, which they called the Scourge. From these noble beginnings grew the Theran Empire. While they were unable to find a way to prevent the Scourge, they did find a way to protect their subjects. As the Scourge approached, villages and towns built fantastic underground shelters called kaers. Generations lived in these shelters, sustained by magic and protected with powerful wards.

A hero faces Horror spawnThe Horrors roamed the earth for over four-hundred years, corrupting all they touched, but the ebb of magic forced most back to their native plane. People emerged slowly from their kaers, half in hope the Scourge was truly over, half in fear the Horrors lingered. They found the world broken and changed almost beyond recognition.

Now heroes travel the land, rediscovering its lost knowledge and exploring its changed face. Entire kingdoms were lost to the Scourge. The Horrors breached kaers, tormenting and killing those within. Other kaers fell to internal strife, plague, or other disaster. Some shelters remain sealed, their residents unaware the Scourge ended or unwilling to face the world beyond their walls and wards. There is still a chance these fear-darkened souls can be convinced to once again live in the light.


Earthdawn is a role-playing game of “hopeful, post-postapocalyptic fantasy” where you play one of these heroes, fighting to rebuild the wounded world and protect those in it. As you search the land for lost treasures and forgotten cities, you use magic to drive back the Horrors that remain, and stand against those seeking to dominate and enslave the peoples of the world.

The gamemaster spins a taleEarthdawn is a game with thirty years of history. Originally developed and released by FASA in the 1990s, it set the standard for games melding system and setting. It built a world where the clichés of fantasy gaming—classes, levels, dungeons, and more—are integrated and make sense.

Now in its fourth edition, Earthdawn is back home with FASA. If you’re a new player, welcome! If you’re a returning fan, welcome back! The new edition is a great place to jump in, and while there have been some changes over the years, material from earlier editions is largely compatible with the new one.

Get a taste with the free Earthdawn Fourth Edition Quick Start!

It is an age of magic, wonder, exploration, darkness, and hope. Time to forge your legend!