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What is Elhal?

elhal425The great heroes confronted the Demon King and vanquished him in a bloody battle. We all thought that the death of the Demon King would mean the end of the war, but that was not the case. After the loss of their King, the Demon Princes retreated to the Demon Lands. By the year 1068, the war slowed down to a series of border skirmishes between Kotkala and the Demons. The other kingdoms were in no shape to be of assistance.

Kotkala was the most organized of the kingdoms, with both a King and a standing army. Vaasari’s ruling family was coming out of hiding, and re-establishing their rule. Stammiglin, with its insular clans, was unable to unite and deteriorated into a collection of city-states. Monatobe had begun to organize around the Sea Merchants, but Ebon Flame had other plans.

For the Fiends, the half-demons, the death of the Demon King also ended the power they had to rule the human cities. Suddenly, the governors of all the human kingdoms found themselves fleeing the cities they once decadently ruled. In an attempt to flee us humans, they fled into the unpopulated desert of central Monatobe. Through the summer of 1068 they formed their own refugee camp, and everyone was fine leaving them alone.

In the fall Fiaz Galib, both a Fiend and an Awakened Mage, arrived in the camp. No one knows from which kingdom he originally hailed, his background to this day is obscure. He told the Fiends about a new power; the Ebon Flame. Fiaz told them that it was their power, a power that would allow the Fiends to make their own fate. The Fiends, both fearing retribution of the humans, and craving the ability to rule again, embraced the Ebon Flame.

On the 12th of First Thaw, Fiaz Galib along with a new group of Awakened Mages, now calling themselves the Order of Ebon Flame, appeared in all the cities in southern Monatobe and seized power. It was quick and bloodless. By the Spring of 1069, the refugees in the desert moved into their new country. Kotkala objected, but their continued battles with the demons had stretched their armies too thin to intervene. Days after the bloodless coup, Fiaz made a peace treaty with the Demons, and then sent envoys out to the other kingdoms to make similar arrangements. By the end of 1069 the Ebon Flame was ruling Monatobe. The holy city of Ceredome, in northern Monatobe, was made a free-state ruled by the humans.

The winter of 1070 brought some progress. The armies of Kotkala made a push into the Demon Lands and killed one of the Demon Princes. By summer their front had stalled once again. Vaasari had stabilized and the ruling family had united the kingdom. Stammiglin remained a collection of city-states, plagued by clan fighting. Monatobe had settled under their new rulers.

It is now the Fall of 1070 and Elhal is fractured. Only Kotkala and Vaasari have organized against the Demons, but it was not enough before, and no one is sure if it will be enough now. Stammiglin is a kingdom in name only. Monatobe now sits under its new rulers, the Ebon Flame. Something needs to bring Elhal together, something that will unite the kingdoms, and unite the people under one banner, to expel the Demons once and for all from this world.

Elhal needs heroes.

– Lecture notes from Tyriv Riswor, Headmaster of the University of Olmkala, and royal sage to King Arion.

A World Shattered

Elhal is a shattered world. For a thousand years, an Empire ruled over four kingdoms, bringing with it peace, prosperity, and progress. Then the Demon King awoke. In 5 years he sundered the Empire and enslaved its people. For the next 50 years, the Demons ruled Elhal. They outlawed religion and education, and enslaved humanity to serve as raw materials for the great Demon Forges.

From the tatters of the last ruling families arose a new generation, one raised to be Elhal’s new hope. They are now known as the Great Heroes. With the blessing of the All-Father, and plans set by the fallen kings, the Great Heroes rose up. They founded a new kingdom, raised an army, and waged war against the demons. In the end, the Great Heroes killed the Demon King.

In the aftermath of the death of the Demon King, new heroes are needed. Those who can bring hope, heal wounds, and defend humanity from all threats outside and within.

What Is This Game About?

Elhal is about hope. It is hard for those who were alive before the Fall to remember the glory of the Empire. For those born during the Fall, the Empire is just a dream. It is easy to believe that life after the death of the Demon King is as good as it can get. This is not true. A better life is possible, but it won’t happen unless people believe that it is possible. Hope gives the people the power to want more, to make things better.

Elhal is about faith. This is not the first bleak time for humanity. The first dark time was during The Eon War, where humanity was on the brink of destruction. The war ended when the All Father appeared and banished the Titans. During the reign of the Demons, worship of the All-Father was outlawed, and people had all but given up on his divine love. Then the Great Heroes appeared with diving blessing to destroy the Demon King. Now the embers of faith need to be re-kindled into a burning passion. The people need to believe once again, and collective voices need to once more call out to the All Father and be heard once again.

Elhal is about steel. Magic is rare, dangerous, and unreliable. Steel is strength. It can be shaped into armor and weapons. Steel can break through the Demons’ armor. Steel makes the weak strong and the timid brave. Those who master steel become legends.

Elhal is about brotherhood. The world of Elhal is dangerous. A person is not expected to face it alone. Rather, true strength comes from putting your trust in others and having them put their trust in you. Demons do not understand trust or loyalty, they only know obedience, and Fiends rule with fear and power. This is how they will be undone.

Elhal is about being heroes. It is about transcending the human desire to dominate and to embrace freedom and justice. It is about standing up to vast and inhuman armies and refusing to kneel, refusing to obey, and refusing to give up the fight. It is about being an icon for the people, to embody hope, to inspire, and to lead.

The fate of Elhal will be shaped by the great heroes.

Be a hero.

For more information about Elhal check out Tyriv’s Teachings.


Phil Vecchione

Game Designer, Project Manager, Writer, Podcaster, and Blogger — As a man of many hats, Phil has been working in the roleplaying game industry since 2009 working with Engine Publishing, Evil Beagle Games, Third Eye Games, and Pelgrane Games. His work has won or been nominated for a number of awards, including the ENnie, Golden Geek, and Origins Award. Phil is also a trained Project Manager and applies his mad Gantt Charting skills to all of Encoded’s work.

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