Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Fiction in Airhde

On a whim this weekend, I picked up some fiction off the TLG store. A Houseless God & Other Tales and The Mirrored Soul & Other Tales, both by the Troll Lord Stephen Chenault. They contain a total of eight short stories that follow the adventures of the knight Eurich Gunshoff and a group of companions that grows as the stories progress.

Mr. Chenault is a very engaging writer. I read a lot of old Appendix N literature and Eurich's adventures would fit in well with that tradition. The action is frequent and varied, seeing Eurich trade blows with a nice variety of interesting fantasy monsters. He definitely has a code of honor befitting a knight, but he is equally driven by a wanderlust that Conan or Elric would find relatable.

The thing that most impressed me about the stories though is how well he develops the Airhde setting while rarely indulging in overblown exposition. There is talk of the gods and philosophies on the end of the world and the afterlife are important to the characters, but the world feels like it has a rich history. As Eurich travels through the Darkenfold and later into the realm of Kayomar and further north into the Gottland, these places feel alive and storied and full of possibility.

I look forward to reading more of Steven Chenault's writing, and I'm definitely inspired to explore Airhde further. While I've read the Codex and the Player's Guide and about half of the A series, running A0 and a bit of A1 is my only experience running the setting.