Horrors (1995)

I haven’t had the opportunity to read much Earthdawn aside of a tattered copy of the core rulebook I’ve had since I was a kid. Much of the game is concerned with its magic system (which ebbs and flows like many other natural phenomena) and creating a reasonable, functioning world in the realm of Barsaive. The more powerful magic grows, the easier it is for the Horrors to enter the world.

Horrors are unique entities that run the gamut of god-like monster types. Some are cunning and almost human (your Nyarlathotep types), some are just unappeasable appetites made flesh (think the Tarrasque), some are designed to screw with players in very specific mechanical ways (like Rust Monsters, but more awful). All cause the inhabitants of Barsaive no end of trouble, to the point that the period the game is set in is following 400 years of terror in which most civilized society retreated underground to escape rampant Horrors.

The Horrors are all suitably strange and awful. My favorite is probably Chantrel’s Horror, named for the unfortunate bard who first encountered it. It is worthy of Clive Barker’s cenobites, a figure suspended in a torturous frame of blades that infects dreams.

As with most Earthdawn books, the art here is fab, and grisly. I love how unnerving stark black and white illustrations like these can be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *