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Video Game / Godherja: The Dying World

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The beginning is the end...
Godherja: The Dying World is a Game Mod for Crusader Kings III, is set in a dark fantasy world poised on the edge of the end times.

In a time before memory, Aersanon created the world. Aersanon was one of many gods, but only they possessed traits we would now consider human, and they were the only god humanity ever knew. Aersanon, tired of his experiment and wishing for beings to converse with, created humanity. For a time, they were content to enjoy the presence, but eventually they began to covet power, and so Aersanon demanded the fealty of their creation. Humanity consented, and Aersanon seemed to rule in benevolence.

But humanity was not perfect. They were incapable of the great feats he was, their primitive minds struggled to keep Aersanon's interest, and their short lives and rapid reproduction confused the god. Aersanon decided that humanity was imperfect, a failed experiment, and so created a new race in their image. The result, was the aelfir.


To Aersanon, the aelfir were a far superior experiment. They lived for millennia, they rarely reproduced, their minds were keener and they craved invention and beauty. Not only this, but their very blood was more alike to Aersanon's, and their ability with magic far outstripped their lesser counterparts. However, like Aersanon they did not truly understand humans. They did not have views on morality like humans, and saw Aersanon's first experiment as nothing but animals in comparison. Humanity was soon enslaved by the aelfir as they built great empires and kingdoms on the backs of human labor, under the sight of Aersanon, who did not care that his first children suffered in such a way as long as the aelfir used them to create mighty monuments in Aersanon's image and worship as they deserved.


Eventually, enough became enough. After thousands of years of slavery, humanity learnt the secrets to magic that the aelfir had used to brutally oppress them. As one across the world, humanity rose against their masters and strove to free themselves from Aersanon. The war was brutal, by the time Aersanon even noticed, the aelfir were almost completely extinct. Aersanon attempted to stop the slaughter, only to be killed by their own creation. The world changed with the death of its creator. Continents were reshaped, colors changed their hue, animals disappeared and reappeared, and almost all humans died.

But they recovered, and eventually reclaimed the planet. Humans took the world, again, and over the thousands and thousands of years of history after, forgot about Aersanon and the 'Godherja' against them. Now, the only knowledge of Aersanon, the aelfir, and the great war that changed the world is the most fantastical tales in the most ancient scripture, their true history long forgotten.

Humanity continued on until finally they yet again changed the world. The magi of the Aversarinas Aautokrata, in its many internal conflicts, harnessed so much magical energy that they changed reality yet again. In doing so they tore open reality itself, the hole cutting straight into the dead god's mind and spewing out a great ethereal fog that soon spread across the lands of man. If that was not enough, it also blew up the moon, which is now drifting into the rift. Fleeing the Fog, refugees soon overwhelmed the Aautokrata, and the formerly great empire now sits in its death throes.

The year is now 1253, and the world seems to be reaching its end. The Fog seems to grow continuously, psychic waves named odrstund wrack the world with increasing regularity, and the remnants of the moon drift ever closer to the planet below.

The mod is currently still in development under the lead of user ThePinkPanzer, who was also the lead developer of The New Order Last Days Of Europe, a Hearts of Iron IV mod with a similarly grim tone. The mod's community can be found on Reddit, and on Discord.

This Game Mod provides examples of:

  • After the End: Both for the Godherja and Frodbrokna. Humans have so far managed to, in some way, end the world twice.
  • Allohistorical Allusion
    • Barbarians, fleeing a great change in climate and a collapsing homeland have overrun the great 'civilized' empire to the west, much like the Migration Period.
  • The Almighty Dollar: Philantrianism, the religion of the Order of the Golden Hand, started out as one based upon the virtue of charity. Like almost all the other Agionist sects, however, it got corrupted into its polar opposite - a cult of greed that obsessively hoards wealth and grifts anyone and anything in their proximity out of every single coin they can.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Liches seem to be virtually universally cruel, power-hungry, callous and dishonorable.
  • Ambiguous Gender: It is unclear if Aersanon is a man or a woman, or if those terms can even apply.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Regularly played straight with the Aversarians, whose constant darwinistic desire for power has consistently screwed over everyone else in the setting.
  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Vounill (the crypt of Aversaria's fallen dragons) has one of these to make sure would-be necromancers don't mess with the bones.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: Nincanoneus 'the Black Sun's children actively despise him for his poor parenting and have fallen under the sway of his disloyal vassals. For his part, Nicanoneus sees his sons as useless spoiled brats.
  • Appeal to Force:
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The magi aristocracy of the Aversarinas Aagiokratia. While they don't have to be evil, the entire 'might makes right' basis of their society generally pushes them towards this.
  • Asshole Victim: It's hard to argue the Aversarians weren't asking for the mass-collapse of their empire.
  • Ax-Crazy: Gorassos 'Skull-Taker' is utterly blood thirsty and seemingly only derives pleasure from murder and cruelty.
  • Badass Decay: In-universe, High King Gardfrei den va Seignon was considered a fine High King and one of the greatest fighters in the world at one point, but his obsession with his mysterios quest began to border on insanity and he soon allowed his entire realm to collapse.
  • Barbarian Hero: Cenware Witch-Breaker, who is the first human in history to unite Sjalvolki tribes and the first foreigner to be poised to kill the Aagiokratia.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: The Agionist holy orders each used to represent a particular virtue, but now ironically embody the opposing sin.
  • Blood Knight: Sigrun 'Axe-in-the-Hand' lives for nothing more than the joy of battle.
  • Blood Magic: The magic used by humans is typically passed on through and found in their blood.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality:
    • The Fogeaters are a perfect example. Exposure to the Fog has warped and contorted their motives and way of thinking so far beyond anything remotely comprehensible to a (sane) human that it would not be an exaggeration to describe it as positively alien.
    • To a lesser extent, the adherents of the Order of the Forgotten Saint might fit this, depending on what their ultimate shadowy goals are.
  • The Brute: Gorassos got his start as this for Aeschraes, murdering whoever his master wanted murdered, including whipping two toddlers to death. Ever since he's become independent, his bloodlust and brutality have only increased, this time in service of his own sadistic desires.
  • Caged Bird Metaphor: Aautokratia Aaxiaothea spent most of her life either cloistered away in a tower by her family or being traded as a political pawn to the highest bidder.
  • Cannibal Tribe: The Fog-Eaters eat the dead of their enemies among their many other oddities.
  • Civil War:
    • The Aagiokratia has been going through a long series of constant civil wars for over a hundred years, and even before then they were not uncommon.
      • The most recent one before game start being between the Legion Soldier Aeschraes and the widow of the Last Emperor over succession. It was a bloody stalemate until Aeschraes unleashed the Frodbrokna on the world, ending both the civil war and the Aversarian Empire in general.
    • The Marcher Lords are currently consumed with one, with their High King having abandoned the country on a secret mission without choosing an heir from his children.
  • Corrupt Church:
    • Nearly taken Up to Eleven with the various Agionist denominations, to the point where all but one now fully embody the sin opposed to the virtue that they were originally supposed to represent.
    • 'Omitilos Aagiokratia' was founded to be this. While making a standardized scripture and an organized and independent priestly class sounds fine on paper, it was done by the priests themselves only so that they can turn Aversarian rulers into political puppets.
  • Crapsack World: And one almost certainly doomed to destruction in the relatively near future.
  • Cruel Mercy: When the Illyrosi tribes were subjugated by the Aagiokratia after a long war, their king begged the Aautokratir for mercy. They got it, in the form of the entire culture being enslaved for the rest of history. Don't worry, they got their payback.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Battle of the Elysian Pass, where Cenware Witch-Breaker was confronted by a truly unified and proper Imperial force for the first time, and the largest gathering of Imperial soldiers in the Aagiokratia's history. He destroyed 22 of them in less than a day, with minimal losses to his own men.
  • Dark Fantasy: And how!
  • Defector from Decadence: Sirras 'Blackguard' deserted from his post in the Aversarian Legions upon discovering the he was descended from the last Iyrossi King and that the Aversarians had butchered his family.
  • Depower: Cutting off a Magi's hands does this.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Aersanon, the deity responsible for the creation of the world and possibly the known universe was murdered by human Magi during the Godherja. Or maybe not.
  • Distant Epilogue: A planned, semi-canon bookmark. It is 1799 and nearly the entire world has fallen under the fog. Only a few cities remain, one on the continent and twelve on the Forgotten Island. Protected only by a failing barrier and still having the various problems of humanity to contend with, like greed and bigotry. Every day the barrier comes closer to failing and a single mistake could led to the complete extinction of humanity. The few ships that dare go outside the barrier to scavenge the dying world most often never come back, and when they do they are often empty.
  • The Empire: Aversaria used to dominate the known world oppressively, massacring and enslaving most groups that stood in the way of global dominion. Their magical prowess meant that this worked out well for them for a while until Frodbrokna finally shattered it.
  • Evil Overlord: Whenever once in a blue moon the lichdoms get united under an arch-lich, they embody this trope.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: After the Aversarian Aautokrata comes crashing down in flames, the political situation of the known world can only be described as "utter chaos" in most generous terms.
  • Ex-Big Bad: Silas Stavro was once the most powerful Arch-Lich in memory and nearly destroyed the entire world until he was killed. He miraculously came back to life, and now prefers to travel the world and read romance literature.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: Anti-Magic isn't a form of magic but is actually a martial art, mostly focusing on how to quickly kill Magi either before they can see or reach you, using several physical martial arts and technological gadgets like rudimentary flashbangs and miniature crossbows to do the job.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Sjavolki take inspiration from migration era Germanic tribes, being tribal barbarians who are currently encroaching on the lands of a dying empire to escape deteriorating conditions in their original homelands.
    • The Aversarrians are a harsh chili of various Greek cultures combined with the history and eventual collapse of the Roman empire. As such, their remnants often take cues from the stereotypes of the Byzantine Empire (as well as having their character models based on Crusader Kings 3's Byzantines.
    • The Marchers take after the real-life Normans in both culture and military.
    • The Lyrossi are based on Illyrians, seafaring tribals who inhabited the West Balkans in antiquity.
  • Fallen Hero: The Sarradonian saintly orders originated from a religious movement that sought to free their people from Aversarian oppression, emphasizing virtues such as humility, honesty and kindness. However, a combination of lust for power and religious zealotry has turned the majority of the orders into repressive and ruthless organizations that commit atrocities both for their faith and to secure their power.
  • Feudal Overlord: Marcher lords often become this.
  • Fog of Doom: As a result of the Frodbrokna, an ominous fog is now sweeping across the world, causing major repercussions.
  • Forever War: The Aagiokratia has been in constant civil war for so long that several of the conflicts have had their cause forgotten.
  • Future Imperfect: The Godherja, Aersanon and the aelfir are almost completely forgotten, and most humans attribute aelfir ruins to ancient man.
  • Hated by All: Aeschraes has a modifier that gives him -100 opinion fittingly titled "Killed the World".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Silas Stavro had this when he died and miraculously 'double liched' and returned to life. It's unclear if the turn happened because of how he was revived or if his death humbled him into it, but now he is by all accounts one of the nicer characters in the setting and prefers traveling the world and seeing the sights incognito.
  • Heroic Bastard: Réné 'the Black Bastard' den va Seignon, who fought overseas across the Aagiokratia before returning home on the disappearance of his father to claim the Marcher throne.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Axiaothea is revered by many as a saintly hero, brought down trying to defeat the villainous Aeschraes. In reality, she was just as bad and the only thing preventing her from starting Frodbrokna herself was that he got there first.
  • Humanoid Abomination:
    • Aersanon may be considered one depending on how close he was to his creations.
    • One of the Aelfir's hobbies was experimenting on their human slaves to create all manner of monstrosities. While the majority of these creations were wiped out during the Godherja, some still roam the dark corners of the world or wait for some hapless adventurers to break them out of their tombs.
  • In Medias Res: By the time of game start, the remnants of the Aversarinas Aagiokratia is effectively on its last legs, and most likely won't last for more than a few more years.
  • Keystone Army: The Sjalvoji Imperreich appears utterly unstoppable to the Aversarians, conquering massive swaths of territory without much effort and mustering massive amounts of soldiers. However, despite his favor from the Gods and his immense physical and mental strength, a simple murder plot will gather enough support from those within the Imperreich who wish to see him dead that it will almost always succeed.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Aagiokratia is effectively reaping what they've sown for over a thousand years.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: The history of the Godherja went from actual history, to legend, to being almost entirely forgotten over the course of human history.
  • Magic Is Evil: Played with. While magic isn't inherently evil, humans nearly exclusively use it to bomb the hell out of one another and it has had some rather poor effects on the world as a result.
  • Magic Misfire:
    • Magic tends to do this. Aversarian scholars have discovered that over 30% of all Magi who discover their powers manage to kill themselves by their first or second spell.
    • Self-Replicating Blood Magic is so powerful and such a crapshoot that it almost always leads to this. When the Sarradonians and Aeschraes casted it both, it rapidly spun out of control of where it was originally targeted and caused continental to world wide devestation respectively.
  • Medieval Morons: Played with. While the Marcher aristocracy considers the peasantry this, in reality they're generally smarter than given credit for and make up the bulk of the commercial and military might of Chevalie.
  • Medieval Prehistory: Largely the time before Godherja, where humans lived at a nearly neolithic level while their aelfir masters lived in a society leaning on Magitek or Steampunk.
    • Various fauna from earth's last Ice Age share the setting with the Dark Age level humans
  • Mystery Cult: The Order of the Forgotten Saint, whose forte seems to be utter secrecy and pulling the strings behind all the other Agionist denominations.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • The Godherja which was a global war between all of humanity against the Aelfir, Aersanon, and those loyal to them. The war is now regulated to the most obscure of folklore and is largely forgotten.
    • The Battle of the Elysian Pass, where Cenware Witch-Breaker wiped out almost the entirety of the combined might of the remnants of the Aagiokratia in almost a single day.
  • The Order:
    • Chevalie is filled with knightly orders both mundane and of Griffon riding Anti-Magi who regularly work as mercenaries on the side.
    • The Aversarian Legions effectively work as this.
  • Order Reborn: The Chevalien Anti-Magic Orders were effectively this in history. While they still existed, they had become highly political and little more than mercenaries for anyone willing to pay them. It took a Lich invasion that threatened to wipe out the entire continent for them to get their act together and vow off taking sides domestically.
  • Our Elves Are Different: The Aelfir were cruel and evil slave masters who were obsessed with their own superiority and seemingly derived pleasure through harming others, possibly due to their extremely long lives. They also possessed dark skin and white hair. They were essentially Drow.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Marcher knights often ride Griffons (of the Classical variety). They also used to have Hippogriffs, though accidentally ran those into extinction.
  • Our Liches Are Different: Liches in this setting are long-lived (to the point where the previous culture inhabiting the region the Liches consumed has been lost to history) undead sorcerors who feud and kill one another when they are not sending their hordes to raid the Marchers.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Godherja's vampires are essentially blood mages that have learned to extend their lifespans by siphoning the energy inherent in the blood of their victims. They lack many of the traditional vampiric weaknesses, and as such can walk in the sun without interruption.
  • The Magic Goes Away: It's unclear if this is happening or if that the Aversarians just managed to kill so many of their own magi that magic is returning to a more natural state.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Marchers are famous overseas for being accomplished mercenaries, and mercenary work is an extremely common pastime for the nobility and commoners alike.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The Aversarians darwinistic society and eugenics based views on magical ability can be described as fascistic at its kindest.
  • Princeling Rivalry: Chevalie starts divided by the sons of the missing High King Gardfrei.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Nicanoneus 'the Black Sun' is an Aversarian conservative with little plans of reforming or improving Aversarian society and sees it as his duty to restore the Aautokrata - cruelty and all. It's not out of spite or dogma though, he just sees it as his duty by birth.
  • Puppet King:
    • Cliément den va Seignon of the Marcher Lords is one for his mother and regent, Mêlie den va Seignon, who is in turn one for her lover, Englemar den va Spencer.
    • Benouét den va Seignon, another contender, is such a simpleton that he is effectively just being pulled around by his court. It's doubtful he's even capable of ambition for the throne.
    • King Cois in Oraispol is one for his Ekliasarist, Rhesus the Enlightened.
  • Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: The Sjalvolki Imperrech is made up of several dozen cultures, many of them not even related, unified only in their desire to escape west and out of the Fog.
  • Religion of Evil: Aeschraes has established a cult around himself revering him as not just the Purest reincarnated but in fact directly the Purest himself. It usually dies out with him, but he can in fact spread it to his provinces and courtiers to ensure that they still respect him despite his actions.
    • Likewise, the strain of the Aversarian faith preached by Gorassos qualifies, which prioritizes not those with the purest blood, but those who spill the most amount of heathen blood.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Ilyrossi tribes rose up after almost a thousand years of slavery by slaughtering their masters and embarking on a campaign of destroying the Aagiokratia in revenge.
  • Revolving Door Revolution: Chevalie has effectively gone through this for a thousand years and several characters are happy to point out how bad it is. The realm is almost always disunited between rival warlords who tear it apart until a Lich invades from the north, forcing them to band together under the strongest warlord, who normally has their dynasty rule for a few generations at best before it all collapses and the cycle repeats.
  • The Remnant: Multiple factions are holdovers of either the Aversarian Aautokrata and/or one of the sides in the civil war.
    • The Oraispol Aautokrata (which does not own Oraispol proper) is the extraordinarily small domain of Aeschraes, the last Aautokratir to be widely acknowledged.
    • Many of the Aautokrata's Legions are scattered across the Continent, including one stranded in the Fog. Among these is the XXI Legion "Axiaothea," which is also a remnant for their late namesake's side in the civil war.
    • Gorassos "Skull-taker", once The Brute for Aeschraes, now leads one of the largest Aversarian states in the south called "The Bloodied Throne."
    • Kyvernis ti Opakhasia, led by a scion of a long line of hereditary provincial governors. Notably, its leader believes that only peaceful negotiations can save Aversaria, and that the crisis the empire is currently going through is entirely earned.
    • King Cois is a Puppet King of the Aversarian Conclave, and represents the last Conclave-acknowledged Aautokratir (as well as owning Oraisopol, the once-capital of Aversaria).
  • Royal Inbreeding: The Aversarians obsession with the purity of bloodlines would naturally lead to this, though the practice has fallen out of favor in recent years as the Aversarians rather limited understanding of genetics would lead to a far greater ratio of physically and/or mentally deformed children to actually potent mages.
  • Screw You, Elves!!: During their reign, the Aelfir commanded legions of human servants whom they crushed under their heels to continue their lives of excess and hedonism. for their part, the humans simply stewed in resentment until they could amass enough Mages to overwhelm the Aelfir with sheer numbers.
  • Staged Populist Uprising: The 'Popular Revolution' of the Konijkmener that saw the overthrowal of the King was claimed to be a populist uprising, when in actuallity it was just the low nobility taking power from the higher nobility in a near-bloodless coup a few decades after the high nobles had already effectively couped the King themselves.
  • Vestigial Empire: Aeschraes, one of the former contenders for rule of Aversaria and the one responsible for Frodbrokna, still survives in a single county with an Empire-tier title to his name, complete with his own religion of cultists venerating him as the Purest. He usually loses one way or another though, whether to the other, stronger local rulers or the looming hordes of the barbarians over the horizon...
    • The Aversarian Aautokrata in general is this, and in the midst of finally dying once and for all.
  • Wizarding School: The Mayikprolollan was an Aversarian institution dedicated to teaching the progeny of the nobility the secrets of the mystical arts. The school would eventually use its position and prestige to curry favor with various noble families, usually in exchange for teaching more esoteric magical techniques to the children of said families.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: While the lore makes the end of the world seem imminent, the mod itself lasts over several hundred years in order to give players time to actually enjoy the game.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: Chevalie is protected by an Anti-Magic field that nullifies magic and magical beings within it. It has been the bane of many Magi.


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