There are all sorts of rumors about dark wizard Hardin. Some say he is actually the devil Beleth, which is of course absurd, while others claim that he helped Lord Raoul Cadmus to unify the six Territories of Aden into the Kingdom that exists now. Hardin resides in a cave in the northern part of Dragon Valley that was originally owned by Lich King Icarus from whom he won it in a contest. Hardin, who had originally studied at the Ivory Tower detested the elitism there and went on to found an independent academy of necromancy in Icarus' old cave. The atmosphere there is a bit rustic, but it is very well suited to his needs and those of his students. Unlike the Ivory Tower, Hardin's Academy accepts commoners and people from all races, even Orcs and Dwarves, if they are magically inclined. This egalitarian approach can best be seen from the fact that Lich King Icarus is now working as a teacher at the Academy. In Icarus' own words: "He doesn't consider niceties to be important. Not even as important as a single strand of an undead's hair. People like him have no respect for laws, rules or ethics ..."
Hardin often leaves the Academy and stays away for a long time to pusue projects of a sometimes rather sinister nature; for example he can be found in the Forest of the Dead posing as a Mysterious Wizard. In those cases he usually calls himself "Nidrah" (Hardin spelled backwards) to avoid repercussions for the Academy if any of his plots should be uncovered.