For fantasy fans, a new world brings anticipation, excitement and opportunity to delve outside the ordinary. Enter the World of Chaldea, a new fantasy series created by Peter Adkison and told through comic art using motion graphics, voice over actors, sound effects, and an original score to create a unique experience for subscribers. Six years in the making, eight chapters will be released in 2020-2021. The first two chapters of the Chaldea story will be released on YouTube December 20, 2020. In addition, the first eight chapters will also include two live action short films.
Adkison explains, “All RPG game masters dream of sharing their worlds that they’ve so lovingly crafted over the years, but the market of RPG world settings is flooded. Yet there’s always room for another great fantasy story.”
Chaldea is based on Peter Adkison’s Dungeons & Dragons campaign he started in 1981. Drawing heavily from real-world mythologies, especially the Babylonian, Celtic, Greek, Egyptian, and Norse pantheons, Chaldea’s storyline ask’s ‘What happens to an empire when the god-emperor dies?’
Throughout the dark, gritty fantasy, the primary species involve humans, dwarves, elves, orcs, dragons, giants, and undead. Most human kingdoms of Chaldea are loosely inspired by real world human cultures. For example, Medieval Japan, Kievan Rus’, Babylon, Pre-Islamic Arabia, Mythic Ireland, Ancient Greece, Rome in the Principate Era, post-Norman England, Al-Andalus, middle ages German and French kingdoms, and Ancient Egypt are all found within the World of Chaldea. The elves and dwarves of Chaldea are most heavily influenced by Luke Crane’s RPG masterpiece, The Burning Wheel, and Orcs are inspired from the orcs of Roman mythology.
In creating the World of Chaldea, sets were built at Chaldea Studios where a sizable inventory of props, costumes, and set decorations have accumulated for the last six years. To date, 134 actors from primarily Washington state and Los Angeles, have provided talent to make the characters of Chaldea come alive. The lead characters in the initial release of the series include:
- Yonnus Octoni – Yonnus Octoni is a middle eastern male character played by Brandon Marino.
- Sarva – Sarva is a middle eastern female character played by Yasmine Aker.
- Zane Adraelestos – Zane Adraelestos is a male Etharch elf character played by Jesse Cheever.
- Maurko Hamalgrar – Maurko Hamalgrar is a halfling male character played by Eric Ray Anderson.
- Reiswitz Georg von Gustavus – Reiswitz Georg von Gustavus is a Germanic male character played by Stefan Hajek.
Interestingly, the Yonnus Octoni storyline is dedicated to Cliff “CJ” Jones. CJ created this character in my Chaldea D&D game back around 1982 and became the central character in the big Chaldea stories played in the 80’s. The Reiswitz character is an homage to the real-world Georg Leopold von Reiswitz (1760-1828). In 1811 Reiswitz presented Taktisches Kriegs-Spiel to the royal family of Prussia, where it was enthusiastically received. Using damp sand to sculpt three-dimensional topographical elements, for the first time in history toy soldiers could be maneuvered freely across a custom battlefield. Using rulers to measure distances, this was a fundamental break from the chess tradition of movement on a square grid. For this reason, Reiswitz is generally consider the father of modern wargaming, which also lead to Dungeons & Dragons and fantasy as it is known today.
Working with several freelance illustrators and two comic art studios: Studio Volts and Frogchildren, Chaldea’s artwork was inspired by the fantasy art of Frank Frazetta, Michael Whelan, Brothers Hildebrandt, Keith Parkinson, Brom, HR Giger, and Boris Vallejo.
While the World of Chaldea is set in fantasy, the minds behind it are solid business entrepreneurs well-known in the gaming industry. Peter Adkison and Steve Conard are the principal business partners and co-creators of Chaldea. Peter and Steve started playing D&D together in the 80’s while in college. In the 90s, they started Wizards of the Coast and have worked together on several business ventures since including Gen Con, and Hidden City Games. In 1997, Adkison and Conard had the opportunity to return to their RPG roots when Wizards acquired TSR, rescuing Dungeons & Dragons and Gen Con from bankruptcy.
After the initial launch on December 20, 2020 subscribers can look forward to additional chapters.
- Prologs (12/20/2020). Chaldea is a big world and this is an epic story. Prologs sets it up.
- Chapter 1 – Children of Chaldea (12/20/2020). In the first chapter of the Yonnus Octoni story, Yonnus learns more about the family business and must decide if he will stand up to his abusive father. Yonnus is performed by Brandon Marino.
- Chapter 2 – Decision of Eriku (1/4/2021). In the first chapter of the Sarva story, Sarva is presented with an opportunity to slay the usurper and lay claim to the throne of Akkadia. Sarva is performed by Yasmine Aker.
- Chapter 3 – War Room (1/18/2021). In the first chapter of the Reiswitz story, Reiswitz meets an old toy maker, Duke Seifried, whose wargaming miniatures could play a key part in the upcoming war with the orc empire. Reiswitz is performed by Stefan Hajek, and Duke Seifried is performed by the Duke Seifried of historical wargaming fame.
- Chapter 4 – Headline: Kordaava (2/1/2021). In the first chapter of the Maurko Hamalgrar story, Maurko, the editor of Chaldea’s newspaper, has the opportunity to publish earth-shattering news–but from questionable sources. Maurko is performed by Eric Ray Anderson, who is also the series narrator.
- Chapter 5 – Civics 101 (2/15/2021). In the first chapter of the Zane Adraelestos story, Zane must escape town when a pub crawl to celebrate the emperor’s demise turns violent as tensions between rival religious factions flare up.
- Chapter 6 – Assassins of Chaldea (3/1/2021). In the second chapter of the Yonnus Octoni story, the new Konig’s coronation turns into tragedy when a slave girl is sold at auction and Yonnus intervenes.
- Chapter 7 – War Council (3/15/2021). In the second chapter of the Reiswitz von Gustavus story, Reiswitz prepares for war. That chapter concludes with a terrifying look at his opponents, the orc empire of Niesse.