World of Chaldea

Welcome to our world of Chaldea website, where we can share golden nuggets of development goodness with you, our fans. Here, Chaldea’s writers and craftsfolk can lift the veil to allow precious peeks into the development process and the cool brewing of Chaldea. We invite you to explore our ever-growing world, come early and often, and more than anything, enjoy the ride!

Monthly Archives / July 2015

Production Blog Art Blog

Origins & Roots

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Chaldea began as a roleplaying game world back around 1981. I started playing Dungeons & Dragons® in 1978, and it wasn’t long before I graduated from playing to GM’ing. I never was a fan of the published adventure modules—instead, I went straight to building my own worlds and creating my own adventures.

During the 35 years since I began working on Chaldea, I’ve always been inspired by real-world history, especially military history. Chaldea’s story begins with the death of Kordaava, the emperor of the known world, a story inspired by the real-world tale of Alexander the Great: a warrior-king who conquered all in his path, built an empire, but then died without a clear line of succession. In our world, Kordaava is that warrior-king, adapted to fantasy by making him a demigod of Set. And our story opens with Kordaava’s assassination.

Another significant influence for me was real-world mythologies. Like most men, I imagine, the legends of the Norse gods gets my testosterone flowing. But I’ve always been interested in the Middle Eastern pantheons as well, especially the Sumerians and the Babylonians. In my D&D games, I would sometimes throw in some lesser-known Canaanite or Hittite deities just for good measure. In Chaldea, I lean heavily on these real-world mythologies. In the cosmos of Chaldea, instead of all these pantheons coming from the same world—Earth—each pantheon is instead a group of deities from a different world. The Egyptian gods are from a world inspired by ancient Egypt, the Greek gods come from a world inspired by ancient Greece, and so on. Read More

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The Genesis of Project Chaldea

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PART ONE

A couple of years ago, Peter Adkison came to me. “Hey, Steve, I’m going to film school. You wanna come with me? It’ll be great.”

Yes, he’s the same Peter Adkison who started Wizards of the Coast, the company that created the entire trading card game genre, first with the game Magic: The Gathering, then followed by an additional mega-TCG, Pokémon, and then with the purchase of TSR, Inc., he brought the world Dungeons & Dragons 3rd times-a-charm, (i.e., 3rd Edition). Once revered as the janitor at Wizards of the Coast and Game Mogul (both titles he proudly displayed on his business cards), Peter was determining his second career: film.

While film school sounded like it had potential, I flatly refused. At the time, I had three children in college and a fourth in private school. I needed to get my kids through college, and I could ill-afford to go back myself.

So, Peter ventured off to film school on his own, and I decided to lend my talents to Electronic Arts for a time, a relationship which abruptly ended two years later. (All things at EA seem to end abruptly, as near as I can tell, but that’s a story I only share with people who buy me expensive Scotch.)

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Call to Arms: An Art Department Take on Building War Room

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Call to Arms: An Art Department Take on Building War Room

 

How are fantasy worlds created? How do film productions build sets, costumes, and props? Let’s go behind the scenes at Chaldea’s art department workshop, the Anvil, where we will share our process of creating various features for “The World of Chaldea.”

My name is Leila Blue Aram-Panahi; most people just call me Blue. I’m the art director and run all of the Anvil’s day-to-day operations. In short, I manage the entire art department: budgets, schedules, designers, and the artists creating our sets, wardrobe, hair and makeup, decorations, and props. I ensure the aesthetic and textural details of our creations conform to the production designer’s vision. Jordin Mitchell, our production designer, creates the unique look of all our sets, wardrobe, hair and makeup, décor, and props, and he develops the overall design of the production. Everything that will appear in front of the camera goes through him first, and I’m here to confirm we’re all on the same page in bringing the look of our fantasy world to life.

Visually constructing a fantasy world is no small task, especially a world boasting as many diverse cultures as Chaldea. Peter Adkison and Steve Conard decided the best way to introduce our audience to Chaldea and some of its characters was with a film called War Room, the perfect behind-the-scenes topic for our first blog. This mixed media production intertwines graphic novel imagery with narrative film to highlight a historic moment in Chaldean history: the death of a god-emperor and the abrupt end of forty years of hard-earned peace. This news arrives at a climactic moment in the film, where the set was a character unto itself, something not lost on us as we took that set from concept to camera-ready. Read More

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Field Promotion

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FIELD PROMOTION

FIELD PROMOTION

Official Chaldea Concept Art

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Marcosta Kordaava’s military campaign to conqure Chaldea lasted for many brutal years, stretching from the harsh, dry desert of Ardaya to Forever Mountain’s high alpine slopes on Asianic’s wild western shores. One of the last kingdoms to bend a knee to Lord Kordaava was the island continent of Akkadia.

The attack on Akkadia was led by Legatus Nurgane Wernuir of the 10th Legion, a battle-tested unit fresh from four years of heavy action in Somarria’s Chaos Mountains. But Wernuir himself had not been part of that campaign—he had spent the majority of his career in the docile Imperial Guard, protecting the capital, and his promotion was only six week old when the time came for him to command in that fateful battle.

Complicating matters, Akkadia’s government was a rigid nobility matriarchy, its military commanded solely by women. Legatus Wernuir had nothing but contempt for women, and his well-known narrow-mindedness led him to underestimate the Akkadians, almost costing him his entire legion. He was dismissive of the concept of woman commanders and even more so of their unexpectedly superior tactics.

Fortunately for Legatus Wernuir, a young Tribunas witnessed the near-debacle and took the initiative to turn the tide. Hellwig Gustavus singlehandedly seized the hill and saved the Warhawks. For this success, Lord Kordaava rewarded Gustavus a field promotion, laying the foundation for a forty-year friendship between the young officer and the destined emperor of the world.

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Sarva battles orc charioteers

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SARVA BATTLES ORC CHARIOTEERS

SARVA BATTLES ORC CHARIOTEERS

Official Chaldea Concept Art

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For forty years, the orcs of Niesse have cultivated their hatred. And after Kordaava’s death, there is no emperor to hold them in check—thus, the time has come for the fair races to pay for their sins. The first engagement of the war is fought at Mont Fort, an obscure, dilapidated, human settlement at the furthest edge of the frontier, far from the salvation of humanity.

Sarva is a knight of Akkadia, a land where women rule and command the armies, where men are bred to serve them. After her part in a political coup that failed, Sarva fled, evading assassins of the demigoddess of Ishtar, who she tried to execute.

After gaining asylum in Hesse, Sarva joined the Hecks, a Hessen knight order. She is not accustomed to men dominating, as it were, and her biting wit undermines her. After her “superiors” sideline her by sending her to Mont Fort, she arrives just before the orc assault, just in time to show the Hecks what it means to fight like a girl.

At a young age, Sarva befriended a demon-hunter, a terrier named Ripper. Sarva and Ripper are best friends, on or off the battlefield, and will only be parted by death—if then.

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Marzahn, Supreme Orc Commander of Niesse

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MARZAHN, SUPREME ORC COMMANDER OF NIESSE

MARZAHN, SUPREME ORC COMMANDER OF NIESSE

Official Chaldea Concept Art

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A storm brews in Chaldea. Emperor Kordaava’s death has shaken the world, releasing creatures long dormant. Danger lurks everywhere, cloaked in shadows.

Marzahn is among the greatest of those dangers.

In Chaldea’s ancient and torn past, Marzahn served as Niesse’s supreme orc commander, leading a vast army of orcs to defeat the dwarven nations. Yet he was still a creature of chaos and war, a highly specialized weapon utterly incompatable with peace—so violent, in fact, that even his allies dared not allow him his freedom. Thus, for the safety of everyone, he was imprisoned in a rocky tomb deep in the bowels of Niesse. There he would remain encased in ice until such a time as he was needed again.

And that time has come.

Sureniel, Marzahn’s new liege lord, is prepared to capitalize on Marzahn’s ruthless cunning by placing him at the head of an army against any of the fair races of Chaldea who dare defy the orcs.

Marzahn is an imposing red-armored orc of Niesse, his maw jammed full of serrated Diamond Teeth, a gift from Sureniel. He wields Bramalix, a demonic black lance, which shrieks horrifically with the voices of the damned.

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