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!

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Chaldea: Join the Cast

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World of Chaldea is teaming up with Amey René Casting to cast 40 characters for the Chaldea web series by Peter Adkison and Steve Conard.

Chaldea is a dark, gritty, adult-themed high fantasy epic that will be told in a mixed media format of fiction, comics, and film.

Amey René Casting will be auditioning for 40 roles in its offices in Los Angeles and Seattle.  The Chaldea cast represents a broad diversity with Arab, Black, Indian, Japanese, and Caucasian characters of both genders.  The Chaldea story features a high degree of adult themes, including but not limited to brutal violence, monsters, nudity, sex, drug use, torture, slavery, and harsh language.  Some roles are for fantasy races, like elves, dwarves, or halflings.

All of these roles require voice over work. We will also be soliciting the right to portray the character using comic book style art using the actor’s likeness.  There will also be a small amount of film work for 6 of these roles.

Interested actors should send contact information and head shot to Amey René Casting at casting@ameyrene.com. Please indicate in your email your interest in Chaldea.

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Season 1 Production Begins!

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Each new journey begins with an initial step…

Team Chaldea is happy to announce PRODUCTION OF SEASON 1 has begun.

The writing team has handed over volumes of tomes and manuscripts to the production team. The task now lies with art directors and production artists to bring words to life, designing characters, environments and laying out storyboards, (panel & page).

Here are a few rough early samples. Warning: work-in-progress!

Issue 1, PG-3 – Octoni Armory & Smith Works resides on one of Augstat’s many busy thoroughfares, the home of a young Yonnus Octoni.

Issue 1, PG-3 – Octoni Armory & Smith Works resides on one of Augstat’s many busy thoroughfares, the home of a young Yonnus Octoni.

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The Warning

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Priyanka warns Drasil: the orcs are on the move!

Official Chaldea Concept Art

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Following the death of her sister, Priyanka fled the druidical order within the Garnon Forest. She turned her back on all of elven culture and heritage, choosing to live in the human city of Augstat for two human lifetimes as a rogue. After operating a successful thieves’ guild but watching her young lover grow to die of old age, Priyanka eventually faced her past and returned to the forest to live a withdrawn, secluded, lonely life.

This isolation dominated Priyanka’s existence for nearly a century—until the orcs of Niesse attacked. Now she must rouse herself from her solitary life to warn those in the forest she’s grown to love. Her highest priority is to warn Drasil, the only creature in the woods Priyanka cannot easily sneak up on. Why? Because Drasil is the first of the Drasildar—the ultimate guardians of Chaldea. In truth, no one can sneak up on a Drasildar, and thus Drasil is stunned when Priyanka does exactly that.

Amazed by her skill, Drasil allows Priyanka to live long enough for her to explain she is there to rescue him. And he knows she speaks the truth—from her warning, he can sense death coming to the forest.

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Marn Elves

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Back in the early ’90s, it was pleasure to be working at Wizards of the Coast while Magic: The Gathering was being developed. One of the unexpected delights of that project was the art. We knew we were exploring new frontiers of game design with Richard Garfield’s marvelous invention, but it also turned out that under the insightful art direction of Jesper Myrfors, we ended up publishing fantasy art that was dramatically different from the traditional fantasy art the world had seen from the masters. Perhaps because we couldn’t afford artists like Larry Elmore and the Hildebrandt brothers, we went to artists no one had heard of, young art students just up the street at Seattle’s Cornish College of Arts.

The art that came in was bold, edgy, and irreverent. Some of it was questionable. And, yes, some of it was traditional, too. We loved it. Perhaps most representative of this difference from fantasy tradition was Anson Maddocks’s interpretation of Llanowar Elves. With a pink Mohawk, an eye patch with a chin strap, a shaved part of his head sporting a tattoo, and an angry sneer, this was not a Tolkien elf. These days, that’s hardly enough to cause discussion, but in 1993 this was radical.

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The Garnon Forest

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Peter_Adkison_(200x200)I’ve always been enraptured by the notion of an “enchanted forest.” From the earliest moments of creating Chaldea, this was one of the first topics I put my heart into. In particular, what does it mean for a forest to be enchanted? And what would cause it to be that way?

I didn’t want it to be strictly evil or monstrous. Nor did I want it to be entirely peaceful and idyllic. I wanted it to be magical, a place where, yes, there would be magical creatures: noble fey, not-so-noble fey, giant talking spiders, dragons, and critters like lizard men and bugbears. It would have a horrific swamp in there somewhere, which of course meant a river. But I also wanted there to be something about the forest that would attract practitioners of the arcane arts: druids, magicians, high elves, and even priests.

And this forest would be unique within Chaldea. There would be other forests, but one forest would be special; the Garnon Forest was beginning to take form.

I honestly don’t understand the creative process. But somehow I had this idea to link the forest to Yggdrasil, the World Tree from Norse mythology. Like all ideas, this seemed obvious after the fact. If Yggdrasil connects the world of Chaldea to the other worlds, where does that connection happen? I mean, is there a physical place in Chaldea where Yggdrasil actually “connects”? Obviously there wouldn’t have to be—the connection could be more metaphysical, less literal. But it also could be! So, what if The Garnon Forest were the location in Chaldea where the World Tree connects? Read More

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Clan Week

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Aldest Geldzahn explains in a spirited rant to never forget: the dragons are the *true* enemy.

Aldest Geldzahn explains in a spirited rant to never forget: the dragons are the true enemy.

Official Chaldea Concept Art

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At one time, the dwarves of Chaldea ruled the entire world. But a thousand years ago, the dragons came and nearly drove them to extinction. When the dwarves fled underground, the dragons brought humans and orcs from other worlds to finish the job of eradicating the once mighty dwarves.

Those who remain now are a tiny minority, and most keep to themselves beneath the surface of Chaldea. Yet many are fabulously wealthy in their isolation, for they retained the holdings and wealth of those who migrated away. Now the dwarves face a threat of a different sort: a curse of infertility. Not a single dwarven child has been born for forty years.

Despite these hardships—or perhaps because of them—every dwarf in Chaldea returns annually to the home of his or her ancestors for Clan Week. Because it’s important to look one’s best, Clan Week kicks off with a raucous party in the dwarven barbershop, where friends and family reunite and old tales are spun anew.

Aldest, an ornery old dwarf, makes clear his unabashed beliefs about various dwarven heroes and his passionate hatred of dragons, much to the chagrin (or amusement) of his kinfolk.

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Astrological Navigation

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Jaida, captain of the Chalker, uses astrological navigation techniques to sail the Great Sea.

Jaida, captain of the Chalker, uses astrological navigation techniques to sail the Great Sea.

Official Chaldea Concept Art

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In Chaldea, sailing the Great Sea is a treacherous undertaking for any fool who doesn’t understand astrology. The Great Sea is an amorphous metaphysical body of water with no cardinal points, no north and south, no east and west. Leaving the sight of land is akin to blindfolding one’s eyes and stumbling into an endless desert. Navigation equipment such as compasses, sextants, and charts are useless in the Great Sea. Navigators must rely on astrology to guide their path or fortune to bless their fat.

Constellations are friends and guardians to sailors—knowledge of how to speak their language is the only hope to having them point the way, for the stars of Chaldea have much to say to those who can hear them.

Jaida communicates with the Egyptian goddess Isis to grant her ship and crew safe voyage.

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Chaldea Concept Art

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Receiving new art is like Christmas morning. —Steve Conard

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Back in the late ’70s when I was in my impressionable youth, Star Wars dominated my consciousness, much like it did to all the kids of my generation. I collected all things Star Wars—if it had a Star Wars logo, I owned it. That movie captured my imagination like nothing before it (or after, for that matter). One of my cherished possessions was a book that contained Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. McQuarrie’s Star Wars art is, really, the gold standard.

I also had an Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook. In fact, wait right there …

[A couple of minutes later]

… oh my gosh, I still have it. Here’s the cover.

Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook

Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook

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The Inspiration for Kordaava

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Peter_Adkison_(200x200)Back in the early ’80s, one of my Chaldea players asked me, “Has there ever been a time when one person ruled all of Chaldea?” My initial response was to say absolutely not. It seemed preposterous to me that one person could rule an entire world of orcs, elves, dwarves, humans, dragons, magic, and monsters galore. But then I thought, If one person did rule all of Chaldea, that person would be one badass!

Once I put it in those terms, of course I had to go through with it. I told that player, “Yes…but only once. 5,000 years ago, there was a demigod of Set named Kordaava. He was the only person in history to ever unite all of Chaldea under a single rule. Then, at the height of his glory—after building a worldwide empire—he was assassinated, and to this day, no one knows who did it.”

When I decided some twenty years later to run Chaldea using the Burning Wheel game system, I decided to go back in time those 5,000 years to when Kordaava ruled the world. My players had, of course, heard of Kordaava in legends, so that helped build up the expectation of a world ruled by the only person powerful enough, ever, to rule the entirety of Chaldea. While we were playing, all the players knew that at some point Kordaava would be assassinated. But they didn’t know when. And I had so much fun playing what was essentially a fantasy version of the Roman Empire that I kept putting off the moment! Read More

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The Chaldeapedia

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Steve_Conard_(200x200)Raise your hand if you own the Complete Tolkien Companion or The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth or have spent untold hours reading online Tolkien wikis.

Yeah, I thought so.

I suspect that, like myself, you routinely scour the Internet searching for maps and background material on characters and locations from your favorite books or TV shows. I’m sure you’ll agree, our favorite works of fiction are appalling light on ancillary details, details readers and viewers crave, such as, where the hell is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizarding in its directional relationship to London? Where does the Hogwarts Express go? My wife couldn’t give a shit less; she’s just happy finally seeing Ron and Hermione kiss. But I want to know. I know you want to know, too. That’s because we’re geeks.

I’m a big fan of World of Warcraft and have spent an embarrassing amount of time in that ridiculously addictive fantasy world. To prove my utter addiction, at one point I had five active accounts. If an MMO is worth playing, it’s worth playing five accounts at the same time. You know what I’m saying.

The challenge I have with WoW and similar all-immersive games is that the developers don’t provide vitally important information gamers want “in-game.” They force users to leave the relatively protective environment of the game and send them seeking information beyond, out on the vulnerable Internet.

Why do this?

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