Chaldea is a world rich in magic and primal forces, in the Pearl Universe. Chaldea is not a planet, moon, or any other sort of celestial body—it is a collection of lands that drifts according to astrological influences through The Great Sea.
Explore the World of Chaldea.
Races. The dominant life forms of Chaldea are humans, orcs, dwarves, elves, and dragons. Of these, only dwarves and dragons are native to Chaldea, and their numbers are small. Humans and orcs immigrated to Chaldea from other worlds, brought by dragons to fight the dwarves in the Claw Hammer War approximately 1,000 years ago. Elves came of their own accord, shortly after humans arrived.
Geography and Peoples. Chaldea is comprised of several continents, island-continents, and island chains.
The continents of Tamica and Niessia are joined together and are the most populous. Some would argue this is just one continent, but the aged bards of Dorsang insist they are not. The two continents are bordered by the Garnon Forest, where the veils between worlds are thin, and the rugged Cloudforge Mountains, where the rugged winged lion-riders of Tavya rule.
The prominent human kingdoms of Tamica include Roosh (home to the Imperial Capital, Saratof), Latium, Mantis, Ta Shemau, Hakhamanesh, Vlachia, and Andalus. There are significant elven communities in the Dire and Georgian Forests, and a significant orc nation lives in the Hills of Hatred. Several of the dwarven clans that remain in Chaldea are located in Tamica. Known dragons include Lalfroth and Vishkon.
The prominent human kingdoms of Niessia include Hesse, Tavya, Stollhofen, Somacia, Ardaya, Mycenae, Griotunagardar, and Kinahhu. Small elven colonies exist in the Garnon and Seaxes Forests, and a powerful orc nation resides in the underground city of Niesse, ruled by the Elder Dragon Sureniel.
The continent of Somarria is known for the armies and creatures that wander into it through The Veil, which connects Somarria to the Chaos worlds. Prominent human kingdoms include Targonia and Tete; the two largest elven kingdoms of Chaldea are here, one in the Lynnwood Forest and the other in the exotic flora of Marn. In the vast wilderness between these coastal kingdoms and The Veil are numerous tribes of humans, orcs, goblins, giants, and many more besides.
The continent of Asianic is the most isolated of the Chaldean continents. Only in Asianic might one expect to travel for many days without spotting intelligent life. Aimilleuse is the only human kingdom here that is part of the Kordavan Empire. Bordering Aimilleuse, in the Atar Mountains, are the dreaded Atars, who ride pegasi mounts. The dragon, Ichobod, rules the rest of Asianic.
There are several island-continents of Chaldea. The two largest are Akkadia, a female-dominated kingdom ruled by a demigoddess of Ishtar, and Perrin, one of the most powerful kingdoms outside Tamica. Both are primarily human, although Perrin has a modest colony of elves in the Aelfwood Forest. Dorsang, though mostly human, hosts the largest community of halflings in Chaldea. Port Facility, though mostly human, is ruled by the dragon, Theocred, and his offspring and is home to the kingdom of Muromachi.
Because Chaldea is composed of several modestly sized continents and a number of islands, ocean travel is of critical importance. Ships navigate The Great Sea using astrology and folklore, and the captain’s quarters on most ships look like the laboratories of some mad wizard.
Religion and Spirituality. When humans immigrated to Chaldea as mercenary armies for the dragons in the Claw Hammer War, they brought with them the worship of the gods of their home worlds. For example, the Ardayans brought the worship of Qurayshites from Nabatea, the people of Ta Shemau brought the worship of the Pharaohs of Ma’at, the Perts brought the worship of the Celtic Gods from Mag Mel, and so on.
After he became emperor of Chaldea, Kordaava declared the worshipping of Set as the official religion of Chaldea. The worship of all other gods was forbidden throughout most of the empire. One exception was the Free City of Esh, where worship of all religions is tolerated.
Dwarves, orcs, and elves of Chaldea do not tend to place their faith in gods.
Calendar. The Chaldean calendar was standardized by Emperor Kordaava, a demigod of Set. This calendar was derived from the Ma’at calendar, with twelve months of thirty days each in a year, counting from Kordaava’s coronation. At the end of the year are five days of celebration that exist between the end of the months of Choiak and Tybi. These twelve months are organized into three seasons: akhet, the season of inundation; peret, the season of growing; and shemu, the season of harvesting.
The days of the week reflect an entrenched Nordic influence: Sun’s Day, Moon’s Day, Tyr’s Day, Woden’s Day, Thor’s Day, Frigg’s Day, and Surt’s Day.
Many astrologers prefer to use the Anumian Calendar. Approximately every ten days, an Anumian manifests brightly in the night sky and waxes strong for ten nights. This ten-night period is called an Anu.
Festivals and Holidays. Chaldea is home to numerous holidays, some of which are celebrated throughout the empire while others remain regional.
Various religious holidays celebrate Set. Justice Day, for example, celebrates Set’s defeat of Osiris by holding a public execution, where a condemned criminal (typically) is killed in a ritualistic fashion in the town square.
Sporting festivals include jousts, tournaments, and gladiator fights. A traditional sport—now illegal in most kingdoms—is Graver’s Day, wherein a monster is set loose in the countryside for gravers to chase down and kill.
Political festivals include Emperor’s Eve, which is celebrated on the eve of the New Year, resulting in much late-night debauchery and, in some cities, fireworks.
An example of a seasonal festival is Bonfire Night, when elves, magicians, and various fey celebrate the first fall of snow with the lighting of bonfires and sacrifices to fire elements for the warmth of the flame.
Popular with the masses is Servant Washing Day, on which masters of households are supposed to wash their servants instead of the other way around. Sometimes this leads to raunchy behavior, but mostly it’s an excuse to head to the nearest beach or river for public skinny-dipping.
Dwarves virtually worship Clan Week, when all clan dwarves are expected to return home for a week of celebration and renewal of oaths.
Naturally, Chaldeans also celebrate birthdays, marriages, anniversaries, births, coming-of-age milestones, and deaths.
Language. The most common language of Chaldea is Kordavan, although dwarves will be quick to point out that Kordavan is the same language as dwarven. By Imperial decree, Kordavan is used in all business, military, and civic settings, which has led to its widespread adoption.
Most kingdoms also have a local language that is widely spoken, particularly in rural areas. Also, elves, dragons, dwarves, and various other fantastical races have their own languages. Bards also have their own language, Auldic, which efficiently captures additional information in the form of its writing.
Code of Law. After conquering the world, Emperor Kordaava created a Code of Law that was designed to reign supreme over the diverse laws and tenets from the various kingdoms of the world. He also built a courthouse in the capital cities of each kingdom where parties could appeal for justice. Outside each of these courthouses is a large Obelisk of Law upon which are inscribed these laws for all to see.
Money. Most kingdoms of Chaldea use a local currency that is authorized by the Emperor. For example, the gold daric of Hakhamanesh, the silver groschen of Hesse, the gold aureus of Latium, or the iron mon of Muromachi all meet this standard. Not all kingdoms use coins, however. In Andalus, where literacy is high, most people engage in transaction by simply writing IOUs, which the receiver might pass along in a subsequent transaction, and so on. In Ardaya, all commerce is transacted at the local temple, which tracks one’s current balance of money owed to the temple or owed to the individual by the temple.
Above all this is the Imperial standard for currency, the Emperor’s Gold Sovereign. These are very large ornate golden coins, almost the size of a small brick. The EGS is the official currency for large-scale financial transactions between nations and banks and is regulated by the Imperial Consul of the Central Bank. Kingdoms throughout the empire are encouraged to comply with various Imperial policies, and those who do are rewarded with better exchange rates between their local currency and the EGS, which helps the local economy.
Cosmology. Chaldea is one world, or plane, of thousands—perhaps millions—in the Pearl Universe.
Most of the human kingdoms of Chaldea are loosely inspired by real-world places. For example, Hesse is inspired by the Teutonic Knights of the 13th century AD, Akkadia by Babylon of the 7th century BC, and Regis by Rome in the time of Julius Caesar.
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