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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