Monday, January 11, 2016

Beyond the Skies Kickstarter News

Since my previous post on this topic. . .

So You've Missed the Kickstarter:  Some of you were interested in catching up with this book's crowdfunding event, which ended January 7th.  If you are interested in supporting this project, please contact me privately at Bruce Heard [at] Stranger Skies [dot] com.  Let me know what you want or if you would like to include add-ons listed on the Kickstarter page.  I'll let you know what the next few steps are when you get back in touch with me.  Some of you may remember this process (it is the same one I used after CAL1 "In Stranger Skies" in 2014).

Uncollected Pledges:  Some of our backers' pledges are still pending.  Kickstarter staff will keep addressing wayward/delayed transactions for the next couple of weeks.  After this, these pledges will be cancelled.  There are enough of these so far to cause the fourth stretch goal to be cancelled, if they remain unresolved.  It would be unfortunate for everyone.  So please, if you have been notified that your pledge could not be collected, do work with Kickstarter to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Surveys Are Out:  I just e-mailed the Kickstarter surveys to all backers.  Please fill those out when you have a minute so we can figure out who gets what add-ons, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, and so on.  As soon as the surveys have been returned and Kickstarter's collection process has been completed, I can generate art orders and contracts for the book's cover and internal illustrations.  The sooner the better.

Free Character Sketches from Joe Garcia:  Backers at Admiral pledge level, you do qualify for a free character sketch by illustrator Joe Garcia.  Questionnaires have been sent out via Kickstarter to help you describe your characters.  Please check your Kickstarter accounts for messages as soon as possible.  These sketches will be drafted on a first come-first served basis.  Some of you have already delivered your descriptions -- thank you!  Ideally, Joe should be working on these sketches BEFORE he receives his work order for the book's illustrations.  Commissioned work will take precedence over complimentary sketches.     

Thank you all for your cooperation and your patience.   

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kickstarter: DONE! Now What?

There still is quite a lot of work to be dispatched.  Before I go into this, I wanted to first thank everyone for their kind support, whether it came in the form of pledges or efforts to invite friends and people who may be interested in the Calidar series.  Since a post-KS option will soon become available, please do keep up with this effort.  There's still room for more fans to see their names in the project's Honor Roll (more about this in a moment).  Kudos to you all, as "Beyond the Skies" would not be the same without your support.

A Few Facts.  Here are some interesting figures about the crowdfunding campaign.  The average pledge came up to about $64 dollars, including add-ons.      

Our backers' bids seem pretty evenly spread out.  If you look at the next chart, you'll see that 42% of backers picked Captain or Admiral tiers.  This shows the impact of having so many add-ons to offer.  Many backers saw this and increased their pledges to cash in of these offers.  Thank you!
What does this amount to?  For one, we have good amount of internal art gracing this book's pages.  We did not hit the "dream goal" of one illustration for each god, but that's still a lot of art to commission.  As the result of this, the book's page count is (so far) going to come close to 248 (the minimum was 220, remember?)  In addition to internal illustrations, don't forget a lot of maps rendered by Thorfinn Tait, color floor plans, pantheon diagrams, and various divine symbols to make a good use of the book's full color printing.

What if you missed the Kickstarter?  No problem.  A post-Kickstarter page will become available very soon on  Here are tentative details.  This page will offer most of the pledge levels and add-ons for a while longer.  Add-ons such as CAL1 Stranger Skies (printed versions and PDF) and poster maps will be switched off from the post-KS page at the end of January (they are still available through normal channels on and DTRPG).  The post-KS page itself will be shut down at the end of February.  Here is the original list of add-ons.

Please note that free character sketches from Joe Garcia (offered at Admiral pledge level) will not be honored via the post-KS page.  The Battlebards offer still stands, although registration to obtain the sound samples and access to the Calidar soundboard ends on March 31st.  Registration will begin as soon as the list of qualified backers can be compiled.  Find out more about this here. 

Starting in March, visitors who missed the post-KS offers can preorder "Beyond the Skies" possibly at a discount.  Kickstarter fulfillment takes place first as soon as the book becomes ready for print.  Pre-orders will follow shortly afterward.    General sales via DTRPG or start last, after I've restocked, so this could happen 1-3 weeks after pre-orders are sent out, somewhere around August 2016.  Links to download some of the PDF files may be e-mailed from DTRPG fairly soon since these are ready to go (CAL1 "In Stranger Skies" and CST1 "Under the Great Vault").  Do check your spam box as those messages tend to end up there.

There will be timely updates here and on the KS Updates page for all this, so keep your ears to the ground.  If you need to contact me, please go the Kickstarter page and send me a private mail from there (click on my picture and the "Contact Me" button).  A survey will soon allow KS backers to update their mailing addresses and clarify their orders.  That's about all can think of bringing up at this time.  Do ask questions if you feel I missed something.  Til then:  Happy 2016!  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Last Day for the Kickstarter!

#Calidar "Beyond the Skies" is fast approaching its next stretch goal and reaching the end of its crowdfunding campaign. Thank you everyone for your generous support!

Visitors who haven't yet jumped in: will you put some of yourself into this fabulous book and join the effort to commission more internal art? "Beyond the Skies" has already grown from 220 to 244 pages for everyone's enjoyment... will today add more?


Here's a fun preview of The World of Calidar's "Beyond the Skies," an EnWorld exclusive unveiling the flying seminary of an eagle-knights' order. This shows how a book about deities brings to life details on the realms of the Great Caldera, just like a gazetteer. That's something you can use as an adventure on Calidar or on any other game world...

Once Upon a Time in Ar, Part Five

“He be an Aran wizard, fer sure.” The voice sounded muffled at first, and thick like a peasant’s. A dull ache throbbed in Dardaniel’s cranium while his senses slowly returned. He tried opening his mouth and felt the painful grip of an iron muzzle holding shut his jaws. Someone had gone a long way to ensure he could not speak. Lying face down against a filthy stone floor, his hands bound behind his back, he twisted his neck to see around him. He lay at the bottom of a pit, under a feeble light filtering in through iron bars at the top.

“Bah,” spat a darker voice. “He’s more trouble than he’s worth. Wouldn’t be the first time that the hag of Wyvern County sends her slayers into Foresthome to snatch a hostage. And you can be sure they’ll kill every one of us. Better we do in this aristocratic wretch now. The world is better off without his kind.”

“Aye, but we needs gold,” answered the first voice. “I showed his ring to ole’ Philomar. It be from no local Wyvernian house he said, but one from Archon, an’ a rich one too. The old goat probably don’t know he be here, so I be thinkin’ her slayer will stay put, an’ then we can collec’ a fat ransom.”

However careful his movement, Dardaniel could not prevent his iron mask from rubbing against the rough stone floor. Fifteen feet above him, the conversation ended, and the silhouette of a head appeared above the iron bars. “Heh, he be awake now. Ye stay nice an’ quiet, wizard, if ye know what’s best fer ye,” the guard said in a gravelly voice, before vanishing. The sound of footsteps and a heavy door slamming shut informed him that perhaps he was now alone.

Dardaniel sat up as best he could. He had no idea how long he’d been in this oubliette, or where in the blazes this prison lay. “Hello? Is anyone there?” he hollered. A vague whimper came from above, but further calls led to naught. Hours went by, perhaps days. His rusty manacles were murder on his wrists. Someone showed up and tossed scraps from a meal that landed in a murky puddle. Torn by the pangs of hunger, Dardaniel crawled to the sordid pile and attempted to gnaw at the pungent remains. His muzzle made the affair nearly impossible, and he only managed to slurp in some of the puddle while the guard snickered above.

His face smudged with greasy muck, the wizard gave up on the odious endeavor and lay on his side. A fat rat trotted out of the dark, sniffed at the helpless intruder, and decided the leftovers were easier pickings. . . for now. Time went by until a breath of air disturbed his dreams of freedom. Keeko had landed on the floor next to his face, and was peering at him with its two big round eyes, while ethereal wings on its back faded from sight. The prosapian examined the iron mask for an instant, climbed on its side, and tugged on a latch pin with its two small hands. Its effort paid off when the metallic piece fell out and rang on the stone floor. The muzzle clicked open and Dardaniel shook it off with relief. He could utter little more than a pitiful gurgle, so dry his mouth had become.

Despite his weakness, the wizard sat up as Keeko observed the manacles’ sturdy rivets. It then approached the pile of refuse, seized a rancid piece of fat, and proceeded to rub it against Dardaniel’s wrists. Clever little beastie, the wizard thought, increasingly hopeful. He joined his fingers as tightly as he could and pulled hard. The pain was excruciating. He thought for a moment he’d broken a few bones when his knuckles finally slipped free of his iron bonds. It helped that he was slim of build.

“Thank you my little friend,” he whispered in a hoarse voice, looking up at the top of the pit. Keeko deployed his wings and flew up to the grate, grabbed a metal bar, and crawled out. Dizzy with fatigue and lack of food, Dardaniel checked his pockets. Alas, someone had emptied them already. He then thought of uncast spells still lingering in his mind, and realized he’d have to take a chance. “Look out,” he cautioned Keeko before he uttered his magic. A loud knock flung the grate open, after which the prosapian reappeared at the pit’s edge, a quizzical expression on its furry face.

“I know, I know,” admitted Dardaniel at the unspoken question. “I didn’t memorize the fly spell. Hate the very thing, I do.” Annoyed, the wizard wondered how he’d climb out of the oubliette. The stonework was rough enough, but he lacked the skill that could help him up the somewhat wet incline, as the pit’s bottom was wider than its opening. Slight grunts sounded until Keeko dropped a rope inside. Despite his weakness, the wizard climbed out and sat on the edge to catch his breath and look around.

A small brazier glowed in a corner, revealing a torture chamber, with racks of wicked tools and a number of doors on all sides. The ceiling above the pit held a pulley and a rope with one end secured to the edge of a heavy wooden table fitted with manacles. None of the wizard’s equipment lay in sight. Annoyed, Dardaniel stood and picked up a nearby lantern, which he managed to light up with a hot poker. He then investigated doors featuring small barred openings. Each revealed an empty cell with shackles, save for one that held a sorry-looking fellow. He raised his head when called out, and despite the prisoner’s hirsute and haggard appearance, Dardaniel recognized someone he’d once known in Sundsvall.

“By the Wands! Aren’t you Syphonean, her Imperial Majesty’s head-butler? What on the Immortals’ green Mystara are you doing here?”

The old man shrugged. “Heh, not as much as I’d wish.”

Assaulting and incarcerating a high-born palace courtier such as himself was bad enough, Dardaniel thought, but a figure from the imperial circles? Outrage suddenly gave him renewed vigor. “I’ll be right back,” he said. “Don’t go anywhere.”

Syphonean raised his shackles, resigned to his fate.

After grabbing a set of hefty pliers from a tool rack, Dardaniel returned, cast off the bar holding the door, sheared the shackles’ chains, and helped the old man out.

“Come, let us find a way out of this hideous place,” Dardaniel said. Keeko landed on his shoulder, earning a feeble smile from the wobbly butler while they approached the last door. “Couldn’t you have used your magic to escape these ruffians, I wonder?”

“They caught me after I’d barely escaped from my tower. I’d spent much of my magic in the process and lost my spellbook. I’d thought the depths of Foresthome provided a good hiding place. I was wrong.”

Puzzled, Dardaniel stopped and gazed at the old man. “Escaped from your own tower? From whom?”

Syphonean seemed to bear a sudden burden. “It is a long story. Perhaps it is best you do not associate with me, for I have become a pariah in the empire, and a target of the highest authority in the whole of Alphatia.”

“Who? Zandor?” Dardaniel pressed on, stunned and increasingly dismayed.

“Yes, the emperor himself. I am a marked man, doomed to face oblivion, the memory of my forebears forever erased from imperial records.”

“Oh, that wretch! I despised that slithering viper the moment I laid eyes upon him. That treacherous scamp. What a villainous scoundrel he is. If his mother were around. . .”

“Alas, she isn’t,” said the old man. “He made sure of it, and I was there to witness it.”

Dardaniel opened his mouth, but remained speechless while myriad questions jostled in his mind. It was a crushing revelation. At once, the wizard understood why Zandor wanted Syphonean dead, along with anyone associated with him, abductors and rescuers alike. Murder among Alphatians was still a capital crime, no matter who committed it.

To be continued. . .

Click on the Short Stories label below to display all the short stories.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sky Warriors of Phrydias

Hi all!

The holidays may be over and Jack Frost settling in, but here's some good stuff guaranteed to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling all over.  I got an exclusive preview on EnWorld's front page that could be used for a short adventure on Calidar on any world setting.  I included the floor plan here so you can see what this is about.

This article describes an order of eagle-knights and their "flying seminary," a sort of airborne school/temple/aviary.  Does your hero have what it takes to survive training and become a trusted alumnus? 

The source material is Calidar's upcoming title, "Beyond the Skies."  It demonstrates how a book about deities can bring to life realms of the Great Caldera, in some ways like a gazetteer.  Crowdfunding for this sourcebook is still live until January 7th.  New rewards have also been added recently, making this a sweet deal, better yet than the one for "Stranger Skies."  

If you're new to Calidar, all previous books and poster maps, including those offered exclusively to Kickstarter backers are available at a discount during this campaign.  Now's a good time to jump in if you haven't already!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Sweet Things for 2016

Happy New Year to all of you!

I made a fortuitous and auspicious encounter a few days back, which resulted in more good news for Calidar's "Beyond the Skies" kickstarter.  At this time, we're just a few hundred dollars from blowing past the 2nd stretch goal, which means more illustrations added to the book's contents.

As Calidar's crowdfunding reached new heights, I connected with the folks at who kindly offered a free reward for Calidar's current and upcoming backers.  This includes a custom Calidar Soundboard with 8-10 sound tracks. These tracks will enhance and add nuances to the experience of playing in the World of Calidar. The Soundboard provides easy access to the audio and the ability to organize and play tracks on-the-fly. They can be listened to individually or layered with multiple tracks for added effect.

This is a mockup image for the Calidar Soundboard

There is no access fee associated with this reward, which is offered to Calidar backers at First Mate or higher pledge levels.  Battlebards successfully completed their own Kickstarter recently and is poised to launch their new service by the end of January 2016.  Registration to qualify for the free rewards will begin by the end of Calidar's crowdfunding campaign, January 7th, and end on March 31st at midnight. is the most expansive tabletop sound library ever assembled, along with tools built specifically to use the audio masterfully during games. Tailor-made background music inspired by fantasy races, voiceover scripts written to bring life to everyday character interactions, and a colossal array of bone-crushing, spell-fire-blasting sound effects: this is immersive tabletop gaming at its best.  Stay tuned for further updates on this subject.

Don't forget the extra reward at Admiral pledge level, which was another offer that came up during the crowdfunding effort.  Joe Garcia, illustrator for "Beyond the Skies," kindly offered to sketch a free character for Admiral backers.  This process will also start at the end of the crowdfunding campaign.  As with the Battlebards offer today, Joe's generous contribution was announced via my Kickstarter project update (it isn't listed in the reward's description).    

If you haven't backed Calidar "Beyond the Skies" as yet, there are just a few days left to do so.  This new release goes beyond bringing to life fantasy gods, their personal relations, and politics between pantheons.  It also provides a massive list of individual powers available to mortal followers, zealots, and priests (based on their piety levels), as well as divine favors encouraging desirable behavior, and divine wounds reflecting discontent among deities.  "Beyond the Skies" unveils new information about world souls, the Dread Lands, native monsters, shamans of the tribes, spirits of nature, and seitha prospecting.  Divine servants, demons, incarnates, and household godlings also make an appearance, along with a host of floor plans detailing temples and the lairs of secret brotherhoods, each an invitation to run adventures. Calidar's background dynamics involve a dark peril that threatens to destroy both the divine pantheons, the world souls, and the mortal universe, evoking a pervasive sense of impending doom.  

This book is crucial for the understanding of Calidar as an RPG campaign setting because it fleshes out a lot of information about the ten realms of the Great Caldera and the origins of their peoples.  In its own way, it qualifies as a macro-gazetteer.  It will directly impact all future gazetteers, and thus is a must for fans of this game world.  The pantheons are also designed in a such a way that they can be used in other game settings with minimal trouble.  If you haven't jumped in yet, click on the image below to reach the crowdfunding page.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Once Upon a Time in Ar, Part Four

The looming beast looked like a cross between a shaggy rug and an oversized goblin fitted with large lynx-like ears. Dardaniel could not repress a faint squeal when the creature hunched down to gaze at him. Its ears homing in on the slight sound made their tawny tufts flop forward. With its large bulging eyes, the beast exuded a somewhat-endearing appearance were it not for its terrible fangs. That impression ended at once when it roared.

“Now, now, let’s not get carried away with the random-forest-critter-meets-unsuspecting-hero routine, shall we?” said Dardaniel as calmly as he could. “Surely we can find a way to get along. Let me guess: you are a sasquatch, aren’t you?”

The beast raised a bristly eyebrow, frowned, and roared louder. As it raised its clawed hand, the wizard reacted with greater speed, pointed a finger at the hairy face, and cast a few sharp words. Strands of sticky webbing shot forth and wrapped themselves around the beast’s head like a mad smothering turban, muffling the victim’s bellows and interfering with its sight.

As the brute clawed at the webs, the wizard took a few steps back. “I do beg your pardon,” he said. “I should have known better—the puppy eyes, the large ears, the big fangs, and all. You are a bugbear, yes indeed. Didn’t mean to offend.”

The monster tripped and fell on the jumble of tree roots while struggling to rip off the blinding strands. Judging a retreat more prudent, Dardaniel spun round and buried his face in what seemed like a wall of fur.

“Oh bugger,” he uttered, looking up at another beast that had sneaked up from behind. It grabbed him by the back of his robe and yanked him off his feet. As he prepared to speak another spell, the bugbear slapped him across the face, causing Dardaniel to swing wildly, his feet kicking helplessly. Another spell attempt resulted in a backslap with similar effects.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

#Calidar: FUNDED!

Dear Supporters of ‪#‎Calidar‬

I have the pleasure of announcing that "Beyond the Skies" has met its initial funding goal. So, yes, a great book there will be! Thank you so much to all of you for making this possible, and in time before Christmas too. Now comes the next step of hitting the stretch goals. These are crucial because they increase the amount of internal art. The dream goal is one illustration for each of the 89 gods depicted in the book, plus artwork for the other chapters, which do represent a substantial part of "Beyond the Skies." Your generosity has made this ultimate goal possible. Kudos to you all!

For those of you reading this message and who've not had the opportunity yet to jump in, now is a great time to do so, first off because the project will definitely happen.  At this point, it can only get better.  Kickstarter does not actually complete a transaction until the project ends on January 7th 2016. 

If you do not own the first book in the series, "Stranger Skies," you can obtain it through this Kickstarter campaign at a discount.  The complete PDF files for "Stranger Skies" is listed there at an all-time low of $6. 

You can also own two 60-page booklets in printed format which are only available to Kickstarter backers.  They cannot be purchased after the crowdfunding campaign ends. Simply backing the project with a First Mate pledge level already earns you these two booklets in PDF format for free.  Poster maps from "Stranger Skies" are also available at a discount.  There is a limited supply of these poster maps.  Once out of stock, they are unlikely to be reprinted.  You can find all this under the project's "Add-Ons" header.

If you want one more more add-ons over and above the normal pledge for "Beyond the Skies," simply add the value of these add-ons manually to your pledge amount, along with any shipping fees listed in their descriptionsI'll contact you later via Kickstarter to confirm everything.

Thanks again for your interest and your support.  Merry Christmas.    

-- Bruce Heard

Second in the Calidar series, this 220+ pg compendium tells all about gods, their spirit servants, and their foes, for use with any RPG.  Aside from listing gods, this book's contents further develop the Calidar fantasy setting and provide substantial material designed to enhance game play, such as divine powers for mortal followers based on their piety, secret brotherhoods, temple floor plans, etc.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A Letter to Mystara Fans

It’s been quite a while now since I’ve had a hand in fleshing out the World of Mystara. There was of course my time at TSR, those glorious years when the gazetteers came like clockwork. I’ve had great fun more recently developing a version of Alphatia on this blog. I’ve enjoyed all this immensely.

It is unfortunate, however, that Wizards did not see fit to share an arrangement for the fans of this grand old world to enjoy new material. This is the primary reason I launched Calidar “In Stranger Skies,” which is inspired from the “Voyage of the Princess Ark.” There is another reason for this new creative endeavor. Though I love writing, I still need to address the hard realities of life. Success is crucial for me to be able to continue in this direction and—as demonstrated in the stories about Dardaniel—to offer new fan material for the World of Mystara. Now is a very busy time for me to write these adventures, and some of my present backers may see them as a diversion from my crowdfunding efforts.

In keeping with the spirit of this new chapter in my life, I’m suggesting therefore the following: when “Beyond the Skies” reaches its first funding goal, I’d like to celebrate its success with a new episode of Dardaniel’s quest. We’re very close to reaching this target, perhaps in a few days. I will be more than happy to write subsequent episodes as stretch goals are reached. I believe this will satisfy all sides of this equation.

Nothing would please me more than to see all of you adopting Calidar as an alternate setting, or simply as a source of fun reading and adventure ideas. A good number of Mystara fans have proven themselves stalwart supporters from the beginning of my journey. That’s wonderful. Thank you! Many more aren’t aware of Calidar or haven’t made a move to support it. Some of you aren’t interested at all, and I respect this. Others remain who aren’t sure yet of Calidar’s value. Please bear this in mind: the more supporters get behind Calidar, the better the chances will be that I can afford to keep writing, and by the same token, that I’ll keep creating new content for Mystara as well. Think about this. See where your heart lies.

I do sincerely thank you for your interest, your gratitude, and your support.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Once Upon a Time in Ar, Part Three

A soft rap at the door pulled Dardaniel from fitful slumber. Malvolian stuck his head in and gazed at the wizard. “We’ve arrived, Master,” he said in a muted voice. His angular, bluish face seemed as if it had been carved with a hatchet, with prominent cheekbones and an upturned, claw-like chin. He bore the large pointed ears of djinni-kind and iridescent eyes that gave them a strange, inscrutable expression.

Dardaniel stirred under a pale ray of light filtering through his bedchamber’s window. He grunted, got up, and shuffled groggily toward the light. A sea of dark green treetops lay below the Silver Cloud, as far as the eye could see, partially masked by dawn’s lingering mist.

Elbowing his way in, Feyward approached, holding a steaming bowl. “You might need this, Master,” he said with a grin revealing large gray teeth. “Just got it from the galley.” As fat and jovial as Malvolian was wiry and gloomy, Feyward owned small, porcine eyes almost invisible behind drooping eyelids, and a large, hooked nose. A long, black goatee snaked from his chin, reaching almost to his bulging belly.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Once Upon a Time in Ar, Part Two

Dardaniel marched down to the cavernous chamber housing the Haakens’ skyships, and lingered at the entrance. Immense white marble columns and stained glass windows stretched to lofty heights where pointed arches formed an elegant vault. Under the glimmer of pale golden globes levitating in the vast dimness, the main horizontal boom, to which the Prince of Ar was tethered, extended above the azure-hued, mirror-like floor. The heavy galleon, Widdemar’s black and red flagship, floated in its moorings thirty feet from the floor, slowly swaying from an unseen and unfelt breeze. Well above its main mast, smaller booms held two smaller vessels. One was Feldorian’s tiny racing yacht, the Archonian Shadow, famous from the time Dardaniel’s father competed in flying regattas. The other was the Silver Cloud, a mid-size skyship the remainder of the family used for errands simple magic could not satisfy.

Dardaniel observed his valets, Malvolian and Feyward, glide effortlessly up a staircase spiraling between two slender pillars. Queasiness gripped him as they raced to the top and proceeded across the Silver Cloud’s narrow boarding plank. His legs felt like cotton, and merely gazing at the vault high above the skyships made Dardaniel’s discomfort grow even worse. Unlike his forebears, the wizard suffered from fear of heights, a calamity he’d never revealed to anyone. The nephew of an Air Admiral? The son of an illustrious daredevil? Alas, even his mother’s djinni blood failed him miserably. Dardaniel was convinced it was Ethrenielle’s doing, for he believed she’d secretly inflicted upon him a curse which could not be dispelled and grew worse with time. He loathed flying.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Once Upon a Time In Ar

Ethereal eddies spun slowly in the crucible, casting purple glimmers while golden bubbles emerged, bulged, and popped softly into miniature ghosts. Dardaniel, a young man in appearance despite his advanced age, straightened his aching spine before leaning against the back of the tall chair surmounted with the household’s crescent arms. He drew in a long breath and resumed his work. Small circular motions of his index finger kept a silver spoon stirring the crucible as he muttered an interminable ritual. The imp-like face engraved on its handle twitched and wrinkled its nose at tiny specters coiling around it.

Reduced to stumps draped with molten red wax, candles in a tall candelabra threatened to extinguish their feeble, trembling flames. Their sallow gleams revealed books and ghoulish artefacts crammed on shelves behind the wizard. This had once been his grandfather’s study, now mostly overlooked by the rest of family. It was why Dardaniel chose this small chamber to conduct his arcane labor. Somewhat claustrophobic, it still smelled of old varnish, leather, dust, and other less mundane things. He hadn’t seen Lord Widdemar for years. The head of the House of Haaken lived on the manor’s top floor, a recluse who no longer spoke with his son, Felldorian. Everyone knew he was still among the living as his aerial servants continued to come and go, picking up meals and occasional mail, or delivering signed edicts to rule his domain and his aging progeny as he’d done for nearly a century. The servants were bound to silence. When questioned about their master, they responded with quizzical wind-like sighs before flying up through the service shafts.

Nothing surprised Dardaniel these days. It didn’t help that a monstrous war raged between his beloved Alphatia and faraway Thyatis, no doubt orchestrated by the immortals. He’d received news that Empress Eriadna had been killed when a magical storm laid waste to Sundsvall and the imperial palace. Or had she? As a loyalist and a fervent supporter of the empress, he found this hard to believe. He didn’t want to believe it. Something made him think that she’d survived somehow, for she was a mighty sorceress, perhaps the mightiest of them all. Her son, Zandor, the rightful heir, promptly seized the throne in the wake of the tragedy. It was no one’s surprise that he’d proclaimed her death with neither hesitation nor a shadow of proof, for Eriadna’s remains were never found. Thoughts, fleeting hopes, and somber concerns jostled through Dardaniel’s mind, challenging his concentration. He repeated a crucial verse of his spell and grimly stirred the crucible’s purple eddies, staring into them as if they would yield a hidden clue.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"Beyond the Skies" is live!

I have the pleasure to announce that the kickstarter page for Calidar's CC1 "Beyond the Skies" IS NOW LIVE! We're open for business. Thanks for your patience and your support.

The link is here:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Filling In the Blanks

As I move along with various and assorted developments of Calidar's world, I find myself hunting for existing information here and there, and wanting for more that hasn't actually been set.  Taking the bull by the horns, I decided to fill in some blanks for future usage.  Much of this is tentative, of course, but some of you may find this useful and somewhat revealing of where I'm going.  I'll add more as I start pushing into these various settings.  Your feedback will also have an impact, especially regarding names inspired from real world cultures.  Material written in blue is tentative (the remainder being already set or published). Have a look. Feel free to kibitz. Give your opinion.  Thanks!

Capital Cities & Present Rulers
Tentative Material
State & Province
Capital City
Dwëara Darkwood
High Matriarch
Dwëara Darkwood
High Matriarch
Ëodain Stormcloud
Lord Protector
Malfalas VI "Tenebrys"
Rothbrîm II
Mountain King
Golliwin Strikeforth
Grand Fyrst
Valadeer Trembleston
Sackworth Brandyboot
Northern Marches
Faradine Forklorn
Celeen Sallywell
Kelbrix Umberpot
Lord Ranger
Vardalas Dardael
 "The Green"
High Wizard Chancellor
Arieph Johirim
Lord/Lady Wizard
 Ziav the Negevah
Vanash An'melek
Abachaia of Bamirith
Tallas Yavdon, the Young
Latira Enizer the Issarim
Gilganim Eyes-of-Dezvi
Neshuzu, Son of Zavriel
Tenoboam Beb'zorah
High Seer
Deimos IV
Stratokratos (Warlord)
Mormion Pelonidas
Teosokratos (High Prior)
Kyrion Hieronikhos
Sophokratos (Philosopher King)
Deimos Telemakhos
Shardwen I
Hero Queen
Eeva Nightblade
Owann Merryquest
Tychon Antimedes
Toanui Blackmace
Olaf The Wanderer
Matahi The Ancient
Vartan Blueblade
Ahokao Sharksoul
Kark Burrowdeep
Tel Al-Maksur
Sahir III
Akeem Ibn Tahwi Al-Akbar
Tel Al-Maksur
Sahir Al-Jahani
Kazam Al-Masood
Jaboor Bin Sadeh
Najwa Al-Tahrana
Ulvheid I
High Queen
Ulvheid Stålbrandsdatter
Great Jarl
Brynjar Bjørnson
Einar Havardson
Lord Arkadeen
Doge of the Writ
Costa Brava
Puerto Valiente
Maltín de Mataez
of the Warrant
Costa Verde
Santa Salvação
Brasão de Ganganel
Smetawa Kalinska
see Doge of the Writ
Nero Barbacani
Jandrijka van Trouwer
Varnois de Lisle
Roth von Eisenmarck
Amber Scarlett
"The Allseeing"
Grand Lector
Moons of Calidar
State & Province
Capital City
Lord Tyrran
Overseer of the Tòrr-Gàrraidh
To be determined

Fohrbrand III
Mountain King
To be determined

Teosophon V
"The Outspoken"
Holy Potentate
Teosophon V
"The Outspoken"
Holy Potentate
Neb-Arun "Prior-King"
Abembe II "Ogre-Born"
Capac IX "The Radiant"
Sapa Inti (prefix)
Te Awanui
Matahina IV "Iron Nose"
Amnon VII "Tongues"
Supreme Magus
Otaktay I "Red-Hand"
Tanka Itancanka
The Forlorns
Herion Anaxetos
Lord Governor
Other Worlds
State & Province
Capital City
"the Black Queen"
Dragon Queen
Long Zhi (龙智)
Emperor of the Sun
Hatamoto (旗元)
Kagemasa (影正)
Emperor of the Moon
Canis Major

Felis Minor

Varangian Marches