Our Inspirations: A tour of what drives us

As the creators of Kaldori and die-hard lovers of fantasy, many things that have guided us to where we are now; whether they be authors, artists or entertainers, we wanted to share with you our inspirations (in no particular order).

Here’s a list, because we love those. Add a (D8) and you’d have a roll table for who to google.

1) J. R. R. Tolkien - Author

Likely the most obvious on this list, is the father of epic fantasy himself, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
His works sparked many folks love for fantasy, and his style of writing can be compared to no-one. It’s also hard to avoid ‘The Lord of the Ring's’ and ‘The Hobbit’ when you live in New Zealand, but unsurprisingly to our friends and family, the ‘Silmarillion’ is our favourite creation of Mr Tolkien’s. He deeply explores the world building that he lays down in his earlier novels, but also expands on it and creates a world that feels believable yet incredibly wondrous. This same feeling is what we aim for with Kaldori: a believable world that is wondrous, with characters that feel real and histories and are fantastically epic.

2) Scott Lynch - Author

‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ was one of the first books my oldest sibling gave me as a young teenager and has forever changed how I view fantasy.
The series, known as the ‘Gentleman Bastard’ series, opened my eyes to a new style of setting that I hadn’t really shown much interest in; but kick-started my love for the aesthetic of a late-medieval period. Kaldori has hints of this period in its world and timeline, which helps keep it grounded and at an exciting point in time, but still allows the setting to fluctuate between dark-and-gritty and epic fantasy.

3) François Coutu - Illustrator

Our cover artist! We fell in love with François’ artwork as soon as we saw it, and I knew immediately that I had to get in touch.
François was kind and very helpful, but his work is pure beauty, and we wouldn’t have developed the art styles we use in the books without asking him a few questions about his workflow.


4) Sam Sykes - Author

‘Seven Blades in Black’ is his most recent novel, and is also the last book I read. Although this is only recent, I’m sure this book will affect the way we write magical quests in Kaldori, due to how he portrays magic in his world, which is similar in a sense to ours. He set the standard for us when it comes to magical storytelling, not to mention how beautifully crafted the cover artwork is.

5) andrzej sapkowski (And CD Projekt Red) - Author (And Game Developers)

‘The Witcher’ is among the top of our favourite game series’ of all time, and they introduced us to an unforgettable and unique world.
The characters in The Witcher are important to the world, and we wanted to make sure everyone in Kaldori felt the same; that there was more to them than a picture, a couple numbers and some words. Not to mention the way Mr Sapkowski merges his culture, his love for fantasy, history and fairy tales all into his world, which gives it a sense of spectacle that not many other fantasy worlds can live up to.

6) Sean Lewis - Illustrator/Author/Animator

I’ll be honest, I grew up with Sean. Literally; he’s my brother, but he sets a standard of storytelling that I find difficult to compete with. In fact, he’s even open to writing some quests for Kaldori, so it’s possible we have that to look forward to!
His work after leaving home on ‘The Chronicle of Paliax’ meant a lot to me as an impressionable child. He spent a long time working on that webcomic, with little compensation for his hard work and perseverance, but he consistently outputs a high quality of work. His world was meticulously crafted, and his story hit the right beats. His work ethic, though, is what we truly strive to meet. Lately, he’s working on other things, such as a “Choose your own Adventure” comic which he has just released, as well as some killer playing cards and a short comic titled “The Last Magi”,


7) Matthew mercer - Voice Actor/Author/GM

Admittedly, I was oblivious to Critical Role for the first year or so that it existed, but upon finding out about it a few months after starting ‘Kaldori: The Second Age’, I can’t say I didn’t love it.
Matthew Mercer is an inspiration to many when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons, but his ability to craft incredible narratives that weave with the players is what gets us. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the chance to pick up his campaign setting and take a couple hints, but we would love for him to take a peek at Kaldori sometime. He sets an unprecedented standard for GM’s, and his impact of Kaldori has been particularly significant on how we craft our quests, especially in the way of which they can impact and change the world, making it different every time you start a new campaign.

8) Matthew Colville - Author/GM/Game Developer

I can’t count on two hands the number of times I’ve thought about past or future sessions of D&D and thought “oh damn, I should consult a Colville video”.
Jokes aside, we can’t help but love Matt. His written work and his videos have been a great help to us for a long time, and like Matthew Mercer, he’s had a significant impact on how we form our quests. His passion for the game, its players and the community is something to behold. It’s the same passion we share for Kaldori, and in some ways, we hope the way we - and much of the D&D community - views him, makes him proud of the work he does for us.

Additional Artists and Authors:

Arists: Ariel Perez, Aaron Lewis, Steven Shan, Thomas Vasseur, O Abnormal, Russell Dongjun Lu, Greg Rutkowski
Authors: John Flanagan, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Druckmann

Jared Lewisblog