Guardians of Erloth: The Last Leopard King is a six-part epic fantasy series chronicling the fall of the kingdom of Pardus and one hero’s journey to reclaim his birthright. Thus far the stories have been told in three volumes.
The small kingdom of Pardus sits on the precipice of war with the creatures known as the Lysar. As the king sues for peace his son is taken which leads to all war. Now, the king of Pardus must make a decision that will not only affect the kingdom but have long-lasting consequences for his people.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
The Guardians of Erloth series is created and written by Chael Roberts, illustrated, and colored by Ryan Best. The cover art for volumes 1-3 and the ashcan is done by Renzo Rodriguez and Caanan White. The lettering work is done by Eric Weathers.
“Guardians of Erloth: The Last Leopard King” is a fantasy tale set in the magical world of Erloth for kids and adults. The books are saddle-stitched, with a glossy front and back cover printed on high-quality paper.
Volume one has 24 pages with an ad for volume two at the back. Volume two has 42 pages of story with an art print on the front and the back and a nice, labeled intro and closing page.
Volume three, part one consists of 48 pages and the short story in the ashcan is told in 12 pages. The books are all published by Comics Du Nord.
VOLUME ONE: THE WAR
The story starts at the Kingdom of Kass, the center of the Attican Empire. We start seeing a warrior defending two children, the Prince, and Princess of the Kingdom of Kass, from Lizardmen. The Lizardmen are dragon-like creatures with impressive fighting skills.
For centuries the Kingdom of Kass has staved off encroaching darkness. It has survived the wilds of the Attican wilderness. As well as its neighboring kingdoms and their denizens. There has been one constant for the kings of Erloth as well as for the Kings of Kass.
The Guardians of Erloth have always maintained the lines of succession. Volume one starts with the tale of the Leopard King told by Caius, one of the fiercest of Erloth’s Guardians.
The tale starts 80 years ago in the kingdom of Pardus, the abduction of the young prince, the only child of the Leopard King Adisa, was the catalyst for a long war. For days the King led his men to search the jungles for any trace of the prince that was captured by the Lizardmen.
The king made valiant efforts to vanquish the Lysar, a blood-thirsty nation of lizardmen intent on destroying all that he holds dear but the cost of the war was too high.
So far, we know that this world has humans and lizardmen. As the battle rages, King Adisa must choose: save his only son and heir from the clutches of the lizardmen, or protect his kingdom from invasion?
VOLUME TWO: FINDING THE PRINCE
Volume two starts 5 years after the start of the war. There was one hero who could not ignore the whispers about the war, known as howlrunner, he set off to discover the truth for himself along with his companions Sir Wilhelm, Nivala, Calvus, and Callum. We notice that not all of them are human. It appears there is also an elf-like race.
They embark on a journey to look for prince Caius. The prince is liberated from the chains that have held him for five years and embark upon a journey of self-discovery. During that journey, they encounter the enemies of the prince and learn that the prince is special which makes him valuable to his captors.
Meanwhile, a dark force is laying a more sinister plan for Caius and the power he holds. Searching for the Shard of Pardus, a magical stone that has long been guarded by the Kings of Pardus, the Jade Sorceress and her minions will stop at nothing to control Caius. Through him and the power that the stone possesses she will become a great threat to all Erloth. Will our group of brave warriors manage to stop her?
VOLUME THREE, PART ONE: RESCUING THE PRINCE
Fresh from the battle with the Jade Sorceress, the group travels towards the Marshes of Madness to find healing for a young prince, Caius. This healing will come at the cost of one of their own.
Caius will move forward on his journey training to be a guardian and reclaiming his homeland of Pardus. By now we know that the world of Erloth has different races that were corrupted by powerful beings a long time ago.
To achieve victory, Caius sets out on a mission to reclaim the ancient halberd, Sun Reaver. Sun Reaver, formed from the metal of a fallen star, is one of Erloth’s most powerful weapons. Wielded in the right hands, it uses the power of the sun to cut through almost everything.
For Caius to become the strongest warrior, he must possess the strongest weapon. There is one catch. Caius must get past plant monsters, hordes of undead, and a monstrous Guardian to claim the ultimate prize. Will he become the strongest warrior? The story will hopefully continue in volume 3 Part 2.
The ashcan tells a story of human compassion during times of war. Doing the right thing sometimes takes courage. After a year of supporting comic book projects, I’m still not sure what an ashcan is supposed to be. This particular ashcan is an additional story next to the main story but I also got an ashcan from another project that contained the script and sketches of the main book. I guess it can be whatever the
Overall, the story of “Guardians of Erloth: The Last Leopard King” told in the three volumes so far has been an interesting read. The world-building seems well structured so far.
You may have many questions in the first volume but as the story progresses more is revealed about the characters and the world of Erloth. It would be helpful to have like a handbook or encyclopedia about the different races, kingdoms, and the rich history of Erloth.
For me, the third volume was the most interesting because it talks more about what happened in the past and why everyone is, so war-driven.
ORIGINS OF THE GUARDIANS
There is a part in the story where Caius learns about how the Guardians came to be. They exist to defend the world from powerful beings, dragons, that corrupted the ancient races causing chaos and division.
The dragons were stripped from their powers. How and by who we don’t know. Their powers encased in four crystal stones were shattered and cast to the winds so that the power they once held would be gone from them forever However the influence of their power would still remain.
A new race called “Anasi” was brought to Erloth to protect the world. They were angel-like beings. But over time they also fell prey to the power of the dragons. It’s not said how but I imagine that it was through touching or using the shards, the remains of the shattered crystal stones. As punishment, they were stripped of their powers and became known as the fallen.
FAITH IN HUMANITY
A human king rose to oppose the dragons and the fallen along with a powerful mage. This king united all the kingdoms of men. I love this part of the story because it elevates humanity and shows its potential to fight for a better future. You don’t see many of these stories anymore these days.
It’s nice to read about humans being the heroes for a change and doing their best to be a better version of themselves. Very much what old Star Trek used to be.
The story reflects the current state of the world where the corrupted wealthy are dividing and conquering the world. Our hope is to have people fighting back against the corrupted forces as the human king did.
EXPERIENCE WITH THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
When I finally decided to back the crowdfunding campaign for Guardians of Erloth Volume 3 Part 1 I selected several tiers including volumes 1-3 and art prints. In addition to the first three volumes signed by the creator, I also receive two 6″ x 9″ art prints from volumes 1 and volume 2 featuring the cover art by Caanan White with this tier.
I also got the tier with the set of trading cards from the last three campaigns. A tier with a Kyra sticker from volume two. Round 2″ x 2″ and a tier with an 11″ x 17″ Battle of Duality folded poster from volume two. This would be a crowdfunding campaign where you get many rewards in exchange for an affordable contribution.
Along with them I also received additional rewards known as stretch goals. These include a 4″ x 4″ magnet featuring art by Ryan Best, a trading card of Grym Wym featuring the art of Ryan Best, and a Christmas Holiday card featuring the characters of the series. For this campaign, they created new covers for volume one and volume 2 but the original covers from the previous campaigns were also available.
There was some confusion with the tracking number for the package which I never received but despite that, the package arrived at customers with no issues. The packaging itself was well done. When I finally got it, everything was still in perfect condition. Despite that little issue, I had an overall good experience with this campaign.
The Guardians of Erloth series tells an interesting fantasy tale full of action and adventure. The art is pleasant to look at in my opinion.
My one main complaint is the chosen font for the text in the yellow text boxes. It is sometimes very hard to read, especially at night. I liked the branding style for the intro and closing page in volume two. I would have liked to see it also in volume three, part one. It’s a matter of choice which I understand but I like to see consistency in serialized books. I don’t think I’m the only one. Maybe it’s something that can be considered for future reprints of the issues?
It’s a story everyone should read. It reflects so much of our own world but at the same time, it also gives you hope that their people of goodwill will fight for a better future. In some “democratic” countries like Canada and France working people have been fighting against their governments’ tyranny for better work and living conditions. Each with its own approach. Not to mention all the existing conflicts and regional wars ongoing where citizens are just fighting to survive another day.
I thought that in a democracy it’s the people that have the power to make demands on the government. And the government should be taking notes and working on those demands. Now it seems governments are not afraid of the people they serve and have the courage to be as tyrannical as the communist nations they criticize with the excuse of doing what is best for the country and its citizens.
Guardians of Erloth series is interesting, make sure to check it out. And don’t forget to explore more alternative entertainment.