Way back in 2013, Mikkel Mainz and Kenneth Ladekjer released their animated short film The Reward. It was a swords ’n’ sorcery tale of two people pursuing a treasure map across a treacherous domain of monsters, robbers, and other possible dangers and distractions. The video ends with a “One Tin Soldier” -type message of a treasure, and has since garnered hundreds of thousands of views online.

Mainz and Ladekjer have returned to their world of Alethrion with the hope of producing a series of episodes called The Tales Of Alethrion. Seeking backing through Kickstarter (which, as of this writing, has nine days left), the duo seeks to further expand and explore their fantastical setting with new characters, beasts, and messages. They’ve already released the first episode which outlines how the map was created and how greed corrupted an otherwise good man. Entitled “The First Hero,” the first episode is a visually fun, surprisingly affecting short that doesn’t utilize any words but is able to convey a lot through its characters’ actions, expressions, and a few sound effects. It’s a fun, if slightly dark, romp that continues a lot of the themes of the original Reward film.

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