Riese the SeriesThe ARG (alternate reality game) for Riese the Series has begun, you still have time to join the winning side. But first some info on what you have to look forward to when the series kicks off in late October/early November.

Riese is a steampunk-inspired (think steam-engines and goggles) series from co-creators Ryan Copple and Kaleena Kiff, who also co-executive produce and direct the series respectively, that seems closer to something airing on the Syfy network, as-opposed-to the web, based off of the production value and sci-fi standout cast—Christine Chatelain (SyFy’s Sanctuary), Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis), Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis) and Patrick Gilmore (Battlestar Galactica). Chad Krowchuk is handling the production design and taking full advantage of the picture quality of the Red One camera system with lush, yet post-apocalyptic settings and the costumes look impressively intricate.

According to the series’ website, the story follows the titular character, “Riese, a seemingly random wanderer, [who] is being hunted by a terrifying religious cult, The Sect.” With her faithful traveling companion, a wolf named Fenrir, she evades assassins while trying to remember the tragic events of her past, understand her destiny and bring the once peaceful kingdom of Eleysia back into balance.

(Beware, possible ARG spoilers lie ahead)

While waiting for the series to start, the creators have begun an ARG on the site TheSectIsHere.com. I was called upon to support the Sect and spread the Truth by joining the Magisters, meaning I signed up my email and got a message telling me that I would be called upon to shortly.

Accept the SectTheSectisHere.com has been up for a while, but had only previously had some flash animation of some nicely stylized propaganda posters. Now, when visiting the site, you’re greeted by some grainy videos from Amara, leader of Eleysia, letting you know the Sect the new official religion and calling you to visit one of the monasteries being setup throughout the land.

While I went with upfront option of joining the Sect, there’s also the more furtive, dissenting option of joining the resistance at ThisIsNotThePath.com, which I reached–– with a little help from my girlfriend––by taking down the letters that flash on TheSectIsHere.com. When you reach it, you’ll be faced with a puzzle that you have to decode, it does and reads, “092509”, leading you to the conclusion that the next piece of the puzzle will be released this Friday.

Along with the ARG, the creators and production team have put out a lot of behind-the-scenes content on the series’ site to hold the audience at bay while waiting for the epic series to start; because while The Sect is here, Riese the series is still a month away.

Top photo by Adam Blasberg.