List of Raid Shadow Legends Champion Storyline that was released before the implementation of the Champion Lore feature that is dedicated to inter-link the stories between champions from different factions. These storylines are archived here while the new champion lore are published in each champion guide.
Raid Shadow Legends Champion Lore Index
Not a single soul in Teleria could deny that magic offers a path to power. In days long gone, it was commonplace for shamans and sorcerers to command nations, and to this day, it is not unheard of for the rulers of Aravia to practice arcane arts. Even the monarchs not blessed with natural magic talent often find themselves in need of a wizard – thus many magicians flock to the courts of the rich and the powerful. For most commoners, amusing some of baron’s guests with tricks or scrying their future is the height of ambition. But becoming a Royal Archmage for the King of Kaerok, the Knight of Knights? That requires intelligence and the strength few possess.
Born to a simple scribe, Hellmut was surrounded by books, scrolls, and the scent of ink from the very first days of his life. He learned to write and read earlier than most of his peers and often spent his days stuck in a book from dawn to dusk. Had it continued like that, Hellmut would have become an excellent scribe, perhaps even attain a cushy position as a magistrate for some Duke. But fate had other plans. In his seventh year, Hellmut created something of an uproar when he set the town library on fire after attempting to replicate a faded cantrip formula he found. That in itself was quite an achievement, and the boy was fortunate to have his talents noticed by one of the local Marquise’s officials.
Soon enough, a messenger arrived with the Banner Lord’s decree – Hellmut was to pack whatever possessions he had and depart for the Mage Seminary of Kaerok. There, he would spend the rest of his formative years and learn his new craft. It was the last time he had seen his home. It took long twenty years before Hellmut emerged from the cloistered towers of the Seminary, a mage in his own right. He was ambitious, intelligent, and garnered the attention of many prominent wizards of his time. But it was the Royal Court that called to Hellmut, and thus he set out to the Castle of Kaerok where the King’s majordomo ensured his services were put to good use. In that role, Hellmut accompanied armies and headed expeditions into the most dangerous corners of Teleria. He defeated Zavir the Crimson Eye – a powerful Orc warlock whose tribe raided the eastern borders of Kaerok – in a duel of arcane prowess and claimed countless artifacts for the King.
The realm’s most influential nobles sought his counsel, so it was no surprise Hellmut was named the Royal Archmage after his predecessor died in a freak accident involving a barrel of dragon dust and an experimental witchfire lantern. Having inherited Bibliotheque Spire, one of the greatest repositories of knowledge known to man, Hellmut plunged headlong into research and disappeared from the court for almost a year. Tractates on extremely complex chrono-magic and the art of manipulating various elements had given the newly-anointed Archmage insight into many mysteries which his peers could only dream of. Alas, even wizards of great intelligence are not immune to deceit.
An elven sorceress by the name of Rian managed to attract Hellmut’s eyes. She was shrewd, charismatic, talented, and had a knack for carrying out the most difficult missions with discretion. Hellmut had taken the young woman under his wing and was repaid with treachery. Rian, as it turned out, was a dark mage who only sought to use him to gain access to the Bibliotheque Spire. She stole valuable artifacts and escaped through trickery when Hellmut almost had her cornered. Yet the Royal Archmage would not rest until his honor was satisfied. He personally led hunting parties that searched far and wide for his treacherous apprentice, but fortune was not on his side this time. Perhaps that is how Archmage Hellmut came into contact with the Arbiter. Had she offered him a chance to see justice done in exchange for his eternal services? Perhaps you will be able to ask yourself, should you gain the venerable wizard’s loyalty.
Hatred is a powerful thing, one that is, perhaps, as hard as death to overcome. Yet even here love finds a way, the story of Belanor and Zavia. Cruel fate had them fight on different sides of one of the many conflicts between the High Elves of Aravia and the exiles known as Dark Elves. Still, even though the bloody fog of war, through hate, and through fury, these two souls were united.
As stragglers of a battle between the warring Elven factions, they were initially forced to survive an unwelcoming orc-infested desert together. The sheer adversity and the dangers they faced allowed them to see a person behind the mask of an enemy. The passion that was sparked then survived far beyond a temporary alliance of convenience. And, in the end, both Belanor and Zavia chose to escape together rather than continue the feud. Now seen as traitors and deserters by their former allies, the two of them had no choice but to live on the run.
They faced persecution, poverty, and mortal danger together. Finally, they were captured and sentenced to death for their crimes. Yet when the first light of dawn broke and the jailors arrived to take the fugitives to the scaffold, they were taken aback. The cell was locked and secured, not a single hint at how the captives escaped. The only thing they found were two feathers on the stone floor, one black as night, the other – white as Lumaya’s light. To this day no one knows what transpired on that night, though some, as they often do, attribute the miraculous escape to the Arbiter.
Favoured by Siroth, despised and envied by her peers, Cruetraxa rightfully holds a position of great privilege in the Demonic hierarchy. She is cunning, vengeful, and, above all, skilled in the art of war. Mortal scholars believe she rules over a vast hellish plane of brimstone and fire, a legion of damned souls and lesser demons at her beck and call. Like all of her kind, Cruetraxa is a creature of vice, her arrogance and lust for power permeate everything that she is. In battle, she appears clad in a terrifying armour birthed of dark magic – flesh fused with platinum and enchanted to be harder than dragonscale. Some demonologists even theorize that the armour, in truth, is fused with Cruetraxa’s body. Whatever the truth of the matter may be, delivering the killing blow to this vile warrior has proven to be a very difficult task. Even when brought low, she rises once again, her wounds healed. Worse yet, the armour appears to be siphoning the life of Cruetraxa’s victims and uses it to keep her physical form from being banished. Her spear appears to have been forged in the same ritual. Its edges can effortlessly cut even through the toughest armour. And with her mastery of the dark arts, Cruetraxa can weaken her foes and dispell the magic protecting her foes.
When a Champion dies, his or her soul remains bound to the Shard. Never allowed to fade or pass forth into other planes of existence, it slumbers peacefully until the time comes and Teleria requires their strength once more. But the realm of the dead is not without its own dangers. With the help of his mortal minions, Siroth brought his newest pawn into the world, armed her with profane weapons and armour, and set her out on the path of destruction. It is nigh inevitable Dark Athel shall one day clash in battle with her hated “sister”. With Siroth’s power on the rise and the Shadow slowly creeping in to consume all, not even the souls of the just and the pious are safe. Reviving Athel after she and others in the party have fallen to Hellrazor’s flames was no easy task. Eager to gain a powerful servant, Siroth was swift to try and corrupt the noble paladin’s heart. The Arbiter intervened and, with Athel’s own spirit resisting desperately, managed to purge the Shadow in a short but grueling battle of wills. Alas, their victory was far from total. Athel was brought back as pure and determined as ever, a fraction of her essence was lost to the Shadow. From it, a dark and twisted reflection was formed. Though similar in appearance and skill, this doppelganger craves nothing less than the complete destruction of her original self and everything she stands for.
Elhain had never been an easy ally to bond with. A noble of Aravia, daughter of a proud Elven bloodline, she inherited much of the arrogance and condescending sense of superiority the High Elves are infamous for. She was proud and determined, perfecting her skill with the bow from an early age and seeking to test herself against the most daunting challenges. Yet, for all that self-righteousness, Elhain did genuinely believe in the precepts of Lumaya and sought to eradicate evil wherever it could be found. Recruited into the Arbiter’s service first, she found herself banded together with a most unlikely company – Athel, a Paladin of the Sacred Order; an outcast dark mage Kael, who sought refuge from powerful rivals; and an Orc warrior Galek, whose savagery and brutishness she always found disdainful. But the oath she had sworn kept Elhain bound to her duty, and onwards she forged with these colourful allies at her side. When Sir Nicholas arrived from the North bearing troubling news and seeking aid, it was Elhain who volunteered to assist him – the decision that Sir Nicholas himself had foreseen in his vision. He recruited the young Elven warrior into his own band of Champions that was bound for the Winterlands. Along the way, Elhain had proven worthy of the esteemed company she found herself in – with Princess Lyssandra of Aravia and the Mountain King of the Dwarves at her side it was a difficult challenge indeed! – through deed and word. She used her talents and her keen eye to scout ahead of the Company, rooting out many a threat before it could endanger her allies and felled many foes with breathtakingly accurate shots. But bandits and bloodthirsty Orc raiders were irrelevant, Elhain’s true test came when she and her allies reached the Winterlands. There, an army of Undead led by vengeful Wurlim Frostking ambushed the Champions and nearly had them trapped on a narrow mountain path. Were it not for Elhain’s bravery and quick thinking, their quest would have ended there. But she sacrificed herself, causing an avalanche that swept away the bulk of the skeletal horde from the path and smashed them against the mountainsides. Alas, Elhain could not save herself and too perished beneath the snow. Furious over the loss of his minions, Wurlim sent the surviving Undead to uncover Elhain’s body and enacted a vile and cruel ritual that prevented her soul from returning to the Shard it had been bound to by the Arbiter. Trapped and twisted to the Frostking’s will, Elhain was brought into the world anew. Her heart was encased in ice, her loyalty and her honour replaced with cold, ruthless cunning and unshakable obedience to her new Master. Together with Wurlim, the creature that was once Elhain marched onwards to the Font of Lumaya at the heart of the Winterlands, determined to stop her former companions from thwarting the Dark One’s schemes. That, perhaps, would prove to be her salvation, for the water of the Font was known to restore life and cleanse the Curse of Undeath. But before she could be restored to her former self, Sir Nicholas and the others would have to survive their friend’s deadly skill in battle as well as the fury of the Frostking…
Millennia had passed since the great schism that tore the race of Elves in twain. Generations upon generations twisted the tale to suit their political needs, and the truth had been lost long ago, replaced by hatred and resentment the two fractured Elf realms harbor for one another. For many, this hatred is all there is. Not so for Kael, whose keen mind always sought the truth, no matter how many layers of falsehoods he had to pierce through. As an apprentice sorcerer, Kael had access to some of the greatest repositories of knowledge that still survived within the domain of the Dark Elves. And unlike his peers, he had both the desire and the patience to sift through manuscripts of ancient history that did not directly aid his magical prowess. It was an interest he could pursue in earnest after coming of age and becoming a magician in his own right. Kael had undertaken many lone expeditions to the ancient ruins of Durham Forest and beyond, where relics of his people’s past still lay undisturbed. Over time, he gained the cautious respect of powerful Dark Elves, albeit Kael’s lack of vicious loathing for their Aravian cousins stifled his chances of gaining a position in the courts of the Highborn. That suited Kael just fine for the most part, even if he still craved to seize every opportunity to expand his knowledge. It was a quest that would eventually make him a pariah among his own and lead him to the Arbiter’s service. But as forces of Siroth gather and hope wanes across Teleria, Kael once more considers turning to the darker magics his people had practiced for centuries. He does that not to serve evil but to turn its own weapon against it. Alas, countless ambitious heroes sought to do the same. Their hubris and lack of understanding were a pathway to damnation that Kael is in no hurry to tread. No, he needs something that can help him harness the hellish energies without being consumed by them. And so his eyes turn to the Doom Tower. There, within the bowels of the ancient arcane prison the Arbiter had created for some of Teleria’s worst abominations, lay the mysteries of ages past. Suppose Kael can complete this perilous journey to the Tower summit and claim the occult artifacts scattered throughout its secret passages. In that case, he will finally be able to tap into the wellspring of dark magic and unleash his full potential against the creatures of Shadow without being bent to the will of Siroth himself.
Doompriest is a missionary of the Knights Revenant death cult. Her faith is strong, as is her command of the dark magic of K’leth. Like all priests, she dedicates much of her life to worship — but she derives her power not from prayer, but from dark ritual and sacrifice. A lovely young girl when she first joined the cult, she now covers her face with a mask to ensure the docility of her victims. With each innocent soul sacrificed, her own bore the taint of her deepening evil and corruption. Her once beautiful visage has decayed with each step down this path, and is now a horror to behold.
The High Elves pride themselves on their advanced and intricate judicial system, its tenets, on paper, call upon the King or Queen to ensure fair and unbiased justice for all their subjects. Of course, the reality is much more difficult than that. Nobles and others in power often operate on their own set of laws, evading punishment where someone more humble would pay the full price of their transgression. Still, nobles are not completely immune. Few sights cause as much concern and fear at Queen Eva’s court as the Royal Adjudicator Elenaril does. A highborn herself, she is called to settle disputes between her peers or stand judgement over them for their crimes. Intrigue and assassinations are a particularly common offense, and thus Elenaril herself has been targetted by foolish would-be murderers more than once. She is as skilled with a bow as she is with courtly manners and her knowledge of Aravian Law. More than once an attempt on her life led to Elenaril serving as both judge and executioner, sometimes by an arrow to the heart, and sometimes by more subtle means. It is no accident that she is well-versed in the most potent poisons known to Elven alchemists and always carries a vast supply of such on her person.
Foli’s origins are shrouded in mystery. Some say he was among the first Elves to have been banished from the Kingdom of Aravia for dabbling in the forbidden Dark Arts. Others – that he was unjustly persecuted by his political rivals and forced into exile. Foli himself certainly cares little for rumours and legends, his focus remains on the present and his role in the war against Siroth. For decades, he worked alone, striking alliances and backroom deals with numerous powerful figures across Teleria. His goal was ever the same – to uproot the servants of darkness wherever they could be found, by whatever means necessary. His natural talents are enhanced manyfold by the strange armour he wears. Whether created by magical means, or a symbiotic creature eons-old, this living carapace provides exceptional protection and vitality. Crushing blows that would daze and debilitate lesser warriors seem to have little effect, wounds mend as fast as they would beneath a skilled healer’s touch, and the armour itself serves as a terrifying extension of Foli’s arsenal. Such an elusive Champion is not easy to recruit, yet if his loyalty is gained few foes will be able to stand in his Company’s way.
Grohak the Bloodied hails from a time of legends and tragedies long removed from Teleria’s current war. Back then, the Orcish civilization had been at the peak of its power and threatened to overturn the might of the Elven Kingdom. All it would have taken was a single leader to unite the fractured clans, and the tide of savage steel would have swept away all in its path until it crashed against the very gates of the Palace of Aravia. Becoming that leader had been the goal of Grohak’s life ever since he first tasted victory and heard the bellowing cries of his clansmen calling out his name. He sought out challenges worthy of a warrior of legend, learned to fight the hated Elves in a way that deprived them of their advantages. Indeed, Grohak – or most Orcs for that matter – would often struggle to match the speed and sheer dexterity of their foes. But the young warchief perfected fighting techniques that would cripple and slow down Elven warriors, making them easy prey for his unbound fury. Perhaps, he would have seen his dream realized eventually – or died gloriously in battle – were it not for the machinations of Siroth and the interference of the Arbiter. Just as the conflict between the High Elves and the Orcs reached its bloody crescendo, the dark legions of Siroth tore through the veil between realms. They invaded Teleria in force, massacring or subjugating anyone who dared to resist. It was then the Arbiter sought to recruit the mightiest mortal warriors, and Grohak had been one of the heroes to be called upon. He resisted, at first, crying out against the Arbiter’s will as his destiny was snatched away from his very grasp. Eventually, however, Grohak accepted his new role and led countless Champions to do battle against Demonspawn hordes. He had triumphed in countless duels before the invasion was thwarted, laying many a demon low and surviving grievous wounds. Some of them could not be healed in full even by the Arbiter’s power, thus Grohak emerged from this victory scarred and forever marked by the crimson colour of his skin – a colour he had gladly embraced and brought to display on his armour.
“As the last yellow leaf falls, ogryn tremble and flee to their homes” – Aravian proverb. As ancient ogryn legend has it, Gurgoh the Blizzard is an ogre-skinwalker half-breed rumored to haunt the Ice Golem’s Peak. Awakening with the first snows of winter, he is said to roam the foothills looking for ogryn children to feed to the Ice Golem. “”If you don’t eat your mutton, Gurgoh will come””, or “”Do you hear Gurgoh knocking? He asks why you don’t want to go to bed.”” – Every ogre has heard these words since childhood. Many would say that Gurgoh is just a bedtime story for children, but during the darkest winters, many ogryn young in the region do inexplicably vanish – leaving behind only empty footprints in the drifts below the peak. To this day you’d be hard-pressed to find an ogre outside their hut in heavy snows, for all know that when a blizzard starts to howl, Gurgoh is near…
Many old mysteries lie buried amid the trees of the Durham Forest. Some wondrous and beautiful to behold, others dangerous, deadly, and best left forgotten. Beasts, brigands, ruthless Dark Elves all prey on the unwary, and only the mightiest adventurers can hope to survive if they stray from the beaten forest paths. Curiously, there is someone brave (or maybe insane) enough to make his home at the very heart of Durham. Some say he is a spirit of nature, a benevolent guardian of the woods whose hut is always open to the lost and the weary. Others swear he is a monster – hunger and malice given form, ever craving the blood of innocents. One thing is clear. Whoever this creature is, his power is immense. So beware, o summoner, for only the bold can hope to unravel this mystery and recruit a new Champion to their cause. The Durham Forest is a place of ancient magic and mystery, where many dangers await the unwary who venture beyond its borders. Vicious predators and man-eating monsters lurk in the perpetual dusk that shrouds Durham, ruthless Dark Elves prey on travelers, and vile Undead abominations make their dens in the twisted thickets. But there is a clearing at the very heart of the forest where a single old hut stands. Neither beast nor elf dare stray close to it, for they know the master of that place has little patience for unbidden guests and power enough to make sure their transgressions are punished in full. No one, not even the elder sovereigns of the Dark Elves, knows when and how Gurptuk the Moss-Beard came to be in Durham. He simply was for as long as anyone could remember, making a living in the depths of the woods. Dozens of wild tales and myths surround his figure; some claim Gurptuk is, in fact, a fay, a guardian of nature and the true master of Durham; others believe he is a mad old shaman who made a pact with dark forces to grant him immortality in exchange for terrible sacrifices he must perform. Whatever the case might be, Moss-Beard holds the distinct appearance of an ogryn, albeit the bizarre wooden armor and amulets he carries may explain why he is mistaken for a forest spirit. His behavior too does not fit a single pattern, and while some speak of the Moss-Beard helping lost travelers find their way back to the true and beaten paths, others recount blood-chilling stories of people butchered and used for unknown dark purposes. But there are those bold or foolish enough to seek Gurptuk out, for he is said to be a witch-doctor of immense power and his knowledge of poisons is almost without equal. Once, an ambitious group of Dark Elf assassins sought to rid their kin of such a troublesome neighbor – and win glory for themselves along the way. They observed the Moss-Beard from afar, scheming and plotting to waylay him. When they struck, they did so with ruthless cunning and swiftness, firing poisoned arrows at the old druid in hopes of weakening him. But something went wrong. Although Gurptuk suffered many wounds, he did not fall as his would-be assassins expected, nor even stumble. Instead, he laughed. And while the attackers watched in horror, he stood tall and proud, a cloud of noxious spores rising from the mushroom growths that covered his body. Despite the poison coursing through his veins, despite the arrows in his limbs and back, Gurptuk the Moss-Beard strode forth and chanted in a tongue unheard, his staff sending bolts of arcane energy that burned through armor and flesh alike. The assassins turned to flee, but there was nowhere to run or hide from Gurptuk’s vengeance. One by one they fell, and exactly what painful fate had befallen them is unknown. After that night, a row of fresh skulls could be seen decorating the fence that surrounded his hut. With no survivors to tell the tale, rumors and assumptions spread like wildfire, and Moss-Beard’s fearsome reputation grew. Now, even the most ambitious Dark Elf warrior knows to leave the druid well alone.
Skinwalkers, prized for their natural resilience and strength, often become the target of slavers from all across Teleria. The Dark Elves, though often allied with certain tribes, are particularly fond of capturing the creatures they see as little more than beasts and using them for back-breaking labour or bloody gladiator battles for their own twisted amusement. Sometimes, the unfortunate few become the unwilling subjects for magicians seeking to unlock further mysteries of the Dark Arts. Such was the fate of a minotaur known only as Hakkorhn Smashlord today. Whatever his former life used to be, it was burned to ashes. Everything stripped from him. Horrific experiments conducted by a Dark Elf witch coven infused the poor creature with a fiery rage that could not be quenched. Thus strengthened beyond even his beastly physique, the Smashlord was unleashed upon one of the slave-fighter arenas. The results were far more spectacular than his new masters could imagine, and for years the Hakkorhn reigned as the undisputed champion. But despite the various enchantments and hexes, the minotaur’s will still simmered underneath. Slowly, he started regaining his former self until one fateful day where, in the midst of combat, the Smashlord turned on his captors and cut a bloody swathe through the guards with the help of his fellow slaves. Such was the carnage, that the stunned Dark Elves did not give pursuit until reinforcements arrived from a neighboring hold. And by that point, Hakkorhn and the other rebels were long gone. Though still tortured by dark spells that once bound his will, the Hakkorhn roams the land as an errant warrior in search of a worthy cause to lend his strength to.
Teleria has always been rich in nightmares and things to be terrified of. Raiders and brigands, Siroth and his minions, ever-plotting the downfall and subjugation of the Mortal Realms, Undead that stalk the land on the darkest of nights in search of victims to feed on or enthral. But there is a being that true primal horror, made manifest. The superstitious peasants of Kaerok – where that being first appeared – call it ‘Harvest Jack’. In truth, references to an evil spirit nigh-identical power and appearance can be found in cultures far more ancient. But, for whatever reason, he disappeared from history and remained dormant until about three centuries ago. The name is no coincidence, for Harvest Jack had first been sighted during Lozrayn, a harvest festival originating in Kaerok. His motives and goals are unclear but always malicious one way or another. Jack has been known to play tricks on the unwary, seeking to scare them – some say that all of his victims die of fright and Jack devours their soul, which is not exactly correct – or manifest in the midst of the revelry to send the peasants scattering and stampeding in all directions. On occasion, however, this can turn into a slaughter without any rhyme or reason. Scholars theorize that Harvest Jack feeds on the fear of mortals and will do whatever it takes to bring about nightmares that will sustain him. The spirit always coalesces as a whirlwind of arcane energies or, perhaps, twisted animae pulled together into a single dark consciousness. His birth is described as a flash of blinding light, followed by the ghastly form materializing slowly. His pumpkin head twists and carves itself into a leering sneer of jagged teeth, his scythe burns with the cold flame of death, and his power twists benevolent magic until it withers and turns to harm those it was meant to empower. The last appearance of Harvest Jack had been widely reported upon, though details are scarce. Witnesses say that the malicious entity burst out of a pumpkin patch in the midst of a town fair and went on a rampage. Had four brave warriors not intervened, he would have caused a massacre of terrifying proportions. Yet even these noble souls were no match for the dark spirit, whose strength had grown boundless as Shadow reigned across Teleria. It took the personal appearance of the Arbiter who had resurrected her Champions and crossed her sacred sword with Harvest Jack’s wicked scythe to drive the revenant back. Since then, Harvest Jack often appeared beneath the full moon of cold autumn nights, ever hungering, ever searching for hapless mortals to sustain him. It is unclear if this kind of power can be trapped in a Shard, though if it can be, then the revenant’s dark powers will certainly be useful in the fight against Siroth.
In ages past, human nomads claimed the lands that spread from the dark groves of the Durham Forest to the plains of Tilshire. Fiercely independent and fiery-tempered, these tribes remained fragmented and mired in infighting for most of their history. Yet, sometimes, a great leader would arise and unite the “horse lords” – as the High Elves would mockingly call their neighbors – under a single banner. Devastating wars of conquest always followed, slowly chipping away at the Elven realm. It was not until the young Kingdom of Kaerok struck an alliance with Aravia that these barbarians were finally defeated and driven into the scorching sands of the Krokhan Desert where they dwell to this day. Though no longer a mighty nation that they were at the height of their power, the scattered tribes are still a force to be reconned with – and a source of highly-prized mercenaries for Nobles across Teleria. To this day, they cling to their tradition. Tribe chieftains are respectfully referred to as Khan or Khatun, and they are the most successful warriors that tribe has to offer. And the few individuals both fierce and cunning enough to gain control over several tribes? Well, those are bound to be extremely proficient leaders and warlords, whose ability to command free-spirited barbarians and direct them is going to be a useful boon to any force of Champions.
Before the days of the Kingdom of Kaerok, before the High Elves of Aravia recovered from their disastrous civil war, the Orcs were a power to be reckoned with. Once slaves to Shadow, they cast off the yoke of Siroth with the Arbiter’s help and scattered across the continents. Tough, warlike, and nomadic, they were uneasy neighbours at the best of times, yet true danger became apparent when leaders rose among the Orcs. Leaders strong enough to unite the fractured tribes. Leaders like Iron Brago. As the youngest son of a respected chieftain, Brago never had had real hope of taking his father’s place as the leader of the tribe. Fortunately, ancestors had blessed him with the strength of a mountain and the temper of a wild boar. These qualities made it easy for Brago to embrace his lot as a warrior with all the savage enthusiasm expected of an Orc. But where Brago excelled, his brothers were anything but gifted. They watched with jealousy as their sibling’s reputation grew with every foe he defeated, every raid rich in slaves and spoils, and they feared the others would see Brago as the only worthy heir. That was not something the brothers could allow, even if it meant murdering their kin. First, they poisoned their elderly father before he could name a successor. Then they pretended to mourn as all good sons should, inviting Brago to join them at the funeral feast as an equal. Tradition forbade the spilling of blood in the sight of honored dead, and thus everyone in attendance had to come unarmed. In the middle of the feast, the brothers revealed their true colors and unsheathed the swords they had concealed earlier, striking at their youngest sibling in a bid to slay him while he was unarmed. It was a brutal clash that cost Brago an eye, but such was his ferocity in the face of betrayal that he fought and killed his craven kin barehanded. News of the massacre spread quickly, and the tribe was unanimous in their support of Brago’s right to take his father’s place. They recognized both the wrongs done against him and shared fearful respect for a warrior of such renown – a virtue every Orc wishes to see in their leader. Brago did not disappoint. He led a brutal campaign against neighboring tribes and brought the survivors under his banner. Within a decade, a horde of six thousand Orcish warriors stood ready to fulfill their chieftain’s whims. Many attempted to best the legendary Orc leader in combat, others sought to assassinate him. None survived their attempts, while Iron Brago’s infamy spread far and wide. Desperate alliances of barbarian clans and several Elven hosts sought to drive Brago’s army back into the Krokhan Desert, yet he crushed them all in battle one by one. The path to the capital of Aravia lay open, and for the first time in generations, there was a real chance the jewel of the Elven realm could be ransacked by the savage hordes from the east. Salvation for the High Elves took a rather unexpected form. A messenger arrived at Brago’s encampment when he was a mere week’s march away from the city, and the news he brought was dire – raiding parties of the vile Knights Revenant cult targetted Orc tribes back in the Deadlands. There were not warriors enough left to defend the old and the young; thus the death cultists and their undead thralls rampaged across settlements unchallenged, killing and enslaving at will. Enraged, Iron Brago ordered the entire horde to turn around and make haste home to deal with this newfound threat. No written accounts exist of what had transpired, but Orc sagas speak of a war that blazed across the eastern continent. Brago, they claimed, drove his army into the very heart of the Stormwind Wastelands, swept aside swarms of the living dead, and had personally defeated a mighty vampire lord in single combat. Whether these tales are exaggerated or not, one thing is certain – Iron Brago never returned from that campaign, and none of his surviving warriors knew what happened to him. However, there are reported sightings of a one-eyed Orc warrior clad in grotesque armor, allegedly travelling in the company of Champions who fought for the Arbiter. Could it be that the scourge of the Eastlands had been chosen to ascend into Lumaya’s service? Only the Arbiter herself may know, but stranger alliances had to be made in defense of Teleria.
Purifiers rose to fame as a vigilante Order that specialized in hunting demons that somehow found their way into the material realm of Teleria, or the Undead that were a far more common threat. Though they were seen as mavericks and, sometimes, dangerous delinquents, the sheer skill of these men and women could not be denied. In time, the Magister of the Sacred Order found it easier to issue a holy writ that allowed the Purifiers to join Lumaya’s cause with official sanction – if only so they could be held on a shorter leash. How successful that was is… arguable, for the Purifiers still enjoy a measure of independence and a somewhat romanticized reputation. This arbalester certainly revels in the freedom her position allows, as well as a chance to put a few quarrels into her unholy foes. Armed with blessed ammunition and a sharp mind, the Sanctioned Purifier seeks to wrongfoot and thwart her foes at every turn. And when the time is right – she directs her allies to deliver a truly devastating blow that few foes have any hope of withstanding.
The skeins of destiny weave and twist and intertwine in ways no mortal mind can hope to fully comprehend. Sometimes, the most unlikely individuals can be brought to the fore and presented with a choice. And the decision they make can bring either salvation or damnation not just for themselves, but for untold thousands of souls. Lanakis had been many things in her life: a mage, a rebel, a hero and a villain both. Born to the sprawling capital of Aravia, the realm of the High Elves, she was taught and mentored in the arts of magic by some of the best minds Teleria had to offer. Yet the limitations and strict rules of the Aravian Covens were always far too stiffening for Lanakis whose heart desired to know every mystery the world concealed. She dabbled and delved into forbidden lore, casting away her previous allegiances and striking out on her own. The quest for knowledge saw Lanakis enter the lands of the Dark Elves, where she was captured and nearly executed. Though her quick wit – or exceptional luck – saw to it that the Matron of the House recognized the young woman’s potential and opted to let her live instead in exchange for service. For years Lanakis took advantage of the entirely new school of arcane teachings that had been open to her and thought little of the terrible deeds that her patrons committed. Eventually, her service came to a sudden and violent end when the Matron attempted to use Lanakis as a blood sacrifice to an ally of hers – a Necromancer of some infamy. The resulting skirmish saw Lanakis victorious and her former benefactor slain, albeit this was only the beginning of that particular ordeal. For the Necromancer was but a single wizard of a powerful dark lodge, and the plans his peers had woven encompassed much more than might have appeared at a glance. News of a horde of Undead came pouring in – panicked cries for help and reports of a massive organized assault that overwhelmed many outlying estates and forts. Dark Elven nobles and soldiery alike were turned into mindless ghouls in the wake of that crushing defeat. Lanakis had a choice then, to flee and wander Teleria once more, hoping that someone else would step up to defeat the invaders or to stand and fight. She had chosen the latter. With no one daring to challenge her power directly, Lanakis took control of the House she once served as a mere apprentice. She mustered what military might it could offer and led it against the raging Undead hordes. One by one the other Houses were liberated and joined Lanakis’ host to fight a common foe. One by one the Necromancers fell before her, unable to match the Elven Sorceress’ power. At the height of the conflict, the Arbiter herself joined the fray. With her and her Champions standing beside Lanakis’ armies, there was no doubt of victory. And when the last of the Undead had been purged, the Arbiter called upon Lanakis to bind her soul to Lumaya in eternal service. Though far from a pure and innocent hero, she had been chosen by Fate nonetheless and almost single-handedly thwarted a plot that would have plunged Teleria into the madness of war. And thought her freedom was valued high, Lanakis saw the wisdom of this pact. For while she would have to bind herself to a cause greater than anything she ever imagined fighting for, it did give her the ability to expand her mastery and knowledge without boundaries. So, reluctantly, she accepted and joined the ranks of the Arbiter’s Champions.
It is said the Banner Lords of the Kingdom of Kaerok are very fond of creating societies and fraternities among their number; it allows the nobles to distinguish themselves in the eyes of their peers, and raises their social status – if the ‘secret’ society garners enough influence and prestige – and keeps bored Knights entertained. However, some of these groups are gathered for genuine and honorable purposes, such as protecting the vast lands of Kaerok from various foes that threaten the King’s realm. Much like Sacred Order that had in ages past been formed from Kaerokan Knights, the Legion is an Order of warriors dedicated to the service of Lumaya. Unlike the Templars and other servants of the Sacred Order, however, they do not forsake the vows of feudal fealty and continue serving the King of Kaerok. Still, Legionaries draw on the lore and traditions of old and seek to live a life of humble piety. Even lowborn commoners are accepted into their ranks – a scandalous decision that significantly damaged the Legion’s popularity and reputation among the Banner Lords themselves. The nobility that does join often comprises young Knights who have nothing to their name or those whose family’s fortune had long been lost. However, there are those who willingly forsake grand estates and untold riches in the name of Lumaya. These individuals make up some of the most determined and righteous warriors of the Legion, and their military expertise would benefit any Summoner who manages to recruit one such warrior.
A long, long time ago, there lived a woman in the capital of Aravia. Born to an Elven noble line, she knew neither hardship nor want. Serris – for that is what she had been named by her loving mother – was a shrewd child and greedily consumed whatever knowledge her private tutors could provide. It was not long until her magical aptitude manifested, and the young girl had been granted an education in matters arcane. In time, Serris grew up to be a great mage. She was talented, daring, and fiercely intelligent. But no matter how far she pushed her talents, it was never enough. Her ultimate goal was simple, crude even, but so very desirable – eternal life and youth. And to achieve that, she delved into the forbidden lore. Carefully at first, cautious of what horrors it might unleash. But as the answer eluded her, Serris lost count over the lines she had crossed. A lesser practitioner of the Dark Arts would have been long caught and banished or worse, yet Serris remained a step ahead of her would-be persecutors. Ever-friendly and charismatic, she managed to frame several rivals and escape the consequences of her crimes. And so, as years passed, she slowly puzzled small pieces of lore together, crafting a ritual that she believed would grant her unfading beauty. It required a great deal of preparation, exotic ingredients, and, worst of all, the sacrifice of her own blood. Deep in the darkest night, Serris gathered all the required reagents and went about brewing her wondrous elixir. Sadly, not everything went according to plan. The moment Serris took a sip of her brew, a great flash of light seared across the chambers of her tower, setting it ablaze and destroying centuries worth of knowledge. Serris herself had been burned by witchflame, and though she remained unscathed in body, her skin had forever turned a greenish colour and her eyes blazed a bright yellow. Marked thus, she had no choice but to flee the capital, Adjudicators and even Templars of the Sacred Order hot on her heels. And although her beauty had been forever preserved in this malefic way, Serris soon realized that it only went skin-deep. Her body would still wither and die if she did nothing about it. Thus Serris, having taken the title Madame, travels Teleria now, searching for a way to complete her scheme. Her mastery of magecraft is impressive, to say the least, and her lack of morals ensures that the witch is likely to ally with whomever she pleases. As long as it suits her own designs.
Once upon a time, disaster struck the Kingdom of Kaerok. Year after year, unnatural drought reigned, crops withered and livestock fell for lack of pasture. Thousands died, tens of thousands more suffered greatly. Lords and peasants alike knew hunger and despaired. Throughout Kaerok, few lands remained untouched by famine – and the domain of Marquess Khoronar was one such haven. But the Marquess was arrogant, selfish, and unkind. One night, a malnourished old woman came to the castle and offered Khoronar a single beautiful rose in return for some food that would keep her alive.
Disgusted by her pathetic and destitute appearance, the Marquess sneered and ordered the old woman thrown out of the gate. But before the guards could lay a hand on her, they were struck down by a bolt of lightning and their flesh turned to marble. The old woman’s guise shifted and swirled to reveal her true form, that of angelic beauty, stark noble features, and hair the colour of blazing flame. Recognizing the Arbiter for who she was, Khoronar tried to beg for forgiveness, but it was too late for she had seen his ugly, selfish nature hidden beneath a veneer of nobility.
As punishment, the Arbiter transformed him into a hideous beast and bound his soul to a Shard so that he could never truly die. With a powerful spell placed on the castle, Khoronar was condemned to eternal life as a prisoner. Only if he were to learn to love would he ever be released for his curse. But as centuries passed the Marquess and his castle had been forgotten, lost to time in the depths of the enchanted woods. It appeared that Khoronar was doomed to an endless cycle of misery, unredeemed and unloved. It was only when a young Knight of Kaerok known as Minaya that hope was finally rekindled. Renowned for her kindness and beauty in equal measure, Minaya was widely beloved by her subjects and her peers.
But there were those who grew jealous of her, and those bitter over her refusing courtship. A proud Baron whose advanced Minaya had spurned saw it as an insult that could only be washed away with blood. He sought allies among those who could not bear to see the young Knight’s virtue, and soon enough an assassin’s arrow was poised to pierce Minaya’s heart. By the grace of the Goddess, the assassin missed his mark, and Minaya escaped into the woods. For hours she wondered, and as wolves gathered at her back in hopes of easy prey, she finally came across the enchanted castle where the damned Marquess lived.
At first, Khoronar intended to punish the trespasser. But seeing Minaya’s beauty and the courage she showed even when facing the horrible beast he had become, he stayed his ire. He still imprisoned Minaya, for she knew the way to the castle now, but treated her fairly. His servants, doomed to an existence of living statues, catered to Minaya’s every whim, and each night Khoronar, desperate for company after centuries of loneliness, would dine with her. Slowly, he realized, he was falling in love.
Terrified by the notion, he flew into a fit of bestial fury and chased Minaya from the castle, ordering her to never return. This had almost cost the young Knight her life, for the assassins sent after her had not given up. By a stroke of misfortune, they fell on Minaya’s trail once more and would have surely been the end of her, were it not for Khoronar, remorseful of his display, following Minaya in hopes of earning her forgiveness. He came upon the assassins just as the ambush was sprung and managed to slay them all in the battle that followed. But Khoronar did not escape the fray unscathed himself, and a poisoned arrow struck his shoulder. Minaya hurried to his side and used all of her skill to treat the wound and purge the poison from her saviour’s blood.
Weakened but alive, Khoronar and his companion made it back to the castle. It was then that their feelings had finally come to fruition, and Minaya too looked beyond the grisly facade to see a man repentant, and truly willing to make himself better. She did her best to guide him, to teach him that only in the love for others could Lumaya’s blessings be spread. And yet, thoughts of her people did not leave Minaya even when her own happiness was within her grasp. Though reluctant, Khoronar allowed her to visit her own domain and ensure a suitable castellan could be appointed to rule fairly in her stead while Minaya was absent. She made a promise to return in a week’s time and rode from the castle once more.
Upon her arrival, Minaya found that her lands had been overtaken by the jealous Baron whose proposal she refused, and her people were bled dry and oppressed by draconian new laws. Furious over these abuses, Minaya called upon what allies she could to assist her, and the people of the land rose up to stand at their Lady’s side with whatever weapons they could afford. It was going to be a bloody siege indeed. Meanwhile, Khoronar found himself distraught – the week had passed, yet of Minaya there was no sign. He thought himself betrayed once more and nearly slipped into despair, were it not for a miracle. Though all the mirrors in his castle had long been shattered, shards of glass yet remained scattered in his chamber. One such shard came to life, glowing with arcane energy, and showed the bewildered Khoronar a terrible sight of his love dying in battle.
Abandoning everything, Khoronar made haste to Minaya’s lands. He arrived whe the assault on the castle was already underway and threw himself into the fray. Awed by the arrival of such a powerful and strange ally, Minaya’s men-at-arms could do little but give way to the raging beast. But alas, it was perhaps this haste that led to the prophecy of the mirror being fulfilled. Having forced his way into the great hall of the castle, Khoronar came upon Minaya battling through the Baron’s personal guard. Seeing Minaya’s reaction, the usurper lifted his crossbow and let loose an enchanted bolt that was meant to slay Khoronar. But Minaya threw herself forth and took the strike in her beloved’s place. As her body fell to the ground, Khoronar fell into fury unlike anything he had experienced.
Ignoring injury and pain, he tore into his foes and did not stop until all fell before him, and the treacherous Baron’s sword lay broken at last. Only then did Khoronar fall to his knees and wept over Minaya’s body. His grief was so strong that he did not realize he was no longer alone until a hand rested on his shoulder and his eyes were greeted by blinding light as he turned around. The Arbiter had personally descended onto the battlefield and sought Khoronar out. She revealed that she had been watching him closely, and his selfless actions were enough to earn forgiveness.
What happened next is subject to interpretation and speculation in various renditions of the tale… It is known that the Arbiter used her power to bring Minaya back to life, allowing her and Khoronar to share and embrace and confess their love. Then, according to some, Khoronar’s beastly form faded away and he became a human once more. He and Minaya were wed and lived happily ever after. But there are storytellers who insist there is more to the tale. That the Arbiter did undo the curse, yet warned Khoronar that the suffering his callousness had inflicted could only be repaid with service. Unable to bear being separated from her love, Minaya too pledged her life to the Arbiter and bound her soul to a Shard of Champions willingly. And so it was, Khoronar and Minaya would spend eternity together, yet they would be called upon to fight in Lumaya’s name when need was greatest – a price they both were more than willing to pay.
It happened many years ago in the city of Arnoc. A talented young mage by the name of Alvano sought to unravel a mystery that has long mesmerized scholars and wizards alike – the enigma of Creation. Indeed, for all their efforts, no mortal could replicate the creation of a soul that truly animates a living being. Souls could be manipulated, preserved and bound to a body in the limbo of Undeath, but never conjured into an artificial vessel. Alvano was an incredibly gifted man, whose intellect allowed him to study in the most prestigious Academy of Arnoc despite his humble origins.
Affected by the deaths of his parents, Alvano sought to use his affinity for magic and his knowledge to defeat death once and for all. Alas, for all of his genius, he was also obsessive, unable to see the big picture. Thus throughout his research Alvano never once questioned his goals or methods. The result was all that mattered to him. Though his talents were not enough to make Aether coalesce into a living anima, Alvano reasoned he could take advantage of echoes and shreds.
As bodies resurrected by the necromancers still possessed vestiges of their former skills, he suspected that some form of imprint lingers after the soul’s passing. And that these imprints can be forged together into something new. Thus Alvano’s morbid obsession with the dead had begun. He would spend days and weeks in mortuaries and cemeteries, observing and, when possible, experimenting with the recently passed. Eventually, he devised a ritual of his own making. By sewing together pieces of flesh that, in Alvano’s mind, resonated the most with the “imprints” of the soul and placing a precious magical gem in place of the heart, he sought to craft a vessel capable of withstanding the massive force of arcane energy that would be required for the soul to burst into being. He started the ritual at the height of a raging storm, positioning the artificial body in one of the highest towers of the city, chanting passages from ancient grimoires and directing the stolen power of lightning that struck the tower’s spire. Arcs of electricity struck out from the bound vessel, glowing brightly as Alvano poured his own magic into the same focus gem.
Finally, with a howl full of pain and misery, the creature lurched forth and broke the enchanted chains keeping it in place. In a moment of trauma and shock, the monster struck out wildly and flung its creator off the raised dais where the ritual was taking place, killing him instantly then stumbling out into the streets. Terrified townsfolk speak of horrid massacres and blood running in rivers, though those are nothing but tall tales. The hulking monster did cause panic among any who crossed its path, albeit few dared to walk the city in heavy storm, and none of them were fools enough to approach a raging monstrosity that rampaged towards the nearest gates. It did grievously wound several guards that tried to bar its passage, then burst out into the wilderness outside. From that day, the creature had barely been seen. Tavellers do occasionally talk of a misshapen giant stalking through forests and fields at dusk, but thus far no one has been able to say for certain what had happened to Alvano’s ambition creation and, indeed, if he had succeeded in giving it a soul or if this is merely another Undead animated by the power of magic.
Most regard Ogryns and their kin as brutes, little better than beasts. That usually serves the giants just fine as it helps them maintain a fearsome reputation. Still, exceptions can be found far more frequently than some would like to admit. From ingenious blacksmiths to tacticians and even scholars. Yes, surprising as it sounds, there are Ogryns who are not only capable of reading – a shocking notion within itself! – but actually enjoy learning. Of course, not all of them extend the effort for the sheer joy of learning. Some pursue entirely selfish, sometimes even dark goals. Such is the mysterious Ogryn cultist, whose brutish strength and tenacity are only exceeded by the terrible powers he wields. Covered in occult runes, he turns hexes and curses set upon him by the enemy magic-wielders upon them and their allies instead, using their essence to strengthen his attacks. But such corruption seldom comes without a price – it poisons the cultist’s own flesh, driving him onwards to bring the curse to his foes.
It is a matter of heated debate among the scholars whether the passing of seasons affects the balance between Light and Darkness in Teleria. Indeed, some claim that as the light of the sun wanes and nature dies, so too the warmth of Lumaya’s love is sapped from the world. Why else would the Arbiter go to such lengths to recruit mighty Champions to keep vigil over the frozen desert of Telerian North?
Sir Nicholas is the most well-known among these heroes, but he is far from the only one. Amid the northmost peaks of the Mountains of Despair, where not even the Dwarves dare to tread, stands a tower of shimmering ice. A wizard sits upon her throne somewhere within, unto whom the authority to rule these inhospitable peaks had once been given by the grace of Lumaya. Yet her deeds are lost to myth, and only a few can remember her name – Pyxniel. Those mortals fortunate enough to have seen her described a being of aloof ethereal beauty, wreathed in an aura of eternal frost. Her footfalls were said to leave webs of rime creeping across the ground, her skin was cold to the touch, and an ancient, noble power burned in her eyes. Silver armor of awe-inspiring artifice protected Pyxniel from harm, its style and fashion echoing that of the High Elves of old.
Some believe that Pyxniel was a Queen in an age long before the domain of Aravia rose to prominence. Others maintain she was a noble wizard of the Basileus’ court, whose research took her to the far north of the Elven Kingdom and whose life was saved by the Arbiter in exchange for service. Whatever the case may be, most sources agree that Pyxniel was a powerful servant of Lumaya, and her wrath was as terrible to behold as the blizzards that lash the snowy wastes of the Winterlands. For centuries she stood guard against the vile schemes of Siroth. It was by Pyxniel’s benediction that many Champions were able to cross the treacherous passes of the Mountains of Despair unharmed and at pace. At the same time, those serving the Dark One found themselves entrapped, led astray, or destroyed by her magic…
But generations passed since Pyxniel was last seen, and evil grows ever-bolder. Legend has it that a deadly battle between Pyxniel and a Prince of the Demonspawn armies took place when Siroth had last attempted to crush the mortal realms of Teleria. Although she emerged victorious, the foe’s power was such that it took every ounce of magic Pyxniel could muster to defeat him. She lost control of the arcane energies she wielded, and her heart was frozen solid, then splintered into myriad shards that scattered across the world. And so she remains – a statue of ice slumped upon her throne. Only by finding the shards and putting them back together can this noble Champion be returned to life. And so, Summoner, the quest falls to you. Search the world, recover the fragments of Pyxniel’s soul, and gain a powerful ally to your cause!
Lady Sethallia hails from the coast of the Land of Rebirth, South of the Castle of Kaerok itself. Her ancestral fief grants control of much of the province, making Sethallia a well-known face at court as well as one of King Tayba’s important vassals. Fiery-tempered and charismatic, she has earned as many enemies among the King’s bannermen as she did friends. Her brash nature is well known even among Sethallia’s own people, although it seems her soldiers have grown to adore and respect it. A widely-quoted story tells of her bravery when a small force of Kaerok knights fell into an orc ambush. Seeing a hulking orс chief fell a dozen of her men in that battle, Sethallia cut her way through to the beast and mocked him brazenly. The orc, who is said to have dwarfed even the tallest of King Tayba’s knights, abandoned the wounded soldiers in favour of trampling the foolish noble into the dirt. Yet for all his savagery he could not match Sethallia’s skill. Finally provoked into making a mistake, the orc chief soon found his throat pierced by a spear, and his kin broke and fled the field upon witnessing their leader’s defeat. Needless to say, Lady Sethallia’s reputation as a warrior and her popularity in the King’s army blossomed after that feat. For all her recklessness, Sethallia is a capable leader that can both guide her fury to set enemy ranks ablaze with magic or direct her allies to sap away their strength in a relentless assault. But where enemies face naught but fire and wrath, Sethallia’s care has been known to miraculously heal even the most grievous of wounds.
Aeons ago, before the rise of Humans and Elves, Lizardmen – or Dragonkin, as they were known at the time – were an empire unto themselves. Their domain stretched far and wide, and none could challenge them… But all that now lies in the past. Today, the tribes of Lizardmen are but a shadow of their former selves. Most have reverted to barbarism, many embraced their bestial nature. But there is still a vestige of greatness, a memory of that mighty empire remains. Amid the lakes that were once sacred to their ancestors, a tribe known as the Skullsworn yet dwells. The name comes from their custom of fashioning the skulls of their dead and the enemies they slay into helms to be worn by warriors – a sign of respect and a chance for the departed to fight in the name of the Great Dragon once more. Alas, their glory had waned with the ages, and the tribe lost ground to rivals and foreign invaders. Finally, the scions of the Dark One threatened the very heart of the Skullsworn domain. It was then the tribe performed a ritual of bloody sacrifice to awaken their ancient defender, one whose tread would shake the earth and before whom all foes would scatter. It was a desperate plea for help, their last hope – and their Progenitor answered. Skull Lord Var-Gall, once a mighty warrior in service of the Dragonkin Priesthood awakened, called forth by the blood of his descendants. His heart filled with rage when he realized how low the once-feared tribe had fallen and how vile invaders now sought to defile the very waters of the lakes under his protection. With a blood-chilling below he surged forth, calling upon the primordial magic that resided in his blood to raise his fallen kin from the dead. With the newly-resurrected warriors bolstering their ranks and the revered Var-Gall leading them, the Skullsworn fell upon Siroth’s demons, driving them back with tooth and claw. More of them perished, laid low by unholy blades in that battle, only to be risen once more by the magic of their ancestors and help turn the tide in favour of the Lizardmen. At the height of the battle, Var-Gall smashed his way through the Demonspawn vanguard and deep into the heart of their army. Many demons lay slain in his wake, but the Skull Lord’s fury would not be sated until the land itself drowned in the tainted blood of the interlopers. He cleaved and slashed through ranks upon ranks of spawn until their leader, a mighty Demon Baron stood before him. This was an equal battle, for the leader of Siroth’s minions was every bit as massive and brutal as the Skull Lord himself. He charged Var-Gall, effortlessly sweeping aside all the Skullsworn warriors who dared stand before him, and crashed into their Champion with enough force to utterly destroy a lesser mortal fighter. But Var-Gall would not be defeated so easily. Ignoring injury and pain, the Skull Lord rose to his feet once more and bellowed his challenge for all to hear. And so the two leaders clashed once more amidst the carnage of battle, each ripping into the other with claw and blade, not giving a single step of ground. The Demon Baron was a mighty foe in his own right, but Var-Gall had the strength of Ancestors empowering his every strike. This was no duel of skill and wit, both combatants fought like beasts, and Var-Gall proved to be the more vicious of the two. When he rose again, covered in terrible wounds but victorious, and raised the Demon Baron’s head for all to see, the outcome of the battle was decided. Shattered by the loss of their leader, the Demonspawn withdrew in disarray. The Skullsworn pursued them without mercy and claimed many trophies that day. Var-Gall himself had the skull of the Demon Baron fashioned into a new ceremonial helm that marked his tribe’s victory in the sight of the Great Dragon. But rather than return to his ageless slumber, the Skull Lord had chosen to remain and tread Teleria once more. He would not let his warriors fade into obscurity again, and all those who dared invade the ancestral lands of the Lizardmen would know his wrath.
The Soulless was a mortal King of Luzand, the city where the K’leth death cult is said to have been founded thousands of years ago. Desiring to rule Luzand indefinitely, he locked his soul to the Shield of Despair – the Luzandian symbol of royal power. At that moment the cursed city of Luzand and all its people were swallowed by the sand, leaving only their King alive. The Soulless wanders still, with no soul but his shield, reigning over none but his forsaken self…
The Stag Knight’s true name has long been cast aside and forgotten, just like his face always remains hidden from even the closest allies behind an ornate helm. But armor forged from the finest steel and decorated with gold and silver leaves very little room for doubt about the origins of this Champion, for such a concert of style and craftsmanship can only be found in the land of Kaerok. On its own, the revelation means little – there are countless Knights Errant forging from Kaerok to make their mark across Teleria and win glory for themselves. For them to have displayed valor and skill sufficient to catch the Arbiter’s eye is not uncommon, yet there is an air of mystery about the Stag Knight that makes an assumption such as this seem far too convenient and mundane. Whatever the case may be, the truth will only be known to the warrior himself – and to the one who gains his allegiance. Wounded honour is the reason for this secrecy, but the Stag Knight has more reason to abandon his lineage than most. Far from a mere wandering paladin, he was once the younger brother to King Guarin, known as the ‘Bloody’ to scholars of Teleria. Though his innate talent allowed the Stag Knight – the Grand Duke at the time – to master the arts of war with ease, he had little interest in following the ideals of chivalry. Spoiled by riches and sheltered from the woes of the world, he spent his youth jousting, hunting, and feasting away in the company of his peers. It was hunting that he excelled at the most, and his massive undertakings often led groups of young nobles into the forests for weeks, allowing them to pursue the most exquisite game royal lands had to offer. It was then he earned the nickname ‘Stag Knight’ from some of his closest comrades, and it was then he learned the ropes of leadership and strategizing. But so engrossed was the young Duke in his little pleasures that the truth of his brother’s reign eluded him for years. Meanwhile, King Guarin grew increasingly paranoid and violent, his extortionate taxes bled the peasants and citizenry dry and his constant fear of a coup led to a number of influential nobles being imprisoned or even executed. Eventually, Guarin’s own uncle rose up to lead a rebellion. The Stag Knight, unaware of the truth, joined his brother as honor demanded and battled the rebels on numerous occasions. His strategic talent had proven to be instrumental in securing key victories for Guarin’s armies and saw the rebellion defeated after a year of bloody fighting. But victory was not enough for the insane King, he personally devised excruciating forms of interrogation and execution for the nobles involved in the failed uprising. Such was Guarin’s cruelty that even his brother finally started to realize just how far he had fallen. Alas, an attempt to reason with Guarin saw the Stag Knight accused of high treason and thrown into the dungeons of Kaerok Castle, there to await his own execution alongside his uncle. But the bloody spectacle Guarin planned was never to take place, for there were other forces at play. Something odd transpired in the dungeons the night before the last of the rebels were to be put to death. Every single sentry guarding the prisoner cells collapsed in an instant, still alive but trapped in deep slumber. Before the Stag Knight realized what was happening, a woman of cold unearthly beauty, clad in glimmering armour appeared before him. Knowing her to be the Arbiter – a chosen herald of Lumaya herself – the Knight fell to his knees in reverence. But the Arbiter had no use for worship, she sought a Champion to undo the evils wrought upon the Kingdom of Kaerok. She bid the Stag Knight to rise and revealed to him that his brother, King Guarin, had unwittingly served the designs of the Dark One by weakening Kaerok and allowing insidious cults to rise through the land. She promised the Stag Knight a chance to redeem himself in exchange for service as Lumaya’s Champion. Without any hesitation, the Knight accepted. In a flash of arcane energy, he was transported to Guarin’s throne room – his arms and armour returned to him by the Arbiter’s will. The bewildered royal guard fell to the Stag Knight’s halberd and, though it pained him greatly, he put Guarin out of his misery before more guards arrived to the commotion. In the days that followed, news of the King’s death spread through Kaerok like wildfire. Celebrations were held in most major settlements, the late King’s uncle was freed from prison and installed as the new monarch – his rule is said to have been the start of a new golden age for the people of Kaerok. As for the Stag Knight himself, he was not there to see Kaerok return to normal life. With his duty done, he had solemnly cast his name and former life aside and pledged himself to Lumaya’s cause. Whatever duty the Arbiter had for him remained a secret, though Norr tribes who dared to venture into the Winterlands oft spoke of a warrior clad in armour of purest white in the centuries that follow. Who this warrior was or what his purpose could be, they did not know. But the legend holds that seeing the stranger’s silver antlers and luxurious azure mantle in the blizzard was sure to be a good sign for those who are pure of purpose – and the doom of those who hold darkness in their hearts.
Sometimes love blossoms early, and remains in the hearts of those touched by its warmth for the rest of their lives. Such is the tale of Fenax and Tallia. He was the son of a destitute noble, serving in the household of Tallia’s father. She – a cherished heiress. Though they have sworn to marry one another as children, no one had taken that vow seriously. And by the time Tallia’s father realized that this was more than childish games, that their love was not fading, it was far too late. The girl was far too headstrong and wild to be cowed into obedience, and the aging Lord had come up with a cunning and dark plot. Fenax, then a squire, was sent with an “important message” to a neighboring bannerman. Alone with no escort, of course, as messengers had to travel light and swift. By the Lord’s design, a group of orc raiders was meant to ambush and slay Fenax – a tragedy to be sure, but one that his daughter would forget in time. Unfortunately for the Lord, he failed to take Fenax’s wit into account. Though indeed ambushed and brought low, he managed to convince his captors that he was, in fact, the heir of an important baron who would pay the savages handsomely. The greedy brigands were quick to drag him off to the camp instead, hoping to fool the Lord and gain both rewards. And when the searching party that went after Fenax upon him “suddenly” going missing on the road, Tallia’s father became concerned. He ignored his daughter’s pleas to send a group of men-at-arms to rescue her beloved from the orcs, who left plenty of traces to be identified. The Lord refused in anger, yet once more he had miscalculated. Furious, Tallia escaped the castle to mount a rescue on her own. A dangerous venture, to be sure. But fate was not always cruel. A Sacred Order patrol came across the young Lady, their Sergeant a man of honour and piety that did not shrink away from his duty to protect the innocent. With their help, Tallia managed to find and free Fenax from the raiders after a vicious battle in which she too was baptised by fire. Though after a loving embrace was shared and words of comfort were spoken, the Tallia could not help but wonder what was so important that her beloved had to risk his life to deliver. She unsealed the letter only to devoid of a single drop of ink. But it was not needed, the empty parchment spoke of her father’s betrayal louder than any words could. Hurt and furious, the two young lovers did not, however, let themselves be broken. Unwilling to return to the man that would see them separated so cruelly, they both swore an oath to join the Order and dedicate their lives to Lumaya, an oath that they have carried out with honour against servants of darkness beyond counting – together.
After their defeat at the hands of the Elves and the nascent Human Kingdoms, the Orcs fled eastwards, fracturing into warring clans and tribes. Much like the surviving Barbarian cultures, these do not form a unified society. Some Orcs are merciless raiders, all too happy to prey on the week. Others strive to follow the ancient codes of honour and desire to rebuild the legacy of their people. Teela – who was yet to earn her monicker ‘Goremane’ – had been born into the former kind of clan. Life in the den of raiders and slavers is often brutal and short, and Teela had to learn to survive from the moment she took her first steps. Where more fortunate warriors were pampered and trained, she had to fight for scraps, steal, nurse her wounds with what meagre supplies she had. It was a hard life. But it made Teela strong. Strong and vicious enough to put down warriors twice her size and earn her place at the head of countless raiding parties. Her reputation grew with every successful foray, but it was a stroke of strange luck that had truly thrust the Orc warrior to glory. Her raiding party came across a caravan transporting a scholar from Aravia and overwhelmed the guards without trouble. When the terrified elf pleaded for his life he mentioned a weapon of great importance, something that had apparently set out to find in the first place. Though not usually one to show mercy, Teela agreed to release the scholar in exchange for everything he knew. It was thus she had learned about the Hexdrinker Scimitar – an ancient weapon buried somewhere within the far western reaches of the Deadlands. Chancing that the scholar’s information was true, Teela led her raiders on a long march across the dunes. The map recovered from the caravan guided them to a burrow that predated even the Barbarian tribes that controlled the area. It had not been left unguarded, of course, and the attempt to breach it called several scores of skeletal warriors to life. Teela and her fellow Orcs fought tooth and nail and even pushed the Undead back into the burrow. It was then a Revenant spirit burst from its sarcophagus, cutting down several brutish Orc warriors with contemptuous ease. It would have continued its rampage were it not for Teela’s ferocious counterattack. She charged the Revenant, overwhelming it with a barrage of slashes and cuts. Though she herself had been wounded, pain would not keep her away from the foe. Teela and the Undead warrior exchanged blow for blow, neither finding a critical advantage until the Orc lost her weapon and was forced to fight like a cornered animal. Fortunately, she was good at that. Throwing herself at the Undead, Teela managed to snap its ancient bones and wrest the scimitar from its deathly grip. It was only with the slash of its shadow-cloaked blade that the spirit was finally struck down and dissipated into nothing with one final howl of fury. Teela stood over nothing but scattered ashes, her hair had gone white as snow, save from her own blood staining the ends. No matter how she tried, that dirty crimson never faded away. But it was a small price to pay for her trophy, for the Scimitar possessed many powerful enchantments and allowed her to weaken her foes and even allow her allies to feed on the life force stolen away by the blade. With such a mighty weapon in hand, the legend of Teela Goremane had truly begun.
Ixlimor is an ancient demon of considerable power, reigning as the self-proclaimed Tyrant of the Hellfire Wastes that lie in the heart of Siroth’s infernal domain. As the name suggests, it is a region steeped in ethereal flames that scorch and burn every creature that has the audacity to dwell there. No mortal can enter and survive, that is beyond question. Even demons themselves often find the conditions intolerable, their immortal flesh blackening and turning to blister-covered ruin when exposed to the flames… Though perhaps that is why Ixlimor has chosen the Wastes as his domain. A warrior at heart, he enjoys challenging his rivals to bitter wars for power and influence. His impenetrable fortress serves the Tyrant well and, thus far at least, no foe managed to inflict a grievous enough defeat that he could not recover from. Even when beaten, Ixlimor can retreat to his stronghold and plot revenge that will be exacted upon the offenders in due time. But such rivalry and powerplays are forgotten – temporarily – when the Dark Lord himself calls upon his minions to go forth and bring war and destructions to the pathetic mortals of Teleria. Ixlimor follows just as others of his kind do. And though far from his burning domain, the Tyrant still brings a portion of those flames with him, gleefully unleashing the soul-scorching hellfire upon all those foolish enough to stand against Siroth and his chosen servants.
Among the tribes and people that populate the Deadlands, the Norr, perhaps, are the culture that appears most out of place. Their original homeland lies far to the northwest, among the fjords and the icy cliffs and the tundra of Telerian arctic. Yet so many of their clans and communities had been driven from their lands by the relentless march of ‘civilized’ kingdoms. Some submitted and joined the swelling ranks of Aravian subjects, others stood and fought until they no longer could. Those bold few were forced to flee after years of bitter war, choosing life in the harsh Eastern Lands across the Valdemar Strait. There they were forced to adapt, to fight for their survival against deadly beasts, monstrous Lizardmen, and rival tribes that were not keen to share the limited resources of the desert.
It is no surprise that hard conditions such as these made the Norr even more warlike, turned their culture to the exaltation of the Warrior as the absolute pinnacle of what men and women could aspire to be. It was this prideful and violent tradition that Valkyrie was born into, and from the earliest days of childhood, she had given her all to the great struggle of life. Nothing was ever given to her, the Clan was very particular in making its scions fight, sometimes even for the barest of necessities. But fight she did. No matter the hardship, no matter the opposition.
This shaped Valkyrie’s mind and morals, turning her into a stalwart warrior set on defending those few she could call her own. But those difficult experiences also make her blood boil with dark envy whenever an object of her desire is in another’s possession. That envy oft rules over her, for good or ill, and can as surely fuel undeserved scorn as it can direct righteous hatred against the those who oppress the weak. When Kephale Chassiana of Aravia – one of the major Elven nobles – sought to expand her influence upon the coastal areas of the Krokhan Desert, she did so with overwhelming force.
Having a stronghold across the Valdemar Strait would have allowed her to control and funnel the trade between the nomadic tribes of the East and Aravia through her territory and benefit from the wealth that flowed. The locals were little more than a nuisance, one that Chassiana wished exterminated or driven off by the force of arms. With the highly-disciplined soldiers under her command and a number of orcish mercenaries, the Kephale’s forces made swift and ruthless progress. Chassiana was ready to celebrate success and sent out a letter written in the typical Elvish manner, demanding all local clans bow down to her or else vacate the massive swathe of land she had claimed as her own. When the messengers reached Valkyrie’s clan, the answer to their ravings was as swift as it was brutal.
Now a respected warrior among her kin, Valkyrie ordered the Elven messengers executed and their skulls sent back to their Kephale. Such an insult would not go unanswered by the proud High Elves, and the Norr prepared for battle. Were they to fight alone, defeat was inevitable, but Valkyrie was not so foolish to attempt that. Instead, she sent out messengers of her own to gather multiple tribes and clans under her banner – neighbours, friends, rivals, remnants of the smaller communities demolished by Chassiana’s army. This was not a feat that could be accomplished under normal circumstances, by the disjointed people of the Western Krokhan Desert now had a common foe. And a driven leader to unite behind.
In a pitched battle, the savage – and largely distrustful of one another – Barbarian forces stood little chance of claiming a decisive victory. Valkyrie knew this well and organized a campaign of brutal raiding that pestered the Kephale’s supply caravans and vanguard with hit-and-run attacks. They evaded direct confrontation for weeks, before a particularly daring attack finally drew the High Elves and their mercenary allies into a trap. Locked in a scorching desert valley among the Deadlands, Chassiana and her soldiers swiftly found themselves beset on all sides, harried, and unable to mount a decisive offensive. Dozens were lost to the quicksands, which the Barbarians avoided safely thanks to their knowledge of the terrain.
And when an opportunity to smash the bulk of the horde finally presented itself, Chassiana ordered a charge that had foregone all caution. It was exactly what Valkyrie was waiting and preparing for all this time. She led a spirited defense in person, bolstered by nomad skirmishers who lay hidden among the dunes until the time was right, then turned it into a counterattack that saw the High Elves routed and thoroughly beaten. Kephale Chassiana escaped with her life, her expansionist ambitions ruined along with her reputation back home in Aravia. And though the alliance of the Barbarian clans did not last, Valkyrie’s leadership and savage skill went down in legend.
Unbeknownst to her, there were higher powers observing the war that gripped the Deadlands. Soon after the victory feasts were over and the honoured dead burned on the pyres, Valkyrie had a vision – a woman who called herself the Arbiter approached her. Though her motives in the recent battle were far from selfless, the Arbiter still recognized Valkyrie’s skills and offered her life eternal in exchange for her service to Lumaya. Although Valkyrie was not quick to trust this stranger, a show of the Arbiter’s power was enough to let her understand the gravity of the situation – and the fact she was not being given a choice, not truly. But with the promise of glory and immortality, as well as worthy foes to fight, Valkyrie was finally convinced and consigned her soul to the Shard extended to her by the Arbiter. Thus her service as Teleria’s Champion began.
Renowned for their ferocity, the Orc tribes that make their home in the lands surrounding Felwin’s Gate have long established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. They often roam the trade routes and plains as brigands or fight as mercenaries for those who can afford their services. Such was Varl – the leader of a vicious band of sellswords whose infamy grew with every village he had put to the torch.
His authority over the ragtag force of Gaellen Pact warriors seemed unshakable until the day an enigmatic Gnarlhorn shaman arrived and roused the Skinwalkers under Varl’s command to mutiny. They abandoned their posts and made it north, into the lands of Aravia. Enraged by this news, Varl turned the entire band and pursued the deserters with ruthless determination. The two forces clashed, and many Skinwalkers fell in that skirmish, yet the Shaman escaped further north with a handful of his followers.
Varl followed the trail like a ravenous wolf, hellbent on meting out vengeance for the insult he had suffered. He eventually overtook the traitors in an ancient grove somewhere in the southernmost reaches of High Elven lands and fell upon them, assured of a swift victory. However, the Shaman had already found what he wanted – an ancient artifact that lay hidden at the heart of the grove. He conducted a terrible ritual in the name of Siroth and imbued his fighters with the power of Darkness. A battle ensued, hard and bloody; though the Skinwalkers were outnumbered, their unnatural resilience and strength tipped the scales. Varl realized that his Orcs were losing heart and would soon flee the field.
Not one to simply accept defeat, he ordered to set the trees ablaze in hopes of taking his foes with him. That gambit saved Varl’s life, for the source of the Shaman’s power perished in flames, and the tide of the battle turned once more. Orc mercenaries surged forth and hurled the Skinwalkers into the raging inferno, while Varl himself slew the Shaman in single combat and claimed his skull as a trophy.
Victorious but gravely wounded, the chieftain ordered his remaining forces to retreat. Alas, fate had one last cruel joke to play at Varl’s expense: a host of High Elves of Aravia fell on his trail, summoned to investigate the battle that left a sacred grove of Lumaya in ashes. To them, Varl was a brutish savage responsible for that sacrilege. Negotiations were not an option, and the Orcs had no strength to resist.
Salvation came unbidden. A flame-haired woman known as the Arbiter intervened, offering Varl a chance to save his kinsmen and atone for his crimes. Rather than perish by blade or arrow, he would become an immortal guardian of the Doom Tower – a prison the Arbiter had built for Teleria’s most dangerous monsters. It was a grim duty that Varl accepted, but it was his only chance to redeem himself. Perhaps one day, a hero will come and vanquish the evil of the Doom Tower forever. Until then, Varl the Destroyer stands guard, as he had for centuries.
Bards and minstrels have spun many tales about love so pure, it overcomes death itself. While it is, indeed, the stuff of many a ballad (too many, perhaps) the Realm of Teleria had seen these wondrous tales come to life.
One particular legend speaks of a maiden so fair she caught a jealous eye of an evil Sorcerer, a servant of Siroth’s dark will. The spells he weaved allowed him to entrance the maiden and entrap her in a distant stronghold. Fortunately, her faith allowed the maiden to break free and regain her will before the sorcerer’s vile designs could be realized, yet she remained a prisoner under threat of imminent death were she not to accept the Sorcerer’s advances.
But all was not lost, for her promised one, a noble Knight of great renown, rose up to the challenge. He fought his way through untold dangers and enemies uncountable before forcing the great gates of the dark keep open. There, the entire might of the Sorceror’s magic was unleashed upon him. The Knight cut down hordes of Siroth’s servants, ignoring his own wounds and striking the villain down with a single blow of his blessed sword. Though life ebbed away from his body by the moment, he chose to expend the last of his strength on proclaiming his love for the Maiden who was finally free.
I was at that moment the Arbiter herself interfered. Though Lumaya may never guide the affairs of mortals, her faithful herald would not let a heroic deed driven by love as pure as that turn into tragedy. She used her power to save the dying Knight, yet such divine assistance did come with a price. Unable to live on without her beloved, the Maiden did not hesitate to swear her own soul to Lumaya’s cause. In turn, both she and her Knight were granted with life immortal.
There are many recountings of their adventures afterward, some contradicting each other, some – the stuff of fairy tales. Even their true names are lost to history, as is any proof that their origins are anything more than legend. Yet one thing is certain – wherever the mysterious lovers known as Venus and Cupidus appear, no darkness may stand before the fires of their passion. With her magic, and his trusty blade, the pair has saved lives beyond counting. Any warrior that gains the loyalty of both of these divine servants will find their force strengthened with the kind of purity only love that transcends mortal boundaries can bring.
Many a bard favors songs of good kings, just kings whose heart bleeds for the woes of their people and whose every day is spent in labor to assuage those very woes. But, alas, it is the nature of mortals to let greed, pride, and ambition lead them astray. Such was King Versulf, called the Grim for his humorless and cruel demeanor. Once, he ruled a prosperous city-state in the land that would become known as the Stormwind Wastelands, and so great was his malice that not even the grave would put an end to it. Nothing mattered to Versulf more than temporal power, and so he waged many wars against neighboring states. His subjects suffered greatly under the yoke of extortionate taxes Versulf demanded to fund his schemes and the horrid conditions they were gradually forced into. But though the king was heartless and wicked, he was no fool. Around him, a coterie of devoted sycophants and bodyguards gathered; to them, Versulf granted dominion over all others to plunder and exploit as they saw fit. There was but one enemy Versulf feared – death. Though he mocked and defied the preachers of Lumaya, in his private moments, the tyrant dreaded what would come after his mortal shell could endure no longer. Like so many others, he sought counsel from the masters of black magic of his court and those beyond, yet the ravenous hunger of Undeath held no appeal to Versulf. In the end, it was the emissary of the K’leath death cult that managed to captivate Versulf’s attention with the promise of resurrection in a new, stronger form in exchange for his patronage. Thus a terrible new alliance was forged. Versulf had dedicated the remainder of his life to strengthening his ties to the Cult. He had given them slaves and sacrificial victims and wealth aplenty, and their stranglehold on the kingdom grew by the day. In return, K’leath priests performed ghastly rituals to prolong the tyrant’s life and prepare his spirit for the inevitable passing. Legends say he lived for no less than four hundred years and perished in agony as his body failed at last, assailed by countless ails and unable to withhold the onslaught of time. Yet the Cult of K’leath persevered, evolving into the militant sect known today as the Knights Revenant. And so did the covenant they had struck. Now the time has come, and after centuries of slumber, the ancient king has arisen once more. His new body coursing with arcane energies, Versulf the Grim seeks to reclaim the power he had wielded eons ago. His city may be dust and ruin, but he has command of many cultists and has claimed the key of the Oblivion Vault. The Vault contains mysteries of life and death that would allow Versulf’s spirit to change bodies at will, thus ending his need for the Cult. It will take a courageous Summoner to foil the tyrant’s plans and bring him into Lumaya’s fold, for though he is a creature of evil, his martial skills and power remain a considerable asset that could be used in the war against the Shadow.
Vlad the Nightborn & Konstantin the Dayborn Storyline
Brothers born to a mortal woman and a vampire father, Vlad the Konstantin came into the world on opposing sides of the Light. Born in the last moments of darkness before daybreak, the eldest, Vlad, was set upon the Path of Night of his father. Born minutes after, Konstantin opened his eyes to the first rays of dawn, taking the Path of Light like their mother. Possessed of incredible abilities, the brothers both became legends in their own right, and despite their opposing natures, have come to put aside their differences and work together to harness great power. These two new Champions have mastered the power of Dark and Light: Vlad the Nightborn and Konstantin the Dayborn!
Once a respected shaman and protector of his people, Yaga was known far and wide among the Skinwalker tribes. He was said to be able to decipher any dream, cure any ailment, appease any spirit. Yet such power came at a price. Deeper and deeper into the realm of the unnatural he delved, and darker the entities he dealt with did become. Slowly, Yaga’s heart turned black, his thirst for ancient knowledge corrupting him until the light of Lumaya within was all but extinguished. But one does not deal with demons without consequences. For his pride, a powerful Baron of Siroth’s legions cursed Yaga with an illness not even the most knowledgeable of Skinwalker shamans could defeat. And when Yaga was left weak and desperate, the demon appeared to him with an offer – immortality in exchange for his soul. Yaga accepted without hesitation, and in a split of a second, his body was transformed. The rot that was slowly killing him did not vanish, yet it no longer spread. Yaga’s plague-infested body strengthened beyond what he thought possible – he was no longer mortal in the full sense of the word. But the price was terrifying indeed. For his salvation, Yaga was bound to Sirtoh’s will, made to serve the Dark Lord’s horrific designs as a herald of pestilence. Wherever he treads, death and grief follow. His weapon is cursed with plague runes, his very gaze brings corruption. Only the purest can hope to beat such a foe – and only the strongest-willed can hope to shackle Yaga’s Shard and bring his rampage under control.
A mage of impressive innate power and talent, Yannica may very well be a personification of numerous expectations that younger races have of her people – both the good and the bad. She is incredibly intelligent without a doubt, a master of many arcane arts. Her counsel is never given without consideration or understanding of the subject. She is, however, gratingly arrogant and self-righteous. The condescending smirk that so often finds its way to Yannica’s noble features has been the bane of many an ally. As a young apprentice, Yannica was obsessed with learning spells that fell outside the arsenal of run-of-the-mill wizards. Setting foes on fire or turning them to ice? Effective, certainly, but boring in her eyes. Instead, Yannica sought arcana that would allow her to siphon the strength of her targets and bolster her allies in some form. Her true breakthrough was deciphering ancient writings that she inherited from her tutor and using the knowledge concealed within to perfect her own rendition of the spell of the Veil. Its first actual application was a resounding success as well. When accompanying an older Magister on an expedition to uncover Artifacts in the crypts far north of the Aravian capital, Yannica found herself and her allies beset and nearly overwhelmed by the undead. Risking a half-tested spell, she managed to disappear from the enemy’s sight with a dramatic explosion of mist. Even the halfwit ghouls were thrown into confused disarray by the display. And before they, or Yannica’s own party, were any the wiser, she rushed into a position of vantage. From there, she unleashed a spell that had slain numerous undead, while others were left weakened for her allies to finish off. Thus the lives of many scholars and accompanying guards were saved. And although the expedition did not recover anything truly extraordinary that time, Yannica’s quick wit and decisive actions ensured her reputation among her peers was solidified from thereon.