|Thread: ~ Heroes 6 - Faction Overview ~|
posted November 24, 2010 10:43 PM
|Edited by Elvin at 20:25, 20 Jan 2013.
~ Heroes 6 - Faction Overview ~
With the first three announced factions fully revealed and game information starting to get buried under an ever-burgeoning amount of speculation and personal opinions it is high time that I created a thread solely dedicated to the factions A number of people already have trouble telling a unit's tier, what its role is or what's new with the faction in the first place. Right now official information on factions is limited but not to worry, this thread will be updated as soon as we have something. You can expect the 4th race(along with some other interesting things ) to be announced on early December, please be patient until then. This thread is meant to be a documentation so please keep the discussion in the other threads, if there is something missing please contact me or Alcibiades and we will add it.
Without further ado..
“For Honor, Order and Duty”
The Holy Empire is a theocracy protected by medieval knights and monks. They worship Elrath, the Dragon God of Light, who grants them magical powers based on his elemental dominion. Their objective is to lead a life worthy of Elrath˘s ideals of Truth and Purity, to shape the world in his image, and to spread his sacred Light.
Driven by the Angels, Elrath˘s chosen, the children of the Holy Empire believe in the flawed nature of the self, which must be cleansed in the light of Elrath. Their objective is to lead a life worthy of Elrath˘s forgiveness, shape the world in his image and spread his sacred Light.
In a nutshell: A feudal Holy Empire, protected by medieval knights and monks with access to “Light” Magic and “Angelic” elite troops.
Inspiration: Medieval Western Europe (for the general atmosphere and design), Imperial Rome (for the military organization and “Pax Romana” concept), Knights Templar (for the sense of religious mission), Victorian England (for the puritanical nature and strict class division).
Associated colours: azure blue, white and gold.
Symbols: the “solar cross”, the sun, the falcon, the sword.
Worship: Elrath, the Dragon of Light, and its first servants - the Angels
Core philosophy: “Law & Order” rather than “Good & Mercy”
Country / kingdom: The Holy Empire
Capital city: Falcon's Reach
The Holy Empire is mostly composed of Humans who have switched their allegiance from Ylath, the Dragon of Air, to Elrath, the Dragon of Light. With the Angels mostly gone, the Holy Empire is the primary remaining base of worship for Elrath.
The recent events
The human nations, once divided into dozens of pretty kingdoms and savage clans became allies to the Angels, children of Elrath, and of this pact, the Holy Empire was born. The Imperial Nobles are excited when they hear that a Demon invasion has been prophesized. They see it as a chance to demonstrate their superiority to all other factions for the first time in history, by brilliantly and courageously shining in the exciting battles about to come. Their empire is ready to take its place as the legitimate defenders of Ashan.
The Holy Empire is a feudal theocracy. In theory the Emperor has absolute rule, but in reality the countryside is chopped up into six Duchies, dozens of baronies, at least nine so-called „independent states‟, and so forth, so that much of the Emperor‟s time is spent juggling his various nobles. Frequently at least one of these regions is in some sort of revolt, though these are rarely serious or bloody.
The origins of the theocratic state are complex, but much is due to the presence of the Angels, the chosen children of Elrath. Though they were decimated in ancient wars, their energy and charisma convinced the humans living in their domains to turn from the worship of Ylath, the Dragon of Air, to embrace the cult of Elrath. They are seldom seen in the Holy Empire, but they have had a great impact on its history and culture.
Architecture: Imperial public architecture is heavy and ornate, in the flamboyant gothic style. Every inch is covered in sculpture, statues, and friezes.
The average Haven city is surrounded by a high, thick wall with crenulations, watchtowers, siege engine emplacements and more.
Magic: Supported by the few Angels remaining, the citizens of the Holy Empire pray to Elrath in exchange for blessings and miracles. In this system of belief, magic power is proportional to faith. Angels are a bit different. Being an elder race directly related to Elrath, they have an innate affinity with Light magic and its principles of Truth, Justice, and Perfection.
Haven Warfare: “Stand your ground”
Mounted knights make up the Empire˘s heavy shock troops, supported by heavy infantry (the Sentinels, renowned for their discipline and military coordination) and missile weapons (the justly feared crossbowmen). Each noble is responsible for raising, outfitting and training his local militia and men-at-arms. The entire army is under the command of whichever noble the Emperor has appointed to the post. In theory, anyone is eligible. In practice, very few are ever given command of an army – the Emperor simply doesn˘t trust many of his vassals with that kind of power.
* Strengths: Buffing and healing magic, highly resilient troops, very high morale.
* Weaknesses: Limited ranged offense, limited aggressiveness.
* Racial ability: Guardian Angel – a friendly stack becomes impervious to damage and ill-effects.
EMBLEMATIC HAVEN HERO: PALADIN
Champions of the impossible quests with faith as their guiding star, Paladins have answered the calling of Elrath, the Dragon God of Light. They have sworn a solemn oath to uphold the principles of their god, and to defend the realm from all enemies. Their vow is magically binding and blesses them with tremendous powers. For this reason, Paladins become a guiding purpose, honoured by the people, respected by their allies and feared by their enemies.
EMBLEMATIC HAVEN ALLY: GRIFFIN
Griffins were created in the Mythic Age from the spontaneous magical fusion of lions and eagles. At that time the surface of Ashan was irrigated by Dragon veins, remnants of the Dragon Gods˘ wars, and animals that drank of these untamed rivers of Dragon blood and magic were permanently altered by it. It is said that an act of compassion by an eagle who rescued a lion being carried away by the current of a dragon-vein gave rise to this formidable species. In the days before the wars between the Elves of Irollan and the Holy Empire, Elf smiths were said to have been so impressed by the harmonious bonds Humans had forged with Griffins, that they taught them the secrets of Starsilver. This metal is as strong as it is light, and when properly crafted makes extremely effective armour for the flying beasts. The mysterious Elven glyphs found on the bardings of the Imperial Griffins are remnants of that long forgotten friendship.
SENTINEL - PRAETORIAN
The mighty Sentinels are the first line of defense for the Holy Empire. They are volunteers who have proven their loyalty to the Emperor and their devotion to Elrath. They have sworn an oath to protect their brothers-in-arms with their heavy shield and, if needed, their lives. For their own personal protection, they rely entirely on their faith.
Shielded (Basic & Upgrade): The Sentinels of the Holy Empire are renowned for their discipline and military coordination. At the first sign of an attack from the sky, they lift in unison their powerful shields forming a veritable wall of protection over their heads. Whenever any sentinel cries "to the sky", the others react immediately, crouching and raising their shields.
Shieldguard(Basic & Upgrade): The Sentinels of the Holy Empire have earned their honorable status through acts of courage and demonstrations of fearlessness. On the battlefield, they react quickly to protect those who are in danger around them, moving in unison like the first rays of light on a cold winter's morning.
Shield Bash (Upgrade): The Praetorians of the Holy Empire have earned their promotion from Sentinel to elite guardians as much for their selfless dedication to their duties as for their excellent skills in melee. If an enemy attacks those they are assigned to protect, they strike the aggressor immediately in a cry of rage, assuring that the act does not remain unpunished
CROSSBOWMAN - MARKSMAN
Many stories are told about how Ronan Falcon, armed only with courage and honor, triumphed over the human clan lords and united them to form the Empire that would bear his name. But it is closer to the truth to say that the crossbow is the true reason why he was victorious. To this day, the Crossbowmen of the Empire are still feared in every corner of Ashan!
Armor Piercing (Basic & Upgrade): The Crossbowmen of the Holy Empire are feared by common soldiers as well as knights. Their coordinated volleys are renowned, but their lethal reputation comes from the tremendous power coiled in their weapons. The bolts launched from their crossbows are said capable of piercing dwarven marble.
Piercing Bolt (Upgrade): Marksmen have become masters of the crossbow and learned lethal techniques allowing them to make maximum usage of each of their powerful bolts. Not only do the front lines of their enemies fear their piercing strikes, but those standing behind their target must remain extremely wary.
SISTER - VESTAL
The Priestesses of Elrath are devoted to the worship of the Dragon of Light. Chosen for their spiritual gifts, these women have dedicated their lives to bringing light and warmth to all the people in need.
Priestesses of Elrath are respected and loved by all the citizens of the Empire, and in war times they are on the front lines to care for the wounded.
Heal (Basic & Upgrade): The Sisters and Vestals of the Holy Empire, emboldened by their faith in Elrath, master the healing powers of the DragonGod of Light. Many soldiers recount the tale of being saved in extremis in the heat of a bloody battle by the warm hands of a Sister. Some even claim that they were dead, but that the priestess brought them back to life.
Pacification (Upgrade): The Vestals of the Holy Empire walk with a natural aura of purity and truth that brings spiritual pause to the enemies they attack. Their resolve and beauty has been known to strike their enemies speechless. A well-known Elven ballad recounts a battle with Vestals, claiming that each blow they delivered felt like being slapped on the face by your mother.
GRIFFIN - IMPERIAL GRIFFIN
Griffins were created in the Mythic Age from the spontaneous magical fusion of lions and eagles. At that time, the surface of Ashan was irrigated by dragon-veins, remnants of the Dragon Gods’ wars; and animals that drank of these untamed rivers of dragon blood and magic were permanently altered by it. It is said that an act of compassion by an eagle who rescued a lion being carried away by the current of a dragon-vein rise to this formidable species.
Diving Attack (Basic& Upgrade): When Griffins take flight in the heat of a battle it is not a sign that their morale is low. They affection diving on their opponents in a strafe of claws and beaks that can level a line of enemies. Many a man on Ashan will tell you that hell is below the earth deep within the bowels of Sheogh. Anyone who has ever met Griffin in combat knows that the sky should be feared even more.
Unlimited Retaliation (Basic & Upgrade): Griffins are said to be animated by the magic of the Dragon-gods and are prized allies of the Holy Empire. Their fury in battle, their wild resolve, and their amazing agility permit them to retaliate against any and all assailants that surround them. As the saying in the Empire goes, "Outflanking a Griffin's as easy as stealing a kiss from a maiden when her father's holding her hand."
Diving Assault (Upgrade): Imperial Griffins have spent many years with their human allies, and have learned the tactical importance of weakening an enemy line in battle. When they take to the sky, they return and strike their opponents at the moment they think the greatest danger has passed. As the great Emperor Connor the 1st once said, "We're never outnumbered, for as long as we have a Griffin with a breast plate who can still fly."
RADIANT GLORY - BLAZING GLORY
In the Spirit Realm, Elrath's dominion is filled with myriads of Light Elementals. Some are elevated by the Dragon-God of Light to a higher status. Vessels of the will of Elrath, sent as envoys and advisors to his most faithful followers, Radiant Glories are shining creatures who can flare into brilliance and blind their enemies. The generals of the Holy Empire soon found a use for these beings of burning light.
Speed of Light (Basic & Upgrade): Glories are thought to be spirits of pure light, and they attack with blinding speed. An appropriate old saying best explains their power: "Parrying the attack of a Glory is like trying to pin your shadow to the wall." Try it! It's not an easy matter.
Cleansing Light (Basic & Upgrade): "Glories are to justice what a hammer is to an anvil." When magic has been used on the battlefield to change the outcome of a fight that a Glory deems just, it brightens in anger emanating a cleansing burst. The will of Elrath is that all battles are won through courage and faith, but never trickery.
Searing Light (Upgrade): A Blazing Glory is said to be a mirror of pure truth that can reveal your soul. Its gaze blinds those who are unwilling to repent from their faults. In the heat of a battle, the Blazing Glory will often force an enemy to look into its purity, causing both pain and blindness. Those who survive the searing light are never quite the same.
SUN RIDER - SUN CRUSADER
There are many knights in the Holy Empire, but only those deemed worthy by Elrath himself can join the Order of the Holy Sun. Commonly known as Sun Riders, these champions of the Light are riding enchanted steeds summoned from Elrath's spiritual realm. These magical mounts are said to be able to ride on the faintest ray of light.
Charge (Basic & Upgrade): The legendary charge of the Sun Riders is a sight as beautiful as it is deadly. Many first-hand stories claim that the riders gain force the longer the distance they cover before their attack. Some of this is due to the increased speed of their mounts, but when seen from afar, one would swear that a magical light accumulates around their bodies in an ever-growing aura as they cross each parcel of ground between themselves and their enemy.
Blinding Charge (Upgrade): "May Elrath's Light guide you swiftly on to your next life! Prepare to meet your Dragon-god!" The war cry of the Sun Crusader Baron Bernard has been passed down from generation to generation and exemplifies more than anything the tremendous amount of time he had to smite his enemies while he charged down upon them. It is said that his armor and shield reflected the light of the sun, creating a beacon that singled out the target of his wrath, blinding his adversaries. It was considered by many to be a merciful power, as it gave its victims a brief moment to prepare their soul for the transition from life to death.
Sun Steed (Upgrade): The Sun Crusader has attained a level of faith in Elrath that links his own determination to that of the Dragon-God of Light. No obstacle may impede him from attacking the target his pure heart has decided must be vanquished. His mount is momentarily transformed into light, and like some holy wraith, allows the rider to go anywhere and through anything for a brief and devastating moment. This power alone has changed the art of warfare on Ashan over the last centuries for a Sun Crusader may flank an opposing army by simply charging straight through the enemy lines.
SERAPH - CELESTIAL
Physically imposing and striking in their perfection, the Angels of the Light are Elrath's messengers – and shock troops – on the face of Ashan. They are taller than normal humans, far more beautiful, and project an aura of power and confidence. Seraphim, on the other hand, are smaller and more human-like in their appearance. They started to appear after the creation of the Falcon Empire. Their true origins remain a mystery, but their devotion to Elrath is total. In battle they wield the twin blades of Judgment and Mercy.
Blade of Mercy (Basic): "The Seraph has a blade that can bring a valiant soul back to life on the battlefield. This magic is neither arcane nor ritualistic. They call upon the power of Light instinctively, using their faith in Elrath as a catalyst." This note, taken from the writings of a teacher of the Wizards of the Seven Cities, is amazingly accurate. Soldiers of the Holy Empire fight with greater courage and less fear when there is a Seraph amongst their ranks, for death is not necessarily permanent.
Blade of Judgment (Basic & Upgrade): "If ever you strike an ally of Elrath, the Seraph will know it, for the steel in her blade will tremble." from the Requiem verses of Queen Tuihdana. The Seraph's Blade of Judgment is said to be attuned to the pain taken by her allies. It stores the transgression as a power, and when the ally's aggressor is attacked, the pain adds to the target's woes.
Blade of Epiphany (Upgrade): "I was dead I tell you, and the Arch-Angel Michael brought me back. I came back stronger and faster. Alive again... to do Elrath's bidding!" This is a typical testimony of a resurrected soldier in Michael's campaign against the Prince of Hate. Had it not been for the tremendous resurrection powers of the Celestials, the demons would have certainly destroyed the Holy Empire.
Absolute Purity (Upgrade): The Celestials' determination and faith in Elrath make them immune to all magic that attempts to hinder or sway them from their path. This tremendous ability has given rise to a well-known expression in the Forests of Irrolan. "Curse a Celestial? You might as well try cursing the sun!"
Having sworn a solemn oath to uphold the principles of Elrath, the Dragon God of Light, and to defend the realm from all enemies, the Knight is honoured by the people and respected by all. Whether fighting with sword or lance, Knights' banners are their most feared weapon, for they can rally an army of earnest followers willing to be led through the very fires of Sheogh.
Neutral Ability: Fervor
The Morale and Might Damage of all friendly creatures are increased.
Champions of the impossible quest with faith as their guiding star, Paladins are Knights that have answered the calling of their Dragon. They have made a solemn vow to their god that is magically binding and blesses them with tremendous powers. The Paladin's oath becomes a guiding purpose that allies respect and rivals fear.
Advanced Ability: Martyr
At the end of each turn, the Might Defense and Health of the most damaged friendly stack are increased for the next Turn.
Ultimate Ability: Divine Jutice
Target stack is dealt a part of the overall damage it has dealt since the start of combat.
The zealous fervour and spectacular accomplishments of a few select Knights is so tremendous that Emperors and Grand Inquisitors have taken notice, bestowing them with greater responsibilities. The Vindicator has sworn allegiance to the doctrine and laws of the Holy Empire and has been given the combined battlefield functions of both judge and executioner.
Advanced Ability: Anathema
Damage, Defense, Morale and Luck are decreased for the entire enemy army. This effect cannot be dispelled.
Ultimate Ability: Hour of Judgement
The target's damage is increased against creatures under the effect of "Anathema" or "Mark of the Heretic". "Anathema" and "Mark of the Heretic" are removed after a successful attack.
Clerics have sworn their servitude to Elrath, the Dragon God of Light, and are powerful emissaries on the battlefield. Blessed for their fervour, they can bestow Elrath's favour on the troops under their command. The Holy Falcon Empire has known many wars in its five centuries of dominance, and the Clerics have been the deciding factor in many of them.
Neutral Ability: Bless
The Magic Power and Magic Defense of all friendly creatures are increased.
Confessors are Clerics that have become so attuned to the Dragon of Light that they can channel Elrath's will to protect Asha's creation. The most powerful healers of the Holy Falcon Empire are awarded the title of Confessor and are considered by most Angels as their equals in magic under the wings of their Dragon God.
Advanced Ability: Resurrection
A part of target destroyed friendly stack is resurected. The resurected stack can't attack or be attacked during the turn it has been resurected.
Ultimate Ability: Divine Intervention
Target stack is healed, cleansed of all negative effects and benefits from Initiative bonus until its next turn.
Inquisitors are Clerics who have vowed their servitude to Elrath and the advancement of the Holy Falcon Empire and its Church. The Emperor trusts no one more than an Inquisitor to shine the blazing lights of truth and justice throughout his realm. The Dragon has bestowed upon them powers that even the most battle hardened angels humbly respect.
Advanced Ability: Holy Blades
All friendly stacks deal additional damage (Light).
Ultimate Ability: Word of Light
All enemies are dealt damage (Light). All Living friendly creatures regain Health.
Restoring the light, facing the dark.
posted November 24, 2010 10:46 PM
|Edited by Elvin at 02:08, 28 Apr 2011.
“We will burn the world to ash and dance upon its ruins!”
The Demons were spawned by Urgash, the Dragon of Chaos, to confront and overcome the children of the Elemental Dragons. For centuries, they’ve been imprisoned in Sheogh, a mystical jail-world created at the heart of Ashan’s fiery core by the sacrifice of the prophet Sar-Elam.
The Demons have evolved to appreciate the heat, but the fact that they cannot escape their prison is intolerable. However, a flaw in the ritual weakens the prison when a Bloodmoon eclipse occurs, allowing the demon legions to regain a momentary freedom, that they usually use to swarm and ravage Ashan.
The Infernal hierarchy is complex but simply structured; the strongest rule, imposing their will on the weakest, and all bow their horned heads to the six Demon Overlords.
A new leader, Kha Beleth, has started to preach another possibility for demonic organization. He speaks of a world where all demons are created equal and have a right to live freely within and without Sheogh. He is gathering followers, and intends on using the upcoming Bloodmoon eclipse to gain a foothold on Ashan, and expose, if not impose, his people’s right to an equal place amongst the children of the Dragon Gods.
In a nutshell: Demons are the embodiment of Chaos. They believe that the only meaningful moral value is individual freedom and they feel no need to justify their actions. They kill because they can or because they want to.
That's why they are viewed as "Evil" or dangerous and why the other factions of Ashan prefer them to be locked up in their prison realm, Sheogh that Sar Elam created for them.
However there are individuals, amongst these nations who are seduced by this absolute notion of Free Will above all and end up converted to demon worship.
Inspiration: Greek Maenads / Bacchantes (the frenzied followers of Greek God Dionysus), Decadent Rome (Nero, Caligula, Heliogabale etc), Carthage or Aztec Priests.
Associated colous: red and black
Symbols: Ouroboros (the snake that eats its own tail), Unicursal Hexagram (six pointed star), Chaos spiral
Worship: Their progenitor - Urgash the Primordial Dragon of Chaos
Core Philosophy: "Might makes Right": the ability to commit an act is sufficient justification to do it. Conquer, plunder and rape the weak - or not, as you wish - indulge yourself in selfish pleasures, convert the fools who do not understand the meaning of liberty. Power is to be taken by the strong and lorded over the weak.
Country / Kingdom: Sheogh, the Prison of Fire
Capital City" Ur-Hekal, the "Gate of the Burning Heart"
their progenitor – Urgash, the Primordial Dragon of Chaos
Inferno is the faction of demons, spawned by Urgash, the Dragon of Chaos, to confront and overcome the children of the Elemental Dragons. For centuries, they have been imprisoned in Sheogh, a mystical jail-world created at the heart of Ashan˘s fiery core. They believe that the only meaningful moral value is individual freedom, and they feel no need to justify their actions. That's why they are viewed as "Evil" and dangerous, and why the other factions of Ashan prefer them to be locked up in their prison-realm. However, there are individuals, among these nations, who are seduced by this absolute notion of Free Will above all, and end up converted to demon worship.
The heat and lava is something the Demons have evolved to actually appreciate, but the fact that they cannot escape their prison is insupportable. A new leader, Kha Beleth, has started to preach a world where all demons are created equal and have a right to live freely within and without Sheogh. He is gathering followers, and intends on using the upcoming Bloodmoon eclipse to gain a foothold on Ashan, and expose, if not impose, his people˘s right to an equal place amongst the children of the Dragon Gods.
Social Organization: Demons have an absolute monarchy. What the six overlords say, goes. The slightest disagreement or disobedience is met with swift and severe punishment. Their "vassals" are organized into a rough hierarchy based on power, with the stronger bullying the weak into obedience. Powerful demons usually style themselves Lords of sorts and claim some section of their particular hell as their own. The strongest hold cities or positions in their master's court, which they guard jealously.
Architecture: Demon architecture is built entirely by slave labor and shaped by Chaos magic. Designed to intimidate, it is often massive, twisted and eminently impractical. There is no basic shape for a given demonic building but they all mix basalt, lava and some sort of thick organic slime as their basic materials. The final result is definitely alien-looking.
Magic: Demon magic is drawn from raw chaos and destructive by nature. Overall demons show an unsurpassed ability to use the most negative aspects of magic (direct damage, damage over time, debuffs)..
Most of their spells are in fact corrupted versions of the "regular" elemental spells.
Emblematic Inferno Hero: The Hell Knight(Might)
A status reserved for the Demon-worshippers who served their masters well. They are not true demons but humans(or elves, dwarves) who received the blessing of Urgash and were improved by Chaos magic. Their corrupted body now hidden in semi-sentient armour they cannot remove, they lead the demon legions on the surface of Ashan. Because they are not really demons they are not bound to Sheogh which makes them the perfect agents on Ashan for the Demon Sovereign. Hell Knights are not great masters of Chaos magic themselves but the ritual they confer gives them various chaotic abilities.
Inferno Strategy: "Divide, Summon and Conquer"
Gate in as many troops as you can while spreading fire and chaos into enemy ranks. Then let your shock troops finish them.
Inferno generals should focus on fast massive area of effect damage, mass offensive abilities, disruption of enemy support and tactics, free expendable reinforcements.
* Strenths: Deadly magic, unparalleled stamina, luck is always on their side.
* Weaknesses: No discipline, flickering morale very few support abilities.
* Racial ability: Gating - Inferno troops can summon temporary reinforcements of their own kind directly on the battlefield.
The entire nation of demons is an army. Each one only lives to raven and destroy and is quite capable at wreaking tremendous havoc on its own. Forged together into a disciplined army they would be almost unstoppable. Fortunately for their enemies instilling that discipline is harder than it looks, and the lesser demons often need to be driven along by massive, whip-wielding taskmasters.
But the mere intimidating presence of the demon legions on the battlefield isn't enough and they'll use every trick at their disposal. Only then, once the enemy has been sufficiently softened up, will the demonic forces charge. If they hold the discipline, they generally power straight through anything opposing them. If not they turn into a ravening mob.
Demons also have wicked aces up their sleeves:
Able to alter the space-time continuum they can teleport on the field of battle.
Their gating allows them to summon reinforcements from their prison realm.
Demonic weaponry is serrated, barbed and spiked so as to cause maximum pain and damage, and to make healing any wound much more difficult.
Chaotic by nature they have a wild combat behaviour and erratic tactics. Their unpredictable area of effect abilities have a tendency to hurt their own units so the goal is often simply to make sure the opponent suffers even more.
MANIAC - DEMENTED
Maniacs are the spawns of Ur-Vormoch, the Demon Overlord of Madness. These demons are the spirits of the unbalanced, infuriated and unpredictable nature of Chaos.
A true offspring of their creator, the Maniacs excel at spreading fear and panic. The Maniacs cry and shriek in pain when attacking, and laugh when wounded.
Twisted Mind (Basic & Upgrade): The Maniac's sense of reasoning has crossed the normal boundaries of sanity. All forms of morality and logic have been abandoned and attempts to sap their morale or influence their mind find nothing but a multicolored mental wilderness. The Blind Brothers, who captured quite a few Maniacs during the 2nd Eclipse, say that explaining to a Maniac the reasons his violent behavior will lead him to a horrid death is like convincing a tree not to grow more bark for the winter.
Manic Laughter (Upgrade): Defending against a Demented is extremely disconcerting. It attacks a little before or a little after a normal creature would make a blow, making it slightly harder to defend against and giving it the advantage of unpredictability. When its blows come through, they land where their enemies least expect them to fall. This bolsters the Demented's resolve, and some swear they even heal themselves with the unpredictable misfortune that they cause to their enemies.
HELLHOUND - CERBERUS
Cerberi are servants of the Demon Overlord of Voracity. These two-headed fire breathing mastiffs outclass even the sabretooth tigers or dire wolves in size, speed and ferocity.
Unlimited Retaliation (Basic & Upgrade): A Hell Hound is never caught off guard and attacking one never goes unpunished. Trained for the hunt of extremely dangerous prey and as guards for even more dangerous treasures, its doubly keen sense of smell and hearing make it impossible to attack without getting at least one bite in return.
Eye of Gluttony (Basic & Upgrade): Once a Hell Hound or Cerberus has been wounded by an enemy, its senses are filled with an uncontrollable hunger to bring down its aggressor. The odor of its assailant overcomes it and gives rise to a ravenous frenzy. In this state, the two-headed beast's attacks are more devastating against its marked foe until all its aggressors are killed or the combat ends.
Voracious (Upgrade): A Cerberus is voracious, and as the saying goes in Sheogh, "Two heads are better than one, as long as you have two plates to feed them with." The Cerberus affections multiple targets when they are aligned in front of it: it makes it all the easier to find something to bite.
SUCCUBUS - LILIM
Some children of Asha (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, etc.), having promised themselves to Urgash and the lords of Sheogh, are raised after their death as Incubi (male) or Succubi (female).
As reincarnations of powerful Demon cultists, they usually have a relatively high and unusual rank in the hierarchy of Demonkind. However, though many think they have the wit, devotion, and power needed to achieve this desirable status, in reality many of the pretenders end as lesser Incubi/Succubi (servants, sex slaves, etc…).
Their “mortal” origins make them useful as spies, infiltrators, and diplomats. To support this role, they are granted powers of illusion, charm and shape-shifting, so as to appear almost as beautiful and charismatic as Angels, but in a "carnal", sensual way, which allows them to influence lesser minds.
Particularly in the development of the sects of Demon Cultists, it is almost inevitable that an Incubus or a Succubus will be present.
Pleasure in Pain (Basic): Attacking a Succubus is never a painless affair. Each battle becomes a romantic dance similar to the courting parade of two wild Griffins at the beginning of spring. When one attacks the Succubus, there is a natural and instinctive pheromone-driven reaction, and the pretender does a little bit of damage to itself in its over aggressiveness as if to prove to its partner that he or she would make a worthy mate.
Seduce (Upgrade): "I knew I should o' killed her! But something made me wanna kiss her instead." Many a soldier who was lucky enough to survive an encounter with a Lilim on the battlefield, tells the same story. The creature has a mesmerizing power, and its sulfurous perfume seems to contain a hidden promise of pleasure, if its assailants would simply throw down their weapons.
Rapture in Agony (Upgrade): A battle with a Lilim is an exhilarating experience that has given even the most faithful warriors pause for reflection. Each successful attack against the beautiful creature comes with a dose of delicious pain. The tale of Lord Harris who left his young bride to battle the Lilim Frissona a thousand times is told at wedding parties all over Ashan. It is politely considered a warning for the groom, but most brides consider it a warning for them to assure that their wedding night becomes an unforgettable experience for their new husband.
JUGGERNAUT - RAVAGER
Servants of the Demon Overlord of Destruction, Juggernauts are easily identified by their immense horns and their basalt-covered fists and hooves. In battle, they rush violently (and sometimes blindly) into the enemies lines, impaling their enemies with their horns, crushing them with a swing of their massive arms, or trampling them to a bloody pulp. When needed, they even make good battering rams.
Chaotic Armor(Basic & Upgrade): The Juggernauts have made a pact with Ur-Khrag, the Overlord of Destruction. In exchange for their promise to destroy all that Asha has created, they have been given an organic armor that mutates constantly, making it impossible to hamper magically. Many a wizard has died with eyes open in astonishment, as his most powerful spell has no affect against the creatures.
Unstoppable Charge(Basic & Upgrade): Juggernauts affection opportunities to destroy all living and un-living creations of Asha, the Dragon-Goddess of Order. Whether organic or mineral, their charge creates a wake of destruction that obliterates everything in its path on the way to its target. It is said that they particularly adore the sound of shattering stone. It is music to their ears that remind them of the mines in Sheogh where they often choose to live.
Taunting Presence(Upgrade): The Ravager's presence on the battlefield is so impressive that all enemies around it consider it to be the only force capable of determining the outcome of the battle. This magical aura of imminent destruction acts like a beacon and the Ravager draws all attacks towards itself, even when a closer and more dangerous foe is standing right next to the aggressor.
TORMENTOR - LACERATOR
Tormentors are the servants of Ur-Traggal, Demon Overlord of Pain. Tormentors are consumed by the endless suffering of Urgash and inflict upon their own bodies unthinkable horrors. They draw power from their own agony, and use their deformations to strike their enemies. The Tormentors' skeleton is his principal weapon, as he is able to tear out pieces of his body to use in combat. His ribs can pierce through his chest to pin an adversary: his bones can elongate and project through his fingers to provide him with razor-like talons.
Retractable Spikes (Basic): It is said that nothing is more painful than a compound fracture, when pieces of bone pierce through the skin. A notable exception is when someone else's bones come piercing into your own. The Tormentors, who worship pain religiously, have the power to use their bones as weapons. They explode from their bodies like spikes and attack indiscriminately anyone who has the misfortune to be standing beside them. It hurts their victims even more than it hurts them.
Taste of Pain (Basic & Upgrade): Ur-Traggal, the Overlord of Pain, awards power to demons that seek situations where pain is distributed abundantly. There is no better place than on a battlefield. Ur-Traggal's favored creatures, the Tormented and Lacerators, have vowed unwavering allegiance to the philosophy and become more powerful with each blow they deliver or receive. Thus their common phrase of greeting "Give me your pain!” is often politely accompanied by a generous punch in the face.
Exploding Spikes (Upgrade): "Stab Lacerator in back or Lacerator's back stab you." An old Orc proverb taught to children to remind them to finish a job quickly once it has been started, draws its origin from legendary encounters with Lacerators. These creatures have the extraordinary power to expulse explosive pieces of bone laced with acid from their bodies that cause damage to all those around them.
BREEDER - MOTHER BREEDER
The Breeders were the result of Urgash crafting a material form that translated some of his own primordial drives. Specifically, the drive to consume mana and the drive to populate Ashan with hordes of creatures loyal to the dictates of Chaos. Bestowed upon Ur-Mespharoth, the Demon Overlord of Proliferation, the Breeder is an obese, pulsing mass of flesh that continually creates Imps. The Imps that she births are “spit” from the various orifices that randomly appear on her body.
Though this demon is almost incapable of movement, she constantly twitches and contracts with her insatiable need to procreate. This drive to reproduce eats her from the inside out, and much of her energy is consumed in efforts to control the mutations of her body. She will occasionally consume her own Imp offspring.
She uses the mana energy that she ingests to impregnate herself, as nourishment, and to help her control the gruesome deformities that are created by her ceaseless cycle of birthing.
Mana Leech (Basic & Upgrade): Mana is a creative resource that allows one to make something out of nothing. The creatures of Ur-Aazheel, the Overlord of Proliferation, can smell Mana a mile away. Breeders not only rely on Mana to reproduce but can also channel its power from an enemy to their leader, whenever they are the target of an attack.
Proliferation (Upgrade): "Breeders breed fear. Breeder Mother breeds good reason." This Orc proverb used to illustrate the difference between an Orc of too many words and an Orc of action, draws it origins from the demonic creatures that they have fought bravely for centuries. Breeders multiply extremely quickly, and when one thinks that there are already a good number, there always seem to be a few more than originally counted.
PIT FIEND - PIT LORD
Punished and jailed, Urgash, the Dragon-god of Chaos, is consumed by hatred for Asha and her creations. Ur-Haazheel, Demon Overlord of Hate, is the expression of that endless enmity and the mighty Pitfends are his most spectacular agents. Surpassed in their violent natures by only the most vehement Arch Demons, Pitfiends are the most dangerous creatures found in the Infernal legions.
Hateful Retaliation (Basic & Upgrade): "Never underestimate a raging Pit Fiend's intelligence. They may fight like a possessed creature, but they have one hell of a good memory!" Those legendary words of advice were given by the Arch-Angel Harrodal to Pavel Griffin the week before he was slain in battle against a legion of demons. Pit Fiends never forget to retaliate against a creature that has done them damage in a battle, no matter where they are on the field of battle. They seem to keep a mental hate list, and there is always room for another name.
Blinded by Rage (Basic & Upgrade): A Pit Fiend is driven by Hatred the way a cart is driven by a horse. Nothing can control its anger on a battlefield and it is immune to all mental attacks that would affect even the strongest of wills. Ur-Hekal, the Overlord of Hate, is said to be the only power capable of making a Pit Fiend stop an attack, and since Ur-Hekal has never found a good reason not to attack someone, his favored creatures are considered uncontrollable even by the Princes of Sheogh.
Blade of Hatred (Basic & Upgrade): "Suddenly, all I could think about was that Rapheous owed me three crystals, and that I needed to make him pay. So I threw a fire ball at him." In this excerpt from a Seven Cities' Court martial Trial the wizards were the first to understand the maliciousness of the Pit Fiends' power of Hatred. When confronting a Pit Fiend the attacker might become momentarily infected by its hate. At that point anything can happen, and one might even attack an old friend over some ridiculous old squabble, until brought to reason by an attack from the true enemy on the battlefield.
Boundless Hate (Upgrade): A Pit Lord is the embodiment of pure Hatred. When it leashes its Boundless Hate, all enemies on the battlefield suffer the consequences, and even his allies take note. As the saying goes in Sheogh, "Never forget to bring a present to a Pit Lord's spawnday party. He'll certainly hate the present, but he'll hate you more if you forget."
Embracing the cause of Chaos and imbued with powers feared by all those who walk the lands of Ashan, the Heretic has thrown aside an Ashan birthright to become a leader of demons. Heretics have been "blessed" by Urgash for loyal services to an Archdemon of Sheogh, and their bodies have undergone mutations that confer upon them the power to channel the fires of hell and command its minions.
Neutral Ability: Hellfire Aura
All friendly creatures have a chance to deal additional damage (Fire) on attacks and retaliations.
Hellcallers inspire demonkind and harness their longing for freedom from their eternal prison world into a devastating strategical weapon. The Hellcaller's charisma and sense of purpose makes them the most feared Heretics on Ashan, most especially during a Blood Moon eclipse when the walls of Sheogh are weakened. Their ranks are constantly replenished by eager, ferocious and obedient minions who would follow them anywhere, eyes alit with the promise of freedom.
Advanced Ability: Irresistible Calling
The number of creatures summoned with the Gating faction/racial ability is increased.
Ultimate Ability: Seal of Power
Some of the reinforcements from the Gating Faction ability stay in the hero's army after combat, up to the original size of the stack they reinforced.
In Sheogh, Luck is a form of Power. None have learned the extent of this aspect as well as the Chaos Lord, who in gaining the favours of Urgash for daring and ever riskier exploits, has acquired the capacity to bend the rules of fate and destiny. The leader's legions not only grow in confidence under the Chaos Lord's command, but become uncannily precise in battle, devastating their astonished foes.
Advanced Ability: Demonic Luck
Critical hits are increased for all friendly creatures.
Ultimate Ability: Mark of Chaos
The next attacks on the target will automatically be critical hits.
The magic of Chaos is a powerful force that has more than once turned a curious Priest away from their Dragon God, or an ambitious Wizard from the reasonable precepts of Sar-Issus. These Sheogh-bent mages are called Warlocks, and their reputation on the battlefield is infamous. Often the leaders of secret armies of Demon Cultists in times of peace, when demons escape Sheogh, they willingly swarm to the Warlock's banner.
Neutral Ability: Chaos Magic
All spells cast by the Hero have a chance to cost less Mana.
Warlocks obtain the title of Demonist when their mastery of the magic of Chaos allows them to create portals between Sheogh and Ashan at will. The greatest amongst them use these powers during the heat of a battle, turning the tide to their favour when even the most pessimistic of generals has thought the conflict already won. The greatest demonists are known throughout Sheogh, and the minions of Urgash answer their calling in a heartbeat.
Advanced Ability: Linked Gating
Creates a link between a stack and its gated reinforcements. A part of the damage dealt to the original stack is instead dealt to the gated stack.
Ultimate Ability: Abyss Gate
Targeted stack returns to Sheogh for the turn, then comes back reinforced. The gate remains on the combat map, it has three Toughness and can be destroyed. If it is destroyed, the ally returns after combat.
Warlocks seduced by the promises of Ur-Krag, the Overlord of Destruction, become so attuned to His will, that they can channel the powers of fire and chaos directly onto the battlefield. The spells of the Pyromancer are so devastating that demons under their command often charge impulsively simply to be sure of being part of the combat before it is quickly finished by the powers of their master.
Advanced Ability: Inferno
Five pillars of raging fire appear in the desired place, damaging all stacks in the area. At the start of each turn the pillars move in random directions damaging any stacks on the way. The pillars last for four turns.
Ultimate Ability: Armageddon
All non-infernal creatures on the Combat Map are dealt damage (Fire). All obstacles and walls are dealt damage (Structural).
Restoring the light, facing the dark.
posted November 24, 2010 10:46 PM
“Life is change, chaos, filth and suffering.
Death is peace, order, everlasting beauty.”
Necropolis is at the beginning of their rise to power, and power they have. They are currently fighting for emancipation and acceptance from their brethren the Wizards of the Seven Cities. They do not seek to convert all the nations of Ashan to their morbid belief, nor to kill them all and raise them as undead, but rather to have a dominant place in the world as protectors of the equilibrium between the worlds of life and death.
They see the upcoming Demon Invasions as an opportunity to sanctify their religious order and justify its existence to the other factions of Ashan.
In a nutshell: Necromancers begun as a splinter sect of the wizards and grew into a powerful faction. They worship the "Death" aspect of Asha. Their interpretation of the Goddess's darkest aspect is fanatical, emphasizing death alone and exalting the state of un-life to which all necromancers aspire. They study Death magic in order to become eternal but on their way to un-life they learn how to control the spirits of the deceased or how to raise the dead.
Inspiration: Ancient Egypt (Book of the Dead), Buddhism (asceticism and rejection of the world of flesh as illusory and transient), all kinds of sects (fanaticism, cult of the leader, fascination with order and purity).
Associated Colours: black, white and fluorescent green
Symbols: Death spider, number 8: vertical (Asha master of Time - hourglass) or horizontal (Asha master of Space - infinity)
Worship: Asha Primordial dragon of Order in a twisted aspect of her "Death" version
Core Philosophy: "Embrace the Void. Enlightenment can be found only after the passions of flesh have been stripped away. Time is our ally for one day all that things that live will someday die.."
Country / Kingdom: The Silver Cities
Capital City: None at the time of H6
Necromancers worship Asha, the Primordial Dragon of Order in a twisted version of her "Death" aspect.
Necropolis is the faction of the Necromancers. At the time of Heroes 6, they are not yet the powerful rulers of Heresh but just a splinter sect of the Wizards. Later, they worship the "Death" aspect of Asha. Their interpretation of the Goddess's darkest aspect is fanatical, emphasizing death alone and exalting the state of un-life to which all Necromancers aspire.
Necromancer life is ascetic in the extreme. Sensual pleasures are frowned upon, as is any sort of gaiety, or celebration. Citizens speak in whispers and low tones, nobody hurries anywhere, and there is little change on the streets from day to night. Those who have tasks do them, quietly, and then go home to the generally childless social groupings called "families" for lack of a better term. Necromancers spend their birthdays in seclusion and penitence. Procreation is generally frowned upon as a distraction from the greater work.
The recent events
Necropolis is at the beginning of their rise to power, and power they have. They are currently fighting for emancipation and acceptance from their brethren the Wizards of the Seven Cities. They do not seek to convert all the nations of Ashan to their morbid belief, nor to kill them all and raise them as undead, but rather to have a dominant place in the world as protectors of the equilibrium between the worlds of life and death. They see the upcoming Demon Invasion as an opportunity to sanctify their religious order and justify its existence to the other factions of Ashan.
Social Organization: Necromancer life is ascetic in the extreme. Sensual pleasures are frowned upon, as in any sort of gaiety or celebration. Citizens speak in whispers and low tones, nobody hurries anywhere, there is little change in the streets from day to night. Those who have tasks do them quietly and then go home to the generally childless social groupings called "families" for lack of a better term. Necromancers spend their birthdays in seclusion and penitence. Procreation is generally frowned upon as a distraction from the greater work.
Architecture: Necropolis architecture is frighteningly uniform. Devotion to order is reflected in obsession for symmetry and sharp, angular shapes. Pyramids and obelisks are their archetypal buildings, unadorned except for the ever-present symbols of the Spider Goddess. Their favourite construction material is the cracked black stone of the southern deserts, making it seem as if entire cities are drinking in the light of day and swallowing it down.
Magic: The Death Lords focus on the destructive paths of magic with a predilection of the Primordial magic of Order and the elemental spheres of Darkness and Earth. They have also discovered their own branch of magic which they call necromancy. Most of their spells consist in eroding the body and dominating the spirit.
Emblematic necropolis Hero: The necromancer(Magic)
Most of the higher ranking Death Lords pursue the path of the necromancers, masters of dark curses, earth-based enchantments and the primordial control of time.
Necropolis Warfare: "A dead enemy is a good ally"
Necropolis troops are mainly composed of “puppet” undead units like skeletons and ghouls, controlled by necromancers, but also of more powerful entities like vampires and liches. They are slow but literally unstoppable, for killing what is already dead is not an easy matter and will often take time. Time that Necropolis will conscientiously exploit to slowly erode the body and dominate the spirit of their enemy.
* Strengths: Magics which can weaken and despair the enemy, units which have no notion of what fatigue and low morale actually are.
* Weaknesses: Limited mobility, slow troops, few support abilities.
* Racial Ability: Necromancy - Any living creature or undead falling on the battlefield feeds a special gauge. The player can use it to increase one of his own stacks. X% of raised units remain after combat.
Necromancers like wizards are rarely seen in on the front lines. They usually stay on the rear echelon as command cadre or support units.
Otherwise necropolis armies consist of wave after wave of walking dead, countless, infinitely obedient, immune to fear or pain. These lesser undead are generally slow and clumsy but have the numbers to drown their enemies in bodies and the ranks of dead enemies are raised to replace their fallen allies.
Necromancers also engage ghosts in battle for quick surgical strikes. In many ways ghosts are to them what the djinns are for wizards.
Necromancers will generally press an attack for hours knowing full well this is one of their advantages.
Unlike most factions, necropolis counting on its ability to outlast its enemies, will usually not aim at the support units but instead damage dealers. The goal is to sever the enemy's ability to deal more damage than your army can stand. Yet support with specific abilities to purge/negate your debuffs should also be considered primary targets.
SKELETON - SKELETAL SPEARMAN
Skeletons are nothing more than dead, decaying bodies animated by the will of a Necromancer. Combining blind loyalty, indifference to hunger and thirst, and a lack of any sense of fear or doubt, the Skeleton is considered to be an excellent servant.
Hollow Bones (Basic & Upgrade): "Fools! Don't aim for their hearts! They don't have any!" Captain Gregor's legendary last order to his crossbowmen was immortalized by the only marksman to escape the encounter with unliving denizens of a tomb. The survivor recounted the incident to mad Emperor Laegaire himself, who was reportedly so upset not to have recovered the legendary bottomless flask of wine, that he appointed a goat to lead his armies that very same day. His reasoning was that a goat is better equipped to break bones than a band of bolt shooters.
Webbing Spears (Upgrade): The necromantic power used to animate the Skeletal Spearman is tremendous and has an extraordinary side effect. In the immediate area around the Spearman, all bones of any creature great and small that has fallen over the centuries, rise and form a sort of splintery and crackling garden that slows movement and commands respect.
GHOUL - RAVENOUS GHOUL
Ghouls are ravenous spirits of the dead, bound by magic in lifeless corpses. Ghouls are tormented beings, filled with hatred for the living.
Powerful Necromancers can control them, but otherwise they are wild and destructive. Transformation into a ghoul is used as the ultimate punishment in Heresh, and is a means of permanently removing a soul from the cycle of death and transformation.
Ghouls feed on corpses and often carry diseases in their blood and saliva.
Dead Flesh (Basic & Upgrade): "This meat is as tough as ghoul's skin." A famous line from a Naga comic play, recounting the story of a resourceful swordsmith's wife who during a famine feeds her husband leather armor for dinner, illustrates the principle characteristic of the ghoul. Both its flesh and skin are hardenened and tough and serve it as a natural armor that is extremely resistant to all forms of physical attack.
Rage Against the Living (Upgrade): "Unleash the ravenous ghoul, his hunger will lead us to the thief." The guardian of treasure in Nar Heresh, Baron Deathlock, kept ravenous ghouls near the sect's greatest treasures as watchdogs. Their heightened senses, driven by an insatiable hunger for living flesh, discouraged not only thieves, but rats and curious crows. When they catch the scent of a living creature they are possessed by the odor and move visibly faster, gaining both strength and a raging fury in preparation of a feast.
GHOST - SPECTRE
Upon their death, the children of the Dragon Gods rise as spirits to the moon, to pass into eternity under the guiding hand of Asha. However, traumatic events can cause the creation of a Ghost, a spirit bound to the material world by a powerful, negative emotion.
By performing a specific ritual, Necromancers can convert Ghosts into loyal servants, under their absolute control.
Incorporeal (Basic): Ghosts are present both in the Spirit World and Ashan simultaneously, but never completely on either. This allows them to move through walls and trees without hindrance and when attacked physically, a part of the damage is lost to thin air. "My sword went right through him... and then it... went right through me!"
Wail of the Netherworld (Basic & Upgrade): Heals undead allies, possibly resurrecting creatures if the stack still exists. Living creatures around the healed target suffer minor damage that adds to the amount healed.
Death Sceal (Upgrade): "It was as if the spectre had marked his soul for harvest." In the diary of Priestess Jane, she explains the difficulty she had resurrecting soldiers who had been attacked by spectres. She claimed that the spectre had the power to seal its victim's rendez-vous with death, making it extremely difficult to bring them back to life during the heat of a battle.
Immaterial (Upgrade): "Of all the children of Ashan, it's their dead I hate the most! I smashed that spectre seven times, before it finally gave up its ghost." The Arch-Demon Zol-Moran is said to have been the first to encounter an army of spectres on the battlefield. His legion of Juggernauts was decimated and he swore that the next time he escaped Sheogh, he would bring magic users.
LICH - ARCHLICH
Higher ranking Necromancers (the priests of the Spider Goddess) are given a life-prolonging elixir that is “milked from the venom of the Goddess’s sacred spiders, and that they must mix their food.
This “treatment” turns them into Asakkus, or “Liches”, their bodies desiccated but now freed from the passions of the flesh. They keep aging however, until they look little more than walking mummies... The venom mixture also colors their whole eyes bright green.
Asha's Embrace (Basic & Upgrade): "When a Lich is on the battlefield, watch the shadows… they grow longer." The Lich emits a permanent aura of Darkness that makes magical cursing as easy as calling someone a dirty name. Though Liches themselves seldom use vulgar language, many a sorry opponent has sworn and cussed when suffering from their augmented spells.
Life Drain (Upgrade): The Archlich has gained mastery over the cycle of Life & Death and can play with its energies. It can drain life from an enemy and pour it into the hungry body of an undead ally. This tremendous power, considered wicked by many, is considered to be a relatively altruistic action by necromancers, for it cannot be used to heal themselves.
VAMPIRE - VAMPIRE LORD
As they grow in power, Liches may earn the right to be embraced by the Spider Goddess herself to die and be reborn as Akhkharus, or “Vampires”. They undergo an excruciating ritual but gain a rejuvenated body, cleansed from all defects. Vampires don’t need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe anymore as all their organs are “petrified” and it is not blood, but the sacred spider’s venom, that now flows in their veins.
However, they need to drink human blood on a regular basis to thin this venom down, and prevent it from dissolving their body from the inside.
Vampiric Embrace (Basic): "They don't just drink blood to heal themselves, they need it to water down the venom flowing in their veins." When the armies of the Holy Empire first observed vampires fighting beside them during the wars with the Demons of the 2nd Blood Moon Eclipse, they didn't know which of the two was the greater evil. It was the Great Inquisitrice Amanda who first wrote about their powers, reportedly having captured one and put it to the question. "If the Vampire cannot feed, its own blood, a venom of sorts, consumes it from within.
Out of Time (Basic & Upgrade): "Smash twice. Only sure way to kill it." These words of advice from a warworn Cyclops are particularly good to remember when fighting a Vampire. When concentrating only on defense, the vampire is capable of entering the Spirit World just long enough to avoid an attack. If one wants to be sure to damage it, one must strike it again before it has time to regain its composure.
Vampiric Grasp (Upgrade): "She stabbed him the belly, and he bit her in the back, the angels healed her everywhere and the Emperor drank to that." In the tavern song that recounts the epic battle between Amanda and the Vampire Lord Miroul, the Holy Empire's Great Inquisitrice is bitten in a different part of her body with each verse. She keeps stabbing the Vampire in the belly to know apparently no avail. She is finally victorious, but few actually get to that fortieth verse in the song before succombing to the ritual of downing their glass along with the Emperor.
LAMASU - PUTRID LAMASU
The Lamasu were a failed experiment by the wizards to create a superior breed of beastmen, by the unnatural fusion of a human being (usually a slave or criminal) and a magical creature (in this particular case, a Manticore).
The resulting creature was too unstable and was litteraly short-lived, but they still proved useful to the Necromancers. The Necromancers rose their dead bodies and infected them with pestilence. The Lamasu function as plague vector, coupled with the creature’s physical might, and its mobility make them perfect front-line troops in the Undead armies.
Aura of Putrescence (Basic & Upgrade): "When the blood of manticore and men are mixed, it gives birth to a sickness that kills its host and everything around it." The wizards of the Seven Cities considered the Lamasu a failed beastman experiment, until a humble embalmer discovered their true potential. They have become one of the most terrifying creatures of the Necromancer armies as walking dead. Their natural disease kills anything that stays too close to it for an extended period of time.
Breath of Vermin (Upgrade): "Wherever the Putrid Lamasu stalks, those who live off the dead stalk with it." A host of small vermin often accompany the beast, living both within its body and its oily fur. These parasites can be directed into a swarm and used as a weapon against an enemy. Its effects are devastating, and as one naga poet wrote, "...like an ugly gutter cat salting and peppering its next meal."
Contagion (Upgrade): The Putrid Lamasu carries a strain of a natural disease that is infectious. The only way to rid oneself of the deadly contagion is to sleep, something that is extremely difficult during a full-fledged battle. The discovery of the cure was immortalized by the Sun Crusader, Lord Kilburn, after a legendary victory over the Archlich Mironor. "Praise Elrath, we have won... and now all of you! Find a safe place to take a nap!"
FATE SPINNER - FATE WEAVER
The Fate Spinner is an avatar of the Spider Goddess, a truly divine reflection of the Death aspect of Asha. She has left the goddess's side to materialize on the surface of Ashan. The Fate Spinner will often be present at the founding of a Necropolis, fortifying the foundations and encouraging its growth.
Like the queen of a hive she nurtures the growth of a necropolis; under her protection the undead comb the region for lost souls which they then recruit to swell their ranks. The Fate Spinner can either assume the form of a spider-woman hybrid or that of a human woman with two legs and six arms.
Dual Forms (Basic & Upgrade): "Spinner and Weaver, human or spider, they're one and the same. Both will sever the thread that ties you to this world." Hashima gave this warning to the armies of Eternal Empress before waging battle with the Necromancers of the Seven Cities. The Fates, have the power to change form, but both are extremely deadly.
Venomous Touch (Basic & Upgrade): "Kill the spiders quickly. Time is death's ally". The Venomous Touch of the Fates favors them in a prolonged conflict on the battlefield. The Naga general Maturato devoted an entire chapter in his famous epic poem of war, encouraging his students to change their traditional tactical strategies when encountering the terrible spiders in combat.
Freezing Web (Upgrade): "Tricky Spider got away. My blade still sticky." The Fate Weaver is a formidable foe and very difficult to kill if given the time to spin a web around itself. The Orcs hate their trapping ability in particular, as it counters their traditional charge and slash tactics, and requires a great deal of patience to defeat.
Baleful Gaze (Basic & Upgrade): "How amazing! It knows you're trying to kill it before even you do." The Arch-Demon Kha-Beleth was reportedly so amazed by the Baleful Gaze of the Fate Spinner that he spent a century trying to convince one to become his succubus. The Arch-Demon claimed that they could see briefly into the future and divine the violent intentions of their enemy. "I want one of the those!"
Dance of Decay (Upgrade): "Life and Death is a sacred cycle! Growing older is just the proof that Asha still knows your name." When a Fate Weaver starts to dance time seems to dance with her, and if you stand too close you will pass on to the Dragon-Goddess before your normally appointed time. The Dance of Decay accelerates the aging process, and is considered proof that the Fates do indeed draw their power from Asha, the Dragon of Order.
Devout followers of the cult of the Spider Goddess who aspire to the calling of the warrior, cover their face with the Death Mask in honour of Her name. This deeply religious oath transforms them into an emissary of death and the hosts they lead into battle have sent many to an unappointed rendez-vous with Asha in the spirit world. Some are said to die of fright upon simply seeing the face of death adorned by the Ebon Knight.
Neutral Ability: Face of Death
Each time an enemy stack is destroyed, all atributes of all other enemy stacks are decreased for several turns.
Bone Guards are obsessed in maintaining the fragile balance between Life and Death. Standing on the edge, they can channel mystical energies from one dominon to the other. Their service to the Spider Goddess requires the manipulation of complex philosophy as well as the sword. They ultimately decide who deserves to live and who must die, so that Asha, the Dragon Goddess of Creation, might use their soul once again in a future reincarnation.
Advanced Ability: Bound By Death
Whenever a friendly undead stack is near a corpse, she drains its departing lifeforce and gains Health regeneration. Moving away from the corpse ends the effect.
Ultimate Ability: Death is not the End
When a friendly stack is destroyed, it drains health to each adjacent enemy stack and is instantly revived with Health equal to the amount drained
The Death Knight preaches the merits of un-life and eagerly converts both the willing and the dead. Those who stand against the will of the Spider Goddess's greatest warrior in the crusade to forcefully maintain the balance of Life and Death, must be victorious or be enlisted as a part of the congregation. Many Death Knights become obsessed with their role, and come to believe that they must kill everything until Asha sends someone capable of stopping them. Asha uses all.
Advanced Ability: Vampiric Embrace
A part of the damage caused by all friendly stacks restores their Health.
Ultimate Ability: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Target Core or Elite stack will be destroyed within a few turns, unless the battle is won first.
The Necromancers began as a religious splinter sect of the Wizards of the Seven Cities who had developed a mystical sensitivity to the death aspect of the Dragon Goddess of Order, Asha. They have developed their own branch of Primordial magic, which they call Necromancy, that focuses on the erosion of the body and domination of the spirit. They believe that the pursuit of magical knowledge without reverence to the Dragon Goddess will lead to the ultimate destruction of Ashan.
Neutral Ability: Asha Uses All
The hero gains mana for each stack (friendly or enemy) destroyed during combat.
Embalmers joined the ranks of the Necromancers to unlock the secrets of eternal life. They have become accomplished spirit guides and healers, capable of harnessing the lifeforce of both the living and the dead. Their reverence to the Spider Cult is sincere, and they are among the favourites of the Mother Namtaru, an avatar of the Spider Goddess, who they often spend years of their lives tending.
Advanced Ability: No Rest for the Wicked
The number of creatures reanimated by the Necromancy Faction ability which remain in the hero's army afeter combat is increased.
Ultimate Ability: Sacrifice
All damage that should be dealt to friendly creatures are dealt to target friendly stack instead. All damage dealt to the target is reduced. Lasts several turns.
Asha, the Dragon Goddess of Order, created the cycle of life and death, and Reapers claim to be Her watchmakers. Their religious fervour and devout faith is doubted by none, but their tendency to kill and convert all who cross their paths has been cause for many philosophical debates within the Necromancer cult. Reapers believe that life energy is nothing but a resource that should be used for the protection of the sacred cycle. Souls pass on, and Asha uses all.
Advanced Ability: Mark of the Necromancer
Blood Magic efficiency on opposing creatures is increased.
Ultimate Ability: Curse of the Netherworld
All living creatures on the Combat Map are dealt damage (Dark). A part of this damage is evenly added to the Health of all friendly Undead.
Restoring the light, facing the dark.
posted November 24, 2010 11:01 PM
|Edited by Elvin at 02:12, 28 Apr 2011.
"We walk our own path, alone"
Nomadic barbarian tribes, the Orcs are the scattered but proud survivors of a long persecution.
During the First Eclipse, the wizards of the Seven Cities experimented with forbidden magic.
By injecting demon blood into human criminals, they created a "mutant" race of shock-troopers: the Orcs. Half-brothers to the Demons, the Orcs were trained from birth to become their ultimate Nemesis. They would eventually defeat the Demons and push them back within their prison-world.
They were rewarded for their tremendous acts of courage appropriately. The peoples of Ashan decided to make them… slaves.
At the time of the Second Eclipse, the Orcs have gained their freedom but there are still those who prefer them in chains. Orcs are strong warriors and shamans with access to only certain types of magic - essentially either "blood magic", which is chaotic in nature and linked to their demonic origins, or simple shamanistic spells.
Country / kingdom:
The Pao islands (an archipelago in the Jade Sea).
Though the Orcs have no god, their Shamans pay homage to "Mother Earth" and "Father Sky", two powerful spirits they meet when they travel into their "Dream World".
The recent events
It’s been almost a century since the Orcs broke their chains, led by Kunyak the Liberator. Yet, their new-found freedom is still fragile and the greatest danger may actually come from within. Since the death of Kunyak, the Orc nation has lost its unity and is now divided into countless small tribes scattered on the Pao islands.
Since the death of Kunyak, the Orc nation has lost its unity and is now divided into countless small tribes scattered on the Pao islands.
The tribes are fighting each other, and some unscrupulous Orc chieftains are not above selling their own kind (defeated enemies but also "weak" members of their society) as slaves in exchange for power and fortune…
Stronghold warfare: "Rush now, think later!"
Orcs were created as shock troops to fight Demons, and their tactics reflect this. Lightly armored and heavily armed, they rush straight at the enemy, counting on their numbers, speed, ferocity and toughness to break the lines of the opposing army without suffering too many casualties. Due to their origins, Orcs are naturally resistant to magic and especially to magic wielded by Demons (fire, possession, illusions…).
* Military strengths:
Frontload damage, high mobility, magic-proof.
* Military weaknesses:
Poor support abilities, tactically limited.
GOBLIN - GOBLIN HUNTER
Goblins are "degenerate" Orcs, who were originally "failures" in the Orc experiment, born from the blood of lesser demons (mostly Imps).
Goblins are small (between 4 and 5 foot tall), scraggy, physically weak, but very swift and agile.
The average Goblin is devious, cowardly, and stupid. They rarely attack unless having the numbers of a mob, preferring sneak attacks and (poorly constructed) booby traps.
In the Orc armies, Goblins serve as servants, scouts, skirmishers, and sometimes sacrifices for the Shamans, missiles for the Cyclops to hurl, or even food if rations become too low...
Crippling Traps (Basic & Upgrade): "You don't fight goblins, you hunt them down. They have no sense of honor, and no proper place on Ashan." The Emperor Connor III, who is famous for calling an end to the Orc Crusades, had initially wanted to exclude goblins from the treaty. He had nearly lost a leg in a Goblin trap, and whenever he had encountered them on the battlefield, he felt there was no glory to be had in besting them.
Sneaky Strike (Upgrade): "There is much for us to learn from the Goblin. He is not dumb. He has intelligently adapted to his physical shortcomings, and has learned to critically strike his opponent when the odds are in his favor." Queen Tuihdana, a long-time ally of the Orcs, is said to have asked each of her legendary assassins to spend a month hunting with Goblins in the Forests of Irrolan, before accepting them in her personal guard.
HARPY - FURY
Half-human and half-bird of prey, Harpies were originally used as scouts, messengers and skirmishers in the Wizards’ armies.
They won their freedom during the Revolt of the Beastmen. The Orcs adopted them as allies and see them as favored children of Father Sky.
The Harpies who settled in the Pao islands were created from various tropical raptors native to the Eastern jungles, which explain their multi-colored plumage.
Strike and Return (Basic & Upgrade): "Follow them to where they nest! Or you'll never be rid of them." The Barons and Dukes of the Holy Empire know the tactics of the Harpy all too well. During the Orc Crusades they were a detested opponent, harassing both reserves and front lines at will. One had to observe closely their position and rush them to their point of origin in order to fight them effectively on solid ground.
No Retaliation (Upgrade): "Honor is a luxury for those with the gold to armor their chests. I prefer my Furies. They cloak themselves in courage." Crag Hack, the infamous barbarian who rose to the head of an Orc tribe, is said to have thrown those words likes javelins at Baron Rufus during a truce meeting in the middle of a three-day battle. The Unicorn Baron was complaining that the strafing attacks from Crag's notorious Clouds of Furies were dishonorable because his men could not retaliate.
MAULER - CRUSHER
Lightly armored and heavily armed, the Orc Maulers are the basic front-line (basic front-line troops, foot soldiers, grunts) of the Stronghold hordes.
Their usual tactic is simply to rush straight at the enemy, counting on their numbers, speed, ferocity and toughness to break the opposing lines and pound the hell out of them.
Their heavy shields are not a decorative item, but used to deflect the incoming missiles that are inevitably hurled from the enemy ranks.
Taste of Blood (Basic & Upgrade): "Once the Orc bleeds, the smell of his own blood invigorates him and he grows stronger." When the Wizards of the Seven Cities created the Orcs, this incredible faculty amazed them, and it encouraged their tactical usage of Maulers in the front lines of their armies. The demons were the first to suffer the onslaught of the Maulers, and their resilient aggressiveness even took them by surprise.
Shielded (Basic & Upgrade): "Father Sky and Mother Earth protect Orc children." This typical Orc Shaman incantation before battle is not merely a means for bolstering morale. It appears that Father Sky provides them a sort of protection constantly from threats coming from the airs, for all ranged attacks are mysteriously shielded and are less effective than they should be. The Inquisitors of the Holy Empire call this ridiculous superstition, but whenever two crossbowmen are out of their earshot, they will swear that it is true.
Assault (Upgrade): "Shaman gets last word, Warrior get last smash!" This famous Orc saying is not spoken as a joke by Crushers, and holds a great deal of truth. When a Crusher attacks and its enemy retaliates it attacks again. Though they may be Orcs of few words, their weapons speak for them.
CENTAUR - CENTAUR MARAUDER
Like the Harpies, Centaurs are Beastmen, created by the Wizards of the Seven Cities in the year 512 YSD.
Half-human and half-horse, they served their masters honorably as scouts and mobile archery in their armies.
But those days came to an end when the Wizards replaced them with their new creations, the animated constructs. The various Golems, Gargoyles, Titans, etc. were simpler to manage, cheaper to keep, and unfailingly obedient.
The Centaurs were given less and less noble tasks, and ended up carrying messages and pulling carts.
Disgruntled at their loss of prestige, they willingly joined the Revolt of the Beastmen and scattered across the face of Ashan, seeking space, dignity, and freedom.
They soon met with the Orc tribes and became their allies, out of common interest and like-mindedness.
Vigilance (Basic & Upgrade): "Charge with your shields raised high!" This command usually means one thing: Imperial Sentinels are being asked to charge a contingent of Centaurs. The Centaur Beastmen were created by the Wizards of the Seven Cities originally to pull carts of supplies on the battlefield, but when trained as archers their true utility was quickly discovered. They are one of the best harassing units on all of Ashan, and it takes tactical expertise to outflank them.
Manoeuvre (Basic & Upgrade): "Both our flanks were chasing centaurs and our lines grew too thin. When the center broke, the battle was over in three short breaths." The Wizards of the Seven Cities recorded numerous battle reports in the years following the Orc rebellion. These lines were of note, because the first to mention what would appear to demonstrate tactical intelligence on the behalf of the Centaurs. They refused to fight hand-to-hand combat, and chasing them down considerably weakened their enemy's lines.
Mobile shooter (Upgrade): "She doesn't have to stop and turn her mount! She is both mount and rider!" The Sunriders of the Empire are as impressed as they are frustrated by the agility of the Centaur Marauders on the battlefield. They can fire deadly arrows and then move to higher ground, or dash to a place before firing from the most deadly positions. Years of skirmishes with the Holy Empire during the Orc Crusades have taught the Centaur Marauders to fight with uncanny discipline.
JAGUAR WARRIOR - PANTHER WARRIOR
Among the Pao islands˘Orcs, the Jaguar Warriors are elite berserkers. Of their people, they are the tallest, the strongest and the meanest. To become a Jaguar Warrior, an Orc brave must first kill a saber-toothed jaguar, one of the fiercest predators of the islands, with his bare hands. Needless to say, the mask of a Jaguar Warrior often hides numerous scars earned during this perilous rite of passage. In combat, they rush violently and blindly into the enemy, raking with their obsidian claws. Jaguar Warriors are often used as honor guard by the greatest Orc chieftains and shamans.
Feral Charge (Basic & Upgrade): Jaguar and Panther warriors call upon the spirits of the great cats from which they draw their namesake. Often, their first attack resembles the pounce of a feline predator, dropping from the sky and pinning their prey, making immediate retaliation impossible. If their prey is not immediately killed, it is best not to run, for to do so is to give them a chance to pounce again.
War Fury (Basic): "Once it starts slashing, nothing but death will stop it." The Necromancer Hafayaad wrote extensively on the tactics and strategies of the Orcs in battle. He made special note of the Jaguar Warrior's capacity to resist curses and control once it had entered into the fray of battle, prompting him to recommend concentrating magical attacks on them until the lines had met, and then praying to Asha for her intervention thereafter.
All-around Slash (Upgrade): "It was raining claws, and their growls sounded like thunder." Many Naga consider the Panther Warriors the most beautiful and dangerous foe one might meet in battle. Their charge is furious and instinctive, and falls upon battle lines like a summer storm. Not only must the immediate target of their pounce be on their guard, but those beside them must also look for cover from the rain of death and fury.
DREAMWALKER - DREAMREAVER
Orcs pray to Mother Earth and Father Sky, but Dreamwalkers are the voices of the tribes˘ ancestors.
To become a Dreamwalker, a shaman must first undertake a dream journey to the Spirit World to meet the spirits of his Ancestors. During this inner journey, the Dreamwalker must also face his own demonic heritage and destroy the Chaos within himself.
Many Dreamwalkers die during this trail. Those who survive return transformed: their body twisted and deformed by their struggle with their chaotic blood, yet having gained a greater understanding of blood magic and the spiritual realms.
Sky and Earth (Basic): "One man's dream is another man's nightmare." This Seven City popular expression could be used to describe the effects of the Dreamwalker spell that sends its allies into a waking dream where their movement is liberated and hastened. When cast on an enemy, the dream becomes a nightmare, causing both damage and in increasing sensation of lethargy.
Sky and Earth Mass (Upgrade): "Kill the damn Dreamreavers or they'll have us all thinking we're roasting over a sulfur pit!" The Arch-Demon Gru-Zhaal is said to have watched his entire legion caught under the effects of a Dreamreaver nightmare. Though he himself was unaffected by the spell, he channeled visions from his favorite succubus and felt her state of terror. Not only were the Orcs on the field moving twice as fast they should, his own troops were crawling, suffering from some imaginary pain.
CYCLOPS - ENRAGED CYCLOPS
Cyclops are the opposite of Goblins. They too were a "failure" in the Orc experiment, but because they were born from the blood of major demons. The demon part of their blood took over, and they became monstrous giants, body and mind twisted by chaotic surges.
Cyclops often measure more than 10 feet tall, and they definitely look more demonic than human. A curious trait they all share is that they have only one eye: a large, pupil-less disc, red and glowing. No one knows for sure the cause of this mutation, but a popular wizard theory claims that it is the "mark of Chaos", a symbol of the Dragon-snake Urgash, coiled in a circle, eating its own tail.
Though they are by nature calm with a child-like simplicity, when they are hurt (physically or emotionally), they develop an explosive and terrifying rage. This makes them dangerous to everyone, their own kind included.
While many factions would love to harness their power, only the Orcs have the strength, patience, and courage to "tame" them and give them a place in their villages as "power workers", and on the battlefield as heavy shock troops and "siege engines".
Slam (Basic & Upgrade): "Closing in on a Cyclops is like trying to keep the ocean at bay with the point of a spear." The Deep Naga respect the tremendous blows of the Cyclops and consider it blessed by Shalassa. Wherever its mighty club strikes the ground a wave of fury is launched at the point of impact, pushing its rivals back. The sensation is similar to being hit by a giant wave when swimming along the coastal regions of the Jade sea on a stormy morning.
Sunder (Basic): "If you think their fort is impressive, you should see how quickly they can tear it down." Earland Hammer, the renowned Bloodsmith, is said to have lived a decade with a tribe of Cyclops to learn how to most effectively swing a mass. He once encountered a trader that was extremely impressed by the immensity of their village architecture. Earland told him that the Cyclops have a natural talent for crushing stone and wood, and that they could turn a mountain into a prairie if they were ever given a good reason.
Mighty Slam (Upgrade): "Mother Earth hears Cyclop's rage!" The Shaman Palamona is said to have been the first Orc to have made friends with the Cyclops during her tribe's fight for freedom during the Orc Crusades. She claimed to have been given a vision during a dream by Mother Earth, and walked straight into a Cyclops village the very next morning. As two Enraged Cyclops immediately tried to smash the life out of her, they both missed, and she was sent high into the air from the tremendous impacts of their Mighty Slams. She then floated gently to the ground between them, and the Cyclops have been the allies of the Orcs since that day.
Impervious to Pain (Upgrade): "The creature's too dumb to know when it's already dead!" The Emperors of Falcon have a long history of underestimating the intelligence of the Orc nations. Their misunderstanding of the Cyclops capacity to continue fighting even after it has been killed is not due to a mental deficiency but simply the fact that it is impervious to pain.
Burning Rage (Upgrade): "They say the eye is the window to the soul. The Cyclop's eye is a portal into Sheogh." An Enraged Cyclops can concentrate its anger into a single beam of fiery energy that can literally set ablaze whatever it gazes upon. Or as the saying goes, "Cyclops can't wink, but no one has ever looked at one long enough to be certain."
Barbarians cultivate a short temper. Driven by their gut instincts and dominant will, experience has taught them that the simpler the plan the easier it is to lead armies to victory. These natural charismatic leaders are often intelligent in spite of their reputation. A knack for knowing when and where to field a battle, and maintaining a light but powerful army with speed and manoeuvrability, has earned their respect from even the greatest military minds of Ashan.
Neutral Ability: First Blood
The first time a friendly Stronghold stack is dealt damage, the Might Power and Movement of all friendly Stronghold stacks are increased. Lasts several turns.
The greatest Barbarians take upon themselves the role of leading the tribe in times of strife. Their faith in Father Sky and Mother Earth is steadfast, and they know instinctively that all souls have the right to be free. Their powers are contagious and their hordes mighty beyond compare. When a Chieftain goes to battle, the Spirits of Earth and Sky accompany the tribe.
Advanced Ability: Unfettered
All Movement, Initiative, Morale and Might Damage negative effects are dispelled for the entire army.
Ultimate Ability: Might Over Magic
Magical Damage on friendly creatures is decreased in proportion with the hero's Might score. Lasts several turns.
The Warmonger has learned to cultivate rage, transforming anger into an immeasurable tribal weapon. Absolute faith in Father Sky, the orc god of retribution and freedom, confers the Warmonger the power to master and channel personal rage and that of fellow warriors on the battlefield. The terrifying powers of the Warmongers were first witnessed by the Wizards of the Seven Cities during the Revolt of the Orcs, when hordes of enraged slaves destroyed an entire legion of Mageblades.
Advanced Ability: Blood Fury
Target's Rage level is increased and lasts one more turn.
Ultimate Ability: Power of the Horde
The hero's attack deals increased damage, based on the size of his army.
The Shaman practices a form of mystical magic that is unique and incomprehensible to all other wizards and sorcerors of Ashan. They have the power to consult tribal ancestors for advice in the invisible spirit world, acting as a medium. On these enlightening journeys, the Shaman gains insights that allow them to draw upon devastating magical powers that they materialize through blood rituals.
Neutral Ability: Earth and Sky
On the first turn of combat, the Initiative and Movement of all friendly creatures are increased. The Initiative and Movement of all enemies are reduced. Enemy flyers are not affected by this ability.
The Warmonger has learned to cultivate rage, transforming anger into an immeasurable tribal weapon. Absolute faith in Father Sky, the orc god of retribution and freedom, confers the Warmonger the power to master and channel personal rage and that of fellow warriors on the battlefield. The terrifying powers of the Warmongers were first witnessed by the Wizards of the Seven Cities during the Revolt of the Beastmen, when hordes of enraged slaves destroyed an entire legion of sword mages.
Advanced Ability: Idol of Earth
An idol appears at a chosen location. Any damage dealt to friendly stacks in the area around it is reduced. The idol has 2 Structure Points and lasts several Turns.
Ultimate Ability: Mother Earth's Blessing
All Stronghold stacks in the hero's army grow for one Turn. When the effect ends, stacks revert to their previous state, any damage suffered in the meantime is first deducted from the bonus creatures.
Over time, a Shaman tends to become particularly attuned with Mother Earth or Father Sky. Storm Callers have become attuned to the courageous and vengeful aspects of Father Sky. Battlefields are turned into spectacular light shows as bolts of lightning crease the skies; a scene that is said to please the ancestors. The Storm Caller remains in trance, conversing with the most valiant tribal warriors of past victories, relaying each spectacular feat of every ally for the entire duration of a battle.
Advanced Ability: Idol of Storms
An idol appears at a chosen location. The Initiative of friendly stacks in the area is increased. At the beginning of each turn, a Chain Lightning spell is cast on a random enemy in the area, hitting up several targets, damage halved between each jump. The idol has many Structure Points and lasts several Turns.
Ultimate Ability: Father Sky's Wrath
All creatures in the enemy deployement zone suffer damage (Air) and are "Dazed" (decrease Movement and Initiative) until end of turn. Small creatures are randomly scattered away.
Restoring the light, facing the dark.
posted November 24, 2010 11:01 PM
|Edited by Elvin at 02:18, 28 Apr 2011.
"We strive for perfection in Shalassa's worship"
Hashima is a feudal nation, organized according to temples that exist wherever there are sources or expanses of water. Warriors and monks, peasants and poets, they worship Shalassa, The Dragon Goddess of Water, who grants them magical powers based on this element. Nagas live with a goal of self-perfection and purification; whatever their callling or craft they strive to live up to the highest ideals of their masters and of the legends that came before them.
Hashima is ruled by the Eternal Empress, who has held power for hundreds of years. As all Naga teachers and masters, she is subject to ritual challenge from those who feel that they are worthy. However, she has never been defeated in contest, be it with arms, poetry, calligraphy, or philosophy.
Inspiration: Zen mystic, Far Eastern martial arts, Japanese warriors in the Sengoku era, Chinese Shaolin monks and Indian mythology.
Symbols: the eight-petal lotus.
Worship: Shalassa, the Dragon Goddess of Water.
Country / kingdom: Hashima, the Eight-petal Lotus
Capital city: Nariya, the Iridescent Pearl
Social organization: What the Sanctuary creatures have in common is their allegiance to Shalassa, the Dragon Goddess of Water, and their sworn fealty to the Eternal Empress, who is both the military and the spiritual head of the Naga society.
The recent events
A relatively peaceful peoples, the Naga have lived largely in isolation from the rest of Ashan. They keep themselves apart from the other races, concentrating on personal and individual perfection rather than dreaming of power or conquest. They have aided or allied with other nations in the past, but these sorts of agreements are temporary.
Recent history has been troubling; like all the other nations of Ashan they have heard the prophesies of the Blind Brothers and worry of the oncoming Demon invasion. There is turmoil beneath the calm surface of the empire, as priests and soldiers start to look to the future and wonder who should be leading them and how they might react.
Sanctuary warfare: "Face them one by one"
Sanctuary generals are like Chess Masters, or disciples of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. They focus their efforts on a main attacking stack (referred to as the "Champion" hereafter), who potentially becomes the best "1 to 1 / duel" warrior of the game. Generally, this Champion will aim at the strongest enemy stack first, to fuel its racial ability.
Alternatively, other targets can be favored, depending on the enemy army’s mobility. The one thing to remember is that the safety and efficiency of the Champion stack must be assured at all times since the global strategy relies on it.
• *Strengths: Powerful triggered buffs and crowd control abilities, balanced units (offense / defense, no martial weakness)
• *Weaknesses: Limited ranged abilities, no burst / instant effects, no healing, expensive troops
• *Racial ability: Honor – It grants an all-purpose defensive blessing.
SHARK GUARD - WANIZAME
In the year 512 YSD, the Wizards of the Seven Cities created the Beastmen as guards, servants... and playthings.
Perhaps one of the most bizarre experiments of a particularly imaginative wizard was to create a hybrid between man and shark, a breed which the wizard hoped would make unsurpassed naval troops.
The members of the Wizard Council were not convinced and decided to trade the military use of the Sharkmen for a political one: they offered the creatures as a gift to the Naga lords.
The Naga welcomed the Sharkmen as equals rather than slaves, and offering them honorable positions as guards of their underwater palaces. In return, the Shark Guards follow their masters with unyielding pride and loyalty.
Ferocious Wound (Basic & Upgrade): "Use your chopsticks! You're a true Naga, not a Wanizame!" This common expression in the Lotus kingdom, given by parents to their children as they learn table manners, refers to the way Shark Guards attack their enemies in the most uncivilized of manners. Not only are the wounds inflicted difficult to staunch, but also they often cripple their targets, reducing their capacity to move.
Blood Frenzy (Upgrade): "You think he's ugly, now? Wait 'til the blood starts spilling." Anyone who has ever fought and survived a battle with Wanizame remembers their Blood Frenzy. Their first attacks are ferocious, but once they've caught the whiff of blood, they become possessed with a hunger to finish off their prey.
CORAL PRIESTESS - PEARL PRIESTESS
Coral Priestesses are healers and diplomats within Naga society. They come from the Coral Nagas, the smallest of the three Naga species who dwell in the lagoons and on the shores of the Jade Sea islands. Their scales are bright and multi-colored; their faces are almost human.
One of the most unique features of the Coral Nagas is the fact their hair is made of living snakes. The snakes are usually asleep and arranged in an elaborate topknot, but a strong and unexpected emotion or danger can wake them up.
Waves of Renewal (Basic & Upgrade): "May the Waters of Shalassa renew your body and spirit." Countless Naga have heard this prayer of the Pearl and Coral Priestesses in the most heated moments of battle. It bathes them in a powerful aura that heals their wounds, removes any negative thoughts, and dispels the effects of enemy magic.
Eyes of the Medusa (Upgrade): "It was like the fire inside me had been drowned in a bucket of chilled ale." This report, from a Dwarf pirate to his captain after a skirmish with a Pearl Priestess, illustrates well the effects of the Naga's mesmerizing power. It dulls the minds of their enemies, making them much slower to react.
KAPPA - KAPPA SHOYA
Often jokingly described as the offspring of a toad and a turtle, Kappas are in truth minor Water Spirits linked to the rivers and lakes, bound to a material shape by their alliance with the Naga priesthood. Travelers from other lands often make fun of the Kappa's appearance and demeanor, but the Nagas know better and never underestimate the martial talents of these strange creatures.
Leap (Basic): "Jumps like Jaguar. Fights like demon." Orc Warriors admire the Kappa for the challenge it gives them during a battle, as it leaps from an amazing distance to deliver a devastating attack. Because the Kappa is a minor spirit enemies often underestimate its intelligence, but it knows when and where to leap in order to gain the maximum benefit of surprise. The longer the pounce, the more destructive its landing.
Splashing Leap (Upgrade): "Those blasted Shoyas have sent more of my men to the grave than the swords of their Naga masters!" Baron Gunnar, leader of the first imperial expedition to Hashima, shouted those words to his captains after his humiliating defeat against the Naga. When the Kappa Shoya lands from one of its Mighty Leaps, it splashes a toxic substance that is said to burn a man to his very soul.
SPRING SPIRIT - MIZU KAMI
Spring Spirits are major Water Spirits linked to the purest waters. As such, they are found in the springs and waterfalls that are close to Water Dragon veins or nexuses.
Often summoned by the Naga priesthood to participate in one of their rites of cleansing, they also guard Naga warriors on the field of battle by melding with these allies and providing them with spiritual and magical protection.
Spirit Link (Basic): "They pass it on to a living creature through spiritual linking... We must duplicate it!"
The Wizards of the Seven Cities were fascinated by the Spring Spirits who accompanied Naga ambassadors. In particular, it was their ability to bond with an ally and share any magical blessing from which one or the other benefited.
The Wizards, who sought to master this power for themselves, were exasperated by repeated failures. It seems that their lack of faith in Shalassa was the major impediment. In fact, the Spring Spirits simply meld a part of their substance with their living allies, making the both of them one in the Spirit World.
Pain Reflection (Basic & Upgrade): “Burn a tree and you burn part of yourself. Take a life and you take a part of your own. Kill a Spring Spirit and you kill a part of your soul."
The Elves of Irrolan hold Spring Spirits in great esteem. Though they recognize them as creatures of Shalassa, they symbolize one of the greatest teachings of Sylanna, the Dragon-goddess of Earth: harmony.
Spring Spirits can link with their allies for beneficial purposes, but they can also link with their enemies to reflect the pain that is inflicted to them.
Lifeguard Membrane (Upgrade): "Pound the water out of him first… and then maybe he'll listen."
This popular expression, common throughout Ashan, means that a cuff on the side of the head is sometimes the best way to get the attention of someone who is ignoring your side of an argument.
Its origin comes from the various Water Spirits, whose liquid material shape greatly reduces all physical and magical damage directed toward them.
SNOW MAIDEN - YUKI ONNA
Snow Maidens are major Water Spirits linked to the frozen aspect of Water (ice and snow). They have lived with the Naga for centuries in harmony, isolated in their mountain retreats.
Frozen Touch(Basic): "Shalassa has three moods: one that scalds, one that cleanses, and one that chills you to the bone."
All Nagas learn this lesson at a very young age.
Though water can be used as a weapon in all three of its states, the Frozen Touch of the Snow Maiden is most effective when one strives to paralyze clusters of opposing troops on a battlefield.
Frozen Caress (Upgrade): The effects of the Frozen Caress of the Yuki-Onna were immortalized in a play about a daimyo who fell in love with one. To counter the maiden's tremendous powers of cold that froze him nearly to death every time he kissed her, the daimyo went on a long quest to find a necklace of eternally burning pearls. He wore the jewels around his neck every time he was near the Maiden, and when that still was not enough to maintain his hardiness, he had them fashioned into a belt.
Ice Shards (Upgrade): "Snow can be a warming blanket, but ice is always a deadly bed."
The Duchies of the Wolf and Griffin share the latter saying, as both of them are familiar with the dangers winter brings to their lands. The Yuki-Onna can call upon these powers to create daggers of ice that will line the soil, in wait for those foolish enough to tread the treacherous zone.
KENSHI - KENSEI
These honorable and powerful warriors are part of the Deep Nagas, the largest of the three Naga species, distinguished by dark scales, and faces that are more reptilian than human. They reside in underwater cities at the bottom of the Jade Ocean.
Challenge(Basic & Upgrade): "It was as if time stood still... and there was only him and me in a cloud of slashing steel and a mist of invigorating blood."This entry in the diary of the pirate queen Tawni Solace tells of a fierce battle with Nagas at sea. It is the first record she is the first to speak of the challenge of the Kenshis. Once one of these valiant warriors crosses swords with a chosen enemy, it is difficult to attack anyone else but him.
Unlimited Retaliation (Basic & Upgrade): "As the ripples subside, the water returns".
Fighting a Naga Kenshi is like throwing a stone into a lake. Their martial art is inspired by the movement and flow of water, that will always return to the place it has been pushed away from. It is thus impossible to attack a Kenshi without receiving a blow in return.
Four Waves(Upgrade): "High tide, low tide and the waves of blood between. The poet kills with his brush, the Kensei writes with his sword."
These lines from the rebel daimyo Yamana were reportedly sent to the Shogun of the Imperial Empress, as he was about to engage his battalion of Kenseis. They attest to the respect Yamana attributed to the celebrated Four Waves, the combat style mastered by these elite warriors. Yamana surrendered without a fight and was allowed to kill himself through the honorable "Drowning Kiss" ritual.
KIRIN - SACRED KIRIN
A powerful Water Spirit linked to the celestial waters in all their aspects (rain, hail, clouds, fog, mistˇ), the Kirin is known in the Naga culture as the bringer of wisdom and chooser of lords.
It is said that a warlord who brings a Kirin to battle is blessed by Shalassa and the whole army benefits from the spirit's heavenly aura.
It is also said that one who rides the Kirin may travel faster than the wind, but at the cost of his own life.
Water Flows Freely (Basic & Upgrade): "The Kirin is born of water, and like the rain, cannot be harnessed."
In an ancient Naga bestiary, discovered by the Necromancer Sveltana during her legendary journey across the Jade Ocean, the painting that accompanied these words showed a magnificent Kirin moving with determination through a forest of fierce warriors.
On the battlefield, she later discovered that the Kirin's legendary powers were more than a fable, as even the most powerful magic could not hinder the spirit's swift and graceful movements
Trail of Mist (Basic): The Kirin leaves a misty magical trail behind it wherever it walks that is thick enough, it is joked, to give even an Orc a proper bath. But on the battlefield very few find it a laughing matter. Though the mist never lingers long, the enemy armies always waste precious time groping their way through.
Hailstorm Aura (Upgrade): "Where it walks, the water of the sky falls in thundering acclaim to its purity."
The Eternal Empress is said to sleep in a bed decorated with silk sheets, embroidered with images of the terrible Hailstorm Aura of the Sacred Kirins.
Though the Empress slumbers in perfect warmth, those who have battled against these powerful spirits speak only of the tremendous cold they felt when the storm it summons hit them.
Honourable warriors of the lotus-covered islands of Hashima, the Samurai's courage and steadfast loyalty is renowned throughout all of Ashan. Their commitment to duty and service to their patron lord supercedes all worldly desires and passions, making them explosive leaders of armies, and incredibly patient masters of swords. Typical Samurai are incredibly calm, but when action is required, they pounce more quickly than a Dragon Eel.
Neutral Ability: Calm Before the Storm
The Initiative and Might Power of Sanctuary friendly creatures are increased when they do not attack during their turn.
A Shogun is a Samurai that has mastered the technique of dissolution of personal desires and passions to the point that only action and purpose remain. These extremely rare individuals are renowned for their wisdom and steadfast resolve. When recognized by the Eternal Empress, the title of Shogun is awarded and the administration of vast expanses of imperial lands bestowed. Whenever the Naga Empire is in danger, the Shogun is often sent at the head of several armies.
Advanced Ability: Eightfold Lotus
Target stack always retaliates and is immune to effects preventing retaliation.
Ultimate Ability: Eye of the Storm
Target friendly stack evades the next incoming attacks.
War Masters have transcended their personal desires and passions, and dedicated their existence to a sole purpose; that of the absolute mastery of the art of war. This quest for perfection in form and spirit surpasses their allegiance to their Lords, and their lives themselves are seen by other Naga as works of art or sonnets of mystical poetry. The Eternal Empress respects the War Master, but is careful never to provoke one, and only converses when she bears the promise of a war.
Advanced Ability: Prepare for Strike
All friendly stacks gain additional damage for each movement points they do not use in their turn.
Ultimate Ability: Twin Fangs
Target stack strikes twice when it attacks. Lasts several turns.
Monks of the Eternal Empress are said to be the heart and mind of the Naga Empire. Aspiring to the precepts of their Patron Goddess, Shalassa, the Dragon of Water, their wisdom is renowned and their powers astounding. Profound as the deepest ocean and calm as the coolest lake in times of peace, if their rage is awoken, even the greatest of rivers trembles in its bed.
Neutral Ability: Inner Eye
When friendly Sanctuary creatures do not attack in their turn, they gain a Magic Power and Defense bonus for the next turn.
Tide Masters have gained an understanding of the powers of Shalassa, the Dragon Goddess of Water, through long moments of contemplative meditation. They see war and peace as part of the same cycle and their armies like waves raging over a shoreline during a storm. The metaphor is quite appropriate, for when the Tide Master goes to battle, the power of water goes as well.
Advanced Ability: Serenity
Target enemy stack cannot move, attack or use an ability. Any damage frees the target which can retaliate. Lasts several turns.
Ultimate Ability: Tsunami
All enemies are "Soaked" for several turns. All one square-sized enemies are pushed back 2 squares and "Stunned" for several turns.
Flood Conjugers have linked their wills to Shalassa and Her godly purpose, gaining powers unlike any others known on Ashan. These powerful monks have natural authority when war approaches for their very presence can turn a battlefield into a battle swamp, giving tremendous tactical advantage to the armies of the Dragon Goddess of Water. A Flood Conjuger never doubts when casting her devastating downpours of hail and rain. Friends of Shalassa should simply know how to swim.
Advanced Ability: Watery Grave
Target enemy stack is dealt damage (Water) and is ""Soaked"" (Decrease Air Resistance). Affects Living creatures only.
Ultimate Ability: Monsoon
A thundercloud appears at the chosen location. All creatures in the area are "Soaked" (decrease Air Resistance) and dealt Air damage. Air Magic and Water Magic bonuses both apply to this spell.
Restoring the light, facing the dark.
posted November 25, 2010 01:15 AM
|Edited by Elvin at 18:09, 12 May 2013.
"We rule the shadows, and someday the shadows will rule everything".
Associated colours: Black and purple
Worship: Malassa, the Dragon of Darkness, Keeper of Secrets.
Country / kingdom: Ygg-Chall, the Dark Below
Capital city: Konos, the Maze of Shadows
Dark Elves are a pragmatic people, and bribery and assassination are often cheaper than raising an army. Their generals believe that a war is better won with persuasive words, devious stratagems, and a poisoned daggers than with an army in the field, and as such they have no hesitation about sending out spies, saboteurs and assassins as instruments of their policy.
Dark Elves can use other tactics as well. The main body of their infantry consists of dispensable slaves (usually Beastmen) or beasts from the darkness. Elite troops are fast-moving skirmishers, armoured in light scale mail, and armed with curved sword and throwing daggers. Support comes from crossbow units and Shadow Sorcerers, who master various mind-control and life-draining spells.
If forced to fight in the open, Dark Elves prefer to strike under cover of darkness. If forced to fight in daylight, they can stand their ground, but they˘re more inclined to retreat and wait for nightfall.
The most famous weapons of the Dark Elves are their crossbows, cut from the roots of a Treant, their trigger and mechanism forged from Shadowsteel. They shoot further, send quarrels truer, and inflict more grievous wounds than any regular bow or crossbow.
EMBLEMATIC DUNGEON HERO: SHADOW SORCERER
Servants of Malassa, the Shadow Sorcerers are seekers of forbidden lore and masters of Dark Magic.
They totally accept the murmurs of the Darkness and are capable of finding the information that they want. Those who rise to the highest ranks undergo a secret ritual that lets them commune directly with Malassa, making them capable of dreamwalking. When the ritual is complete, their eyes become black and pupiless, and they never blink again.
EMBLEMATIC DUNGEON ALLY: MINOTAUR
Minotaurs are fusions of man and bull who were created in the laboratories of the Seven Cities, alongside other Beastmen such as Harpies and Centaurs. Originally created as shock infantry to fight alongside the Centaur cavalry. The Crimson Wizards of Karthal, in a diplomatic gesture that surprised many and angered their neighbours (the Silver Cities, the Holy Falcon Empire, and the Elves of Irollan), made a gift of one thousand loyal Minotaurs to the Elves of Tuidhana. The Dark Elves, who appreciated their strength and loyalty, gave them freedom instead of using them as slaves.
Restoring the light, facing the dark.