(Champion Spotlight) New Champions (23.08.2019)
Even in a society of scheming dark mages and ruthless assassins, Vizier Ovelis stands out as a man to be truly feared. A legend among his kin and a peer to no one, he is a blade in the dark that strikes wherever it wills. Indeed, though he had been granted a title of respect and integrated into the Dark Elven nobility, Ovelis has no master but himself.
Even as a young warrior, Ovelis was ambitious and harboured dreams of reaching far above his humble station. To that end, he ventured far beyond the domain of his people. For years he searched for tutors and foes to learn from. For years he obsessively gathered folklore and snippets of information that could lead him to items of power. After all, Teleria is a land steeped in ancient magic, where wonders and artifacts of old exist just within the grasp of those who are bold enough to reach out.
Eventually, fate smiled upon Ovelis and a map came into his possession. It detailed the location of the tomb of Mairenn - a legendary assassin, whose deeds could be traced back to the Schism that separated the once-united Elven race.
Through guile, through grit, and through sheer ruthless determination, Ovelis managed to breach the hidden basilica and brave its numerous traps. The ‘allies’ accompanying him to this venture perished to the last, but that suited the future Vizier just fine. He needed not share in the glory that way, nor have a rival claimant to Mairenn’s scimitars that rested in her sarcophagus at the very heart of the complex. Though the magic that was used to forge these blades was as volatile as their late Mistress was said to have been, they remained just as formidable.
When Ovelis returned, he did so triumphantly. With skill, experience, and mighty weapons at his side, he forged a bloody path to the height of Dark Elven society. Many would-be rivals were found dead in their seemingly impenetrable estates, killed by poison or by blade. Few accounts exist of these feuds, though a single terrified slave maintained that his master was slain by a formless shadow that moved unheard and dissipated into nothing when the deed was done. Whether just delusions of a hapless wretch or some powerful magic conjured by the blades in Ovelis’ care is left up to rumour and speculation.
A mage of impressive innate power and talent, Yannica may very well be a personification of numerous expectations that younger races have of her people - both the good and the bad. She is incredibly intelligent without a doubt, a master of many arcane arts. Her counsel is never given without consideration or understanding of the subject. She is, however, gratingly arrogant and self-righteous. The condescending smirk that so often finds its way to Yannica’s noble features has been the bane of many an ally.
As a young apprentice, Yannica was obsessed with learning spells that fell outside the arsenal of run-of-the-mill wizards. Setting foes on fire or turning them to ice? Effective, certainly, but boring in her eyes. Instead, Yannica sought arcana that would allow her to siphon the strength of her targets and bolster her allies in some form.
Her true breakthrough was deciphering ancient writings that she inherited from her tutor and using the knowledge concealed within to perfect her own rendition of the spell of the Veil. Its first actual application was a resounding success as well.
When accompanying an older Magister on an expedition to uncover Artifacts in the crypts far north of the Aravian capital, Yannica found herself and her allies beset and nearly overwhelmed by the undead. Risking a half-tested spell, she managed to disappear from the enemy’s sight with a dramatic explosion of mist. Even the halfwit ghouls were thrown into confused disarray by the display. And before they, or Yannica’s own party, were any the wiser, she rushed into a position of vantage. From there, she unleashed a spell that had slain numerous undead, while others were left weakened for her allies to finish off.
Thus the lives of many scholars and accompanying guards were saved. And although the expedition did not recover anything truly extraordinary that time, Yannica’s quick wit and decisive actions ensured her reputation among her peers was solidified from thereon.
Hushed rumours speak of a beast on the prowl, a terrible monster born of the Shadow. It slithers in dark corners, where Lumaya’s light does not reach, never to be seen until it is too late. And when it unleashes its bloodthirst, there is no escape. Razorsharp claws rend steel and flesh alike, and the beast strikes with such blinding speed that its unfortunate victims never have a chance to realize from whence their death arrived.
Candraphon - though few know the name - is that abomination, and much of what is whispered about him is neither myth nor exaggeration, but a nightmarish truth. He is an ancient Demonspawn, whose origins lie far beyond the realm of Teleria. Whatever drives him is hard to comprehend for a mortal mind, but there is malicious intelligence behind the seemingly barbaric acts of butchery.
The truth is simple but no less disturbing for it. Candraphon is a predator. A stalker that treats the mortal realms as his hunting grounds, and the lesser creatures that dwell therein as quarry to slay whenever he wishes. To attract the gaze of this demon’s burning eyes is to invite a swift and brutal demise, for Candraphon revels in victory over worthy prey above all else.
A Sacred Order Commandery marching to war is always a grandiose affair. Rows upon rows of Knights and soldiery kneel beneath the fluttering banners, chanting mighty vows of obedience and valour in the Old Tongue. Oftentimes, a liturgy is held to praise the Goddess of Light and ask for Her protection. Such ceremonies require a choir, as it is well-known the harmony of music is pleasing to Lumaya. The lead singer must always be female - in honour of the Goddess - and her duties do not end with conducting peaceful prayer alone.
Not even the clamour of battle is enough to silence the Word of Lumaya, and it is the Mistress of Hymns who bolsters the faithful by example and by song. Such is the power of her voice and the purity of her faith, that Champions find their resolve strengthened and their wounds fading away under Lumaya’s gaze.
Not even death is enough to extinguish the flames of hope. When all seems lost and need is greatest, the Hymn of Rebirth booms across the battlefield, calling the fallen back to life. Shielded from the enemy’s eyes by blinding light, they may recover and join the fray once more.
It is a Seneschal’s sacred duty to enact Royal decrees in the province entrusted to him by the King of Kaerok. He represents the King’s unwavering authority in all facets of life, and that includes warfare. Thus, a Seneschal must always be a Knight without fear or blame. And while those ideals are not always followed by the nobility, Royal agents come under greater scrutiny.
Thus the Seneschal stands a pillar of courage and pride among his allies, ready to issue a bellowing challenge to any foes that dare stand against him. But exquisite plate armour and a heavy mace paired with a shield are not the only advantages at the Seneschal’s disposal.
As an agent of the Crown, he is granted access to the potions brewed by the Court Wizards. Some potent healing salves to keep the mighty Champion and his retinue alive are sure to come useful, while others go as far as turning whoever takes the potion invisible to the eye of the foe.
There are some who romanticize vampires, painting them in legend and song as beautiful, seductive beings. And, indeed, some may be fortunate enough to retain an eerie beauty through dark rituals and magic. But that is merely a fragile facade that will crumble sooner or later to reveal these damned souls for the beasts that they truly are. Some are not even fortunate enough to prolong this illusion.
The Corpse Collector is a fairly crude monicker given by peasantry of Kaerok that she had terrorized for years. Closer to a ghoul, perhaps, than a true vampire, she nonetheless still maintains a grasp of her intelligence. That, of course, makes the undead monster much more dangerous.
She feeds on the pain and blood of her victims, all too eager to siphon their lifeblood and invigorate herself. Capable of summoning unclean flames to blind and cripple her foes, the Corpse Collector is nonetheless a cautious foe. When threatened, she will strike out with poisonous claws and vanish into the shadows, whether to escape or pounce the next unfortunate fool from the back a moment later.
For all their vile nature and often bestial ferocity in battle, Demonspawn legions are far from being an uncontrollable horde. Indeed, their discipline and organization are among the prime reasons why the servants of Siroth are so dangerous. Their twisted commanders bear many of the same titles of nobility that the Lords of Teleria are used to, and often direct their lesser kin with guile and ruthless intent.
The Infernal Baroness prefers to let her minions - and, of course, a majestic being like her can only have minions, not allies - to do most of the fighting, while she directs them. One should not mistake that for inability to fight, however. This demoness is more than capable of dispatching foes in person, should the need arise, and she does strike out frequently, allowing those at her side to be strengthened by the blood she spills while her foes wither and turn frail. She is even capable of bending the shadows to her will and wrapping them around her chosen Champion, letting them move and make battle unseen.
The lands where Knights Revenant have made their own little realm are desolate, filled with ruins and mysteries best left forgotten. That holds true to the lesser factions, of course. The fearful fools who would rather let power slip through their fingers than risk disturbing some ancient evil. But the Knights Revenant are free of such bothersome superstitions.
The Necrohunter seeks out ancient tombs and necropolises, where the undead dwell and mighty items of power can yet be found hidden beneath the dust of ages. Always alone and always outnumbered by the soulless creatures that dwell there, the Necrohunter has learned to move unseen and unheard through the cobweb-covered corridors, to seek out the weaknesses in even the hardest armour, and to let loose with multiple arrows that strike his foes with ruthless precision.
And when his masters call, the Necronhunter is more than ready to join his brethren in faith and put his talents to use against foes of flesh and blood. Or whoever stands against the coming Apocalypse.
Though archers remain, arguably, the most feared battle formation of the nomads that roam the Deadlands, underestimating their other warriors - especially those of the Hill Nomads - would be a grave mistake indeed. A bow is not required to know the dunes like the palm of their hand, nor to move unseen through the sandstorms that would have a foreigner running for cover.
Trained to the point of understanding nature instinctively, these Nomads can lead their allies through the most daunting terrain and help them set up a deadly ambush for the foe. And their knowledge of the herbs allows them to always carry surprisingly effective healing salves with them, ensuring that warriors that count the Hill Nomad among their friends can always receive timely aid for their injuries.
A veteran of many campaigns, the Steadfast Marshal is a taciturn and reliable warrior. His powerful built and vast experience allow him to wield a heavy mace with ease. His mere presence is imposing enough to distract enemies and focus their murderous intentions on himself.
The survival of his allies takes the highest priority, and the Marshal does not hesitate to use every trick up his armoured sleeve - including alchemical potions brewed by his Lord’s resident mad wizard - to conceal his allies from the enemy’s sight in great explosions of magical smoke and let all foes face him instead. What’re a few new scars for an old dog anyway?