(Champion Spotlight) (11.03.2020) New Champions, Update 1.13.5
Scyl of the Drakes is a terrifying force to behold on the battlefield. Her ranseur glittering in the sunlight as it whistles through the air in brutal swipes and swings, her dragonscale cloak billowing behind her, Scyl cuts and imposing image worthy of a true Warrior Queen. Her foes reel and break, unable to match her fury, while her allies find themselves invigorated in her presence, their fatigue and pain banished by the blessings of the Phoenix.
Once, Scyl was nothing more than a terrified girl, orphaned by ruthless Knight Revenant cultists who razed her home village to the ground and slaughtered its inhabitants. Scyl alone managed to escape, but she was merely a child trapped in the Deadlands with nary a hope of survival. She should have died there, but providence intervened.
The Disciples of the Drake, a dragon-worshipping troupe of outcasts and exiles, found Scyl when she had already lost consciousness from dehydration and hunger. They brought the girl to their hideout and nursed her back to health. In turn, she was sworn into the troupe’s service, though it soon became apparent that Scyl’s talents lay not in cleaning and cooking and tending to the myriad everyday needs of the camp, but rather in the art of battle.
The Disciples were not numerous, so any fresh blood was welcome among their warriors, and Scyl had proven herself both capable and passionate. She bested all of her peers and many opponents older and more experienced by the time she came of age, swiftly taking her place among the raiding parties and earning her share of glory in uncompromising hit-and-run attacks against Orcs, the Undead, and Knight Revenant parties venturing into the Deadlands. In due time, she rose to command a small band of young warriors of her own, which grew along with her reputation. Scyl’s reckless courage led her to many victories over the course of several years, but it almost cost her everything as well.
When a large Knight Revenant raiding party had been discovered camping among the desiccated cliffs of the Gronfang Ravine, Scyl, blinded by hatred, ordered an attack regardless. Her warriors and she were outnumbered, but they had the element of surprise on their side and struck under the cover of night. With stones cast from cliff crests and skirmishers moving among the rocks like vengeful spectres, Scyl’s warriors rained death down upon the foe.
But the initial confusion passed and cultists threw themselves into the fray with maddened fury, pressuring the Disciples with sheer numbers and ferocity. Scyla fought in the first ranks, as she always did, even as her warriors fell around her. Though wounded and bruised in the brutal melee, she cut her way through to the armour-clad dark priest who led the Knight Revenant force. They clashed beneath the starlit skies of Krokhan, and steel met steel. For several minutes the duel lasted without either combatant gaining the upper hand, yet soon cultists started flocking in to assist their leader.
Cutting them all down cost Scyl precious time and strength. In the end, she missed a mace stroke that shattered her ribs and left her gasping for air on the sand, her foe preparing to deliver the deathblow. But Scyl was not a warrior to give up even in direst of circumstances. In the final moment, she managed to reach for her spear and thrust it through the priest’s dark heart, sending him back to his twisted Master.
Silence had fallen over the ravine; apart from Scyl, no soul remained alive amidst the cliffs, and even she felt life ebbing away from her body. Vengeance and bitter triumph remained her only companions at that moment, but she was not destined to die. Unbeknownst to her, a powerful djinn observed the battle from afar, and so impressed it was with the young woman’s brazen skill that it deigned to appear in the aftermath of the slaughter. Wreathed in flame, it took the guise of a Phoenix and spoke unto Scyl the words of praise and blessing. She received a small fraction of its magic, her wounds mended before her very eyes. The spirit vanished, leaving nought but an exquisite cloak of dragonscale in its wake - a final gift it wished to bestow upon the warrior who had impressed it so.
Scyl spent the day giving proper burial rites to her fallen warriors and returned to the troupe alone, where she was hailed as a heroine. Her reputation grew and, after numerous battles, she rose to lead the Disciples of the Drake herself. To this day they remain a force to be reckoned with in the Krokhan Desert, and servants of Siroth avoid straying into their territory lest they incur the wrath of Scyl of the Drakes.
It is said the Banner Lords of the Kingdom of Kaerok are very fond of creating societies and fraternities among their number; it allows the nobles to distinguish themselves in the eyes of their peers, raises their social status - if the ‘secret’ society garners enough influence and prestige - and keeps bored Knights entertained. However, some of these groups are gathered for genuine and honourable purposes, such as protecting the vast lands of Kaerok from various foes that threaten the King’s realm.
Much like Sacred Order that had in ages past been formed from Kaerokan Knights, the Legion is an Order of warriors dedicated to the service of Lumaya. Unlike the Templars and other servants of the Sacred Order, however, they do not forsake the vows of feudal fealty and continue serving the King of Kaerok. Still, Legionaries draw on the lore and traditions of old and seek to live a life of humble piety.
Even lowborn commoners are accepted into their ranks - a scandalous decision that significantly damaged the Legion’s popularity and reputation among the Banner Lords themselves. The nobility that does join often comprises young Knights who have nothing to their name, or those whose family’s fortune had long been lost. However, there are those who willingly forsake grand estates and untold riches in the name of Lumaya. These individuals make up some of the most determined and righteous warriors of the Legion, and their military expertise would benefit any Summoner who manages to recruit one such warrior.
Elhain had never been an easy ally to bond with. A noble of Aravia, daughter of a proud Elven bloodline, she inherited much of the arrogance and condescending sense of superiority the High Elves are infamous for. She was proud and determined, perfecting her skill with the bow from an early age and seeking to test herself against the most daunting challenges. Yet, for all that self-righteousness, Elhain did genuinely believe in the precepts of Lumaya and sought to eradicate evil wherever it could be found.
Recruited into the Arbiter’s service first, she found herself banded together with a most unlikely company - Athel, a Paladin of the Sacred Order; an outcast dark mage Kael, who sought refuge from powerful rivals; and an Orc warrior Galek, whose savagery and brutishness she always found disdainful. But the oath she had sworn kept Elhain bound to her duty, and onwards she forged with these colourful allies at her side.
When Sir Nicholas arrived from the North bearing troubling news and seeking aid, it was Elhain who volunteered to assist him - the decision that Sir Nicholas himself had foreseen in his vision. He recruited the young Elven warrior into his own band of Champions that was bound for the Winterlands. Along the way, Elhain had proven worthy of the esteemed company she found herself in - with Princess Lyssandra of Aravia and the Mountain King of the Dwarves at her side it was a difficult challenge indeed! - through deed and word. She used her talents and her keen eye to scout ahead of the Company, rooting out many a threat before it could endanger her allies and felled many foes with breathtakingly accurate shots.
But bandits and bloodthirsty Orc raiders were irrelevant, Elhain’s true test came when she and her allies reached the Winterlands. There, an army of Undead led by vengeful Wurlim Frostking ambushed the Champions and nearly had them trapped on a narrow mountain path. Were it not for Elhain’s bravery and quick thinking, their quest would have ended there. But she sacrificed herself, causing an avalanche that swept away the bulk of the skeletal horde from the path and smashed them against the mountainsides. Alas, Elhain could not save herself and too perished beneath the snow.
Furious over the loss of his minions, Wurlim sent the surviving Undead to uncover Elhain’s body and enacted a vile and cruel ritual that prevented her soul from returning to the Shard it had been bound to by the Arbiter. Trapped and twisted to the Frostking’s will, Elhain was brought into the world anew. Her heart was encased in ice, her loyalty and her honour replaced with cold, ruthless cunning and unshakable obedience to her new Master.
Together with Wurlim, the creature that was once Elhain marched onwards to the Font of Lumaya at the heart of the Winterlands, determined to stop her former companions from thwarting the Dark One’s schemes. That, perhaps, would prove to be her salvation, for the water of the Font was known to restore life and cleanse the Curse of Undeath. But before she could be restored to her former self, Sir Nicholas and the others would have to survive their friend’s deadly skill in battle as well as the fury of the Frostking...