HEROES OF THARGOS
HEROES OF THARGOS (Card Game)
1+ Players - 45-90 minutes - 14 years +
Principle Creator – Chris Loizou
Conception and Context of the World of Thargos - Chris Loizou
Principal Artist - Ryan Verhagen
Supplementary illustrations – Martin Paz Romero
INTRODUCING THE HEROES OF THARGOS CARD GAME
The Heroes of Thargos Card Game uses a system built around the idea of faction and character-based from the RPG setting of Thargos battling one another using a simple-to-learn card resource management system to battle over a number of “mission tracks. The card game is designed to open up the World of Thargos to those who do not know it and all those that do, take them back there once again.
The game allows players to develop their own play styles through the cards chosen for their decks without having to compete with a rarity system built into many collectable card games. The players choose how invested they wish to be in their decks through regular card pack releases and can construct their decks based on a variety of different play styles to achieve victory.
THE GOAL OF GAME PLAY
The goal of the game is to acquire Victory Points through the completion of Mission Cards. Each player will have access to four Mission Tracks, upon each will *always* have a Mission Card for players to attempt to fulfil. As Mission Cards are completed by opposing players, you will replace them from your own decks to help even the playing field.
Players will choose how many Victory Points they need to win based on the four Character Cards they choose to make up their team. Every Character Card is worth a number of Character Points, listed on the cards, which not only signifies the estimated Power level of the Character Card, but also the number of Victory Points the player needs to win their match.
CONTENTS OF THE CORE SET
The initial two-player starter box contains 210 cards with which players can build their starting decks:
33 unique Cursed Empire Character Cards comprising key character types such as The Crimson Knight, Spider Darkun/Slayer, Cobra Sorceress, Kurnor Assassin and Karg Demon Summoner to name a few.
66 Mission Cards all set in the World of Thargos.
56 Lasting Cards comprising Thargos minions, objects, weapons etc.
55 Action Cards comprising a host of Thargos creatures and player-driven events.
Note - The Starter sets can supply two decks, however, the purchase of two Starter Sets will allow for greater variability and is 'required' if players want to add the maximum number of some cards to their battle decks.
The Battlemat is an additional option.
Who will you choose?
Discover your party!
Here is a sample of 15 Heroes of the 33 from the Core Set
WHO WILL YOU CHOOSE?
Krisoss the Blade of Condar - Crimson Knight
Krisoss of Condar joined the Crimson Guard at the keen young age of twelve as a stable boy having been orphaned three years earlier. His parents had a farmstead close to the Plateau of Dred, that was raided and burnt to the ground as a Kandar warband headed back to their mountain lair and decided to take a shortcut to apparently avoid imperial patrols. He hid in the woods nearby where he had been collecting firewood but saw the terrible spectacle as it unfolded. An Imperial patrol came to the burning farm after seeing a large column of smoke and found the terrified boy but the Kandar were long gone. He was then taken to Meldor to be adopted by a noble family of renowned merchants but got into too much mischief, often fighting other boys twice his size. It was decided that it would be better for him to enter the service of a Knight Order and learn discipline and core values of the Empire. It was at this time that he was taken under the wing of Kelriss of Dred, a Condorian Knight of the Crimson Guard based in Condar. Kelriss was a kind albeit stern individual who had also been an orphan at a young age. He could relate to some of what Krisoss was going through.
Kelriss was tougher on Krisoss than the other stable hands and squires, but this had a lasting impact. Krisoss although small as a child, grew into a physically and mentally strong young man and never lost an opportunity to challenge stronger than him. He would simply dust himself off after a fight, pick himself up until he no longer lost fights, however big or strong his opponents were. Those who got to know and respect him would shake their heads when a larger newcomer was provoked by Krisoss as they knew how it would end. Krisoss started to learn fighting techniques from the best Weapon Masters of Condar, under the watchful eye of his mentor. His opportunity arose to show his worth, as Kandar warband raids multiplied again and started getting ever closer to more populated areas south of the Plateau of Dred, possibly motivated by scarcity of resources or greater evil that was pushing them southwards.
Krisoss was to accompany the Crimson Guard Knights in a combined force with the Freedom Fighters of Meldor to rid the local lands of the Kandar. He was to prepare the armour and weapons of his mentor and be at the ready, should he need assistance. He was disappointed to be left behind in the encampment, with a handful of squires, some local militia levies, and a veteran Crimson Guard Knight, who was no longer nimble enough to join the front lines, but who was as wily as a fox, and respected by all. Mandrake Greymane was his name, and a Condorian at over fifty years old, was a true veteran of many campaigns.
No one knew where they had come from, but a group of monstrous Kandar, including the Warband Chief Dengul’Al Aar, came crashing into the camp in the early hours before dawn. The militia were cut to pieces before they could even draw their swords, the rest of the squires formed a rapid twelve-man pike wall next to one of the carts under the command of Mandrake Greymane including a few of them with slingshots, javelins and whatever they could grab around them. The eleven Kandar, monstruous battle-hardened beasts that they were with their purple velvety covered muscular skins, bone trophies through their noses and braids in their grey dreadlock hair, formed a wedge with their leader at the front. Krisoss was taught that sometimes it was better to learn from reading not fighting, and although he would complain about having to spend time in the Condar Knight fortified library, he would always pick books that involved battles and lots of fighting. Krisoss recalled in an instant that he had read a very boring chapter on Kandar social structures that mentioned that they relied heavily on an alpha male and that they were often challenged by upcoming younger rivals to take control of a clan. He grabbed his mentor’s secondary sword, a solid short broadsword low in ornamental refinery but high in solidity and sharpness.
The Kandar treacherously fired a few arrows from a flanking group of two, straight into Mandrake’s chest, he stood his ground but wavered as the Chief smashed down his bone axe into his helm, smashing off the crimson crest. Mandrake managed to land a stabbing blow into the Kandar brute, but this was not enough to kill him but sent him into a frenzy. Mandrake’s head was smashed, as metal covering his cheekbones was driven into the right side of his face. He fell to the ground.
The rest of the Kandar gathered around their leader prepared to smash through the feeble and wavering squire ranks who were just about to flee. It was then that Krisoss jumped in from the side and challenged the Chieftan. He turned to face his young opponent and raised his hand to stay the attack of his Kandar.
Krisoss was fast, precise and deadly. All those years of facing physically bigger and stronger opponents was about to pay off. He learnt how to use opponent’s strength against them and pit his wits and speed for maximum impact. He darted from left to right as the massive Kandar seemed to lag one step behind him despite being unnaturally fast for his size and cut deep and true to his training. The wounds inflicted were not the most painful but slowed his opponent for a brief instant. Krisoss, spun around and jumped off a barrel close by, landing him on the shoulders of the Kandar where he buried his sword with the force of his drop. The Chieftan slouched then collapsed, dying instantly. Krissos turned to face the remaining Kandar, whilst some of the bravest squires came up by his side. The Kandar hesitated, seeing the brute of their leader die so fast, then gathered their wits to charge all at once. It was then that imperial horns were heard, the Kandar froze and then disappeared as fast as they arrived, back into the woods nearby.
As the main contingent of knights arrived after having routed the rest of the Kandar, they were amazed at what they saw. A young squire standing there with his mentor’s sword over his vanquished beast of a foe. Mandrake Greymane was laid to rest where he fell with his weapons and armour as per the old Crimson Guard code, in an unmarked grave that only those who were there know of.
The other squires recounted what had happened and that very night, Krisoss kneeled in front of his mentor, was touched on his shoulders with the sword he had used and arose a Knight, the youngest ever in the Crimson Guard. He still has the same sword to this day, twenty years and many achievements later…
Tebezil – Noble-Elf Huntress
Tebezil was a she-elf Druidess originally from the Protector Gathering and is clad with leather armour and a long tracker cloak. She is over 50 years old and has already managed to gain a great deal of respect for her unique equestrian skills. She appears to able to communicate with all animals, especially horses, and has an amazing understanding of these beasts. She is wanted by the Master Horsemen of Nardam as she could come in very useful to them. She is known to have a fiery temper and often acts impulsively, although she gets a grasp of the situation very fast. She does not suffer fools and can be deadly when she must. She is of an extremely loyal nature although she prefers to keep to herself. Tebezil is an attractive Noble-Elf with her long strawberry tinted hair tied with twigs and leaves. There are rumours that she also had some Wild-Elf blood somewhere in her bloodline. She bears a scar on her left cheek from a past skirmish. She has large sea-blue eyes and fair features even if her complexion often appears weathered.
She left the Protector Gathering and went renegade some years ago when she felt that the Protectors, who dwell mainly in the Forest of Han and at the foot of the Rarlonn Mountan Range, were too far away from where the action was, closer to the border between the Empire and Karnarcos. She had to say her farewells and travelled south towards the Forest of Tyra, where she is currently located.
She feels that she has a higher calling, that somehow her fate draws her ever closer to the growing conflict between the Empire and Karnarcos. She has perfected her skill with the bow after trading-in her ornate Protector crossbow and still retains all her abilities in tracking and horse handling. Tebezil is now known as The Huntress, a nom de guerre that she liked the first time it was suggested by some Celestia Black Falcon Knights who came across her hunting down a Kadrur scouting unit after they had brutally maimed some wild ponies for sport.
Tebezil thinks that she will find more about her lineage and where she comes from, by visiting the library in Mengelia at the Palace. She intends to head there when practical but first needs to complete some renown worthy missions that will ensure that she is given access to the very restricted inner sanctum of the Palace…
Varateg-Kar - Darvanne Warrior
Varateg-Kar is a cruel Darvanne warrior from the Darkcrag mountain range. He has equipped himself over time with the armour and weapons from his fallen foes and is always on the lookout to improve his battle-related equipment at any opportunity and through any means. Varateg-Var is of the Horned Order of Krill, a massive fighting force combining a host of races and creatures hell-bent on the destruction of the Empire. Their main fortresses are dotted throughout the Krill Range to the south-west of Karnarcos.
The Horned Order of Krill is a heterogeneous host and the result of the Karnarcos invasions and represents a force to be reckoned with. It is said that of the 25,000 Goblins, Orcs, Condorians, Darvanne, Rlishae and Nirkar that make it up, an elite command battalion keeps discipline within the ranks, possibly formed by Battle-Mages and descendants of the Imperial traitor generals.
Each regiment is grouped by race and the army is structured so that opposing races do not have to fight side by side as they would no doubt settle a few scores on the battlefield, which would prove disastrous for the outcome of battles. The death toll is kept relatively high to set examples within the ranks, but this does not dent the numbers that flock to the banner of the Horned Order, which always guarantees bounty, pillaging and carnage in the name of Karnarcos.
Varateg-Kar has set-out on his own quest to gain renown through his deeds and return as a hero to the Horned Order with an aim to lead one of the larger Darvanne regiments. He is the only survivor of a Darvanne contingent that were sent out to raid the imperial Border Keeps near Telvar. Despite the considerable casualties of that mission, he did manage to intercept important imperial missives during that mission. Varateg-Kar is a fervent Fire Cult member and bears a tattoo on his head showing his allegiance. He offers his vanquished foes as a sacrifice to the Fire elements and aims to convert others who have lost their spiritual way.
Varateg-Var has been known to prolong the suffering of some opponents and torture some occasionally. He trusts no one and few trust him. Others tend to get killed by his side, but he comes out on top most times, despite carrying scars of his previous battles he seems to have a great deal of luck... He has also been known to use poison in some circumstances.
Sordven Zass – Spider Darkun Slayer
Sordven Zass is a member of the Spider Darkun Faction who has reached the level of Slayer. Slayers form the smallest Darkun unit and only comprise one individual with no back-up, no support and who has usually infiltrated an Imperial stronghold months before being activated. Their mission is usually to eliminate a high Imperial dignitary. Faction Slayers have a 100% mortality rate, as once they have completed their mission, they are to take as many enemies as they can with them and cannot be captured alive or face ultimate dishonour. She is waiting for the right mission to come along and in the meantime is travelling around looking to pick up some items of use and collect useful information.
The Spiders: This sub-faction from the earth Cult has over 500 Darkuns in its ranks. The members of this order bear tattoos of different types of spiders, each one having its own specialisation to form yet another subgroup:
- Black-Widow: poison.
- Tarantulas: hand-to-hand combat.
- Funnel-Spiders: drugs.
The Spider Faction members are renowned for their ability to infiltrate information networks, notably some Guilds of the city of Kurnor, where in some cases they have eliminated the leaders and replaced them. Their leader, Vrek, ensures that his followers are involved in missions to destroy the Empire, but if in the process they can undermine the influence of the Cobras, this is an added bonus as the latter represent their second worst enemy.
Sordven Zass is renowned to have slain her Death Commando group leader who was too indecisive on a mission she was part of. She is a deadly opponent who intends through her actions, to further increase the power and influence of the Spider faction over others and increase recruitment numbers. She has mastered the art of using a Skarganne and is deadly in martial arts.
Her body is covered in Spider tattoos and she very rarely goes undercover. She will have to use magic for her final mission to hide her tattoos.
Kr-Aal-Mund-Ek - Thargian Champion
Kr-Aal-Mund-Ek is a brutal Thargian warlord’s son who has been perfecting his killing skills since a very young age. Indeed, Thargians follow a series of coming-of-age rites where they learn to steal, spy, maim, kill and basically survive their brutal warmongering society. Those who do indeed survive the earlier years are then sent out with their most loyal braves to go and found their own clan by slaying another one’s leading warband. Female Thargians are equally dangerous and well trained. Menial tasks are carried-out by slaves in Thargian society. Kr-Aal-Mund-Ek or Kr-Aal as he is known by his own, has sharp wits and an equally sharp pair of harpoon spears. The skill required to master these is considerable. He was trained by some of the best Weapon Wielders of the Thargians.
Kr-Aal decided from his adolescence to leave his clan and the side of his father, to head west of the Desert of Targ and discover the wider word of Karnarcos and the Empire. He stands out like a sore thumb but does not want or expect any hospitality. Kr-Aal is a renegade Thargian despite being a champion warrior in his original clan. He did not follow the old Thargian ways of founding his clan but instead hopes to bring back from the wider world better weapons, followers, wealth and power so that he can challenge his father. He still has much to learn of the ways of the world and will not be welcome anywhere in the Empire. Many there blame the Thargians for most of the ills of the world and especially for the Great Cataclysm.
Kr-Aal will not obey the orders of others unless they progress his designs and this will only be temporary. If he is openly challenged by anyone, however strong or big they are, he will fight to the death as he is honour bound to do so. Some Thargian traits remain nevertheless.
He is seeking to recruit skilled followers who may have been rejected, exiled or who have an axe to grind but he will not suffer fools or hangers on of no value. They tend to disappear after entering his outer entourage…
There is still much mystery surrounding the location and numbers of clans in the Desert of Targ and Kr-Aal would rather die than reveal what he knows. Despite his rivalry with his father, he is loyal to the Thargian cause. He is convinced that the old ways will not see a return of Thargian power. The more he travels the Continent, the more he is realising that the Empire is much weaker than it used to be. This is giving him a new outlook on everything he has been taught and this could have very serious consequences for the Empire in particular. Karnarcos has sent emissaries to the Desert of Targ to attempt to build some alliances with the Thargians but very few have returned and those who did have had a habit of disappearing from society.
Kr-Aal is now seeking renown through his deeds so that he can attract the right individuals and creatures to his cause…
Tarn “Dusk Eyes” Triss - Knights of Tyra Wild Elf Warrior
A generally quiet yet most imposing figure of any group, Tarn Triss is dressed in the regalia of the Knights of Tyra order. If his handsome features and aquamarine eyes often have others mistake him for a Noble Elf then his ears, pointing through his long amber brown hair and exceptionally broad face clearly give away that he is from the oldest Wild Elf blood lines. His singular bone structure is the result of a birth defect which meant that his skull is in fact much broader than any Elf that walks the realm. He often wears a suit of thin chain beneath his tabard or his knightlier armour when involved in full frontal assault missions or battles. Despite his tidy physical appearance and personal attention and effort in this area, Tarn is only one of the professional foot soldiers of the Order who aspires to be a Knight. The Elf has a broadsword at his side while behind him he carries a large shield bearing the Eye over the Tower emblem of his Order. He is also known for the occasional head-butt when challenged or simply not wanting to draw his sword.
The Knights of Tyra are part of one of the oldest Orders and was formed over 500 years ago. Its main task is to maintain order in the region of Tyra, even as far as Kurnor. The order has 800 Knights and 3,000 professional foot soldiers. In times of trouble this Order splits, sending half of its troops to the Border Keep of Vokdar and the other half wherever they are needed to bolster ranks. These individuals are renowned for their exploits against the battle-hardened Master Horsemen of Nardam. The 800 Knights are all volunteers who have financed their own equipment. They come mainly from local noble families who have banded together to form a defence force for the region following an old tradition. The foot soldiers are from medium class citizens and are financed through local taxes and twenty-percent levy of local trade. The Knights of Tyra hold an annual jousting competition ("The Tyra Joust") to select new recruits although this is not the official reason for holding the contest. It was at one of these jousts that Tarn was spotted and enrolled into the Order through his prowess of arms.
Tarn is a true survivor and has participated in numerous dangerous campaigns and missions over the border into Karnarcos. He is a sworn enemy of the Master Horsemen of Nardam and detests the Kadrur and their other goblinoid cousins. Tarn is also renowned for having incredible night vision, even for those of his own race hence his nickname of “Dusk Eyes”. The more Tarn pushes himself physically, the more he succeeds even when the odds get harder. He has tremendous physical and mental resilience. He is seeking to gain the necessary renown so that he can make a claim to a higher-ranking role within his Knight Order…
Mursa Rliss – Cobra Sorceress
Mursa is a cruel Mandorian sorceress from the Darkun Cobra Faction. She is rumoured to have slit her own eye in order to cast some ancient form of Death Magic. Mursa is a ruthless individual who craves power and who will stop at nothing to further her designs.
She has spent several years studying and experimenting with Death Magic.
The Cobras: This Earth Cult sub-faction comprises around 600 Darkuns. All members bear the sign of the Cobra tattooed on their bodies. Their favourite weapons are throwing knives and mini-crossbows. They also use a great deal of poison and prefer to operate alone. These Darkuns despise the Spider sub-faction members (Earth Faction). Their leader, Telfelan, has managed to have this sub-faction included into the ranks of the Evil Fire Faction, after having successfully carried-out a series of deadly missions, notably the elimination of Harken, Great Priest of the Earth Temple of Condar, as well as a series of other rival Faction members.
Kzar Makdar – Kandar Scout
Kazar Makdar is a highly skilled Kandar Scout who gained a degree of renown for locating one of the largest Haroad cave lairs, which led to a massacre by the Kandar. He is an expert tracker and managed to follow back a Haroad hunting party despite them taking all precautions.
Kazar Makdar aspires to a greater role within the more prestigious Kandar War Bands, and it is for this reason that he has set up into the wider Continent as he is hoping to bring back some form of trophy.
The Kandar are the primitive ancestors of the Orcs that abound in Thargos today. They live in tribal clans and usually roam the region they infest, hunting, raiding and slaughtering as they go. Kandar are complete scavengers: they make nothing for themselves, stealing all they need from the victims of their raids. They are fierce warriors and accomplished hunters, having a knack for moving silently that allows them to trigger their ambushes. Kandar are very stocky and muscular, ranging from 3ft to 8ft in height, they are covered in a short black or grey fur, which does not extend to their hands or face. Kandar have small claws and large fangs, their eyes are often catlike and they have strong night-vision. The Kandar clans have Shamans who learn mostly aggressive magic. All Kandar worship the Old Gods and care nothing for the Elemental Gods and their worshippers. Kandar are loyal only to their own tribe and will attack anyone they can overcome and steal from. They have voracious appetites and will eat anything, including human flesh.
Sil – Voss - Master Pickpocket
Sil-Voss is a renowned pickpocket of the Lifters Guild based in Kurnor. Lifters, or "Breakers" as they are also known, are some of the most well-known thieves in the Empire. There is nothing too well guarded or too cumbersome that they cannot try to steal. Interestingly enough, some of the former members are now Imperial Locksmiths, who are handsomely paid for their skill. They are mainly interested in material gain and occasionally offer their services to other city Guilds.
Sil-Voss is originally from the Elios region where he still has excellent connections and a strong information network. He has managed to hide his physical identity, but his reputation proceeds him. He has trained a handful of other pickpocket masters who in turn train the less experienced members of the Guild. He has decided to come out of a more sedentary role and be more active in the field as he is gravely concerned about Karnarcosian agents infiltrating everywhere. Guilds have historically been strong rivals but there is a new tendency to leave old rivalries behind and Sil-Voss supports this trend. He is already involved in coordinating a spy network in Elios including satellites in the Ettikan Kingdom due to the latter being involved in a currently low profile but growing alliance with Karnarcos.
Helgor Bearhide – Barbarian Warrior
Helgor Bearhide is a powerful Barbarian Warrior who has gone renegade after leaving his clan which has been located south of Metbetoch for many years but that has had to move more recently westwards due to ever closer raids from Karnarcos backed border Clans. Helgor decided to become a mercenary in the service of the Empire and is not a supporter of Karnarcos in any way despite feeling that his path would not make him stray into the conflict. He is now coming to terms that he will have to be more active, or risks being swallowed up without being able to take some control of his life.
Helgor has learnt to fight from a very young age, even by the standards of his clansmen, and is an excellent horse rider. He has been getting used to spending weeks at a time in urban settings from towns to large cities with all the distractions they have to offer, good and less good. The rest of his life has been spent on the great border plains and these changes in his life have been a steep learning curve for him due to totally different social codes and protocol, many that seem unnatural to such a straight talker. Helgor is brave bordering on foolhardy at times, but this has served him well and he is a likeable albeit rough around the edges individual.
Kreiss-Nog - Nirkar Poison Master
Kreiss-Nog is a highly skilled and equally deadly Poison Master who has no allegiance to any Guild or Faction whatsoever. In this sense, and this is rare, he is a renegade assassin. His services are available to the highest bidder and he has no interest in taking sides in the war between the Empire and Karnarcos. He has been the target of multiple assassination attempts, all of course have failed and left more victims in his wake.
Kreiss-Nog is on a personal quest to collect the rarest and most deadly substances known in Thargos. If he joins a party of adventurers, it is because he may see some personal gain temporarily but would not hesitate to turn on them or abandon them when he is needed most. Occasionally, he may leave a calling card which manifests itself by the sophistication of the methods or materials used. This he does intentionally in order to advertise his skills or make others aware that he is operating in an area. Despite his extremely high fees, these are not for his own material comfort, but to fund distant travels and the acquisition of highly prized substances. His longer term goals are unknown.
Tarbarag “The Demon Herder” – Karg Demon Summoner
Tarbarag is a manipulative, power hungry, cruel and all-round evil in nature individual. As a Mandorian, he is unnaturally physically strong being ripped and musclebound. All over his body, his veins are raised under his skin and his eyes have a burning other-worldly glow in them. It is very hard for most to hold his gaze and unnerving even for the bravest. His intentions are unclear but they are never good. It is rumoured that even as a young adept in the Earth Temple of Karg, he would summon lesser demons then attempt to control them through physical force alone, a highly risky endeavour and not one any of his masters would have taught him. He would summon them, step out of the protective glyphs then physically wrestle them to his will or strangle them if they proved too dangerous. This nearly cost him his life on a few occasions and most definitely cost him parts of his sanity. As he increased his physical strength so too did he summon more powerful demons, always pushing the limits and taking huge risks. The very few who have seen him in action were often terrified to witness this but this is where the “Demon Herder” title came from.
Tarbarag has since left the Karg Earth Temple in order to push the limits of his work further. A handful of loyal adepts went with him and he is rumoured to be in the Darkcrag Range, not too far from the City of Selek. His dark arts retreat’s location is unknown and despite paying handsomely Selek craftsmen to furnish and equip it. None of them ever returned. Their families tried to get the Selek authorities to investigate this, but this has led nowhere. Sadly this is not surprising if one considers the level of corruption in and around Selek.
Tarbarag has on occasion set out from his lair and has been seen as far north as Durncrag and there are even rumoured sightings near Metbetoch, the once glorious city of Magic, that was raised to the ground some years ago by the Imperial Army.
Tarbarag does not need glory or renown, his reputation precedes him. However, he is on the search for objects of power that may further is quest for power, hence his interest in travelling the realm
Sxaleg-Ri-Soq - Questing Qualar
Soq as he is known drifts from region to region in search of his origins and is most curious in nature. He is a Questing Qualar. Stories tell of the Qualar being a Dragon that has somehow been magically transformed into a smaller version of itself. Most Scholars believe it has happened at the hands of a Demon. Others refute this.
Soq is caring in nature but can be irritable if he is hungry or if those travelling with him hurry him on just when he seems to be on the right track and is taking in some critical detail or clue in his quest.
Stories also tell that the Qualar’s body shifts in size and appearance from hour to hour, taking on any animal form it has ever encountered at random, and then back to its smaller Dragon form every twelfth hour. There have been very few credible witnesses to such tales.
Soq very much fits the legend as being known as a ‘Questing Beast’ at least, as those Knights that have tried to hunt them are said to have gone insane, something about their continually changing tracks sends them mad. Soq does find those stories amusing although he has never denied them.
The Qualar is itself seeking something and Soq is no exception, though this is unique to each animal and never known to any but the beast. They move continually across the realm, seeking their goal, attacking to eat when they need to. If a Qualar is attacked it is said to reverts to its own form, and this has apparently surprised anyone that though they were hunting one of its other forms. The most famous account is in the ‘Lay of Sir Tram,’ which recounts how Sir Tram encountered a Qualar as a Deer, fought it as a small Dragon, then became obsessed with tracking it as it escaped, only to go mad and throw himself in to the sea some three years later.
Soq has only been seen in his original reptilian form which puts into some doubt the tales are told around his species shapeshifting capabilities.
Qualars are said to be immune to any and all magic: they have an affinity for mages and will never attack a magic user unless they are threatened with violence from the latter. Soq likes to travel with a varied group of adventurers more for company than protection. He likes the unpredictability of such parties and how they interact. He is not keen on Karnarcos at all and would avoid any form of teaming up with such individuals or anyone embracing their cause against the Empire.
“Sxaleg” is in fact the mythical cave lair of the Qualars, and Soq’s full name translates approximately as “Soq banished from Sxaleg”, although other translations are “Soq searching for Sxaleg” and “Soq fallen from Sxaleg”. It is indeed hard to pin down any precise translation of Qualar Speak, a little bit like their legendary shape-shifting antics. Some scholars support the hypothesis that Qualar language meaning depends on what form they are in, which makes things even more confusing if this is was to be the case.
Sorsha Magda - Kurnor Assassin
Sorsha Magda is an Uldanian female Assassin from the Black Hand Guild of the Imperial City of Kurnor thought to be in her twenties but she could be older. She is renowned for her beauty but there is no known physical description for her as this is the last thing that some of her victims see. She is a master at disguise and deadly with any form of bladed weapon. On the very rare occasions she has chosen to be seen in her hooded form, screaming her name, she is rumoured to have lightning-fast reflexes, even to the point of dodging a rival assassin guild attempt to kill her with throwing knives and some primitive form of grenade, thought to be imbued with magic. These rare, high profile publicity stunts are there to remind others of the power of the Guilds and can happen in broad daylight in a very public space. Sorsha Magda must have incredible climbing skills also, as some of her victims have been in very inaccessible, well-guarded high points in the cities she has worked in. She occasionally leaves a calling-card of a red rose next to her victim, at least those are the rumours...
She is not keen on Karnarcos and despite being officially considered a criminal by the Empire, she is rumoured to have entered some contracts on behalf of the Empire. Indeed, Assassin and Thief Guilds are considered a necessary evil to counter far worse powers on the ascent in Karnarcos, notably Darkun Factions.
She is a Master Assassin within the Guild but only operates alone. The secrecy of her identify is her trademark and her name is thought not to be her real one. The rare times she speaks, she can take any accent she wants. The name Sorsha Magda was associated with an infamous shape-shifting priestess from an old pantheon Death Cult of Gargann, the Goddess of Death. Her choice of this name is mostly thought to be associated with her ability to change appearance although there are other theories.
It is unclear what drives her, but it is certainly not coin. All her fees are given back to the Guild who provides her material needs unlike other members who seek considerable material gain.
The Black Hand Guild is renowned for its power and extremely well-developed information network. The Black Hand has members in almost every Imperial city and is rumoured to even stretch its resources as far as the South, deep into Karnarcos territory. The Black Hand members comprise Assassins of the highest calibre as well as Master Thieves and Spies. They control most of the poor quarters of the city of Kurnor and are renowned for controlling a large proportion of the trade that takes place there. Almost all of those who form the ranks of this Guild have a "Black Hand" tattoo or symbol on their person. As Sorsha Magda’s true identity is unknown, the presence of any mark or symbol on her person, cannot be verified.
Frensula Fay - Wolf Druidess
Frensula Fay is a highly respected She-Elf Druidess of the Wolf Gathering. She is equally effective in combat as she is in healing and land stewardship. Frensula has long red hair and piercing blue eyes. Frensula was originally born in Tyra into a noble family but decided to leave her home of material comfort and safety, to take the path of nature and live in the great outdoors. As a child she much preferred leaving the walled garden of her family house and walking the woods at dusk rather than study, read and learn the ways of her status to blend in with Tyrian high society and be married-off to some spoilt elvish lord or prince. She was much happier in her childhood imaginary world of animals and woodland creatures and felt much closer to them than most of her kin. She grew up this way too much to the dismay of het parents and was more an urchin than a young lady in waiting. Her father eventually disowned her as he could not face the social shame this would bring upon his family. Her mother was more understanding of her ways and still, in secret, keeps up on her news when she can, although of late, this has become much harder.
Frensula had a run-in with a shield-maiden of the Wolf Druid Gathering at a young age and was beaten and left in a ditch by the roadside on the outskirts of the Forest of Tyra. She took things into her own hands after tracking down her opponent and striking her so hard with her fist that she broke her nose and fractured her skull as a result after the fall from the blow. Others from the Gathering were impressed with her fighting temperament but also commanded that she remain in their custody until she healed her fallen foe. This took many months and a strange bond formed between them despite their rather difficult start. Mavda-Tar was that shield-maiden, and to this day, is her strongest ally and companion. Mavda-Tar is a Wild Elf from deep within Tyra Forest and a Master Tracker. Jet black hair with grey cat-like eyes.
Fensula has currently moved with the Gathering just north of Metbetoch, the Magic City in ruins near the Imperial border. She is seeking objects of value to progress the cause of her Gathering against Karnarcos.
The Druids of the Wolf Gathering are reputed to be brutal towards their enemies from the South. Legends talk of shape-shifting into Wolfmen or even Wolves. They hunt the Darkwolf, which hunts in turn their totem beast. They can easily be mistaken for Trackers, as their clothing is similar, although they aspire to wearing Darkwolf skins that they have killed with their own hands. They are found in the Durncrag Range and north of Metbetoch.