|The Soul Shackle|
“Not even the dead are beyond the power of Death's Reach.
Skills[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
Spirit Attack - Let your spirits do your work for you. Curse enemy dragons early in the game while the kill count is high and watch your minions grow.
Wrath of the Fallen - Make it count! Top off your health by using it on minions if you're far away from your hoard.
Lore[edit | edit source]
When Nari was young, and the titans' feud was a fire sweeping the world, Naugo, noisome spirit of mutations, the eddy of Chaos, came to the wide steppes, for what reason none can fathom. As the spirit's shapeless presence swept over the steppes like the ill breath of a charnel house, it settled upon a nomad tribe that hunted the wild steppes boars that ran in feral packs.
The people of the tribe grew more like their prey, hugely muscled and bristling with short, stiff hair. Their faces were drawn into dog-like muzzles, their teeth fused into twisted tusks and their minds were filled with a ceaseless seething madness. Thus the orks were born upon the world. The steppes boars, too, were affected. They began to grow to grotesque proportion, stopping only when their massive tusks rivaled the trunks of the scrub trees in girth, and their ridged backs rose chest-high on a man. In time, the orks would learn to ride them to war against their rivals upon the steppes, the horse tribes.
For decades these savage beast-men would struggle with the horse-tribes, never conquering outright, but neither being threatened themselves. Until the coming of a warrior called Thaen. This young warlord united the tribes against the orks, and began a campaign of slaughter. For the first time since their creation, the tides were turning against the ork tribes, and their numbers dwindled upon the steppes.
Greuthe, ork shaman of the beleaguered skullhammer tribe, stood upon a hill-top in the burying grounds of his people. The old shaman walked amongst the graves of his fallen kin and raged at the skies. Only a week ago the Skullhammers had been the reigning tribe from the Icerill in the north to the shallow lakes of Khurn, and now they were a desolate handful of refugees and walking wounded. He had applied his best curses, lain traps in this realm and in the world of the spirits, and still the enemy came. The horse-warriors would be upon his shabby troupe before daybreak.
The old shaman looked over the remains of his most recent sacrifice to the blood spirits and spat. He had labored over the carcass of the beast for the better part of an hour, and yet when he donned the bloody bone-mask he was given no vision. The mask now lay in the mess of the beast, its dark eyes as empty as the ebon swathe of Celeston's Crypt painting the sky overhead. In the distance, Greuthe heard the hunting horns of the horse warriors and knew his time was short. He tried once more to invoke the power of the spilled blood of the beast, calling out with all of his strength. The shaman put the mask to his face, and this time saw the air laden with a hanging purple mist, and from behind him came a sickly orange glow.
Greuthe heard a voice like a cacophony from over his shoulder. The words came in a flood, tripping over one another, spoken by many mouths in poor coordination, Naugo had returned to his people.
Through the eyes of the bone-mask, Greuthe saw his meager tribe huddled in the lee of the hill and then saw behind them, into the mound upon which he stood. Generations of his people had buried their warriors there. Countless blood magic rituals had been performed where he now stood. In that moment of mad illumination, Gruethe knew what to do. He worked quickly, as the enemy was nigh. The formless madness driving the ork in his creation until at last he placed the bone mask in the center of his new standard and lashed it into place. Then, raising his grisly banner, Greuthe walked to meet the horse tribes alone.
Thaen and his warriors rode over a rise to see the ork shaman, wreathed in misty purple illumination, raising the mad token above his head and pointing. Strange lightning sprang from the cloudless sky and struck the hilltop behind the shaman, who wailed as though possessed. In the air around him, the hulking spirits of the greatest warrior orks of the Skullhammer tribe coalesced, each streaking at the astonished horse warriors with preternatural speed.
The ghostly attack drove the horsemen back, but Thaen's elite were no mere children. The stronger amongst them mastered their terror and swung around to loose arrows at the crazed shaman. Infuriated, Greuthe waved a hand and blinked past them, then roared an inarticulate challenge as they hurriedly tried to circle back.
Again the old shaman called forth the warrior spirits. As they shot past him to wreak havoc among his horrified foe, Greuthe heard the hollow echoes of orkish war songs ringing around him, and more of the foe yet fell. Soon, the shaman was faced with only the warrior Thaen and two elite guards. The battle-fury had run its course, and Greuthe was tiring. As Thaen rode to face him, his warriors flanked the shaman and shot the exhausted ork through with their arrows. The shaman crumpled against his staff.
The warrior Thaen laughed cruelly as he dismounted and drew his blade to finish the job. But as his sword was raised, Greuthe spat a bloody mouthful of old orkish. Thick ropes of magic exploded forth, entangling and binding the three men. The guards, still mounted, fell into sticky heaps of man and horse, but Thaen stood his ground, sword raised but held firm.
The shaman pulled himself up on the staff, and the standard above him glowed like a lurid purple star as he gripped the immobilized warrior by the throat. The hapless guards watched in ineffectual terror as their arrows slipped from the shaman's body and the wounds were healed. As the shaman's strength returned, so did the life of their master drain away, until only husk of a man remained to crumple to the ground at the feet of the triumphant ork. Finally wrestling free of their magical bonds, the last two guards fled into the dawn.
Greuthe returned to the place where his people had hidden, but his tribe had gone. Confused, the shaman began to walk up the hill to the burying place, and there, as cacophony rose in his head, he found them. Each was arrayed as though they had fallen in battle with the enemy, again the light of madness showed Greuthe what had transpired. In his battle with the horse warriors, his charges had not been spared. Instead Naugo, tendril of metamorphosis, had made of them warrior spirits, and sent them forth to protect his only pilgrim.
Greuthe left that place then, to wander the steppes and speak of Naugo. He came to many tribes, eventually falling into ork legend as the preserver of the people, and the mouthpiece of madness.
Bladebiter • Chillblade • Chronosphere • Cruel Barb • Death's Reach • Eir's Glory • Elder's Branch • Fracture Barrel • Gorefist • Hallowed Lantern • Hammer of Sul • Hyperion's Light • Phoenix Familiar • Rainmaker • Rising Soul • Rodar's Scepter • Skyburst • Slingsharp • Sparrowthorn • Sphere of Wudeng • Stormcaller • The Aegis • The Harvester • The Scintallion • Titan's Call • Truth's Charge • Ulfberht • Unity Mark • Vengeance • Veritas Scriptura • Voidstar • Waybinder