With the Heart of the Mists Kickstarter campaign in its final hours, and the Heroes already known, we would like to present you with stories and art of three Villains of the standalone expansion. Do you have the courage to face them?
Eredai the Hunter
Some villains are born when a champion falls, or when a misguided individual finds nobody able to point him in the right direction, before it gets too late to counter the consequences of their actions. Some are born weak, and they seek strength among those, who are most eager to show off their power. None of this was ever true for Eredai.
Even as a boy, always taller and stronger than his peers, Eredai would exploit every opportunity to bend others to his will. Over the years of his childhood he perfected the art of bullying, and revelled in the hatred and fear other children would feel towards him. And since Valskyrrian parents usually believe that their offspring should fight their own battles, he had never been stopped, until it was too late.
Although hard to believe, all that changed for even worse, when Eredai accompanied his father into the woods, to hunt with him for the first time. Exhilarated and filled with bloodlust, he could not stop thinking about taking another life. And soon he would.
The hunt became everything for Eredai. The fear of his victims would make Eredai’s blood boil with pleasure, and he soon started to spend more time in the wilds, than in his home village. He hunted for the thrill, often flaying prey and leaving it otherwise untouched, for an entity that appeared in his thoughts, as sacrifice. And after his final and bloodiest sacrifice had been accepted, he became what he is today.
Tall as a giant but gaunt and grim, Eredai still bends the will of the creatures of the wilds. Wielding a gift bestowed by the Mists, he makes even beastmen and ravenok bow to him, as he leads them into a bloody hunt. His petrifying cry, one that Eredai unleashes only moments before making the kill haunts the wilderness from Naar to Valskyrr.
Atherak the Undying
Once a powerful master of the arcane arts, Atherak feared nothing but the passage of time. Drawing his fill from the wells of both light and dark energies, he would seek the key to unlock the secret of immortality, until his obsessive research bore grim fruit.
For decades known as a somewhat puzzling figure, sometimes ready to lend a hand to the inhabitants of Naar (but never without naming a price for his aid), Atherak became an almost forgotten recluse in his old age. Many even thought that he died, before he made a return back into the lands of the living.
Calling forth power never before seen in the world, Atherak caused a magical cataclysm that blotted out the sun and made the dead rise up from the ground. Having struck a deal with a dark power that touched his mind, now ravaged by insanity, Atherak performed a ritual that would transform his body, as well as the lands surrounding his dwelling. Hence, the first true dragon was born.
Seemingly immortal and drunk with power, Atherak raised an undead army, ready to forge an eternal kingdom of his own. Before he marched on Hammerhome, however, he was found by a Myrmidon captain by the name of Alekar, and struck down after a long and exhausting battle. And though it seemed like his reign of terror had ended before it even started, the dark power did not release its grip on the dragon. Revealing itself for the first time as the Mists, it raised Atherak, fusing his will with a skeletal body of the creature he had become. Believed to be a legend for hundreds of years, Atherak has now returned in his terrifying form, leading a massive army of undead ready to deal a crushing blow to the lands of the living.
Kesrah the Dreaming
Many new threats have emerged from the Mists since the battle of Ravencrag, and the cataclysm that tore the world apart. Some of them are merely a tale spawned by terrified minds of those, who came into contact with the Mists. Others turn out to be painfully true.
Nobody really knows who she is, but they call her “Kesrah” which means “Mother of Nightmares” in the language of the Kerathi. Wherever she appears, eyes always closed and hands dripping with blood, the land seems to freeze, as if suspended in a perpetual dream, with no day coming after the night. Those who stay there, lose the ability to sleep. Tired and tormented, they fall prey to demonic creatures that seem to walk in Kesrah’s path.
Those who survived these raids, also speak of another strange phenomenon: barely audible sounds of battle carried by the last gusts of wind. And within those sounds, a female voice shouts the Myrmidon battlecry, and calls those fighting beside her not to surrender, just before an ominous silence falls upon the land.
Some say that Kesrah can be awoken, and when that happens, her true form – for good or ill – will be revealed to the world.