So, after almost a year in development, design, and a whole spectrum of myriad excuses, I have finally decided that my first medieval faction, the Mythic Order- is ready to post here. Beware the ramblings. And the pictures- so many to come.
First off, everybody's favorite- the backstory- who are these guys, why is their order mythic? Why is their Mythic an order? Etc.
Thousands of years ago, in what was then known as the Kingdom of Olm, existed a powerful order; an order of mages and wizards, of sorcerors and witches, of magisters and- well, you get the point- it was a magical order, and with plenty of it- magic, that is. The Order was at that time known as the Mystical Order of Olm, and served as a place of learning and knowledge, being responsible for the education and furtherance of culture for both magical and non-magical pursuits alike. Think Library at Alexandria, only bigger, and with more gold coins being pulled out of who knows where. Anyhow, the Order had existed as a potent and influential branch of the Monarchy for some hundreds of years, furthering the pursuits and influence of Olm far beyond its golden shores. Times were good. Times were boring. Times change.
A new wave of thinking crept over the kingdom- a wave of disbelief and fear, worry over the potent abilities of magic and those who used it. Mages were stronger than ever, and enjoyed superior societal positions, had greater stores of wealth, and were just plain better looking than their non-magical brethren. People began talking, merely rumors at first, whispers, passing remarks. But malcontent has a habit of forcing its way to the forefront of societal problems. The poor and stupid were easily manipulated and used to serve the causes of those smarter and wealthier than they. Many nobles, and high society somebodies were not magically adept. And they were jealous, angry at the success and privilege that their magical peers enjoyed. But never matter, stoke the fire so that one day, it may burn, and burn, and burn.
And this is exactly what happened. Slowly, over time, the Mystical Order of Olm began to fall out of favor. Magic was blamed for many a thing- disease, world hunger, children's card games, poverty, ugliness- it must be magic! Couldn't possibly be anything else! Eventually, disfavor, and malcontent turned to wanton violence, and many mages and the magically adept were murdered in the streets, lynched, burned at the stake, or forced to play prolonged games of conkers. Bad times turned worse, and those who would later be known as the WitchSlayers of Olm took came into power. Civil war broke out, and even the King's household was split, with one of each of the ailing King's sons on opposing sides.
The war of the Magi raged on for many years, but eventually it became clear that a prolonged war against the non-magical was unwinnable. Numbers weren't on their side, and mages were squishy without soldiers and men at arms to protect them. Normal folk turned against the Order at an alarming rate, and all the good magic had ever done was forgotten in the horror of war. Eventually the strongholds of the Order began to fall, one by one, as the united armies of the Anti-Magi grew ever stronger, and with the WitchSlayers development of Nullsteel, a powerful metal with strong anti-magical properties, the war was all but lost. The WitchSlayers made certain to slay any who were even capable of wielding magic, claiming that those who could use such unnatural powers were Demonspawn and could not be suffered to live. Even those weakest in the arts, such as fortune tellers, card sharks, and professional clowns were gathered together and slaughtered by the dozens. No longer would one have to worry about such strange things as the future, being eaten by sea creatures at the poker table, or children being entertained at birthday parties.
Finally, those left who were skilled in the arts, those sad few, had gathered together in the final stronghold of the old order, what was once the center of the world- the Crimson Citadel of the Order. The armies of Olm converged upon the site, and- to their surprise, upon arrival, the citadel was no longer there. Nothing remained. No last vestiges of mages, magical knowledge, no trace of the massive citadel with its crimson walls and handcrafted banners, not even a rock remained. Merely nothing but an empty plot in the ruins of the city that was once built around it. And though they searched for countless years, nothing was ever found. It eventually became accepted that the remains of the Order had perished in some final attempt at defeating the armies that opposed it, and was forgotten. Magic was dead, nothing but a fantasy, it simply didn't exist. The Witchslayers had annihilated all the bloodlines capable of producing magi, and ultimately became a sort of secret police, a protector against a non-existant power that threatened the world no more. Olm would go on to thrive once more, without magic, and the world was better off- or so the people were told...
For magic was not dead, and the order had indeed survived. Using the last of their power and ability, the last great wizards of the Order moved the Crimson Citadel, out of sight, out of mind, and out of all knowledge of the world. Many of the mages did not survive the task, overexterting themselves and passing on into the afterlife. The order was crippled, and it could not know for certain if it would ever recover- were it not for a young magus named Llavos Mercuari. Mercuari possed ambition, talent, and above all, a great vision for the future of the order, and the restoration of magic to the world. Mercuari rapidly rose in influence among those few remaining of the order, and shortly took complete control, reforging and re purposing the Mystical order of Olm into the new Mythic Order, an order whose purpose was to restore the power of Magic to the world, and for those capable of wielding its great power to take their birthright at the helm of a new age- an age of Magic and Discovery.
Mercuari restructured the Order into less of a senatorial structure of power, and more into an Oligarchy, with leadership of order divided into a council of 6 Magisters, powerful mages hand chosen to lead for their vision, power, and unique talents. In return, the Magisters must give up their names and be ever referred to by title only, and must carry out Mercuari's vision. Mercuari himself would go on to take the position of Grand Magister, a wizard unmatched in power and influence, and acting head of the council, capable of overuling any decision reached if neccessary. However Mercuari would not bother to interfere in the daily happenings of the council, having far more important things to worry about.
You see, Mercuari had succeed in doing something no other mage before or since had been capable of. Re-incarnation- not of himself, but of others. He had cracked that seemingly unbreakable barrier and succeeded in bringing back those long ago fallen from the abyss itself- not necromancy, mind you, but actual reconstitution- a Soulmage, if you will. For his purposes, Mercuari needed an army- powerful mages were not enough, and should not be risked in open combat anyway, as there were far too few remaining. He began to create an army of powerful warriors, soldiers of a vast wealth of experience and combat prowess from ages past. And to lead these great warriors, Mercuari brought back some of history's most legendary heroes- many of the greatest warriors that ever lived, now stronger than ever, due to the fact that one's legend, or myth- that has been built up over centuries, or sometimes thousands of years attributes towards making these heroes even stronger and more skilled than they were when they first roamed the world.
It is the belief of Mercuari, and the order, that true immortality can only be achieved, not via living forever, but by the creation of a legend, a myth- something that follows and grows as a person lives, and continues on after their deaths, growing ever grander over time, and ensuring that its owner is never forgotten. What was discovered, was that, upon one's return to a plane in which they possess a Myth, that person becomes capable of everything their myth contains, even if they were not capable of such a task previously. The beliefs and stories of the ages have had a powerful effect on the world and have woven a powerful magic of their own, one that due to the absence of said force could not be witnessed until now. Hence, the Mythic Order.
Now, one may wonder why Mercuari did not simply bring back all those mages who died in the Magi wars, or all of the world's heroes at once- even the greatest of powers have limits. Mages are sent to a different plane upon death than their non-magical bretheren, and thus are harder to restore to life- in addition, one may (mage or otherwise) only be brought back via using an artifact that they had close contact with during their lifetimes as a conduit. This is one of the reasons why the Mythic Order pursues mythical and legendary artifacts- such as Aurora, the Blade of Dawn, with a ferocious intensity- who knows what legend they could unite under their banner with such a powerful weapon?
Now, over a thousand years later, Mercuari and the Order have returned the citadel to the mortal plane, and intend to usher in a new era- an era defined by the return of the great power of magic to the mortal planes, and the destruction of all those who have, or would oppose its great power. I now present, after this wall of text, what you have been waiting for- and probably immediately skipped to anyway- The Mythic Order!
First up, we have the Mythic Order Outriders- these units are highly versatile and are primarily used for scouting missions, areas with difficult terrain, and to back up heavy calvary. Units primarily provide ranged support with their crossbows, but can also switch to a spear for charging and CC, if their wolven steeds don't prove up the task- officers wearing red (originally, I had them split up into 3 spear users, and three crossbowmen, but I've altered it to add both, simply haven't gotten in the parts for the additional three spears as of yet):
Close up image- as if that wasn't obvious
And next up, we have the Riders of Ruin, the feared heavy Cavalry of the Order- re-incarnated horselords of Etrurius, the kingdom of the Plains, these fellows are devastating on the field with their powerful Blacklances, and heavy warhammers (The riders use hammers as a tribute to Rev's hero Darius, one of my favorite brikwars characters- also attributed to him is the barding design, for which credit goes entirely to Rev) in addition to the heavy spikes on the horse itself, allowing both rider and steed to attack together- Officers are distinguished by entirely dark red barding, the more open-faced pointy type helm, and the swords instead of the hammers:
Now we have the backbone of the army, the Swordsmen of the Mythic Order- once bladesmen of great renown, they now put their skills to use in pursuit of the visions of the Order. Each Swordsman possesses a different face, and has a name. No I will not put down all of their names at this time.
Close up showcasing Lieutenant Slasher with his top men Fancy Pierro (with the mustache), and Bertrand Malcovick
Next up we have the Eternal Werewolves- these are werewolves who have partaken of the draught of the moon, and acquired increased power and control far exceeding normal werewolves, but are unable to ever return to human form:
You might notice they are missing an officer- this is to be explained a bit further down, but I have more wolves on order, and will update this once I get them in.
Next up we have the Templars of the Crimson Moon- The Order of the Crimson Moon is an order within an order, and the templars serve as the elite units of the Mythic Order. Originally the Order of the Crimson Moon actually served as the personal guard and protectors of the original Mystical Order of Olm, they have been re- constituted to once again serve the Order.
Here we have the Mythic Order Rangers- some of the greatest bowmen, snipers and trackers throughout history have been gathered together under the Order to serve as a kick ass unit of longbow wielding archers- Officer in the center:
And here are the Crossbowmen of the Order- with their tower shields and powerful one-handed crossbows, these units can hold any position with relative ease- officers with the fancy hats:
And here we have the Halberdiers of the Order- These skilled warriors are adept at countering charges, and facing down larger creations with their powerful halberds- officer in the huge red plume, just in case that wasn't completely obvious for some reason:
Close up of the Halberd, just because it is so awesome:
Why yes, I will include a breakdown, for those who couldn't tell how it was made from the extreme closeup above:
The Spearmen of the Order- with their heavy spears and huge tower shields these guys are awesome- phalanx formation anyone? Officers should be obvious:
And of course- this being a MAGICAL ORDER AND ALL- what good is it without the mages? Well, I admit I am a bit lacking on the mages right now, I have been as of yet unable to come up with a base-level mage design I am happy with- however, here we have two of the six magisters, and one Battlecleric/Battlepriest:
I really love the magneto helmet as a mage helm, it just works so well:
And my battlecleric/battlepriest, complete with badass flail, because why shouldn't healers be able to add some bodies to the battlefield- besides surgeries gone wrong, I mean. And you might be wondering- for all you went on about him in the opening background info that I didn't bother to read, where is this Grand Magister? I have him, but he is unfinished as of yet, I will post him when I feel he is ready for this topic:
And now, we get to jump into the heroes- so what legends have the Mythic Order brought to the field of battle? Well lets find out, shall we? First up, we have the legendary Knight Lord, Valken Gransor- Valken was a duke in service to the King of Olm some 400 years back who was well known for being an unmatched tactician and battlefield general- during his 20 year tenure as the King's marshal, he was never known to have lost even a single battle. He's also a damn good swordsman to boot:
Back view of the sheath:
View of Valken's sword, Grottmung, unsheathed:
Here we have the legendary Whooshu Master, the bladesman Zhao Luang. Known for being dedicated solely to his art during his lifetime, he traversed the world, ever seeking a worthy foe, seeking out and killing countless powerful warriors before finally meeting his match in a duel for the ages over 600 years ago. His restless soul was brought back to this plane to once again fight- only this time, for a greater purpose.
Better view of Zhao's Dadao- he does not wield a named weapon, merely an ordinary sword, of excellent make.
Here we have Gestalt, last name unknown, better known to history as the Direwulf; a famed bounty hunter and mercenary for hire who sold his matchless talents to the highest bidder. Said to have been directly or indirectly responsible for the deposition of over 20 warlords, 9 Dukes, 4 kings, and 1 emperor during his lifetime- shot of Gestalts many knives, and dual blades, as Gestalt was handy with whatever blades were available at the time, he does not wield legendary or named weapons:
And here we have Garmr Moonfang, the first and last of the Eternal Werewolves. The very first to drink of the draught of the Moon, Garmr turned many other werewolves (eternal) and led them in an attempt to make their own, peaceful, society, away from the rest of the world. Alas, the world is an unforgiving place that also happens to really, really hate werewolves, and it was not to be. The settlement was discovered and subsequently attacked by soldiers of Olm, and many of the wolves were put down. Garmr and the survivors did not take well to this affront, and thus began a hundred years of Guerilla warfare against the Kingdom, with Garmr all the while slowly becoming the monster Olm had made him out to be, eventually slaughtering villages and innocents with the worst of them. A terror greater than any the kingdom had faced in years, Garmr and the last of his eternal werewolves- whose numbers dwindled greatly in the final years of the conflict, were ultimately killed in a final climactic showdown with an elite unit of the kingdom's greatest WitchSlayers. Now, Eternal Werewolves once again roam the world, as Garmr has returned to fight for the order- and, lucky for him, seek a terrible revenge at the same time:
Some images showcasing the custom claws I made for Garmr, utilizing brickarms killstrike sabers:
Here now we have Nox. Very, very little is known of him. Unlike the others there is no record of this character in any historical documents, novels, or records of any kind, and he possesses no legend- the mark of a truly great assassin. Expert shot with his crossbow, and deadly in close quarters with his knives, Nox is perfect for behind the scenes jobs.
Closeup view of the Crossbow:
And here we have Arycelle, the Black Arrow- One of history's greatest archers; a famous outlaw captain, Arycelle was known as the Black Arrow, after the massive black arrows, as big as spears that she shot from her greatbow, Cruor, with unerring and deadly accuracy. Whether she was a wanton murderer and disturber of the peace, or a champion of the poor still remains debated to this day. Now, almost a thousand years later, she has returned and serves as captain of the Mythic Order archers.
Next up is Dion Mercury, a famed Lancer of the Western Isles of Icaria. Known for his signature "Iron Lance" technique, this knight of the spear dedicated his life to chivalry and the pursuit of justice in a cruel world:
And here we have easily the most feared of all the "heroes" the Mythic Order has yet employed- Ragnel Tartaros, the Crimson Scourge. Starting with only a small warband, Ragnel would eventually become the most powerful warlord in the history of Olm- but it was not power he sought, nor wealth or fame. Tartaros was one of those rare men who sought only destruction, and death, and would leave nothing but fire and blood in his wake. Ruin was wrought upon the kingdom of Olm, and it was only a final alliance of a few surviving nobles who were able to bring an end to the reign of terror, and only at great cost- separating him from the bulk of his army, and with his personal guard killed, Ragnel was cornered on the edge of a cliff by a hundred men, and killed them all, though terrible were the wounds he received. A second unit, this one of archers, had arrived in time to see the horrific sight, of the Scourge standing wounded amidst the bodies of their comrades. Ragnel died laughing that day, as the archer's arrows sang true, Tartaros, riddled with arrows, fell backwards off the edge of that bloodstained cliff, and his body was never recovered. He did not return however, and the world thought themselves rid of the Scourge- but this day, he has finally returned, death being unable to keep the madman in check as he marches for Death and the Order.
Because when are knives not handy?
Ragnel with his legendary blade- the bastard sword Cerberus:
And last, but certainly not least, we have who is likely the strongest of all the heroes of the Order- Templar Grandmaster Lyra Ceres, the Astral Paladin. The final leader of the Templars of the Crimson Moon back in the old days, Grandmaster Ceres swore an oath to protect the Order from all harm, even from her own Kingdom. After a lifetime of unmatched service, and great deeds fighting a losing war, she would be forced to lead her forces against her brethren in a final stand against the armies of Olm. She and the Crimson Moon would successfully- only a hundred strong, hold off the entirety of the armies of Olm long enough to give the Order enough time to move the citadel. She alone of the order would survive this last stand, with all other templars perishing in the battle. Upon the realization that the Order had succeeded, Grandmaster Ceres laid down her arms, her oath fulfilled, and in her heart unable to slaughter any more of her kin, many of whom she had trained and fought alongside earlier in life, before taking up an oath as a templar of the Crimson Moon. Nevertheless, Grandmaster Ceres was tried as a traitor, and executed as such, buried in a mass grave, and denied the honorable death in battle that was the greatest wish of a noble heart shattered by war. Lyra would die in shame and be remembered as a great traitor, despite doing her best to live up her oaths and the code of a knight. Once more she takes up arms for the Order, and this time, hopes for better ends. She wields the magic sword Lunas, Blade of the Moon, one of the strongest blades in the world, said to possess the power of the Moon itself. It is one of the four Crystal Blades, forged at the dawn of time by the ancient Planeswalkers, alongside its sister swords: Sol, Blade of the Sun, Aurora, Blade of Dawn, and Vesper, Blade of the Evening:
Continued-don't post yet-