The Carnifex of Aetolia
Centuries ago, the Infernal Knights came into existence under the tutelage of Lord Roan Seluno, of the three Seluno brothers. As the decades passed, the Infernals became renowned for their wielding Necromancy alongside their blades, bringing many to their ends and leaving destruction in their wake. Although none knew it at the time, change was in the winds when Verkai, the Usurper broke free of the Underking's halls and shattered the thin barrier between the Soul plane and the Prime Material, souls flooding free of their exile.
The full effects were not known until the year 343, twenty-five years after the Usurper was slain. A call was issued to the present Infernals, led by their Commander, who were shocked to find the soul of Lord Roan amongst them as they gathered. Seeking a body to complete his return, he led them to the village of Jaru and gave instructions as to the massacre that was to follow. Not a single villager survived that day, the village's streets flooded with blood and gore, save for the four he directed to be spared. Their purpose, however, was nigh: as Lord Roan began the ritual, the souls of the slaughtered denizens rose to the sky and he shortly gave the order to spill the blood of those four thus spared, lending the final power to seal his ascension to corporeal form once more.
Taking the mantle of the guide to the Infernals once more, Roan bid them to shed the shackles of their old namesake and to cast aside the meaningless notion of chivalry, heralding the new age of the Carnifex, bringers of death who scoff at the Underking's influence and harness the souls of the very innocents they butcher, ripping them from the Underhalls to further their own cause and power.
With Savagery the Carnifex uses every means at his disposal to bring death to those who oppose them, via steel and fists alike. Deathlore allows one to use the souls of the dead for his or her own purpose, augmenting their attacks and gaining strength from the suffering of those who fall under their might. Bloodshed is wrought with warhounds by their sides, the beasts trained for battle to help their masters spread carnage across Sapience.
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As a Carnifex, the most common weapons one wields are the warhammer and the polearm. With the warhammer, brute force and devastating blows rain destruction down upon the unworthy, pulverizing those who stand in your way to a bloody pulp. Alternatively the polearm can also be used to deadly effect, slicing open your enemy and hacking off their limbs in mighty cleaving strikes. Savagery also leaves the option of attacking a foe with what nature has given, beating them into submission with your own two fists.
Roleplaying a Carnifex
Aptly named, Carnifex are executioners, indiscriminate and brutal. They are warriors of destruction, culling weakness in a demonstration of primal strength.
What are souls?
While mortals will never truly understand the nature of a soul, a few things are known for certain. They are what house sentience and memory within them, and is what is preserved through the Mirror upon death. New souls are small and weak, while those that gain experience through their adventures become stronger. It is this strength that determines if they are suitable to be used as a vessel for a God. In the Underhalls, souls are purged of their memory so they can be reborn into the world to continue to grow in strength, tempering them as a smith might fold steel. Souls and their vessels are linked by an inexplicable pull, which is why even while Deathlore may sap it of its strength, the grasp is fleeting as it draws back to its mortal creche.
What is a soulstone?
A soulstone is a magical device that captures souls skimmed from the space between the Prime Material Plane and Dhar's realm, before they can pass through the Mirror and be judged or reborn. They become a repository of power. Power is sapped from souls to inflict pain on others, which are then discarded back into the natural flow (unsetting their progress in growth and potentially damaging them, as well as holding them hostage and diminishing the population regrowth during their captivity).
The master soulstone housed within the Carnifex hall is a central point of fel power, created through a ritual, coordinated blood sacrifice and genocide. Roan Seluno sacrificed the tutor of the Infernals to act as host for the crystal, then in one coordinated instant, snuffed out all life within the village of Jaru. The maddened spirits that drifted back to the ruined memory of their former lives took over a decade of active prayer and spellcraft for Enorian to lay to rest.
New soulstones are retrieved from the master, a piece of the bearer given in exchange for the power the stone gives. These stones are bound, eternally, to the Carnifex, and cannot be lost or broken save by giving up the art completely.
How your skills generally work:
- Deathlore is fueled by the energy sapped from captive souls, and that which is leeched from enemies.
- Warhounds are loyal, living weapons within combat, honed through intense, if brutal training and varying by lineage.
- Savagery represents the raw, brutal strength the Carnifex exhibits, executed through the use of halberds, bardiches, and mauls.
Carnifex are warriors that wield both physical dominance and arcane destruction through their application of deathlore, savagery, and the training of their war beasts.
Visual style of the class:
Brutal and domineering, while other warriors may rely on finesse and speed, Carnifex lean on strength and momentum. They do not neatly slash or strike a tender nerve, they pulverize and feast upon the destruction they create with blade, bludgeon, claw, and magic. This lends to heavy, forceful movements and the satisfactory cracking of bone and gutting of organs, as well as the disorienting and invasive weakening of an opponent's soul.
Side effects of the class skills:
Practitioners of deathlore run the risk of madness from the saturation of death and the residual memory of the souls they reap and sap -- nothing distinct, but powerful emotion that rises in those moments.
The impact upon Sapience runs in several directions. Every captive soul cannot be reborn, diminishing the new generation until the soul has returned to the Halls to complete the Cycle. Once released, these souls will have diminished experience, depending on the intensity of how they were used, lessening the effect of the Tempering gained for that Cycle.
Roleplaying the class:
Given the brutality of the class, becoming a Carnifex is not for the squeamish, sensitive, or weak-willed. Whether or not the practitioner acknowledges the risks they undertake -- for themselves and for the world -- they must have the fortitude to withstand the strain of physical exertion and malice of the souls they abuse to fuel their craft.