Rakalizzar, the World Scourge
The World Scourge, the Devourer of Flesh, the Slayer of a Thousand Souls, the King of Minotaurs, the Flayer of Skin
"Slay every thing you can find. Every man, every woman, every child! Kill the animals, the birds, even the alley rats if you have to! Do not stop until the streets run with blood!" - Rakalizzar commanding his minions at the Siege of Gorneuve. Many have forgotten the time before high stone walls and blasts of gunpowder kept their homes safe. The common man thinks that the wild world has finally been tamed, that the stories they were told as children are only that. But in truth they have only been pushed back into the deepest depths of the wilderness. They scour the borders of civilization, striking at the slightest hint of weakness or opportunity. But only one has ever come close to destroying what humanity had built. Today he is used as a reminder to never forget what the creatures of Caldanor are capable of. His name was Rakalizzar. A minotaur hailing from the snow tipped peaks of the Worlds View Mountains, he had a bloodthirst that could rival the most savage of Orc tribes. He made his first appearce in Releons, somewhere between the years 1287 and 1288. While there are no official records of how or why he came down from the mountains, local folklore claims that he battling an ancient giant between the peaks, causing the world to shake. During the fight he was flung high and far away from his home, bringing him to a new and unfamiliar land. Needing to recuperate his strength and vent his anger, Rakalizzar attacked the first living things he came across: the Releoni knight and baron Gaspard of Geverre and his retainers. They were out on the hunt for venison and were the first to perish, caught off guard by the sudden arrival of this beast. Gaspard's son Eugène and his nameless squire were both gored through the stomachs by Rakalizzar's horns, their horses trampled by his mighty hooves. With the bodies still skewered and blood dripping down his face, Rakalizzar drew his infamous curved blades and began slaying everyone with brutal proficiency. As long as greatswords and twice as thick, only a beast such as he could possibly hope to wield them as he did, cleaving through metal, barding, flesh, and bone in single swipes of each blade. The roar he uttered after the bloody slaughter echoed across the fields of Releon, reaching the nearby village of Geverre, his next target. The smoke from the ruins could be seen for miles in every direction, alerting the other local barons to the destruction. It was here that the legend of Rakalizzar began. At least, that is how the folktales tell it. Very little is known about the truth of his arrival, though his first recorded appearance was at the Battle of Chalay in the fall of 1288. It was during the rule of King Guillaume 'The Gloryless' Jacquier, as the remnants of his failed invasion of Wessar were just beginning to return to Releons. Duke Olivier de Chalay had recently returned home from the war, his levied troops battered and eager to rest. Upon returning to the dukedom of Chalay however, they soon learned that someone had been stealing livestock. At first he brushed this off, leaving his chamberlain to deal with the mess while he enjoyed his respite. By morning the next day the chamberlain had returned alone, his arm ripped off and half his face slashed to ribbons. Later the men he had taken into the forest were found. Their bodies were skewered to tree branches and their bellies were carved open, leaving their organs hanging out. Olivier began preparing his men to hunt down the perpretrators, but before they could being the march into the woods, they were greeted by a force of orcish raiders waiting at the treeline. Standing at the front was a single minotaur, its brown fur caked with dried blood. While the Releoni were gathering in a battle line, the minotaur began to stamp its hooves and bray loudly, stirring the orcs behind it into an eager frenzy. Further into the forest more brays answered, revealing that there was a much larger force hiding in the woods than Olivier had expected. Without another moment to waste the lead minotaur let out one final screech, drew it's blades, and charged forward. The horde followed it, shaking the earth and scaring the defenders into a route almost immediately. The Battle of Chalay is called that to hide the truth of the event, for truly it was more of a massacre. The village and surrounding countryside were razed to the ground, the inhabitants slaughtered and eaten, and not always in that order. Olivier however was taken prisoner instead, a cruel twist of fate that he believed was an attempt at ransom. Instead, Rakalizzar personally turned the nobleman into a banner, flaying his skin whilst he was still alive. All captured by the minotaur would suffer such a fate, held aloft as battle banners, heralding the grim future for all who failed to defeat the World Scourge. What followed was a three year reign of terror throughout all of Releons. With Guillame's incessant wars with his neighbors and his own death in Wessar, the country was weak and vulnerable. Rakalizzar went from village to village, butchering everything in his way and rallying more followers to his cause. Minotaurs who wished to take his place or share in his power were dispatched with ease, and any who tried to leave his service were turned into food for his growing army. Orc tribes, hearing of this mighty warrior, came to either fight beside or challenge him, swelling the ranks even further. Even the most desperate and depraved of outlaws dared to join this seemingly unstoppable force of nature. But it was the destruction of Gorneuve that truly made the world realize what kind of threat Rakalizzar was. The minotaur was growing bored with small scores, and wanted something to truly challenge his abilities. Seeing that Releons was growing weak, he moved north towards Norvathen, stopping at the border city of Gorneuve. Rather than simply going around, Rakalizzar chose to assault it, ordering his army to begin a siege. For months they probed the defenses, poking and prodding wherever they could to find a weakness, each attack being repelled by the terrified defenders. Eventually the opportunity arose with the coming of a storm. The clouds blocked out any light the moon would have offered, and the downpour made it difficult for those not attuned to the dark to see more than ten feet in front of them. So Rakalizzar ordered an all out attack that managed to push over the walls. The gates were opened and the bloody slaughter began. For two days his army ran through the streets looking for anything and everything living. Stories tell that by the time the last inhabitants were finally slain, the attackers were wading ankle deep in blood. Once they finished looting the city and burning it down, the army continued the march into Norvathen with newfound confidence. Five Norvathen towns and cities, along with countless villages, were lost in the tide of destruction that flowed from Releons. For a year it seemed that Rakalizzar was unstoppable, and word quickly spread to the neighboring kingdoms of what was happening to their southern allies. This would ultimately lead to the minotaurs eventual downfall. Whilst resting, tired and drunk off of a recent victory, Rakalizzar's army was caught off guard by a coalition of forces that had finally caught up to them. The Knights of the Bloody Sky, a contingent of Norvathen Rangers, vengeful members of the Knights of the Thorned Lance, as well as lords and levies from Adradien, Norvathen, and Releons had all managed to surround them, launching a devastating surprise attack. The defenders fought hard, slaying ten men for every one of theirs, but ultimately it was not enough, and soon the orcs, minotaurs, and criminals that had terrorized the countryside were either put to the sword or fled. Only Rakalizzar himself refused to flee, standing defiant with his banners of skin around him. Keep his blades sheathed, he used the banners are clubs, spears, and javelins at first, maintaining a constant whirlwind of strikes and blows that crushed man and horse alike. When the banners were spent he drew his swords, carving a path into the ranks that were slowly engulfing him. Ultimately it was the two grandmasters of the knight orders and the commander of the rangers who took down this menace. The grandmasters performed a pincer manuever, taking advantage of the beasts fatigue to hit him with superficial cuts, while the ranger commander drew his attention away from the horsemen. Slowly but surely they were able to wear him down until he was finally on his knees. Thinking that he was completely vulnerable, the Grandmaster of the Thorned Lance charged in for the glory of the killing blow: a mistake he would soon learn the hard way. Rakalizzar leapt at the knight, crushing both with his weight before biting off the mans head. The Bloody Sky Grandmaster made way to rescue his comrade in arms, but was stopped when his horse tripped and broke its leg from the disheveled earth. Sensing yet another opportunity, Rakalizzar crawled to the Grandmaster, grabbing him in both hands and squeezing him until his body popped. Having succumbed to his blood rage, he drank from the corpse as if it was a cup, giving the ranger commander one last chance to end the nightmare. He took his bow and shot for the minotaurs throat again and again, quickly emptying his quiver. He grabbed a nearby spear and ran for the beast, throwing all his strength into this final gamble. The spear met hide, piercing through into the flesh and bone beneath. Rakalizzar tried to utter one last defiant roar, but only gurgled as his blood dripped down the spear and soaked the earth. This was an event that changed everything for the human kingdoms of Caldanor. They had grown soft and content behind their walls, forgetting about the horrors that stalk the forests, prowl the mountains, and sleep within the caves of the world. Rakalizzar reminded them of what happens when one becomes ignorant and content in a world where anything could kill you without a second thought. As word of the victory spread, the tale of Rakalizzar became more and more mythological in scale, leading many to grant him the titles he bears today. Every settlement, big or small, now keeps a watchful eye on what lies beyond the borders of their homes because of the minotaurs achievements. But now, the world forgets again...
- True colour unknown. Records state that his eyes were a mix of pure black and crimson red, but this may have been due to blood entering the cornea as he died.
- Dark brown, matted with blood and mud at time of death.
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