New Hero: Star-Reader SeverinJanuary 23, 2019
In the depths of a frozen forest, a single campfire crackles. The clearing is small, with ice-laden pines looming overhead. The ground here is hard, and the fire hisses and spits in the winter air. The hunter—a solitary young man in heavy furs—stares across the flames at the older man he found in the ice. This man looks half-dead, with ice crusting his unkempt beard, and one arm hanging useless and frostbitten at his side. Wordlessly, the hunter passes him a steaming mug.
Grimacing as the drink scorches his throat, the man croaks, “Where am I?”
“Kosul. The northern border,” the hunter grunts in reply.
“Of course,” the frozen man nods, holding the mug to his curled hand.
The hunter’s eyes narrow. His own hand has not strayed far from his axe since he found the body. “You were face down in the snow in nothing but rags,” the young man’s lip curls. “You should be dead.”
“Ah,” his companion’s grin is pointed. “I have died many times. None have quite managed to stick.”
For a long moment, the only sounds are the snap of the fire and the man’s labored breathing. The hunter breaks the silence first, leaning forward, his eyes alight, “Tell me more.”
I was born on the smog-choked streets of a city far, far from here. An orphan from a young age, I survived by my wits and desperation. One time, when I was a boy, I was begging on a street corner late at night, when a man—I remember his face well—in a fine carriage stopped to speak with me.
At first, I was excited, any of the jewels from his many rings would have fed me for a month! But as I told him of my life, combing the gutter and sleeping on cold cobbles, his grin widened. At the end of our conversation, he leaned down, grabbed my hat full of coins, and stepped into his carriage. I shouted at him, but he simply laughed. Incensed, I pulled a knife and leapt at him, slashing his face. Roaring in pain, he struck me back and sent me sprawling. With a disdainful look, he gestured, and two of his men dismounted. Before I could rise, they were upon me.
They beat me, there in the street. People passed, but they saw my ragged clothes and kept walking. Eventually, I grew too weary to protect myself, and felt something crack, my back flaring in pain. The men left, after that. I remember looking up at the stars overhead, wishing that they could save me. As I lay there, bruised and bleeding, they did. The stars winked and whispered to me, and I began to breathe again.
“Bah,” a snort cuts the half-frozen man’s tale short. Across the fire, the hunter spits into the snow. “You expect me to believe that you can come back from the dead?”
Severin shrugs, “I am here, am I not?”
The hunter grins, “You have a quick tongue, I grant you that. And I have no love for the pompous rich that you speak of.” His hand slides down to rest next to the hammer on his belt, and his voice goes hard. “I would see them beat to a bloody pulp, much as you were.”
“Ah,” the other man nods. “I could sense that we have much in common.”
“Watch yourself,” the hunter grunts, “You have yet to tell me what you are doing in my woods.”
A fine question, friend. Years later, and I had moved on, making my way telling fortunes and selling potions. I had been born with nothing by my wits and the stars overhead, so I honed them into my tools, my weapons, and traveled, seeking knowledge and power.
It was on the road, one clear night, when I saw it. I stood on top of a rocky hill, listening to the heavens, when one of the faintest, weakest stars in the sky began to flicker. As I fumbled for my astrolabe, it began to fall, streaking across the sky like like a silver tear. And behind it, a brighter star flared to life. As this new, strong star burned bright, I watch the false star’s path. It fell due north, vanishing over the horizon. It was a sign. The old ways were dying out, great things were coming to the North… and I was destined to be a part of it.
I tried to spread the word as I followed the star’s path. In one small town, I was confronted by a Solist preacher. He accused me of heresy, of spreading untruths. I gestured to the night sky and told him that my words were as constant as the stars themselves. This public rebuke infuriated him, and as I slept, he turned the townsfolk against me. The next morning, I was hauled before a tribunal, charged with heresy, and burned at the stake.
But the stars were still with me, and my conviction was strong. I did not die my last death that day.
The fire has burned down to embers by the time Severin finishes his tale. Eagerly, he leans towards the hunter, adding,
“The star fell directly over the Kosul capital, my savior. Korovyat Palace is old beyond memory. The fool I hired to guide me to the capital decided a trinket of mine was worth more than my life, but I am seeking much greater power. And I believe it is hidden somewhere within the palace’s walls…”
The hunter scowls, “I have no love of Korovyat, nor those that occupy it. I would see it in ruins.”
Severin smiles, “What is your name, friend?”
“Kurtz. Baron Yushkov Kurtz.”
“Ah,” Severin’s grin deepens. “You hunger for power, yes? Just like myself. Perhaps my death in these woods was not in vain. Perhaps the stars were leading me here… to you.” Severin nods to himself. “Yes. If you wish to see your plans through, I will be of service to you.”
“What do you propose?” Yushkov rumbles, unconvinced.
“Counsel. Foresight. An edge.” Severin’s eyes glow, reflecting the fire’s dying light. “Strength. It is easier to hunt if you can predict your quarry’s every move.”
The hunter is stoic, but Severin can see the excitement creeping over him. Slowly, Yushkov stands and holds out a hand.
“What do the stars say about me?” He asks.
Glancing up at the night sky, Severin rises and takes Yushkov’s heavy hand. “Great things, my lord. Great and terrible things.”
Star-Reader Severin Promo Quest
- The Star-Reader Severin promo quest begins today and will run until Tuesday, January 29.
- During the quest period, your first PvP win of the day will reward you with a copy of Severin.
- Once the promo period is over, you’ll be able to craft Severin using Shiftstone as normal.
- The Severin premium Avatar will be available in the store for 300 Gems for a limited time.