Lotus Clan Heroes
Our four-week examination of the heroes in Battle Realms has finally come to a close. In the past weeks, we've detailed the heroes of the honorable Dragon Clan, the powerful Wolf Clan, and the wayward Serpent Clan. Today, we'll take a look at the heroes of the Lotus Clan, a nefarious group of people who practice an arcane magic that was once forbidden because of its gruesome nature. We start with the leader of the Lotus Clan, the mage Zymeth.
Zymeth has been the leader of the Lotus Clan for nearly four generations--or about as long as anyone has known about the clan's existence. Nobody knows how old Zymeth is, and how he has managed to survive--both physically and politically--for so long is also a mystery. It is suspected, however, that his ties to the occult probably play a role in his survival.
Politically, Zymeth is very cunning and extremely treacherous. He forced his way into power by disposing of his political opponents, including the high priestess Sethess, who would have otherwise been the most legitimate candidate for the leadership of the Lotus Clan at the time. In fact, Zymeth was almost single-handedly responsible for the great war that erupted between the Wolf, Serpent, and Lotus Clans. Because Zymeth worked his way into favor with the Serpent Clan's Lord Oja, he found himself in a position to bend the Serpents' will to his own, and he was able to wipe out nearly the entire clan after tricking them into constructing ships that would have supposedly taken them away from the isle they inhabit. These ships were cursed to drain the life from their passengers, and upon discovering Zymeth's treachery, Oja plunged the two clans into war. The Wolf Clan took this opportunity to rebel from their enslavement and struck up a war of their own.
Zymeth's political power is equally matched by his magical prowess on the battlefield. Zymeth is more powerful than any Lotus master warlock, and while he has the ability to cast all sorts of magic, he seems to favor dabbling with the weather more than casting other types of spells. Zymeth doesn't carry any weapons, but he's able to summon storm clouds in an instant. His special attack causes it to rain in the surrounding environment, letting rice grow back at a faster rate and triggering his innate ability, which sends arcs of lightning toward nearby enemies during a downpour.
Koril is Zymeth's primary advisor, and like Zymeth, his age is a complete mystery, although some people believe him to be well over 100 years old. Koril is both a master warlock and a skilled fighter. On the battlefield, he wields a scythe that can cut people down as easily as it can reap wheat. However, Koril's fighting prowess stems from his unique magical ability to fold the "fabric" of space. An old report from a Serpent Clan archer who saw Koril in combat said that the Lotus mage seemed to be shimmering like a quivering bowstring while fighting. Supposedly, Koril made quick work of two other Serpent Clan warriors before the archer took aim and loosed an arrow directly at Koril, only to have it strike the tree directly behind him as if the arrow passed right through him. The Serpent mage performed a strange hand gesture, and the archer instantly found himself standing on a road a half mile away from the fighting. Koril has rarely been seen since, although some of the Lotus Clan members now refer to him as the "master of the college of space."
Koril's special attack is a teleport spell that he can use to instantly send himself to nearly any part of the map, as long as his stamina bar is full. His innate evasiveness gives him a better chance of dodging ranged weapons than any other unit in the game.
Among all the Lotus Clan heroes, Issyl's age is the biggest mystery of them all. Outwardly, he looks like a 12-year-old child, but his eyes reflect the wisdom of a 65-year-old man. In reality, Issyl is a skilled magician whose condition is the result of an experiment gone wrong. Nearly 70 years ago, Issyl was in his tower attempting to master the flow of time. Nobody knows what happened that night, but his servants heard a thunderous sound emit from the top of the tower, and they claim that their lord Issyl has been slowly aging backward ever since.
Issyl's servants claim to have seen a number of unexplainable occurrences since that night. A guard who was leaning against the wall of that same tower with one hand had it wither away to a shriveled claw. Another saw an entire wing of Issyl's stone keep erode into ruin overnight. Other sightings include a servant who glanced out the window of an empty storeroom to find the sun racing across the sky. Issyl himself is sometimes seen moving throughout his castle at a furious rate, while at other times he seems to stand in place like a statue.
Issyl has since been attempting to cure his condition by experimenting on others. His laboratory is often filled with the shriveled old bodies of unwilling subjects who, only days before, were mere children. Just as Koril is referred to as the "master of the college of space," Issyl is often called the "master of the college of time." Issyl carries a massive spiked hourglass that he uses to bash opponents with, and his special attack of haste causes nearby allies to heal and move at a faster rate for a short period of time. His innate regeneration ability allows him to heal twice as fast as normal units do.
Soban isn't like the other Lotus Clan warlocks. While he studied the forbidden black magic that seems to consume all the members of that clan, he eventually shunned it, preferring instead to focus on his studies of the earth sciences. Like the other Lotus heroes, Soban is old, and he himself remembers a time when the clan hadn't yet discovered the forbidden arts. At that time, Soban was a tinkerer, and he spent a lot of his time fashioning lifeless materials like metal and stone into toys and lifelike objects. When his colleagues began practicing the arcane magic that's now so prevalent in the Lotus society, Soban took his work one step further--he started to create life out of lifeless rocks. He ultimately unlocked the secret of golem creation. In fact, it was Soban who created the Wolf Clan's Shale Lord, a stone-skinned warrior who was once quite human.
Soban carries a claw engine, another one of his creations. This three-pronged weapon is attached to his forearm and gives him an improved striking ability. He can also create up to three golems at once, although each one will cost a certain amount of stamina, water, and rice. These golems will follow Soban around and pound nearby enemies into the ground.
That concludes our long-running look at the heroes of Battle Realms. The game has gone into beta, and we've already received our copy. We'll be bringing you hands-on impressions from that build shortly, but in the meantime, be sure to take a look at the new screenshots that we've added to our Battle Realms gallery. You can expect Battle Realms to land on store shelves before Thanksgiving.