Our third installment of the Battle Realms heroes examines the wayward Serpent Clan.
Serpent Clan Heroes
We've now reached the third profile of our weekly series of clan profiles for Battle Realms. In these updates, we're examining the unique hero class of units that will be available to you in Liquid Entertainment's forthcoming Asian-themed real-time strategy game. To date, we've examined the powerful heroes of the
The leader of the Serpent Clan is by all accounts a coldhearted but efficient warrior. He was the captain of Lord Oja's Serpent Guard at the time of Oja's murder, presumably at the hands of his son, Kenji. While the proof was circumstantial, Kenji instantly fled the Serpent Clan and remained exiled for seven years. It was Shinja and his men who sent search parties into the woods in hopes of capturing Kenji. In the years following Oja's death, Shinja rose to take over control of the Serpent Clan.
But Shinja wasn't known for being cruel--he was merely indifferent. One account of this indifference to life came from one of his ex-bodyguards who, at the time, was part of a group that was sent after a ragtag band of bandits, who became the inadvertent kidnappers of a Serpent daimyo's daughter when one of their heists went wrong. While his group was outnumbered three to one in unfamiliar territory, Shinja never showed any hesitation when confronting the kidnappers, and at the same time, he didn't bask in the confidence of his men's skill. He knew that the bandits were nothing more than a bunch of farmers with no formal weapons training whatsoever, and yet, he knew that an example had to be made out of them. Without even batting an eye, Shinja issued his men a single command, and within minutes, the entire group of bandits had been cut to ribbons. Shinja himself participated in the slaughter--lest his men lose confidence in his leadership--and showed no pleasure in his action. Nor did he feel any guilt.
Shinja will prove a formidable foe and a worthy ally, depending on your clan affiliation, on the battlefield. He carries a pair of katanas that can pass through flesh as if they're traveling through air. His special attack of snake swarm will summon, as you might have guessed, a swarm of snakes that will slither their way toward his enemies, inflicting magic damage, while his innate ability of "ye of little faith" makes Shinja almost completely immune from magic damage.
See a conceptual sketch of Shinja.
See Shinja in action.
Utara was the only child of a small family from an equally small farming village. Her traumatic upbringing began at the age of four, when a group of ruffians sacked her village, killing nearly everyone and burning the whole thing to the ground. For reasons unknown, Utara's life was spared that day. The bandits eventually dumped her off at the footsteps of a bathhouse, where she was taken in by a group of geishas.
Through the years, Utara eventually forgot the horrifying incident and started to excel in the healing arts of the geishas. At the age of six, she had learned all the traditional dances of the geishas and had developed a stunning soprano voice. At the age of 11, she was assisting the bathhouse healer perform complicated spells, and by the time she was 15, she was easily the most proficient healer among her group of geishas. One night, however, a group of Lord Shinja's hired raiders arrived at the bathhouse and started boasting about their "discipline" of some local peasants. Most of the men had minor wounds, which Utara and a few other geishas attended to. As the night wore on, all the geishas except for Utara had retired to their quarters. It was at this point that something within Utara had resurfaced, something that she had buried deep within her many years ago. Some of the geishas awoke to Utara's high-pitched singing to find that the raiders were convulsing and dying--some simply shriveling away to dust--before their very eyes. When her singing had perished the last of the raiders, Utara thanked the geishas for their years of hospitality and disappeared into the night.
Utara paints her face with a deathly white color and wears long, sharp gloves that give you the illusion that her hands are branches. Attached to one of her forearms is a thin blade that gives poison damage to anyone unfortunate enough to feel its slice. Her special attack is the song of sorrow, which slowly depletes the health of nearby enemies. Additionally, Utara has the innate ability of pleasure and pain, which stuns nearby enemies when she is attacked.
See a conceptual sketch of Utara.
See Utara in action.
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