Summoner Character Countdown
GameSpot has teamed up with THQ to profile some of the characters from Summoner, its ambitious PS2 RPG. Every weekday until the game hits store shelves on October 26, we'll be unveiling a new character with shots, a bio, and movies of that character in action.
To make a good RPG, you first need a good story. And to have a good story, you first need a good hero. Your heroes not only have to be likable, but they also have to be developed well - they have to have goals and motivations, as well as a past that explains these crucial parts of their character. Their dreams need to be believable, and their faults need to be real, so that the people playing the game can identify with them.
And even good heroes need a supporting cast. They need to have friends who will help them on their quest, allies that will aide them, villains and enemies that will despise and hunt them, and they even need a love interest. Without all of these you can't tell a good story, and without a good story you can't have a good RPG.
So GameSpot has teamed up with THQ to unveil and spotlight the major players in its first RPG, Summoner. Each weekday until the game hits store shelves alongside the PS2 launch, we'll profile a new character from the game with shots, a personal story, and a few movies of the character in action.
Long ago, Sir Carados the Builder commanded the Order of Iona, a circle of knights chosen from among the 13 realms of Medeva to guard the Crypt of Kings. Under Carados' leadership, the Ionans shifted from a military to a monastic order. His knights quested for tomes written in Aosi, the language of the gods, and he built the Great Library where these works are now kept. Carados' study of the divine words, however, drove him mad, and he vanished in the catacombs below Iona.
Built centuries ago during the reign of King Perin III, brass golems labor in the sewers of Lenele, capital of Medeva. They maintain the labyrinth of gates and pipes through which the refuse of the city flows. After ages of neglect, however, many golems are now deteriorating as the magic that holds them together fades.
These mages are servants of Murod, emperor of Orenia and disciple of the Nhuvasarim. The Nhuvasarim were a sect of evil sorcerers who worshipped Laharah, the goddess of death, and through the suffering of others they derived their strength. These Orenian mages have uncovered the lost death magic of the Nhuvasarim and use these powers to further the ambitions of their emperor.
Lenele, the capital of Medeva, has built its economic life around the labor of these skilled artisans, including the glassmakers and jewelers of the wealthy Crown district; the smiths and craftsmen of Burcan's Island; and the tanners and butchers of the Old City slums. As the kingdom shifts from an agrarian to an urban economy, the guilds and brotherhoods of these merchants acquire greater influence in the politics of the realm.
King Bellias VI
King Bellias VI is the ruler of Medeva, the heir of the Rhunari princes who unified the realm during the 300-year conquest. His marriage to Lady Galienne, daughter of the late Duke of Tarhimun, brought peace to Medeva after a brutal civil war. Their four sons all died young, and so Bellias has no natural heir to succeed him. Bellias rules his kingdom from Lenele, long ago the site of Ilaosi, City of Gods.
Liches are powerful sorcerers whose mastery of the dark arts enables them to endure beyond death. Many were disciples of the Nhuvasarim, a group of evil heretics eradicated by the Order of Urath through a campaign of inquisitions and crusades. Worshippers of Laharah, the Nhuvasarim gained their power through the death and suffering of others. Murod, Emperor of Orenia, is a student of their nefarious lore.
The Khosani are the children of Vadagar, the deity known to his worshippers as the "Lord of the Mountain." The Khosani were originally builders of magnificent cities, and they once ruled an empire that stretched to the furthest edges of the world. When Vadagar killed Iona, the daughter of the sea god Amasido, Amasido destroyed the Khosani Empire in a great flood. The survivors now live below Saanavarh, the mountain of the wise.
Aoqi is the leader of the Society of the Jade Temple. For thousands of years, the priests of the Jade Temple served the Emperors of Orenia - until their leader, Murod, usurped the throne. Murod dissolved the order after the priests prophesied that one born with the mark of the Summoner would end his reign. The remaining members of the order now wage war against Murod, and Aoqi leads their rebellion. Her origin and agenda are a mystery.
Bacites are six-legged reptilian creatures with humanoid torsos. Several species are known to exist, including red, green, blue, and brown varieties. Bacites inhabit the sewers of Lenele, and they are also encountered in swamps, forests, and subterranean lairs. Hostile to humans, Bacites are intelligent beings capable of building simple structures, using weapons, and casting spells. The Bacite society is hierarchical and specialized, with individuals functioning as workers, warriors, and shamans.
Rosalind is the illegitimate daughter of Joseph's mentor, Yago, and a Medevian noblewoman, Ursanne. One morning, Rosalind mysteriously appeared on the shores of Iona and was quickly taken in by The Order. Not much is known about her history since Yago abandoned her and her mother's death at the hands of a vile plague.
At the story's outset, Rosalind is 17 years old and is already one of The Order's most gifted pupils. Pending her mastery of Aosi, the divine language in which all of creation's secrets are written, Rosalind will be admitted into The Order, whereupon she'll be bound to Iona and will spend her life pursuing occult knowledge.
Rosalind's connection to Joseph is as follows: Her father, Yago, left her when she was still a newborn baby to seek the child who bears the mark of the Summoner, who, it turns out, is Joseph. The relationships that spring forth from such circumstances will be interesting indeed.
Jehkar is a proud descendant of the Husofi clan, or Hawk Children, a seafaring people who invaded the Medevan mainland centuries ago. Jekhar's father was the huntsman for the lord of Ciran, the village where both Joseph and Jehkar were raised. Because of his father's title, Jehkar was trained alongside the lord's sons as they learned the art of swordplay.
Though he was still young, his skill and fury in combat made him a favorite of the master of arms, though it alienated him from the other village boys. Since Jehkar resented the status of the nobles he trained with, he had only one true friend - a farmer's son named Joseph who was gentle and kind.
Jehkar and Joseph were good friends until Yago came to their village and appointed himself Joseph's mentor. Jehkar didn't trust the shifty old vagabond and feared that Yago was an evil, mystical influence on his former friend. When the marauders attacked Ciran and Joseph unleashed the horrible demon, Jehkar finally saw his fears become reality.
Like most of the village, Jehkar lost his family in the attack. He still mourns the death of his brother Isen, and he blames Joseph for killing him. Jehkar swore on Isen's grave that if Joseph ever crossed his path again, he would avenge his brother's death.
Jekhar now lives in Lenele, the capital of Medeva, where he serves in the army of King Bellias VI.
Flece grew up in the district of Lenele known as the Old City, a quarter on Darhu's east bank notorious for its thieves, beggars, and prostitutes. In the center of the Old City stands the Keep, the ancient fortress of the Rhunari that now serves as a prison for madmen, outlaws, and enemies of the crown.
Flece's mother, Caleia, was born the sixth daughter of a peasant family from a nearby village. She found work as a maidservant for a wealthy merchant but became pregnant with his child. Banished from the household, Caleia turned to prostitution to support herself and her infant, whom she called Flece.
When Flece was still very young, Caleia was knifed to death by a rival in the Alley of Dogs, and the gravediggers buried her in an unmarked grave outside the city walls. Flece came under the protection of Tancred, a notorious outlaw known as the "king of fleas."
As Tancred consolidated his hold on the illicit commerce in the Old City, he discovered the child was a gifted pickpocket, and he taught her the arts of stealth and deception. Now 22 years old, Flece helps Tancred oversee his network of smugglers, spies, and thieves.
Joseph was born the son of a prosperous farmer in Ciran, a small village in northern Medeva. Though not even the elders of the village knew it at the time, an important birthmark on the back of Joseph's hand marked him as a Summoner - a special human blessed with the ability to summon and control otherworldly beasts.
The boy found a mentor in Yago, a weathered old vagabond dressed in tattered robes. Though Joseph didn't know it, Yago had come to Ciran in search of Joseph. Yago told Joseph what he was and explained the marking on his hand. The vagabond took it upon himself to train Joseph, and he gave the boy a dark ring carved from black obsidian - a ring that Summoners wield to activate their power.
The Summoners were shadowy figures in the history of the realm. They lived tragic lives, often destroyed by the gift they could neither control nor understand. Kharig, Prince of Lions; Armun, Priest-King of Ikaemos; and Teos II of the Drowned City were all famous but fallen Summoners, yet none knew the origin of the Summoners' mark.
Before Joseph could finish his training, a band of well-armed marauders attacked Ciran. Horrified by seeing his friends and family slaughtered, Joseph called forth all his power and summoned a mighty demon to protect his village. But Joseph was not skilled enough to control his summoning, and after the demon devastated the marauder band, it turned its eyes to Ciran, razing the village and killing the very people Joseph had tried to protect.
Fearing retribution, Yago took Joseph to the village of Masad on the Darhu river, north of the capital of Lenele. Joseph, emotionally destroyed by his act, threw his summoning ring into the village well and swore never to summon again. There Joseph lived, in obscurity as a simple farmer, until the day the game's story begins.