Kromac

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Circle-orboros.png Kromac Circle-orboros.png

Champion of the Wurm

Kromac1.jpg

Race Tharn
Gender Male
Weapons Dawn
Dusk
Rathrok
Birth Unknown
Kromac the Ravenous is a powerful Tharn king who, uniquely among his people, has received the call of the wilding.

Appearance

Since claiming Rathrok, Kromac has achieved mastery over his bestial form and no longer feels the need to return to a human guise. He walks amid his tribes as a hulking creature beyond the size or strength of any other chieftain, yet his every thought is his own. None who see him can doubt he is the Wurm’s one true champion.[1]

History

Kromac's human form.

Kromac is the second child and first son of the chieftain of the Bloodsmeath tuath. He was born in the time of the Ten Ills, a curse of infertility inflicted on the Tharn by Morrowan priests - Tharn women have ushered precious few infants into Caen from their barren wombs for centuries. Kromac saw his people ousted from their homes, forced to hide amid the trees and shadows, and to evade both the humans and the trollkin who thrived and multiplied while the Tharn dwindled.[2]

As a youth he witnessed his elder sister, a fierce bloodtracker boasting many kills, gunned down by a rabble of riflemen on the Bramblerut. He mourned her passing by falling upon the soldiers with an axe in each hand and slaughtering them to a man. He did not feast on their hearts, although he ate their flesh, for he thought to do so gave them too much honour. Before he had even reached the fullness of his manhood Kromac has accumulated an impressive tally of kills and collection of trophies.[2]

When he experienced his wilding, Kromac took up the path of the shaman, learned the blood rites of sacrifice to the Devourer Wurm, and felt a deep bond with the Beast of All Shapes. Krueger the Stormwrath came to Kromac and instructed him in the use of this power. Kromac never formally entered the Circle Orboros as a blackclad, and only stayed under Krueger's instruction for a short time, though the Stormwrath remains one of the few humans Kromac truly respects and can face without loathing.[2]

In 575 AR, Kromac witnessed firsthand as Morvahna the Autumblade led a cabal of blackclads to lift the Ten Ills, after which the Tharn immediately experienced a dramatic upsurge in births. For years afterwards, he served Morvahna and watched his people return to strength.[2]

When Morvahna put out a call for warriors in the years when Kromac served her, one of the chiefs, Ghetorix, and his tuath stood defiant. To bring them to task, Morvahna released Kromac to subjugate his tribe, and the two clashed axe-to-axe in personal combat, each channelling the Devourer Wurm. In the end Kromac was victorious, and he dragged Ghetorix before Morvahna to face her terrible judgment. Morvahna shattered Ghetorix's mind and transformed him into a warpwolf, beginning a maddened rampage of slaughter that escalated even further with the full moon. Kromac hunted him for weeks and finally subdued him once more, imposing his tremendous will to hold the creature back from the brink of a mental abyss. A bond of honour and respect was born between the two.[3]

In 607 AR, Kromac comes to Morvahna and informs her of a great army of dragonspawn stirring, advancing towards the Bloodstone Marches and slaughtering a tuath sworn to him in the way. Morvahna tells him she's already aware of the movements of the army, which throws Kromac into a outrage for having left his people to die. Though Morvahna reminds him of her efforts to cure the Ten Ills, it was to no avail, and when Morvahna casually reveals she has deliberately sacrificed the Tharn, Kromac realises she bears him no true affection and seeks only to use him as a witless pawn. Taking all of his efforts to restrain himself from killing her, Kromac turns his back on Morvahna and returns to the service of Krueger.[2]

Kromac's tuath soon comes under assault of the blighted Nyss and dragonspawn, exactly as he predicted. The Tharn eagerly engage in battle with the Nyss, though Krueger comes to the battle and tells Kromac to retreat as the Nyss only fight him because his people are standing in their way - if they withdraw, the Nyss will go past. Though clearly reluctant, Kromac eventually acquiesces and yells the rest of the Tharn to follow him.[2]

Later, as they feast around a blazing fire, Kromac recalls to Krueger the attack on the tuath and Morvahna's words to him. Though he initially thinks he shouldn't leave Morvahna against the dragonspawn so soon, Krueger convinces him otherwise and offers him to fight other enemies. Kromac accepts, and assures Krueger his people will follow him as well.[2]

Kromac and Krueger first head to Khador, where Krueger confronts Zevanna Agha, the Old Witch of Khador, and steals the Wyrmstone from Omnipotent Dahlekov. Gathering more Tharn wherever they travel, Kromac then follows Krueger to his next destination: the Wyrmwall Mountains to meet up with the dragon Blighterghast. During the way, Omnipotent Lortus confronts them via projection, warning Krueger direct contact with dragons is strictly forbidden. Near his destination, Krueger leaves most of his army in a sheltered valley, with only Kromac following him to meet Lortus.[4]

As soon as Krueger starts talking to Lortus, an emissary of Blighterghast enters Lortus' cave and allows him to speak to the dragon if he'd eliminate a Cryxian army nearby. Krueger follows the emissary, while Kromac returns to the camp, prepares the army, and later drives Cryx away after Krueger returns.[4]

Soon after he returns to the Thornwood, Kromac finds one of his axes stolen. As the Tharn are frantically searching the camp while Kromac is throwing a temper tantrum, the trollkin warlock Jarl Skuld suddenly appears with a small army, holding the missing axe in his hand and offering to parley with Kromac. Despite immediately realising Jarl has been responsible, Kromac orders the Tharn to stay back and allows Jarl to speak. Jarl throws the axe back to him, and, upon finding it has been desecrated by a swamp troll, Kromac immediately falls into a rage and orders the Tharn to engage. The trollkin eventually slip away, and Kromac and the Tharn fall on an approaching skorne army on the plain.[3]

Kromac, Champion of the Wurm.

Immediately after the battle, Kromac and the Tharn feel the summons of Wurmwood, and know where to go: Helmsreach in the Wyrmwall Mountains. The stone keepers await them and send them hence without a word. Kromac kneels before Wurmwood and offers the Tree of Fate a blood sacrifice. In response, Wurmwood tasks him with recovering Rathrok, the axe once wielded by the Molgur champion Horfar Grimmr, stolen long ago by Zevanna Agha and currently wielded by trollkin chief Madrak Ironhide.[3]

Kromac and the Tharn later meet up with Baldur and assist him and Wurmwood in awakening the mountain kings sealed away long ago. Soon a trollkin army falls upon them, led by no one but Kromac's intended prey, Madrak Ironhide. Kromac moves through the intervening trollkin to charge straight at his quarry. Utterly consumed by the blood rage of his bestial form, Kromac does not heed the mental warning from his argus before the massive Borka Kegslayer crashes straight into him. Borka and Kromac tumble together across the blood-slicked floor of the plateau toward the edge of the cliff. Resuming the fight, Kromac manages to grievously wound Borka, though he himself is also badly injured. His battle rage quickly drains away, his body shifts and changes as he returns to his human form. Drawing on Ghetorix's energies to heal himself, Kromac stumbles back from the main clash, knowing he would need time to recover before hunting down the wielder of World Ender.[5]

During their next meeting, Wurmwood points to Kromac where he needs to go: the northern Bloodstone Marches. With an army at his side, Kromac clashes with Madrak Ironhide another time, and this time he successfully defeats the trollkin chieftain and wrestles Rathrok from him, after World Ender refused to return to the hands of its master like before.[1]

As Kromac grabs World Ender, the Devourer Wurm starts to manifest on Caen. He plans to kill Madrak and consecrate Rathrok with his blood, until the axe shows him a vision from the past, of Horfar Grimmr, Priest-King Golivant and the Shield of Thrace. The trollkin are lost children of the Wurm, and Madrak’s skill as a warrior was commendable. His life is to be spared. When Omnipotent Mohsar warns him to leave, Kromac knows his threat is empty, but chooses to leave nonetheless. While Kromac still respects some druids, he now refuses to serve them as an inferior and demands the respect he is due.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hordes: Devastation
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Hordes: Evolution
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hodes: Domination
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hordes: Metamorphosis
  5. Hordes: Gargantuans