Bloodgorgers are the most depraved and brutal of the blighted trollkin of the Scharde Islands in service of Cryx. Their leader, General Gerlak Slaughterborn, has united these savage peoples beneath his iron rule, granting the lich lords an incredibly potent weapon—a horde of blighted beasts that need only be pointed at the enemy.
The blighted trollkin kriels of the Scharde Islands trace their origins to 2200 BR, when Priest-King Golivant of Calacia defeated Horfar Grimmr and shattered the Molgur. Humans willing to give up their barbaric ways were allowed to convert to the worship of Menoth, but the Menites saw the trollkin, ogrun and bogrin as unrepentant servants of the Wurm. Slaughtered and driven out, these races dwindled and were forced to seek remote places.
While the mainland kriels turned almost universally from the Devourer Wurm to worship Dhunia and developed a more ordered society, the Scharde kriels only grew increasingly savage. The island trollkin carved out territories they protected fiercely while preying upon neighbouring bands of ogrun and humans as well as their own kind.
Eventually, the largest of the Scharde Islands became the haven of bandits and pirates preying on ships along the Broken Coast. There were many skirmishes and small battles, but the pirates largely avoided the territories of the island kriels. There is evidence the pirate kings hired some among the trollkin as mercenaries, but for the most part, the kriels remained as much a menace to the pirates as to mainland villagers.
In 1000 BR, Toruk the Dragonfather, fleeing his progeny on the mainland, settled in the Scharde Islands. The great dragon brought about immediate and cataclysmic change to the region, subjugating the island inhabitants and laying the foundations of a new empire. Over time, the trollkin worship of the Wurm evolved to incorporate Lord Toruk as their god. In practice their worship changed little, as the manner in which they viewed Toruk was not so different from how they had depicted the Wurm. The same bloody feasts were carried out, only devoted now to their new god. Additionally, Toruk’s blight seeped into the surrounding area and eventually took root in the flesh of the Scharde trollkin. In the generations after Toruk’s arrival, trollkin were born with the mark of the dragon, which only further strengthened their devotion to their Dragonfather.
Like the pirate kings before, Cryx’s raider captains saw the trollkin of the Scharde Islands, now twisted into even more savage creatures, as potent weapons to this end. Some of the blighted kriels willingly joined Cryxian vessels to partake in murder and plunder, while others were forced into servitude.
Over time, blighted trollkin became a common sight on Cryxian pirate vessels. Some kriels that bore a stronger connection to the Dragonfather and that worshipped him with the most brutal rites on the islands took to the role of murderous sea raiders more naturally than others. Soon they became known by a name synonymous with extreme brutality, martial skill, and gluttony: the Bloodgorgers. Today, the Bloodgorgers have become a strong and numerous faction among the blighted kriels of the Scharde Islands.
Having dominated the island of Blackrock, which lays in close proximity to Skell, Bloodgorger kriels tend to be more heavily blighted than trollkin of more remote islands. They display horns, spikes, sharp fangs, scales, and other elements of draconic blight. Individual Bloodgorgers see these disfigurements as Toruk’s mark of favour, and believe themselves superior to those less blessed by the Dragonfather.
Bloodgorgers worship Toruk as a living god. Their rites are obscene and closely resemble worship of the Devourer Wurm, eclipsing those of other blighted kriels in both length and bloodshed. Captives in a Bloodgorger raid are brought back to the islands to be offered as sacrifices to Toruk, and Bloodgorger shamans excel at ringing every last scream and plea for mercy from their victims before death claims them. It is not uncommon for Bloodgorgers to sacrifice other blighted trollkin captured in the internecine battles for dominance on the islands.
Although instinctively resistant to accepting the rule of anyone, Bloodgorgers respect strength and martial skill. As a result powerful Bloodgorger chiefs have risen to unite multiple kriels under their command. These leaders have historically enjoyed greater bargaining power with Cryx, demanding more plunder for the opportunity to field more Bloodgorgers. They rarely last long, though; rival chieftains constantly look to exploit any sign of weakness to overthrow a would-be conqueror and regain power. In addition, Cryxian pirates are more than happy to throw Bloodgorgers into the most dangerous situations, using them as cannon fodder. Bloodgorger leaders, who must lead from the front, are often the first to fall.
Bloodgorgers are used as shock troops in Cryxian fleets to spread discord and terror in advance of other troops. Bloodgorgers are advance skirmishers and fight alongside black ogrun in boarding parties on the ships that employ them. A typical Cryxian ship might include as many as twenty Bloodgorgers in its crew, although larger ships may take more. Often they are recruited directly from their kriels with the offer of blood and plunder. Gerlak Slaughterborn personally oversees the deployment of larger forces through the Slaughter Fleet, a roster of over two dozen pirate ships dedicated to his exclusive use. These hordes are used in major Cryxian offensives against the mainland.
Though the Bloodgorgers may fight in conjunction with other Cryxian forces, they maintain a similar level of autonomy as the pirate fleet. They may raid and murder as they wish upon the mainland, and they often do so, but like all inhabitants of Cryx, they are ultimately sworn to serve the Dragonfather and the lich lords.
Like their mainland kin, blighted trollkin favour heavy crushing and cleaving weapons, with axes and hammers being the most common, and wear heavy armour. Bloodgorgers tend to rely on brute strength more than skill in melee. Most fight with two weapons, eschewing the use of a shield, and choose arms that serve slightly different purposes. Bloodgorgers, like all trollkin, can shrug off or recover from wounds that would kill a human outright. Bloodgorgers evoke the power of blood sacrifice as learned from Satyxis and Tharn occult practices, becoming more invincible with each abominable rite.