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Skorne.png Naaresh Skorne.png

Master Ascetic


Race Skorne (Sortaani)
Gender Male
Weapons Katara
Birth c. 410 AR
Master Ascetic Naaresh is a skorne warrior-philosopher who seeks enlightenment through his own extreme suffering. He has unlocked the powers of pain and forged them into a unique and devastating fighting style. Naaresh’s unique grasp of mortitheurgy is informed by pain itself — suffering fuels his power. Having lived nearly two hundred years, the master ascetic is old for a skorne, particularly one who has continually tested the limits of his body against both the blades of enemies and the wasting of self-inflicted privation, but age has had no perceptible toll on him.[1]


Once a follower of the School of Morkaash, the first paingiver, Naaresh has gone beyond those ancient beliefs to forge his own path. He spent decades meditating in the Blasted Desert east of the Abyss before determining he had learned all he could in isolation.[1]

When Naaresh hears of the wars in the west, he marches into the Bloodstone Desert, taking neither food nor water. His flesh roughened and torn by winds and razor sands, he appears among the officers of the Army of the Western Reaches with no explanation and joins their battles. Shortly after his arrival, Naaresh accepts a request from Lord Arbiter Hexeris to lead a small force to intercept an army of blighted elves. They agree that Naaresh should intercept the northern group while Hexeris engages the southern force with his soldiers. Hexeris describes the leader of the northern group as a hideously blighted female easily mistaken for another dragonspawn, and Naaresh knows at once she's the one he must engage in battle to test her power and resolve against his own. Battling her while she is protected by her beasts and the flying warriors would tell him little of her prowess; he needs to isolate her and push her to her limits, to see how the desperation of imminent death awakens her deepest instincts.[1]

Naaresh lets his nihilators and Praetorians take the fore of the battle, forcing the blighted warlock - whose name he discovers as Absylonia - to order her beasts to engage. Seeing an opportunity, Naaresh has his titan and rhinodon open a clear path toward her, orders paingivers to scourge him, then throws himself at Absylonia.[1]

Naaresh initially easily overwhelms Absylonia. As Naaresh, disappointed at the enemy's strength, prepares the killing blow, Absylonia's wounds are suddenly whole again, and she slashes him repeatedly with her claws. Naaresh barely manages to survive her onslaught, and is forced to transfer his wounds to his warbeasts to preserve his life as Absylonia flees from Hexeris' approaching army. Steeped in the energies of his body’s exquisite pain, he closes his eyes and allows the beautiful dance of their duel to play out in his mind.[1]

Naaresh pulls himself to his feet as Hexeris approaches. He thanks the lord arbiter for this opportunity and asks him to inform Naaresh whenever he locates a worthy adversary. Hexeris tells him they're to rejoin Xerxis' force for more battles ahead, but Naaresh decides to withdraw to meditate upon this battle, and warns Hexeris to not seek him - any messengers he sends will not return.[1]


Master Ascetic Naaresh scoffs at the delusion of every other warrior-philosopher in the Skorne Empire. He has transcended simple anatomical understanding and finds even the hoksune code too shallow for his purposes. His suffering is no disguise for masochism but is the vehicle of enlightenment. Many skorne have sought to study with him, but none have passed even the first hour of his torturous trials. They die beneath his punishing blades and are cast aside. He is on the verge of enlightenment and dreams of achieving perfect tranquility amid the pain, a state within which he will be invincible — death itself will refuse to claim him. To this end he will go to any lengths to seek and embrace all potential agonies in the crucible of war.[1]