| Viktor Pendrake
Viktor Pendrake was born to a junker near the Cygnar-Khador border, scavenging machine parts and scrap metal. He had none of the mechanikal acumen of his father or brothers, though - his talents lie elsewhere. He often wandered off from scavenging parties to investigate strange tracks that he had yet to document in his journal.
At the age of fifteen, Pendrake discovered a crippled detachment of Cygnaran outriders pinned down by Khadoran mercenaries in an almost impassable thicket. He led the soldiers to safety, easily traversing trails only known to someone who has walked the region as thoroughly as himself. His expertise immediately granted him a job in the Cygnaran army as a junior scout, training under Saxon Orrik.
After Orrik and a band of mercenaries under his command 'made an example' of several Khadoran villages, Pendrake felt morally obligated to report his crimes to his superiors. Rewarded for both his adherence to Cygnar’s laws and his obvious skill, Pendrake quickly rose through the ranks. He proved to be an exceptional officer; his first taste of real command came when he was entrusted with the leadership of a company of rangers just before his twentieth summer.
During a mission deep inside Khador, working a patrol circuit that monitored a Khadoran elite unit, Pendrake's company was sold out by a traitor in their ranks. As the company was heading back to Cygnar after completing the assignment, they were ambushed by a full company of Khadorans. In the end, only Pendrake made it out alive. Carrying the vital intelligence, Pendrake was pursued by the Khadorans only to find himself caught between the enemy and a small horde of pygmy trolls. He covered himself in mud and leaves, mimicked the pygs and disguised among them. For three weeks he lived among the pygs as one of their kind until the Khadorans abandoned their area, giving him up for dead.
Weeks later, Pendrake dragged himself to a border fortress and handed over the vital documents. King Vinter Raelthorne III offered him any reward he could provide, and Pendrake asked only for a sponsorship to Corvis University. The sponsorship was granted immediately.
Pendrake was accepted by Professor Fulgar Wynham, became his most prized student and was given increasingly prestigious assignments. He always rose to these challenges, seemingly without effort. After a few more years, Pendrake earned his place as one of the most elite academics in the realm. When Prof. Wynham retired, Pendrake was chosen as his successor.
Professor Pendrake spent decades venturing into the wilds to study every monstrous creature he could track down. He can boast particular expertise on the subjects of troll and gobber breeds, and he has also become one of the few recognised experts on grymkin, dragonspawn, and even infernals. He has had countless close brushes with death during his travels, many of which he recorded in the Monsternomicon.
After Corvis experienced two successive skorne invasions in 603 AR and 606 AR, Professor Pendrake feels it is his patriotic duty to become a scout once again. He contacts Scout General Bolden Rebald to offer his services to the Cygnaran Army as an expert in both the skorne and the Bloodstone Marches in general.
Pendrake ventures into the Bloodstone Marches to investigate the scope of this threat alongside his trusty Idrian guide Quimut, a man of proven familiarity with the wasteland. During an ambush conducted by his old mentor Saxon Orrik, Quimut is nearly cut in twain by a cyclops, while Pendrake is captured and thrown in a cage after being dealt grievous injury at the powerful hands of a titan.
Pendrake is dragged to a massive fortress bridging the Abyss controlled by none other than Vinter Raelthorne IV, former king of Cygnar and now supreme tyrant of the Skorne Empire. Vinter offers Pendrake a simple choice: venture into the east to chronicle Vinter’s greatness or face immediate execution. The threat of death notwithstanding, Pendrake knows he had been handed a singular opportunity: no scholarly man had gone into the eastern half of Immoren. Knowing he must seize the chance to see creatures undreamt of in the west, Pendrake is joined in his explorations by a skorne watcher named Kaleda who is tasked with both keeping him safe and on a short leash.
Pendrake is eventually rescued by friends and allies from the skorne port city of Kademe. He passes through the Shattered Spine Islands and lands on the Alchiere subcontinent during a harrowing storm before returning to his university. With him he brings a wealth of previously untapped lore and has shed new light on eastern Immoren and its dangerous species.
Calling Viktor Pendrake a man possessed of a thirst for knowledge is to say that a Tharn bloodtracker only has a slight taste for human flesh. Out of simple curiosity, he has scaled hundreds of metres of cliff, wrestled a rampaging gorax, ridden bareback on a dracodile, and plucked the spines off a spine ripper. In class, he is a pensive, engaging teacher who speaks on extraordinary beasts with infallible expertise and a tone so carefully metered that one is nearly lured in a trance-like state by his voice.