The Black River Irregulars
The Scharde Islands lurk in the pirate-infested coastal waters past the Broken Coast of western Cygnar. the largest isle hosting the capital of the Nightmare Empire of Cryx. The island’s jagged, foreboding coastline hints at the realm’s true nature—it is a land even more grim and treacherous than it appears. Its vicious forests and ravaged mountains are home to blighted trollkin, ogrun, twisted men, savage gobbers, and warped half-breeds. These peoples may resemble races of the mainland, but the cruel culture of the island and the necromantic energies pervading this kingdom have transformed them into something malicious and vile.
The inhabitants of this land live in fear under the shadow of their ruler, the first dragon, Lord Toruk. Also called the Dragonfather, he is the source of all of his kind and deemed a god by those who must obey his governing lich lords and priests of his cult. Toruk is the source of the malignance that radiates from this island as a palpable energy, the blight that affects every plant, animal, and stone in this kingdom. A master of undeath, he has gifted his chosen vassals with unnatural immortality as the undead, which walk alongside the living in the bleak cities of the empire. Toruk’s royal court is held in a gigantic black stone palace warmed by the heat of the wounded earth beneath, and great pits filled with the bones of the dead are heaped nearby and picked over by the necrotechs that construct Cryx’s malignant machines of war.
The Dragonfather has utterly dominated his territory for sixteen centuries, and his privateers terrorize the western coasts of Cygnar and Ord by preying on shipping routes and pillaging lightly defended villages for their resources and inhabitants alike. Entire communities have vanished after Cryxian raids, the inhabitants seized and presumably added to the undead armies. Although Toruk seems content to rule his remote island realm, the mainland nations fear the day he decides to expand his borders, and it seems likely this has begun to come to pass. Where once the agents of Cryx were rarely encountered abroad, now Cryxian armies have entered the battles on the mainland with greater regularity. Those at the higher echelons of other nations have begun to realize that Cryxian bases exist hidden within their own borders, underground or amid the trackless wilds, and from these places of power Toruk is beginning to extend his reach. The true goals of these forces are still not well understood, and the movements of Cryxian armies often defy ordinary notions of strategy and tactics. Part of this stems from the fact that Lord Toruk is more interested in confronting other dragons—his ancient progeny—than seizing mortal cities or fortresses.