A 7 ft. 330 lbs. hulking mass of blood thirsty Charr, Azrik is as about as big as they come. Aside from his size, one may note his fur is a deep dark brown patterned with dark black tiger stripes. His eyes as black as the void tell a story of great pain and triumph.
Both ferocity and wisdom coupled with a dark sense of humor, Azrik is a Charr that tends to keep his mouth shut...especially when blade and claw are suited to the task. He is a product of the Iron Legion through and through, and embodies their ideals with pride and nigh a second thought. However, above all things, Azrik is a loyal companion that only runs from a fight to grab a bigger gun.
Iron Legion, The Spear
Soldier, Enforcer, and Bodyguard
Part I: Birth and Rebirth
Before entering the Fahrar, Azrik's mother told him a great many stories about the might and prowess of his father. She spoke of how he crashed across a battle field with the dauntless force of a siege engine, and cut down his adversaries with inconceivable ease. Though she often warned him of the honorless rank of gladium his father held, she would note that it was only because of the lack of a warband that he found the strength to stand against them. "Never forget cub, gladium blood runs in your veins, a mark that many will curse and condemn. Find strength first in yourself, as only by it will others find you worthy." These were last words he ever heard from his mother, as he was taken away; words that echoed in his mind as he joined his new family in the Fahrar camp.
Azrik quickly became accustomed to the taste of his own blood, and the feel of the dirt of the fighting pit on his back. He was the weakest of the warband, and was often given the duty of herding the beasts of the fields as his "softness" was less apt to spooking the beasts. Azrik would spend many hours each day pondering the words of his mother out under the stars in the open fields. Though he'd curse his father for many more. Each night he would dream of a fighting alongside a warband as they fell upon their enemies like a crushing wave; absolute defiance of his fathers ways. This was what Azrik craved more than anything in life, but when he wasn't herding or dreaming, he was fighting, and losing. Azrik was timid and this weakness was exploited time and time again by the other Fahrar cubs. He was an outcast doomed to become gladium like his father...
Fury and rage slowly pooled beneath the surface of this seemingly passive young Charr as he matured. With every defeat in the fighting pit came another lash of the masters rod. With every Charr that brushed passed him in disrespect came another unchallenged blow to his honor. Even he had no respect for himself. As he neared full maturity, he was still being delegated with the task of herding beasts as a repeated insult, but in truth Azrik no longer cared. He'd given up on being the Charr that the legion wanted him to be and clung only to his hatred for his father and the memory of his mothers words. But it was out in those fields that Azrik would learn the true value of his hate, and the real weight his mothers words.
Several cubs from the Fahrar arrived in the dead of night to where Azrik was known to keep his herd. They approached with a malevolence about them, a certain feral blood lust. Azrik only realized the danger as a rifle bullet sailed past his head, and into his herd. The round struck its mark, and Azrik watched the prized beast he'd been charged with tending crumble to the ground. For as long as he could remember he'd been given the duty to herd that beast, and as it died so to died the "softness" of Azrik. These beasts were the only family Azrik had been accepted by, the only ones to whom he would die to protect. Coupled with the defeats, the dismissal, and the dishonor, he'd had enough. The anger he held back for so long came over him in one sudden rush of murderous rage. In that instant Azrik transformed into a machine of pain and malice, and with a bellowing roar he charged...
Though he'd always lost the fights he'd been in, persistent challenges inadvertently granted Azrik a vastly greater amount of fighting experience than his peers. Freed from the inhibitions to fight, he was a force unlike anything these Fahrar cubs had ever seen. His speed was uncanny, his skills were precise, and his blows were powerful. It was as if he'd unleashed a slumbering beast within him, and with it had awoken a ravenous hunger for battle. Even outmatched seven to one, Azrik cascaded over his enemies as if they were caught in a storm of a hundred blades, and one by one they fell to the might of Azrik. Standing over them with rage in his eyes, Azrik allowed them to gaze upon the slumbering beast they had dared to provoke...and as he raised his blade for the felling blow against the ring leader, he smiled.
Azrik let them live, but only so they could tell of how he bested them all at once; he was no longer a cub to be trifled with, and at long last Azrik earned the acceptance of his warband. Though the loss of his "weakness" turned the ferocity he'd found in himself into his addiction. He challenged anyone he so much as thought disrespected him, and in the cases they did not back down, the following combat saw Azrik the victor. With each victory came another boost to his confidence, which in turn drove him to become even more ferocious. Eventually, few dared to question his dominance, and of his warband none could deny having witnessed it firsthand. Azrik had been reborn a shining example of all that which is the Iron legion; of all that which is Charr.
When the time came for Azrik to claim his warbands name, he pondered upon the stories from his youth and the strength he'd found lurking within himself. He thought about it even up to the point the elders asked him what his warband was to be known as among their people. The first to come to mind was the glorious thrill of combat as each blow fueled an ever growing desire to feed the next. Close to follow were the dreams he'd had as a cub of having a mighty warband at his side. Though above all he felt akin to the crashing force he had in those dreams; the image of a wave of death that fell across a battle field as an unstoppable..."Felltide," Azrik replied to the elders, "I am Felltide."
...and so it was, the Fell band was born.
Part II: Old and Familiar Foes
Standing knee deep in snow in the dead of night with the biting winds rushing in from the Sea of Sorrows, Azrik could think but one thought; the Southern Shiverpeaks were very aptly named. The frost had taken to his fur and armor, and even done him the courtesy of icing the massive blade he wielded to his hand. At least being disarmed in any unexpected skirmishes wasn't a problem he'd be dealing with tonight. "Keep moving Iron legion, your slowing us down..." came a grumble from what may have been at one point a very attractive female. Attractive for a Charr mind you.
Cauldrana Moonfade, the name itself would send shivers down Azrik's spine, but at the moment shivering was simply par for the course. Looking at her burnt and mangled facial features glazed with winter frost, Azrik replied with no more than what would be a grunt to the human ear. Typically the full body of most Charr speech is lost upon the limited human auditory range, though in this case it was mostly just a grunt anyhow. Begrudgingly he picked up the pace, though still trailed a fair distance behind his swift and light armored party.
Ash legion, known for being sneaky, deadly, and to an Iron legionnaire, insufferable; Azrik couldn't have gotten a worse assignment. Oh how he longed for nothing more than to go back to the battle lines outside Ebonhawke where a Charr can kill from the comfort of his own siege engine. Unfortunately orders from the highest stations were making such fond outings as this frigid march into the mountains increasingly common. Truth be told, the rumors were on everyones mind, but rarely on their tongues, "Gold Legion," the whispered words struck Azrik's ears as a hammer to an anvil.
Quickly he turned his gaze to his Ash Legion party who'd already begun taking cover in the rough terrain. Faintly he could see the glow of a flame behind the crest of the mountain he'd been trudging up for the past three days. Gathering himself as much as possible he scrambled into the nearest niche that would fit his bulk. Though he was notably terrible at hiding he had the advantage of being covered in a week worth of snow, frost, and dirt. If one wasn't to see him move they'd think he was just another rock on the mountain anyhow, so hiding was really a futile gesture.
Then, there they were, the Gold legion, walking his way over the crest of the mountain like they owned the place. Just seeing them nearly made Azrik's blood boil, and coupled with seeing what they can do etched into the face of Cauldrana Moonfade, he was ready to test their mettle first hand. The Ash legionaries were still a short distance ahead of him up the path, putting them into a perfect position to flank should he draw the Gold legions attention. Almost as soon as he thought of it he began to see his party slowly moving into position behind the small group of Gold legionaries. Azrik smirked and knew it was finally time for this miserable trip to pay off.
Whipping out from the niche he'd been hiding in, Azrik immediately charged full speed at his quarry, and as expected they assumed a formation that left their rear completely exposed. For a heavily armored, frost covered Charr, Azrik moved with impressive speed, closing the distance between him and the gold legion in a fraction of a second. Though just as he brought his blade around to connect with the skull of an adversary he was struck with an intense wave of heat and force. Blinded by the steam of melting frost, and launched back by the magical wave of flames, Azrik was sent tumbling backwards down the path he'd charged up. It was both painful and infuriating as Azrik heard the sounds of combat beginning without him.
Azrik could do little more than try to snag something sturdy enough to halt his tumble, but being over three hundred pounds of Charr adorned in plates of heavy steel whilst barreling down a mountain side, such objects are not particularly common. Thanks to the snow the fall was not nearly as painful as it might have been in the warmer months, then again it wouldn't have been much of a fall if not for all the ice and snow prolonging it. Eventually he found a sudden stop against the face of a boulder that, despite it's own weight of several tons, quivered upon Azrik's impact. Steadying himself, Azrik slowly stood, shaking off the accumulations of snow and ice that'd built up on him during his fall. Turning to look up the mountain path, Azrik could to see the Ash legionaries having all the fun, and wagered he couldn't close the distance before the fight would be over.
Cauldrana and her compatriots were the very essence of deadly, as they cut down their surprised adversaries with a speed and ferocity akin only to the Ash legion. Azrik grunted as he hefted his arm around only to feel it much lighter than he remembered it being. Looking to his hand he immediately growled in frustration as he noticed his massive sword had snapped in two during his fall. For some Charr this would be a que to charge in and claw the enemy to death, but not for Azrik, not for an Iron legionnaire. From over his shoulder he drew a long object wrapped in a cloth likely to protect it from the conditions, and quickly slipped a claw under the knots of rope that kept the cloth in place.
As the cloth fell to the snowy ground it revealed Azrik's trusty old rifle, Lola. It may not have been the latest and greatest of Iron legion production, but what Lola lacked in youth she made up for with power. Azrik eyed his Gold legion target up the mountain path as he raised Lola to his sighting eye. The Ash and Gold legionnaires were engaged in close combat and he'd have to be precise if he wanted to avoid hitting a friendly. After a few seconds of analyzing the wind, the slope of the path, and the movements of his target, Azrik pulled the trigger. The sudden flash, the thump of recoil, and the scent of gunpowder washed over Azrik's senses in the most blissful of ways, and within a blink of the eye his target collapsed to the ground.
The fight was over almost as fast as it started, and eight Gold legionnaires lie dead upon the rocks and snow, "Well done Iron legion, you make for an excellent distraction," Cauldrana spoke with more sarcasm than appreciation, but it was a tone Azrik had learned was the best he was going to get coming from her.
"They have what you came for?" Azrik spoke plainly as he always had. Cauldrana motioned to her fellow Ash legionnaires who were already pilfering the bodies of the dead Charr, "We'll know soon enough".
Part III: Defeat
The march back was long, and trecherous, winding down frigid mountain passes slicked with ice made more perilous by a violent winter storm. Azrik hoped all this was worth the trouble; fetching ancient relics from a dead era was not a particular interest or joy of his. HIs thoughts were on home, and a warm cot in the black citadel. The roaring fires and smell of fresh meat cooking over an open flame were all that kept him moving down the mountain, onwards toward home. What came next was as unexpected as it was ferocious, but his body was faster to react than his mind. It was as if they came from nowhere at all, fire and fang, blade and claw, the gold legion were upon him. His convoy of ash legion scouts seemed to be no more aware of this ambush than he, and all of them were gripped in mortal combat as a rain of vicous blows assaulted him.
In a blur of lashing blades Azrik positioned his rifle Lola in the way of the most lethal, saving himself from a certain death each time. Seeing an opportunity he snaped the butt of his rifle into the jaw of his nearest assailant, and tumbled backwards in the snow. With the newly aquired distance he could see he was at the epicenter of the attack, though the ash legion he'd been escorting had nearly all fallen under the intial surge. Surveying the situation, he found himself surrounded by seven anrgy flame legion soldiers, some as big even as big as himself. His mind drifted back to his childhood, being surrounded by Charr with the same malevolence in their eyes, "Dejavu..." he muttered under his breath.
As one unit the flame legionnaires leapt at him, a violent circle of certain death...for a lesser Charr. With a heaving leap into the air Azrik dodged the simultaneous assault, and as he came down he threw forth such weight and power that the ground recoiled under the impact. The stomp created such a massive surge of force that his attackers were flung back, three of which found out how close to the edge of the mountain they were...in a hard, screaming, and sudden death sort of fashion. The first to stand from Azrik's powerful counter-attack was welcomed back to the fight with a round from Lola punching through his throat. He gasped and choked on his own blood just long enough to see a second flash from Azrik's rifle: his last living sight. Then there were three.
They looked stunned at the power of the foe they'd provoked. In mere instants he'd already distpatched four of them, and looked poised to wipe them from the realm of the living as well. Azrik saw this fear; he could smell the stink of it on them like grawl feces. With a bellowing roar from the depths of his lungs he shouted with such might the snow and ice of the mountain broke free all around him, "Fear Me!" it echoed from the mountain like the mighty striking of a melancholy bell. Terrified not just of Azrik, but that he may very well bring the whole of the mountain down on all of them, the remaining three scattered into the snow, one even blindly leaping off of a high rock with an unknowable distance to the ground.
The smirk on Azrik's face quickly turned to a grimmace as he peered at the ash legionnaires behind him. All had fallen, save for Cauldrana, who was held off of the ground by the throat in the ferocious vice-like grip of a truly massive Charr. His burning gaze snapped to Azrik, with eyes that seemed to be filled with absolute power and absolute hate. Four flame legionnaires stood around him, as he held Cauldrana in the air with a single paw tight around her struggling neck. "You have come to your graves, fools of the lesser legions! Soon the name Baelfire will be known in every corner of Tyria!" He spoke as flames ignited randomly around him, many of which seemed to lick at Cauldrana's skin and fur. It seemed the fiercer she kicked, the tighter he squeezed until tears began to roll from her eyes and freeze in the frigid night winds of the storm on the mountain.
Azrik raised Lola to his sighting eye, adrenaline coursing through his veins. Carefully he aimed his shot, patiently he drew back his breath, and with a stoic calm, he fired. His shot that missed it's mark only due to the zealous devotion of a nearby flame legionnaire, leaping in the way. As the gut shot Charr crumpled to the ground time seemed to slow for Azrik, each moment more frantic than the next. Cauldrana could not die like this, not at the hands of the flame legion, not if he still drew breath. Notably his focus was weakening, the cold was numbing his digits, and reloading Lola had become a difficult task from what was once something he'd rarely even thought about. By the time he was ready to fire a second shot, three flame legionnaires were on him; blade and claw cut and slashed across him as he desperately tried to defend himself. Azrik managed to get a shot off on one of them, but the next seized the opportunity and hacked Azrik's helm clear from his head, a blow that would've proven fatal to a lesser armored Charr. Though not lethal, the blow sent Azrik to the ground in a daze, his grip barely sure enough to maintain his old rifle.
As Azrik rolled onto his back the flame legionnaire was already poised for an overhead chop for his head: a killing blow. In desperation he thrust Lola up in both hands, the hard iron of her barrel catching the heavy blow in a loud metalic clang. Relentless the flame legionnaire brought his blade back into the air and chopped down again...and again, and again, and again, each time smashing violently against the barrel and stock of Azrik's old rifle. Finnaly, Lola could take no more, and in a final chop the flame legionnaire sundered Azrik's trusted old rifle in half. Lola had given her life to protect Azrik as long as she could, but now there was nothing but the wind between the flame legionnaire's blade, and Azrik's skull.
As Azrik eyed the blade raising to deliver the final blow a voice cut through the snowy drifts and frigid winds, "Wait!" roared Baelfire, "Take him alive!" he continued with a snarl, "We will bring him to the Citadel...there we shall find what they know...there we shall break him..."
Part IV: Fire Rising
Days fell to weeks, weeks fell to months, and the torments of the citadel were unrelenting. Everyday they came with burning hot chains, red hot iron spikes, and immolated whips that seared flesh like the very tongue of a fiery serpent. But Azrik would not yeild. Azrik would not be broken. Not by them; not by the likes of the flame legion. The screams were what tore at him the most, the bellowing woe of a torment beyond the capacity for a mortal body to withstand. It was weeks before he realized that those screams were his own.
Honor and pride have no room in the torturers chambers. There is only misery, only pain. Dispite it all Azrik had told them nothing, and this day like every other he exhausted his torturers will to continue and found himself again locked in his cell.
"You say anything..." the weak voice of a female Charr in a nearby cell crept into his.
"They'll have to do better than that," Azrik spoke, as he'd recited day after day after day.
"You know, it'd be easier to talk," the female replied with a phrase he'd heard every day since he'd come to this wretched place.
"It's easier to die," he replied with a rehearsed tone. Both he and Cauldrana had been subject to the harshest tortures the shamans of the flame legions could muster, but neither would give up why they were after the artifact, or even who set them to the task. They had remained resolute to their oaths, and would take whatever torture the gold legion could invent if only it meant dying with their honor intact.
"Ya know, if you weren't Iron legion I'd almost be attracted to you," Cauldrana spoke with a coughing laugh.
"...and if you didn't have half your face burnt off I might feel the same way." Azrik replied with a similar coughing chuckle. For a moment there was silence, and for the first time Azrik felt a certain level of concern for Cauldrana. Perhaps something he'd felt for awhile but only just realized, "Hey," he spoke.
"...what?" she replied.
"dont you die on me..."
Cauldrana laughed, "and deprive myself of seeing you give in first!? notta chance!"
"Time for another session!" spoke a wicked voice outside of Azrik's cell, a set of keys playing at the lock. A shaman had come to the gate with two grunts in tow to take him to the torturers chamber yet again. Azrik remained silent, preapring his mind for what his body must again endure. Notably this was an unusual occurance. Two sessions in one day must have some special significance. He recalled the torturer frustrated and exhausted when he left. Had it been a day already? Had he lost all sence of time? No. It didn't matter. Now was time to be hard; no weakness, no bending, no breaking.
Drug into the tortures chamber the smell of blood and burnt flesh srtuck his nostrils, and claped in buring hot irons the familiar feel of metal singeing his flesh made him twitch. Scanning the all to familiar room, he looked upon the face of a heavily armored shaman with a flaming sword belted to his hip. His armor was magnificently clad in a red and gold motif, with arcane fire spewing from the shoulders and gauntlets, "Well well well...aren't you fancy..." Azrik spoke, only to get a quick punch in the face from one of the grunts that'd drug him into the chamber.
"Let's get straight to business lesser Charr..." the well clad shaman spoke as he leaned agaisnt a nearby wall, "Soon, Baelfire will rise as a god, and when he does, all of your lesser legions will bow before him. Your females will be put back into chains where they belong and those who do not yeild to his will shall know pain greater than you have endured."
"You've been holding out on the pain on me have you? Well bring it on. Let me test it for you." Azrik replied, reciving yet another punch in the face as a response. Azrik just chuckled and spat blood on the floor beside him, "our females hit harder than these punks," as the grunt was poised to deliver yet another punch to Azrik's face the shaman stopped him with a quick snapping grip.
"Perhaps the previous queries as to what you know were simply approached in the wrong way," the shaman spoke as he pushed the grunt aside and knelt to look Azrik in the eye.
"Look, I'd rather you just make with the torture...all this talk is more painful," Azrik replied with an angry glare.
"Your resistance is commendable. I dare say even worthy of a true tribuneof the Citadel of Flame. Do not be so stubborn as to invite your own destruction. Baelfire will soon be a god, and you have the rare opportunity of serving him by his side." as the shaman spoke, Azrik noticed something odd about his restraints...they were loose. These grunts were not the torturers regular staff of hardened, well practised torture assistants. These grunts were just plain grunts.
"Well, it is a tempting offer," Azrik spoke as he slowly rotated his wrist out of the chains behind his back, "and I sure would love to be a...what did you say, Vanguard?" he spoke as he rotated his other paw out of the chains.
"Tribune! A true high member of the flame legion, worthy of all the glory and honor befitting one of your strength!" the shaman replied with a regal and excited tone.
"Tribune!" Azrik exclaimed, matching the shamans tone, "I sure like the sound of that!"
"Excellent! Then all you need do is tell us what your legions know of the Citadel, and Baelfire's plans." the shaman replied with a smile.
"Sure!" Azrik replied, "but there is a problem with me telling you shaman..."
"Oh?" the shaman seemed surpirsed, ",and that is?"
"You wont be alive to tell anyone..." Azrik spoke, and in a burst of rage with all the strength he could muster he surged to his feet, tackling the shaman to the ground. Stunned at the action the grunts quickly tried to pull Azrik off of the shaman, but met nothing but the burning hot edge of the shamans pilfered sword. This wonderously crafted flaming sword not only cut them asunder, but passed through their bodies as if they were made of butter. The Shaman kicked Azrik off of him with a poweful blow, but even in his weakened state Azrik was able to roll with the blow, and skid to a safe halt across the chamber from the shaman.
Azrik slowly stood tall with flaming sword in hand, the dragon motif of it's golden hilt shimmering like the very light of dawn, "We know excatly where this Citadel is shaman..." Azrik spoke as he took a step toward his heavily armored foe, "We know exactly which paths to take, and we know exactly where to hit it..." he continued as he stepped closer, the shaman backing away from the blazing sword pointed at him, "there is a pact of unified races scouting all around this place..."
With that sentence the shaman prepared to draw a flaming whip to strike Azrik, but in a sudden leaping thrust Azrik pinned his foe's arm to the stone wall behind him. The shaman screamed in pain, "You son of a...", so Azrik punched him in the face, knocking his helm from his head.
"You said you wanted ME to talk, not listen to you carrying on about getting stabbed in the arm," Azrik spoke, "...maybe you just don't deserve to have an arm..." he continued as the Shaman suddenly looked at him with a look of desparate pleading. Azrik however, was beyond notions of mercy, and with a single smooth motion cut the shamans arm from his body. The shaman crumbled to the floor screaming, but Azrik just stood over him with a cold expression.
"...please...spare me..." the shaman begged.
"Spare you? As in spare parts?" Azrik spoke then flicked the flaming sword against the shamans right set of ears, singeing them clear of his head. Again the shaman screamed, and again Azrik punched him in the face, "I said shut up, when I'm talking!" Azrik roared angrilly, "this is what you wanted right!?"
"...please..." the shaman begged yet again, agony in his trembling voice. Azrik tilted his head to the side abit as he surveyed the shaman, seemingly in silent contemplation, "I can get you out of here...I know the way..." the shaman continued, but Azrik just shook his head in reply.
With a whipping snap of the flaming sword he cut the shamans right leg from his body at the knee, "a hobbled guide isn't much use to me..." he spoke as the shaman begain wailing incoherently, writhing in previously unfathomable pain. Azrik reached down to the wounded shaman to grab him by the chest plate, but with his still attached arm the shaman blocked the attempt. Thus Azrik removed that which was blocking him, "You know I'm just going to keep cutting you untill there's nothing left but a torso and a head" Azrik spoke over the shaman's screams.
"Please...I'll tell you anything...just stop..." the shaman spoke, trying to slowly kick himself away from Azrik with his one remaining appendage pushing against the floor.
"Anything?" Azrik inquired.
"Yes! Anything! Just ask it!" the shaman replied, desperately.
"Very well...answer my one question and I will release you." Azrik replied.
"Ask it! Ask it!"
"I am not a prison, I am a release. When you find me, all suffering shall cease. What am I?" Azrik rhymed with a smirk.
With a deap gulp the shaman replied with a near whisper, "...death..."
Part V: Conflagration
How Azrik Felltide joined the CartelEdit
In Lions Arch, a Charr can typically get by without attracting much attention, but Azrik is notorious for drawing crowds...one little bar fight with a Norn and suddenly the humans start getting all melodramatic. Azrik was looking for answers, and with a little alcohol combined with "aggressive negotiations" the Norn talked. He'd been a caravan guard for an organization he would only name as, "Aekart", and that if Azrik wanted to know anymore it'd be a hot day in Hoelbrak before he'd tell him.
Though it wasn't much, it was a start, and after a few days of "questioning" locals in the dark alley ways of Lions Arch, he was able to get a solid lead. Azrik's method to find answers revolved around the idea that those who don't want people asking questions, tended to have quite a few answers; precisely the kind of people he could use at his side. He needed answers to the plights of his people, and had only heard whispers of an organization that might be able to help.
With unrelenting diligence, Azrik eventually found himself in the presence of the Cartel...though whether it was through his deductive skills that he found them or his crude and overt methods by which the Cartel found him, none ever bothered to let him know...for the sake of his pride perhaps it is better that way.