Born to battle, the Reaver brings his dark crusade to the world in a never ending storm of blood and death. Only the most ruthless and vicious souls are summoned to battle by Morander, God of War. For the Reavers believe that the Great War has come at last – the War that will end all others – and that their doom has come. Should the Great War end in defeat, the order of Reavers will die along with the rest of the world. Should victory arise, the Reavers will still perish. For it is said that no war will be as pivotal as the Great War; no battle ever as intense or conflict so far reaching. The Golden Age of Conflict has come.
To aid them in their constant battle, Morander has granted his Reavers a powerful ability called weapon-casting. This ability allows them to cast their Prayers directly through their weapons. This is the only way that Reavers are able to cast spells. A Reaver’s spells are almost entirely offensive and all require that a Reaver be in melee range of his enemy. Reavers eschew missile weapons and shields in favor of weapons that put them into the thick of the fray – the very heart of battle. While a Reaver will do whatever it takes to bring his enemy down, he is nonetheless a cunning and disciplined warrior who values the experience of warfare as a holy Prayer to his God. Pointless battles are hollow Prayers. To be as Morander, a Reaver must seek out true danger and difficult odds. Some Reavers will purposefully handicap themselves in order to increase the danger of a battle, thereby gaining favor and renown with the God of War.
War and Rage
All Reavers walk a fine line between the discipline of war and battle-rage. This dual nature is embodied by the twin swords of Morander, Balefor and T’rgall. The origin of the twin swords is a mystery, but their power in the hands of the God of War is unquestioned. Wherever they go, Reavers carry these potent symbols of their god.
Arguably the greatest weakness of any Reaver is the threat of fury, the battle-rage. A constant companion, the battle rage is embodied in the left sword of Morander, T’rgall. A Reaver is taught to always keep this part of herself in check, for though powerful when unleashed, the battle-rage has led to the greatest defeats in the history of the order.
It happened in a place within the hinterlands known as the Killing Yards. Here, a great battalion of Reavers met the Demon Lord and his minions. Never before had so many War priests been assembled in one place. They were summoned by the god himself, who sounded the clarion ring of Faldruin, the Horn of War. It was said that Morander would sound the horn three times in all eternity and that the fourth ring would summon his Reavers to the Final Aerynugeth. This was the third sounding and the Reavers answered their god in numbers untold. Led by the god himself, the Reavers marched into the Killing Yards and met their foe.
In single combat, Ixiel was maligned by the God of War who severed a curving black horn from his demonic brow. The blow was devastating, but in the end proved more fatal to the Reavers than to the Demon Lord.
For Morander had struck the horn with T’rgall, the Sword of Rage.
Ixiel recognized at once the dual nature of his enemy and used the powers of Erebus to manipulate this weakness. One by one the Reavers began to fall to fury. This untempered anger led to a sudden and temporary surge in the Reaver battle lines. But any hope of victory was short lived. The anger would not subside – but grew steadily with every step and blade-swing. The Reavers began to lose all sense of order. The commands of prelates and commedens fell on ears made deaf with rage. As the blood-red blindness intensified, the Reavers began to turn on one another. No longer did they recognize friend from foe. Everything, everywhere was stained by the enemy. It would all be purged. Morander was himself overcome with the same rage that was overtaking his Reavers. In his battle-lust he threw himself upon his foe and shattered the Horn Faldruin. A telling blow for certain, but in the end it was the act that saved the god.
For Morander had struck the horn with Balefor, the Sword of War.
Suddenly the discipline of Balefor came crushingly clear. The Horn of War was no more. But Morander would still be able to sound the fourth note and call the final battle. Not with Faldruin, but with the severed horn of the Demon himself. Morander took up the horn and passed it to the gargoyle Reaver Braudin Shale.
The Reavers who did not escape the Killing Yards were Reavers no longer. They had become Dread Knights, agents of the Demon. Only Braudin Shale remained unharmed. Trapped within the Killing Yard, Shale would endure nearly a decade of harrowing before being rescued by the Armsmen of the Long March.
Since that time, more and more Reavers have fallen to the subtle power of the Demon and joined the ranks of this foul knighthood. No hope of redemption is known and the Reavers recognize these fallen comrades for what they are; the enemy.
The organizational structure of Reavers is very similar to a military order. The five ranks of Reavers are: The Supreme Commeden (commander-in chief), Commedens (generals), Breshens (commanders), lieutenants, and soldiers. Every distinct grouping of Reavers is considered its own regiment. Often this includes all the Reavers in a certain area, usually a town or city. As one might suspect, the greatest regiments belong to the greatest cities. Whenever one or more regiment comes together, they form a battalion.
Not all Reavers are warriors. For every hundred true Reavers, there is one prelate. The prelates are the priestly face of the Reaver clergy. Always searching for lore regarding Morander, prelates strive to unlock the subtle mysteries of their god and to preserve them for use by the Reavers at large. Though not much is known about them – even by the Reavers themselves – it is known that they are held in very high regard by the priesthood and move independent of the general hierarchy. Though far less martial than their brethren, prelates are still formidable warriors and should not be underestimated. Their priestly abilities are unique to the order and are understood only by the very highest ranking Commedens.
Regiments convene in war councils. The War Council of Tharsis is the greatest of them all. It is here under the shadow of the Obelisk of War where the highest ranking officers meet to discuss the fate of the order and its role in world affairs.
From Tharsis, the Supreme Commeden Ashryk Kaen rules his Reavers with an iron fist. None can say how old Ashryk is, but he seems to have intimate knowledge regarding the opening days of the Age of Chaos. It can not be denied that he has been the Supreme Commeden since the Final Retreat – over two and a half centuries ago; an unheard of age for a human. Kaen is a very active, dynamic leader, as deadly as he is charismatic. In the last decade alone, Kaen personally led six assaults into the hinterlands. Since the Final Retreat, he has led over a hundred, making the Reavers the single most successful force against the Scourge that the world has ever known.
Reavers do not convert. They enlist. If someone wants to become a priest of War, they must prove their mettle to be considered worthy of Morander’s army.
The God of War is one of the most dynamic deities in Creation. A staunch ally of the Sh’ddar, he has time and again proven himself an entity to be feared and respected. His symbol is an image of the crossed swords of conflict. His priests burn the vital organs of their enemies as offerings to his power. His colors are red and black. Morander claims no holy days. His priests do not proselytize or seek converts. He has no season or hour.
Conflict is eternal – And the greatest war of all has only just begun…