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by Marco Dalmonte

(Ilneval, Hong-Tzu)
Patron of Battle and Conquest

Level, Alignment, Sphere: 6 (Initiate), N, Thought
Symbol: a huge two handed greatsword with wicked looking edges on its upper part
Portfolio: humanoids, battle, tactics, conquest, rule of the strongest
Worshipped in: tribes of humanoids all over the world (especially Broken Lands, Darokin, Ethengar, Norwold, Denagoth, Hule, Yazak Steppes, Dark Jungle and Krugel Horde in the Hollow World)
Appearance: an orcish king in his best shape, with a glistening yellow skin tone, perfect sharp tusks jutting from the lower jaw, piercing eyes with an intelligent spark, and a well-muscled body covered by thick black hairs. He constantly dons a plate mail with jutting spikes and hooks, wielding his huge greatsword with pride.
History: Karaash was a very successful orcish warleader who led a great tribe to harass and raid many different nations between VIII and VII century BC. Karaash was a great tactician powered by fierce courage and indomitable will, and he ended up undertaking the path of the Epic Hero under Diulanna's sponsorship, who appreciated his willpower and determination in battle. Karaash ruled for years as a great warleader in the Hulean region before deciding to quest for the fable Blue Knife, as the great Wogar had done five centuries before. The fact that prompted him to go on such a quest was the meeting with a clan of gnolls coming from the east. One of these gnolls tried to earn his trust and come under his protection, and sensing the thirst for power and glory of Ilneval (such was Karaash's name at that time), he told him that his ancestors warred for decades in the eastern lands to retrieve the artifact, but found nothing and were later subjugated by the humans. However, before his clan chose to flee, they met with strange creatures coming from the west, a race called elves, who stated they knew the place where Ungar Red Fist had hidden the Blue Knife. These elves had themselves abandoned their homeland to avoid being conquered by a great sorcerer wielding tremendous artifacts, among which the Blue Knife. Karaash believed the gnoll and quickly rallied his troops marching westward, determined to become a legend like Wogar. During his stay in the Robrenn region, Karaash raided many villages and was impressed by the bravery and the indomitable spirit of a priestess of Arduinna, who defended the stone sacred to his deity with the last drop of her blood while the other villagers had already surrendered. Ilneval was so struck by this show of faith that in the end he showed mercy and took the woman under his protection, questioning her on her beliefs and her deity's precepts. After the initial distrust, the priestess introduced Ilneval to the cult of Arduinna, and he was later visited in his dreams by Diulanna herself, who promised him victories and glory if he would follow the path she showed him. Ilneval was so awestruck that he later converted to the cult of Arduinna and chose to be renamed Karaash, leading his troops out of Robrenn. Thus he began to follow the Path of the Epic Hero, and after bringing havoc among the goblinoids of the Yazak steppes and laying waste to the last of the Dravi settlements, he came to the western coast of Brun. There he met a powerful horde of minotaurs led by Minoides who had fled Nimmur some years before. IN the battle that followed, Karaash was victorious and soundly defeated the King of Minotaurs. He then convinced many of them to join his army and thanks to their superior knowledge, they built many ships they used to cross the ocean and find the land where Arduinna had promised Karaash would have found riches and glory.
When they landed on the coasts of the newly formed Tangor Peninsula, Karaash knew he had reached his destination. With his army's great strength, he conquered what was left of the Tangor civilisation and enslaved the Tangor people. At the end of the VII century BC he finally completed his task and left the world becoming an Immortal, and after some decades his legend spread among the humanoids living in Mystara, making him one of the most renowned and worshipped humanoid immortals.
Personality: even if he was an orc in his mortal life, Karaash doesn't make preferences among his followers. He wants to be recognised as the supreme deity of all humanoids who consider the way of the warrior as the true proper lifestyle. Karaash embodies the perfect warrior and shrewd leader: he is utterly stern with all his followers and encourages them not to give into fits of rage, to dominate their emotions in order to fight more efficiently. He is a great strategist and keen tactician, and he loves in particular those leaders who are able to build a strong nation based on military conquest after a well planned campaign. Karaash however doesn't care about moral codes or rules: the important is to win over one's enemy no matter how.
He is the fierce enemy of Atzanteotl and Ranivorus, who are constantly trying to corrupt his followers to swallow them into a downward spiral of chaos and useless death. On the other hand, despite being a sworn enemy of his worshippers, Karaash greatly respects Halav for his recognised skills of master tactician and fearless fighter.
Patron: Diulanna
Allies: none
Enemies: Atzanteotl, Ranivorus
Classic D&D Stats:
Followers' alignment: any
Favoured weapons: two handed sword (allowed all bludgeoning weapons and crossbows)
Clerics' skills & powers: bonus general skills Leadership and Scare; if cleric uses a BLESSED two handed greatsword the damage he causes can be healed only magically
Avengers' skills & powers: +1 bonus to hit and damage rolls vs infidels (anybody not worshipping Karaash)
D&D 3E stats:
Domains: Thought, War, Strength
Preferred weapon: 2-handed sword
Sources: GAZ10, HW, WotI, SCS, OHP