So beautiful, yet so ugly! These creatures know deception like no other. They will lure innocent travellers into their traps whilst transformed into irresistible Humans, but will revert to their true hideous form when they are ready to dine upon their fooled prey’s flesh. An encounter with the Hazin’als will make you realise that good looks definitely are not everything!
The Hazin’als live mostly in the hills, where only the lost will stumble upon them and become their supper. But some have ventured into the cities and they have maintained their alluring Human form for decades, certain that life there far outweighs that of the cold, boggy hilltops.
Copyright Paul Gaskill. All rights reserved.
The invaders of Pharia that instigated the Noble War, these monsters are little understood. They are expressionless, heartless, and fearless, and float like air when fighting; they are the demon that haunts your dreams. Not only do they overwhelm the mortals, but they disable the powers of the Riders that would otherwise be capable of defeating them.
The Noble War began when these creatures reached the city of Fervia on the northern shores of Pharia. Every fighter in the north died, and only the civilians who fled were able to warn the Riders of the south that an invasion had begun. The Riders expected little resistance when they rode to meet the new enemy, but they too were overwhelmed. The Fizorachis soaked up the life that surrounded them until only the King of Pharia was left to stand against them. The King sacrificed himself and, somehow, obliterated the Fizorachi army.
Since that day three-hundred years ago, they haven’t been seen. Until now.
Map of Pharia
These tribal people are incredibly muscular and can reach ten feet in height, even the women. They live in a village on the edge of the Black Forest and keep their lives separated from the other races of Pharia, especially the Humans. They do not venture from their forest, and any trespassers within their realm will certainly be killed.
Even before the Noble War many years ago, the Ulatoris had requested their solitude. They wished for seclusion, away from the governance of the power-hungry Humans who controlled the land. They demanded to live alone, where they could preserve their own culture without having to abide by the laws that the rest of Pharia obeyed, and for a time their demand was met.
Fast-forward a couple of peaceful centuries and the Ulatoris’ mistrust of Humans was intensified when King Jowra betrayed them and stole a sacred power from their precious forest. Suddenly, a choice between getting revenge and continuing their seclusion became a difficult one to make.
Chagris are other dwellers in the Black Forest. They look like ferocious boars - and ferocious they are! They hunt in packs and, together, will track your unfamiliar scent through the forest until you have no route of escape. A tip for when you bump into these guys? Run. Just run!
Races of Pharia
Almost three centuries ago, Pharia as we know it almost died. A plague of devastating creatures from another land breached its shores and threatened to extinguish every race that called Pharia home, including the powerful Riders and Lavorians. The evil invaders were in search of life, the nutrition that they needed as fuel to survive, and they were determined not to be stopped. Thus, the Noble War began.
The creatures swept across Pharia from the north and devoured its nature, bringing the land to its knees. Every race pulled together and fought, as one, to terminate the assault. But many of each race died in the war until barely any fighters remained to resist. Even the Riders and their Lavorians had almost been defeated.
Upon the final days of war, the last surviving Rider, the King of Pharia, travelled north upon his Lavorian. He faced the fearsome adversaries with the last of his men, and he sacrificed himself to destroy them. Pharia was immediately freed from its imminent consumption, but at the cost of every Rider and Lavorian who had previously protected it.
The end of the Noble War brought peace that few had expected. With the Riders and Lavorians gone, the colonies of different races grew and took their own paths, without the laws and influences of those with more power. For two-hundred years, Pharia remained free of conflict, until the Riders and Lavorians returned, and the balance of the land was lost. The unwelcome control of a select few created animosity amongst the rest and, when King Jowra finally gained control, hostility between the races was reignited.
Servants of the ice city, Malum, the Azzeils are vicious and insensitive to anyone that they encounter. Their original home was in the wintry Sirin Mountains to the south-west, but their time there was ended when they were captured by King Jowra’s enforcers and made to build the entire city of Malum. Nothing about the way they live shows that the Azzeils feel mistreated by Jowra, and they happily continue to serve him.
These winged creatures dwell within the Black Forest and have done since time began. They are able to camouflage into the darkness and move with silent agility to hunt their prey. With six claws, dozens of sharp teeth and a long, deadly tail, the Narborg is one of the most dangerous creatures that you could encounter. But here’s a tip: should one of these creatures approach you, do not show fear! Courage will save your life; fear will end it.
Narborgs are one of the few creatures that were unaffected by the Noble War. They have always roamed the Black Forest in numbers that nobody has been able to verify. They were, as they still are now, creatures that lived alongside the Ulatoris, and they often became the war-beasts of the most powerful Ulatoris.
These faceless beings make up for in fighting ability what they lack in population. They are few, but they fight unequivocally for King Jowra. Armed with only a wooden staff, they move with the freedom of liquid and bring death upon their enemies. They are tall and slender, with no voice to issue commands, and they are indistinguishable from one another, all wearing crimson robes that prove their obedience to their King. The lack of expression in their faces is matched only by their lack of mercy on the battlefield.
Nobody knows where the Eeveks come from, for they certainly aren’t born. Since time began, they seem to have materialised upon the land, and they have continued to dominate everyone except the Riders in war.Like the Grevlors and Lisors, the Eeveks were once fighting for Pharia in the time of the Noble War, but have now found themselves siding with the man who will inevitably destroy it. They have no eyes to see with, no ears to hear with, and no mouth to communicate with, yet they have somehow been convinced by King Jowra to fight for him.
Grevlors and Lisors
These creatures are servants of King Jowra. Together, they prowl the mountains, searching for rebels that they can kill and eat, or sell as prisoners. The Grevlors are short and foul, with long, pointy features and a scowl that portrays their sinister nature. The Lisors, on the other hand, are big and unintelligent, with legs and arms like the trunks of trees and a head as solid as a rock. Despite being larger and more powerful than their spindly companions, the Lisors are too stupid to disobey what the Grevlors command them to do.
During the Noble War, the Grevlors and Lisors fought for good, rallying against Pharia’s invaders. But, following the war’s end and King Jowra’s subsequent ascension, the two races have become the enemy of those who wish to revive Pharia and rid it of the King’s rule.
The Oracus Series
If you have ever seen a little, blue slave hit his shin painfully against a rock, or run around in circles, patting his head, hoping to extinguish the fire that he’s set in his own hair, then you have met a Sashtram. Since the Noble War, these jolly servants have served Tallarin, the fortified city in the south of Pharia, and they are to be found nowhere else in the land.
But these comical fellows have only recently been discovered. Prior to the war, they were merely an idea that had been concocted in the creative mind of an unknown inventor. Following the war, they appeared from within the wreckage of a laboratory explosion that there is no known record of.
With his mother’s blonde hair, his father’s green eyes, and an athletic physique from working many hours in the blacksmith’s workshop, Oracus makes a handsome young man.
But Oracus lives in tiny village called Thessley, which is hidden within the forest that surrounds it. Being handsome in Thessley, where everybody knows each other’s business, counts for very little.
Yet Thessley’s secrecy is to come under threat. The arrival of a Lavorian in the village attracts the King’s soldiers, and, when the Lavorian and Oracus form a bond, both Oracus and the people of Thessley fall into perilous danger.
When Thessley is evacuated, the land of Pharia reveals itself to Oracus. He learns of new people and places, races and cultures, and friends and enemies. And he encounters magic, war and mystery that he never believed to exist.
Oracus’ life takes a huge turn – but is it for better or for worse? … Why don’t you join him and find out?