The east


Nares is the Divine daughter of Illaria the Weary and Killar the Bloody, the youngest child of this union and Divine Sister to Lilar the Vengeful. Illaria and Killar are both, to a greater or lesser degree, utterly insane, and this has been passed on into their youngest daughter to such an extent that She is viewed as the immortal embodiment of true madness. However, Nares the Mad has other aspects beyond mere insanity. She is also the Goddess of the Hunt and the Patron Goddess of Predators.

When She first came to Tal'Vorn, Nares was more interested in hunting through the planets great expanses of forest land then She was in creating living beings. For many years this trend continued, Nares choosing to hunt at the side of Beast herds, becoming a sort of surrogate Goddess to the mutated ones. She is even recorded with having run with some of the more animalistic DragonLord clans. However, eventually the Hunter became bored with the sheer lack of skill and finesse displayed by the Beasts and by the lack of sheer animal fury on the more reserved DragonLord's part.

By this point, humanity had no yet arrived on Tal'Vorn, though they were not far off. Nares, running in the forests of southern Rilvarinistara, became infatuated with the hunting ability of the wolves there. Indeed She spent so long with them that Nares is now viewed as the Patron Goddess of the Wolf. However the wolves lacked the higher reasoning and sheer power required to hunt the humanoid Elder Races, a hunt viewed by Nares as the most challenging.

Nares refused to put up with this state of affairs, deciding to emulate the other Gods in creating Her own Race of beings. However Nares did not want Her children to be 'trapped' in only one form, for the skillful hunter needs to be highly adaptable. And so Nares granted her children that ability otherwise restricted to Shaltar's DragonLords; Biomorphing.

In their natural state, Torma, as Nares named Her creations, are bipedal, eight-foot tall humanoid/lupin cross-breeds. Powerfully built with tearing claws and ripping fangs, Torma are killing machines. Their sense of smell is superb, surpassing even that of a DragonLord and their hearing as acute enough to rival an Ether Walkers. However, one of their physical aspects is purely a reflection of Nares' insanity. They have no eyes.

However in their more humanoid form, the Torma look remarkably human, albeit minus the eyes. And on a world as strange as Tal'Vorn, a simple eyeless human probably wouldn't be looked at twice by most of the Elder Races, meaning that any of the Torma that manage to, somehow, make it onto the Eastern Continents, are quite capable of hiding in the middle of a city should they so wish to.

Torma society is not as complex as one might imagine. It is not a case of 'the strongest rule' because Torma are just as smart as any human, and thus have higher reasoning capabilities. They extended their reach throughout the south of Rilvarinistara until they came across the out-cropping of rock that would one day become the city of L'ersa. They dominated the Beasts who also lived in the forests, using their forests, using their superior intelligence to rule over them. This done, the Beasts were set to work, constructing the city of L'ersa.

It took time, and some corrective construction from the Torma, but eventually L'ersa was completed. With their stronghold finished, the Torma existed more or less peacefully. Although the top predators in the forests, they had no other sentient Races to attack, as the Beasts quite whole-heartedly joined them. This changed however with the arrival of the Southar.

Their ship collided with a ridge and the stunned populace of the colony ship were easy to enslave, especially given the choice of life or death. For many years the human population of the South laboured under the yoke of the Torma. Here they had found more skilled workers and less aggressive slaves then they had in the Beasts. However times change. The Southar began to learn magic, and began to refuse to do the bidding of the Torma. So the Children of Nares, being the cunning creatures they were born to be, made the humans a deal, a deal that echoed worryingly of one struck only a few years ago between Killar and the Hierophant of the Pravaii. One Southar released in exchange for every Northar in slavery.

As the Southar's morals had collapsed over years of beast-like living, they readily agreed. The Torma released a set few and sent them to attack the walls of Larlia. Their assault was excellent, doing far more damage then expected. Indeed, several dozen Northar and three Anvar were taken. The Torma were so delighted with such powerful slave resources, that they released a hundred prisoner for each Anvar taken by the Southar.

Since then, the Torma/Southar relationship has become less about slavery, as there are relatively few enslaved Southar anymore. Instead the Torma seemed to find the humans far more entertaining then they ever did the Beasts. However, those bovine monsters felt no kind of jealousy for the humans, for after all, what did a Beast know of entertainment, other ripping out the heart something he found lying in the woods.

Indeed it has not become uncommon to see Humans leading packs of Beasts, or even joining forces with an especially benevolent Torma Pack Leader. After all, even the dumbest of Torma is still smarter then the average Beast, and can thus see the benefit of having a human wielding the powerful Corrupt Magic on your side. After all, even the might of the Anvar were vulnerable to enough corruption.

The war with Larlia raged on, until it looked as if the walls must surely fall. Until the Northar High Technology arrived, however. That one event turned the tide of the war, driving back the Southar, the Torma and the Beasts, away from the walls of Larlia. Since then, sporadic attacks have taken place, mostly at night, with the occasional incursion managing to actually kill a few soldiers. However, for the most part Larlia has proven far too tough a nut to crack.

Instead the Corrupt Shaman of the Southar have been desperate to find some way of protecting enough Torma and Beasts to allow a massive attack over the tiny, narrow and lethal high passes in the rest of the Giant's Bones. No one alive, neither human or Anvar, has ever made the passage across the mountains except through the pass of the Giant's Axe. So far they have failed, fortunately for the peaceful little farms of the Northar.

The Southar themselves have begun setting up their own villages, mostly hunter-gatherer with some low level farming, though such agriculture is difficult in the forest-covered south. So far they have proven to be remarkably successful, as they have almost no risk of Beast attack, as most have at least three Corrupt Mages living in the area. Any rogue Beast Herds that attack are quickly reduced to fertiliser.

This state of affairs continued until the Southar 'Animal Incident' of 765 AL (Magus Council Reckoning). The Southar infected various animals and thus infected a good portion of the population of Larlia. This allowed a small group of Torma to sneak past the distracted city watch and run riot in the countryside. Eventually they were caught and cut down, but not before they were responsible for the deaths of more then a thousand people, all hunted down in the name of Nares.

Indeed when this pack of Torma were killed, they actually took down half the Crusade sent to destroy them, a glorious fight against the odds, of hunting and slaying a true opponent, a true warrior worthy of being called Prey.

"Hunt! Kill! Feed! We do this in Nares the Hunters Name!"
Torma howl.

"Good morning. You are now slaves. Follow or die. That simple."
The first words spoken by the Torma Pack leader to the stunned human colonists.

© Joshua Binks (Paladin), Christopher Riley (Carnage) and Vanessa Vaughan (Andanin) 2002 -