Our newest content partner is a company with quite powerful portfolio. LA-based Stranger Comics hasn't even hit the market with their flagship property The Untamed and Hollywood came knocking, with powerhouses like Lloyd Levin (Watchmen) and Andrew Sugerman (Shopgirl) signing on to adapt. With a richly developed swords and sorcery world populated by a much more diverse cast of elves, dwarves and monsters than your average fantasy fare, they're rolling out a slate of properties including blog-first short fiction called Grimoires. We're proud to present that material here … welcome to the world of Asunda.
For our second trip to Stranger Comics' world of Asunda, we'll present some more biographical information on the another face you'll see from the tyro Tolkiens. The King of Assassins is also a silver elf, but he's a much different story than the murderous magician who led the way …
SKARLOK TWO HEARTS
Isinniel (Elf), Morkai (Silver Elf)
Real Name: Skarlok Tizzlind
Known Aliases: Human Bane, Oijasha, Day Killer, Magga's Son, Throat Eater, Night King, King of Assassins, Silver Crow, Slayer of Tomorrow.
Known Relatives: Leslek Tizzlind (deceased), cook to King Dezrenir, was a father figure that raised Skarlok. Leslek had two sons Fanumarr (deceased), and Lescherre (deceased); and two cousins Keriok (deceased) and Acron Fendowynd
Known Allies: Niobe Ayutami, Buxton Stonebeard, Acron Fendowynd, Elawe Glamondenn, Tooflowa Silva, Salem Ravensong.
Place of Birth: Morrok
Known Enemies: King Dezrenir, Lord Alkazzarr, Arog The Demi God, Moog Thrak Gorbakk, Morka Moa, Line of the Prethlokes, The Warden of Bandalak, The City of Asarra Bay, The Lady of the Cloth, Vastar, The Order of Tomorrow's Dawn, Tibalion Erendur, Gelem, King Andrek 2, 6 and 7; King Goran Longbeard, Omdurasha Shalanie Uklatta, The Realm of Frivanna, The Realm of Morrok, The Empire of Ujoa, The Kingdom of Isintarre, The Kingdom of Turanghem.
Known Affiliations: The Silver Raven, Juere Clan, Clan of the Long Night
Distinguishing Features: Skarlok is hairless. His skin: a pale silver that innately blackens upon command to become one with the shadows. Two piercing silvery blue crescent moons, either tattoos or birth marks, gleam on his face. They start at the temple, curve through the eyes, and out the cheek bone, away from the center of his nose.
Items of Power: "Idelka Ja Melsha" ("Day Breaker"). Rumored to be crafted by Salem Ravensong, the Holy two handed sword of legend is a cunning sentient weapon. The blade and handle is made entirely of the blue black enchanted metal, Ardan. The handle has been wrapped in the cured leather of the mystical Luaka. Within the hand guard is a perfect stone of Aog, where a Mithril crescent eye reflects Magga's keen sense. If Skarlok plants his blade in the earth a dark shroud will descend like night up to a mile away. Only the most powerful Mages of Zunn can banish this darkness. The blade can cut through all (non enchanted) material as if it was cloth. The sword has a heightened perception allowing the wielder to almost never be ambushed by melee, missile, or even magic. Day Breaker also enhances all of Skarlok's natural Morkai abilities, allowing him to use them, even at day. It also understands nearly all languages, including Dragon and Esufey speech. Lastly, if Skarlok falls, the blade will summon a Lord Shade to wield it, protecting the King of Assassins.
Hook of the Juere. Only three were ever made. It is a grappling Hook and rope all made of Ardan. The enchanted Hook is able to literally pull and drag shadows and darkness. At night, it is invisible to all but the user.
Dirk of the Juere. The Holy long knife is lined with Aog. It has a sole purpose: The Slaying of all things Undead. Cloak of Long Night. They are heavy black cloaks made from the skin of the Oijaheim, and doused in enchanted herbal concoctions known only to a few. For users of these rare cloaks, it allows Magga to see them an hour more each day. The Cloak enhances all of the Morkai's natural abilities and the most gifted can use the Cloak to enter Magga's Womb, and disappear entirely into the Shadow Realm for a moment.
Armor of The Silver Raven. A gift from his cousin Acron: Skarlok wears Ardan Scale Armor made over an Ardan mail shirt. Both sets have been blessed to weigh as light as bird's wing and to absorb all light.
Ring of Morrok. The plain silver band has one speck of Aog encircled in a crown. Whoever is the wearer of such ring, is the true King of Morrok. All the powers of this Artifact are unknown except for one. Morkai will be drawn to either kill or serve the wearer. Almost all will fear it.
Items of Note: Skarlok uses a variety of posions. He also carries a pair of Ardan throwing daggers, which he is highly skilled with.
Known Abilities and Disabilities: Only a few of the Morkai have been blessed with the gifts of Magga. They range from magically blending into the shadows and remaining still, walking in shadows, to teleporting from one area of darkness or shadow to another. The latter is known as Shadowshifting. Skarlok has mastered all of these abilities over centuries and can call upon them at will. What makes Skarlok most dangerous is he can perform these at day needing the slightest of shade, while wielding his blessed blade, "Idelka Ja Melsha." Skarlok has the extra blessings of Magga, and as such can retreat into the Shadow Realm for moments at a time, and whilst within the realm can be healed of nearly all maladies and can replenish any Mana he may have lost. It is rumored he has shifted to her sacred plane with others, so as to heal them, or leave them for her consumption.
Skarlok is a low level practicing user of Essence Magic. Or so it is rumored. Skarlok is regarded as the greatest Assassin across the world of Asunda. There is no man alive more feared, hunted, or hated.
Known History (overheard): "I'll tell what you what is known about Oijasha, for I too wish to see the seasons pass, and hear the sound of my belly when it is full; and I enjoy hearing the news of his deeds of the dark.
A child came to see First Dark in the Sacred River of Melvanorre. I was there, and never before had I seen a babe so blessed and bathed in Silver. My visions are my own, but I will speak on, and say that She was a mother to this boy.
On a bed of silver
A King will arise,
To crush old lies
His will, my wrath.
For millennia, all children were born upon silver beds as it would be a sacred tradition thought to bring luck and the eternal hope for a savior of Morrok. But Dezrenir, a deceiver who feared his own lies would bring upon Magga's vengeance, had all babes born this way to be slaughtered. It demoralized the Morkai, and the Macgrom pushed the Silvers further and further into their halls.
But I knew where to find the child. For Her veins are the Silver waters of Morrok, and Her heart is the bed where shadows sleep. Fearing the King's decree, I ensured he grew up safely among culture and songs of old. He would learn the Morkai people were hopeful of returning to the old ways and living among the surface world. War would always come later. And so, Skarlok was raised in the kitchens of Melvanorre's royal palace, within the cold realm of Morrok. His father was the king's cook, a fat man named Leslek who was a widower that raised three ambitious sons of his own, Alkazzarr, Fanumarr, and Lescherre. But I will speak no more on Skarlok's childhood save for the end of it, which is known:
Skarlok was a boy when he saw Leslek murdered by the King for a poorly cooked meal. In truth, the meal was delicious and perfectly prepared. But it was when I informed Dezrenir that Magga knew of his dealings with The Untamed, did he lash out at the nearest man who had brought him his food. Enraged, Skarlok leapt into the room and murdered King Dezrenir, stabbing him to death with the same knife his father had cut a slice of sweet bread only moments earlier. Then, as Morkai custom decrees, he severed Dezrenir's finger and claimed The Ring of Morrok, and as his right became the self anointed king.
It has been many years since that day, when he fled the great halls, chased by Dezrenir's royal family and the elite guards and assassins of Morrok. Since that time, some of his people have come to recognize him as king by right of might, but most follow the bloodline of Dezrenir. Even his own brothers betrayed him, but they paid the price with agonizing death, as all have who sought his ruin.
For his is the name whispered when the world sleeps, Skarlok Two Hearts, killer of light, and even his kind, and all things good said to cuddled babes when candles are burnt to a wick."
Asunda Grimoires will enjoy a limited run Mondays at 11:11 AM until Mike Sales Southside Nefertiti returns in February.
[Source: Stranger Comics]