Barbarians Lore: Warchiefs and Warmaidens backstories
When we decided on the art style for Barbarians with Ivan, we wanted the characters in the cards to feel as if they really belonged to the world of Fenian. The best way to do this was to create backstories and personalities for each of them. For us they aren’t just illustrations, they are living characters.
Each Warchief and Warmaiden once belonged to a Clan, but in Fenian when a strong leader leaves the world of the living, he’s honored and venerated by all the barbarians in the world. The warchiefs and warmaidens are able to get inspiration from the deeds of great rulers of the past or, with dark rituals, directly summon them and gain an edge in the field.
In Fenian Gods arise, prosper and fade. Their lives might last thousands of years, but if nobody prays to them, they will weaken and lose their power. This is why Gods play such an active role in the lives of the Fenians. They can grant unimaginable powers to those who venerate and worship them. Even the most feared and strongest Warchiefs serve the Gods, and are ready to do unspeakable things in order to obtain their favor and magic.
We can see the beautiful and menacing Häxa, the only Warchief that was originally a faithful priestess. She is intent on draining the life from two slaves through a sacred ritual, and channeling the ethereal flux inside a cursed receptacle. Two fierce wild beasts at the Warmaiden’s side are ready to devour the human flesh that will be offered to Zang, Goddess of wolves.
Sacred rituals are an important aspect of combat in Fenian, since even the strongest army could succumb to the powers gifted by a God.
Warmaiden Ataahua (Ivan, our artist, took inspiration for her name from the maori word for “beautiful”) is one of the most stunning creatures to ever walk the world. Countless are the men who have fallen in love and lost their minds after gazing upon her.
She traps the souls of the living in strange amulets, and then buries them inside her pyramid where she honors Cerlus, Goddess of deer, antelope and all running animals. No living human has ever seen her temple, perched on a steep cliff where impetuous waves continuously clash.
Arswaed (his name comes from the words Arswyd, which means terror/horror and Gwaed, which means blood), the dreaded and ruthless Warchief that has destroyed innumerable villages, is no different.
The Warchief killed his own father when he was only 14 in order to overtake the clan’s throne. The Barbarian then hunted down and dismembered the bear who devoured his jaw when he was just a kid. The madman now wears that bear’s fur as a second skin and has replaced the jaw he lost with that of the bear’s.
Even Arswaed, despite his twisted mind and his unique ways, bows to Urgus, the gigantic bear God.