WARMACHINE MKIV Lore Overview: Dusk House Kallyss

The fate of Ios was written long before the infernal war that laid waste the Iron Kingdoms—it was the land of elves, not men, that would forever be scarred by those apocalyptic events. Long languishing in the slow deaths of their remaining gods, each new generation was increasingly lost to soullessness and bitter conflict, and the inevitable doom of Ios seemed all but assured. Then came a tenuous alliance between the elven people and the Skorne in response to the dire threat posed by the infernals, and this alliance set some on another path.

Delving into the darkest arcane aspects of the immortal soul coupled with necromantic Skorne mortitheurgy using advanced Iosan arcantrik technologies, this alliance sought to create new weapons that could combat this unnatural threat. These efforts were spearheaded by the Skorne warlock Hexeris and Lord Ghyrrshyld, an Iosan possessing the foremost knowledge of the soul. Their experiments led to the domination of the void archons to deprive the infernals of their soul energy; this, in turn, led to new discoveries and even more dangerous theories. Ghyrrshyld personally mastered these new technologies, and they filled him with the energies of the void.

As the alliance began to fight back against the infernals, it was joined by the ancient eldritch who had served as an advisory council for Lord Ghyrrshyld during his exile from Ios. These undead horrors were potent combatants, distrusted by both the living Iosans and the Skorne they fought beside. More troubling, when an Iosan lord fell, Ghyrrshyld would call upon his powers to return their soul to their body, forcing them to rise again as an eldritch. Such a close connection to the energies of the void began to further corrupt Ghyrrshyld’s mind and turn it back toward old blasphemies.

Ultimately, at the hour of the alliance’s victory over the infernals, Lord Ghyrrshyld, his mind warped by its connection to those entropic energies, turned on the Skorne and led his forces in their ruthless extermination. Broken and battered, the Skorne fled back across the Stormlands and vowed vengeance against their betrayers even as the Dawnguard stormed the Abyssal Fortress, claiming it for Ios.

Despite the sheer pragmatism of his actions, Ghyrrshyld’s only sentence was death—he was now unfathomably powerful, dangerously dispassionate to the point of near soullessness, and mistrusted by the whole of the Consulate Court. Falcir, the assassin of House Ellowuyr, was tasked with Ghyrrshyld’s destruction. While a seemingly necessary action for the stability of Ios, Ghyrrshyld’s death would remake the nation in a most tragic turn of events.

With Ghyrrshyld dead, his most fanatical followers—led by Elara, known as the Death’s Shadow—conspired to execute his most desperate plan: the final destruction of the Iosan gods. It was the hope of Ghyrrshyld and those who followed him that the death of the gods would set the elven people free of their soulless malaise and let them claim forever their own fates. Elara was amongst the first of the new eldritch who rose in the wake of Ghyrrshyld’s experiments, and she fearlessly foresaw the promise of his theories.

Turning on the Fane of Scyrah, Elara led her forces to cut down the defending Fane Knights and strode directly into the presence of the gods. With Nyssor’s blade in hand, she struck down both Scyrah and the Lord of Winter.

The death of the two gods unleashed a psychic storm across the whole of Ios, creating a spiritual upheaval that warped the very fabric of Caen. For the Iosans, it was a cataclysm; for the vast majority of them, the separation from their gods was too much to bear, and they died en masse in the depths of their pain and sorrow.

Others, born with the capacity to persist despite any tribulation, were unwilling to give up or surrender. These were transformed into eldritch. The final passing of the elven gods and its immediate effects would become known as the Sundering, for it marked the loss of the gods, the separation between the living and the undead, and the divorce between those Iosans who dwelled within the forests of Ios and those beyond its borders. Those eldritch who survived the transformation also had to endure watching their friends and loved ones die the Sundering. They also witnessed their own flesh wither and desiccate. In the end, only the soulless were spared.

These new eldritch were left to fashion a society from the remnants of Ios that remained. They were joined by the ancient eldritch who had fought against both the Skorne and the infernals and those who were born to undeath fighting alongside Ghyrrshyld during the Claiming. The soulless provided both dark sustenance for their appetites and grist for their factories and standing armies. And so, from the ashes of the fallen civilization rose new houses of Eldritch Lords, who now reign over their Kingdom of Eternal Dusk.

Despite their “vampiric” existence, for the most part, the eldritch are not fundamentally evil. They are a tragic lot, shaped by the scars of remorse, regret, and ancient sorrow. And they are pragmatic survivors. House Kallyss has risen as one of the strongest of the new Iosan Court. The enlightened eldritch who lead the house have dedicated their existences to the defense of the Iron Kingdoms as they seek to redeem their doomed people, even while accepting their unliving fate. House Kallyss has taken in the most forward thinking of the ancient eldritch to their ranks while at the same time retaining contact with elements of the living Iosans beyond the nation’s borders. They are served, in turn, by both the soulless who have joined their banner and the living Seekers who support utterly their visions and dictates.

Determined to prove its worthiness, House Kallyss has positioned itself as a ready ally to any nation of western Immoren that would give them fair consideration. But the human nations are not so quick to accept a kingdom of undead, life-leaching elves whose predecessors sought human extermination; this has forced the eldritch house into undesired conflicts with their Immorese neighbors.

As Immoren is once again imperiled by an outside aggressor, House Kallyss will learn whether or not their eternal souls can survive the tarnished legacy of their origin.

House Kallyss is the first army for the all-new Dusk faction, which will join WARMACHINE: MKIV in 2023.

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