Thread: Beastmasters – The Scourge of the Wild

Beastmasters – The Scourge of the Wild

  1. #1

    Beastmasters – The Scourge of the Wild

    (click image to enlarge)

    A bloody harvest
    "This world is wracked with cataclysms. The earth strains to shrug off the pestilence of Kain's parasitic empire”.

    Nosgoth is being torn apart. Humans are locked in a savage battle, but if they lose then they will sacrifice only their freedom and not their very existence. The world around them however may not survive at all.

    While most Humans are concerned only with the daily struggle to stay alive and free from the tyranny of their Vampire enemies, there are others who are aware of a more subtle but no less dangerous threat. Far-roaming Watchers bring back tales of mountain passes and distant settlements lost to earthquakes or landslides, of watercourses poisoned or dried up, while in Dark Eden itself the forests are dying or - even worse - living in twisted new ways. Prophets emerge from toxic dreams that show a dark past and darker future, where plants and animals alike are twisted into unnatural growths of perversion. Yet neither of these groups has an answer as to why these things are happening, or how to stop them coming to pass.

    Scattered across the wild places of Nosgoth are a group of like-minded and bloody-handed mystics. All have a shared brutal philosophy and similar set of powers, even if they do not follow a single tradition. Some call themselves Druids or Masters of the Hunt and look to the fabled lord of all life, Bane himself, as the forefather of their kind to justify their own domination of the natural world. Others claim to be Elementalists or Channellers harnessing the devastating elemental forces of nature, guiding the usually uncaring destructive power with Human malice. The most infamous call themselves Beastmasters or Skinwalkers, forging cruel bonds with the wild creatures of Nosgoth, usurping their senses or stealing their forms. Even though most people simply call them by the name of their best-known members, and while as a group they usually disdain official titles, they have collectively become known as the Scourge of the Wild.

    While the Scourge see the damage done to the natural world just as clearly as anyone, they also see the true cause. Kain and his brood are a blight on reality. Their existence is a corrosive influence on all natural life, and Nosgoth is tearing itself apart in convulsions against their continued presence. Every shifting of the earth or corruption of fauna and flora, every flood or drought, is the life-force of creation rebelling against the unnatural presence of the undying Vampires. The Scourge see themselves as vengeful instruments of the natural order. They are sworn to remove this blight, redress the balance, and force nature’s return to heal the world from its physical and psychic wounds, no matter the cost. The Scourge are ruthless fighters who see their lives – and those of any individual living thing – as secondary to the need for Nosgoth to be restored. The fauna and flora of Nosgoth are their tools and weapons. If a forest must be burnt to the ground to destroy a Vampire settlement, so be it: the healthiest new growth comes from the ashes of the old. Sacrifices will need to be made, and even the strongest may be asked to fall on the field of battle before the end.

    That is not to say that each member of the Scourge is not expected to strive their utmost before their own inevitable return to the earth. This means self-purification and testing themselves against the harshest of environments, and training both in martial skills and in ways of thinking that keep them focused in the heat of battle. Vassals are armed with powerful short-ranged weaponry for close-quarters combat, and have developed other crude explosive devices of their own. They supplement these physical capabilities with the ability to call on primal energy from the sky and the land, blasting their enemies with fire and lightning or bolstering their allies with the strength of the natural earth. Their most distinctive trait however comes their ability to forge unique and terrible bonds with wild beasts, and so reshape their own bodies into new forms. While various savage animals roam the wilds of Nosgoth, from wolves to great cats, the only shapes the Scourge have been able to take on are those of various airborne birds of prey, sharp of eye and sharper of claw. Most common of these are the raptors called Treshawks – bat-winged, three-eyed and horned – which have come to dominate the skies of the north in recent years. Usually wild, these fierce predators can be captured and used by those Humans who have truly dedicated themselves to the ultimate struggle for the future. For the chosen ones, this bond extends to a temporary merging of the two beings, powerful sorcery allowing the Human to swap their body for that of the raptor but still retain their own intelligence and magical abilities. This supernatural transformation is fuelled by the life force of the raptors and few survive the demands of a pitched battle, but fortunately they breed prolifically. The transformation itself is even more short-lived and tenuous, but gives the Shaman unprecedented manoeuvrability on the battlefield as well as ways to track the movements of their enemies in a way that even the most experienced Scout would envy.

    (click image to enlarge)

    While serving as messengers and spies for the growing Human resistance, the Scourge have also worked to spread their beliefs and now count converts from across all the survivors amongst their numbers. Watched by an ominous gathering of squabbling semi-feral raptors leashed to the trees around each testing-ground, each would-be Scourge faces trial by fire and water. Here they find their true spirit in exposure to a fraction of the pain that nature suffered as the sun was lost. If the person flinches, they are judged too weak to make the change into their animal form and they are fed to the waiting raptors in a reversal of the usual sacrifice. Those who can stand the pain of the earth are taken to the ritual fields where new recruits feed the crops with their own blood: symbolic of both the sacrifice they are prepared to make to nature and a defiance of the Vampires who would take this life-giving fluid for their own corrupt purposes.

    The Scourge are implacable in their desire to rid the world of the Vampire plague, and will spend the lives of any number of beasts and Humans in pursuit of this greater good. Theirs will be a bloody harvest, although perhaps not as they anticipate…

    The seeds of destruction
    "If it could be said that a land descended into madness, ‘twould be an accurate account of Dark Eden. A garden of horrors, seeded with sick perversion of nature’s design.”

    Everything the Scourge think about themselves is a fiction. Just as Bane and the other Pillar Guardians of legend were not heroes of humanity but ended up corrupted and insane, so the Scourge are in fact not saviours of Nosgoth. The origin of their powers is not part of a grand tradition of nature-worship, but the twisted influence of the progenitors of Dark Eden. A mad triad of Pillar Guardians – Anarcrothe the Alchemist, Bane the Druid, and DeJoule the Energist – together crafted this travesty of nature, a cursed region where the rivers ran with lava and the wildlife mutated into monstrous forms. Kain himself stalked this aberrant landscape in his quest to defeat the Pillar Guardians, and while the most obvious excesses of their mad experiments were purged as the Pillars of Nosgoth fell, there remained a hidden danger. Buried in the very soil was the lingering essence of corruption, dormant but still latent.

    When Humans returned to Dark Eden they did so with trepidation, and rightly so. While the hulking green-blooded mutant beasts and unnatural strangling plant growth were gone, and the people thought that they could perhaps be safe here, the true danger remained, invisible and insidious. Tribes of settlers and outcasts came northwards and braved the mountains. Some settled here, forging a new life for themselves in the mountainous borderlands; others pressed deeper, unknowingly following in Kain’s footsteps. Some the latent corruption affected only subtly, making them more ruthless and callous – easily explained away as simply a survival mechanism in this harsh landscape. Upon others it had a more profound effect. From the heart of this realm were born a new kind of Human, one touched by the triad’s legacy of alteration. This has made them uniquely capable of channelling its warped energies, and of binding themselves to the new more subtle breeds of mutant wildlife that now thrive here.

    The Scourge have rationalised their new-found capabilities in various ways, from reclaiming lost links to primal forces to being blessed by Bane or DeJoule who they now revere as deities. Their self-discipline has crafted a particularly focused belief system from their disparate mysticisms, even if the true source of their apocalyptic visions is not the voice of a suffering world as they may believe, but the corruption rooted in their own bodies and psyches. The Scourge are ultimately no more natural than the Vampires they seek to eradicate. They enslave and abuse the wildlife of Nosgoth, and sacrifice their own kind without thinking. Every time they shed their blood in the ritual harvest fields, they are seeding new growth of their own infection, and their new recruits share and spread their curse. Ultimately the embryonic evil they are unwittingly nurturing will burst into its full and horrible growth. Where there once was a member of the Scourge there will be something awful in the shape of a man, and then the true dark harvest will begin.

    We would love to see what you think of the Scourge of the Wild, and their impact on the world of Nosgoth. Let us know with a response below.

    Make sure to check back on later this week when we delve into the Beastmaster's in-game abilities! As a special reward for those of you who took the time to read through this post...well, you'll be amongst the first to know that we're targeting next week for the Beastmaster's release!
    Last edited by Oghamsmith; 2nd Feb 2016 at 18:01.
    Square Enix Europe Community Manager
    Square Enix Europe Community : Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Twitch

  2. #2
    The main takeaways I have of this lore article:
    -It's always great to get more lore for the game, great read. On a bit of a side note, wasn't there supposed to be a lore article for the Silenced Cathedral as well, or did I just miss that?
    -The Beastmasters can only change into Treshawks. It would be nice if the article had something along the lines of "they can only change into Treshawks so far," leaving it open for new shapechanging abilities.
    -Will there be alternate skins for the Treshawks, just as there were alternate shields for the Vanguard?
    -There will probably be alternate abilities dealing with explosives, fire blasts, lightning, and ally buffs. All of these sound promising. This guy sounds like he may end up being my new main.
    -These guys sound pretty "dark and brutal." Being eaten by mutant bat birds sounds like an unpleasant end.
    -References to Bane, DeJoule, Anarcrothe (if we're going with this spelling, then the in game 'Anacrothe' should be changed), and Dark Eden, plus direct quotes from the previous games. It's always great to tie Nosgoth into the main series; keep the references coming.
    -Release window of sometime next week, awesome! Leagues will probably become a bit dull for a while though (since so many people will be playing the Beastmaster.
    Last edited by Gugulug5000; 2nd Feb 2016 at 19:54.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    I'm so excited right now.

    *Right out the gate, you give the ok to call them Skinwalkers if we want to (which was what I wanted to call them)

    *You told us of their beliefs as to why they are the way the are; but then revealed their true origins as something cruel and twisted. It made me feel as I read it, like I did when Raziel came to truely understand the truth about the ancient Sarafan, BRAVO.

    *I was expecting a crow or hawk to be the bird in question; but I'm fascinated to see this raptor in action.
    -I'm also curious as to whether there will be different variations of the raptor for add customization, as it was with the Vanguard's Shield.

    *Did I read correctly, is there elemental discharge at our disposal through an ability? If so, HELL YEAH!


    Last edited by GenFeelGood; 2nd Feb 2016 at 21:25.

  4. #4
    How about if that lightning in the picture charges up the shotgun a bit like how you can charge up the scout's bows. Maybe it gives a few lightning (or other element depending on the weapon) shots when you do so. And it could conduct along surfaces a bit when it hits.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Germany, Hessen
    sooo .... does RMB make a bird of prey out of the BM?
    signature imagesignature imagesignature image
    GTX 970 - i7-3770 - 16 GB RAM - 1920x1080, 120 Hz - Windows 7 Prof.

  6. #6
    Awesome poster! Can't wait to try out the new Human.

    I could be wrong but I will hazard a guess that the Bird Ability will behave something like the Deceivers Dominate Mind ability where the BeastMaster is locked in place and a Wraithlike Bird flies around for x amount of time unless the BeastMaster takes damage interrupting his Bird "Out of body" attack.
    Last edited by SonixSquad; 3rd Feb 2016 at 00:31.
    signature image
    aka: Hellsonix / LeMMy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    So if there's a sixth human class, there'll need to be a sixth Vampire class for balance.... RAHABIM CONFIRMED!!!
    Also this class looks fantastic, can't wait to see it in game!
    Last edited by StubyDugong; 20th Feb 2016 at 09:09.

  8. #8
    With all this talk of Dark Eden in both this and earlier blogs, I think it's absolutely going to have to be a map at some point. I want to see it, but the humans still have a lot more maps than humans, so it might have to wait a bit. I just hope that map production can speed up a bit once the Beastmasters and Rahabim are out of the way and that Nosgoth keeps going long enough to fit them all in.

    BTW, the next vampires better had be the Rahabim. I'd be very disappointed if it was skipped over in favor of a second class of another clan or vampire worshiper.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  9. #9
    I noticed there have been some Beastmaster related achievements added to Steam. They mention the following skills:

    Nature's Fury
    Wrath of the Firebird

    I think Nature's Fury might be a chain lightning attack, Firebird is probably something like the Sentinel's dive bomb, Swoop seems to be a knockdown you can perform on a Vampire while in bird form and Leyline is some kind of buff.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Sounds fun. But...Beastmaster?

    Surely a better name would be....CritterHerder

    No honesly, how about something like Animalist or something a bit more obscure like Shepherd or something. I will never get the thongs from 80s Beastmaster out of my mind.
    signature image

  11. #11
    Just imagine dogfights with skinwalker against sentinel while Flight of the Valkyries is playing in the background

  12. #12
    Originally Posted by Vampmaster
    the humans still have a lot more maps than humans
    Indeed. Full support for a Dark Eden map. It's the most interesting locale of the series and has never seen realization beyond BO's top-down Playstation graphics.

    "Ultimately the embryonic evil they are unwittingly nurturing will burst into its full and horrible growth. Where there once was a member of the Scourge there will be something awful in the shape of a man, and then the true dark harvest will begin." - Okay, at this point, there's just too much potential to ignore. LoK needs a proper campaign installment in this era. HEAR ME, SQUEENIX, AND OBEY! :<

    That they can shapeshift suggests some ability to at least emulate Guardian magic (shapeshifting being a States thing - indeed, BO uses the wolf/bat form icon on the Pillar...BO's pillars were kinda lame) to some lesser degree. Cool.

    And the treshawks - who totally look like creatures straight from Final Fantasy X - being common further suggests that Dark Eden's magic is still present in some degree to spawn such bizarre creatures. Awesome.

    I'm loving the brutality of these guys. Initiation trials, sacrifices, fire...Mmm.
    Not into "Skinwalker" or "Beastmaster"...

    Seems like bleeding all over the crops would be a detriment to nature. But hey, symbolism. Feeding potential troops to vicious birds during a war isn't exactly the smartest thing either. :P

    Overall though, loving the look and the lore.
    I just hope the eventual Elite Skin isn't another Prophet fiasco...
    Last edited by Ygdrasel; 4th Feb 2016 at 00:04.

  13. #13
    They should just take inspiration from how Bane looked for the Elite skin. An antler headdress would be good, but perhaps not the full skull, because it would look too much like the prophet. Perhaps attach the antlers to some sort of crown to make it look different. I also suggested a grey wolf pelt, since there appears to be a blue/grey theme to the Elite skin set. I googled 'mountain man' and got some very good matches to what I had in mind. They even have tbe shotgun. I'm on my tablet at the monent, so I'll need to add links later.

    Even though the shapeshifting power comes from Anacrothe, the beastmasters seem culturally closer to Bane. However that shouldn't be an issue because of how distorted their history has become and the magics of all three have effected the land ad the source of their abilities.
    Last edited by Vampmaster; 4th Feb 2016 at 00:08.
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by Vampmaster
    They should just take inspiration from how Bane looked for the Elite skin.
    Absolutely. Bane remains one of the most interesting character designs of the series.

  15. #15
    "If events are matched closely enough to course, they have a way of restructuring themselves to familiar outcomes." ~ Scorpius, Farscape

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Really love the backgroud/lore to the character, was a great read and really has made me excited to try them out when they are released!

    Originally Posted by Sluagh
    No honesly, how about something like Animalist or something a bit more obscure like Shepherd or something. I will never get the thongs from 80s Beastmaster out of my mind.
    I am so glad I'm not the only one that image stuck in their head! As soon as they said the name it was my automatic glad he isnt running around like that...could be off putting!

  17. #17
    Originally Posted by Sluagh
    Surely a better name would be....CritterHerder
    I was going to propose "Varmint Bro."

  18. #18
    Originally Posted by Vampmaster

    Not a fan of the ones with helmets. Recalls Vanguard skins too much, seems to kill their uniqueness a bit.
    But the rest look awesome.
    Last edited by Ygdrasel; 4th Feb 2016 at 21:49.