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Character Spotlight: Gurantev, the Guardian

Wild Assent - Gurantev

Gurantev stood at the edge of a cliff, watching the pilgrims trek single file through the dense foliage below. His people made this journey every year, but no road or path led to their destination. The Wilds would not be tamed, not even by the Ashcarii. Kifna, Gurantev’s sibling and fellow Guardian, walked behind him and placed her hand on his shoulder, gently messaging his fur as she joined him in watching the pilgrims.

“Pael’s light shines on you, brother.”

Gurantev gestured toward the Ashcarii below, “Better that it shine on them. I’d gladly walk in darkness to see our people safely to the Vein once more.”

Kifna opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by the sound of three short blows on a horn from one of their scouts to the South. The serenity on Kifna’s face was replaced with confusion. She had never heard three short blows before. “What does three mean, Gurantev? Dragon?”

Gurantev looked frantically at the wilderness below, finally seeing a disturbance in the trees less than 100 meters from the pilgrims. He snarled and then looked at his sister with concern. “Seekers!”

Gurantev leapt to the ground below, landing deftly on the opposite side of the other Ashcarii, Kifna following immediately after.

“Run! Do not stop until the next ridge,” Gurantev roared, patting pilgrims on the back as they fled past him.

Wild Assent - Gurantev
Wild Assent - Gurantev

After the last Ashcarii had gone, Gurantev turned to his sister. “Our scouts will collapse on our position, but if the Seekers reach the pilgrims before that, it will not matter.”

Kifna’s eyes bulged and she pointed behind her brother, “Crossbows!” Gurantev spun around on his right foot and slammed his left on the ground, raising his shield and preparing for the inevitable impact. In the same moment, Kifna leapt behind her brother, putting her back to his, her two-handed sword raised with the hilt pressed firmly against her chest.

Three bolts struck Gurantev’s massive shield, two unable to penetrate the golemstone inlay. The third’s broad-head was made of a stronger metal than the other two, it pierced Gurantev’s shield and impaled his forearm. Gurantev growled in pain as the first wave of Seekers charged at the two Guardians.

Kifna leapt over her brother, bringing her sword down on the closest Seeker, a young man with a short beard and a wildswood spear. Kifna’s sword cut the man’s weapon clean in half, along with both of his arms. He fell to the ground screaming as Kifna deftly swung her sword horizontally at another Seeker, shattering his shield and slicing his torso.

Gurantev dropped his axe and snapped the bolt on the front of his shield before pulling the rest of it through his arm, the pain dropping him to one knee. More and more Seekers were appearing from behind the massive trees opposite of the cliff, their numbers increasing with every moment.

Wild Assent - Gurantev
Ashcarii Battle Axe
Guardian’s Heavy Shield
Pael’s Armor

One Seeker, with an ornate-looking sword, made it past Kifna, intending to strike down the wounded Gurantev. Gurantev swung his shield upward across the man’s chin, knocking him off his feet. The Guardian then retrieved his axe and chopped it down on the Seeker’s neck.

Gurantev, placed the closed fist of his shield arm across his chest and pointed his axe at Kifna, who was engaged with another Seeker with a spear. She thrust her sword in the man’s stomach, leaving her open to a charging Lavot with a mace. Before she could pull her sword and raise it in her defense, the Lavot brought his mace down toward her skull, slamming it against a blueish-white aura that now surrounded Kifna, thanks to her brother and their god.

Gurantev joined his sister and the two fought side-by-side, but the battle was unwinnable. Seeker reinforcements numbered in the dozens and it was only a matter of time before they were overwhelmed.

“Kifna, you must rejoin the pilgrims. Escort them to the Vein. There, they will be safe.”

“We will die together!” Kifna punctuated the last word by driving her sword down on a helpless Seeker sprawled on the ground.

Wild Assent - Gurantev

Gurantev stepped in front of his sister and raised his shield against more crossbow bolts, one piercing just above his hand. “If the Seekers catch our people, we will die for nothing!”

Kifna surveyed their small battlefield. The cliff provided cover for their flank, but enough Seekers had charged through the brush that it was no longer impeding their advance. Her brother was right. He was always right.

Gurantev looked at his sorrowful sister and smiled warmly. “Pael’s light shines on you, sister.” A tear rolled down Kifna’s face, dampening the fur on her cheek.

“Better that it shine on you.”

And with that, Kifna was gone, sprinting after the pilgrims with a speed the Seekers could not hope to match. Gurantev turned to his enemies and let out a mighty roar, before charging at them, his axe and shield raised and ready for glory.

Lore: Taming the Wilds

Wild Assent - Horned Golem

Mythical birthplace of the gods, the Wilds span half a continent, stretching beyond the edge of the low plains of Andopola to the snowcapped mountains of Paelathron. The Wilds are the ancestral homeland of the Ashcarii and a largely untouched ecosystem of fantastic creatures and horrifying monsters. All of the denizens of the Wilds have value, and it is the Seekers who hunt and capture whatever prey they can find. The Seekers were born out of the need for the Silvestrem to replenish fallen gladiators; an essential service with a demand that has only increased with the passage of time.

Anyone can become a Seeker. It requires only a short orientation and a mandatory magical branding of the Seeker’s crest on the initiate’s shoulder. The current date is branded below the crest, and with it begins a perilous countdown. Each time a Seeker returns to the Silvestrem with something to sell at the markets, a new date is added to their arm. Any Seeker whose most recent date is more than two years old becomes fair game for their fellow Seekers. The Silvestrem is filled with failed Seekers, sold by their former comrades and forced to fight in the arenas for survival.

Hunting in the Wilds is a dangerous task and Seekers often band together in an attempt to ensure their safety. Veteran Seekers will often garner larger shares of the bounty, but their experience on the hunt can mean the difference between capturing a plaguebeast or being eaten by one. Selling even the least valuable of creatures at the Silvestrem’s markets will garner a small fortune for a group of Seekers, but there is little time to enjoy their newfound wealth. Until the list of dates on their arm reaches their wrist, a Seeker is always seeking, just a short couple of years away from becoming prey themselves.

Lore: The Races of Ralavar

Wild Assent - Serrick

There are four core races in the world of Wild Assent: humans, elves, Lavot and the Ashcarii. Each occupies their own unique place relative to the others, but all are connected to the elves.

Thousands of years ago, the elves of Ralavar were the dominate race on the planet. Their empire spanned across the known world, promising to encroach even upon the Wilds before their eventual downfall. A potent plague spread throughout their cities, wiping out entire generations. Elves account for barely 5% of Ralavar’s population now, most still residing in remote enclaves. Terrified of outsiders, their gates remain closed for fear the plague will finally come for them. Many of the elves that survived the near-extinction of their people became obsessed with their own mortality, flocking to Keyet, god of waterways, travelers and death.

The fall of the elves paved the way for the rise of the Lavot. Denizens of the continent of Volcana Eurosa, the Lavot retook their homeland from the elves and then promptly went to war with each other for control of it. There are more than a dozen Lavot kingdoms today, and though their borders have remained static of late, there are constant power struggles within. Military coups and assassinations have become so commonplace, it’s not unusual for the peasants of some of the smaller kingdoms to not have any idea who currently rules them.

Humans also benefitted from the demise of the elves, though their recent history has found a great many of them under the thumb of just one: Vareclea. Owner of the Silvestrem, Vareclea holds weekly gladiatorial events and it’s hard to find a man, woman or child within a 100 miles that isn’t affected by her bloodlust and greed. Those too poor to attend the games either become Seekers or risk being enslaved by them.  Free villages do exist, many right on the border of the Wilds, living off the river that separates the vast and dangerous forests from the rest of the continent.

The Ashcarii have lived in the Wilds since before recorded history. A beast-like people, they are legendarily reclusive and seldom leave their homeland by choice. They are the caretakers of the Wilds, stoic defenders of the land and keepers of its secrets. They are also a valuable prize for Seekers, fetching a higher price than all but Assents and the rarest of creatures at the Silvestrem’s markets. The Ashcarii have a higher instance of Assents than any other race, and their potential capture is often too tempting a prospect for those foolish enough to hunt them.

What Is Wild Assent (And Did We Misspell “Ascent”)?

Wild Assent - Logo

If you wandered onto this website, you probably already have at least an idea what Wild Assent is. Either that or you saw a shiny mini and kept clicking links to find more (don’t worry, we like miniatures too. Have you seen the Phoenix yet? You totally need to see the Phoenix). Anyway, just in case, Wild Assent is a 1-4 player board game featuring highly-detailed miniatures and strategic turn-based combat. The goal is to have two distinct game modes: a classic skirmish mode and a solo/co-op survival mode. We plan to put Wild Assent on Kickstarter in October of 2018 and we’d love to hear what you think.

Like and Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LazySquireGames for all the latest updates and miniature and gameplay reveals.

Oh, and no, we did not misspell “Ascent”. Assent is actually a word; look it up. It means to mutually reach an agreement. In Wild Assent, there are those born with the ability to commune with the fantastic and diverse creatures of the Wilds and reach an accord. These “Assents” are the heroes (and villains!) of Wild Assent and the basis for the title of the board game. But who knows, they might climb some stairs at some point. Maybe find themselves at the bottom of a ladder and just can’t resist going up. Then it can be Wild Ascent. Or Assent Ascent.

– LSG