Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Charr - From Enemy to Ally

Ok, picture this. You spend the entirety of your first game telling your players:

"Watch out for those Shark-People over there! They're total douchebags and they will eat your children and delete your Mario saved games."

and you're all:

"Hey, well, that sounds fine. I'll avoid them. CURSE YOU SHARK PEOPLE!"

And then, when you come to releasing your next game you're all:

"Hello, remember when I said to avoid the Shark-People? Well, forget that. They're your friends now. Go frolic!"

That's what ANet have done with the Charr. It's a pretty brave move. In Guild Wars: Prophecies the charr are the voracious marauders who destroyed your homeland, killed half of the human population of Ascalon and essentially f'ed everything up for you.

That's me, dead.
The charr are a bipedal race of feline-like people. They have large teeth, four large horns and two sets of ears (all the better to hear you with) and are slightly hunched over with a hairy hump on their back (it is interesting to note that the "upright" charr type which you found in Guild Wars 1 - often as casters; monks and elementalists - seems to have disappeared from the race). They tend to stand taller than humans, but slightly shorter than the gigantic Norn. In-game, when you run with your weapon sheathed your charr will fall to all fours and gallop like a lion.

Oooh look at me, I'm a badass.

Following the events of Guild Wars: Prophecies; where the players successfully exposed the charr's gods as nothing more than the evil "titans", and Eye of the North - where Pyre Fierceshot staged a rebellion against the Shaman caste and their new gods The Destroyers the charr have changed dramatically. Having once again been burned by their zealous dedication to false gods, the charr once and for all denounced their religion and have since turned much more to technology to guide their way, casting out the Flame Legion and their Shamans.

Meanwhile, the charr continued to flood into Ascalon until only the capitol city remained. In his desperation, King Adelbern enacted the Foefire - an ancient magic which killed every charr and human in the surrounding area, but brought the human's back as ghosts to protect the city even after death. The charr were unable to retake the city from the ghosts and so turned their attention to the final human settlement in Ascalon - Ebonhawke (founded by Gwen the "Goremonger" and Keiran Thackery). The charr sieged Ebonhawke for many years, but the human's held out.

When the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik awoke and flew over Ascalon, burning the dragonbrand across the land, the charr army quickly became overwhelmed by the twisted creatures it created. In an insane move, Logan Thackery released the charr prisoners from the Ebonhawke prisons in order to fight alongside the charr and humans against the dragonspawn. Having defeated the dragonspawn, the charr and human's agreed to a tentative truce.

The charr are interesting because, unlike a lot of the other races, the have totally rejected their spirituality. They rely on the strength of steel and fire - and from what I can tell, their homeland will reflect this.

A lot has happened since you fought the charr at the Northern wall, but old wounds heal slow. I'd like to say that ANet are going to have to work hard to win over those of us who have played through Prophecies and Eye of the North. Those of us who have killed (and been killed by) countless charr over the years and have learned to fear their roving warbands might have been reluctant to accept them as a viable ally. However, it seems, the fervor for the charr almost eclipses all other races - people are so happy with how they have come out in game that they can't wait to get their hands on them.

I'm hoping that, much like Norn week, Charr week will win me over to them.

They do have super-sweet rocket launchers.


  1. Just wanted to say I've been 'catching up' on your website for a few days now, and have definitely added you to my regular reading circle of blogs. (You're sharing company with Hunter's Insight, Secret Agent Cat, Kill Ten Rats, and Killed in a Smiling Accident, among others.)

    I've really enjoyed your attention to, and appreaciation for, the lore of the games you've discussed, and I think you have a pleasant writing style. Well done all around. Cheers


  2. You know what, I've got a difficult and LOOOOOOONG day ahead of me and this comment has made me feel like it's going to be a breeze.

    Thankyou so much.



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