Dev Diary #4 – Archons

 

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Tunon the Adjudicator, Archon of Justice

In our last dev update, I introduced you to the role of Fatebinder and Tunon the Adjudicator – one of the Archons you’ll encounter in Tyranny. Today I want to talk about the Archons, and introduce you to more of these incredibly powerful characters.

Archons are women and men who possess incredible powers. They are more than just skilled fighters or mages. Each Archon has unique abilities that set them above the rest of humanity. Pox, the third Archon of Ruin under Kyros’ rule, can wither the limbs of her enemies with a glance and spread plague with a touch. Cairn, Archon of Stone, is a giant of a man with skin the hue and strength of granite, able to shatter the earth with a thought.

No one knows how Archons gain their strength. Some Archons were born to power and privilege. Others were beggars in the street before their powers manifested. The only common thread among Archons is that they serve Kyros. Or they die.

Few Archons have appeared in the latter decades of the Overlord’s rule. If one believes the legends of the time before Kyros, new Archons arose every few decades. These new Archons, called exarchs, would challenge the current Archon of their powers for dominance. The most famous of these legends tells of a young exarch challenging the Sun Queen, Archon of Fire. Their battle lasted for days and created the Scar, a miles-wide swath of destruction that persists to this day, centuries later.

Dozens of Archons currently bow to Kyros’ will. Below is more information on some you will meet while playing Tyranny.

Archon of War

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Graven Ashe, Archon of War

Graven Ashe is the Archon of War and general of the Disfavored, one of Kyros’ elite armies. Before serving Kyros, Graven Ashe fought against the Overlord in defense of his homeland. It was during this desperate defense that Ashe’s powers as an exarch began to manifest. His soldiers would rise from the battlefield, healed of all but the most lethal wounds.

These abilities allowed his army to resist the Overlord’s invasion for longer than any other since the early days of Kyros’ conquest. They also brought him to the attention of Blood Ruin, then Archon of War and leader of Kyros’ invading soldiers.

The final battle between Graven Ashe and Blood Ruin was the greatest of the Age. Though Ashe ultimately emerged triumphant – claiming the mantle of Archon of War – he and his army were weakened by the battle and Ashe was captured by other Archons loyal to Kyros.

Graven Ashe was dragged before Kyros. No one knows what the Overlord said, or did, to the rebellious general. But from that day forward, Graven Ashe served Kyros loyally as the new Archon of War.

Archon of Secrets

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The Voices of Nerat, Archon of Secrets

Few in the Empire speak of the Voices of Nerat for only the foolish wish to draw the eye of Kyros’ Spymaster and torturer. Over hundreds of years of service to the Overlord, his blood-soaked hands have crushed rebellions and condemned countless traitors.

Many questions surround the most enigmatic of Archons. Only Kyros and the eldest Archons remember the Voices’ origin, and they do not speak of it. Is Nerat the name of a person? A place? Or something else entirely? What powers does he possess, and what face lies behind his ornate bronze mask? The answers to these questions may grant power over the Archon. Or they may be merely a series of false trails, mysteries engendered by the Archon to distract his enemies.

Beyond all of the questions, a few facts are known. The Voices serves Kyros with a fanatic’s devotion. Even the slightest hint of treason is enough to draw his wrath. Many believe this is the reason that the Voices despises Graven Ashe with such intensity; he refuses to forgive even though the Overlord accepted Ashe’s surrender.

In recent years the Voices of Nerat has formed his own army under Kyros rule. Forsaking the whispers of his spies and the sanguine gloom of his torture chambers, the Archon of Secrets now marches to war as leader of the Scarlet Chorus. Less an army than a howling mob, the Chorus is like a swarm of bladed locusts that ravages the land – and people – they march over. The only rein on their wildness is their Archon’s brutal nature.

Archon of Shadows

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Bleden Mark, Archon of Shadows

The eyes of Bleden Mark watch from every shadow. He is Kyros’ executioner, tasked with ending the lives of those Kyros deems dangerous. There is no army that marches behind Bleden Mark, no city hails him as ruler, and no great monument that boasts his name. While the other Archons surround themselves with human trappings, Bleden Mark is cloaked solely in shadow.

Though Bleden Mark owes allegiance to Kyros, the Archon of Shadows is often used to carry out Tunon’s judgments. Those whom Tunon finds unworthy, or guilty of breaking the law, will die. It does not matter how many soldiers or mages a guilty woman surrounds herself with – who can protect themselves from their own shadow?

Hopefully you enjoyed this glimpse at some of the most powerful figures in Kyros’ Empire. An Archon can be your greatest ally – or your deadliest enemy.

Next week we’ll be at E3 in Los Angeles. We’ll start talking a lot more about gameplay systems and combat after that!

~Brian Heins, Game Director