“He's a beacon of hope in this world. His heart shines enough to keep even the darkest beings away...and enough for me to want him as close to me as possible.”
“All of us. Alhassan, Mannazian, Manorian. Men and women. Kings, priests, inquisitors, knights, mages, peasants. All of us follow in his footsteps. And nothing, nothing the Empire has achieved could have been done without his sacrifice. Amen. Numquam cademus.”
Ahmalhrich Stormsword, otherwise known as the Slave King, Lord of the Barbarians and the Stormfather, was a legendary human who both served within the original order of the Dawn Wardens and contributed greatly to the liberation and freedom of mankind from ancient elven enslavers, thus indirectly the foundation of the Empire of Man. Ahmalhrich is widely regarded to have been one of, if not the, most potent mortal swordsmen to have ever tread Koldenwelt, and is said to have been capable of challenging even immortal foes in combat with pure physical and tactical prowess, as he was noted for an absence of magic.
While much of the information that details Ahmalhrich's life have either been lost to history or kept secret from public knowledge, what is known is that Ahmalhrich was born in the Mana Glades, the home of the Vila Elves, as a slave. With unknown parents, Ahmalhrich was adopted by the human community that served the Vila and even from an early age possessed an almost-overwhelming lust for adventure, although his curiosity was often restrained by his Vila masters who refused him exit from the Glades lest he be hunted down and terminated on the premises of treachery and escape. Ahmalhrich, wishing for a life outside of menial labour and tasks, was allowed to join the militarized slave legions that served their elven masters on the field of combat, and it was here that he showed his admirable determination and strength - as a result, Ahmalhrich was granted a zweihander-like weapon, smithed by the elves themselves, who thought it ironic and amusing that such a young, adventurous soul finds himself restrained by the weight of his very weapon.
However, Ahmalhrich nonetheless came to terms with the cards that he had been dealt, and adapted fittingly to his zweihander. Surviving the wrath of, and even slaying, dragons of varying kinds and opposing the collective enemies of mankind and their elven subjugators, Ahmalhrich, who had convinced his Vila overlords and ladies of his loyalty, adopted human insurrectionists into the legion that he soon gained penultimate influence over rather than having them executed, forming the largest human slave-regiment of recorded history before he had reached 30. For several years, Ahmalhrich continued to "defend" the the Mana Glades and affiliated territories, before eventually taking his legion and turning on the Vila, wielding the might of mankind to liberate themselves and sever their connections to the Vila in a single night. Incapable of subjugating the following rebellion, Ahmalhrich had gained control over the Mana Glades, the home of his greatest enemy... And left, taking the former human slaves and soldiers of the Vila to reside elsewhere, displaying mercy to his former enslavers.
At some point in his mid-life, Ahmalhrich encountered a bane to his people; the dark witch Clotholaire, whom sought to either destroy or terrorize the men and women who were protected by Ahmalhrich's blade. While lives were lost, Ahmalhrich ensured that the casualties would be minimal, and refused to severely harm the dark witch as she was human and it was clear to the human rebel that she was not acting of her own initiative. Instead of seeking to slay the witch, Ahmalhrich, alone and single-handedly, infiltrated her headquarters and challenged her, finding himself obsessed with her do to both her pitiful nature as a mind-controlled servant and her appealing aesthetic which excited Ahmalhrich - he sought to liberate her as he had done his own people.
Soon, after countless nights without being seen or heard from by his people, he returned to the lands of the free-men with Witch Clotholaire in tow, freed of her control to the dark god Zran Kar, with the two of them having fallen in love with one another; their bond had overpowered and conquered the influence that Zran Kar had over Clotholaire. Some records and documents, written by Imperial humans, depict Ahmalhrich as having threatened and talked down Zran Kar himself after having freed Clotholaire from her enslavement, although it is unknown whethere there is truth within these depictions of his character.
Sometime after, due to the combination of immense magical ability and his own physical capability and skill, Ahmalhrich and Clotholaire were invited and recruited into the Dawn Wardens by the ancient Sand Drake Vixaatus, and Ahmalhrich appointed one of his childhood companions to fulfill the role of governor over his people while he was away and to document the events that both preceded the time of his recruitment and would come after his recruitment. Ahmalhrich, alongisde his companions within the Dawn Wardens, fought the denizens of the Void and the servants of the ultimate entity, and was said to have practiced his technique with the blade with the Phoenix Kinmorunddraver.
Enjoying a marriage with the Witch Clotholaire, companionship within the Dawn Wardens, and the respect of his freed people, who he had led to free various other peoples from the elven enslavers, Ahmalhrich died at the age of 82 when the headquarters of the Dawn Wardens was stormed and destroyed by Void Denizens, and was supposedly the last of the ancient Dawn Wardens to be confirmed to have died - devastated by his wife's sacrifice to destroy various Void Denizens, Ahmalhrich unleashed the full extent of his rage to fight one last battle. He was said to have died upright and standing, with various enemies laying dead at his feet, after having kept up the fight for almost a full day, eventually succumbing to his wounds.
Ahmalhrich is often depicted as being tall and athletically muscular, and often pictured as possessing fiery red hair stylized into many tails of hair or dreadlocks, including a neatly-kept beard. He possessed rough facial features, common of the people of Mannazia whom he is thought to be an ancestor of, and wore various scares across his face from fights and battles in his earlier days, although as he reached maturity it was noted that he received less damage from conflicts - after his body had been retrieved, it had gone down in historical records that there were little to no scars upon Ahmalhrich's back as he had never allowed himself to turn away from his opponent, always looking them directly in the face when he had fought them and never having surrendered or retreated.
Ahmalhrich wore elf-constructed armour stylized and fitted for human usage, although as time went on he required an exchange in combat attire in order to fit his frame; his armour was remodelled and hybridized by human crafters in order to accomodate for his body. There has been some dispute as to whether or not the armour and zweihander sword, which had become iconic in the image of Ahmalhrich, that the human leader used was enchanted with elven magics, although examinations of the remnants of his combat attire and weapon display little to no trace of enchantment or any other affects that would otherwise be affiliated with magic. His armour was noted to reveal much of his muscular frame, such as his arms and legs, possibly as a means to intimidate his enemies and provide morale for his followers.
Ahmalhrich was an adventurous and highly-optimistic individual, overcome with a youthful sense of curiosity and energy even in his elder days, and enjoyed the thrill of fighting although he was never the one to attack first during hostile encounters, almost never assaulting his enemies pre-emptively as he considered it cowardly and outright boring. As such, he was widely considered an honourable man, even if such antics caused him injury in the process, although he would never allow himself to let his friends, followers, and companions to come to harm if he could have helped it. Ahmalhrich was not recorded to have worshipped, revered, or even acknowledged any gods or deities of any pantheon - it was a core of his belief that anything and everything could be defeated, even himself - and instead provided inspiration via encouraging his allies to believe in the power of themselves and their own companions rather than their gods or any singular entity.
Ahmalhrich was widely renowned for various other psychological aspects; his charitable and good-natured mentality and his insatiable libido were the two most well-remembered. Before having settled with his wife, Witch Clotholaire, Ahmalhrich was known to get intimate with tens of hundreds of women, spawning countless bloodlines that continue to persist to this very day, and even after allowing himself into marriage he and his life-partner were thought to engage in sexual activities almost each night as if it was daily routine. Ahmalhrich also possessed a notable sense of humour and was somewhat dim-witted - he would always prefer to solve problems with more base-aligned methods than resort to continuous periods of planning, preferring to get things done quickly with an air of impatience.
Ahmalhrich Stormsword possessed an absolute zero amount of magical capability, having never been taught to harness the magic powers used by his elven masters, and even after his liberation he refused to practice magic as he saw it as something beyond his own realm of understanding, preferring instead to fight with what he could understand; his hands and his weapon. Ahmalhrich, by the end of his life, had achieved the peak of mortal human strength and skill, displaying an almost unchallenged proficiency with martial combat, especially with his zweihander - the same zweihander that was granted unto him during his youth when he joined the human slave-legions.
Ahmalhrich, with no magical power to empower himself or his equipment, found himself driven entirely by a combination of determination, sheer willpower, and an inability to accept the impossible. Even after sustaining injuries, he would continue to go on and fight his foes, yet he found himself restricted by a simple aspect that he could not escape and had fully come to accept - his mortality. As a result of his acceptance of mortality, Ahmalhrich fought with a skill unmatched by any human swordsman in the current day, and his skill with a blade would allow him to even defeat, or at least oppose, even the strongest of mortals and immortals that reside within the modern day if he had lived to such a time.
- Witch Clotholaire - “I wouldn't trade you for anything else, for you are lodged within my heart.”
- Vixaatus - “Toughest, and yet friendliest, dragon I've had the honour of fighting.”
- Interivastius - “Reminds me of myself; large, strong, gets tougher with age. He isn't as handsome as I am, though.”
- Kinmorunddraver - “To spar with you is exciting, and quite insightful.”
- Zantastele the Mad - “Puppetry. Well, as I say, to each their own.”
- Alhazred - “You may have reach, but I have flexibility, brother.”
- Maras - “It is good to hear you laugh. But I want to see you laugh now, brother.”
- Caligaduro Provectus - “Ha! What leader must he be if he refuses to show his face and fight?”
- Vargash - “You had better stay beneath the waters should you wish to stay alive.”
- Kaicaiusarin - “You think I fear the darkness beyond my door? Allow me to tell you; I am the one who knocks.”
- Zran Kar - “You knew everything. Everything. Aside from your limits.”
- Praenuntius - “Every time you rise up, I'll fight you. So you had better keep rising.”
“Naturally superior beings rightfully attaining their places in the world? Us Ordnung, the Golden Elves, the Giants, the Phoenixes... all understandable. But when one rises from the depths - fram grēote - into the highest stations with their will and power alone - that, that is commendable tenfold! Twentyfold! Hwæt, fīras! Gehīeraþ stǣr Ahmalhriches þæs Þrælcyninges!”
“A lovable man and an exceptional warrior. Even today, I remember the jokes he used to crack. One of the few humans I genuinely miss.”
- - Vixaatus
“It seems like history is repeating itself. Almost like a deja-vu.”
- - Alhazred
“Hubris played to the evanescence of mortalkind. To His face; your soul burned bright.”
“Everything we do, we do in his name. Rest in peace, Ahmalhrich the Great; your cause is not forgotten.”
- - Grand Monarch Pyrene II, quoting the words from the Imperial anthem
“Do I know anything about Ahmalhrich? Of course I do! The magisters in the academy made us recite every bit of his biography word by word...”
“Love, such a strong power... it creates and destroys as it so desires. The story of Ahmalhrich and Clotholaire is truly an inspiring one.”
“I'm gonna make you watch Clotholaire die a slow, painful death, before I kill you! Also, I don't care how many dragons you've slain, YOU CAN'T EVEN USE MAGIC, NOOB! I'M GONNA KIL- Oh wait. You died already. BOOOOOORIIIIIIING.”
“I remember the tales my father used to tell of him. Of the king of men mocked by the elves but fought for our kind's dignity and liberty. His prowess against dragonkind and demonkind is a thing of wonder that makes me regret that I may may never see him as he was in life. Ahh but why such dreams of impossible fantasy when the present is what matters.”
“I... regret everything I have ever done towards your kind. It took me my soul to understand that your people deserve freedom.”
- Ahmalhrich is intended to provide various parallels to the character Hachi, who can be considered to be the modern equivalent to this character.