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GenCon Pre-Orders Available! GenCon Pre-Orders Available!

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GenCon Pre-Orders Available

GenCon Pre-Orders Available
Late in 2018, we announced our successful application to secure a booth in the Entrepreneur's Avenue, which was a massive boon for us. GenCon is now only two weeks away, and we have been feverishly working behind the scenes to make sure everything is good to go. Today's announcement is twofold. First, we reveal the "con specials" that are available, and secondly, we open up for pre-orders which can be picked up in person at our booth #2861.

GenCon Specials

We have set up several exclusive deals for GenCon that will be available all weekend and for any pre-orders that are purchasable via our online store now. Note you must collect pre-orders in person from GenCon.

Sharn - Orc Guardian

The 30th hero to join the Judgement ranks is Sharn, the Orc Guardian. Sharn has been a massive hit with the community, and she will be available for the 1st time at GenCon. There is a limited run of Shan so she will be available until sold out. Sharn can combine with other deals below.

Two Player Starter Boxes

Our starter boxes are reduced from $115 to $99, and this special can combine with other deals below.

Free Monster Model

You will be eligible to receive a free Ashtooth, Vujasha, Inferno or Gloom whenever you purchase either of the two following options:
  1. Starter Box + any three heroes
  2. Any five heroes

Pick up from Booth #2861

The Judgement booth, #2861, is situated in Hall G. Pre-orders will be packaged and ready to collect on the 1st morning of the convention.

You can view all the available GenCon specials here.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

Prologue

Ropes cracked against a tent's canvas as the wind whipped through the encampment, torrential rain limiting visibility to a few yards. Orcs were not known for their big cities or large stone buildings like the elves, dwarfs or humans. The orc host had been on the move for some time, so this temporary camp was home as they searched for a new place to settle. Uprooting an entire tribe was not usual; however, frequent clashes with a rival tribe had begun to take its toll, so the decision was made to move on. The rise of the Summoned had unsettled many of the races however perhaps none more so than the orcs. With the Summoned had come the return of the orc witch doctors, and their master, Kruul, was proving to be a divisive force among his people.  Orcs were naturally a potent race, steeped in shamanistic ways and the power that comes with that, however, the division between witch doctors and shamans was slowly eroding their effectiveness as a people. No one liked living under the constant threat of civil war.
 
The hunched-over figure trudging through the mud went mostly unnoticed, hood pulled low, an old gnarled staff providing surety when the ground proved unstable underfoot. Had the weather been better, the sentries may have perceived the cleft hoofs sometimes visible below the figure's cloak, or the distinct imprint they left in the mud. However today they assumed it was an old orc, if not a little large for one of their race. Xyvera paused for a moment, listening until she heard the grunting sound that usually accompanied childbirth. She made her way towards the tent where the birth was taking place until, about 10 yards from the entrance, a piercing, and painful scream cut through the din of the inclement weather. Xyvera quickened her pace slightly as time was short.
 
A lone orc stood at the front of the tent, a worried expression on his face as he looked back nervously at the flap that marked the tent's entryway. He stood straighter and wiped the water from his eyes as Xyvera approached. Saying nothing, he peeled the flap back, which allowed her passage into the tent. Another mid-wife he assumed, here to assist with the child's birth.
 
Xyvera stepped inside without a word, her stooped posture concealing the fact she was a minotaur and more substantial than most orcs. Two orc mid-wives were attending to the mother, both covered in blood, as was the bed. The moaning indicated the mother still lived. However, she sounded weak. Xyvera walked to the foot of the bed before throwing back her hood and revealing herself. The midwives turned, startled, before instinctively grabbing anything that could resemble a weapon to prepare for, what they assumed, was an attack. Minotaurs were not enemies of orcs; however, the two races had very little to do with each other, and a mutual distrust existed.


 
Xyvera leaned her staff against the foot of the bed and held up her hands in a gesture of peace. To further ease the tension, she spoke in a local orc dialect.
 
"The woman is going to die. If you do not let me help, so will the child."
 
"The child…is an abomination. We assumed ettin-kind however, it only has one head. The size…it is like nothing we have ever seen. We do not know what to do.", the older of the two mid-wives replied.
 
"I have foreseen the coming of this child. Up until this morning, I assumed she would be of my ilk, however apparently not. As I said, let me assist, or you will lose both, and the babe is too important to die." Xyvera reply left no room for rebuke, so the two midwives stepped away from the bed.
 
The mother was into her last reserves of strength, any other race and she would have perished already, however, orcs were known for nothing if not their sheer constitution. Xyvera traced her finger across the orc's forehead, leaving a faint green glowing rune, before reciting an incantation. The rune glowed brighter as a yellow tinge spread across the woman's body. She became reinvigorated, jolting forward and grabbing Xyvera's arm with renewed strength.
 
"Push" Xyvera whispered.
 
The orc woman looked into Xyvera's eyes, her eyes bulging, veins protruding from her neck and temples as if she was about to explode. Her body contorted as she pushed. The sound of bones cracking and flesh tearing cut through the sound of the rain pelting against the tent roof. The midwives moved towards the bed. However, Xyvera waved them away with an irritated hand. The orc woman continued to push until the wail of a newborn babe could be heard. Xyvera pried the woman's hand from her arm and pushed her back into the bed. Her life force left her as the yellow tinge covering her body, and the green rune on her forehead also faded into non-existence.
 
Xyvera gestured to the midwives so they could attend to the baby. They cleaned it quickly, wrapped it in a blanket, before attempting to feed it milk they had on hand for whenever such times as the mother did not make it.
 
"Crone, what did you do to her?",  the older midwife asked.
 
"I saved her life.", Xyvera replied nonchalantly.
 
"Not the babe! The mother, you used dark magic!", the mid-wife hissed through clenched teeth before gesturing to the newborn baby. "The babe, she is bigger than any I have seen, and I have been delivering orc children into this world for over 40 cycles, ettins even. I have seen nothing like her. She is a devil-spawn."
 
"Shut up fool, unless you want to join the mother.", Xyera's visage and menacing tone stunned the mid-wife into silence. "The babe is not devil-spawn, quite the opposite. Her coming was foretold, and she may yet be the saviour of your people. If you care for your kind, take her to Haksa, the great shaman. Do you know of him?"
 
The midwife nodded.
 
"Tell him Xyvera sent you, he will know what to do. Leave now, tonight, and do not show the babe to anyone before you reach Haksa. Do you understand?"
 
"Yes, crone, we do." The midwives began gathering provisions, including a wooden cradle that would serve as a makeshift cart for their journey.
 
Xyvera turned from them and began tracing runic lines on the earth floor. Once complete she began to cast a spell which caused the runes to glow before she disappeared, teleporting back to her domicile.

Chapter 1

"Pick up the shield."

"I am tired papa…"

"Pick up the shield."

"Let her rest Haksa, she has been at it for over 4 hours", Korgulg interjected before returning to sharpening his axe on a spinning grindstone.

Haksa sneered as he turned to the orc warrior, "Stay out of it unless you want to be the next to spar with her," and then his smirk turned into a grin. He looked back at Sharn, "One hour girl, rest and drink, you have your lore studies with Ghorza this afternoon." He watched the hulking frame of the girl as she walked from the training arena to grab a skin of water and almost devour it in one go. Twelve cycles old and as big as Haksa already. Stronger too. She was turning into a warrior without peer, except for Zhonyja perhaps, however without the latter's demonic demeanour. Sharn was extraordinary, and Haksa gave thanks every day since Xyvera had sent her his way. The shaman believed the girl was a gift from the old gods, one who would stem the tide and restore the pride of the orc people. The pride that Kruul and his minions had recklessly eroded over the last few decades. His commune with the old gods had informed him she would also become a Summoned, in time. He wondered whether the new gods were aware that the old gods were recruiting their heroes into the Summoned ranks. Their lust for power so blinded them, as did their fear of destruction, he assumed they either didn't know or did not care as long as the Souls continued to flow.



"She grows stronger by the day, and bigger. The girl is going to tower over Bonestorm soon. Have you thought about breeding her? I have heard she is ready to sire." Korgulg had stopped sharpening his blade and looked at Haksa earnestly.

"You volunteering?" he responded. "I would gut you before you got anywhere near that girl Korgulg. Anyway, it is a moot point, the girl is not an ettin, however like them, she is not able to conceive. Her purpose is far greater than breeding a band of giant orcs."

Korgulg thought pensively before speaking, "She worries me Haksa, most of the tribe feel the same. She is not natural; nothing about her is natural. We accepted ettins long ago, despite them being an abomination. However, she is different. Are you sure she gets her strength from the old gods? That minotaur witch sent her. Sharn could very well be demon spawn."

"Watch your tongue Korgulg!" Haksa's patience was wearing thin. "Since when did you stop trusting me? I have communed with the old gods themselves, she is from them, and that should be the end of it."

Korgulg looked to change the subject. "So where from here? She will have learned everything I can teach her before the cycle is out, and the rate she is growing, she will probably kill me before then." A smile formed across his face.

"I am going to send her to my brother Shaman, Doenrakkar, for a time. He will complete her training. Sharn will only be with you for a few more months. You have done well, my friend."

Haksa pulled a small vial from the folds of his cloak. "Come, let us relax and enjoy this new herb mix I have put together."

"A new one? What is it this time?" Korgulg asked.

"You won't be disappointed.", the shaman replied before slapping the orc warrior on the shoulder as the two friends walked away from the village centre.

Chapter 2

Sharn's patience started to wear thin as she waited for the return of her companion. Her trust in the rogue had grown over time. However, you always have to keep a certain level of awareness when dealing with someone of his ilk. They were an incredible team really, him a legendary assassin and one of the first to be summoned, and her, a literal giant among her people whose sheer size had set her apart from her kin at birth. Sharn's ascension to Guardian had been a gruelling test of her physical and mental strength over many cycles, and she strove to become the first orc to join that illustrious order for a generation. Every Guardian had to complete a final quest, the last hurdle which would entitle them to claim the Guardian title. For Sharn, the task was to uncover an ancient, dwarf warhammer that, rumour had it, was somewhere deep within these catacombs.



Her mentor, and father figure, Haksa, provided initial guidance on where to locate the hammer. The shaman's ability to commune with the old gods was well known, and it was through this commune that he discovered the name of the hammer, which greatly aided Sharn's quest. "Stormforged" was what the dwarfs used to call it. A mighty warhammer with the ability to produce a thunderous clap that would hurl foes flying through the air in battle. Despite Haksa's best efforts, he was still not able to accurately locate the hammer's whereabouts. For that, they had to speak with Zaron Bogdan, one of the most feared and famous beings on Athien. Zaron was an enigma. However, he had grown into an unlikely ally of the orcs in these troubled times, attributed mainly to his friendship with Krognar, the orc demigod. Rumour has it that Zaron's first commune with Krognar had enabled him to become the beginning of the Summoned and in doing so greatly enhancing Krognar's powers. For his part, Zaron seemed hellbent on becoming a god himself, and there were whispers he had transcended into un-death already.

Sharn was initially apprehensive about meeting the legendary necromancer. However, he seemed eager to assist her and provide directions to the catacombs she was currently exploring. The only request from Zaron, for his aid, was that Rakkir accompanies her. The relationship between Zaron and the orc rogue was a complex one that had, somehow, stood the test of time. Their friendship had elevated both of them to two of the most powerful heroes in the Summoned ranks. As for Rakkir, he was deadly efficient in combat, and coupled with his powerful shadow orbs, was frighteningly tricky to catch. The two of them combined were a formidable foe, and they had dispatched scores of dwarfs, golems and other adversaries that were hellbent on stopping her recovering Stormforged, in the last few days.

Sharn started to think that the rogue had betrayed her, and was not coming back before he suddenly appeared next to her.

Rakkir broke the silence. "I have located the hammer. It looks unguarded however I certainly doubt that is the case. There is a secret passage that will bring us to the side of and slightly behind a dais, floating above that is your hammer."

"It looks unguarded, you say?" Sharn replied.

"I did not see any guards or sentries, although the room looks like a temple of sorts. We should prepare for anything. Also, you say this is a dwarf warhammer, I have never known a dwarf capable of wielding such a weapon, it is huge. Even the mighty Thrommel would struggle to wield it in both hands."

"It was forged in ancient times, for the dwarf titans. They were bigger than the dwarfs we know today, and they disappeared around the time of the Gathering. No one knows why." Sharn was growing tired of the conversation, so close to her prize. She took a deep breath to calm herself. Impatience would not be an ally at this stage.

"Lead on rogue, let's claim Stormforged for our people."

"Heh, your people are not my people girl, I help you claim it for reasons of my own." Rakkir sneered.

Sharn did not know what to make of his last comment. More than once, she silently questioned what Rakkir, and indeed Zaron, were set to gain from her claiming Stormforged. In the end, she decided it meant little. All that mattered was she would wield Stormforged in defence of her people, and Haksa was in favour of it. She trusted him without question and was sure he would deliver the orcs from the clutches of the witchdoctors and the new gods they worshipped.

They set off together, Sharn following behind Rakkir. He realised stealth was useless with an 8-foot behemoth in heavy armour following his footsteps, so he readied himself, dagger in one hand, shadow orb in the other and set a decent pace. The secret passageway was a little cramped for her size so Sharn privately hoped a fight would not break out in such confines. She needn't have worried, as it soon came to a dead end at what looked like the back of a secret door.

Rakkir crouched low with his ear to the stonework trying to discern if anyone was on the other side. After a few minutes, he pulled gently on the door to open it toward them. The rogue slipped through the opening while pulling his cloak over his head becoming almost invisible to Sharn as the cloak shimmered a deep black. The Cloak of Darkness. It was the stuff of legend and a magical artefact of considerable power. Another reminder of the influence of one they called the Blood Shadow.

After a few moments, Sharn opened the door wider so she could fit through. She was grateful to find herself in a large room with a vaulted ceiling, some kind of temple, which from the adornments, looked like a place of worship to a dwarf god. Rakkir had already positioned himself on the other side of the room from where the secret door opened. The temple was dark, except for a glow that emanated from the altar, a few feet above which hung Stormforged. The hammer looked magnificent, and it drew Sharn in.

She could no longer see Rakkir and was not even sure he was still in the room, so she paused for a moment to peer around the temple. It was too dark to see anything really, the glow from the altar made it difficult for her eyes to adjust completely, so after a few moments, she decided to act. First, she slung the large shield from her back and held it in a defensive position. She then took a deep breath before striding confidently towards the platform, stood ere it for a moment, before reaching out to grab Stormforged.

Stormforged

Sharn was not sure what she expected to happen. However, it was notably unremarkable. Stormforged felt terrific in her hands, much lighter than she imagined yet perfectly balanced, even when held in one hand like she did. However, beyond that, nothing. She turned to head back towards the secret passage, stopping one last time to see whether she could spot Rakkir. Just before giving up, she caught a glint of steel in a far corner. Moving towards it, she eventually could make out the profile of the rogue, in a vestibule to the left of the main chamber. He had pried open a stone with his dagger and was carefully pulling out a small jewelled chest from a secret compartment in the wall. He turned to her briefly before carefully placing the chest in a leather container attached to his belt.

"What are you doing?" she asked more harshly than intended.

"That is not your concern, Guardian," he replied.

The realisation he had just called her "Guardian" caused her to pause for a moment.

"We need to get out of here Rakkir, I am not comfortable in this place," Sharn said.

They walked back into the main temple and quickened their pace towards where the secret passageway was. Neither Rakkir or Shan noticed the absence of glowing light above the altar that appeared earlier. Rakkir stopped at the stone wall and began searching for the secret door. Sharn instinctively turned to stand guard, pavise shield and Stormforged at the ready.

"Something is wrong. The door, it is no longer here." Rakkir stated with a hint of peril in his voice.

Sharn looked over her shoulder to where the rogue was frantically searching for the opening. Sharn knew that a rogue of his skill would not struggle to find a secret door that he knew was already there.

"It must be a defensive mechanism for the hammer. The dwarf custodians are forcing us to go out the main entrance." Sharn offered.

Rakkir turned sharply, drew his dagger and shadow orb, and moved towards the front of the temple, gesturing for Sharn to follow. Without the glowing altar, their eyes were able to adjust better to the darkness. After a short time, they could see the front wall, in the middle of which stood two huge ornate doors, with large brass rings for handles. On either side of the doors stood giant stone statues of dwarfs, one a warrior and the other a priestess. The statues were a full foot taller than Sharn.

Rakkir slowed his pace a touch as they neared the doors. Sharn stopped and once again stood guard as Rakkir got to work on the doors. He expertly searched for traps or magical glyphs that may trigger if they were opened incorrectly. Suddenly, a sixth sense clicked in, and Rakkir tumbled away from the door, just as an enormous stone axe crashed into the cobblestone floor. The sound reverberated around the temple startling Sharn into action. She swung around to see the priest statue about to crush Rakkir's skull with her mace. Instinctively Sharn recited an incantation and motioned Rakkir toward her. He immediately moved toward her quickly as if pushed by a magical hand, evading the strikes of both axe and mace.

Sharn stepped forward between the dwarfs and rogue, setting her shield in place to deflect a crushing blow from the warrior's axe. The statues fought ferociously, causing her to inch back all the while protecting Rakkir as he regained his composure. Sure enough, a moment later he was back on his feet dropping a shadow orb and disappearing from view. It was only then that Sharn noticed a low thrum emanating from Stormforged which was also emitting a soft glow. Sharn instinctively swung it in an upward arc unerringly striking the dwarf warrior in the chest. With a loud crack, lightning clapped in a bright flash before Sharn felt the power surge through her arm. The warrior launched into the air, flung back several yards before crashing into the doors which shuddered under the impact.

Sharn

The surprise barely left Sharn before a cracking sound was followed by the crashing down of a massive column of flame, engulfing her. Sharn reared away from the priest that had produced the flame column, runes glowing on its stone robes. Despite her heavy armour, the pain was intense, and she could still feel herself burning. Suddenly the priest arched its back as the tip of Rakkir's dagger protruded from its chest. The priest whirled around swinging its mace widely, however, its weapon carved through the air since the rogue had already disappeared, only to reappear several yards away. Sharn moved quickly to close in on the priestess, hoping these things could actually be killed. She started to swing Stormforged like before; however, before she could complete her swing, her pavise shield shuddered from the impact of the warrior's axe. The force was so great that Sharn felt a sharp pain shoot up her arm and shoulder. This was starting to look grim, she thought to herself.

"Sharn! Distract them both. Give me time." Rakkir yelled from the shadows. The sound distracted both dwarfs for a moment allowing Sharn to charge into the priest, this time using her shield as a weapon. The impact slammed the priest yards away before crashing into a stone pillar. The collision sent her crashing to the ground and prone on her back. To Sharn's dismay, the damage on the priestess still seemed trivial.

The warrior reared back to Sharn, swinging its mighty axe in a vast arc.

"Hurry up rogue!" Sharn roared.

The Guardian began manoeuvring herself to where Rakkir kneeled holding something in front of him. It was the small chest he discovered earlier. The rogue worked methodically in an attempt to open it. Rakkir knew Zaron would not be pleased that he was opening the chest. However, they were in a nasty predicament here. He would worry about Zaron's wrath later. For now, he was in survival mode. Rakkir was sure he could escape through stealth; however, he did not want to leave the Guardian to inevitable doom.

Sharn was starting to tire, numerous cuts and bruises taking their toll. She was firmly in defence mode now, using all her strength to keep both dwarf statues at bay. She had managed to manoeuvre herself adjacent to Rakkir as she dug deep into her training to keep her pavise shield off the ground. Minutes passed, and still, Rakkir worked feverishly away on the device. A glass globe with a bright, magical glow within it. Sharn was not sure how much longer she could stand, blood seeping through the gaps in her armour as the blows reigned down on her shield. Just as darkness began to overcome her, Sharn heard the sharp crack of magical energy and a sudden explosion of light.

"Sharn! To me!" Rakkir screamed.

Summoning the final reserves of strength, Sharn shoved the dwarf warrior with her shield and blasted the priest once again with Stormforged. She was acting entirely on instinct at this point. Momentarily freed from her adversaries, Sharn turned to Rakkir. He held the magical globe in one hand and had his other outstretched beckoning her. She took a giant stride and reached out a massive paw, grasping his hand. The light travelled from Rakkir's right hand, across his body and through Sharn's outstretched arm until it eventually engulfed them both. Sharn started to lose consciousness. Her last memory a feeling of being pulled towards the globe and then a falling sensation.

Epilogue

Sharn opened her eyes. She was lying prone, and her body ached all over; however, it seemed, from the silence, that she was no longer in battle. She turned to her side and saw the familiar silhouette of Rakkir hunched over, peering across a rocky ledge. He looked to her, with a hint of compassion before asking "You ok Guardian?".

"I have been better", she replied.

She lifted herself off the uneven earth floor and crawled over to where Rakkir was. It wasn't until now that she noticed the intense heat spilling over the rocky ledge they were on. Rakkir motioned for her to look over the natural rock wall before him. Sharn inhaled sharply as she took in the scene before her. Pools of molten rock dotted a sprawling valley floor. Lava geysers spewed 25 yards into the air with poisonous vapours floating low above the ground.

"Rakkir, where are we?" she asked.

"I have travelled all over Athien and Between, but I have never before seen this place," he replied.

"The magical device?" Sharn enquired.

"It was destroyed in the process of transporting us here. We cannot use it to get back. Rest up Guardian, we are going to need your strength to get out of this."

Sharn sat with her back to the rock wall, breathing deeply as she began the road to recovery. She absentmindedly placed her hand on Stormforged. Tingles of energy running through her thick fingers, as she sat there wondering what tomorrow would bring.

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Dor'gokaan Sculpt Reveal

Dor'gokaan Sculpt Reveal

It took a lot of convincing the early playtesters that neutral monsters were an essential element of the game. Over time, the task of convincing players that monsters are more than a gimmick became a lot easier. Now, they usually are singing the praises of monsters to us. Our monster designs have come a long way since Gloom. The shadow hound was the equivalent of the designers dipping their toe in the water, in terms of monster board presence. From Gloom we moved to Ashtooth, then Inferno, the first monster with a ranged attack and then, boldly, we introduced Vujasha into the game.

At that point, we all took a collective breath and gave the game some time to breathe. The last 12 months have seen unprecedented growth in Judgement's player base and the introduction of new heroes and a new 5v5 Scorched Earth map. Dor'gokaan represents a natural progression in the evolution of Judgement monsters. He has the most rules, the highest potential damage output and being a demon, can be summoned by Warlock heroes! 

Something that Jeff and I keep in mind when designing new heroes or monsters is to make sure we maintain the Judgement model range's variety. Of the three official Judgement illustrators, Helge C Balzer is the one who pushes character design into areas we would not usually go. Vujasha is the most obvious; however, his Styx, Loribela and Nephenee illustrations have all introduced unique elements. Safe to say that Helge's Dor'gokaan tops them all. From the outset, Helge had a vision for the demon that none of us would have taken from the design brief. Before too long, Dor'gokaan had a life of his own, and the final product became a fusion of various archetypes and genres.

Dor'gokaan Illustration

Dave Whitaker, the sculptor who recently sculpted Sharn for us, was commissioned to turn Helge's vision of Dor'gokaan into a 3D sculpt and he nailed it. We are itching to produce Dor'gokaan and get him onto the battlefields of Judgement players everywhere, as a neutral monster and a summoned minion of Viktor Clerval.

Dor'gokaan Sculpt 1

Dor'gokaan Sculpt 2

Dor'gokaan Sculpt 3

Dor'gokaan Sculpt 4

Dor'gokaan Pre-Release at Warfaire Weekend

If launching the Judgement North American Championship at Warfaire Weekend was not enough, we are also going to pre-release both Dor'gokaan and Fazeal at the convention. Both models will be available to pick up on the Friday, and they will be legal for all the Judgement events, including the JNAC. 

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Sharn, Orc Guardian: GenCon Pre-release hero

Sharn, Orc Guardian: GenCon Pre-release hero

We are currently experiencing a very special time for Judgement, with the game moving from Kickstarter to retail, growing its player base, and now in the wonderful world of releasing new heroes that can have such a positive and massive affect on the meta. The fact we have seen such huge growth in the game recently has enabled us to do something like a special pre-release model at a major convention, in this case GenCon, and we cannot think of a model more fitting than Sharn. She encapsulates so much of what we strive for with Judgement. A strong female hero, a realistic and dynamic pose, and a sculpt that will appeal to gamers and artists alike.

Illustration

Sharn's illustration was masterfully put together by Shane L Cook, who is a pleasure to work with and continually astounds us with awesome concept art for the majority of heroes in the Judgement universe. 

Sharn, Orc Guardian

Sharn illustration by Shane L Cook

We wanted to capture the fact Sharn is always in the thick of the action, taking hits for her allies and revelling in the most dangerous areas of the battlefield. As with many of our sculpts, we also wanted to capture her in the middle of executing her signature plays, leading with her shield (Shield Slam) and following up with her mighty hammer (Hammer Smash). 

Sculpt

We would like to introduce a brand new sculptor into the Judgement family. Dave Whitaker has come on board and Sharn was his first assignment. Safe to say that Dave did an amazing job. He has been a natural fit into our process and worked with Shane from the outset from concept, to illustration and finally sculpt, and it shows. We are super excited to have Dave on the team and look forward to working with him on a lot of projects in the coming months and years. 

Sharn Sculpt

There is ample evidence Sharn loves bearing the brunt of anything her enemies want to throw at her. Lots of wear and tear on her cloths, and armour, coupled with the odd flesh scar resulting from brutal battles she has partaken in over time. You may notice the one part of Sharn that remains pristine is her hammer, which also looks decidedly dwarf-like! Her hammer is in fact the ancient dwarf artefact "Dream Crusher", a relic she stole earlier in life with the help of her unlikely companion and ally, Rakkir.

Sharn sculpt

Sharn sculpt

Sharn sculpt

One of the main features of Sharn is her parvise shield, and it is a dominant part of her in-game kit, so it was important to make it impressive on the model. Once again Dave killed it. The shield looks amazing.

In-Game Statistics Card

Sharn Statistics Card

The defender class is full of awesome heroes that bring something unique to the battlefield, beyond just protecting their allies and contesting objectives. With Sharn, we wanted to capture the effectiveness of a parvise shield, and what better way to do that than by making her mobile hard cover! She can also use her shield offensively with Shield Slam, which is a devastating combat manoeuvre in the right situation. Get Behind Me is also a very characterful active ability which will see Sharn quickly become a favourite among ranged hero allies. Offensively, Hammer Smash is a powerful model displacement ability that is empowered by "Dream Ender", her stolen dwarf artefact. Perhaps her strongest ability, in the right situation, is Beguile which provides a very strong control aspect to Sharn's kit.

GenCon Pre-release and Retail Launch

Sharn will be available for pre-sale at GenCon 2019, which runs from the 1st-4th August. Sharn will then be available via retail on the 1st of September. Individual GenCon purchases will be limited to 5 at a time. Note that while we are doing a decent 1st run of Sharn, he numbers are limited, however if we sell out we will be doing another run early in 2020.

Our GenCon booth is #2861 and Twitch stream partner, and amazing artist, Shoshie, will be painting Sharn, across Friday and Saturday, in the Judgement booth!

You can catch the full Sharn reveal video below

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The Mark of Edarr

The Mark of Edarr

Zhonyja stepped down the last few stairs and out into the valley. She breathed in the sulphurous steam that greeted her, momentarily losing herself in the memories it evoked. She had been coming here since the first cycles of her life, when she had received the markings of her clan across her shoulders. Those same marks were still there, though they had been expanded and re-made a dozen times. Now, markings covered most of her skin, different ones visible depending on which tint she wore. Some were elaborate, like the massive serpent that wound around her left thigh to her hip. Others were simple, such as the skull on her left arm. It was tinted to show strongest when her skin wore the red of war, and least when she wore the green of home and peace, as she did now. Today though, she was here to wear something different, something new. Kruul had summoned her, and he intended to tint her himself, something that was almost unheard of in the last hundred cycles.

At her feet, the twisting path extended from the base of the stairs, out across the stony ground and into the mists. She could hear the bubbling of the mud pools all around her, the burps and splashes echoing oddly off the valley walls and providing counterpoint to the underlying snore of the gas caves that pocked the valley edges. Just to the side of the stairs was the first of those caves, and she could see the small tower of delicate yellow crystals that marked where the emerging hot gas met the cooler air of the valley. There were dozens of these caves, hundreds perhaps. The valley was full of vents, caves, pools, treacherous ground and boiling mud. It was a sacred place for her clan from before these more civilized times. The floor of the valley was littered with shards of stone, but with bone too. Bones of enemies from more recent times, bones of the witch doctors from after the fall of Edarr, when the orcs had turned on one another. All of the bones were ground to chips and dust, softened by the moisture and shattered by the feet of new generations. It was now a mark of respect to have bones of your ancestors in this place. Kruul and others had reclaimed it as a place of power long ago, and the legacy of the witch doctors was now returned to a level of respect, if not honour.

Zhonyja stepped out onto the path, lost in her reflections. She was sure-footed, as she had walked this path enough times that it was seared into her memory. She could walk it in her sleep. She passed a dozen sights that had fascinated her as a child, small fumaroles and vents that slowly dusted themselves in crystals of every colour. Those crystals formed part of the base for the tints used on orc skin. In some cases, they were also used in the marking dyes, allowing for marks that would show through one tint but not another, such as her skull mark. Today, Zhonyja strode past them without interest. She only paused when she reached the massive mud pool that she had always had to negotiate using a series of stepping stones, solid islands in a sea of bubbling, scalding mud. Someone had built a sturdy walkway across it, wooden planks arranged and moored to give a stable and simple passage. She watched it for a few moments, trying to asses whether it could perhaps be a trap or trick of some kind, but she could see that it was moored on those same islands she had used for crossing on her last visit. With a shrug and a hint of regret, she stepped out onto the boards and made the crossing, admitting to herself that it was considerably easier and would at least mean fewer orcs with burn-scarred legs and feet. Still, it felt like another minor yielding of culture to convenience... another softening. She remembered that the older orcs saw the marking as a test of their vitality. They had always said that if you were too old to cross, you should give yourself to the mud. She knew that Kruul would see it as another failing, though a treacherous part of her felt sure that he too would have used the bridge.


She stepped off the end of the boards and back onto the trodden path. There were cracks to all sides, venting the sulphurous steam and occasionally spitting scalding water. Each crack accumulated a slightly different shade of crystal, and she knew that the shamans all used each shade differently. The blues and dark greens favoured by the witch doctors were only found at the very back of the valley, and others were not allowed to enter unless specifically granted access.

The marking area was not much further in. She only needed to pass one more obstacle, which emerged from the mist in front of her now.  The ravine, or chasm, depending on who you asked, was hundreds of paces wide in some places, but here it narrowed to a mere twenty or thirty. There had always been stories of orcs in history who had jumped the chasm, but she had never believed them. Now she looked at it contemplatively, feeling the strength in her limbs and wondering whether the new power she had gained from her time Between might make it possible.

On the back of that, she wondered if perhaps those orcs of myth had simply been chosen like her. She hadn’t run across them if so. The orcs she had seen on the shadow plane seemed to all be from her own time, or very close: Haksa, Kruul and Rakkir. Even the new chosen, Sharn, a giant of an orc, seemed to be of this time, however where on Athien Sharn lived, Zhonyja did not know. She would surely have remembered such a large orc if they had crossed paths on Athien. All chosen orcs coming from the same point in time was an oddity as far as Zhonyja could tell. Kruul thought it was important, though he wouldn’t say, or didn’t know, why. At first, she had thought it meant that her race didn’t exist in the future, but she had spoken with the strange elf and a minotaur who also lived in the far future, who both confirmed that orcs still lived, though they were not comfortable discussing specifics. 

She snapped out of her reverie and stepped out onto the rope bridge that had been used by everyone she had ever seen cross. It consisted of three ropes, representing mind, body and spirit if you believed the shaman. Your spirit walked the path, guided by mind and body, so went the coda she had recited with her class the first time they had all crossed.

Today, with no one else watching, she indulged herself and placed her feet on the lower rope, the spirit, and walked without any other contact, hands by her sides. Her balance was better than ever, and she felt sure that she could jump from this rope to one of the others if she felt the urge to tempt the gods. Zhonyja did feel the urge and fought it. Having recently acquired a much more personal comprehension of the gods and their lesser cousins, the everlasting, she now knew that the old gods had no love for her. Crossing the path in five or six bounding steps, she did a summersault on the last to land on the other edge with both feet.

The rest of the path from here was under the eyes of the shaman and witch doctors. Though Kruul knew her nature, she wasn’t eager for the others to know as yet, so she consciously returned her stride to normal, and self-consciously adjusted the vest that covered the spreading tell-tale mark that gleamed dully on her chest above her heart, reaching towards her shoulder. The Chosen mark showed through every tint, and made that area of her flesh impervious to attempts to apply other ritual markings.

Fortunately, Kruul had always been her witch doctor, and had applied all her markings from the first, so she hadn’t needed to hide the developing marks from him. They had been a source of satisfaction for Kruul, despite the old cultural taboos that other shaman held concerning the shadow plane. He had told Zhonyja that he had been training her to join him as one of the summoned all along, from before her first marking. She had felt proud at her achievement, but doubts had slowly crept in, particularly about her parents, or lack thereof. She had suspicions now that she did not dare voice because, although Kruul treated her like a daughter, she feared him. He had never really given her cause; she had seen him kill on many occasions, but he had rarely even raised his voice at her. Nevertheless, as she grew older, she was coming to fear his intentions; his plans for himself, but also for her. 

Much as she respected him, the treacherous part of her suspected that he would not make a good god.

Mask

“You are late, daughter”, his growling voice emerged from the mists in front of her, moments before they parted to reveal him standing on the path. He wore full ceremonial garb, the robes and mask of a witch doctor over the deep black-blue tint that marked his whole body. On his arms and legs where she could see his skin, creatures writhed in brilliant ice-blue and sea-green. The eyes of the creatures were a ruddy red-orange of a banked hearth-fire and when she looked at them, they seemed to blink and stretch languidly as he moved his limbs. Only the witch doctors and shaman bore marks of such potency and of them she had only seen demons on Kruul. No other dared to carry them. She often wondered what that said about him and the state of his soul. She had never dared to ask.

“I am sorry, father. I took time for…. reflection.” she responded quietly, eyes downcast. She rarely played the role of daughter now, but in this context, at the place of marking, tradition demanded certain things.

He nodded as his eyes scrutinised her from behind the mask. “Some reflection is good. Today though we focus on your future, not your past.” She bowed her head in assent and he turned to lead her off the path and out into the mists.

Zhonyja stood for a moment, uncertain. Previously, she had always been marked in the same place, only another two dozen paces down the path. A large tent would be there, waiting. She had never been led elsewhere before, and she was not sure what it meant. A worm of fear twisted in her gut at the thought that perhaps he had seen her doubts, seen her treacherous thoughts and meant to… what? He would not dispose of her, she was far too valuable to him. She had served as an enforcer of his will, a symbol of his power among the tribes. She had never voiced her doubts publicly, and while she was useful, she was confident that he would not wish to lose her. He was nothing if not practical.

“Come, daughter”, his voice drifted back to her, impatient. “Why do you linger?”

“Sorry father”, she muttered, forcing her legs into motion and stepping where she’d seen him step.

In this place, a misstep could cost you the skin on your feet at least, so all orcs learned early to memorise where others stepped without thinking. In a few steps, she could see him again and he strode onwards. She followed and the path fell into the mist behind her. We have literally stepped off the path of spirit, she thought, more than a little troubled. Kruul abandoning tradition was almost unheard of. So much so that she thought it more than likely that he was reinstating another of the lost traditions that he occasionally uncovered in his research of the time before Edarr.

That wasn’t particularly comforting; a lot of those traditions had been… unpleasant. She hissed as a slight misstep put one of her toes onto the bare earth off Kruul’s steps and a searing flash ran up her leg. She steadied herself back into the footprints and paused for a second.

“Careful daughter, this way has been freshly revealed. It is not yet as…tamed as those we have followed in the past.”


“Is it a new way, father? Or is it an old way come again?”


He laughed quietly. “You were ever perceptive, my child. This one, this is a little of both I think.”


They continued on for a while longer, and Zhonyja wondered how he could possibly have found this path. They wound among dozens of small fissures and vents, at one point walking the edge of what must have been a small crater, the rubble and dirt falling steeply away to their right into darkness and mist. She began to lose track of time and felt sure that she would not be able to find her way back, memory or no. They had wound around too many times, jumped too many fissures, landing gingerly on exact footprints, wincing when she slipped a little and the scalding sand bit into her feet. Through this all they moved in silence, Kruul clearly focussed on finding the path, occasionally his staff would spring out to steady him or probe where footprints appeared to split in many directions and she realised those must represent either failed exploration or deliberate false trails. Given the cost to the explorer of each exploratory footstep, she felt sure that this path represented years of work. Judging by the familiar prints, it was work that Kruul had performed alone. In fact, she might be the first orc to walk this path after him. That was a great honour, if true. It seemed extremely unlikely that he would go to these lengths for punishment.

At last, after what must have been several thousand steps, he stopped and she stood behind him as the mists opened on a site unlike any she had seen on Athien. She recognised it immediately, of course. She had seen a hundred variations, just never on this plane.

The Effigy was a dozen feet tall, towering over them. It was hewn of black volcanic rock and she couldn’t recognise which of the gods, old or new, it represented. Nonetheless, she knew it to be an effigy. The glow of power, nowhere near as visible as on the shadow plane, was nonetheless undeniably present. It depicted a creature she didn’t recognise, a giant lizard of sorts with wings of all things. Its eyes glowed ruby red and it was perched atop a giant skull that looked human, though it could easily have been orc or dwarf. The roughness of the sculpture made it distinct from those she had seen in Between. 

She was completely at a loss for words, mind whirling with questions and confusion. This, as far as she had thought she knew, was impossible. She did not pretend to understand how the planes worked, but she knew, or believed, that the energy required to cross the planes was enormous. To place an effigy here from one of the other planes implied projection to this plane from one of the others….

As far as she knew that had only happened for one being. Edarr. Edarr had crossed between the planes first in the direction of ascension and then back in the catastrophe of incarnation.

“Can you feel its power?” Kruul asked quietly and she nodded, feeling a thrum in her chest, beneath the hidden runes that denoted her as one of the summoned.

“I felt it for years before I finally found it. Many years.” There was a slight tinge of bitterness to his tone.

Zhonyja stepped forward, ignoring the prints she could see in the sand, ignoring the spikes of pain in her fascination with the effigy. She circled it slowly. It looked far more real than those Between, the crafting here on Athien was limited by more than just imagination and will. It showed markings where the tools used had hewn the black stone, chipped it steadily into this shape from a massive block of black stone bought here from the gods alone knew where. Its base was fused into the stone of the valley floor somehow, but a string of small vents emerged around its base and she saw there were also small vents in the statue itself. The nostrils of the beast were leaking wisps of mist and each had an accumulation of tiny blue-black crystals. Each of the vents were growing the same crystals and she could see that they had been harvested. Kruul noticed her attention and spoke softly.

“These crystals are the truest pigment I’ve found. They suit both tint and marking.” He gestured to his calves where the blue marks twisted. “The marks show on this tint, but on no other. They are marks of power. I suspect they will only mark the chosen, though I haven’t tested it yet.”

“You shouldn’t,” she felt certainty “This is not for others.”


Kruul nodded “I agree. Those who deserve it, if they exist, will find it.”

Zhonyja shivered with anticipation. Today would be a marking that would stay with her forever, a tinting that would mark her indelibly as aligned with the witch doctors, aligned with this effigy, this power. A small part of her felt trepidation, but it was drowned in the surge of pride that she should be only the second orc to bear this sign! This sign would echo into the future, she could feel it. With this she would change the planes, change the future of her race.

“What marking would you bear, daughter?” Kruul’s tone was formal, ceremonial. A question she had been asked a hundred times. But this time...

“I would bear a mark of our past and of our future, father. A mark of the power of our race and a mark to command respect. I would bear the mark of the fallen one. She who rose in the name of mortals and fell in the fight against the old gods. The one whose fall shattered the world.”

“Speak her name, daughter.” His voice was low and soft but intense.

 

The entire valley seemed to fall silent, as if holding its breath. She felt the Effigy before her thrum with a power that she now recognised as she breathed out, letting the word fall from her lips.

“Edarr” 

Edarr

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