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Kreig of Keld
The nation of Keld has a violent history, filled with bloody battles and merciless warlords. The harsh weather and furious Keldon temper tends to give birth to warriors and madmen the likes of which Dominaria has never seen. Through constant bloodshed and the fire of battle, Keld’s warriors inspire their followers and strike fear into more civilized nations. But Keld has always strived to best itself, to become ever stronger and more powerful, either through magic or breeding. Eventually, this desire to spawn increasingly more savage warriors almost led to the destruction of Keld itself. For when Kreig was born, the gods themselves took notice.
Kreig was born the son of Trohg, a powerful warlord in his own right. Trohg was the faithful friend of Gatha, chief Keldon wizard who hailed from the far-off island of Tolaria. For decades, Gatha had worked alongside the Keldon warhost, increasing their powers in exchange for test subjects to entertain his madness. Trohg had desired his son to be the most powerful warlord of all time, and saw Gatha as the means to that end. In return, Gatha would one day be given a place on the war council, the highest position afforded any of Keld’s own children.
Kreig came to accept Gatha as a member of his own family. Though Gatha’s experiments were far from humane, no Keldon could claim they were not without success. Keld’s warriors had never before enjoyed such power. Keld’s borders were expanding at an alarming rate, and soon the rest of Dominaria would be forced into a battle to halt the growth. Still, a few rival warlords feared that Keld was growing far too dependent upon Gatha’s machinations. Some felt that Gatha was disrupting the normal balance of life. Others feared Gatha was simply a crutch upon which the nation relied to heavily.
One of these dissident warlords, Varden, threatened open war against the council. Several other warlords united under Varden’s banner, and the council soon called upon other warlords to protect it. Chief among these was Kreig, who swore an oath to protect the council and Gatha with his life.
The two armies clashed. Though Kreig’s forces were slightly outnumbered, his armies fought with a fury that had never before been seen in Keld. Kreig’s words were like the words of a god to his soldiers, who became more powerful with Kreig’s very breath. Kreig’s armies began chanting his name as the battle escalated, but Kreig called out a different name. The name of Keld. Kreig’s armies took up the call, inspiring great fear in Varden’s host. The rival army felt as though they were betraying their homeland by fighting against those whose very battle cry was the land on which they were born. Some in Varden’s army even switched sides during the heat of the battle, if only to be a part of such a glorious assemblage. Within the day, Varden was dead at Kreig’s hands.
After the short battle, Gatha was finally given a place among the war council. Some of the elders objected to allowing a foreigner a place on such an honorable establishment. Their cries of protest were soon silenced by Kreig’s piercing glare.
Kreig continued to fight against the enemies of Keld, expanding her borders exponentially. However, one day it appeared as if the minions of the underworld themselves took objection. Demons, half-monster, half-machine, attacked Kreig’s forces with a ferocity that outweighed even the warriors of Keld. Kreig’s armies were hard-pressed to match these monsters, and began losing ground at an alarming rate. Kreig’s only hope was to confront the lead demon. Kreig nearly lost his life in that battle, but by day’s end his forces emerged victorious.
And still the demons came. Kreig’s attempts to conquer more land for the might of Keld were put a screeching halt. These new foes had to be dealt with if Keld were to survive the year. Gatha called these creatures Phyrexians, a race of beings from another world that would not stop until all of Dominaria was dead or remade in their image.
One hundred and fifty years after Kreig’s birth, the witch king commanded his armies against the largest host of demons yet. There would be no victory this day, for the Phyrexians slaughtered the Keldons like livestock. Kreig once again employed his most famous tactic and engaged the Phyrexians’ leader head on. But this one was different. The creature was skeletal in appearance and its body screamed power with every atom of its being. But the most terrifying thing about this new abomination was that it appeared greatly intelligent, perhaps more so than even Gatha. Kreig and the demon fought for hours, but eventually Kreig fell to the soil, as broken as a toy. Kreig grimaced in anticipation of the warrior’s death that would soon be his to claim, but that death did not come. The demon regarded Kreig as something not worth his attention and instead focused his attack upon the wizard Gatha. Gatha and the demon fought for a brief time, but the Tolarian was overpowered and outmatched. Gatha fell screaming to his death, thrown off a high precipice by this new horror. Kreig’s shout of defiance seemed to give his body new fuel to fight, and the warlord again clashed with the demon. Although the creature was severely wounded, Kreig at last realized that no force he could muster could stop this abomination. Kreig screamed his own name and leapt to his death, hoping to die as honorably as his master.