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Charr

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Charr 01 concept art (white).jpg

The charr race was forged in the merciless crucible of war. It is all they know. War defines them, and their quest for dominion drives them ever onward. The weakling and the fool have no place among the charr. Victory is all that matters, and it must be achieved by any means and at any cost.

— In-game description

The charr are a race of large, savage, feline creatures that occupy much of eastern Tyria. They have renounced all gods as false and instead view all of life, from magic to combat, with a hard, cynical eye. Their culture has developed into a military state where they are raised as warriors from birth.

Charr are one of the five playable races in Guild Wars 2.

Contents

[edit] Character creation

Selecting a charr character will start players off in the tutorial Fury of the Dead where the players fight the restless Ascalonian ghosts.

During character creation, a player can customize a charr's physical appearance and answer three race specific biography questions which affect their personal story:

  • which legion they are a part of.
  • who in their warband they are closest to.
  • what sort of character their father was.

The charr home instance is in the Hero's Canton in the Black Citadel.

Charr racial skills reflect a war theme.

[edit] Physiology

Female charr

The charr are carnivorous feline-like humanoids. They stand on their hind legs and are taller than a human by half of an average human's height, but do not have the massive bulk of the norn. They prefer a hunched pose when standing, but will on occasion stand tall and straight. When they are moving, and their paws are unoccupied, the charr favor running on all four limbs with a loping gait. While the males are described as being generally stronger and the females more lithe and quick, this lore difference between sexes is not evident in the game.

They have a short fur from head to toe in a variety of colors and patterns, many of which are similar to those of lions, cheetahs and tigers. Their fur patterns are also like that of leopards, snow leopards, and even some fur types of common housecats. Many charr have a longer mane of fur between the shoulders and on the back of the head and neck. A male charr has less fur on the tail with longer fur only on the tip, while the female's tail has longer fur from top to bottom.

The charr muzzle is elongated and the mouth filled with prominent sharp teeth suited for their carnivorous diet. The teeth are larger on the males, particularly those on the bottom jaw which are usually considerably smaller on the female. The head has four horns, those from the top of the head are more prominent than those between the two sets of ears. The top pair of ears hears high frequencies such as a dog might, while the bottom pair hear low frequencies similar to an elephant. However, they have difficulty hearing mid-frequency sounds such as those used in human speech, which can aggravate already tense charr-human relations.[1] Like cats, charr have six flat mammary glands hidden under their fur.[2]

The charr have a set of sharp claws which can be used as knives for general tasks but it appears the charr tend to favour weapons when fighting.

Cubs are born fully furred, with open eyes and functional limbs. Within a few days, cubs can follow their mothers over even the harshest terrain. They eat meat within a month of birth, and are fully independent several months later. Charr mature at about the same rate as humans.[3]

[edit] Culture

Concept art of a teenage charr.

The charr are a military culture and their society, technology and relationships are very much focused on supporting war. Society is built around military units which charr become a part of from childhood. Non-military tasks, such as farming and trade, can be left to the young, retired, and injured. But no matter a charr's vocation they are always viewed as a soldier and view life like a soldier. Weakness and foolishness from individuals is viewed with particular contempt, some of such acts can result in a charr becoming a gladium, or in a worse case, the charr's name being struck from the race's history.

Charr on occasion mate for life, but most relationships are more casual than that. Families are recognized but adult charr have very little contact with their parents or offspring, but sometimes keep tabs on each other for events which could reflect back on the family’s reputation. As soon a cub is weaned, around being a year old, they enter a fahrar of one of their parents' legion. The fahrar is the cubs' first warband and they are trained as a military unit under supervision of an adult and are considered an adult when the warband no longer needs supervision.[3] The cubs are taught to unify and define their own social structure and the warband shares a root name which they incorporate into their surname. While ancestry is known and acknowledged, the parents have little to do with the raising of the cub, and as such warbands are viewed as a charr's family and the bonds of loyalty and kinship formed between them are stronger than those of other races' families. Though some charr leave, change, or lose their warbands, these strong bonds usually leave a deep impact on the charr; charr changing warband must change their name and fit in quickly if they are to survive. However, charr have been known to become gladium rather than losing those bonds again.

When the oppression of the female charr by the Flame Legion ended, male and female charr were once again viewed as equals. Male and female charr do not differentiate themselves through wearing differently tailored or styled clothing.[4]

The charr are highly industrious, their forging superior to even the dwarves, and are renowned and feared for their military technology – weapon development, war machines and mass production, having pioneered the creation of airships and submarines. Their rifles and pistols are particularly finely made. However, not all of their advancements involve weapons – they also make some of the finest clockwork and spring-driven devices in Tyria. Their development in technology eventually led to the printing press, which in turn propagated the widespread use of the New Krytan language. While the average charr is willing to embrace technology, many view the use of magic as a sign of weakness and will distrust magic-users as a whole.

Much of their land has been converted to ranches and fields for herding and growing of winter feed for the animals. Cattle, sheep, warthogs, dolyaks and devourers are their primary sources of food. "Meat festivals" (such as the Meatoberfest) are held as a type of cultural celebration.

[edit] Religion

Due to their history many charr shun religion. They do not accept any god's authority and quickly anger on topics of charr worship or manipulation by god-like beings. Charr acknowledge other races' gods as beings of power but do not see them as something worthy of worship. In the case of the Human Gods, the charr view the deities as beings to fight and strive to kill.

[edit] Government

Charr society is built around the military chain of command which every charr is brought up to respect. The true head of the chain of command is the Khan-Ur, considered the primus imperator. He ranks above the imperators of all four High Legions and coordinates all the armies of the charr. There is currently no Khan-Ur because no charr holds the leadership artifact, the Claw of the Khan-Ur.

The charr nation is therefore currently led by a kratocratic oligarchy, built around the four High Legions. Each legion has a primus warband which the legion is named after and is led by an imperator, a descendant of the original Khan-Ur. If an imperator can obtain the Claw and perform a great deed, that charr will become the next Khan-Ur.

All of the four legions are fiercely independent from the others, maintaining their own lands and city-state strongholds. Three of the primary legions – Ash, Blood, and Iron – are allied and work together to maintain their lands and push for military conquest of lands outside those already held by charr. The fourth legion, Flame, is outcast and at civil war with the other legions. No legion allows the other three to rule over them, but the Iron legion is stated as taking a leading role within the lands of Ascalon.

In times of emergency, the High Legions are known to hold defense quorums in which the highest ranking members of the area meet to plan out a solution to whatever the emergency is – be it repelling enemies, or managing refugee movements.

[edit] Military ranks

The charr military has a multitude of ranks. Directly beneath each legion's imperator are the tribunes; there are rarely more than ten tribunes per legion (Iron currently has six), and this office oversees an entire theatre of war or large swath of controlled territory. Centurions command a number of warbands (a "company") and coordinate maneuvers on a broad scale under a tribune's authority. Legionnaires lead their warbands on missions and guide them to victory. Under their command are the soldiers of each legion.

The bottommost rank in the High Legions are the gladium, charr without a warband. They are the lowest grunts, given little respect or responsibility – regardless of their previous titles or rank. A charr away from his or her warband on assignment or on duty is not viewed as a gladium.

There are also other ranks and titles within the structure of the High Legions that do not contribute to the direct chain of command.

Main chain of command ranks
  • Khan-Ur or "Primus Imperator"
  • Imperator
  • Tribune
  • Primus Centurion
  • Centurion
  • Legionnaire
  • Soldier
Specialized ranks

[edit] Names

Charr first names often have names based off of their culture (e.g., Pyre, Ember, Forge). Along with this male names are also sharp sounding with the consonants (e.g., using D, R, T, G, K, etc. used in names like Rytlock, Gron, Dinky) whereas female names are smoother (e.g., using C, L, S, Z, etc. such as names like Bathea, Kalla, Elexus); both genders often start with a sharp consonant though, but this is just generally and exceptions to this do exist. Some charr use Roman or Greek (inspired) names as well.

Charr surnames consist of two words put together, one of which (either suffix or prefix) denoting the warband of the individual (e.g., Rytlock Brimstone is of the Stone warband and Scylla Rustcloud of the Rust warband). Charr individuals generally get to pick variations of their surnames within the forming of their first warband which express their personality, ideals or history, though some limitations may apply.

Members of the same warband can also have their warband name in different order than other members of their warband, though this is rare – some examples include Lightbringer Swordshatter and Legionnaire Bloodsword of the Sword warband, and Vitus Silverpick of the Pick warband (where all other warband members have Pick as the prefix of their surnames).

[edit] History

[edit] Khan-Urs and Shaman castes

2009 December charr 02.jpg

The first time the warbands of the charr united was under the rule of the first Khan-Ur long before the arrival of humans in order to put an end to internal conflicts. Some internal conflicts remained, but the unity of the Khan-Ur allowed the charr to expand their territory southward, into the area now known as Ascalon. But the end of one enemy brought the start of another: the humans. Due to humanity and the aid they received from the Six Gods, the charr were forced to give up the southern portion of their lands. This strife caused a complete unity in the charr; however the Khan-Ur was assassinated and in leaving no clear heir, the Khan-Ur’s four children split the race into four legions. Although several charr have since briefly held the title of Khan-Ur, there has been no leader who could unify the charr race for longer than a few weeks, as every charr that has attempted to claim the title of Khan-Ur has been overthrown or died in battle shortly after making their claim.

Eventually, the charr began to feel that the reason the humans were able to best them was due to their gods. In desperation, the charr sought for gods to call their own, and found them when the Burnt warband of the Flame Legion traveled to the Hrangmer volcano. There, in a pillar of fire, appeared the titans, beings of fire that the charr would call gods. Upon their return, the Flame Legion's Shamans began to worship the titans and were soon followed by the other High Legions' Shamans. Eventually, all the charr agreed to unify under the banner of the Flame Legion - except for Bathea Havocbringer. She spoke out against the Titans, and became a sacrifice to the new gods; her actions also led to the removal of female charr from the battlefield, forced to do domestic duties.

Once more united, the charr finally resumed the war against the humans in 1070 AE, in a war known to humans as the Charr Invasion. They struck without warning and with a devastating new power, granted to them by the titans. Using the Cauldron of Cataclysm, they brought forth the Searing, destroying the Great Northern Wall and invaded the three human kingdoms: Ascalon, Kryta, and Orr.

[edit] Renewed Wars

In 1072 AE, the titans invaded Tyria and were ultimately slain in front of the charr during the Flameseeker Prophecies. This began a rebellion against the Flame Legion and the Shaman caste, led by Pyre Fierceshot. Desperate, the Shaman caste had sought new gods in the form of the destroyers. The revolution brought about the desire to no longer worship gods outside of the Flame Legion.

While the revolt continued in the north, in Ascalon to the south, the war raged on. Without the Great Northern Wall for protection, Ascalon was conquered within two decades except for one city: Ascalon City. In 1090 AE, the Flame Legion imperator of the time wished to end the war once and for all and sieged Ascalon City for multiple days without end. The sieges ended when the Ascalonian's might faltered and King Adelbern had unleashed the power of Magdaer, bringing forth the Foefire. Through this event, all remaining humans in Ascalon had been killed and their spirits bound to the land. The war continued on, however, as Ebonhawke still stood. The war was ended in 1324 AE with a peace treaty being formed.

Around forty years after the fall of the Flame Legion’s 'gods', the true rebellion against the Shamans began. In a deadlocked conflict with the other legions, the Shaman caste was able to hold their ground. That is, until Kalla Scorchrazor, Pyre Fierceshot’s grandcub, brought female charr who had been training in secret for generations into battle against the Shaman caste. With these new forces, the Shaman caste had no chance of survival, and surrendered on the Plains of Golghein, lest they be annihilated.

After the Shaman caste’s defeat, the Flame Legion was renamed the Gold Legion out of mockery, and thanks to Kalla, female charr once more regained their place on the battlefield. Finally united, the charr conquered most of the land east of the Shiverpeaks: all but Ascalon City, and the human fort built into the Blazeridge Mountains, Ebonhawke. With their dominance, they have brought new war technologies, such as siege engines and firearms, technologies that will be essential in the upcoming battle against the Elder Dragons.

The charr still bristle at the mention of the time they were deceived into worshiping the false gods. The other legions still treat the Flame Legion as below them and as rivals.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] Trivia

  • The charr have many similarities with three time periods and groups:
    • The Mongols - they were once just clans fighting amongst each other, and were united under a Khan. They also broke through an enormous wall of a southern kingdom, China in the case of the Mongols, Ascalon in that of the charr.
    • The Roman Empire - many titles, words, and their modern military appears greatly inspired by Rome.
    • The Industrial Age - they're the most technologically advanced race which appears to be in a parallel stage of development.
  • During development strengths and weaknesses were used to create stories for the race. The three virtues of the charr are industry, discipline, fearlessness. The three weaknesses are aggression, bloodthirst, and ruthlessness.[5]
  • The male Charr player character was voiced by Ron Yuan.[6]
  • The female Charr player character was voiced by Kate Miller.[7]

[edit] See also

Gwwlogo.png The Guild Wars Wiki has an article on Charr.

[edit] References

  1. ^ [GW2]We're all waiting very, very patiently for class reveals. *twitch*, Penny Arcade forum post
  2. ^ The Artistic Origin of the Charr, Martin Kerstein, forum post
  3. ^ a b Ashenfold Cartel Interview with Jeff Grubb and Eric Flannum!, The Ashenfold Cartel
  4. ^ ArenaNet: The Artistic Origin of the Charr, Regina Bueunaobra, forum post
  5. ^ Scott McGough on Writing the Charr, ArenaNet blog
  6. ^ Bobby Stein, Guild Wars 2 forum
  7. ^ Guild Wars 2 (2012) at IMDb.com

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