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Overview

Following in the malefic footsteps of Sorangath the Flayed, Moagim the Faceless Terror, and, most recently, the traitorous Mjarin, Balor is the fourth (and perhaps final) avatar of the mysterious and malevolent being known only as The Leveler. Just as Moagim had once been revered as Tireces the Immortal, hero and savior of the Age of Reason, the entity called Balor was known over a millennium prior to his emergence in the Sword Age as Connacht the Wolf, a warrior of superior skill hailing from the clans of Gower. During his time among the living, Connacht's achievements were numerous and remarkable, earning him a reputation as a champion without equal in his time. Of his many deeds, the foremost was his defeat of the Myrkridia, a savage race of cannibalistic monstrosities that had terrorized mankind for the majority of the Wind Age. Proving that he had no fear of their horrific race, Connacht not only forced a cessation to the Myrkridia's near-constant assault, but also relieved the world of any future Myrkridian threat by imprisoning them within the Tain, an arcane prison commissioned from the Smiths of Muirthemne. This feat alone would have been enough to secure his position as one of the greatest figures in human history, however Connacht would rise to truly legendary status by opposing Moagim and becoming the third person in known history to defeat an incarnation of The Leveler. In the process, he also freed mankind from the grip of the tyrannical Trow by encasing them within their own cyclopean iron shrines.

A rare glimpse of Balor without his signature horned helm

While the accomplishments of Connacht during the Wind Age and beyond were staggering to say the least, bringing about an era of peace and prosperity for the human kingdoms, he was also heavily burdened by his knowledge of the Thousand Year Cycle, a phenomenon which compelled individuals of bravery and valor to return after a thousand years as heralds of destruction and ruination. Connacht knew that in defeating The Leveler his course had been chosen, and despite the fact that his time as Emperor of the Cath Bruig was characterized by growth and expansion, he became increasingly troubled, reportedly spending his later years obsessed with the notion of hindering or preventing his eventual reincarnation. Countless magical artifacts were destroyed or hidden away in the hopes that this would keep future dark lords from wielding them against the civilized nations. In spite of his efforts, toward the end of his reign, Connacht feared that he had not done enough. Legend has it that he one day simply vanished without warning, and his activities between this time and his next appearance are a matter of speculation.

When next he would be seen, the hero Connacht was replaced by the abominable Balor, a being as hideously evil as Connacht was noble. As the personification of the Leveler's will, Balor wanted nothing more than to sow conflict and chaos of such magnitude that it would plunge the world into an era of darkness. Over a relatively short time, Balor amassed an immense army of undead, which was further bolstered by willing allies he recruited through various means. His forces included Trow (whom he released from centuries of imprisonment), Fetch (otherworldly beings personally summoned by Balor), and Myrmidons (former warriors of the Light seduced by the power of the Dark). Most intimidating of all, Balor commanded six sorceror-generals known as the Fallen Lords, who were each a credible threat in their own right. Several of the Fallen (specifically, Soulblighter, Shiver, and The Deceiver) had also served Connacht in life, and all were magically compelled to obey his command. With this insurmountable army at the ready, Balor formally announces his presence to the world by laying siege to the Cath Bruig capital of Muirthemne, destroying the city and setting the surrounding farmlands to the torch. Decades of warfare would follow as Balor began to slowly and systematically conquer the entire civilized world.

The Great War (Myth: The Fallen Lords)

The years following Muirthemne's fall witnessed incalculable suffering and loss of life under Balor's advance. After an extended period of calm, the sudden onset of violence in many ways left the people of the Province in shock, and it would be some time before any significant response to Balor's offensive would be joined. By the time a proper coalition of humans, dwarves, and fir'Bolg had been assembled, Balor had already gained a significant foothold, and the majority of the Legion's efforts over the course of the next eighteen years (which would later be called the Great War) would focus on preventing further incursions and minimization of losses rather than any manner of retaliation. One by one, the free cities of men would fall, and eventually only Madrigal stood in open defiance. In their desperation, the leaders of the Province sought out and exhumed The Head, an ancient entity thought to be an enemy of Balor, and thus assumed to be sympathetic to their cause. Though he led the Legion to one of their first major victories, namely the defeat of Shiver during the siege of Madrigal, The Head proved to be a double-edged sword, with much of his advice leading to further losses. By the end of the seventeenth year of the war, the Legion had all but abandoned any pretense of defending their cities against the might of Balor's armies.

The sight of a Myrkridian standard enrages Balor.

As the beleaguered Madrigal finally succumbed to the Dark, the Legion, with few other viable choices, began their final push toward Balor's stronghold, the Trow fortress at Rhi'anon. With fewer than 3,000 men remaining, the Legion now had only one slim hope for victory. Alric, a leader of the Legion who had once been interrogated by Balor, knew that the dark lord's entire army drew strength from him, and would collapse in the event of his defeat. Using Balor's antipathy for the Myrkridia, which still festered centuries after their race had been banished, Alric was successfully able to lure him away from the protection of his fortress. While he was no match for Balor under normal circumstances, Alric held one of the five Eblis Stones, which allowed him to temporarily immobilize his foe. While stunned, Alric's remaining troops were able to sever Balor's head, and thereafter Alric teleported them to the Great Devoid so that it might be thrown in, preventing Balor from ever being revived. While this act succeeded in dispersing Balor's armies and effectively ending the war, it cost almost every man in the Legion their life, and the process of rebuilding the cities and villages all but eradicated by Balor would take many years.

Abilities

While in life Connacht was known for his peerless martial skill, Balor was truly a terror to behold in battle. Not only did the dark lord retain the considerable physical prowess of his former self, he also boasted limitless arcane knowledge, which he used to raise vast armies through necromancy and to rain destruction down upon his enemies' heads. He was more than capable of binding other powerful individuals to his will, and in addition, he was a master strategist able to plan and execute large-scale offensives involving multiple fronts. With his combined martial, magical, and cerebral abilities, Balor was considered the greatest power of his time, and even though he was defeated by Alric, it is commonly accepted that Alric was not his equal, for without the Eblis Stone which held him immobile, all those who assaulted Rhi'anon would surely have perished at Balor's hands. Balor favored an immense and unique broadsword when in combat, and was rarely seen without wearing his signature suit of armor, a complete set of thick plate with a unique horned helm, which made him nearly impervious to physical harm. Even after being paralyzed, it took the combined effort of several men to bring him down.

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