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 formed into a military state where they are trained from birth to act as warriors.
Charr society consists of four High Legions: three allied and one outcast. Each legion is then separated into different warbands. Although the charr live in relative peace with one another and their neighbors to the west, the norn, this does not mean that they do not have to defend their territories. Human resistance forces from the Blazeridge Mountains still strike out from their sole remaining fortress, and the ghosts of Ascalon City still zealously guard their home as if they might still have a chance against the might of the charr legions. In addition, the charr must contend with the twisted servants of Kralkatorrik, who were corrupted by the southward flight of the dragon.
The charr are known to have "meat festivals" as a type of cultural celebration, and to drink alcohol at these events (sometimes to excess). It was also due to the charr's technology that the printing press was invented, which allowed the spread of a common, written language.
The charr have four ears. The top pair 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.
The warbands first united under the first Khan-Ur long ago to attempt to put an end to internal conflicts. Although these conflicts were not completely ended, 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.
The humans were relentless, and the charr were forced to give up the southern portion of their lands. This strife caused a unity never seen again in the charr, one that probably could have toppled the growing human empire; however tragedy struck when the Khan-Ur was assassinated. Leaving no clear heir, the Khan-Ur's death split the charr into four legions, beginning a power struggle that continues to this day. 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 shortly after making their claim.
The charr felt that the reason the humans were able to keep them out of Ascalon was that they had something the charr did not - gods. In desperation, the charr sought for gods to call their own. The Burnt warband of the Flame Legion traveled to the Hrangmer volcano, there, in a pillar of fire, appeared gods of fire - gods that the charr could identify with: the Titans. Upon their return, the Flame Legion's Shamans began to worship the gods. Soon the other High Legions' Shamans chose to worship them as well, and eventually all the charr agreed to unify under the banner of the Flame Legion - all except one. Bathea Havocbringer spoke out against the Titans, and became a sacrifice to the new gods. Her rebelliousness also meant that female charr were to be removed from the battlefield, forced to do domestic duties.
Once more united, the charr finally resumed the war against the humans. They struck without warning and with a devastating new power, granted to them through the Titans by the dark god Abaddon. Using the Cauldron of Cataclysm, they brought forth the Searing, destroying the Great Northern Wall and flooding south, into Ascalon.
With the mighty kingdom of Ascalon brought to its knees. The charr moved south and west, to take Orr and Kryta, however, they did not fare so well there. Initially showing promise on both fronts, the advance of the charr in Arah was halted by the Cataclysm, and the charr in Kryta were stopped by the Mursaat.
It wasn't until two years after the Searing that the humans defeated Bonfaaz Burntfur and the charr's initial invasion force at the gates of Rin. But it was too little, too late, Ascalon lay in ruins. A resurgence in charr activity brought on by the global release of the Titans (who were later personally defeated by King Adelbern himself) was all the charr needed to keep their grip on Ascalon for the next five years.
With the fall of the Titans, charr society was in disarray. However, fortune had brought them new fiery gods: the Destroyers. Thankfully, due to the intervention of Pyre Fierceshot, the Destroyers were removed from their position of worship before they could do any real damage, beginning a long revolution that would eventually see the downfall of the Flame Legion and the Shaman caste. The victory over Hierophant Burntsoul taught the charr a valuable lesson: that they needed no gods to conquer their enemies, and they would never allow themselves to be ruled over by a master again, god or no god.
Ascalon, despite its aging King, managed to survive for over thirty years after the Searing. The charr fought drawn-out war, slowly advancing over each Ascalonian outpost despite internal strife. Eventually reaching the de facto capital, Ascalon City (Rin having fallen long ago), the charr's dominance over the Ascalonians seemed certain. But the King had one final gambit: a mysterious magic brought forth by the King's sword wiped out all the occupying charr and returned the fallen Ascalon Guard to their posts, where they still stand to this day as spectral warriors. It was a bitter victory for the Ascalonians - although Ascalon City would forever be safe from charr occupation, there were no human survivors left to enjoy that fact.
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 Gold Legion as below them.
During character creation, charr characters will select their Legion from the following:
Also selected is a lesser race that the character has sympathy for. For the charr, these races include the grawl, skritt and ogres. They can also choose which of their warband companion they would die for, and who was the charr that sired them.
|ZAM credits this article at Guild Wars 2 Wiki for some of the info in this article.
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