From the very beginning of the Mythic Legions line, there was a barbarian character seen in the promotional images and marketing that had an undeniably powerful presence and which had fans wanting to know more about who he was. When the first Kickstarter finally began, Attlus the Conqueror was revealed as the name of this barbarian, and the figure was listed as the first of the stretch goals. This goal was eventually met, bringing the leader of the House of the Noble Bear into toy collections worldwide. Many of those Kickstarter backers would not realize it at the time, but this grizzled barbarian would turn out to be an important character in the story of Mythoss, and one of the key heroes in the fight between the forces of good and evil.
In this “Figure in Focus” article, we will take a deeper look at the “lost son of Leandorr”, both from a lore standpoint and as an action figure, including his triumphant appearance in the Mythic Legions: Rising Sons wave.
The Early Days of Attlus
If you know the history of Mythic Legions, you likely know that the line made its debut at the Toypocalpyse show at Toy Toyko in 2014. The figures presented at that show were about 8” tall each because they were 2-Ups of what was planned as a 4” Glyos-compatible line. In fact, the “characters” presented at that show were actually meant to be examples of the builds that could be accomplished with these modular parts and not necessarily named characters. If you look at the display from that event, you will notice that all the knights are fully helmeted. This is because these were, indeed, meant to be generic characters, but the reaction to these builds (and the larger size on the figures) was so great that the line and those characters evolved into many of the ones seen in the first Kickstarter.
The “bare skin” parts needed to make barbarians and orcs were not part of that Toypocalypse display. This is because these parts were developed later. It is also why they all appeared as “stretch goals” in the Kickstarter! Once unlocked, those parts helped us create some very important characters, including orc warriors like Urzokk and Urkku, the incredibly popular Barbarian Builder set, and of course the Noble Bear himself – Attlus the Conqueror.
Attlus and Attila
When the figures from the first Mythic Legions wave finally landed in backers’ hands in early 2016, the package bio for Attlus revealed that this barbarian leader of the House of the Noble Bear actually had a connection to another faction, the Army of Leodysseus, and the man now leading that faction, Attila Leossyr. In fact, these two great warriors were revealed to be brothers! The bio for Attlus reads:
Attlus the Conqueror was banished by The Army of Leodysseus after renouncing his claim to lead those very soldiers. His younger brother Attila was chosen to lead the army while Attlus roamed the wastelands of Mythoss forming a battalion of his own. “The Noble Bear,” as Attlus is known, trained his band of outcasts and renegades to defend their homes against the rising tide of evil poisoning their lands.
This story is expanded in the bio for Attila:
When his older brother Attlus renounced his claim to leadership of The Army of Leodysseus, Attila Leossyr gladly stepped up and grabbed the mantle. A ferocious warrior, Attila embodies the spirit of his army’s lion symbol. Overbrimming with incredible confidence and charisma, Attila’s popularity amongst the people of Mythoss has made him a symbol of hope in a kingdom crippled with fear.
So these bios detail that Attlus is the elder of the two brothers, and they describe a situation where the barbarian king renounced his role at the head of the Army of Leodysseus for some unknown reason, creating an opening for the younger Attila to ascend to the throne. We do not learn more of what exactly happened here, but the biography for another character from Leandorr, Otho, sheds a little more light on this dynamic:
Widely known as the greatest warrior in the Army of Leodysseus, Otho stands at Attila Leossyr’s side as his closest friend and most trusted advisor. As childhood friends, Otho, Attila, and Attlus were inseparable as they diligently trained for the day they would all walk onto the battlefield. Walking away from battle after battle unscathed, Otho’s deepest wound came as a result of Attlus’ departure. That departure weighs heavily on Otho, perhaps even more than on Attlus’ own brother Attila.
The story of the “lost son of Leandorr” would remain a mystery for many years, a mystery which many Legionnaires have long speculated about and hoped to find answers to. There is a story to be told here, one which we have barely scratched the surface on and which is core to the story of Mythic Legions.
The Popularity of the Noble Bear
Since that very first Kickstarter, Attlus has been popular with Legionnaires. He was one of the best selling figures in the first wave, and he was voted into the second All Stars wave (appropriately, so was his brother, Attila). Via these waves, Attlus the Conqueror saw two releases in the first few years of the line, but with All Stars 2 having hit all the way back in 2018, it has been quite some time since the Noble Bear was available for purchase at a retail level. As is to be expected, newer fans to the line have long requested a reissue of this important Legions character and we have known we had to find a way to return to the barbarian king.
One of the challenges with the Mythic Legions line has always been finding a balance between reissuing older figures via our All Stars waves versus revisiting those characters for “version 2” takes on the figure. In the early days of the line, reissuing made sense due to the limitations of our parts library, but with significant investment in new parts for that library over the past few years, we have seen story-critical characters like Sir Gideon Heavensbrand, Skapular the Cryptbreaker, Baron Volligar and others get that “version 2” treatment. When it came to Attlus, we knew that we had a “Noble Bear-centric” wave planned for late 2023, so rather than do a second reissue of that first figure, we held off to be able to revisit the character with that version 2 approach. This figure was eventually revealed as part of the “Rising Sons” wave.
Below is the artwork from the "Siege at Bjorngar" wave, showing this important battle in the story of Mythoss as Attlus leads his House against raiders from the Legion of Arethyr.
A Rising Son
When the announcement was made that the 2023 G-con wave would pit the House of the Noble Bear against the cutthroats of the Sons of the Red Star, fans immediately began speculating that Attlus would finally return. Those hopes were realized during the G-con broadcast when Attlus, along with his mighty bear mount, Bödvar, were revealed to the world!
This second edition of Attlus is a brand new figure from head-to-toe. Rather than using an alternate look for the barbarian king, Eric Treadaway elected to keep the overall design of the character consistent with the first release, allowing those who have long wanted this iconic version of Attlus in their collection the chance to have him. Eric did add a number of new details to this version of Attus, of course. Looking at the images you will notice that his armor features not only the sigil of his House of the Noble Bear, but also a lion motif on his leg armor as a reminder of his connection to the kingdom of Leandorr. In fact, this new Attlus figure includes a number of pieces that tell his life story, including that aforementioned leg armor, the gladius sword he carries as a reminder of his time in the Mercurian Coliseum, and the necklace he wears which bears a piece of the tree under which he buried his beloved wife, Risha, many years ago.
The bio for Attlus 2 tells a bit about the many turns the barbarian king’s life has taken:
Once the rightful heir to the throne of Leandorr, it has been decades since Attlus Leossyr disappeared from the kingdom of his birth. During his years away, he has been a prisoner, a gladiator, a hermit, a husband, a conqueror, and a reluctant leader. Known as “the Noble Bear”, Attlus returns to Leandorr with an army of misfits and outcasts by his side. The House of the Noble Bear has come to lend their strength to the fight against the evils threatening the Realm, but with the Second Great War looming, Attlus will face more than just the Legions of Dark. He must come to terms with his past if he has any hope of winning the battle before him.
Many of the other bios from the Rising Sons wave give additional insight into Attlus’ journey and alliances, but there are two specific ones which are worth mentioning here. The first of these is the bio for the version 2 release of Skapular the Cryptbreaker, an excerpt from which is presented below:
Skapular has a connection to Attlus from a long ago meeting that helped shape both their lives. That meeting led to Attlus becoming the Noble Bear, while Skapular, and his alias Emir Casparr, became the shadowy force behind many of the Realm’s unexplained disappearances and assassinations.
This information clearly details a connection between the leaders of the two “splinter groups” of Mythoss, and it forms a big part of the story being told in the Rising Sons wave.
The second bio of note is the barbarian king’s mount and loyal companion, Bödvar the great bear:
In the days before the House of the Noble Bear marched from the colds of Bjorngar towards inevitable war, Attlus the Conqueror returned to the home he once shared with his wife, Risha. Making his way to the tree under which he had buried her body, the tree whose desecration by orc raiders led to Attlus picking up his blades once again, the barbarian was greeted with an unexpected sight. A gigantic bear sat by the charred remains of the tree, its head bowed and eyes closed as if in silent prayer. Wary of alarming the bear, Attlus backed away quietly, but the bear opened his eyes and looked his way. Attlus felt his breath leave his body. He saw his wife’s eyes reflected in the gaze of that beast, and the barbarian king knew that somehow, his wife had sent this creature to his side in his most desperate hour. Together, man and beast left Risha’s Grove, as Attlus the Conqueror rode Bödvar towards the greatest battle the Realm of Mythoss had ever seen.
This bio is a great lead-in to the final chapters of the first major story arc of Mythic Legions – an arc that ends with the Second Great War and the heroes of Mythoss looking for any ray of hope as they prepare to do battle with the terrors known as the Dark Four.
Editor’s Note - when we revealed the name “Rising Sons”, everyone assumed it was a reference to the “Sons” of the Red Star. We aren’t saying that it isn’t, but remember – Attlus and Attila are also “sons” of Leandorr, and the name chosen for this new wave was selected very deliberately.
Bjorr the Victorious
Taking a step back for a moment and returning to the idea that various elements of the new Attlus the Conqueror 2 figure include pieces from his past, we have to address the alternate head that figure comes with – a gladiatorial helmet!
The idea with this addition was to allow fans to create one of Attlus’ looks from his past. In this case, the gladiator look is from a time when the lost son of Leandorr was known as “Bjorr the Victorious.”
Bjorr was the name that Attlus used during his time in the Mercurian Coliseum, a time when the name “Attlus Leossyr” would have been dangerous to use so close to the borders of his former kingdom. Over the years, we have mentioned via character bios and storylines that Attlus once fought in the bloody battles of the Coliseum, and that he led a rebellion that eventually caused the fall of that institution. The full story of Attlus’ time in the arena will be part of the forthcoming “Mythic Legions: The Rise of the Dark Four” book. We present an excerpt from that book, and from Attlus’ time in the Coliseum, below:
Bjorr stands behind the iron gate leading into the main fighting ring of the Coliseum. He is a new fighter in his first contest, and as such he would normally have been placed in one of the lesser rings, but Barrabas is a main event draw. He only fights in the main ring, regardless of his opponent.
Bjorr has heard of this man called Barrabas, and he knows that it is a horrible draw for any fighter’s first bout in the arena. Barrabas has made a career out of absolutely destroying gladiators who were in their first fight. He prided himself in making sure they did not see a second contest in the Coliseum, and the crowds loved him for it.
A pair of Black Knights stand on either side of the gate. They are silent as they hold their swords low before them. These knights ensure that the fighters enter the ring as expected, for many would-be gladiators lose their nerve for battle when they see the ring before them and hear the roar of the crowd. There is a bucket next to the gate partially filled with vomit. Even the most seasoned fighter has been known to lose their most recent meal as the fight looms before them. Bjorr’s stomach remains settled, and his gaze never wavers from the brute of a man who has already entered the arena to the thunderous applause of the crowd. Barrabas.
The brutish gladiator whips up the crowd, throwing his hands into the air and swinging the large flail he wields in his hand. Bjorr has chosen a gladius sword from the armory, and he grips it tightly as the gate before him begins to rise. The Black Knights turn and gesture for him to proceed, but it is not necessary, for Bjorr has placed his helmet upon his head and is already moving into the arena to face his opponent.
“Ah! The mighty bear of the North is here to fight for the first time!” Barrabas mocks as he sees Bjorr enter the ring. “Time for Barrabas to pull the teeth from the maw of this little cub!”
The crowd laughs. Bjorr does not respond, his gaze is on his enemy and the flail he swings casually by his side.
Bjorr has fought and trained beside some the best fighters in the Realm. He has seen the horrors of war up close and he has crossed swords with the terrors who swear allegiance the fiery God of War. He has fought against many enemies who seek to use trickery to gain an upper hand on their opponents, and he recognizes this in the man before him now. While Barrabas pretends to be focused on the crowd rather than the fighter in front of him, Bjorr sees his grip tighten on the handle of the flail, and the spiked ball continues to swing behind him.
Barrabas lashes out suddenly with his weapon, his attention snapping from the crowd to Bjorr so fast that most fighters would have been caught off guard by the feint, finding themselves prone to the attack. Bjorr is not most fighters. He is ready for this exact situation, and he easily dodges the spiked ball that flies past him harmlessly.
Bjorr reaches out with incredible reflexes and grabs the chain of the flail. He grips it firmly and pulls it towards him. Barrbas does not expect this, and he instinctively tightens his own grip on the weapon as he feels it start to pull from his hand. This decision dooms the scarred fighter, for the pull of Bjorr throws Barrabas off balance and brings the big man closer to his opponent. Surprise lights up Barrabas’ eyes as he feels the sharp blade of Bjorr’s sword enter his stomach, sliding directly between the mismatched plates of armor he has strapped to his body.
The crowd is immediately silenced. Bjorr looks into the eyes of his opponent, and in that moment he feels rage boil up from his gut. It is rage at the betrayal he has endured, and rage that no one in his kingdom has recognized him. It is anger at what he has lost, and the bloody life he has been thrust into instead.
“So be it,” he thinks. “If Attlus Leossyr is truly dead, let him rest in peace, forgotten by his kingdom.”
The barbarian gladiator removes the sword from Barrabas’ stomach as the fighter falls to his knees. Blood pours from the wound, which is clearly fatal. The doomed fighter presses his hands to his stomach, trying in vain to stop the bleeding. He looks up at his opponent, all bravado gone from his gaze as he feels the unforgiving pull of the grave begin to tighten on his soul.
Bjorr removes his helmet and drops it on the ground before his defeated opponent.
“I AM BJORR!” the victorious fighter roars as he swings his blade, taking off the head of Barrabas in a move that is both a mercy to the dying man and a chilling statement to the spectators who have just witnessed one of their favorites destroyed by this new combatant.
The arena remains silent for another moment, and then the crowd erupts into applause. Barrabas is quickly forgotten, for the crowd has a new winner to cheer for this day – Bjorr the Victorious!
The Attlus the Conqueror 2 figure, including the parts to create his “Bjorr the Victorious” look, are available for preorder now at StoreHorsemen.com as part of the Mythic Legions: Rising Sons wave.
Published on 12.11.23