Barbarians are not necessarily a “race” in the strictest sense of the word, but similar to our previous articles on Mercurians and Gladiators, they are undeniably an important part of the Mythic Legions line. In this “Races of Mythoss” article, we will take a look at these mighty warriors from the Northern reaches of Mythoss!
The First Barbarians
Considering the popularity of the Barbarians, it is interesting to note that in the very first wave of Mythic Legions figures the “bare torso and limbs” that are key elements of the Barbarian builds were not part of the initial offering of parts. Those pieces were made available only once the first stretch goal on Kickstarter was unlocked – and appropriately that first stretch goal, and the first Mythic Legions Barbarian in the line, was Attlus the Conqueror.
The leader of the House of the Noble Bear faction, Attlus’ bio would reveal his role as a key character in the unfolding story of Mythic Legions. That bio 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.
So here we discover that Attlus was indeed once part of another faction – the Army of Leodysseus. Not only was he a member of that faction, he was in line to lead the great army of Mythoss that his younger brother now commands. Attlus instead took to the wastelands of Mythoss where he found himself slowly amassing a mighty force of his own!
The first Mythic Legions wave also gave us the most popular overall figure in the line to date – and he happens to be a Barbarian. We are of course talking about the epic Barbarian Builder set! This deluxe figure came with a variety of weapons and armor plus multiple heads, allowing fans to build out their Noble Bear ranks since this set was not a named character, but was a “builder-style” set meant to illustrate the customizability of the line. In fact, many Legions fans have long said that if they had to give one figure set to a new potential fan in order to introduce them to the line, the Barbarian would be the one they would give!
We have done a “Figure in Focus” article on the Barbarian builder, which you can read here.
The House Begins to Grow
While the first Legions wave only included two Barbarians from the House of the Noble Bear (along with a dwarf), subsequent waves began to add more barbaric warriors to this growing faction. The first of these that we saw was the Barbarian Knight, Cador, from the “Covenant of Shadow” wave. According to his bio:
Once a famous sellsword whose origins can be traced back to The Order of Eathyron, Cador is an accomplished ally to Attlus the Conquerer and the House of the Noble Bear. Known for his unconventional fighting tactics and his flair for showmanship, Cador was once one of Mythoss’ most coveted mercenaries. A near fatal battle with Attlus himself gave Cador pause to reflect on his lot in life. Realizing that Attlus’ cause could bring him purpose, Cador has put his years of wandering behind him to fight for a greater cause.
The combination of Barbarian-style parts on Cador, paired with the knight helmet and armor, made for an interesting character design and a unique Barbarian for the line. Cador’s story also began a theme that we would see emerge for the Barbarians of Mythoss and the members of the House of the Noble Bear – loners and wanderers who have found a purpose and a home amongst Attlus and his ragtag assembly of fighters.
When the massive “Advent of Decay” wave finally rolled around, the House of the Noble Bear grew with the addition of new Barbarians – including the first females in the faction!
A great companion piece to the Barbarian Builder set was the female Barbarian Warrior from the Advent wave! While not as large a set as that deluxe male Barbarian, this new release had a very similar kind of flexibility by coming with 3 different heads (including one which was a half-orc) and multiple helmet attachments to allow for the creation of different Barbarian warriors. This figure was also not a named character, but rather an additional builder release.
Another Barbarian-like female character from Advent of Decay who is actually not a member of the House of the Noble Bear, although she was at one point, is Jjuno the Crusher.
As a former member of Attlus’ wasteland army, Jjuno the Crusher is no stranger to staring into the face of adversity. When she was a young child her family joined with Attlus the Conqueror and his band of outsiders. When her parents were killed in a skirmish with Skapular and his Sons of the Red Star, Jjuno blamed Attlus. Although Attlus tried to care for her after the loss of her parents, Jjuno left his army in search of a new home for her hatred and anger. It was only after Gorgo pulled her from an evil horde of skeleton soldiers that Juno found her new family - The Legion of Arethyr.
So Jjuno becomes the first Barbarian in the line who is part of a faction other than the Noble Bear, but her story is a complex one that ties into multiple major characters including Attlus, Skapular, and Gorgo – three individual faction leaders! This revelation makes one wonder what role this Barbarian warrior will have to play in the war which is threatening to consume all of Mythoss!
Barbarians of All Sizes
The idea of a “Barbarian” is not unique to humans, of course, and the line has already given us some Barbarian characters from other races.
Torgun Redfin from the “Wasteland” wave is one example of a Barbarian-like character from another race - in this case a dwarf.
A strict isolationist loyal to the city of Ironhold, Torgun Redfin believes only in the strength and independence of his people. It was the very loyalty that led Torgun to leave the kingdom that he cared for so deeply after his half brother, King Bromdenn Ironjaw, pledged Ironhold's loyalty to Gorgo Aetherblade and the Legion of Arethyr. Escaping with a band of loyalists to seek refuge in Bjorngar with the House of the Noble Bear, Torgun now fights for Attlus the Conqueror in hopes of one day reclaiming Ironhold and freeing it from Arethyr's influence.
So one of the things we see time and time again in these Barbarian characters is a sense of being disillusioned with the politics and leadership of the Realm. This has led them to Attlus and his band of fighters, and it has influenced their decision to lead the life of a Barbarian. In this way, we can surmise that a “Barbarian” is not a race, but more of a way of life. It is a mentality and a commitment to being free from the oppression of the strict faction-system of Mythoss, for that blind adherence to being loyal to a banner is replaced by a drive to fight for the people you choose to surround yourself with. With this definition in mind, any race can be a “Barbarian”, including a half-giant like Bolthor the Tower.
Giants and their offspring are a maligned and misunderstood people, especially those that hail from the harsh and unforgiving wastelands of Bjorngar. While many mistakenly think of them as indistinguishable from the unseemly creatures that make up the ilk of the dark armies, in truth, these imposing folk are quite similar to their smaller human cousins. A Half-Giant, Bolthor the Tower was the first of his kind to align with Attlus the Conqueror and his House of the Noble Bear. Unexpectedly, Bolthor is as warm and jovial as he is devastating with his axe. After proving himself at the Siege at Bjorngard, Bolthor is both a core member of Attlus’ inner circle and a legendary hero.
The Popularity of Barbarians
It is no secret that Barbarians are one of the more popular character types in the Mythic Legions line, and we have seen them appear into various waves over the years. These include both unnamed builder figures as well as named characters.
The Deluxe Legion Builders wave gave us a follow up to that original Barbarian set with the new Deluxe Barbarian Builder. There is no doubt that this character will become another favorite of Legions fans as they build out their Barbarian ranks!
That same wave also gave us a Half-Giant Legion Builder, as well as the “Noble Baertsch” add-on set which can be paired with that builder figure (or any ogre-scale character) to create a very powerful and barbaric new warrior for the House of the Noble Bear!
Cassia from the Wasteland wave is another female character that has been introduced in the line. Her bio reads:
A solitary and sullen veteran of many of Mythoss' bloodiest battles, the weathered warrior known as Cassia spends her days in the wild of Bjorngar searching for enemy forces. Once a rising star on her way to becoming a member of the Army of Leodysseus' fabled Red Shield, Cassia began to question the direction her faction was taking when Attila took over as leader in his brothers' stead. Her disillusionment ultimately led her to defect and travel to Bjorngar in hopes of joining the House of the Noble Bear where she can join forces with others who have disavowed the faction system.
So it is interesting to read here that Cassia was also a member of the Army of Leodysseus, and after her defection she followed the once-rightful leader of that great army to the Northlands, joining Attlus and his Barbarians.
While other members of the House of the Noble Bear may not be as “barbaric” looking as Attlus or Cador or Cassia, that same spirt of rebellion and independence runs through their veins. Calavius the gladiatorial champion, Freya the Valkyria, and even Brontus the arena troll – these fighters have all banded together to fight for each other and live the life of a Barbarian!
A Final Word on the Barbarians of Mythoss
For a group of warriors so against the politics of the Realm, the Barbarians of the House of the Noble Bear are certainly poised to play a pivotal role in the war that is to come. Will Attlus and his House ignore the evil rising in the Realm, preferring to stay out of the fighting between the factions, or will they put aside their difference and align with the heroic factions to stand against that evil, even if it means that Attlus will be forced to fight alongside the army he abandoned and the brother who took his place? This coming war will undoubtedly force together many unlikely, and even uncomfortable, pairings as the Realm fights to survive the flood of evil pouring into Mythoss.
Published on 06.10.22