Rakkis was a devout champion of the Zakarum faith and the first King of Westmarch. He first brought the faith to the Western continent past the Twin Seas, and although the crusade was arduous and brutal at times, in the end he was looked upon favorably.
There are conflicting reports on Rakkis's origins, but it is known that he lived during the 11th century, and was the close friend of Emperor Tassara of Kehjistan. Throughout the course of his military career, he gained renown for defending the empire from both internal and external threats. At some point he converted to the Zakarum faith.
The Rise of ZakarumEdit
With the country caught in the throes of unrest, Tassara converted to the influential Zakarum faith, earning himself the support of the masses, who had been rallying against Kehjistan's ruling elite, and the Zakarum church itself. A handful of nobles had no intention of sharing power, and pooled their fortunes to recruit a mercenary army to topple Tassara and crush the Zakarum. Tassara called upon Rakkis to crush the rebellion.
Most accounts state that the usurpers' armies outnumbered Rakkis's by a wide margin. Yet despite this, he outmaneuvered his foes at every turn, dividing and conquering the mercenary forces with incredible speed and efficiency, never losing a battle. Within three years, Rakkis had defeated the rebel forces.
Rakkis's victories made him a legend. It is said that as he traveled through cities, people of all ages would gather to catch a glimpse of their champion. Deckard Cain would theorize centuries later that the masses saw Rakkis as a sign of their faith's legitimacy and strength. Whatever the truth of the matter, the general used his influence to dispose of governors and magistrates whom he saw as indept, replacing them with his favored archbishops.
At some point, Rakkis uncovered a tome that wrote of a race of beings called nephalem, and of their ruined civilization in the West. Gods, by any other name, but in reality, humanity's ancestors. Rakkis wondered if the tome held the means to unlock their power. The tome also spoke of an ancient nephalem city named Corvus.
- "I will bring the light of Zakarum to the heathens. Here in the East, the power of Zakarum wanes. But in the West it will rise, stronger and greater than ever. Yet I have another purpose. The lost nephalem city of Corvus lies in the West. I will find it."
Departure and Initial BattlesEdit
- "...northern tribes unyielding. Supplies low. Request reinforcements from Lut Gholein with all due haste."
—A missive fragment written by Rakkis
In time, Tassara grew wary of Rakkis's popularity and sought to neutralize this new threat to his rule. Turning his eyes to the West, Tassara claimed that it was the empire's duty to conquer this dark corner of the world and 'enlighten' it with the Zakarum faith, and that only Rakkis was capable of doing so. Tassara reasoned that if Rakkis failed, he would lose much of his popularity. If he succeeded, the emperor could reap the benefits. Rakkis accepted the task, and the emperor granted him nearly a third of Kehjistan's standing military. Thus, Rakkis and his men sailed across the Twin Seas to the West.
In truth, Rakkis had ulterior motives. He believed that Zakarum was waning in the East, and that the West would provide a means to rekindle the faith. Additionally, he had learnt of the nephalem city of Corvus, located somewhere in the western lands. He sought to find it.
The fleet landed at Lut Gholein and Rakkis moved his forces out. Ivgorod's power over Aranoch was shattered, though its forces continued to harass Rakkis's. The resistance was especially fierce in the Tamoe Mountain Range, and as the Sons of Rakkis moved north, they encountered resistance from the Barbarians. Neither Ivgorod nor the Northern Steppes were conquered by Rakkis, though he successfully inducted Entsteig and Khanduras into the Zakarum faith.
At Eastgate Keep, Rakkis re-grouped his forces after the defeats they'd sufferred at the hands of Ivgorod and the Barbarians. Morale is said to have been low, but Rakkis himself wasn't dissuaded. He believed that victory was his destiny, and gave speeches about his "rightous cause," about the destined ascendancy of Zakarum, and rallied the soldiers for the next leg of their campaign.
In the far west, nine warring clans existed around the southern edge of what is now called the Gulf of Westmarch. Rakkis knew that their disunity was a disadvantage, but also knew that launching his armies against them would unify the clans into a larger force. Instead, Rakkis lived among them, learning the clans' culture, language, and of their gods. All the while subtly spreading the Zakarum faith to anyone who would listen. Through an arranged marriage, Rakkis bound himself by blood to the Ortal Clan, the third-largest of the seven clans. Using his new standing, he was able to bring four of the lesser clans under his banner.
Afterwards, Rakkis led his combined forces against the Hathlan, the largest and most hostile clan. Through a series of bloody battles, the Hathlan's army was dismantled and its leader slain. With this victory, the remaining clans pledged themselves to Rakkis and declared him their king; but even as Rakkis assumed dominion, he rallied his subjects with talk of mankind's inner Light and glory. It was his strength and conviction that truly unified the clans of the far-West into a single kingdom. In honor of his long campaign, Rakkis named the new land Westmarch, so named as it marked the westernmost point of his conquest.
King of WestmarchEdit
- "We founded a settlement, near the Western Sea. It will grow to be a great city in time. Now that my people are settled, I can begin my own search for the ruins of the nephalem city Corvus. The tome implied it was near this very region."
Rakkis ordered construction of a capital for his new kingdom, a river-port settlement. In the meantime, he searched for Corvus in the Blood Marsh. Worn blocks of stone were found, suggesting built structures. Rakkis wondered if these ruins were all that remained of Corvus, but told himself that there was more to be found. And finally, his faith was rewarded, as Corvus was found, buried underneath the swamp. As he stepped into the catacombs, Rakkis felt a stirring in his blood, and a dim light glowed all around him. One not cast by any torch. It was as if the very stone of Corvus was acknowledging the warlord's presence. Rakkis believed that through the Light, the nephalem could be reborn within humanity.
Afterwards, Rakkis consecrated Westmarch, the capital of his new kingdom. He took the Wolf of Corvus as his sigil, and proclaimed himself king. Over the subsequent years, Westmarch flourished, as new roads, cities, churches and infrastructure sprung up throughout the land. Rakkis ruled with a strong but fair hand, and enjoyed the admiration of his subjects.
- "A decade later, the power of the nephalem still escapes me. Something long ago stole it from them, and keeps it hidden, even today. I have found mention of an artifact called the Worldstone, hidden in the Barbarian lands. Now that my son is born, I have rallied my banners to ride to war against them."
A decade after becoming king, the power of the nephalem still escaped Rakkis. However, he had found mention of the Worldstone, an artifact that lay within the Barbarian lands of the north. With Korsikk, his son having been born, he rallied his banners and marched north. This was the first of many incursions against the northern tribes, but could never make any true gains against them.
Rakkis remained enthralled by Corvus and would often wander its corridors for hours on end, lost in thought. The lure of potential immortality convinced Rakkis that he might even be nephalem himself, though after many fruitless years of wandering the crumbling remnants of the city, his only consolation was to have his remains entombed within.
It is said that at the age of 100, Rakkis died peacefully in his sleep. In his final years, Rakkis requested that he be buried among the ruins of the lost city. This was apparently granted, and Rakkis was entombed in the heart of Corvus.
- "Years on, the Barbarians remain unconquered, and I am a man grown old and frail. My life has seen the founding of Westmarch and the discovery of the nephalem ruins. But still, the deeper secrets elude me. I lay the task to my son, in whose blood will carry forth the line of nephalem kings."
Korsikk succeeded his father as king. He continued his father's rule and turned Westmarch into a bastion of Zakarum faith. In the current day, Westmarch remains one of the most vibrant kingdoms in Sanctuary, though Zakarum influence has waned in recent years.
Various historians have studied Rakkis's deeds, including the Horadric scholar Deckard Cain. Westmarch and the Sons of Rakkis is a published work on his deeds. Works written by Rakkis include The Testament of Rakkis and Rakkis's Strategies of War.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Histories agree that Rakkis was a zealous Zakarum convert, known for his stern demeanor, cunning, and ferocity in battle.
- Matt Burns has expressed interest in developing a written story for Rakkis centering on the Ivgorod section of his crusade.
- Rakkis's crusade is very much similar to the historical ones initiated by the popes of the Catholic Church during the medieval ages, who attempted to crush paganistic beliefs in an effort to secure political power for themselves.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Book of Cain
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Book of Tyrael
- ↑ 2013-10-28, REAPER OF SOULS™ FIRST LOOK: HISTORICAL WESTMARCH. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-03-13
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 2013-10-11, Reaper of Souls - Rakkis History Sound Files. YouTube, accessed on 2014-03-13
- ↑ 2014-03-06, REAPER OF SOULS™ FIRST LOOK: EXPLORING THE BLOOD MARSH. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-03-13
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Diablo III, Cord of the Sherma
- ↑ 2013-10-24, Blizzplanet Interview – Micky Neilson & Matt Burns Discuss Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2013-10-26