Meet the Iconics: Oloch

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Introducing the next of the Advanced Class Guide's new iconic characters, Oloch the warpriest. While the complete rules for making your own warpriest characters debut in the Advanced Class Guide this August, Oloch himself stomps onto the scene in our upcoming Free RPG Day adventure, Pathfinder Module: Risen from the Sands, available at participating game stores Saturday, June 21st. Oloch is also a playable character in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Skull & Shackles Character Add-On Deck due in August.


Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Oloch has no memory of a time before pain—pain suffered, and pain inflicted. A half-orc of the Haskodar tribe in Blisterwell, Oloch was raised—if it can truly be called that—with the knowledge that his parents had been quarry slaves who died in the ancient mine's cramped tunnels shortly after his birth. Constantly forced to fight for survival against his larger, stronger tribe-mates, Oloch quickly learned that the best defense is a total lack of fear or restraint. Those who thought to casually bully the child soon learned the error of their ways, for in Oloch's mind, every fight is a fight to the death, and anyone who pretends otherwise leaves themselves vulnerable.

This fearless ferocity did not go unnoticed. As Oloch reached his teenage years, the tribe's leaders began harnessing the boy's abilities. Whether in the gladiatorial pits or in battle against the sometimes-allied One Eye tribe, Oloch shed blood on command—both his own and that of others As his victories mounted, the tribe's priests of Gorum took control of Oloch's education, wrapping him in armor and teaching him the glories of the Lord in Iron. In Gorum, Oloch finally found someone he could look up to: a being of perfect strength, without the pathetic fallibilities of even the other battle-priests. More, Gorum looked into Oloch's heart and put to rest any nagging doubts the half-orc had about his love of violence. He saw the dark thrill Oloch felt as his oversized sword split the spine of an enemy—and rewarded it with magic.

As time went on, Oloch began to chafe at even the meager restrictions placed on him by his orc superiors. Who were they to tell him when and where to fight? And so perhaps it was inevitable that, upon learning the truth of his heritage—that he was no slave child, but rather the stolen son of a human adventurer—he took the chance to sever ties (and limbs) and strike out on his own, taking with him only his favored gear and a description of the fearsome warrior woman who bore him.

Fortunately for Oloch, the legend of a woman brave enough to adventure alone in the Hold of Belkzen—and rumored to tryst unashamedly with orcs—is a hard one to stifle. So it was that he soon found himself standing before the gates of the human settlement of Trunau, calling for its leader, Halgra of the Blackened Blades, to stand forth and meet her son.

To his surprise, she did, and Oloch found himself both shocked and vaguely discomfited by the warmth with which Halgra greeted her lost son, welcoming him into her house. There she told him the story of his birth—how he was the product of a short-lived dalliance with a powerful orc leader she refused to name, and how he had been stolen from her as an infant during a raid on her campsite. She introduced him to his half-siblings, and offered him a place as a defender of Trunau.

Yet a wolf can never be a simple dog, no matter how much it might long to wear the chain. To Halgra's horror, Oloch's lust for battle refused to be sated by simple raids and training bouts. Citizens who roused his ire were terribly injured, and in the end Halgra herself had to take up her sword and drive him from the town, announcing that she would always love him as a son—but that he would never again be allowed in Trunau until he learned to control his battle lust and turn his divine abilities toward a positive end.

Frustrated, feeling shamed for the first time in his life, Oloch left Trunau. For a time he wandered the wilds, yet no ordinary beasts could provide a proper challenge—nor remove the lingering suspicion that there might, as Halgra claimed, be more to life than simple bloodshed. Eventually he wound up in Urgir, where he quickly found work as a government enforcer and champion. Though on the surface, he claims that his position ensures him a steady supply of worthy opponents, in secret Oloch hopes that Grask Uldeth's half-civilized ways will help him puzzle out how to balance the orc and human inside himself and discover the man he was born to be.

Oloch is a quiet, brooding warrior with a disturbing love of violence. Though not actively evil, and scornful of those who pick on obviously weaker opponents, he nevertheless takes it as a given that might makes right, and the whining of those unable to defend their property means little to him. He lives in the moment, relishing the red rush of battle and the communion it brings him with his god. He's not opposed to working with—or even for—those he considers his equals, but those individuals are few and far between, and must take pains to show him proper respect. Perhaps the only activity other than combat that truly brings him pleasure is making music on his drum—and then only if it's sufficiently riotous as to echo the clamor of battle.

James L. Sutter
Managing Editor

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Tags: Iconics Meet the Iconics Oloch Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Warpriest Wayne Reynolds
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So far, I spot three weapons he probably has weapon focus with for that scaling damage: flail, spiked gauntlets, and greatsword. And but damn that is an awesome looking sword.


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"We're not bad, We're just drawn that way..."

All character artwork by Wayne Reynolds, background by jOuey from Deviant Art

Liberty's Edge

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Okay, I must admit that my preference for Good Aligned Iconics makes Oloch my least favorite new one so far.

That said...he's still pretty damn awesome, and I love that backstory. Tels' cookies thing is also pretty much my head-canon now.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A Care Package From Mum.

Silver Crusade

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Quote:

Fortunately for Oloch, the legend of a woman brave enough to adventure alone in the Hold of Belkzen—and rumored to tryst unashamedly with orcs—is a hard one to stifle. So it was that he soon found himself standing before the gates of the human settlement of Trunau, calling for its leader, Halgra of the Blackened Blades, to stand forth and meet her son.

To his surprise, she did, and Oloch found himself both shocked and vaguely discomfited by the warmth with which Halgra greeted her lost son, welcoming him into her house. There she told him the story of his birth—how he was the product of a short-lived dalliance with a powerful orc leader she refused to name, and how he had been stolen from her as an infant during a raid on her campsite. She introduced him to his half-siblings, and offered him a place as a defender of Trunau.

Yet a wolf can never be a simple dog, no matter how much it might long to wear the chain. To Halgra's horror, Oloch's lust for battle refused to be sated by simple raids and training bouts. Citizens who roused his ire were terribly injured, and in the end Halgra herself had to take up her sword and drive him from the town, announcing that she would always love him as a son—but that he would never again be allowed in Trunau until he learned to control his battle lust and turn his divine abilities toward a positive end.

YES YES YES YES YES

I knew I loved Halgra for good reason! :D The implications of what she got up to in her past adds a lot of nuance to Belkzen. That and consensual half-orc origins. YES.

Also love that while Oloch is far from a good person, he's trying. And that relationship with his (still living!) mother. This is the first time an iconic has been so closely linked to an already established NPC, isn't it?

Gah, really curious about the orc warlord who was his father now...

Grand Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
A Care Package From Mum.

Oh Mummy, you shouldn't have.


It's okay. I'd give it 6 out of 10. Halgra is cooler than her son.


I can't help but the name "Oloch" is one letter less from "Moloch", the archdevil of the sixth layer and the General of Hell.

Perhaps a diabolist conspiracy is at work.

Grand Lodge

I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.

There are still 7 more iconics to go! :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.
There are still 7 more iconics to go! :D

And I do believe one of them is a female Dwarf.


Man, I am so pumped for the Advanced Class guide now it's like I'm jacked up on mountain dew and PCP!

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.

We've known about Oloch for a few months now (though not by name) and a Warpriest of Gorum (who's totally the guy to have Warpriests) makes more sense as a Half-Orc than anything else.

Also, from the one blurry picture we've got it does appear there's going to be a female Dwarf Arcanist or Shaman (with a Female Halfling for the other one). We'll probably find out which pretty soon.


Looking at this character now, it makes me wish that we had more decidedly Orcish weapons that simply the double bladed axe.

Silver Crusade

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Still wondering about the orcs Halgra consorted with, especially considering that not only is Oloch her child, but so were a number of that crowd of half-orcs she brought back home to Trunau when she retired from adventuring. Just what did she get up to out there? Pull together a tribe of her own? Take one over? And then there's the fathers of her children, who had to have been at least decent enough for her to take on as lovers.

Hmm...

Re: Oloch/Moloch similarities - Even if it's not intentional, there's a neat bit of possible symbolism there. Moloch in the Pathfinderverse is something of Hell's war machine, and his most famous sacrifical demands are children. Considering what happened to Oloch's childhood and what he became...


Wow, one of, if not both, of his parents are still alive:)

Mikaze, it just says they are his half siblings not if they were human or half-human.

Well it looks like Warpriest will be our next class previewed.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

Wow, one of, if not both, of his parents are still alive:)

Mikaze, it just says they are his half siblings not if they were human or half-human.

Well it looks like Warpriest will be our next class previewed.

It's covered in Towns of Golarion(which is really good). She returned home with a train of half-orc kids in tow. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Iconic Arcanist?

Arcanist


Mikaze wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

Wow, one of, if not both, of his parents are still alive:)

Mikaze, it just says they are his half siblings not if they were human or half-human.

Well it looks like Warpriest will be our next class previewed.

It's covered in Towns of Golarion(which is really good). She returned home with a train of half-orc kids in tow. :)
My understanding is she returned with a 'throng of children' but only 2 of those children are actually half-orcs. My reasoning is the following:
Towns of the Inner Sea wrote:
Orcs are naturally despised in Trunau, yet ironically, half-orcs bear less stigma here than in most places. As Trunau knows what horrors orcs perpetrate on those they capture, and with Halgra herself having two children from half-orc lovers during her adventuring years, half­-orcs are viewed with sympathy, and more than one half­-orc raised in orc captivity has escaped to earn a place within Trunau's walls.

If she had more than two children of half-orc blood, I imagine it would simply say something like, "Halgra herself has a number of half-orc children." Or something to that extent. I could be wrong though and simply missed the passage detailing her has having more half-orc kids.

Grand Lodge

Anorak wrote:

Iconic Arcanist?

Arcanist

That's art of an archetype in the Advanced Class Guide, so more than likely not an Iconic.


Not convinced on this one, if just in ranking terms. I liked Quinn more and Jirelle had a plot-hook filled backstory. Wonder who's next on the list.


I just noticed that Oloch's flail is still dripping blood!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Intereing backstory ...

But will we ever get a male elf iconic?


Bellona wrote:

Intereing backstory ...

But will we ever get a male elf iconic?

Damiel, the Alchemist, is very much an Elf man.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Kill! Kill! Oh!
Gone are the days when freedom shone,
Now blood and steel meet bone,
In the light of battle's way

Victory! Victory! Oh!
With mace and chain in hand,
Sound the charge! Into glory ride!
O'er the top of vanquished pride!

OUR LORD IN IRON AWAITS


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Okay, I must admit that my preference for Good Aligned Iconics makes Oloch my least favorite new one so far.

That said...he's still pretty damn awesome, and I love that backstory. Tels' cookies thing is also pretty much my head-canon now.

I Agree. At least he isn’t evil and he is trying to “puzzle out how to balance the orc and human inside himself”.

Also for the first time I’m not too excited about the art. Could have something to do with him being a half-orc. I didn’t like Imrijka either. Wayne Reynolds is a genius, but you can’t have a favorite piece of art if all is equally good.

Tels' cookies thing is awesome and the home-knitted cap to go is hilarious.

Ipslore the Red wrote:
It's okay. I'd give it 6 out of 10. Halgra is cooler than her son.

Not my favorite backstory, although Halgra as the mother is just mind blowing. Still, there are many cool details in the backstory (Halgra, the drum, etc.), but the oversized sword was unnecessary. All in all, a backstory that fits the character. I think Sutter has done a good job.

Edit: perhaps the art comes first. In that case Sutter is not to be blamed for the oversized sword or saluted for the drum.
Jiggy wrote:

My order of preference so far:

1) Quinn
2) Jirelle
3) Oloch

Mine as well.

It will be interesting to compare the three first with the rest of the new Iconics, but I doubt anything can beat Quinn.
We are starting a new game next week I would have loved to play an Investigator just as much as my friend would have loved to play a Warpriest.

Scarab Sages

I find it odd that a warpriest of Gorum would take such little care of his weapon. It must be very dull to rest on his shoulder like that.

Liberty's Edge

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Deidre Tiriel wrote:
I find it odd that a warpriest of Gorum would take such little care of his weapon. It must be very dull to rest on his shoulder like that.

If you look closely, I'm pretty sure he's resting it against his gorget. Which is to say against steel armor. So...no need for it not to be sharp.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zergtitan wrote:
The only thought that crosses my mind is, how can such a thin hilt support such a large blade?

I can only imagine that at some point Wayne Reynolds must have looked at a picture of Cloud Strife and for some reason thought that's what all fantasy artwork and weapons (besides rapiers for some reason) was supposed to look like, and that we would like that for some reason.


Drock11 wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
The only thought that crosses my mind is, how can such a thin hilt support such a large blade?
I can only imagine that at some point Wayne Reynolds must have looked at a picture of Cloud Strife and for some reason thought that's what all fantasy artwork and weapons (besides rapiers for some reason) was supposed to look like, and that we would like that for some reason.

Wait... Do we not like that? I love it... My Warpriest is gonna have an oversized weapon because of this...

Also... By the way... Favorite ACG Iconic so far...

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Deidre Tiriel wrote:
I find it odd that a warpriest of Gorum would take such little care of his weapon. It must be very dull to rest on his shoulder like that.

Everything I have been told about larger swords in history says that razor sharp edges on swords were not the norm. They rarely survive more than a couple of blows and then they are bent, the edge not the sword, and less useful that a blade that was not as sharp to begin with. Also, again my understanding, larger blades relied more on the momentum of the blade than on the edge.

Again this is all from my understanding of what I have been told by people who know more about this stuff than I.


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The reason his sword is so huge is because it's supposed to be. Gorum's favored weapon is a greatsword so his warpriest is wielding one. Someone more familiar than me with Medieval weaponry may say that it's still to big. To that, I say: he's intentionally wielding a larger version. It shows off his superhuman strength and his devotion to his god. If a greatsword is favored of Gorum then surely an even bigger one is even more favored.


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His logic is flawless.


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Mikaze wrote:
Quote:

Fortunately for Oloch, the legend of a woman brave enough to adventure alone in the Hold of Belkzen—and rumored to tryst unashamedly with orcs—is a hard one to stifle. So it was that he soon found himself standing before the gates of the human settlement of Trunau, calling for its leader, Halgra of the Blackened Blades, to stand forth and meet her son.

To his surprise, she did, and Oloch found himself both shocked and vaguely discomfited by the warmth with which Halgra greeted her lost son, welcoming him into her house. There she told him the story of his birth—how he was the product of a short-lived dalliance with a powerful orc leader she refused to name, and how he had been stolen from her as an infant during a raid on her campsite. She introduced him to his half-siblings, and offered him a place as a defender of Trunau.

Yet a wolf can never be a simple dog, no matter how much it might long to wear the chain. To Halgra's horror, Oloch's lust for battle refused to be sated by simple raids and training bouts. Citizens who roused his ire were terribly injured, and in the end Halgra herself had to take up her sword and drive him from the town, announcing that she would always love him as a son—but that he would never again be allowed in Trunau until he learned to control his battle lust and turn his divine abilities toward a positive end.

YES YES YES YES YES

I knew I loved Halgra for good reason! :D The implications of what she got up to in her past adds a lot of nuance to Belkzen. That and consensual half-orc origins. YES.

Also love that while Oloch is far from a good person, he's trying. And that relationship with his (still living!) mother. This is the first time an iconic has been so closely linked to an already established NPC, isn't it?

Gah, really curious about the orc warlord who was his father now...

If nothing else, thank you, Paizo, for making my friend happy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
graywulfe wrote:
Deidre Tiriel wrote:
I find it odd that a warpriest of Gorum would take such little care of his weapon. It must be very dull to rest on his shoulder like that.

Everything I have been told about larger swords in history says that razor sharp edges on swords were not the norm. They rarely survive more than a couple of blows and then they are bent, the edge not the sword, and less useful that a blade that was not as sharp to begin with. Also, again my understanding, larger blades relied more on the momentum of the blade than on the edge.

Sounds resonable.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Suma3da wrote:
Love the art. Makes it very clear that his guy is a Warrior first and a Priest second.

Oh, he's a pretty darn good priest as well. He's another versatile character in the adventure card game: good at keeping you alive and the monsters dead.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope he gets 4 skills per level, but I doubt it. If it does, the warpriest and the Investigator may become my favorite classes along with the bard.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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graywulfe wrote:
Deidre Tiriel wrote:
I find it odd that a warpriest of Gorum would take such little care of his weapon. It must be very dull to rest on his shoulder like that.

Everything I have been told about larger swords in history says that razor sharp edges on swords were not the norm. They rarely survive more than a couple of blows and then they are bent, the edge not the sword, and less useful that a blade that was not as sharp to begin with. Also, again my understanding, larger blades relied more on the momentum of the blade than on the edge.

Again this is all from my understanding of what I have been told by people who know more about this stuff than I.

Many medieval swords used in warfare, like the estoc, lacked any cutting edge at all. Others, like claymores and some sabers, were only sharpened along the upper portion of the blade. Most combat effective "greatswords" that you see from the Renaissance forward have a fairly generous ricasso, or unsharpened length of blade above the guard or handle, that allows for easier use in close quarters and safer handling of the blade.

Many of the "classic" greatswords that would have inspired this art were not actually combat weapons, but were parade or ceremonial arms that never held, nor were intended to hold, an edge.

Basically, historically a sword that large would probably not be sharp, but it also wouldn't be intended for swinging around. Fortunately, history doesn't matter in a world where people regularly have the physique of an elite pro wrestler, and Oloch's sword is probably razor sharp and doesn't cut him because he's just that damn good.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:

Intereing backstory ...

But will we ever get a male elf iconic?

There are male elves?

Next you're going to tell me there are female dwarves... Or that gnomes are people...


5 people marked this as a favorite.

If he's a half-orc, I'd hate to see a full one.

Is he using his holy symbol as an improvised weapon? That better show up in the equipment book.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Devastation Bob wrote:

If he's a half-orc, I'd hate to see a full one.

My first thought when I saw the art, before I actually read the backstory, was "Holy crap, they're doing an orc Iconic?!?! Sweet!"

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Some Half-Orcs favor one side of the family, some the other. Oloch apparently takes after his father in looks...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Devastation Bob wrote:
Is he using his holy symbol as an improvised weapon? That better show up in the equipment book.

I think he's using an improvised weapon as his holy symbol, not the other way around. I think that's a Gorumite altar on a chain.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

These new iconics never cease to amaze, do they? It's quite rare and refreshing to see a half orc that was born from a consensual pairing. His backstory and motivations are really good, too! I like how in spite of being a warpriest, he actually questions on how he can use his skills at war for good without him forsaking the sword or his warrior mentality at all. It's a really good way of showing the more intricate facets of what it means to be an individual that worships Gorum. Gorum's always been a somewhat iffy deity for me; I thought he was pretty cool as far as warrior gods go, but I found it hard to get inspired by him for the purposes of making a PC. Oloch showed me the errors of that line of thinking.


Joseph Davis wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
You can tell he's a Gorumite from that flail! :D

If by flail, you mean that wicked looking psuedo-holy symbol flail? Seriously, it looks like a sword driven into some rocks! Also, seemingly effective flail!

Seriously, I teared up though, great story, love this Iconic. He's one I was super excited to find out more about.

that is Gorum's Holy Symbol in a nut shell, A sword driven into the side of a mountain


Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.

how about Tiefling or Aasimar iconics

Shadow Lodge

Blackvial wrote:
Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.
how about Tiefling or Aasimar iconics

Sadly, already refused. All Iconics will be core races, and most will be Humans. Unfortunately.


Orthos wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.
how about Tiefling or Aasimar iconics
Sadly, already refused. All Iconics will be core races, and most will be Humans. Unfortunately.

that makes me sad, but i can live with it

Shadow Lodge

Blackvial wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
Maccabee wrote:
I like this guy but, FFS, can we get another dwarf? I thought for sure the Warpriest would be a dwarf.
how about Tiefling or Aasimar iconics
Sadly, already refused. All Iconics will be core races, and most will be Humans. Unfortunately.
that makes me sad, but i can live with it

You and me both man.

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