When I started Kingdoms of Immacus, I had some concerns over whether or not the main kingdoms would be too odd from the tropes people were familiar with. There were no orcs, elves, dwarves, and goblins. Instead, there were chubby ghosts, anthropomorphic wolves, bug/lizard hybrids, crystal creatures, parasites from the stars, and mean desert dwelling humanoids. I decided the game needed a race that would let players know there was still some classic fantasy in the game, so I decided to add humans. Granted, there are still fantasy creatures, but they are not in the forefront of the political drama in the game. Each kingdom has a human alliance that shares their goals or agenda in some way. In the case of the Astracites, those humans are the Rotsguard.
The Rotsguard Necromancers are reviled in Immacus because the reanimation of the dead takes the spirit from the Veil and traps it in this physical husk. Once the reanimated corpse is destroyed, the spirit is then released back into the Veil.
This ability to toy with the dead brought D’Dorian Star to the Rotsguard to create an alliance in exchange for access to the ruins of Baphodine and the secrets of Trilisian magic that reside there. What better way to keep the Astracites with hosts than to create them from the dead.
The Rotsguard’s magic has been deemed as a lesser magic compared to the other magic of Immacus and the Rotsguard being opportunistic, saw a way to increase their prestige by mastering Trilisian magic now that their people had been wiped out by the Astracites.
The Rotsguard are not evil per se, neither are the Astracites, but I would say their agendas do not line up with the greater welfare of Immacus as a whole, so I needed that to be portrayed in the image.The Rotsguard Necromancer was the first image I had commissioned by artist Le Rastislav. The Rotsguard are prideful and menacing, and I think Le was able to show that well in the painting.
He was great to work with, gave me several updates, and the final image captured everything I wanted to capture with the Rotsguard Necromancer’s tone. Since then, I have been working with Le Rastislav for a couple of years now, and he is a fantastic artist, doing several pieces of art for the game.
It was important to me that the Rotsguard Necromancer's abilities were thematic and made sense. His Parasitize Bone ability uses the vanity italics, telling the player this ability is not one to memorize, it's just for theme. Not only is the necromancer bringing the dead to life with his ability, the ability is insinuating there is a connection with the Astracites. He is turning a skeleton into an Unbound One-infested unit. The Unbound One is the base unit of the Astracites, bringing that connection full circle.
The lore is saying the Rotsguard are connected to the Astracites for A, B, and C reasons and is confirmed through the card's abilities. This is the standard for Kingdoms of Immacus. If there is any way to connect lore, art, and text, I do my best to do so. The Rotsguard Necromancer was the first card finished for the game, and so there is always a special place in my heart for the first card. It really showed me the process was working, and I had a great world here that I was excited to share.
The initial sketch from Le.
A rough flat sketch of the Rotsguard Necromancer
Final submission of the Rotsguard Necromancer
The initial sketch from Le.