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"With the roar of engines and the thunder of guns, we rip each day from life's teeth."

The feline charr of Tyria are a victorious race challenged by their own success. They have survived defeat, oppression, and civil war. They have returned, reconquered, and rebuilt their original homes. Their mighty fortress, the Black Citadel, dominates the surrounding ruins of the human city of Rin, and their non-magical technology is the mightiest in the land. Yet despite their success, they are challenged by divisions among their people, the power of the Elder Dragons, and the ghosts of their own victories.

This, then, is their story.

History

The charr made the open lands east of the Shiverpeaks their home for many long years before the arrival of the humans. After they were driven from Ascalon, they engaged for centuries in a war with the humans, only to have their efforts stymied by the power of the human gods and technology. However, they rallied and eventually invaded the human nations. Distant Kryta resisted their incursions, but both Orr and Ascalon ultimately chose self-destruction over defeat by the charr.

The charr paid for their success dearly; the old High Legions (Ash, Blood, and Iron) were put under the yoke of the Flame Legion, who researched forbidden magics and worshipped dark, false gods. The Flame Legion also subordinated the charr females, who had previously been equals to the males. As the war lengthened, each success was attributed to the inherent rightness of the Flame Legion's crusade, while each failure was used as an excuse for others to sacrifice for the good of the Flame Legion shamans.

In the end, the charr did take Ascalon, but its maddened human king chose to invoke his own dark magic, the Foefire, which stripped the souls of his people from their bodies and left them to eternally guard their land as ghosts. The Flame Legion won the battle, but their victory condemned the charr to an eternal insurrection.

The charr females defied the rule of the Flame Legion, gathering with them rebellious factions from the other charr legions. The Iron, Blood, and Ash Legions joined the uprising after the insurgents' leader, Kalla Scorchrazor, won the support of the Iron Legion Imperator. Together, they cast down the Flame Legion shamans and regained control of the fate of the charr race. The Iron Legion, for its part, took control of Ascalon.

Since that time, the charr have had to fight on multiple fronts. An eternal and undead foe struggles to regain Ascalon. The Flame Legion is bowed, but not broken; it plots to retake control. The humans continue to fight in the distant fortress of Ebonhawke. And recently, the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik scarred Ascalon with the great Dragonbrand. Yet despite the challenges, the charr remain a potent force east of the Shiverpeaks and masters of Ascalon.

The Black Citadel

Upon the overthrow of the Flame Legion, the Iron Legion was granted control of the conquered kingdom of Ascalon by the other victorious legions. They built their main fortress-city, the Black Citadel, on the human ruins of Rin. The wreckage of that destroyed city can still be seen among the foundations of the citadel. While the Iron Legion is officially in charge, Blood and Ash Legions both have a major presence in the city.

As the Iron Legion is the most technologically skilled of the charr legions, its city is a vast foundry and center of industry. The Black Citadel is dominated by the huge Imperator's Core, a great spherical structure that houses the headquarters of the three legions, the offices of the tribunes, and the war council, where the legions meet to plan strategy. The Iron Legion Imperator, Smodur the Unflinching, oversees all of this and coordinates the charr in Ascalon with a veteran's eye.

A Target-Rich Environment

The charr face many challenges. Although they control Ascalon, that control is neither as sure nor as strong as they would like. The Foefire, summoned by the last human King of Ascalon, infested the former human territories with ghosts who still see the charr as invaders to be driven from the land.

The Flame Legion has survived, but they have withdrawn to their northern bases. From there, they continue their assault on the legions, seeking to undermine the leadership and to regain control of the charr.

Yet the greatest and most immediate danger has been brought by the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik. Once freed from its deep tomb, the dragon flew south, its mere presence scouring and transforming the land beneath it. That blasted landscape bisects Eastern Ascalon and serves as a battleground for the dragon minions' continual war with the charr. Kralkatorrik's passing has had another effect: ogres have come out the Blazeridge Mountains to the east and seek to settle their herds in these new lands.

Humans also survive, making their stand in Ebonhawke, where Krytan support and asura gates have kept the city from falling to a centuries-long siege. Now confronted by the power of an Elder Dragon, the three legions have chosen to negotiate with humans rather than battle them. The negotiations have resulted in a tentative truce, and humans are now permitted in the Black Citadel itself. Still, it will take generations before the long wars are forgotten.

The Triumph of the Charr

Despite all the challenges facing the charr, they have prospered in Ascalon. The great shards of the Searing are now surrounded by grass and young trees; the rolling hills of the former kingdom, once blasted to twisted wreckage by war, are now covered with grass and used to raise herds of meat animals to feed the legions. The ironclad encampments of the legions dot the landscape.

Due to their long history of conflicts, the charr are the most militarily and technologically advanced race in Tyria. Their rifles and pistols are among the most finely made, and their forging technology is superior to that of even the ancient and legendary dwarves. Individual artisans may produce better weapons, but on a mass production scale, no other group holds a candle to the mighty charr arsenals. However, not all of their advancements involve weapons--they also make some of the finest clockwork and spring-driven devices in Tyria.

With the rigid foundation of their warbands and the ruthless efficiency of their leadership, the charr face their opponents as they have always faced them: united in purpose. They have triumphed over internal dissension and external threat, have retaken their ancestral lands, and now face the world as one of the strongest and most energized races in Tyria.

Blog

Read the ArenaNet Blog for more information about the charr!

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