Torak, The Dog of the Witch Queen

To understand the Dog of the Witch Queen, one must first understand Irrisen and the White Witches.

Almost every youth in Avistan fears the White Witches of the North, who dwell in palaces of ice and steal wicked children in the dark of winter and imprison their souls in eerie porcelain dolls. More terrifying still is the legend of the queen of all Witches, Baba Yaga, who came to Golarion, conquered a nation, and then suddenly left. Some say she will one day return to seek larger spoils—perhaps slaves and souls instead of land.

Nearly 1,400 years ago, the territory that comprises present day Irrisen belonged to the mighty Linnorm Kings. During one particularly harsh winter, an innumerable host of blue-skinned trolls and cold fey marched down from the Crown of the World, led by the ghastly crone Baba Yaga, an incredibly powerful sorceress from a distant world of the Great Beyond. The self-proclaimed Queen of Witches quickly subjugated the region, killing any who resisted and enslaving the rest. The fighting ended just 23 days after it began, and the nation of Irrisen was born. The nation has been locked in the heart of winter ever since.

Strangely enough, after carving out her kingdom, Baba Yaga seemed uninterested in ruling it and instead installed one of her cruel daughters to govern in her place. Every 100 years, though, the Queen of Witches returns to reclaim her child and install a new daughter to rule for the next century. The previous daughter, along with her children, then leaves with Baba Yaga to explore strange worlds, times, and alternative dimensions. The new daughter quickly goes about installing her own childreninto positions of power throughout the kingdom. Males assume the leadership of the queen’s fighting forces, marshalling squads of ice trolls and packs of winter wolves to protect the realm, while females see to the government and administration of the land, often regardless of age. These granddaughters of Baba Yaga, collectively known as the White Witches, command a level of respect and obeisance from their subjects that borders on worship, either from fear or as genuine adoration.

With the backing of her powerful mother, Queen Elvannia rules Irrisen with an iron fist uncontested by any. She rarely, if ever, leaves her palace in Whitethrone, but with her numerous sons and daughters acting on her behalf in each of the settled areas of Irrisen, nothing transpires in her kingdom without her knowing of it sooner or later. With her rule coming to an end soon, she and her offspring work furiously to leave their mark on Golarion long after they leave—erecting massive statues of themselves, siring and birthing hordes of children to carry on their names, and imposing the harshest taxes ever known in the history of Irrisen.

Sitting at the center of the snow-covered Hoarwood forest, Hoarwood is a city is carved from the trunk of an immense dead tree now petrified after centuries of lifelessness. The White Witch Anelisha and her brother and incestuous lover, Ghrathis, while away their waning rule in one fête champêtre after the other, with each party exceeding the previous in the magnitude of debauchery, bloodiness, and savagery.

Torak is the son of these horrid despots. Fifth of the 7 sons of Ghrathis, the 7th son of Elvannia. His semi-divine heritage grants him a blessing bestowed at birth by the winter fey who ally with Baba Yaga, the strength of a Frost Giant.

Raised in a life of savagery and intrigue he displeased his mother and only the intercession of his father allowed him to escape with banishment instead of ritual beheading and sacrifice to the cold and wicked gods of Winter. He fled south to the easy, soft kingdoms of southern Avistan to wreak his hate and vengeance upon them. Gathering a cohort of scoundrels and murderers from Ustalav and the River Kingdoms he has a crude fortified encampment deep int he woods of Eastern Canterwall in Ustalav.

Torak, The Dog of the Witch Queen

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