Skarner is an immense crystalline scorpion from a hidden valley in Shurima. Part of the ancient Brackern race, Skarner and his kin are known for their great wisdom and deep connection to the land, as their souls are fused with powerful life crystals which hold the living thoughts and memories of their ancestors. In an age long past, the Brackern entered hibernation to avoid untold magical destruction, but recent, threatening events have roused Skarner. As the only Brackern awake, he strives to protect his kind from those who seek to harm them.
Long before men traversed the scorched deserts of Shurima, the very sand itself shone with primal, unchained magic. In a remote valley surrounded by steep cliffs and jagged rock formations, the age-old race of Brackern unearthed raw crystals from deep within the sand. Each of these noble creatures fused with a single stone, which retained their consciousness long after their death.
The demise of a Brackern was a rare occurrence, as their worldly lives stretched across millennia, but even death did not signify an ending. When a creature’s mortal form perished, its life stone was buried in the valley for safekeeping until a new Brackern could uncover it. This practice protected the vulnerable crystals while preserving the wisdom of the ones who came before.
With a finite number of stones, the young Brackern searched for the crystal meant for them, just as the consciousness within the stone beckoned to the Brackern it had chosen to inherit its magic and memories. In a sacred rite, the rock fused with crystalline flesh, imbuing the creature’s mind with memories and knowledge and flooding them with primal magic. A Brackern without a crystal would not long survive, for they lacked the strength, longevity, and power instilled by the stones.
The young creature named Skarner spent many years searching for the crystal meant for him. Afraid he would die before finding it, he grew more persistent in his search with each passing moon. Day and night, he delved deep into the ground, digging in a methodical pattern that covered the entire valley and neighboring hills with intricate spirals.
Skarner had all but given up when he finally felt an ancient consciousness tugging at his mind. He burrowed down, venturing ever deeper until the world’s heart warmed his shell. Days passed, but the consciousness grew ever more insistent as it urged him onward. Skarner’s pincers closed on a well-worn stone, and he heard a rasping whisper at the back of his mind. Though the voice was faint, he already felt intimately connected to its awareness, and he knew he had found his stone.
The crystal was larger than any he had seen, and so timeworn that its glow had faded to a soft glimmer. Its surface was cracked in several places and dulled from eons buried under the ground. Skarner examined the rock with the tenderest touch, afraid of further damaging something so ancient. The dim glow within pulsed as though breathing in response to Skarner’s presence.
Skarner began the bonding ritual, burying himself deep underground with the crystal for weeks without sustenance. Though he ached with fatigue and his limbs atrophied in starvation, he was not afraid, for the voice within the stone comforted him. When the crystal finally fused with his body, he was overwhelmed with emotion as ancient memories and wisdom permeated his thoughts. He witnessed moments of incredible joy and crushing sorrow from generations long deceased. He felt magic all around him, suffusing his body with a deep connection to the world through a low constant hum, and sensed his kind communicating in a wordless meeting of minds.
When the cataclysmic forces of the Rune Wars began to devastate the world, the Brackern feared the turmoil would soon mark the end of their species. They resolved to hide in hibernation until humans wiped themselves out, as it seemed certain they would. Only then would it be safe to emerge from the sands once more.
The crystalline scorpions buried themselves deep in the Shuriman desert with the youngest and most ferocious positioned closest to the surface, ready to awaken first and defend the others in case of danger. The strength Skarner gained from his ancient life stone made him more powerful than almost all of his kin, so he was one of the last of his kind to enter the long slumber.
They slept in peaceful isolation as centuries passed before Skarner awoke from his shallow burrow in a panic. Deafening explosions shattered the ground, targeting the Brackern where they lay sleeping and stunning those closest to the surface. A band of robbers had discovered the dormant creatures and were prying crystals from crystalline flesh. Skarner, protected from the brunt of the attack by his crystal, erupted from the sand in a terrible frenzy of sharp pincers and poisonous stabs. Though their numbers all but overwhelmed him, he killed many of the thieves, and the rest fled in terror. Skarner was horrified to learn he was the only one awake, and that many of his people’s crystals had already been stolen.
Skarner tried to revive his dormant companions, but the men had broken so many life stones in their thoughtless theft that several Brackern with damaged crystals died moments after Skarner woke them, while others would not wake at all. For weeks Skarner paced the sand above his sleeping brethren in sorrowful mourning. He was certain the crystals would quickly perish in the hands of men, and mourned their loss too.
Yet as the sun broke over the horizon many weeks later, Skarner heard distant echoes calling in his mind. The cries were faint, but rang clear over the land. These voices of the lost stones reached out to him in terror, imploring Skarner to reconnect them with their kind. Skarner hesitated, torn as to whether he should rescue the lost crystals or continue guarding the still-living Brackern. After weeks spent erasing all traces of the excavation, he could not stand to hear the minds of his kin suffering at the hands of the violent humans, and resolved to set out to save the missing crystals.
Skarner began the arduous task of tracking the stones, hoping no others would discover his kin beneath the sand. Though his search is lonely, he occasionally hears a lost crystal calling to him, a feeling that brings joy and anguish in equal measure. He focuses his sorrow into unshakable determination, and refuses to rest until he has recovered every last life stone.