Stryker Aftershock

Lord General Stryker during the Cygnaran invasion of occupied Llael

Lord General Coleman Stryker is a warcaster of Cygnar and the current commander of the elite Storm Division. Known for his courage and stubbornness Stryker has become a hero among the Cygnaran populace and the foremost champion of King Leto Raelthorne.[1]

History Edit

Early History Edit

Coleman Stryker was born on 575 AR to Joseph Stryker and Laura Stryker in the Town of Fisherbrook.Laura Stryker died of illness while Coleman was still young, leaving Joseph to raise his son alone.[1]

On the day of Goloven 9th, 591 AR, Coleman Stryker took control of a nearby steamjack through unknown means resulting in the destruction of an estimated 1,500 crowns’ worth of property to Ironmonger Steam Works and led to physical injuries to several workers, including the owner, amounting to another 2,000 crowns’ worth of damage. Coleman claimed that he only sought to defend his father against attacks from Ironmonger Steam Works proprietor Alec Branner. However numerous eye witness testimonies indicate Joseph was only being severely reprimanded for failure to complete his duties and was in no physical danger and the court has determined the incident was not malicious on the part of Coleman Stryker. Nevertheless due to his reckless endangerment of people and personal property the court decided that as Coleman is yet of age, Joseph is responsible for the payment of all damages. The debt Joseph incurred as a result of Coleman's actions would have been outright crippling. However due to intervention of Asheth Magnus not only was the entire sum paid, but the whole incident, including the official records, was quickly swept under the rug. Joseph Stryker served in the Cygnaran military under Captain Asheth Magnus. Magnus seeing the warcaster potential in Coleman monitored the family of his former subordinate.[1]

Upon their arrival in Caspia, Magnus used his influence to have Stryker placed within Cygnaran Royal Guard. Such a move gave Stryker some of the best martial training available while ensuring that Stryker would be kept close to Magnus. During this the Stryker showed incredible determination and fearlessness going toe-to-toe with veteran guardsmen. However Instructors noted Stryker's arrogance and sent him through commando graduation course named the "Gauntlet" due to its extreme difficulty with most failing at the first obstacle. Stryker however managed make it through the entire course even though his performance was not enough to qualify as a Commando.It was also believed that Magnus was secretly training Stryker in the arcane as a warcaster during this time. However Magnus's interest in Stryker and his performance resulted in Stryker gaining the attention of Sebastian Nemo. [1]

Nemo using his influence transferred Stryker to Stormblade training which resulted in Stryker building new connections and gaining a respect for the Storm Knights. In the end of 593 AR, in a surprising move Magnus used his leverage to have Stryker entered into the journeyman trial. Which is normally only open to senior apprentices from the academy. Though failure is rare, these apprentices typically resume training until the next trial. Despite nearly three years of close training under Magnus combined with his tremendous innate talent, his performance was marked as a failure despite the official report from the Stryker’s trial states he indeed overcame the arduous test, it goes on to mark his . As the journeyman trials are closed to all except the leading instructors there are no eye witness accounts. It is unknown if Nemo and Kinbrace failed him to prevent Stryker from becoming a journeyman under Magnus or if Magnus engineered it to fail so Stryker would be disillusioned with the institution and see Magnus as his only mentor this is further backed by letters sent by the Strategic Academy inviting Stryker to join the institution as an apprentice in order to undergo proper training being refused [1]

It was the Stryker’s role in the Lion’s Coup that truly defined his destiny as well as Cygnar's. Stryker fought for King Vinter alongside Magnus. Magnus isolated and trapped Leto loyalists fighting outside the throne room. After Leto offered to surrender in order to spare his men Magnus ordered them to be executed which resulted in Stryker demanding a trial and arguing with Magnus. When Stryker refused to follow Magnus’ order, the man turned his warjacks on Stryker. Right before Magnus could give the order, Stryker slammed his hand into the ground and arcane runes erupted. The entire room shook with Stryker’s earthquake, one of his own .Defenders fell on top of Magnus, crushing his leg and side, as a result the tide was the battle changed and Vinter was dethroned and Magnus imprisoned.[1]

Stryker began formal training at the Strategic Academy 594 AR but was transferred to the Northern Branch in Point Bourne due to Magnus's escape after refusing royal pardon. Stryker was an exceptional cadet and warcaster apprentice but his attitudes remained a problem.[1]

595 AR Stryker began the journeyman tour under Commander Sebastian Nemo during which he slayed a Tharn chieftain .Under the direct tutelage of the senior warcaster Commander Adept Sebastian Nemo, he mastered the art of martial spellcraft and honed his natural abilities to control Cygnaran warjacks. They obeyed him with uncanny precision, and he demonstrated none of the usual fumbling and uncertainties of other fresh warcasters. In order to teach some humility Nemo entrusted Stryker with an ironclad that was notoriously difficult to control and was used to challenge apprentices. Soon Stryker and Nemo joined the Thrid Army in defending against Cryxian attacks. During this time Stryker bonded with his Ironclad which he named Ol' Rowdy and bond between the two encouraged even more reckless behavior and the cocksure attitude even though it made Stryker more aware as he was only able to assert control over the ’jack through mutual understanding rather than by force of will.[1]
Commander Stryker

Stryker during his time as Commander

It was with no small measure of pride that Stryker accepted his mentor’s pronouncement that he

was ready to stand as a full warcaster. He had accomplished a great deal in a short time, inducted into military life by a less-than-scrupulous benefactor who had set the naive youth on an initially darker path. Had things gone differently during the Lion’s Coup, Coleman Stryker would surely be a different man. But under the often heavy-handed guidance of Nemo, Stryker’s course was realigned, and he stalwartly pursued his role as a champion of Cygnar even before earning his first commission.[2]

Commander Coleman Stryker Edit

Not content to idly await the call to battle, Stryker committed to proactive patrols along the border regions, spending time in every significant post where hostile enemies threatened Cygnaran soil. He has killed many enemy soldiers and seen close friends die ugly deaths, and at times their faces haunt his thoughts. Still, he knows sacrifice is necessary to preserve the nation he loves. His dedication to Cygnar’s defense allowed him to advance rapidly through the ranks to the coveted position of commander, a distinction he achieved at a remarkably young age. Though Commander Stryker sees himself as just another soldier fighting for the crown, King Leto himself was present for his promotion ceremony, publicly affirming this warcaster as the nation’s finest young battlefield leader. Stryker’s youth compared to the aged generals leading the king’s army may deceive some into believing he has not earned his rank, but battlefield experience has made him wise beyond his years. He goes to great lengths to preserve the lives of his men. A fine leader, a better soldier, and one of the most accomplished warcasters in the Iron Kingdoms, Coleman Stryker was born to be a hero of Cygnar and expects to die defending his beloved nation.[2]

Two short years after being promoted to commander, Stryker would find himself tested in ways he likely never imagined. The Llaelese War was a conflict the likes of which the region had not seen in almost a century, a far cry from the isolated skirmishes of recent history. This war saw Cygnar on the defensive. Arriving too late to halt the inexorable Khadoran advance,Commander Stryker ever truly tasted defeat for the first time and feeling the choking frustration of seeing allies and innocents suffer while he himself was powerless. The arrival of Protectorate forces and the insidious depredations of Cryx into this tumult only made matters worse[1]

Lord Commander Stryker

Stryker after his promotion to Lord Commander

Lord Commander Edit

If King Leto has ever placed his faith in one man, it would be Coleman Stryker. Few others have been as tested in battle and character as Stryker. The warcaster has proven his bravery and unfailing loyalty to the Cygnaran crown in dozens of battles, but the carnage he witnessed during the invasion of Llael scourged him clean of his youthful ideals. The once-merciful soldier became a man of pitiless inclinations, and many within Cygnar questioned his actions in the conflict that soon followed.[2]

Stryker was elevated to lord commander by King Leto in 606 AR and was given carte blanche to wage war against the enemies of the crown as he saw fit, Lord Stryker assembled a force handpicked from the best of the Cygnaran Army to create his “Storm Division” to replace the 6th Division of the Second Army. After a series of attacks and sabotage by Menite infiltrators, Stryker ordered the arrest of every Menite man, woman, and child in eastern Cygnar. Stryker went so far as to pardon former inquisitors of King Vinter Raelthorne IV and employing them to interrogate Menites among the Cygnaran populace. Even though King Leto was uncomfortable with the decision approval by the Primarch and the Scout General swayed the king. Inquisitors judged the menites and sometimes resorted to torture and as a result their tents had to be placed away from military encampments to hide the screams of suspected traitors. [1][3][4]

Stryker razed menite businesses, districts and churches of menites to the ground without hesitation while menite civilians were boarded to massive war barges to be delivered to Bloodstone Island, a prison previously reserved for Cygnar’s worst criminals. The golden swan of Cygnar he wore was replaced with a black emblem which serves as a warning to any enemy of Cygnar, when they see the black Cygnus, they can expect no mercy. The actions of Stryker angered Nemo but Stryker seized a powerful prototype suit of armor from Nemo’s own workshop against the elder warcaster’s warnings.[4]

Commander Stryker fought the Sul-Menites with a bitter hatred that would have been unimaginable in the young man just a few years earlier. Under his command, Major Brisbane breached the walls of Sul and the flag of Cygnar was carried almost to the Great Temple of the Creator. Stryker spent a harsh year embattled in the streets of Sul, engaged in continuous strife to the extent that he nearly forgot all memories of peace.[2]

During a brutal clash against Feora, the Protector of the Flame, Stryker’s enemy ignited the temple where they fought in a desperate gamble to save her own life. Stryker had to choose between pursuing Feora and saving the innocent Menites around him. This was a choice that offered the last chance of redemption. After he ensured the safety of the Menites, the burning building collapsed on him and nearly ended his life.[2]

Stryker was unconscious for weeks while he recovered. By the time he could walk again, the tides of war had turned. Cygnaran forces had been pushed out of Sul, and the emboldened Menites surged into the streets of Caspia. Joined by Hierarch Garrick Voyle, supreme leader of the Protectorate of Menoth, the Menite crusaders became an almost unstoppable force threatening to destroy everything in their path. Stryker armed himself and rejoined the defenders, hoping to place another obstacle in the way of a seemingly invincible foe.[2]

Stryker initially sought to end the battle peaceably, going so far as to free the Menites he had once imprisoned. Voyle remained undeterred, so bent on conquest that he was willing to risk the lives of his own unarmed civilians. Stryker crossed blades with the hierarch to protect those he had once arrested for treason. The results of this titanic duel surprised all who watched, including the lord commander, as Hierarch Voyle’s reign ended by Stryker’s hand. Some have taken this as a sign of divine providence.[2]

After this experience, Stryker was a changed man. He remained willing to commit to ruthlessness to earn victory, yet learned to balance these violent impulses with the need to protect the innocent. His battles from this point forward were informed by the knowledge that the survival of his nation relies on not only his strength but also his restraint. His deeds have become legendary: those who confront him in battle know true fear, for he is the man who toppled the high priest of the Creator and emerged stronger than before.[2]

Lord General Stryker Edit

Lord General Stryker

Lord General Coleman Stryker charge into battle

Coleman Stryker has long shouldered the greatest responsibilities for his beloved nation and king. While he committed to the call of duty with seemingly inexhaustible reserves of stamina, recent events have included trials that have tested his very soul. Indeed, many thought Stryker lost during the campaign in Sul, in both spirit and body. It was with great relief that they saw the lord commander rise from the proverbial ashes, his body still broken but his belief in the noble ideals of Cygnar renewed.[5]

Since that time, Stryker has been at the center of every major Cygnaran conflict, tasked by his king with keeping the Storm Division ready for any battle where the expertise of its veteran soldiers can be brought to bear. Created to be separate from Cygnar’s primary armies and to serve in support of them, this force quickly became one of the nation’s most powerful offensive assets. Stryker led his division north to liberate Point Bourne from the Cryxian invasion and then to fight alongside the Khadoran Army confronting the Nightmare Empire deep in the Thornwood. Through it all, Stryker has remained a bastion of courage for the Cygnaran Army.[5]

Stryker’s promotion to lord general late in 608 AR sent a clear message to the king’s general staff. The freedoms granted to the lord commander had raised some concerns among the War Council about the impact of this special rank on Cygnar’s chain of command. King Leto responded by demonstrating utmost confidence in this warcaster and his judgment; as lord general, Stryker’s place among the preeminent commanders of the nation was reinforced. Shortly after this promotion, Stryker was at the center of a string of impressive victories, including the successful second assault against Cryx in the Thornwood and a daring strike in which he defeated Lich Lord Terminus. This battle also let Cygnar seize from Cryx a prize more valued than any territory or wealth: a dragon athanc, which was prevented from falling to the clutches of Lord Toruk.[5]

After Khador betrayed its alliance with Cygnar and Vinter Raelthorne IV rallied his treacherous supporters in an attempt to seize back his throne, Lord General Stryker protected King Leto and ensured he could reach Fharin, where the final battle of the Second Cygnaran Civil War would take place. Stryker stood at the center of this storm alongside his liege, confronting the tyrant they had both helped overthrow in the Lion’s Coup. The last few years have been difficult for Coleman Stryker as he has had to come to grips with Cygnar under new rule, led by a king whose face reminds him of a hated villain. Yet now more than ever the Cygnaran Army has need of his experience, courage, and convictions. He stands as the greatest hope of his new king and his tattered nation in these trying times.[2]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 No Quarter #50
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Forces of Warmachine: Cygnar Command MK3
  3. Warmachine: Escalation MK1
  4. 4.0 4.1 Warmachine: Apotheosis MK 1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Warmachine: Vengeance