8). Svelor of the Golden Shield
The Empire of the Winged Serpent is old; older than humankind. It has never truly fallen but the ages of its might have passed. Its wars against the Elder Things that fell from the stars, the Children of the Sea, the Iron Beasts and the Ageless Dark are legends even among the deathless rulers who slither among the great halls and chambers of its temples and palaces. Too many have fallen, too few are born and the time of madness and breeding rarely happens among the race of snakemen who pulled themselves from the primordial swamps of eons long forgotten.
Svelor is the champion of his race. He bears the Golden Shield of the protector, a potent item of science and magic that warps those who would strike at him till their very strength twists them into parodies of himself, the Snakemen's Bastards who serve the bearer of the shield even against any he should choose. His Sword is also golden, a strong curving blade, enchanted to sever arms or heads at swing, but still weighing so much that no normal human could hope to swing it. His crown is his armor, more protection than plate. Svelor moves with the grace and suppleness that belie his massive size. He towers on his belly half again as high as a man. On his shoulders are the Grace of the Sun; spiked and padded on his shoulders the golden metal resting on the skin of the first emperor. They give him strength and heal his flesh so that wearing them, Svelor can never truly die.