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TERA unveils race and class series, world lore

Jef Reahard

While we've all enjoyed the steady diet of screenshots En Masse Entertainment has been feeding us over the past few months, it's been a while since the devs have deigned to deliver a dish that approximated a main course. Today, the makers of TERA have revealed a bit of filet mignon to go with all of the appetizers, in the form of the first entry in their Race and Class series.

Today's profiles outline castanics and slayers as well as a new synopsis of the game's lore and world backstory. If that's not enough for you, keep an eye on Massively tomorrow for an exclusive TERA reveal.

Slash past the cut for the juicy details, and don't forget the gallery of new screens below. You can also read more about the slayer class via Zam's in-depth class preview.

Gallery: TERA Race and Class series | 41 Photos

Featured Race: castanic

"First to fight, first to drink!" -castanic oath

Small in stature with reddish skin, sharp (although largely ornamental) horns, and long ears, castanics (cuh-STAN-iks) possess an indomitable will that belies their devilish appearance. They have more hair color variety than any other race, although their most common hair color is white. Independent and self-sufficient, castanics tend to rely upon their innate individual strengths. They are cunning, strong, and agile, and make great scouts and spies.

Since the fall of their god during the Divine War, castanics have suffered prejudice and oppression. Like the elves, they have a dark history, and the castanic inclination toward fierce independence and dark humor makes many uneasy around them. Still, castanics are an integral part of the federation, valued, if uneasy, allies.

Featured Class: Slayer

Slayers use mighty greatswords to sweep their enemies from the field. They prefer the mobility of light leather armor, but their weapons are implements of overwhelming brute force rather than speed or precision. The weight of the greatsword slows their attacks, but when they connect, they deal great amounts of damage. Slayers' ability to strike from behind make them useful for helping allies who are surrounded by enemies.

The slayer's strong Whirlwind attack has several times the power of the class's basic attack and cuts down enemies on all sides. In order for Whirlwind to do its full damage, the slayer must spend 1.5 seconds "casting" the attack uninterrupted. The cast time might seem like a downside, but the high damage more than makes up for it!

A useful attack to use on foes directly in front of the slayer, Trip Attack does high damage with an 8-second cooldown. Trip Attack has a "cast" time of 1.6 seconds, similar to Whirlwind, but if executed it has a great chance of knocking down the slayer's target.

The Story of TERA: Past and Present

Over a millennia ago, two titans of unimaginable power, Arun and Shara, met in a formless void and created the world of TERA. For reasons we can only guess, they fell asleep. And as they slept, the world took shape around them.

One need only look at a present-day map of the world to see Arun and Shara-their sleeping bodies became the two continents that bear their names. Centuries passed, and deserts, mountains, rivers, and forests grew upon the sleeping forms of Arun and Shara. Yet still they slept.

Even for an omnipotent titan, every sleep is a chance to dream. As Arun and Shara slept, their dreams came to life-life in the literal sense. Arun's and Shara's dreams coalesced into the first living beings to call the world of TERA home. These first creatures, twelve in all, had godlike power. Yet it wasn't long before schemes and rivalries emerged and the gods were at each other's throats.

And still, Arun and Shara continued to dream. Their new dreams took shapes familiar to the gods. These new creatures-the mortals-were far more numerous, but far less powerful.

Arun dreamed of ambitious elves, clever humans, honor-bound amani, powerful giants, scheming devas, and mischievous poporis. Shara dreamed of sly sikandari, dark gulas and vampirs, fierce wendigos, strange faeries, and serpentine nagas.

In time, the twelve gods would go to war-first against each other directly, and then drawing the mortal races into their battles. These divine wars left most of the gods dead, imprisoned, or otherwise diminished.

The mortal races didn't escape unscathed, either. Some-like the sikandari, and most of the giants-were wiped out. Others-like the barakas and the castanics-emerged from the conflict itself. And as TERA begins, the humans, high elves, amani, castanics, barakas, and poporis have banded together . . .

. . . and together they'll fight a menace from menace from deep beneath the world's surface: the argons, a terrifying race of machine-like creatures bent on destruction. Unless stopped, the terraforming argons will destroy Arun and Shara, and then the dream will end for everyone.

Thirty years after its formation, the unity of the Valkyon Federation remains strong. But new events are unfolding, and the heroes of the federation are engaged in the long-running war with the argons, leaving no established forces to protect the people of the land from new dangers. To top it off, a mysterious new island has appeared between the two continents of Arun and Shara. What does it portend? It's the player's mission to investigate and find out!

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