« My race sailed these waters before yours crawled out of them. »
- — Rade Sark, Captain of the Krutost
Rade Sark is the captain of the Zellish ship "Krutost," and an Admiral Prince of great infamy. He is fair skinned, with blue eyes and dark hair which he wears closely cut in a military style. He is as said before very young for a Zell in his station, and physically appears to be in his 20s.
Rade Sark was once a member of The Queen's Zellish Legion in Krajina. He served in the Sliver Wars, was decorated for valor and bravery. Deserted near the end of the war after The Battle of the Bitter Sea, an action in which a huge number of his fellow Zells perished due to poor leadership and a lack of preparation by their Krajini overseers.
Sark's small band of deserters (eight ships, initially) would become the largest Zellish fleet to form in living memory, and under one of the youngest Admirals in history. The Black Fleet today commands most of the Western Sea. Run with the military efficiency Sark picked up in the Legion, its expansion in power and influence shows no sign of stopping. For now they settle with forcing coastal kingdoms to offer privileged trading rights to Zellish ships and to pay tribute for continued use of the traditional trade routes. Many fear, however, that Sark has bigger plans.
Background & PersonalityEdit
Sark is a Tesshectite Zell, and is the Admiral-Prince of The Western Sea.
Admirals lead "Fleets," which are essentially confederations of Zellish tribes who agree to work together to command areas of the ocean, and demand tribute from those who wish to traverse or trade through them. They establish "fortresses," which are essentially groups of ships lashed together that come to share a collective Dream, and eventually become so massive that they are effectively islands. From these fortresses, they can project power far more effectively than the landbound peoples, and they command absolute authority in their realms.
Sark is probably the most famous of the Admiral-Princes. He is what we might now call a Zell-Supremacist, and believes that the Zellish race is destined to conquer all others, and that all of humanity, and even the other Dinnic races, are merely a minor disturbance in the grand "History of Zell." His attempts to establish a maritime empire completely independent of the land have proven frighteningly successful, and he is considered an enemy of several states, including Lagoria, Krajina, Illegon and Dace.
Sark is whispered by some to have a human father, which may be the source of some of his hatred for humans. He is also known for being unusually young for a Zell of his rank, and thus being "short in the ear," which has been a source of extreme consternation when dealing with other Admiral Princes, such as Old Draguvich, Radovan, and Naggarok, all of whom are thousands of years older than him.
Sark keeps a human woman for a wife, named Ranveig, who he kidnapped either from Svitgard or perhaps the Thanemarch. She is the apple of his eye and he jealously guards her in the cabin of his flagship. His affection for her seems genuine, though ideologically this is a point of major hypocrisy for a man who essentially advocates the extermination of all humans.
The sword is a memoir from his days with the Queen's Zellish Legion. The Commissiarat never paid much attention to the Zellish auxiliaries, and their requisitions almost never reached the office of anyone interested in supplying them.
The result was that while they requested shorter curved swords that were to their liking, they were issued a huge surplus of backswords that had been stocked with the intention of raising an Albish cavalry regiment, before the Gusars sabotaged the effort to keep the filthy cider drinkers from muddying up honest cavalry.
The Zells hated them, and most just used clubs, knives and utility axes instead. Sark kept his because he had a background in swordsmanship, and because at the time, he was a very obedient soldier and wouldn't dream of neglecting his equipment. Now he keeps it around to remind him of how much he hates humans.
The armor is mostly ceremonial. It's a stripped down version of the old officer's cuirasses... Sort of like how gorgets gradually just became little boomerangs dangling from chains around the neck. It's mostly a symbol of rank.
- Sark has a last name, which in Zellish culture means that he knows who his father is. This makes him the Zellish equivalent of nobility.
- Sark's ship is named Krutost. This is Czech for "Cruelty." Interestingly, Rade Sark isn't a Czech name, suggesting further that Zellish names might be Pan-Slavic.
- Sark has been mentioned by the developers of Song of Swords as being named after Yugoslavian actor Rade Serbedzija, who played Boris the Blade in the movie Snatch, and the homeless guy Bruce Wayne gave his coat to (and later complimented on it) in the first Christopher Nolan Batman movie.
- Rade Sark may have appeared in one of the Galt Fechts, though the events seem to have been non-canonical, as they involved monsters that do not exist in the SoS universe, and characters who may have never met each other. In this scenario, Sark fought with a heavy cavalry sword (represented by a Pallasch) and a pistol.