Marshal Karel Volnikov was the leader of the Vodalian merfolk army in the Voda Sea near Sarpadia (Dominaria). He was a noble warrior, who lead the Vodalian army for many years and lent political savvy to empress Galina's court. Volnikov was also the only merfolk brave enough to disturb the thoughts of his cruel empress.
When the homarids invaded their territory, Marshall Karel Volnikov led the Vodalian army against them. The merfolk initially succeeded, but were later overwhelmed by the homarids' capacity to breed and flourish in the cooling waters.
Volnikov was also the Vodalian emissary to the Icatian court and wrote at least one letter to the Prime Minister Margaret Ellsworth, thanking the Icatian for the shipment of armors and weapon they had sent to the Vodalians. Volnikov sent a small supplies of medical aid back to Icatia, saying that it would probably be the last, since the war between the merfolk and the homarids required every resources the Vodalian could spare. Since the merfolk did not have the foresight to store food, they had enough food only for the army, leaving the sick, the crippled and the young with almost nothing: he hoped that Icatia could spare part of their food to help Vodalia.
Icatia's answer, however, was negative. Surrounded by empires locked in war, Icatia knew that it was only a matter of time before the war reached its border. Since the harvest had been poor for the cooling climate, the food reserve of Icatia was scarse and the King reasoned that it should be used for the benefit of Icatia first, thus negating the help for Vodalia.
Without medical supplies and no stored food source, Vodalia was abandoned: the survivors traveled through a magic portal to the distant colony of Etlan Shiis. However, the portal malfunctioned: the Vodalians reached indeed Etlan Shiis, but three thousands years later. Volnikov's scouts had found a great walled city, rivaling with old Vodalia in size and surpassing it in grandeur. After the initial shock, Galina decided to reclaim the city for the empire and traveled to the Council of Etlan Shiis.
Here, after Volnikov's introduction, the councilors decided to not acknowledge the strangers' story, believing in any case that the old Vodalian caste system was a corrupt and inefficient government. At this, Volnikov started killing easily the council members; only one escaped, and Volnikov ordered one of his men to apprehend the fugitive. Only few hours later, Empress Galina had gained control over the entire colony.
Quoted or referred to:
- (Fall 1994) A History of Fallen Empires The Duelist, 8-11
- Encyclopedia Dominia “Return of the Empress" by Richard Thames Rowan