Sandviper Gokren is the leader of the Sandviper sect in the Desolate Wilds, in western Blackflame Empire. He is a Truegold on the Path of the Sandviper. He is first described in book two, Soulsmith, and appears in several important scenes in book 3, Blackflame.
Gokren is the leader of his sect / clan, the father of Sandviper Kral, and the ally of Jai Long. Sandvipers have been feuding with the Fisher Sect for a long time — it’s an ancestral enmity. Gokren was kind to Jai Chen. He grew to hate Jai Daishou, the smug old Patriarch of the prominent Jai Clan, headquartered in Serpent’s Grave. He vowed to make Lindon pay for what he did to his son, Kral.
Gokren is a wiry man with slicked-back grey hair. He wears furs and a scarf made out of snake-skin. He is medium height, and carries 2 spears as weapons.
Gokren cares deeply for his sect and his family. He pursues honor and has great determination as he follows his path. He is cautious, and plans well. He is an excellent leader of the Sandvipers, and has earned their loyalty and love. He doesn't do foolish things, or let his emotions overcome him; however, after the death of his son Kral, he dedicates his life to helping Jai Long because of how close Kral and Jai were. He holds to his commitment to Jai Long despite the challenges it poses, risking his own life, the life of his sect members, and everything else to help him. He turns down the chance to steal the ancestor's spear from Jai Long and take it for his sect, and when Jai Long is forced to serve the Jai Clan, Sandviper Gokren stays with him as an ally until his own death.
Iron body & Path
Gokren is an extrememly powerful Truegold with a Sandviper Iron body, basically the same as Lindon’s Bloodforged Iron body, although Lindon took his venom up straight, no chasers.
His Path: Path of the Sandviper. Members of the Sandviper sect follow the Path of the Sandviper. It uses aspects of venom madra. The Goldsign is a green sandviper on the arm. Gokren reached Truegold at a relatively young age, and though he eventually reached the peak of Truegold, he never uncovered the secrets of Underlord. He sought his reason for practicing the sacred arts, but failed. Without access to an Underlord to coach him through advancement, he died a Truegold.
Gokren developed the techniques that his sect practices, which focus on forger and ruler techniques. He has few enforcer options, as the madra he cultivates is venemous, but the sandviper (bloodforged) iron body allows him to heal from any hits he takes or resist his own toxins. He fights ferociously, leveraging his superior power over his opponents and staying on the offensive, zoning his opponents with clouds of toxic gas and striking at them with his two spears.
Spoilers — His Character Arc
While Sandviper Gokren is mentioned and referenced in Soulsmith, he first enters the story in Blackflame. He had just returned from a very successful hunt in the Desolate Wilds to find that his son Kral had been killed by Lindon. Gokren references this event as what ended his life, and he turns to helping Jai Long wage war upon the Jai Clan. He and his Sandvipers attacked the Jai branch branch in the Desolate Wilds, with Sandviper Gokren fighting the Truegold representative and defeating him.
Gokren then travelled to Serpent's Grave, where he, Jai Long, and the Sandvipers waged a private war upon the Jai clan. Their plan was to use the Ancestor's Spear to drain Stellar Spear madra from members of the Jai Clan. Once Jai Long had reached the peak of Truegold, they would leave Serpent's grave to allow Jai Long time to advance to Underlord, while Jai Daishou succumbed to sickness and died. They struck at Jai clansmen whenever the Jai clan was making moves against the Aurelius family, with Gokren and his Sandvipers mostly playing a supporting role to Jai Long.
As Gokren's war upon the Jai Clan progressed, eventually Jai Daishou took matters into his own hands and subdued Jai Long. Gokren, seeking to protect his ally, rushed the veiled Underlord. He was also immediately subdued, breaking his leg. In order to save Gokren's life, Jai Long formed a pact with Gokren which involved their servitude to the Jai Clan. They were then assigned to assassinate Lindon and Yerin before Jai Long's upcoming duel. During the fight, Orthos came to Lindon's aid and fought Gokren until he was defeated. Trying to save Orthos, Lindon fired a blast of blackflame at Gokren. Gokren expected to easily deflect or defend himself from the Jade level technique, but it burned through his spear and hand. Gokren then tried to kill Orthos before Orthos could release the ruler technique he had been building, but a spurt of blackflame from Lindon made him flinch long enough for Orthos to release the technique, killing Gokren immediately. Having been totally destroyed by the Void Dragon's Dance, he left no remnant. His sect likely disappeared after his death, returning to scavenging sacred artists in the Desolate Wilds.