Karl is a hero from the novel The Rise of the Arch-Illager and the arrogant member of a a group of heroes who has the traits of a stereotypical hero who attacks anyone and anything he thinks is evil. This leads him to be the subject of Archie’s hatred and the main antagonist of the novel. He was given the nickname of Smacker by Archie.
In the prologue of the novel, Karl notices some hostile mobs attacking a group of Illagers outside a village. He decides to attack the hostile mobs with his iron sword, killing them off with ease. The Illagers take notice of Karl and plan to attack him, but one of them, described as "a particularly short one with a massive nose" begins to speak. Although Karl couldn’t understand what the Illager was saying, as they spoke two completely different languages, he let him speak out of curiosity, soon understanding that the Illager was practically begging the others to spare Karl, seeing as he had killed the hostile mobs that had attacked them. Another Illager, an evoker, then smacks the begging Illager on the side of its head with its sword, ending its blabbering. Karl then kills off the rest of the Illagers with relative ease, except for the short one with the massive nose. Karl explains to this particular Illager that he’s not going to hurt him and lets him go back to his home, making sure he tells the other Illagers the name: Karl. After Karl began to head back towards the village, the Illager "seethed in frustration and fury."
Later on in chapters five and six of the novel, Karl, along with four other heroes, arrive in a village on the Squid Coast with the intent of trading with the villagers. Karl sees an Illager trying to run from them. He grabs him and recognizes him as the short Illager whose life he spared. Karl immediately releases him from his grasp and watches him collapse onto the ground. One of the four heroes with Karl pulls out a potion of healing offers it to the Illager. However, before the Illager can reach for it, Karl smacks the hero’s hand away. The heroes then have a brief argument about the Illager, while two of the villagers also get into an argument about the Illager as well. Karl appears to laugh at the two villagers for arguing, which only makes one of them enraged. Just as he opens his mouth, the Illager punches him in the crotch. The villager falls to his knees, groaning in pain. The Illager then kicks the same villager again, making everyone gasp in horror. Karl then backhands Archie across his cheek, sprawling him into some grass.
After that, Karl then draws his sword in an attempt to kill the Illager. Just as he is about to stab the Illager, the other villager charges in-between them, causing her and Karl to fall onto the ground. Karl springs to his feet. The villager tries to stand up, but Karl kicks her feet out from underneath, making the other heroes feel stunned by his actions. The first villager then tells Karl to leave the other villager alone, but he is also thrown back by Karl’s sword, crumpling next to the Illager and falling unconscious. The other heroes begin protesting Karl’s actions. The Illager, feeling fearful that he might attack the villager, makes his move. He punches Karl in the stomach, which causes his arms to rise, revealing a thin strip of flesh underneath his armor shirt. Without hesitation, the Illager then punches Karl in the gut. Karl immediately yelps in pain, dropping his sword, and clutching his stomach with his hands. He then tries to attack the Illager, but two of his fellow heroes stop him from doing so. With Karl distracted, the Illager attempts to escape with one of the villagers, but when that fails, the Illager tries to hide in the villager’s house. The villager tries defending him by preventing from Karl and the heroes from entering the house. When Karl tries to attack the villager, the other four heroes intervene and pull him away from the villager. Although they try to reason with Karl, he refuses to listen to them. Eventually, each of the four heroes grab Karl by a limb and literally carry him out of the village. As they leave, the Illager pumps his fist into the air and cheers, but the other villagers appear with torches and pitchforks.
In the first interlude, the group of heroes arrive at a hilltop overlooking the village. One of the heroes asks Karl if he was out of his mind with attacking the villagers. Karl responds with a simple "Yeah", and feels like that other heroes are people who competed with him for resources. It is revealed that Karl made up nicknames for the other heroes because he couldn’t be bothered to remember their real names. The heroes nicknames are revealed to be: Stache, Red, Scarface, and Pinky. The five embroil in a long argument about villages and villagers, with the other four shooting down every argument that Karl makes. Eventually, cooler heads prevail and Karl begins setting up camp on the hilltop, although he still thinks that the villagers might attack them because of his actions. Not long after, Pinky, taking watch on the edge of the hilltop, notices someone heading eastward. The other heroes join her and are surprised when it’s found out to be the Illager from the village, who is heading toward the Soggy Swamp. Karl voices his intention to attack him, but Stache and Scarface intervene, saying that it isn’t worth his time to do so. The three then realize that the Illager had been kicked out of the village, with Karl feeling relieved, saying that at least he won’t be able to attack anyone else.
- Besides the unused heroes, He is the only non-playable hero in the game.