The Conscience of the Gods
Char is a 30-something Thief-Taker. Warrington isn’t known for having an effective and fair city guard, so if you were the victim of a crime you hired a thief-taker to catch the culprit so he could then be tried. The job is just to pay the bills though. He worships a god of “Courage and Physical Prowess” Dal Dorn. This is the northern/dwarven interpretation of Kord, god of storms and battle. Char’s worship takes the form of participating in any sanctioned martial contest he can find. Tournaments, tracking down criminals and beating them to a bloody pulp before arresting them, challenging any local bruisers, bodyguards, etc.,
This tends to make him somewhat unpopular, eventually, with locals, and being a Goliath in primarily human-occupied lands doesn’t help. So he moves around a lot, is considered to be a shady character wherever he goes (the two most famous real thief-takers were big into organized crime, then they turned a few guys in and said “These are the ones that did it.” So there is a certain element of ‘if he associates with criminals he probably is one’). He isn’t really a loner, but his interests rarely coincide with other’s for long periods of time. Deep down, he is looking for a cause to champion that allows him to continue in what he is doing already on a grander scale, vis., beating things to a pulp in a demonstration of his physical prowess as an indication of his piety.
Born in a mountainous region among other Goliaths, he grew up fairly normally. His tribe was nomadic across a rather large area, since foraging is poor in the mountains. Obviously these were very spartan conditions, but they did a very minimal amount of mining for some precious gems that they traded with dwarves. This allowed them to keep supplied with weapons and armor. They worshiped Corellon, so crafts/nature/wisdom. When he was about 9 the tribe was attacked by a large party of what he assumed were bandits. Someone had figured out where the dwarves were getting the gems. They took a lot of the Goliaths as gladiators and slaves. Char spent a few years as a trainer’s assistant in a training ground for Gladiators. This started to inform his opinions about strength. When he was 16, and about to start training to become a gladiator himself, a small army captured the school, put everyone in charge to the sword, and let the slaves free. These were from a rival country, Nikopia that didn’t believe in slavery, worshiped Kord, and were dead bored and needed to kill something.
He followed them back to Noordhaven, was indoctrinated into the Church, got trained very well, but was too “wild” when his “bloodlust” was up, so he left. Headed south to Warrington. Became a thief-taker. Eventually had to leave because of the whole challenging everyone in sight. After scraping by a few jobs in Benin, he started heading back north to see more of Nikopia. As he was crossing the Onyx river aboard a ferry, goblin and bugbear raiders took attacked and took many of them captive. Char found himself being transported across country in slave wagon trains through the Lode Mountains.
Once a prominent, influential and highly respected member of his community, Drake has fallen from his position after his wife left him and took the hatchlings. When she left, he started to drink, quickly developing a problem. Over a short span of time, he became reckless, losing the sense of honor he once held. The rest of the Dragonborn community banished Drake for repeated minor offenses and a lapse of honor.
Now dishonored, disheartened and dispelled from his community Drake goes from wherever he can get some cash to wherever the closes drink is. Drake hasn’t been sober in months, and hasn’t been steadily sober in years. Nonetheless, these problems do not affect his spell casting, due to the primal nature of a sorcerer’s arcane powers.
Drake goes between being a sad, depressed, shell of a man, to an angry fighter who will throw down with anything that comes his way when intoxicated (read: all the time).
His wife left with the children because she knew the downward spiral this was to go. Vaspu, Drake’s wife, left for Gateshead to move in with her family there. She took the three
children, two elder daughters Atiel and Izanrutee, and the young, semi crippled son, Drake Jr. Drake Jr was another part of the shame, it was a long wait for Drake and Vaspu to have a son to carry on the bloodline. But his eyes were of different color (one brown, one purple), and his lungs too weak to breath fire.
Drake Jr. has gone on to forsake his father’s name and lineage as he starts exploring the distant mysteries of the arcane as a warlock. He was last known to go by the name of Konros.
On the run from birth, his family has been treated with disdain by all the other Dragonborn of the area. There is a general predjudice against green-skinned Dragonborn. They are considered more likely to be criminals, untrustworthy, and vengeful. This is remnant of the fall of the Dragonborn ages, when Myr the Vengeful brought about the downfall of the five Dragonborn kingdoms.
When Kang was three years of age, his parents were caught up in a fight and died. A passing caravan of Dwarven Priests took Kang in, and raised him in their ways as best as they could – so rather than going the peaceful priest path, Kang took the more physical Paladin path.
At twenty years of age, Kang set out to prove himself and other green-skinned folk (of the Basila line) to be worthy individuals. He has been met with much resistance, but never tried to hide his lineage, even when his life was on the line. This is how he met Drake’s ex-wife, Vaspu… <<gm>>
When He Meets the Party:
In an effort to discover more about his past, he fell into a trap by the people of this Dungeon of Dishonor who had heard about a Basila walking about trying to clear the name. They pretended to be very sick and in need of help, so while he went to inspect a ‘wounded’ member of their party, the rest took him by surprise with a net, and then bashed him unconscious while he was trapped. It was with these Acolytes of the Lineage that he learned there was a High Blood lineage of the Basila, who bore the green, stout, and head-crest characteristics. But this secret sect has been seeking to eradicate all remaining vestiges of that blood line.
He’s a Paladin to the heart of it. He understands not everybody can be held to his standards, but he does his best to bring them up there. Doesn’t drink, doesn’t gamble, prefers to not kill his opponents (those he thinks are just misguided rather than evil – like some bandits), but seeks out true evil doers and smites them with his holy wrath. Even with his paladin like love for everybody around him, Kang knows some people respond to force and intimidation better than kindness and patience, so he’s not unwilling to force people into goodness (that’s not to say he goes about shutting down bars and brothels).
If one was to ask Kyren about the history of the land, of some long forgotten kingdom or society, he would instantly weave the answer into a magnificent ballad. He is well known in many taverns across the land and is known for his love of travel and exploration. It is because of his passion that he has been nicknamed “Wanderlust” and generally prefers that over his real name. Perhaps it is because his real name is associated with painful memories, perhaps not.
Little is known about Wanderlust’s past. His ability to control a conversation is second to only the most proficient of linguists and whenever asked about his past, one learns a little more about the past, but never his own. Interestingly, and perhaps to enhance his own stories, Wanderlust has alluded to training as a paladin of Corellon in his youth. When asked why he left his order, he responds, “I would not be here to share tales with you had I remained!”
Wanderlust is as attached to his Lyre as most bards are to their own instruments, perhaps more so than many. The lyre is well crafted and the name “Alana” has been engraved in the lower part below the strings. Some believe that Alana is a long lost love. Others believe it is the name Wanderlust has given the Lyre. One patron insists that the name only exists to add to the bard’s already mysterious nature.
His name is Hrun and he was born in an orc tribe to an orc father and a half-orc mother. Given the number of times he was taunted as “half-man” by other orc children, he has grown somewhat sensitive about it and considers himself an orc rather than a half-orc. He favors his father in appearance so most non-orcs could easily take him for an orc, though orcs will suspect half-orc blood on seeing him. The Tarrok tribe was one of many that composed the Hunding clan/nation that roamed the northern steppes and forests, moving from hunting ground to hunting ground on the dire wolves that served them as both mounts and a measure of tribal wealth. Hrun’s father was chief of the tribe and had a claim on the title of clanhead. Of course, just about every chief had some sort of claim on the title of clanhead. And like every other tribe, Hrun’s tribe believed that their chief was the only one that had a true claim and that all others were usurpers. The Veer-thuk tribe was the most successful in pressing that claim and was trying to put down dissenters and, after a few years of inter-tribal skirmishes, ambushed and slaughtered the Tarrok tribe in violation of a tradition that ordained one month of truce between the tribes as they travelled to and departed from their yearly gathering at their clan’s holy spot (the Veer-thuk claim the ambush took place one day before the truce went into effect. Orcs aren’t notoriously good timekeepers so, who knows, they may even be telling the truth). Hrun was only nine years old at the time but, when he returned from setting rabbit snares out in the woods to find his tribe dead or taken as slaves, he followed the killers, caught up with them, and challenged the Veer-thuk chief, Aalbren, to mortal combat. The chief laughed and beat him senseless and left him for dead. Hrun came to much later and wandered alone and disgraced until he was found by a human hunter and dropped off as a foundling at Noordhagen, a monastery of Kord. There he was educated and “civilized” while he still worked to remain a true orc, as nearly as he remembered what a true orc was. The brothers taught him to have a strong sense of honor to compliment his fierce nature. He grew up there as a hunter for the monastery. He had friends among the brothers and is grateful that they took him in but has now left them with the intent of strengthening himself so that one day he can return to challenge and defeat Aalbren, the Veer-thuk chief who murdered his tribe. He sees himself, due to the death of his father and older brothers, as the chief of the Tarrok tribe and has vowed to one day liberate the survivors from their enslavement and lead them into glory and even to exercise his “right” to be head of the Clan Hunding. This is not because he longs for power in any way (he sees this as the duty he owes his father. Allowing a false clanhead to rule, especially one who destroyed the Tarrok tribe, is an insult to his memory. The facts that none of this is very likely to happen and that the clanheadship of a dozen independent, uncooperative tribes isn’t at all the position of great authority that he thinks it is in no way deters his dreams. Nor does the fact that he is now too good and honorable to fit into orc society very well (he doesn’t realize this; he has somewhat idealized his old people and imagines that most of them would respect these qualities). Because he regards himself, through his dead father, as both the chief of the Tarrok and the true clanhead of Clan Hunding, he regards himself as a sort of nobility or even royalty, although he is tolerant that ignorant humans have trouble recognizing and understanding this. In his mind and memory a chief is equivalent to a baron and a clanhead is as good as a king and the Hunding clan is as numerous as the raindrops in a storm, not the paltry few thousand individuals that actually make up the dozen tribes. He is probably in for some rude awakenings someday.
It is worth noting that Hrun IS good, but his belief that certain orc customs are perfectly fine (such as taking trophies from defeated enemies) may make others wonder. Even though he is young, he tends to be serious and tries to be thoughtful, wise, loyal, and honorable as that is what he imagines a clanhead should be. He believes he has a destiny and that his rescue by the brothers of Sturmsbane Monastery in Noordhagen is indicative that Kord has chosen him for something great.
The Hunding clan:
These orcs are not as chaotic as most others, being culturally influenced by the northern viking-types who live nearby. They have adopted a sort of code of honor from their viking neighbors which they call the “Llarl.” The Llarl tends to be a sort of letter-of-the-law code and, while the Hunding clan does refer to it, they actually follow it just about as well as actual medieval knights followed the code of chivalry (not often, and usually only when it benefited them). For example, an orc should not break a vow, but if an orc can twist the exact wording of a vow, that’s respected as clever (“I vow never again to raise blade against you” and then hit you with a mace). Hrun’s memory of the Llarl is imperfect (he was only 9 when he was orphaned, after all) and a lot of what he believes to be part of the Llarl is actually the code of honor of Kord as taught to him by the brothers. Hunding orc warriors wear braids in their hair, and the braids of another warrior are the favorite trophies to take. Thus, the longer an orc’s braids, the longer he has gone without being defeated and the tougher he probably is. And if that same orc also has a bunch of really long braids hanging from his wolf’s saddle, watch out. Hunding orcs also have a custom of adding grandiose titles to their name like Dwarf-Crusher or Dragon-Hunter, the only basic rule about it being that you have to be tough enough to smack down anyone who sneers at it.
Oris is a kindly human who was born with massive deformities that have left him short, weak, clumsy, with a speech impediment and possibly brain damage (His speech impediment is due to a malformed mouth/jaw, and also causes him to drool excessively). Oris is a very kind well meaning individual who tries his best to fit in wherever he goes. Due to his kindly nature, Oris always tries his best not to hurt people but isn’t a total pacifist.
Oris is kind of creepy, but unintentionally. He’s hideous, slurps when he speaks, is oily and greasy, not to mention fairly simple in the mind, so when he see’s a beautiful woman, he kinda stares and slurps “oooo, pretty ladies”. He means it in the best possible way, but he’s just… well… yeah. For some reason, he insists that everybody calls him “uncle Oris.” It is unknown if Oris has any siblings, much less nephews or nieces.