Escape from the Underdark
Itinerant Warrior, Clanless Orc
Half-Orc Fighter (Eldritch Warrior) 7
STR 20 / DEX 13 / CON 14 / INT 16 / WIS 12 / CHA 10
- Human mother, Calethiel, a powerful sorceress who departed orcish clan-lands shortly after Urgen was born
- Half-orc brother, Hurvahd, a wandering mystic and seer
- Clan-Claimed Former Wives – Umviana, Shikano, Venarodu
- Clan-Claimed Former Sons – Muraolek, Grune, Thraan, Kilmaruum, Zastur
- Clan-Claimed Former Daughters – Sannah, Shrunzila
Before the Underdark
The wisdom of Gruumsh tells us that within a crucible, impurities are burned away, and strength is forged. The nature of the crucible matters little: be it war, or a struggle to survive against nature, or a struggle against one’s self, it is known that the hotter the fire, the purer the steel.
My crucible was the Game of the Clans – and though I faltered beneath the heat of the flames, I yet endure. Gruumsh tests me, and he will not find my resolve wanting.
I once was the warchief of a mighty clan, the Ghostblades. Many were our enemies, but few were our equal. For a great time, we sustained ourselves by the spring raids, trained our warriors beneath the harsh summer sun, forged alliances amid the brown leaves of autumn… and sharpened our axes all through the snows. For my people, the wheel of time turned slowly but reliably, and all was well.
But the humans and elves who dwelt in bordering lands began to grow strong, and our way of life grew complicated. The way of the sword would not sustain us for much longer… and so a great gathering of the Clans was called. Bands of orcish warriors traveled from far and wide to the conclave, and our elders began to discuss the necessity of deeper, more certain alliances with the other races.
There was a note of discord, though, for the Game of Clans is rarely a harmonious song. A formidable bloc of clans led by the Twilight Sorrow raised their voice against alliance, and instead pressed a plan to conduct surprise, sudden attacks against the elves and men without relent, until they were subjugated beneath our heel.
It was a compelling argument. But I was against it, and vocally so. I sought to form a coalition against this rash course of action. And so I came to be challenged by Vexrim, the warchief of Twilight’s Sorrow – and as is custom, we wagered with the custom of clan obliteration.
The winner would subsume the other clan’s warriors, tribesmen, women, and spoils into their own. The loser would be left but a memory, spoken of only in hushed and furtive whispers in the dark.
My clan champions were formidable – but Vexrim’s strongest blades won the day, just barely. As was custom, my life was forfeit as well – but I would not take this defeat lying down, and so invoking ancient law, I challenged Twilight Sorrow’s remaining three champions to melee combat.
I defeated all three – indeed, just barely once more – and thus won the right to avoid obliteration. By the law of Gruumsh, my life and iron was preserved, and I retained the privilege of forming my own clan once more.
But I did not. I would only be wiped from the face of earth and memory at the hands of my stronger foes. So, I departed the orc-lands in search of greater strength. Only a madman does the same thing twice, and expects a different result on both occasions.
I sought power. I knew it would not come with the prowess of the blade – but ever has there been the other half of my heritage, whose promise I had never truly explored. It is said that my mother, a human woman who lay with my father many years ago, was a powerful sorceress in her own right.
She did not dwell in the tribal lands for more than two years before departing. I barely knew more than her name – but it is said that even a mighty river starts with a single drop of water. So, I sought out my estranged brother, Hurvahd, who lives in isolation amid the Wraithwatches, and is known to glimpse signs and omens which few mortals behold. An imprint, perhaps, of our mother’s power upon his soul? It had always made me wonder at what magic I might grow to command, myself.
I crossed his palms with silver, and gave a drop of blood to his cauldron. From the smoke and vapors of his Seeing Cave, he beheld a strange discordant song, a great darkness, and a road that led through a tortured wood. Thus did I discern that the infamous Forest of Thousand Needles was where I would find my answers, or another clue to guide me… and so I bade him farewell, and made my way.
I curse my eyes and ears, for I was well beneath the moon-lit boughs of the thornwood before I realized I was being followed. And I curse my blade, that it was not proof against the dark-skinned elves who fell upon me. I took the lives of more than a few, but their numbers were too great. I knew darkness, and then nothing else.
When I awoke, i was in a cage.
A cage is the worst place for an orc. For an orc will find a way to defy the bars, and eventually win his freedom.
And then? Then, he will be very, very angry at whoever put him there…