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Author Topic: Krusk / Half-Orc / Hermit  (Read 48 times)
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« on: March 09, 2015, 10:13:30 AM »

Krusk (Cora, Leora and Serrol all used the same surname, Halden. Krusk, however, doesn't think of it as his.)



Race and Tribe
1/2 Kuglimz Human and 1/2 Losh-Oc Orc

None. Krusk rarely deals with currency, primarily relying on bartering.

Hulking Half-Orc Hermit

Krusk is a towering figure, one nailsbreadths short of two full peds.

Krusk's heft can vary wildly throughout the year as available food waxes and wanes. Occasionally as low as 2 pygge, he usually weighs in 3-4 heb heavier.

Hair Colour
A wild mass of Nor'sidian tops Krusk's head.

Physical Appearance
Tall as a tree and gray-skinned, Krusk is a oddity from any distance. He looks to most as a wild man, but acts the opposite. He moves with a deliberate slowness, trying to fade into backgrounds that can't hope to hide him. His hair is long and dark, and of ragged length as he cuts it himself with a knife. It's occasionally tied up while hunting but generally hanging loose. His skin is the color of granite and almost as hard, as a tough life left him with virtually no fat. He doesn't share the battle scars that so many orcs do, but he is scarred and blemished, from thorns, bites and rashes that nature has given him.

His clothes are plain, utilitarian, and drab, as appropriate for someone who hunts and forages most days. They are made mostly of animal hide that he himself has sewn together. (Though he always makes sure he's as clean as possible before any interaction with people.) In winter, he covers himself in furs and pelts, also sewn together by him.

He rarely bothers with shoes as his feet are sufficiently callused. The exceptions are during winter when he wears warm boots or on rare occasions in town when he wears sandals to blend in.

Cora Halden was a typical Kuglimz'ura adolescent girl, living in a small zei in the Celeste Lowlands, with her mother Essa, her father Jaren, as well as her aunt and uncle, Leora and Serrol, respectively. She was tall for her age, attractive, and fit, as athletic as quite a few boys her age. As she neared adulthood, many of the fathers of available sons tried to secure a match with Jaren to arrange a marriage, despite the fact that she was a bit the Meeh'kah'mari. In general, she led an enviable life.

That all changed one blisteringly cold, snowy night. It had been a long winter, and the coldest, most brutal season any of the elders could remember, and all of northern Sarvonia had felt the effects, Cora's Zei included. Things were worse, however, in a neighboring Losh-Oc orc village. They had been lazy in their preparations and were near the brink of extinction, a number of them having already starved. Facing the worst, they chose to return to raiding to survive. They had already attacked and slaughtered a very small zei, claiming its meager food supply and the few surviving women as their own. They then turned their attentions to Cora's.

The orcs waited for a snowy night to hide their advance, and attacked at tenebrume, when they expected the weakest defense. Through luck, their initial foray was a success. A wedding was scheduled for the next day, and all feuds and fighting suspended, so the Zei was less alert than normal. The orcs inflicted massive casualties quickly, including Essa and Jaren, who died trying to protect their daughter. The orc who killed them, one of the largest, standing over 2 peds tall and weighing close to 3 pygge, decided to claim Cora as a prize, and started dragging her into the night. She fought bravely, managing to grab a cooking knife and stabbing the orc, but the act merely enraged him. He knocked her unconscious with a single blow and took her there in the tent to further punish her.

The battle was decidedly one-sided to start, but the defenders rallied and wiped out every last orc, including Cora's attacker who died of an arrow to the throat. However, the devastation was immense. The population was decimated, buildings were destroyed, and property was lost, but the village turned its sympathies to Cora with the loss of her parents and her rape. The women tried to comfort her and she might have recovered until she lost her put'daei'vir, and they realized she was pregnant.

Cora was near catatonic at the thought of the bastard growing inside her, and the strong, vibrant girl was gone. Everyone was angered at the cruelty she had endured and an agreement was formed to crush the creature's skull the moment it was born, and this would surely have been Krusk's fate if not for Leora and Serrol.

The aunt and uncle were far from typical Kuglimz. Serrol, short and frail, with long hair gone prematurely white, rejected his tribe's warrior mentality. He abhorred violence and wore no fei'put, though he enjoyed archery as an art form and was the zei's finest bowyer. He was also one of the its primary instructor is the use of bows, accepting that even though his teachings could be used for waging war, they were primarily for hunting and defense. Leora, even shorter and frailer than her husband, was even more strongly against violence than her husband. (Even as teens, most assumed they would eventually marry, as each was unlike anyone else but the other.) She was deeply in tune with nature, and a skilled farmer and healer.

The couple had a great respect for all life and believed that given the chance, any child, even one born of such horrible circumstances, could become a productive and respected member of the world. Knowing the child would share their blood and hoping to save its life, they agreed to take it and raise him/her as their own. As the birth approached, the couple packed their stuff and in the day Krusk was born, they departed for southern Sarvonia immediately.

They found a small town near the nothern edge of the Thaelon Forest and built a small farmstead on its outskirts. They were loving and nurturing and taught Krusk well. He learned to read and write Tharian, and they did their best to teach him what little orcish they knew. Serrol, reluctantly taught Krusk archery, while Leora and the orc studied the plants and animals in the area surrounding their new home. The couple also told him a short version of the horrible story of how he came to be, knowing they couldn't hide the great difference in race from him.

The couple were popular in town. Serrol's bows were highly regarded, though he steadfastly refused to teach anyone but Krusk to shoot. Leora's crops were excellent, and her work as a healer and midwife saved many lives. Krusk, however, remained an outcast. Some people were tolerant of him, but few were nice. Others were pleasant enough to him when Serrol and/or Leora were there, but shunned him when they weren't. He found himself spending less and less time in town, usually staying alone when the others left. Still, the three lived a relatively happy life

This all ended when Krusk was 15 and a virulent disease swept through town. Leora contracted it immediately trying to help the ill and Serrol shortly after trying to help her. Their frailty would soon cost them their lives. Leora first, and then days later, Serrol. It was on his great-uncle's deathbed that Krusk finally heard the whole story of his conception, including some details they'd previously left out. The alarm had been raised and the Kuglimz began to fight but were taking heavy losses. Serrol, with Leora, grabbed his bow and quiver, went to Essa and Jaren's tent. There they found the orc attacking Cora. Serrol killed the orc with a single shot, and enraged, ran into the night. He fired and fired and fired, killing more orcs than anyone, his bow almost single-handedly saving the zei. It was only because of this that they'd been allowed to save Krusk's life, the zei's reluctant expression of gratitude over his valor. Serrol apologized for killing Krusk's father and then died.

Krusk made a renewed effort to fit into town. He wasn't near the bowmaker Serrol was, but he was certain his skills had value. And if he could find some help, he knew he could keep offering the same fruits and vegetables that Leora made popular. But he was rejected at every turn. Few spoke to him and those that did were openly hostile. One man, Dagkoros, tormented Krusk on every visit, for reasons the orc would never understand. He cursed him incessantly, throwing things and spitting , challenging the orc fight him. It might have been comical since, the 15 year old ped Krusk towered a full fore over Dagkoros who was barely bigger than Serrol.

But Krusk's frustrations grew. The lessons that his 'parents' had taught him about being a valued member of society, were trumped by the unfairness of the situation and the vitriol directed his way. Finally he exploded when Dagkoros, poked Krusk in the chest and declared that the orc should have been killed in the womb. Krusk snapped, grabbing the little man by the throat and slamming him into a wall, an inhuman roar echoing through the streets. The frightened gasps of onlookers and the sight of Dagkoros hanging there limply, all the fight gone from his tiny frame, broke Krusk's rage. He dropped Dagkoros and ran back to the farmstead.

He spent the evening crying at the loss of Serrol and Leora, at his betrayal of their beliefs in attacking Dagkoros, and at the cruelty of the world. He sat there wondering what to do when he saw the torches in the distance. He'd had no visitors since the burial and the number suggested something other than hospitality. Quickly he gathered some supplies, including his bow, and crept half a dash away, knowing the torches would ruin their ability to see into the darkness, ruining any chance of seeing him. The crowd, led by Dagkoros, made no effort at silence, and he could plainly hear their malicious intent towards him.

They demanded he come out and face them, and when he didn't return, several large men went inside. Upon learning it was empty,  Dagkoros cursed the night, yelling that the orc was a coward. He grabbed a torch and some oil, and set fire to the house, yelling that Krusk should never return. Krusk gave one last look at the grave marker that and fled into the Thaelon woods.  

*10 years later*

It was the first pleasant spring day of the year and Krusk was preparing a lunch of raw fish when he smelled a strong cooking aroma wafting through the woods. He knew immediately that it was caused by people who were ignorant about woodland survival. It had been a long hard winter and the predators were still hungry. If as on cue, his stomach growled, reminding him how hard it had been on him as well.

Curious, he decided to investigate, instinctively moving at an angle to the breeze to avoid being downwind of the fire. Leora had stressed how getting between food and approaching animals, could be fatal. Quietly, he picked his way quietly around the trees that dominated the area, heading for a nearby clearing where he assumed the fire burned. In the decade he'd lived in the forest, he'd made his way south and had lived on the southern edge, near the Hearth of Jernais, for several years. He knew there was a medium sized town in the area which was certainly the home for these folks.

He crept to within sight of it and saw a family. A couple was there, laying on a blanket, while their son, a boy maybe 4 years old, played in the grass. A nice family picnic after months of ice and snow. All three were celebrating the arrival of warmer weather, laughing as the boy danced a silly dance.

It was almost painful for Krusk to watch. There was little similarity between this scene and his own youth- certainly the boy was no half-orc and these parent's were decades younger than his adopted ones - but he was reminded of it all the same. Though he knew his adopted father would not be so foolish. They had traveled well into the forest, but clearly knew little of its ways. They were even resting downwind of the fire, guaranteeing their clothes would reek of smoke and roasted meat.

Eventually the child grew tired and was put down for a nap. The parents, who seemed to be drinking wine from a separate skin, joined him and soon the family was all asleep. Krusk snuck away, but didn't go far. He sat under a large Ashwude tree, thoughts of the childhood with Leora and Serrol filling his head, imagining the three of them as this family, with him dancing and laughing as this boy did. His stomach still in need, he gathered himself to leave.

Krusk sat up with a start, though he didn't know why. His senses told him that he was in no immediate danger, but danger was near. He was on his feet even before he heard the screams.

He reached the edge of clearing in seconds, bow in one hand and a hand axe in the other, and found three wolves attacking the family. One had already sunk it's teeth into the lower leg of the father who was punching at the animal and yelling for the child run. The boy was frozen, however, and simply stood in place, crying for his parents. The mother was also trying to protect the child, interposing herself between the boy and the other wolves. She had grabbed a smoldering log and was swinging it at them even as her hands burned and blistered. But the two wolves were clever, spreading out to flank her and it would only be seconds before facing one would mean exposing her back to the other.

Without a thought, Krusk let go of the axe, dropped to a knee for balance, drew an arrow and started firing. Mercifully, the first two shots were easy. The wolf on the man's leg, trying to rip a chunk of flesh off, left its side exposed and an arrow found its flank. One of the wolves threatening the woman was still peds away from her and moving slowly. Krusk's arrow easily found it's heart.

The last shot was next to impossible. The final wolf was on the other side of the clearing with all three members of the family between it and Krusk. At this angle, it had unknowingly positioned itself where his only shot was through a small gap between mother and child, one he couldn't risk taking. He hoped the wolf would simply give up, but seeing its ears flattened and its fangs bared, knew it wouldn't. Instead, it did the worst thing – it curved around the woman and attacked the child, choosing the weakest to prey upon.

Aiming for the body was out of the question. He could grievously wound it, but the wolf would still live long enough to deliver a mortal wound of its own. The only hope was a head shot, but that would mean shooting just over the child's head. If Krusk was off by nailsbreadths, or the boy flinched or the wind gusted... But those thoughts never entered his mind. There was never another choice, and he let the arrow loose.

His shot was simply perfect. It came within grains of the boy's head, mussing his hair, but doing no damage. The arrow entered the wolf's jaw at the apex of its leap and exited the back of its head, killing it instantly. The momentum carried the already dead wolf forward so that it collided with the boy, the two bodies rolling for a ped. The child was scratched and scraped, but it was painful, not fatal. The woman ran to him, as the father crawled over, dragging his injured leg, arriving moments later.

The three embraced for a long time, before any looked up. The mother was first to spot him, their eyes meeting. He'd expected a look of horror, but if the fact that he was an orc bothered her, she didn't show. She even gave him a slight smile of gratitude. The father was less composed, but didn't look threatening. The boy didn't appear to even realize Krusk was there. The mother started to speak but Krusk ran, fearful.

Krusk avoided the area for days after the incident, mostly for fear someone would come looking for him. A decade's old memory left him feeling like somehow he would be forced to run again. But soon the impulse to return grew inside him. He told himself it was just to retrieve his arrows and axe, but mostly he just wanted to see the clearing again.

He approached from the same direction, wanting to see it exactly the same way. There were no signs that anything had ever happened there. No bodies or blood. No ashes from the fire. No arrows. He stood for a moment in silence, debating his course when he heard an Orcish greeting behind him. He spun around and found a man. A human male, dressed a mottled green that would make him difficult to spot. His hand was on his sword, not threatening, but ready. They tried conversing in orcish, but quickly realized they both were more fluent in Tharian. He said his name was Sanoc and that he'd been scouting the area, hoping Krusk would return. The lady wanted to meet him and would be available to meet in the clearing whenever it was convenient. They agreed to return at sunreign in three days. Sanoc returned Krusk's axe and three arrows, and inquired about a white deer cloak the orc was carrying, before departing.

Trepidation filled Krusk that morning as he thought about the meeting. Was it a trap? Would they kill him on the spot? He considered fleeing the area. He'd done it once. The Thaelon forest was huge. He could lose himself strals away. But he knew that he wouldn't. So he cleaned himself as best he could and made his way over.

Slowly he approached the clearing, seeing several figures inside. Six were arranged in a large circle at the edge of the clearing, clearly guarding the ones inside. He was unsure what to expect of the guards, but the one he passed closest to, simply gave him a respectful nod. As he entered the clearing he saw that Sanoc and the mother were there, as well as several bundles. Sanoc gave him a welcoming smile and the mother gave her name as Amara and thanked him for coming. She offered him food and drink, but he politely declined. She seemed mildly surprised to hear such proper Tharian, but she quickly composed her face.

Amara expressed her deep gratitude for Krusk's action that day. Their son had insisted and they'd foolishly agreed to the trip into the woods. She knew what would have been the result had Krusk not been there, and she knew she'd never be able to repay him, but she knew she'd have to try so she'd hired Sanoc to help her. Finally she gestured towards the bundles on the ground saying she'd brought a new bow and arrows, new axes, some clothes, as well as some other assorted supplies. Also, she explained, her cheeks red with embarrassment, that her family was quite wealthy and that she could provide him with a simple room in town if he desired. When he visibly recoiled at the offer, she suggested he at least come have the occasional meal, or warm himself by the fire next winter. Finally she thanked him again, and begged him to call on her as often as he needed if he could think of something more she could do. She bowed and started to walk away.

“Books,” he said in a hushed tone, “I would like to read again. Anything would be fine.” If either was surprised to hear him say he could read, neither showed it. Amara smiled, glad that there was something she could do for him. She reached into a pocket and pulled out a small book of Elven poems translated into Tharian, promising to send more if he'd come back to the clearing in a couple of days. Sanoc shook the orc's hand and asked if the white deer cloak, but Krusk shook his head. The two walked away, Amara shouting back over her shoulder that the book could be returned when he came to the tavern for his first meal. Then they, and their guards, left.

Two weeks passed, and Krusk hadn't seen anyone since that day. He'd come back to the clearing two days later and found a bag full of books suspended from a tree. Pinned to the bag were several notes. A thank you from Amara and her husband. Another thank you from her father promising a job, with room and board included. A few other notes of gratitude from townsfolk. Another offer from Sanoc about the cloak. But only one really caught his eye. It was a child's drawing of what could only be Krusk with a bow in one hand and arrows in the other. 'Thank you' was scrawled across the bottom, but none of that mattered. What mattered was the smile on the drawing's face.

Krusk had spent hours staring at that picture since he'd found it, wondering what that boy, and others in town, thought of him. He was terrified of those people but also scared of spending the rest of his life alone. He'd barely eaten or slept in those weeks, so consumed was he with these thoughts, that he made a decision. He'd found soap in the supplies and washed the cloak as best he could and set it dry. He washed himself as well, better than he had in a decade and put on his new set of clothes for the first time. Then he tied up the cloak, checked that he had the book, and for the first time in years, Krusk walked into a town.

Physically fit: As a result of surviving the harsh climate outdoors, Krusk is in very good shape. Virtually everything he does strengthens or conditions his body.

Hunting: Krusk is accomplished hunter with exceptional bow and arrow skills. He relies heavily on this to survive, so he practices archery daily and throwing axes occasionally. He can also track the natural animals he's used to hunting.

Survival: He is very in touch with the natural world of the temperate climate around the Thaelon Forest. He's very familiar with the plants and animals of the region. He also knows generic survival strategies that would apply to other regions.

Slow: Krusk hasn't been in a hurry in years and by nature moves slowly to avoid notice. As a result, he couldn't move fast if he tried. He lumbers from place to place.

Shy: Krusk is extremely shy around people. It's almost painful for him to be in a social situation, and more so if the focus is on him.

Distrustful: Since his original exile, it is almost impossible for him to trust anyone.

Ugly: Only people with experience with orcs, don't find Krusk physically repulsive.

Ignorance of the world: Because of his lifestyle, he doesn't have much worldly knowledge. A lot of conversations and jokes go over his head.

Krusk is timid by nature, partially because of the trouble he had with others as a child, but also because he knows his great size and unusual appearance can be upsetting to most people. He is very soft spoken for those reasons, preferring short sentences and a low tone of voice. He spends his entire life trying not to draw attention to himself.

He finds it very hard to trust anyone and rarely puts himself in a position where he needs to heavily rely on anyone. If given the opportunity, he would be quite trustworthy himself, because of the high level of importance he places on honesty and loyalty. The instances when people might rely on him, however are also rare.

Those that do find themselves engaged in more substantial conversation with him are often surprised by how articulate Krusk can be when speaking, even after years of solitary life.

Krusk is excellent with a bow thanks to years of hunting game and regular practice. He's relied on it as his primary source for food for decades. He usually focuses on shots to the head because it kills the animal as quickly and painfully as possible, but also because it preserves the skin/pelt for the occasional trade.

He also carries a sturdy hand axes that he uses to fell trees needed to construct shelter, but can be thrown for hunting as well. It's a skill he practices though not nearly as much as he does the bow. Also, they would be useful in close combat with any wild animals, though he has yet to use them in that way. With his strength and size, he would also be a dangerous opponent using the axes in melee against most humanoids. However, he has never received any formal training in either combat or tactics, so against skilled foes, he would be at a decided disadvantage.

Krusk has little in the way of personal belongings beyond that which he needs to survive: a bedroll,  a couple of waterskins, flint and steel, fishhooks and twine, sturdy rope, whetstone, pieces of chalk, plus other minor items he uses to survive.
« Last Edit: Today at 04:18:23 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged
Ryldor Gadriel
Miscreant Mage
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 10:15:14 AM »

My second attempt at a character. Still working on balancing strengths and weaknesses, but feel free to tell me how terrible it is.

It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.  ~  Voltaire
Oh dearest Ryldor, dust thou know thy charm?; The clever smile soft upon thy face; Seem like a promise for to do no harm; Whilst I, enjoying thy tender grace; Should gaze in admiration at thy eyes; As azure as where highest heaven lay; Reflections of the clearest, truest skies; They seem to melt my very heart away!; And if thy lovely words were not as true; As thine eyes blue, still I'd believe thy claim; Of magedom. Magic turned a rosy hue; My cheeks. A spell thou cast upon this dame!; Thou art a most capricious scoundrel, yet; The sweetest gentlemen I've ever met.; ~ Rayne Avalotus
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 04:00:21 AM »

Strength and weaknesses added. Comment away!
Kareesh Valendar
Hatred's Fury
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Elf, Arthyron

« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 07:00:19 PM »

Looks really good. The only thing that I personally would like to see is the physical description up before the history. As a Story Mod and Player, sometimes I go to a CD to see what a person looks like, and it makes it much easier to glance at the top of a CD than having to scroll through the whole thing looking for that information.

Other than just that little thing, I didn't see anything glaring. Good job. :)

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« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 08:25:07 PM »

Done. cool
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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Human, Remusian

« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:17:41 AM »

A couple of minor notes. :)

Krusk gave one last look at the grave marker that and fled into the Thaelon woods.
Grave marker that.... what?  I think something is missing here.

He usually focuses on shots to the head because it kills the animal as quickly and painfully as possible, but also because it preserves the skin/pelt for the occasional trade.
A quickly and painfully as possible?  Is Krusk a sadist or did you mean painlessly? :P

Other than that, I really liked this CD.  My favourite CDs are the ones where the character is not superhuman (or half-orc) where everything reads as believable.  These are very easy to integrate into a story without worrying about unbalancing your plot.

I'm ready to title it when you fix these two quibbles, unless someone else voices any concerns in the meantime.

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
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