Skagrot: The Broken Orc

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Tekill
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Skagrot: The Broken Orc

Unread post by Tekill » Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:39 am

There is a land far west of Baldur's Gate and the Sword Coast, called Thar. It is a desolate wasteland, occupied mostly by warring tribes of goblins, ogres and orcs. A barren place filled with violence, where the key to survival ultimately means being strong enough to kill your enemies before they kill you. In this land, it came down to strength in numbers- the larger your horde, the longer you tended to survive.

One long lasting and mighty tribe of Thar, the Skullsmashers, were a tribe of ogres, rumored to be the remnants of a great empire that supposedly controlled all of Thar at one time. The Skullsmashers were a solid examples of survivors, that learned to thrive with large numbers. This success was achieved, not just by using brute force slaying all their foes, but by enslaving them as well.

If you were captured by the Skullsmashers and if you were one of the lucky ones, you would only be made to fight for them, usually dying a quick death as arrow fodder. Now, the unlucky ones on they other hand, would become slaves, suffering a far less desirable fate. One that ended in death as well, but a long, slow, drawn out tormented death.

Apparently I was to be one of the unlucky ones.

My most earliest and also darkest memory, was the night of the attack on my tribe. I do not remember much of that night. My mother had hidden me in a place where I can remember only seeing darkness, but what I heard from my hiding spot, I will never forget. War-cries, bellowing for blood and death, mixed in with screams of surprise, terror and pain. These sounds, have haunted my dreams every night since, filling me with panic and dread, yet still being one of the only memories I have of my people, my family.

The Skullsmashers, after the initial slaughter of the weaker tribe, will loot the village, slay the wounded, and force the strongest survivors into their ranks. The ones too young to be of any immediate use, are gathered up and carted off to be sold as slaves. Children are known to fetch a decent price on the slave markets, as they are easily broken and have longer lifespans.

Even orc children.

The Skullsmashers, had connections with the slave markets down south towards the Moonsea. They would routinely send fresh slaves, the spoils of war, down there, to be traded for weapons, equipment, food, drink, and of course, gold. Horse carts filled with children or other slaves of value, would travel for days across the wastes to be unloaded as cargo, for the waiting merchants to bid on.

My next earliest memory was of being stuck in the corner of one such cart, packed full with children from my tribe, as it was being driven through the bleak moor of southern Thar. Its destination, the Moonsea, where a new and fresh hell awaited us. When I look back, I can remember it being my first time experiencing hopelessness.

Now, hope has never been of any use to my kind. Orcs are born thrashing and clawing their way into the world will and continue to do so until something stronger kills it. They do not close their eyes, cross their fingers and hope something better comes along. They reach out and try to take that better thing and either succeed or die the attempt. But, as young as I was, I had not yet been taught the way. All I remembered at that time, was fear.

At least until the moment the pink skins arrived and raided the Skullsmasher caravan.
Shunasassi UD WICKED
Jebedoah Grimm GOOD
Banin Helmsplitter MORADIN'S BASTARD
Brother Kro PURE FLAME
Samael Sal Red Wizard of Baldur's Gate

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Tekill
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Re: Skagrot: The Broken Orc

Unread post by Tekill » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:50 pm

The only thing I remember of the attack on the Skullsmasher slave caravan and my first introduction to humankind, came after the attack was over and the ogres were defeated....well, chased off.

I was the youngest and therefor the weakest of the orc whelp captives. This meant that I was also the last to ever get any food or water. Being starved and dehydrated, I was too out of it, to know what was going on around me. I only remember waking up in the arms of this strange looking, pink skinned woman, who was trying to carefully feed me water from a waterskin. I remember her looking down at me with a kindness and empathy that I have never experienced before, even from my own mother.

I was disgusted by it, and so I bit her!

As the story goes, the humans had set up a successful ambush for the ogre slave traders and then preceded to beat them soundly to within an inch of their lives, sending them fleeing off back to Thar. Even more humiliating to the Ogres and astonishing to us captives, was that fact that these humans did so, with just their bare hands- without weapons or armor!

These queer, scrawny, pinked skinned warriors were something called monks. And that these monks were part of an order calling themselves, the Broken Ones, servants of the god Ilmater, a god of suffering and martyrdom.

The first thing the Broken Ones did was free all the orc captives. Now, the Ilmatari, are known to orcs, as fools that go out of their way to offer help to those that would otherwise be their enemies. But on that day though, after seeing the Broken One's dominant display of skill, none of the freed older orc children seemed to want to stick around for any of that offered aid. The captives once freed also fled back towards Thar, to whatever fate awaited them there. That is, all except the six of us too young, too wounded, and in too ill health, to flee with the rest.

The monks of the Ilmateri order, the Broken Ones, had traveled to the Moonsea area on a rescue mission, to find humans, that were being sold into the growing slave trade of that region. Their search brought them way off track, to the borders of Thar. Now, not only did they not find the humans they were looking for, they were straddled with six sickly orc children.

Their options were to kill us mercifully, to leave us behind with food an water, a most likely much less merciful death, and finally, to take us with them. They chose the option that involved the most suffering for all of us.

The terrain was brutal and unforgiving, food and drinking water was scarce and the Skullsmashers where hot on our heels. The days and weeks went by like a blur, and brought our escape to the shores of the Moonsea. That was where the first one of us children died. Not much can be said about it. He weak and sick, and his spirit simply did not have the will to endure.

During that year, two more of us orclings faded and died in a similar way to this strange illness. It was not having a home nor heritage, always on the move, being forced to obey the alien ways of our wandering human protectors, no longer being able to be an orc. They got lost, they gave up, and then their suffering ended.

The Broken Ones of Ilmater, tried to give us back to the Orc way of life, to find a tribe that would take us. But we were useless whelps, that had the stink of human upon us. None would take us. Most would try to kill us.

My cousin Rask, my last known relative, only a couple years older then myself, was later killed by a group of soldiers as we approached a place called the Yulash, a human town. The Broken Ones needed to risk bringing us into the lands of the humans in order to resupply. Rask, was strong with the axe, and quick with the bow but she was still only young and was outnumbered. It was I, that found her mutilated body. I picked up the scent of her spilled blood from quite a distance- there was so much of it!

That left only me and Gromesh. Gromesh was the oldest of us six and as I mentioned I was the youngest. He only spoke orc, and prayed each night to the dark God's of our race. One morning he was just gone, having grown strong enough to wander off on his own. He did not take me with him, as I would have just been a burden.

So I was the Broken Ones burden instead.
Shunasassi UD WICKED
Jebedoah Grimm GOOD
Banin Helmsplitter MORADIN'S BASTARD
Brother Kro PURE FLAME
Samael Sal Red Wizard of Baldur's Gate

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