Brokk’s clan of Barbarian’s were from the Illuskan tribe in the far northwest, mountainous region. For as long as he could remember his tribe had formed an uneasy truce, an alliance in fact, with a horde of Orcs that also roamed the far north. The Orcs were great in number, but alone could not defeat, or even keep at bay, the Great Dragon, which had returned to those parts almost 20 years ago. The coming together of Orcs and Barbarians was certainly not without conflict. The first several years of the alliance many minor skirmishes occurred resulting in several deaths on both sides, including Brokk’s own father, Bran. In order for either tribe to survive peace had to be found.
Brokk’s mother, Bai, whose ancestors were Shou from the northeast, was already pregnant with him at the time of his father’s death. Despite all the hardships that would befall her during the pregnancy, she successfully carried him to term. In a traditional ceremony, she announced his name on his first birthday. However, the name was not well received. It’s Orc-ish tone caused such a stir that Bai was nearly banished from the Clan. She was her own greatest defender though. The fact that her grandfather had once ruled the Shou tribe, helped. She had also earned the respect of the Clan as a mighty warrior in her own right. Brokk’s name stuck.
Sometimes one’s destiny is simply laid out before him. This was the case with Brokk. His name pleased the Orcs who felt respected and honored by its Orc-ish sound. Tempers cooled. As the months and years passed, the Orcs and the Barbarian’s of the north kept their peace. Their alliance strengthened and they kept the Great Dragon and his minions at bay.
The two tribes would come together for war games during the fall months, after a big hunt. The young Barbarians and the young Orcs would spar in spirited competition. It usually started with verbal insults towards the other’s mothers and daughters and their unsavory contacts with animals. These were especially effective when done in the native tongue of the other tribe. Though neither group liked speaking the other’s tongue, the necessity of battle against their mutual enemy meant being bilingual could be the difference between life and death.
These verbal onslaughts lasted perhaps an hour or so and occurred in free –for-all fashion – unlike the physical contests that would follow them. No weapons beyond light clubs were permitted. No more than three matches would occur at a time. And, no more than 3 Orcs were permitted to fight a single Barbarian. When an opponent was bested, another would immediately step in. The fighting would continue in this manner until just one fighter remained standing. Along the way, clan members from each tribe delivered denigrating and humiliating insults as appropriate to the circumstances.
By the time Brokk was 17, he had won his first competition, taking out 30 or so Orcs by himself. Brokk was tall, but not lanky. His legs were thick; he shoulders broad. He could lift three times his own weight and has frequently been seen throwing all 3 Orcs off his body during the games. He could also outrun every other known Barbarian or Orc, whether in short sprints or long distances. By the time he was 20, Brokk was the perfect combination of brute strength, speed and agility. He never lost a competition and had risen to high stature among his clan and the Orcs.
Brokk’s natural gifts also led him to become an accomplished hunter and trapper. He had would regularly return from a hunt with enough small game to feed 5 adults. He enjoyed hunting. He enjoyed being in the wilds. By the time he was 22, his clan not only expected him to provide most of the meat for its members, they began to rely on him to do so. His clan grew stronger and greater in numbers as a direct result of his own success as a hunter. Brokk learned of the natural world and of the geography of the north. He learned to find water and to survive under the most extreme conditions. He learned of the animals, how they moved, gathered food and responded to danger. He became particularly interested in the great Bear of the north.
About a year ago, Brokk was making his way back from a long hunt when he came across a small pack of wild dogs. But they were more than dogs. Their necks were over a foot in length. Their teeth – long and sharp as a large cat’s. They were lanky and stood tall when scanning for danger on their hind legs. Their red eyes caught Brokk’s motion through forest. They moved swiftly and were adept at coordinated their approach as they prepared to attack. It was then that Brokk noticed each dog bore wings. These were some of the Great Dragons minions, but these were different than their predecessor’s. These creatures were faster and stronger as well as having the advantage of flight.
There were five in all. Brokk sliced the first one in mid-air as it sought to attack from a higher position. The others approached from all sides, which was not at all unfamiliar to the Barbarian during training with the Orcs. One of them caught his arm in its mouth, but its hold was short-lived. Brokk grabbed it by the neck with his other arm and flung it into a tree at tremendous speed. It did not get up. By his dagger and short sword, the third one fell in multiple swift strokes across its head and shoulder. This caused the remaining two, to pause just for a second, as if to re-think their plans. This was a mistake. Brokk threw his dagger and found the heart of one. He then ran and lept atop of the other, impaling it in the back of his neck with his sword.
The presence of this pack of dogs, so close to his clan, caused him to gather his things and quickly head home. When he arrived most of the destruction had already occurred. He saw the Great Dragon make two final passes over his clan before moving on. Brokk caught its back end with a javelin, but it just flew off as if to not even notice. There were no survivors.
For the past year, Brokk roamed the wilds in search of revenge. The loss of his clan affected him deeply. His mistrust of other races grew stronger, especially the Orcs. For he knew not why they had failed to head the call of the Barbarians on that fateful day. Brokk now struggles to control his desire to attack first and ask questions later. If not for his presence in the wilds and his growing attunement with all things natural, he would have probably turned completely chaotic. Through the spirit of the Great Bear, in particular, has he been able to keep his mind focused and sane. His final mission: Revenge!