Last Updated: August 13, 2014
Short Attention Span
Rath, (Rorukk in the orc tongue) is a rare kind of half orc. He carries both demonic and angelic heritages as well as orcish ancestry. His heritages all manifested at the same time, and this mingling of personality types has brought inner conflict. In turn this led to his being a bit mentally deranged. His behaviour is often unpredictable from moment to moment. His actions and thoughts are a swirl of chaos.
Being touched in the head, he shows certain quirks; he always repeats a proper name three times e.g. up yours Rory, Rory, Rory or bad back Clint, Clint, Clint or Delzimer, Delzimer, Delzimer is my destination.
Physically, Rath is an imposing figure, tall, large and strong, the result of his orc and demonic heritages, as well as surviving growing up as an orc in the harsh Hordelands. Since his demonic heritage is of an incubus line, he appears less brutish than expected. And as his features are dominated by his angelic blood, results in a refined and more handsome look, so his hair, eyes, ears and teeth appear less orcish and more human. His body is covered with a hard layer of tiny barely discernible scales. His chest, back and arms are blanketed in swirling hideous scars that tend to intimidate people, the result of a ritual he was forced to undergo.
His moods seem to change like a switch opening and closing and he seems to lack perseverance on any skill demanding task, especially if he failed the first time.
The overall all effect is a hair-trigger expectation of a reversion to ruthlessness, brutal strength, and recklessness. This combined with his outwardly; somewhat rugged exotic demonic intimidating look is a combination that many females, of many races, find at times, as a moth to a flame, irresistible. Not that he cares one way or another.
Report On Subject #314-Rath the Half Orc
The following is a selection of personal and professional notes, comments, and observations, attached to the formal interview study and its report of subject #314. Produced by the sage and scholar Delzzar Kaptu, high priest of Toth and senior chair of half-breed studies, Great University of Glieldaneth, Mulhorand.
Complete copies of this report and the full accompanying notes as well as the whole series of subjects and their interviews are also to be found in the Candlekeep Monastery, the Waterdeep National Library and the Leaves of Learning Temple in Deepingdale.
Subject #314 came to our attention via the usual method of having our students monitoring the city, especially the caravan and market areas for any newcomers and/or rumours of strange half-breeds. One such caravan had subject #314 hired as a guard.
The subject agreed to be interviewed as long as, in his own words, "urr food is plentiful, the ale keeps flowing and urr gold is good."
Present at the faculty outdoor luncheon patio were myself, the subject and my scribe assistant, the psion Jeha Hamue. (Oh, the looks the subject drew). She not only records the interview, draws their portraits using her physic abilities, but also skims their mind in order to verify the truthfulness of their responses.
Subject #314 is an extremely rare orc-aasamir half breed. The only one in the interviewing series due to their uncommonness and so any generalizations about this breed can only be superficial. Whether the observations and conclusions drawn here are indicative of the breed or unique to this individual cannot be ascertained without more subjects of the same breed. Yet his personal history is interesting. Due to his background, he may actually be a more unique individual than suspected. In him, demonic, orc and celestial bloodlines have all intermingled.
His personal name is Rorukk Thagurz which roughly translates as the Wrath of the Skull Smasher tribe. Physically he is an imposing fellow, tall, broad and overly muscular, an avatar of some strength deity. His colouring is unusual for a half orc, yellowed eyes and red-brown pigmentation instead of the usual greens of plains orcs, the greys of mountain orcs or even the pale colourations of the subterranean orcs. My hypothesis is that his colouring is due to his demonic heritage manifestation as is his scale skin. (See the discussion pages)
His body and facial features are less orcish than expected for an orc half breed, but tended towards more demonic all smoothed out by celestial contours. (See the attached portrait)
His upper body is criss-crossed by scars due to an orc ritual he was forced to undergo. These scars help make him intimidating.
As usual with most orc crosses, the father was orc, the mother a plane-touched aasamir, the offspring a product of rape. His mother was a paladin of Tyr who would escort and guard the caravans as they crossed the Hordelands between the north eastern nations of Faerun and the Eastern Empire of Shou Lung in Tara-Kur along the Golden Way. She was captured when the Skull Smasher tribe raided the caravan. Turned into a tribal slave, and sensing her celestial nature, she was subjected to savage rape and abuse, first by the tribal war chieftain (Rath`s father) but also later, when he tired of her, by other male warriors of the tribe. The females became jealous and would also inflict petty injuries upon her. In time, and after Rath`s birth, the novelty began to wear off and as other females came to be captured, she was left mostly alone to work and tend to her son. She became just one more female slave and so the rapes and beatings would become sporadic.
The tribe had many half-orcs, orc-human from Tugian slave women, orc-goblin from goblin slaves, orc-hobgoblin and even some orogs. So Rath grew up with them as well as full orcs. In the tribe, the young males were taught the `Way of the Orc' which means their history, their deities, how the other races cheated them and so were undeserving of mercy; especially the despised elves, how the highest aspiration of an orc warrior was to kill and conquer enemies, prove himself in battle, so that his spirit could ascend to the Plane of Archeron. There, eternally, to fight with the orc gods against the hobgoblins and their gods.
And so, as usual in these affairs, the youngsters learned combat raiding, hunting and thieving skills. They practiced and competed brutally amongst each other. A hierarchy soon developed amongst the youngsters. Rath was able to out muscle, out think and out wit the others and found himself near the top. The effect of this was that it brought the enmity of his half brother, the full blooded orc son of his father who was the inheritor of the tribe's war chief. Also due to his strength size and skills he was allowed to go on true adult raiding sorties. He quickly became experienced and adept at rapine and killing, be it against caravans, Tugian camps or other humanoid tribes. Yet as his angelic side matured he became more and more uneasy. This was taken as a growing sign of weakness, much to the delight of the half brother, with whom apparently a great rivalry developed..
Unusual was the care he received from his birth mother. She attempted many unsuccessful escapes, but stopped soon after his birth. In the Hordelands, escaping with a tiny infant would be near impossible and she could not leave him behind. Whereas most orc males are ignored by their birth mothers soon after they are apprenticed out, she continued to nurture him.
"I 'member her singing to me, always singing. And stories. Stories of far away places, and people. And her god Tyr, how I was born to serve a great justice in the world. Bah! I follow the One-Eye. I dedicate all my kills to him. We have a deal. I miss her singing though."
At that point, he slammed the table hard enough to make everything and everyone jump in surprise. (See the detailed notes.). He then raised his voice. "She should have left me. She should have escaped. She be alive now and I would be tribal chieftain. Damn her."
This outburst ended as abruptly as it began. Rath then looked confused and his attention was taken up by closely examining the flowers on the table. Jeha reported during the outburst, Rath's mind became a sea of ferment and totally unreadable. The only emotions she could sense was rage directed mostly at himself and guilt that he lacked the foresight to save her. (See the detailed notes of Jeha Hamue.)
The situation was that Rath`s father descended from a demonic incubus line. An incubus mated with a human female, producing a female cross, who mated with an orc which began the orc line. Every few generations, the demonic heritage would manifest itself. This happened to Rath at puberty, except that at the same time, his mother's celestial heritage also manifested. This simultaneous mixing of opposing and conflicting heritages, along with what he had to endure, resulted in his becoming a bit insane.
This insanity was verified by Jeha who reported that his mind was a seethe of chaos, even at the best of times, his emotions balanced between a desire to rage out and cause havoc and a need to be helpful and be helpful in the world. She found it very difficult to read even his surface thoughts and at times of outburst, nearly impossible. It manifested itself in his short attention spans (more than several times he had to be reminded of the question, as he would stop and stare at people, birds, clouds or whatever was in proximity) and his repetition of proper names. His reaction to the servers was unpredictable; at times he would thank them profusely for their service, while at others he would rail against their supposed tardiness or sloppiness. Jeha and I would have to try and restrain him during these episodes. Then he would calm down and be jovial as if nothing untoward had occurred. (Must interview his co-workers to determine how they handled these outbreaks and their relationships with him.).
The turning point in his tribal life happened at the time he killed his half brother. Encouraged by their father, their rivalry intensified. To the point where each sought to out do the other and make the other suffer as much ridicule, pain and embarrassment as possible.
In the evenings, the warriors would gather around the campfires, eating, drinking and telling tales of their prowess; the enemies they fought and vanquished. They would chant battle hymns, beat drums and call out to their gods to strengthen and bless them.
During these times many warriors would become aroused and seek out females. If the orc women did not want to be bothered, then there was no recourse other than to use the female slaves. His half brother would always seek out Rath's mother, especially when he determined how much this upset his rival. It also illustrated Rath's lower status as his mother was a non-orc slave. Rath could only seethe with rage as he was powerless against this custom. He could only remain helpless as his mother would be ravished and beaten by his rival. This set the stage for what occurred.
It is a custom amongst the orc tribes that every year the most promising warriors to be undergo certain rituals to become chosen of Gruumsh. There are several options; one for future shamans ("our gods care for our warriors"), one for mage-killers ("kill those damned elf wizards"), and combat power ("orc warriors fight to kill all quickly) and so on. The problem is intense scarification, down to the muscle and bone is part of the ritual. Consequently there is a fairly high mortality rate and so not a lot of volunteering. The tribal shaman draws the names of those selected. As such, the system is open to bribery and corruption. By some means, the half-brother had persuaded the shaman to call out Rath for the Ritual of Mighty Hewing, in which slashes are made along the back, chest and arms, exposing bone and sinew. Then while subject lies near death, prayers are delivered to the gods to accept this sacrifice. If accepted, the warrior emerges, stronger, more full of rage and wrath, a fighter of unsurpassed abilities. If the gods disdain the sacrifice, then the subject dies.
"It took ten mighty warriors to bear me down" screamed out the subject. "I lay in the dark, full of pain, wanting to die, the droning of the chants all I could hear. Then my brother came and whispered in my ear. He told me that as I died he wanted me to know he was going to 'visit' my mother, this time for the last time. This filled me with a greater rage than I ever knew before. As I lay in the dark, bleeding out, I spoke to Gruumsh, Gruumsh, Gruumsh.. Let me live and I am yours. I will dedicate all my kills to you and I will kill for you often, every chance I get. The One-Eyed heard and granted. I do not know how long I lay there, days perhaps, but finally I felt strong again. Better than strong, more powerful. I emerged from the medicine hut. All who saw me withdrew in fear. I was full of rage, and looked different (The scarring had finalised and his bloodlines had all fully manifested. He was taller and broader than before the ritual. See the full notes.)
"They all knew that Gruumsh, Gruumsh, Gruumsh had chosen me. I was considered holy."
Rath then went looking for his mother only to find out that she had been abused and beaten to death two days ago by his half brother. Her body had been dumped in the pit reserved for the dead slaves. He was told that her last words were ' now my son is freed. He will do the great Justice. Thank you Tyr.' He had to be restrained by Jeha's mental powers in the re-telling of this as his mind was consumed by the need to lash out at anything nearby. (See Jeha's notes) She says his mind was full of guilt and grief at this point.
His half brother, father and most of the warriors were not in camp at this time. His father had taken a band to go hunting north, while his brother had taken a second band, mostly composed of his cronies, to go caravan raiding. Bursting with rage, he chased after his brother's band.
Several hours later he caught up to them on the Golden Road. They had found a small four wagon caravan and were assaulting it. The caravan guards and drivers had formed a defence but their depleted numbers were close to be overwhelmed by the shrieking orcs.
Roaring his own 'For you Gruumsh', Gruumsh, Gruumsh, Rath attacked his former tribe members He dispatched over five of them before the others even knew he was there. He was a demonic whirlwind of death. They retreated before his wrath. He came upon his half brother and they fought. With his enhanced strength and fighting abilities, it was over quickly. He sliced off an arm. "For me!" he roared out. He cut off a leg, sending his brother to the ground. "For my mother". Now he toyed with his brother, whose blood was spilling into the ground and cut off another arm. "For me!" The last leg was cut off. "For my mother!" he raged. Then before his brother could succumb to shock he raised his sword high and swung hard, decapitating him. "For Gruumsh, Gruumsh, Gruumsh." he raged to the sky.
With that, his wrath left him; the red rage lifted from his eyes. He became more aware of his surroundings. The remaining orcs had fled, the caravaneers were staring in dumb astonishment at this strange orc-like creature, covered in blood that apparently seemed tireless and was grinning evilly at them as if daring them to attack.
"Their captain stepped forth and spoke to me in passable orc", related Rath. "Peace and many thanks, he said. I shrugged. You please come with us, help guard, we pay and feed. I had no reason to return to the tribe and many reasons not to return so I shrugged and nodded."
That was the beginning. For many years thereafter, he guarded caravans, hoping that their would be combat, relishing in the kills he could dedicate to his orc god. The last caravan brought him here to Glieldaneth, a stopover on his way to Delzimmer.
Near the end, we heard pan pipes and then a song burst out in the quad. Looking out we could see a gnome, a chaos gnome by her clothes, entertaining the now growing crowd.
The subject visibly relaxed as the sweet melody reached our ears. Like a balloon expelling air, the tension and stress oozed out of him. Jeha reported that here his mind became a gentle breeze of calmness, at peace with itself.
"I miss her singing" were his words.
This ended the interview and he was paid as promised. The last we saw of him was as he walked out of the university grounds; all in his path parting before this imposing figure. I do not know whether to be glad or sad for the people of Delzimmer.
Rath's wolfteeth club is an oriental weapon, a large spiked mace head on a slender 4-5 ft stick. Rath picked it up from a Kara-tur caravan guard he slew once.
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