D&D: Adventurers Anonymous
A kind hearted, easily confused giant . . . with a temper
Zul’Grum, son of Zul’Naar, son of Zul’Thrak, Blood of Clan Zul’Qor, Male Half-Orc
AKA Thrak Hordebreaker
A mountain of craggy muscle and bone looming over seven feet tall and massing hundreds of pounds, most people could be forgiven for confusing Zul’Grum for a pure-blooded orc, deviant orog, or even an ogre.
There was a time he might have been called hansom, at least for a half-orc, but over the years his warm-grey skin, cracked and rent, has collected innumerable scars and marks . His ruddy-dark hair is pulled back in shaggy, lopsided topknot, while similarly hued fur over much of his form lend a bestial cast.
Poorly healed burns over much of his left side speak of a recent trauma that few could have survived, while his weapons of rusted metal, sun-bleached wood, and brittle leather tell of years of neglect. A hollow look of desperate uncertainty finish a tale of a reluctant return to a life of violence and adventure.
As one of the rare Spirit Warriors of clan Zul’Qor, a legendary and fading tradition of the northern orc tribes, Zul’Grum has little regard for material rewards and possessions; axes shatter, armor breaks, and trinkets are lost or stolen by the weak who wish to possess the strength of their betters. The Spirit Warriors believe strength comes internally from flesh, sinew, bone, and will, and is rewarded from without by the Great Spirits whose respect a warrior must earn through great feats of strength, endurance, and dedication.
If the Great Spirits wish to reward or test a Spirit Warrior they call to them, and inspire them to step out upon a spirit quest or perform a rite of dedication. When the warrior has completed this task they are often granted strength through a Totem, Blessing, or Charm.
Spirit Warrior Blessings and Charms often take the form of ritual scarification and tribal tattoos. Blessings typically include both scarification and sprawling tattoos, and are effectively permanent unless the warrior was to lay down his axe, much as Zul’Grum did following the birth of his daughter, or were to forsake the spirits. Charms are almost universally small tattoos that fade away after they are used. Those bearing a Charm can typically use it with a thought, while another wishing to use it must place their hands upon the charm and beseech the spirits on behalf of the bearer.
At a glance Totems would seem to contradict the Spirit Warrior’s disregard for the strength of material items, except that the item is little more than a symbol or conduit to a greater connection between the warrior and the great spirits. If a totem is lost or destroyed the warrior simply performs the rites and creates a new one, much as Zul’Grum did when he returned to the path of the Spirit Warrior in search of his lost daughter.
To anyone but the warrior that crafted the totem, it is merely a mundane object of no spiritual or supernatural significance. There are rare exceptions to those who have bested the warrior or hold some other connection to the warrior and then performs the rites themselves. In this way a totem may be passed on from one Spirit Warrior to another, but again the strength must be earned.
Among the rarest and mightiest Spirit Warriors, a measure of their own strength may be lent to a totem, creating an item of power that might last the test of ages and grant a measure of strength to those who wield or bear it. Such a manifestation of power is often disbelieved by Spirit Warriors, but treasured in those rarest of cases that one is discovered, and rites must almost certainly be performed regardless (Attunement).
Zul’Grum’s Totems, Blessings, and Charms:
Mantle of the Great Golden Bear: This lustrous golden bear pelt drapes over the shoulders while the head of the great beast, including skull and upper jaw, can be pulled over to form a fierce hood. The larger golden cape, thick and heavy, is held onto the mantle with toggles made of bone, leather, and the Great Bear’s claws, allowing the wearer to detach the great cape while leaving the mantle with a savage fringe.
History: Returning to the path of the Spirit Warrior to assist him in his search for his missing daughter, Zul’Grum soon felt the Calling of the Great Spirits once more. While his companions rested after an arduous journey, Zul’Grum heeding the Call, set out in search of the manifestation of the Great Golden Bear he knew awaited him. Using his wisdom Zul’Grum was able to track down and sneak upon the Great Bear and strike a mighty blow, but the Great Spirit would not grant his strength so easily. Zul’Grum and the bear battled, trading one mighty blow after another until finally only Zul’Grum remained raging. Devouring the bear’s heart Zul’Grum performed the rites and crafted the Mantle of the Great Golden Bear out of the great beast’s hide, bones, sinews, claws, and teeth.
Charm of the Swans (Restoration): Upon his right breast is a tattoo of six black swans moving across a frothy flow of water. Each Swan represents a single charge and will vanish when spent.
History: Pulling the form of a halfling from a watery grave, Zul’Grum and his companion Taerin gave her a proper burial. In the following night’s rest Zul’Grum, heeding a Call, gathered swan’s egg, yew ash, heart of shadow lilies, and blood and used the pins of a Black Swan Brooch, found by Taerin upon the halfling, to work this tattoo onto his chest.
Enchantment: This Charm has six charges. You can use an action to expend some of its charges to cast the following spells: Greater Restoration (4 charges) or Lesser Restoration (2 charges). Once all the charges are expended it vanishes.
Half-Orc Barbarian 1 (Outlander)
AC 17; HP 16, HD 1d12
Strength 18, Dexterity 16, Constitution 18, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 15, Charisma 8
Proficiencies: Armor (Light, Medium, Shield), Languages (Common, Giant, Orc), Saving Throws (Strength, Constitution), Skills (Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival), Tools (Flute), Weapons (Simple, Martial).
Traits & Features: Darkvision, Rage, Relentless Endurance, Savage Attacks, Wanderer, Unarmored Defense.
Equipment: Backpack, Bedroll, Belt Pouch, Flute, Greataxe, Handaxe (2), Hunting Trap, Javelin (4),Mess Kit, Rations (10), Rope (Hempen, 50’), Tinder Kit, Torches (10), Traveler’s Clothes, Walking-staff, Waterskin
Zul’Grum feels far more comfortable around animals than people.
It is each person’s responsibility to make the most happiness for the whole.
A child’s diary with seven missing pages, the name on the cover is Zul’Anna Cray. A fragment of the last entry before the missing pages allude to her encountering an intriguing being…
It shames him, but violence is his answer to almost any challenge.