Half Orc Magus, obsessed with revenge.
Life is hard.
This was the first and only lesson Kreul learned in his beginning years. The product of Orc raids into human territory, Kreul was born of a Human mother, and Orc father. He doesn’t truly know who his father is, much less if he is still alive.
The Warlord Garrum gathered Kreul, and nearly a thousand other such half orc Bastards for an experiment. He, and his war-caster Klaxis, devised a plan to blend the ferocity and battle aptitude of the Orcs, with the cunning and intelligence of the great sages. They would be trained in the sword, as well as in the arts of magic, learning to blend the two together into a brutal and effective killing machine.
Garrum would not suffer weakness however, and ordered that to find the best of the best, the thousand children would train in brutal death matches against each other, with only the strongest surviving. In the end, only 15 of the original 1000 remained alive. These were the strongest, fastest, smartest, and by far the most deadly soldiers he could have ever hoped to produce. The process, however, was not without its flaws, for in every 1000 Half-Orcs, there is bound to be at least one, who has more of a human side than Orc.
Kreul was always a problem student during his training. Beaten and whipped often, as Orcs do to inspire obedience, he was ever resistant. They kept him caged, fed him only enough to survive, and let him study in Irons. Several times, the instructors asked to bring his head to Garrum on a pike. The Warlord denied such requests. He was confident that he could break the bastard. In fact, it became a point of pride for him.
As the years went on, the torture continued. Kreul eventually broke. He could feel his mind slipping, and found it better to obey orders, and focus his mind on his combat skills to maintain his sanity. He was laughed at, and taken lightly by many opponents, who viewed him as an easy kill. He was not as physically strong as most of his competitors, and found that the best way to avoid being hurt by an attack was to not be where the blade was. He favored a lighter, one handed weapon, so that he might cast spells with one hand, and strike with the other.
It wasn’t until near the end of the competition that he learned to combine the two. He was bleeding, almost beaten, fighting a hulk of a Half Orc named Leruk. The had once been as close to something you could call friends in the hellish arena, but now, driven by the blood-lust of his orcish blood and the will to survive, Leruk intended to kill him.
Kreul knew he had only seconds to live, as Leruk charged towards him hefting a gigantic great axe, wreathed in flame. He made a split second decision, and did the exact opposite of what Leruk expected. Kreul began to charge towards him. The difference in striking position caught Leruk off guard, Kreul had an opening as the axe was still over Leruks head. He had studied anatomy, and knew that his sword would not penetrate the armor, or do enough damage. The only spell he had left was shocking grasp, and it would not strike hard enough to kill his opponent, nor would Leruk give him another chance.
The gods must have been watching, or maybe it was just luck, but in that blink of an eye, a new thought occurred to Kreul. He drew the sword back to strike, and with his other hand, he cast the spell on his blade at the exact second he struck, the sound of thunder emanated from the strike as the air grew super-heated, the lighting spell channeled through the length of the blade. It seemed to amplify the power of both the strike, and the spell, as his blade sliced through the boiled plate armor, cutting and burning his enemy at the same time. Leruk fell dead.
The onlookers fell silent, and then began to cheer and roar with blood-lust. Kreul fell to a knee, exhausted from the fight. Garrum declared him the champion, and that he would get a night to rest without being beaten. Small mercies.
Garrum gave the order for him to be brought to the Tent of Klaxis, and ordered Kreul to teach him the technique he had used in the arena. Kreul was tired enough that he fell asleep at the first opportunity.
He awoke to the war horns sounding. He was aware that they were close to the wall, but he didn’t know how close. Apparently, a battle had taken place, and Garrums forces were on the losing side. Kreul grabbed a pack from a nearby chest and started loading any food or items of value he could see. A loud crack of air rushing out of a space stung Kreuls ears, as Klaxis teleported in. Seeing an opportunity for escape, Kreul lept to it. He knew Klaxis was weakened from the battle, and he had just rested.
He used the same combination strike he had used in the arena. Klaxis, however, was not the fool Leruk was. He dodged back, tking less than the full force of the blow. In orcish, he yelled something roughly translated to, “Ungrateful traitor!”, In all the commotion he was able to make his way past the line and sneak out of the camp. Only later, when he examined the pack he had taken from Klaxis chamber, did he find a strange symbol. He had no idea what it meant, and would only later discover that the symbol was that of the whispering tyrant.
It was a long and dangerous journey, but Kreul eventually made his way out of the warring part of the country, and traveled for a time, honing his skills. He vowed revenge on Garrum, Klaxis, and any of those who serve them. And as far as Kreul knew, that meant the whispering way.