Talanor, the Bright Tower
Aegean Hobgoblin Rogue
Coarse and worn, the deep gray-green skin of Gruskorb has seen many a harsh day and night. Even at his young age, splotches of discoloration and lines show, and not only from the sun and elements; his back is scored with scars from myriad lashes during his time as a slave. The toughness of his skin is a counterpoint to his voice though, which is not-as-gravelly of a baritone as one might expect. A survivor’s dark eyes gaze out of his fit body’s visage.
More than a few of his acts may have been considered dastardly, but the Aegean is forthcoming enough with his speech in most cases; his terseness is often misunderstood as distaste, but that is only true until the thief makes threats in earnest – they are ones he keeps. His interactions in town are businesslike, and Gruskorb has developed the speeches of some of the races he respects (Dwarves, Orcs) or despises (humans, elves) enough to make his dealings swift and effective. Perhaps counter-intuitively, Gruskorb doesn’t mind doing a job with a partner or two; as long as they are competent, he approves of the greater gains to be reaped.
For passtimes, he falls to the vice of dice; gambling is something he sees as within his grasp of “smart”, for his lack of any sort of formal learning in the quarry has pushed him down the less-literate path. Though he doesn’t dislike those he recognizes as bright, they highlight an ever-increasingly evident weakness he has compared to the more “civilized” folks. This sore spot is in no small part one of the reasons he dislikes elves and humans.
Querkus Windrazor (Half-Elven Druid)
+1 Dexterity. (LE2: Gnoll Slayer)
+1 Dexterity. (LE3: Gnoll Priest)
+1 All Saves. (Boon: Gift of Teysura)
+1 Natural AC (Boon: Sacred Chestnut Tree)
+5 Acid resistance. (Earth1: Tupilaq)
Combat Expertise: You can choose to take a –1 penalty on melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +1 dodge bonus to your Armor Class. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every +4 thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the dodge bonus increases by +1. You can only choose to use this feat when you declare that you are making an attack or a full-attack action with a melee weapon. The effects of this feat last until your next turn. (LE1)
Fiery Weapons: 1/day as a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with the essence of flame and fire, causing 1d6 +1 per 2 character levels of fire damage from any successful hit with your weapons for 1 full round. (LE3: Gnoll Priest)
Lightning Trip: You cause 1d10 electric damage upon a successful trip with any whip. (LE1)
Seek Target: 1/day you can smell or taste a drop of blood, lock of hair, or other portion of a creature’s body as a standard action. For the duration of the effect, you constantly knows what direction that creature is located in, and gains a +20 insight bonus on all Perception checks made to locate the creature. The effect lasts 1 hour per character level. (Earth1: Tupilaq)
Study Target: 2/day as a move action, you gain study target as per the slayer ability. Use your character level as your effective slayer level. If you already have the ability, your bonus is increased by +1. (LE2: Gnoll Slayer)
Scrolls, Potions & Components
Potion of Cure Light Wounds x2
The sound of rocks chunked in the quarry reverberated throughout Gruskorb’s tier. A recent set of lashings was lingering in its pain, making the labor steadily more agonizing. It was nearly dusk, and the slaves had been working before dawn. They must let us stop soon…
The month prior, Gruskorb’s tribe had been the victims of an ambush from a large band of raiders from a hostile tribe. Their warlord and all of their soldiers had been killed or routed, and the rest of the town was captured. Most of these captives fought back and were killed outright, and some were slaughtered for sport that evening, but the rest were marched to the enemy’s quarry. Layer upon layer of rock pathways spiraled down into the earth. Whispers around the workers rumored some magical gem was the reason they were mining. And they were clever enough to take us by surprise? What a waste of time.
In his town, Grus – as he was known – he a relatively quiet life for an Aegean. His farm had enough crops and cattle, and hunting was plentiful. He had been trying to construct a trap to catch the local fauna, but for some reason, his designs wouldn’t work. A waste of my time to be there when I could be profiting in the shop. Twice a week, he traded in the town center, and he had a knack for ending-up with a lion’s share of the good deals.
Overnight, his wealth, status, and security were eliminated.
All of the slaves were whipped repeatedly until they could do nothing but collapse or obey. Those that couldn’t survive the march were left for dead on the side of the path, and those that couldn’t work until evening on any day were deprived of food and water, often feeding a vicious cycle until they starved. It is only a matter of time until I die. Every so often, small clusters of workers would rebel, but each time they were crushed. Some were lucky enough to take a taskmaster with them, but they all died in the end.
One day, his pickaxe struck something paricularly hard. The captive made strikes around the exceptionally-resilient area, and after a few minutes, it was clear an orange gem of some sort was within the rocks. It almost seemed to glow. Knowing he’d come across what he sought, Gruskorb didn’t know what to do. They do not deserve this gem, but if I call attention to it, I may be relieved for a short time. He had no hope of being released, and his ire was stubborn enough to side with the former thought. He began to push some pebbles in the cavity to cover his finding…
A flash of pain came from behind.
“You will knock that jewel out for me, or this arm will almost get as much use as yours today.” The cruel taskmaster behind him laughed, snapping the barbed whip once more. Gruskorb couldn’t take it. He made like the pikeaxe was to strike stone again, but spun and struck the taskmaster in the shoulder. The narrow end plunged into his collar, and he grabbed his whip arm. “SLAVE!..”
The scuffle was short, and before long, other taskmasters were running towards them, other slaves rioting. He personal overseer laid dying, but he wanted to have a more lasting vengeance before his inevitable demise came. With a powerful swing, he knocked-out the jewel and hefted it in his hands. Strange. The orange almost seems to glow in the sun…
A strange feeling came over him, and he felt a wave of calm take hold briefly.
Mist began to emanate from the gem. Then darkness.
Gruskorb’s older brother, Wrell, and their middle sister, Gleena, had a rare meeting. It was for the funeral of his mother, Yish. The trio hadn’t been close since their early youth. Wrell had a job in a security detail for a merchant caravan. Gleena was a talented apothecary and held a well-respected shop. Both were seen as successes in their own right, but Gruskorb had struggled to find reputable work. His brother and sister intuited his shadier dealings, but they brought them to the fore during this supper alone.