Talanor, the Bright Tower
Half-Orc Forgepriest Warpriest of Valthyra
Akula is a striking young woman. She is too soft for the standards of Orcish beauty, and too savage looking for the standards of humans. Still though, it is hard to deny that there is something about her that draws the eye. She finds public speaking difficult. She is passionate and enthusiastic, but her aggressive pursuit of argumentation makes many people instinctively defensive. She hasn’t yet learned how to temper her zeal for the ears of others. She’s aware that she often isn’t listened to, which frustrates her. Instead, she has found that her actions speak for her much better than her lips do. Her dream is to someday help build a community where all are welcome and respected, regardless of what they look like or where they are from.
Akula dresses in rugged finery. Everything in her wardrobe is clearly high-quality and expensive, but made for functionality rather than ostentation. She favors greys and reds. The great blade she carries on her back has a thick crossguard stylized to look like a blacksmith’s hammer. When on the road or on official business, she wears a pennant that rises off of her back to display her colors and station.
None Statistic. (Source)
Feat Name: Description (Source)
Ability Name: Description (Source)
Relics, Wonders & Curios
Scrolls, Potions & Components
In another life, Akula would have become a queen, or perhaps an orcish Khan. Both her parents are of royal blood among their respective peoples which, predictably, caused a great many problems.
In Haemil, hostilities with the Orc clans of the southern Iron Mountains have a long and bloody history. Orcs are proud, dedicated to their traditions, and quick to resort to violence. The humans are opportunistic, dedicated to innovation, and quick to disregard the traditions of other peoples. These cultural values do not make for good neighbors.
Akula’s mother Korah was the firstborn daughter of the Steelblood Khan. Her decision to leave her people came from overhearing her own father’s prayers. The Khan was tired. He could see the writing on the wall. The destruction of his people, imminent. They were mighty, and many, but the humans had weapons and alliances, and were not bound by self-destructive traditions. The Khan prayed to the Ancestors and the Gods to give him a way to stop the fighting that would not see him lose his throne as well.
Korah gave the Khan what he sought. The next night she left, hidden by darkness, and made her way to the borderlands where she surrendered to the armies of Haemil. When her identity became known she was taken to Earthenwork and brought before King Helluddar Krögen XVIII. She surrendered herself as a hostage, a bargaining chip, to allow Haemil the leverage needed to keep the orcs at bay.
It was a gamble, but it worked. The human nobility had a long history of raising the children of other Houses to ensure peace between them, and this was little different. After the initial outrage from the nobles on both sides, years of outright warfare settled into a tense standoff punctuated by occasional skirmishes.
What no one expected was for crown prince Michael Krögen of Haemil to fall madly in love with the orcish princess. They were wed over the anvil, but the secret was not to last. Pregnancies are hard to hide for long. The public outrage was predictable and fierce. The prince renounced his claim to the throne, abdicating to his younger brother. The former crown prince instead took on the title of “Protector of the Realm” and named Grave of Häfenóst, a large and ancient castle on the borderlands to the south, near the orcish tribes.
After five years away from her people, Korah was reunited with her father, this time over a negotiating table. That was when the Khan found out that his daughter had not been kidnapped and held for ransom, but that she had left of her own free will to ensure the survival of her people. It was there, at a table full of tension and anger, that she presented the savage Khan with his granddaughter. Akula, as a toddler, was instrumental in the peace talks that followed.
Akula was raised straddling two worlds. She discovered that among all the gods, only one was revered by her mother’s people and her father’s. Valthyra. It seemed like too much of a coincidence that the goddess of Community and Family, the same goddess who was invoked at her parent’s secret wedding, would also be the only goddess beloved by both sides of her bloodline. Akula might never be a princess, but she could be a priestess.
So much of Valthyra’s doctrine was reflected in Akula’s own life. The forge, the fires, the Doctrine of Alloys. The strength of arms, the imperative to defend and teach. Love. Devotion. She had dealt with the pain of discrimination, and became passionately devoted to eradicating it in all it’s forms.
Akula’s ability to travel between the Iron Mountain clanlands and the Kingdom of Haemil made her value as a courier immeasurable. Lasting peace between the warring neighbors seemed attainable for the first time ever.
Then the world ended.