Exile. Mercenary. Chieftain.
Opportunist. Scoundrel. Berserker.
The Grumaari Chief is both a cunning leader and a brute. The question is not which he is more of, but where the brute ends and the cunning leader begins.
Brutish as he may be, the Orsimer Mercenary turned Chieftain has forged many friends upon the anvil of existence. Some bonds run deeper than others, and some are unbreakable.
Though he may yet still be in the prime of his life, the chieftain has a storied past from his tumultuous beginnings in the Reach, to his escapades across Tamriel, to his home in Wrothgar
Race: Orsimer Gender: Male Age: 33 Height: 6'3 Eyes: Amber Hair: Black Title: Chieftain
P E R S O N A L I T Y
Many Orc Chieftains are seen as dour, violent, brutish, stuck in their ways, and downright unfriendly, especially to outsiders. Gorthal gro-Gunthak in many regards breaks the mold, as he breaks many stereotypes about what it is to be an Orcish chieftain. That does not mean he doesn't carry some typical characteristics seen. He is brutish to be sure, and he makes people see it. Indeed, the former mercenary turned chieftain rarely wears a shirt, only donning armor in the heat of pitched warfare. He is crass and lacks 'civilized tact' in most circumstances. He will eat ravenously, drink in such a messy manner that it splashes across his chest, and he will be crass in language and mocking towards those he sees as unworthy of his time.Yet for all these seemingly negative traits is an Orsimer who defends his family and his friends fiercely. While he may be crass, he will laugh boisterously and show good mirth, rarely taking offense at verbal jabs thrown his way. He'd rather throw them right back, more outrageous, and more obnoxious. Those who he befriends earn his trust, his loyalty, and his respect, and for the chieftain, a friend is someone he willing to fight for and if need be to die for.As it pertains to family, it comes down to one simple line.Family is Clan. Clan is family. This is a mantra that runs deep to the heart of the chief. For all his boisterous nature, and for all of his attempts to appear as a crass, crude, swaggering oaf, Gorthal is far deeper of a person than that. Anyone who is his friend can tell you that much. Anyone that is his family, will tell you that all of his swagger and braggadocious behavior is an act to hide a fierce defender of those who have his blood or his heart. Vengeance stirs beneath his breast, and a grim expression is hiding just behind that arrogant smirk.For those who truly get to know the Orc Chieftain, they will know an Orc who is unconventional in many ways yet still embodies the honor, strength, and glory of the Orsimer spirit.
Loyalty - Gorthal is nothing if not loyal. After leaving his brother's stronghold, Gorthal forged a mercenary company that he would have died for. Since becoming the chieftain of Mor'Grumaar he has proven his loyalty time and time again, even when it could be understood if his loyalties came into question. If you earn Gorthal's friendship or respect, you will have his loyalty forever.Charismatic - Most orcs are not thought of to be 'charismatic,' but Gorthal is one that proves to be an exception. While perhaps many 'civilized' folk might not call him such, there are those who have served with him that have been naturally drawn to his leadership, both in battle and in life.Cunning - In his years as a mercenary, Gorthal learned to be more than just a strong armed brute. His mind for strategy, for tactics, and for knowing how to pick favorable battles has served him well.Passionate - In living a life as a mercenary with no obligations, Gorthal has embraced life in a way some Orcish chiefs have not. He has a passion for life, for living, for his clan, for his family, for his lovers, for his friends.
Emotional - Gorthal is emotional. Passionate is a term that could easily describe him, something that is not entirely a flaw. And yet while it is not entirely flaw there is a dangerous side to it. Fiercely protective of his family, of his clan, of those he cares about, one of Gorthal's strengths is also his weakness. Occasionally his emotions will lead to reckless decisions... sometimes costly ones.Easily Riled Up - While the Grumaari chieftain is not so quick tempered as some, with the right words and postures his snorts grow loud and his irritation shows. Gorthal is easily riled up especially with those who act in a certain way. Contrarian attitudes are often the biggest cause.Hubris - They say pride comes before a fall, and Gorthal carries a lot of pride to a fault. In recent days this has caught up to him as his mercenary band has largely been slain and he was forced to reconcile his history with his brother. Oftentimes pride can cause Gorthal to shut himself off, and his own hubris has led to him landing in trouble whether with his own clan or family.Greed - While his mercenary days are behind him, Gorthal still carries a strong vice for coin and glory. While it is not entirely selfish, greed is greed. He wants his name etched in history. He wants his clan's name etched in history. And yet the greed for fame, glory, and coin can sometimes mean he throws himself and his clan into situations they may not truly be prepared for.
The Grim Oath - After becoming Chieftain, Gorthal sought to honor not just the clan he took over, but the woman he later claimed as Shield-Wife. He used the ashes of the fallen chieftain Thrusk gro-Bogroth and forged an orichalcum and ebony greatsword, and later had it reforged by Skorga One-Tusk, his (at the time) Forge-Wife-To-Be.Forgemother's Bond - Just before venturing into the Reach on an ill fated journey, a gift was made for Gorthal using some of Gorthal's remaining ebony stores, inscribed with the old Orcish Beshkar Zugka, meaning "forge kissed." When he returned it was waiting for him. The chieftain has since retired the pauldron after it has taken a few too many blows.The Axe - Though it remains unnamed, in his grief at Hunt Wife Yazga's passing, he took a handful of her ashes and forged a two handed axe. Yet in spite of his frantic and passionate work at the forge, he has not had the desire to use it in battle, choosing to keep it close by, mantled near the bed he shares with Skorga, and once also shared with Yazga.Chieftain's Mantle - Owning up to being skilled at the forge, yet lacking in ways of needle and hidework, Gorthal sought out Lar'Leera and had a mantle made from the furs and hides of several beasts from the region. Since she has made this for him, Gorthal has worn it as a symbol of his position as Chieftain of the Grumaari.Blackforge Mercenary Helm - Much of Gorthal's past life has been abandoned. With Tark's death, Gorthal has allowed his mercenary days to die as well, especially in the wake of the remaining mercs being slain during that struggle. Yet of the few possessions remaining from his wandering days, the one that he cherishes still is his helmet, a savage horned helm that he wears into the most dire of battles.
Though not overbearing, cruel, or menacing, Gunthak was a flawed chief and father, one who Gorthal loved. Alas, he could not see the treachery of one of his sons before his own eyes.
He has not heard from her in many years, but Sharog is Gorthal's mother, the Shield-Wife of his long destroyed clan. She trained him, and helped inspire him to be the orc he is today.
Fhara and Gorthal were always close, with Gorthal setting the example of being an older brother that Tark never could with his wicked ways.
Gorthal mentored Agrun, though he found his younger half-brother to be soft. Rather than treat him with disdain, Gorthal saw him as needing protection.
A wretch, a coward, a usurper, and eventually a vampire. Gorthal slew his own brother in one on one combat.
The son of the former Grumaari Chieftain, Gorthal has taken to raising him as his own. With the passing of Largrum's mother, Gorthal has taken a keen interest in ensuring Largrum's growth.
Though just a wee orcling, Skoraz has shown all the ferocity in his father, namely in his willingness to bite offered fingers and eat anything he can.
Along with her twin brother Skoraz, Nagri is feisty, though even tempered in comparison to her brother.
Forge Wife, Beloved
"What can I say that I haven't already? Bonds forged in grief are unbreakable, and ours is made from the strongest of links."
"Severe and few words spoken. His faith guides him in ways I could never emulate. Too severe if you ask me, but his loyalty has never been in doubt."
"I used to see her as little more than a nuisance, but she has proven herself time and again. But as always, her belligerent nature runs her afoul of anything more than acknowledgment of her deeds."
"She came to us as a little bird, but now she soars high. I'd be lying if I said she was my usual type, but her heart is what draws me to her. The future is bright for her."
"I used to think he never took things seriously, but when one of our own was taken, I gave him the opportunity to prove his worth. He has done so and more in the past months."
"I allowed him back, but now the old bastard makes decisions in my name that I'd never make. He is the exact kind of Orc I detest... he wants us to live backwards. The joke is on him. He craves his traditional death. I'll make sure he dies as he is living... a feeble old man."
"There hasn't been a moment in which he hasn't disagreed or challenged my decisions, and has blamed me for the misfortunes of someone he should be protecting himself. The shaman may be important to the clan, but to me he is a threat to my family."
"Still need to learn more about her. She keeps to herself, which makes it harder to pin her down when I'm often occupied by my own dealings. Still, fine to look at when I do get to see her. Fierce in battle too."
Ikaasha the Sunderstone
"The Iron Orc came to us thinking she would be seeking our aid, but now it seems she has nowhere else to go. I'm trying to figure her out. I still don't know what to make of her. An artist among the clan. Heh."
"A more feral version of myself. I like her attitude. Some traditionalists will likely see her as a problem. Me? I find it to be exactly what I like in an Orc. She hits hard too."
Shield Wife, Deceased
"I will mourn her loss, but if I am being honest with myself, the day she gave birth to Skoraz and Nagri, she was lost. She grew distant and cold. Death was a satisfying release for her I suspect."
Hunt Wife, Deceased
"If I could change one thing about my life it would be protecting her. I still wake up at night and wonder how much happier I would be if she was still nestled between Skorga and myself."
Warcaller, Friend, Deceased
"I don't make friends easy. There are those I will fight beside, drink beside, but friends are hard to come by, especially in my position. Duma was a friend. His death struck hard. He will never be forgotten."
OOC Note - In an effort to condense some elements of this carrd down and to not bore anyone with details that may never arrive in RP, I've instead chosen to redo Gorthal's history to only include notable events in his life. These are the major events which have shaped him and his entire existence.
The Birth of Gorthal gro-Gunthak
Born to Gunthak and Sharog, the chieftain and shield wife respectively, Gorthal gro-Gunthak was the second son, with Tark gro-Gunthak having been born only three years prior. Growing up, Gorthal was immensely favored. Tark's mother Hagra had been a jealous wife, and in many ways Tark was isolated from the rest of the clan, with only a young Gorthal being the one to break through and bond with his older brother. Indeed, Gorthal among all his siblings was everything a clan would look for in an eventual leader. As a youth he was attentive, taking lessons in forging, in fighting, and even in leading. He established a brotherly bond with Tark, as well as his younger siblings Agrun and Fhara.At thirteen years of age, Gorthal obtained his first kill in battle, impressing his father as well as the rest of the clan. Gunthak quietly resolved that it would be Gorthal, not Tark who would become chieftain.
Gunthak groomed his second son for a future that ultimately never came to pass. A number of years passed and Gunthak fell ill. He tried to hide his condition, confiding only in Sharog and his Forge-Wife, Vola, that he needed to die gloriously, and that he required Gorthal to challenge him in order for the clan to survive. He feared that Tark would never be worthy, and admitted that his growing disdain for his Hunt Wife ultimately bled into disdain for Tark. Hagra listened in on this conversation in secret and informed Tark of what Gunthak had said, leading Tark to confront his father outside of the hold.This conflict led to the death of Gunthak, as Tark grabbed an axe in anger and planted it in the chieftain's chest, proclaiming that he won a trial by combat. With no one willing to dispute and many fearing Tark's less than kind nature, Tark became chieftain. Gorthal was devastated, not because he was denied becoming chief, but he was denied a chance to witness or be a part of his father's glorious end. He reluctantly supported Tark, but he grew concerned when Sharog and Vola hastily abandoned the stronghold, fearing for their lives.One day, Tark decided it was time to get married, and arranged a marriage with a clan on the border of the Reach and Wrothgar. Lazgura gra-Shub came to the hold, and when Gorthal saw her unhappy expression, he took to her and she confided her distaste for the arrangement. Words were exchanged, and they ended up sharing the same bed, an act that led to Tark having his brother and Lazgura brought before him.Gorthal promised Tark that one day he would die by his hand, but instead he chose exile, leaving with Lazgura.
He realized that his siblings had been left behind and decided to hire a number of mercenaries alongside Lazgura to get them out. They infiltrated the clan, but learned of Fhara's marriage to a clan on the border to Wrothgar, but Agrun was found safely. They freed him from the hold, and when Tark learned of what happened, he grew incensed and sent some of his best warriors after Gorthal and his band of mercenaries, leading to a battle in the Bangkorai Pass. Gorthal won and sent one of the remaining clan orcs back to Tark with a simple message: 'pursue again and die.'In the wake of this battle, Gorthal sent Agrun to Orisinium, as his younger brother had a softer nature about him. Grateful, Agrun would go on to be a smith in the city as it was still being constructed. The mercenaries were convinced to stay on with Gorthal, and he took the moniker of 'Blackforge,' and started taking contracts away from the brutal an harsh clan life style, and now in a brutal and bloody life of making coin.
The Imperial City
Gorthal found himself uninterested in many of the jobs his warband took as years began to pass by, relishing only the fight and the immediate aftermath of drinking and cavorting around.It wasn't until they reached Cyrodiil that Gorthal was given a job that spoke to him on a deeper level. An Imperial Noble needed his family rescued from the city. The anchors had dropped, the Soulburst had occurred, and the Planemeld was nigh. Gorthal had never truly cared about the Daedric threat, believing it was far above his pay, but the Imperial noble had offered a fortune he could not deny.Gorthal had his mercs infiltrate the sewers while he himself snuck into the city and fought through Daedra to find the Imperial Lord's family. The Three Banner War had begun as well, and much to the chagrin of the merc, many mistook him for a partisan of the Daggerfall Covenant. While it was true that the Orsimer were Covenant bound, Gorthal had no intention of taking part and avoided conflict where he could, but eventually he would be forced to defend himself and cut down several Pact and Dominion soldiers. On his way back through the sewers with the Imperial family in tow, he came across a single Bosmer from the Dominion, and nearly killed her until he realized she was fleeing from Pact soldiers. He hurried the family through the sewers while setting a trap for the Pact forces to fall into, for honor was something Gorthal had always clung onto, and would always care about more than anything else.The job was a success and though the noble paid Gorthal a small fortune, it was not nearly what it was promised. Disgusted by the manipulation of the noble, Gorthal and his forces went through High Rock and took a more aggressive approach, extorting Breton citizens for coin before finally Gorthal made his way into Wrothgar and away from the so called civilizations of man, filled with liars and cheats.
Chieftain of Mor'Grumaar
The arrival in Wrothgar was a bloody affair from the beginning, as the Blackforge Mercenaries took a contract to hunt down a band of Orsimer known only as the Tuskless. Savages that removed their tusks in an act of self loathing, the Tuskless had been preying on travelers and merchant caravans. Gorthal eagerly took the job, and while he lost several of his men in the battle, he ultimately drove them off - but not before witnessing another group of Orcs under assault. These Orcs, those of Clan Grumaar, had just witnessed their chieftain's fall. Though Gorthal never met them before, and though he did not know of Thrusk gro-Bogroth, the moment spoke to him. He attended their fallen chief's funeral, and offered to aid them should any need arise in their coming days ahead.Those days came quick as the Grumaari were eventually forced from their hold by an incursion of Reachmen. Gorthal and his mercs aided the Grumaari, and helped secure them a small hold called Mammoth Tusk Keep to use until the time came to strike out and retake the hold. What Gorthal did not realize at the time was that when he did, he would be chief. As he helped the Grumaari vanquish the Tuskless and clear out an encampment of Vosh Rakh, Gorthal challenged Kaldrog gro-Dushlug, the clan's Warcaller and "acting chieftain," and in his victory - hard fought and bloody - he became chief. Suddenly his fortunes had shifted.
Shield Wife Nazulbesh
Nazulbesh gra-Shad, Shield Wife of Mor'Grumaar, had been married to Thrusk gro-Bogroth. She was away at the time that Gorthal became Chief, returning from a sojourn that involved giving birth to Largrum gro-Thrusk, only to discover her clan was in a new home and her husband was dead. Infuriated, she came at Gorthal with a knife to his throat. Gorthal, ever the hound, saw this as a challenge. One thing led to another and over weeks of banter, of hostility, and of an unspoken of chemistry between them, their relationship began. It was a tempest, a storm of carnal passions mixed with loathing, yet over the months it grew into fondness, and finally, love.She was his Shield, and he was her Forge. The bond they had carried them through many an ordeal, and their passions burned so bright that she came to bear him twin children, a boy and a girl - Skoraz gro-Gorthal, and Nagri gra-Nazulbesh. Yet as she bore more children, the passion between them had faded, with their relationship centered entirely around their children, until the end of Nazulbesh's life in 2E 590.
The Battle for Tark's Soul
For many years, the one driving force that fueled Gorthal gro-Gunthak was the promise of vanquishing his brother, Tark gro-Gunthak. Alas, he believed such vengeance would never be had with stories arriving of his birth clan being overrun and destroyed by another. Indeed, that 'other' clan had been ruled by an orc named Torskar, and in the retaking of Mor'Grumaar months prior, Torskar had been vanquished. Torskar's son however, challenged Gorthal to a duel to the death in neutral territory, and so they departed Wrothgar and agreed to settle their grudge on the grounds of Mor Khazgur, a stronghold known for its diplomacy between clans.Before the duel could be joined, both Gorthal and his foe were attacked. Vampires emerged. Some were Orcs. Others were Nords. Gorthal led the Grumaari in uncovering the the identities of those who attacked, only to discover that it was Tark himself, Gorthal's older brother, now a vampire. Tark and Gorthal clashed while the Grumaari vanquished Tark's "clan" of abominations. In that final act of slaying his brother, Gorthal vanquished his demons, and vowed to become the orc that his father wanted him to be.
In the wake of Tark's defeat and Nazulbesh taking on a more motherly role in the clan, Gorthal found himself feeling unusually lonely. There was only so much companionship a one year old could offer in Largrum, and Skoraz and Nagri were not born yet, as Nazulbesh was still in the middling part of pregnancy. His Shield Wife grew distant in her newfound protective nature, and began to suggest that Gorthal seek out another to grow their budding family. And so Gorthal did, but it came from an unexpected place: Orsinium. There he met a huntress named Yazga gra-Sharnakh, a city orc with Valenwood origins that had made her way to Wrothgar.He took to her quickly, especially when he convinced her to join the Grumaari. She challenged him to a fight and he obliged, but it did not end with victory or defeat, but a passionate night under the stars. Their relationship remained entirely physical at first before they came to grow even fonder of one another. Eventually - in the midst of war - he took her as his Hunt Wife, and when the war was finished, the act was made official through ceremony.Through the remainder of a life well lived, Gorthal counted on Yazga to appeal to his better nature. Thus, when a fateful night in 2E 590 came, Gorthal's heart was torn from his chest when Yazga perished after a fall from the mountain as a band of Altmer came to invade the stronghold.
War in the Snows
For a time, Gorthal grew restless, and made the decision to visit his ancestral home in the Reach. He sought closure. This trip would take a nasty and brutal turn however, when the clan was attacked and brutalized by an abomination that seemed more golem than orc, yet it was clearly orc all the same. This creature, deemed a Deathblade, was unstoppable. Gorthal himself was nearly slain, and after recovering, was visited by a Nord named Eldrid that alerted them of the monstrous Deathblade near their stronghold - and a band of Nords struggling to destroy it. And so the Grumaari rallied, and side by side with the Nords of Hammer Hall, they vanquished the creature.From there, the Grumaari, the Nords, and even the Reachmen battled their way into a section of the Reach that had run red with the blood of the enemies of the Nozarga, a cult of orcs so demented, so twisted, it united bands of all three peoples to destroy them. It was a harsh war, a bloody war, but it was one where Gorthal led the Grumaari to victory, with not a single member of his clan lost in the bloodshed.
One of the many refugees, and one that joined the Grumaari amidst the War in the Snows was Skorga. Skorga's clan was decimated by the Nozarga, and so she was eager to fight. During the war, she bonded with Gorthal over their shared animosity for their foe, but soon the bond shifted. One drunken night of rutting later, and Gorthal found himself intrigued by the woman's tempest-like nature. Soon, after the war, he challenged her to come to his quarters - a challenge she met - one that set in motion a turn of events that Gorthal soon relished, for Skorga would eventually become the Forge Wife of Mor'Grumaar - a trusted friend, ally, and lover.
The months after the War in the Snows
Fall of the Clan
The Road Beyond
Character screenshot edits are the work of Hrim - you can find him on the ESO-RP discord!
Artwork is the work of Nazulbesh gra-Shad - you can find more of her work here, of GrumpyVivec, who can be found on ESO-RP.com, Eepox whose art can be found here, as well as Skorga One-Tusk, who does not have an artstation or DA
Grim Oath's Fury
He forged the sword he called the Grim Oath, made with the ashes of the fallen chieftain Thrusk gro-Bogroth. This blade served him well, until the Pale Watch emerged and became a threat to him and the clan he called his family. He the blade reforged by Skorga One-Tusk, and infused with Nirncrux.
The Face of the Chieftain
In many cases, the chieftain wears a smirk, one of a swaggering ex mercenary turned chieftain that takes little seriously. Behind closed doors, he wears a pensive expression, and though he has avenged his past grievances, the pain of his youth still haunts him even now, when he has everything he has ever wanted in life. Nothing will give him his old life back, and while he may not desire it, the pain is still a raw wound in his heart.
Death of the Warcaller - Comfort in Grief
They closed in around him and the Warcaller. The Pale Watch had locked the clan behind a cage, and both Gorthal and Duma had to fight ten armored Bretons with spears. Duma fell, and Gorthal was inconsolable. After returning to the hold, Gorthal brooded in his quarters before Skorga came to him, and they shared in their mutual grief, before choosing to put aside the pain, if only for just one night.
The Chieftain's Burden
He never asked to be chief. He never wanted it. Not truly. He was content as a mercenary. Yet became chieftain he did, and while he may still have part of the old swaggering mercenary inside him, he takes the burden of chiefdom seriously, and that burden is his to carry.
War against the Bloodfury
The Bloodfury surrounded him. The violent Reachmen Tribe revered Malacath and believed themselves stronger than the Orsimer. Gorthal gro-Gunthak, then called Blackforge, disagreed with the assessment. The Reachmen of the Bloodfury would pay dearly for their miscalculation in blood.
Gorthal's torrid romance with the Shield Wife Nazulbesh gra-Shad began with a knife to the throat. She believed him a usurper, and Gorthal looked upon her ferocity as an open challenge. He declared that he would share the furs with her by the end, and sure enough, this was just the start of their tale.
Chieftain and Shield Wife
In the wilds of Wrothgar, Gorthal and Nazulbesh, now closer and more intimate took to the snows where he taught her the fundamentals of being a berserker. Soon they would fight a giant, and Gorthal would grin ear to ear as he watched Nazulbesh lose her restraint and fight with the savage fury that the Orsimer people were known for.
You have found a hidden passage. Understand however, that the artwork beyond this passage is not meant for the consumption of anyone below the age of 18. If you REALLY wanna see spicy pictures of Gorthal gro-Gunthak and are 18 or older, go right ahead. If you don't want that, or you're below 18, well, we have the right place for you.
Chieftain and Shield Wife
In the wilds of Wrothgar, Gorthal and Nazulbesh, now closer and more intimate took to the snows where he taught her the fundamentals of being a berserker. Soon they would fight a giant, and Gorthal would grin ear to ear as he watched Nazulbesh lose her restraint and fight with the savage fury that the Orsimer people were known for. Yet that was not the most exciting to come from the battle, for in a heated moment of passion, Gorthal declared what they both already knew: she was his, and he was hers, and nobody was going to get in their way.
Chieftain and Forge Wife
In Grumaari Territory at a nearby hotspring, Gorthal and Skorga One-Tusk share an intimate moment. Their relationship, forged by tragedy and loss has now become one of loving partners, lovers, and more. No matter the threat to the Grumaari, they stand together, united, as one.
Clearing the Table
Feeling bold and daring, Gorthal and Nazulbesh ate and drank, only to forget about both as they cleare the table in a fit of passion. It is here that Gorthal believes they conceived their twin children Skoraz and Nagri, and for that reason Gorthal looks fondly upon this memory.
Re-enacting the Unwelcome Meeting
The last time Gorthal and Nazulbesh indulged before the Shield Wife shifted her entire being into being a mother. Feeling emboldened, she put dagger to Gorthal's throat and controlled the moment, a reminder of the passion they shared before their focus shifted from the torrid romance to the responsibility of being leaders in a clan and being parents to young children.
Tales of Gorthal gro-Gunthak
Out of Character Information
Hello! Thank you for coming to read my carrd on my Orc Berserker that once was a Merc and now stands proud as a Chieftain! This is a character I value very much, as arguably it is this character which kept me invested in roleplay at a time in which I felt my creative spark starting to wane. Gorthal in many ways has reinvigorated that creative spark, and has inspired me further in my storytelling journey within ESO!So thank you for checking it out. A few things I wanted to post about. The first... for those who want to interact with Gorthal I feel the need to put out a disclaimer. This is a character who has many facets to him. There are times when he will be absolutely approachable, and there are going to be times when he is outright crude, crass, and probably offensive as hell to some characters. There will even be times when he is deep in his feelings and he is downright unfriendly, though those are rare, as I wanted to portray an Orc Chieftain who wasn't always a stick in the mud!I just want to add this though. My character does not reflect my views, especially in how he conducts himself with others. Where he is an outgoing, sometimes crudely flirtatious, and absolutely violent individual, I'm a very reserved anti-confrontational guy who doesn't like, want, or chase OOC Drama. Bring on the In Character conflict, drama, and intrigues, but leave the OOC out of it!If you are interested in interacting with this Chieftain character of mine, please reach out on discord, my handle is Rykoth#4587 ! Thank you again for checking out the character page!
Meaning - A Return to Purpose
Midnight - Dumak Yal - 2E - 30 Frostfall 589
It was the same as it had been now since he woke from a death grip inflicted upon him by illness. As the deep night settled on Dumak Yal, Gorthal gro-Gunthak couldn’t help but turn his gaze towards the sleeping forms on either side. A faint smile flickered on his features as he watched over Yazga and Skorga each, and then he rose to his feet. Stepping into the extension of his side of the longhouse, he cast a gaze upon the sleeping forms of his children - Largrum in his small bed, and Skoraz and Nagri nestled comfortably in the hand carved cribs.As he did every night, he watched the forms of his children for a few more moments before finally he took his silent departure from his quarters and out of the longhouse into the chilly night. To the forge he went, his gaze briefly lingering over the docks and the waters before him. Gorthal appreciated the view, but it did not bring him the comfort like staring into flames once had before. In another life.Stepping to the forge, he looked over the work he had thrown himself into in recent days. Short handed, he neither wanted all the burden of mundane repairs left to his Forge Wife, nor did he feel so inclined to pass it all off on others, he had taken to banging out dents and making easy fixes to various arms and armor that had been damaged over the past year. It gave him a sense of purpose that otherwise had seemed to elude him.“Can’t sleep?”Gorthal spun around immediately. Instinct nearly took over as he started to reach for the greatsword he usually kept strapped to his back. Of course, he hadn’t brought it with him, the Grim Oath remained in the long house. As soon as he realized he was missing his weapon, he had already realized the voice belonged to one of the recent newcomers. Shadfim was her name, one of those belonging to Clan Khagrol. Or rather, used to. Gorthal relaxed as Shadfim approached, the young blacksmith looking equally as restless as he felt.“You could say that,” the chieftain offered.“Same,” Shadfim offered in response. “Been hard of sleeping ever since good Chief Khagrol died. Everything that happened since… hasn’t been easy.”Gorthal canted his head slightly as he studied Shadfim’s features, recalling what Fhara had told him about those who came with her to settle in the clan’s territory. He wasn’t going to deny anyone who wanted to be Grumaari or even simply live among the clan, but a part of him wondered if there would ever be consequences to his opening of the gates for others. It had been a regular occurrence. Doubts were a common companion to the chieftain in recent days, in recent weeks, gnawing at him in ways he couldn’t comprehend.“Nothing is easy,” Gorthal said in a somewhat muffled tone. Then in a clearer voice, “Everything is a struggle as of late. I cannot sleep because I am not feeling as I should.”“And how should you feel?” Shadfim inquired. “If you don’t mind a stranger asking.”“Alive. Free. Like there’s meaning,” Gorthal explained. “I was brought low by illness, but this feeling… the burden… being the chief… it weighs heavy on my shoulders. It has been like a small skeever burrowing deep inside me, but the wound was opened the day I had to answer a challenge inside my own home.”“Korog. Fhara told me about that mess,” Shadfim said, drawing a nod from the chieftain. “You killed him in the longhouse right?”“Killed him. Brutally. Felt like I killed a part of myself though. He made me realize a dark truth that I have not been ready to accept or face. The illness gave me plenty of time to stew on it. Let the wound fester.”Gorthal’s eyes traveled as Shadfim stepped over to the anvil, lifting one of several forge hammers. She inspected it curiously, then she lifted a single bracer that looked as if it had been crushed in battle. Gorthal watched as she simply tossed the bracer in the air and then with a loud THWACK she smacked it out of the air with the hammer as it landed in the ground. Gorthal’s nostrils flared as he felt a slightly irritated growl form in his throat. But then when Shadfim turned and spoke, he listened.“You’re the chief. Get over it or do something about it. That bracer isn’t going to get repaired. Looks like an ogre or a giant or something did it in good. If what I heard about that Korog fella is true, he needed to be put down. But this burden you are carrying? You don’t have to carry it alone. You’ve got wives. Surely you’ve got friends.”“I have my wives. Friends…” he frowned in thought. “That is just it. There was a time when people followed me because I earned their friendship. I was new, I had just become chief… but I was Blackforge. I had my mercenaries. I had no tusks to give about what people thought. I was a different Orc. And then I killed my brother and since then…”“You’ve grown distant.”“I’ve allowed myself to become something that hasn’t existed in years. I tried to throw away the persona that is Blackforge. I tried to be Gorthal, son of Gunthak. I have struggled with myself since the day I put my brother into the ground and I don’t know how to fix it.”“Perhaps that is because you are as much Blackforge as you are the son of Gunthak. Not one or the other. Both. I don’t know you, but I’ve heard the stories from Fhara about how you were as a youth. I’ve overheard conversations between others. Sounds to me like you’ve allowed your place as chieftain to define you… instead of you defining what it is for you to be chieftain. Perhaps you need to just… well… be you. Not someone else.”Gorthal scowled for a moment at Shadfim. For a split second he felt a rush of anger at this newcomer, this stranger telling him about himself in a way that showed zero deference to his position. More than that, the anger was because she was right. And that is what caused the scowl to relax. He recalled a conversation he had just had a week prior with one of the newer unproven members to the clan, telling Solgra she had no need to be so formal. The realization smacked him as hard as Shadfim’s hammer struck the crumpled bracer.It was then that he stepped forward, took hold of another forge hammer as well as a dented in helmet. He did as Shadfim did and tossed it in the air, attempting to smack it to the ground. Instead he missed. The helmet bounced on the ground and he heard the young smith’s laughter. His own laughter joined soon after. In the midst of the laughter he tried again, this time with a loud THWACK that sent the helmet smacking into an empty crate and causing splinters to fly out. Again laughter filled the air.“It sounds so tusking simple,” Gorthal mused aloud. “I began to wonder. If Blackforge was real but being Gorthal gro-Gunthak was not. That I’ve been a pretender this whole time since Tark died. That… the Orc that lived in the Reach and admired his father was an orc that died when Gunthak died.”“I’d understand, I think anyone would if you felt a part of you died with such loss. A part of all of us died with Khagrol’s death. He was admired. Beloved by all, not just his wives. He was my cousin. My kin. A part of me died with him, but I’m still myself. And as lost as I felt when he died, I’ve found my meaning again. I’m sure you can find yours.”“I never lost my meaning,” Gorthal stated as he stepped over to the broken crate, retrieving the ruined helmet. A chuckle uttered from his throat as he looked it over. “Skorga. Yazga. Even Nazulbesh, as distant as she is in the wake of motherhood. My children. They are my meaning. I suppose… I suppose I thought I had to bury the Orc I was and become something else. Something better. More mature.”“Mature has never meant distant,” Shadfim countered as she leaned back on a box of supplies. “Fhara said that when you were youthful, you showed leadership even then. That you were by all accounts, the right person to be chief until Tark killed Gunthak. It sounds to me like it isn’t that you ‘matured,’ it’s that as if you’ve matured, you’ve let yourself get inside your own head. Perhaps… it’s time to just live. Be the Chieftain. Be Gorthal gro-Gunthak. Be Blackforge. Just be yourself. Not just one part of yourself. Be your entire self.”Gorthal felt his frown lower, heavy as it could be. He considered her for a moment, and then simply nodded his head. There was no argument to be made, no protesting her words. She wasn’t wrong. Not in the slightest. Perhaps that even irritated him to an extent that she was right. His eyes briefly drifted up to the midnight sky. There wasn’t much more to be said as Shadfim took her leave to seek rest. Gorthal remained by himself for some time. After musing on the conversation that transpired, he made his way up into the longhouse, but he did not return to the bed with his wives. Instead, he picked the Grim Oath from where it rested and pulled it from its scabbard. Looking over the blade, he ran a finger across the blood forged runes that glowed ever so faintly.The Blood of Chieftains empowers this blade, he thought to himself. One day I hope my blood empowers it as well when Largrum, Skoraz, or even Nagri come to take my place. Looking up, he watched the sleeping forms of the women he loved and he smiled. Sliding the blade back in its scabbard, he set it to the side and finally crawled back into bed. His eyes closed and he drifted off into a restful sleep, only waking up when he heard the chirping of birds from outside and the rambunctiousness of his adopted son.A new day had dawned, and Gorthal rose to meet the challenges of the day with more clarity than he had in quite some time.