Pathfinder session today! In preparation I reread (and editted) my character's history as I've felt that I wasn't playing true to the character lately. I want to write more of our Pathfinder campaign and post it here, so I thought I'd post this for anyone who cares to see.
Kharak'Tole was the half-orc barbarian Ralph Rudd was going to play. In the end though, he ended up playing an elven wizard named Caleb.
Baldur walked through the forest with the ease of a man walking on a cobblestone path. Thick muscled legs took large and precise strides through the overgrowth. The man was large and muscular from head to toe, but wore a friendly smile that put anyone at ease with him. He was draped in thick bear hide and wore a large wooden shield on his left arm. Hanging from his belt was a small uprooted tree which he used as a club when it was time to fight.
He gained a spring in his step as he saw familiar trees. He last saw this part of the forest three years ago. A smile crept upon his face and his stomach churned with excitement. Skoll, his grey wolf companion that’s been following him since he was fourteen, was panting heavily, and didn’t seem to share his nostalgic moment.
“You tired boy?” Baldur chuckled, “Why don’t we rest for a while?”
Baldur found the nearest tree and sat against it. He kicked a hollow spot in the ground, “Sho’oll,” he said and pointed with his palm to the hole he dug. Water started to seep through the earth, filling the hole. Skoll walked over and started drinking. “Thank you Chauntea for providing us,” he prayed and started drinking from his waterskin.
As he looked around his eyes widened with surprise. He laughed out loud, "Skoll, you remember this place? This is where we first met! And what a meeting it was, eh boy?” He laughed again as his mind darted back to when he was 14, hunting with his younger brother Vidar. Back then Baldur was only a simple farmer, but so strong in his faith that others in the village heeded his words when he spoke of Chauntea. He knew what he was talking about too, spending most of his free time at the village chapel, studying and learning how Chauntea wants civilization to coincide with nature. A simple symbioses that everyone seemed to overlook.
The hunt that day took Baldur and Vidar to the very spot he was sitting in. His brother was becoming as big and strong as he was, and hunting was an activity they both enjoyed sharing. That day, right there, they were attacked by a lone wolf.
“Stand your ground brother!” Baldur cried as the wolf circled and snarled at them, “Do not run! It wants you to run!” Vidar, scared beyond reasoning, did exactly what Baldur warned him not to do. The wolf gave a bark and gave chase, but Baldur reacted fast enough to get his spear through its thick hide behind his neck. The wolf reacted and jumped on Baldur with enough force to knock him over, and then bit down on his neck. Baldur, letting go of his spear, wrestled the animal for an hour. His blood was flowing on the ground beneath, but the wolf gave, too tired to fight on.
“Thank you Chauntea for sparing me, and showing me the brilliance of this creature,” he whispered as he pet the exhausted wolf. He stood up, grabbed his spear and gave three steps before collapsing.
He was awakened by the chorus of the thousands of birds in the trees above him. The air was early morning fresh, but he smelled cooked meat as well. He heard the crackling of a fire and felt its warmth against his body, he opened his eyes. His wounds were completely healed and the blood on the ground was gone. The fire next to him had a rabbit on a spit, just ready to eat. On the other side of the fire laid the very same wolf he fought the night before, its wounds too were healed. It seemed docile, completely at ease with Baldur’s presence. As he sat there and shared the meal with the wolf, he didn’t realize how his life would change completely.
“Who helped me that night, eh boy?” Baldur stroked Skoll’s fur as he still drank from his pool of water, “Was it Chauntea herself? Did she come down and save her loyal servant?” Baldur gave a chuckle, he knew that gods wouldn’t appear on this plane to save one unimportant mortal’s life, though he couldn’t help but feel that this was indeed the case.
“Well, we better get a move on, still a bit to go before we reach Oakholme,” he said as he stood up. He hummed a cheerful tune as his mind drifted back again.
After the incident with Skoll, Baldur was drawn back into the forest more and more. He’d spend his free time there instead of with the clerics in the chapel, studying plants, insects and animals. He wondered further and further into the forest, always with a hunger to learn more. Animals seemed to be at ease with his presence. Unlike Skoll, they didn’t follow him around. They merely didn’t run away at the first sight of him.
While exploring the forest, a woman approached him, claiming to have watched him exploring the forest for weeks. She was beautiful, and dressed in just enough fur to make her decent. It was she, Freya, that explained why he was constantly drawn to the forest, and why Skoll followed him everywhere. He was chosen by Chauntea to become a druid. It was a path that would lead him to face the most difficult choice he ever made in his life. Leave his duties and his family behind on the farm, or turn his back on the path Chauntea has bestowed upon him.
Skoll’s ears darted around. He gave a short bark and then ran off ahead of Baldur. “Where are you off to Skoll?” he screamed after Skoll and gave chase. “If you lead me into another bear’s den I’m gonna let you deal with this one alone!”
It was a difficult thing to do, the farm wouldn’t suffer without him, Vidar was old enough to do Baldur’s work, but it’s tough to leave behind all you knew for who knows how long. His father wasn’t pleased and they argued. Baldur became angry at his father for not seeing how important this was. He stormed out of the house, headed straight for the forest and left with Freya to receive training.
Three years past, Baldur became a druid under the tutorship of Freya, a follower of Silvanus. Though they share the same love for nature, Silvanus and Chauntea have different opinions on civilization. This led to many arguments between the two, and once Freya had taught him all she could, they parted ways. He missed her during the two weeks of travel back to Oakholme. He missed her companionship and her soft, smooth skin next to his.
Baldur was running out breath, “Where are you going Skoll?” he screamed and he stopped to catch his breath. That’s when he smelled burning, when he heard the sound of metal hitting metal. It was the unmistakable sound of battle, and it was coming from Oakholme. Baldur ran like the wind towards the sounds of battle, as he came closer, he could hear women screaming, and bloodthirsty roars. When he arrived at the edge of the tree line and into sight of Oakholme, his world collapsed.
The village he grew up in was burning and the people he grew up with in it were being slaughtered in front of his eyes. Orcs were attacking Oakholme, and they have just about killed everyone there. He was too late to save them. Tears filled his eyes when he saw Vidar's mangled body in front of their homestead. There was a commotion in one of the houses, he saw an orc run out, killing two of his kin as he passed them and came dashing into the forest. Baldur ran to intercept him.
Baldur stood his ground in a clearing and waited while the orc approached. His gaze drifted back to Oakholme, fresh tears swelling up in his eyes. The orc stumbled into the clearing. When it saw Baldur, it screamed out a terrible war cry, a sound that could make even the greatest warrior cower, but Baldur was paralyzed by sorrow, and didn't react. Baldur heard Skoll growling then, and soon after, the orc was on the floor desperately trying to get the wolf off him with no luck. Baldur looked at him for the first time, he wasn’t an orc, not completely anyway. His face had human qualities to it. Blood was pouring to the ground beneath and Baldur intervened.
“Skoll, enough,” he calmly commanded and walked closer. The half-orc was badly wounded, it tried to reach for the great axe that fell when Skoll tackled him, but he seemed to be at the edge of consciousness. Baldur walked up to him and crouched down.
"I saw what you did down there. At least, I saw enough of it," the half-orcs eyes flared, and then he sank into unconsciousness. Baldur was torn, he wanted to kill the half-orc before him, but he also saw him flee his kin, even slaying those that tried to stop him. Baldur decided to let him live, and if the beast could prove himself to be more human than orc, he'd keep letting him live.
Kharak’Tole was enough of an orc to make him savage and dangerous but enough of a man to make him smart and reasonable. The latter wasn't given any chance to come forth while living with the orcs. Baldur saw him as the perfect blend between wild and civilized, he just needed to show Kharak’Tole that the two sides could exist together. Kharak’Tole was the symbol of what Baldur believed Chauntea would like the world to achieve, coexistence between nature and civilization.
The three traveled together, Baldur seeking knowledge to further his path with Chauntea, to develop as a druid. Freya told him of the great power that druids could achieve. He would need those powers if he wanted to change the world...