“No matter the hardship, I will endure.”

Orcs are not typically known for their defensive strategies or mindsets. Balgarn is the exception to the rule.

The second of five children, at least since his last count, Balgarn was surrounded by warriors and warriors in training as a child. This, however, would not be the path he would take. At an early age, Balgarn was discovered to have an innate connection with what the orcs had termed “the spirit world,” feeling the presence of the spirits of nature and the departed alike. This was fortunate for him: he was not the strongest member of his tribe, nor even the smartest, but his ability to call upon shamanistic powers ensured that he had a place among his people. Without that connection, he may have been bullied among his own kind, but superstition led to most orcs not daring to bother him more than necessary.

This formed Balgarn’s greatest protection, but also his greatest hardship. Avoided as he was, a profound sense of loneliness clung to him for most of his life. In hindsight, he recognizes that this was probably a good thing, as many of his tribe-mates would have deemed him too soft had they bothered to get to know him in any real capacity. Only his mentor and teacher, and elder shaman named Karnok, served as a companion to him for much of his life.

Perhaps for these reasons it was the boar that his mind envisioned his spirit guide as. To him, the boar represents endurance and toughness, the ability to overcome difficulties with strength. Balgarn viewed life as a challenge, and obstacle to overcome.

He served the tribe not only as a healer, but the one to burn the dead and send their souls to their proper place. If a hostile spirit was to be found, he would have to join his mentor in the exorcism. It was important work, that much he knew…but the isolation that he had imposed on himself and that was forced upon him made the life he was leading unbearable.

He departed then, one day, expecting neither his family nor his mentor to miss him. Whatever Balgarn was searching for in life, he knew that it could not be found simply by living his existence out on the outskirts of that tribe. His own confidence became his undoing, however, and soon after his departure he was captured by those seeking to make money off of a new slave. From there, his magical talents were discovered, and he was sent to be studied given that his magic was of a very different sort compared to the more “civilized” paths of the humans.

To him, it was just another challenge, another hardship to endure. His new situation has left him quiet and cautious, but still ready to act.


Salus: Until The End PeteBahntge