Kingdoms of Talbion
Gronk was born a slave in the Rashidune Caliphate, his father a radical in the Orc Crusades, his mother a human concubine, her sole purpose to breed orc spawn. Mercifully, she died in childbirth. His mother dead and his father unknown, Gronk grew up in the slave pits, among the children of what the orcs deemed the lesser races. They were made to suffer the same indignities as the adult slaves, with the girls often conditioned at a young age to grow into the concubine roles that their mothers most often served. Gronk, with his large frame and sturdy constitution, was most often put to work in the slave mines, which added muscle to his frame almost as quickly as it added hate for the orcs to his heart.
One cold winter night, in Gronk’s sixteenth year, as he and the other slave children were fast asleep in their pen, a fight broke out between two orc slavers, with one making a claim to the other’s property. This drew the attention of several other orc slavers, as these conflicts usually resulted in death and they wanted to be the first to stake claim on the loser’s belongings. With the distraction in full effect, Gronk decided to lead an escape. Rounding up the other children, he lead them quietly out of the pens and towards the woods leading south and away from Rashidune. Soon thereafter, he heard the sounds of orc alarms going up, a sound that still haunts his nightmares.He gathered the girls close to him as he tried to rush them through the woods, but they couldn’t hope to outrun the orc hordes. Gronk sent the children scattering through the woods, and then hid himself. He could hear screams as some of the children were dragged back to the slave pens, and he still blames himself for not saving them all.
He continued on the road south, cutting his wild orc hair short, trying to shred every ounce of his orc identity, though there was certainly not masking the huge frame that he carried. He eventually made his way to the town of Caspin’s Creek, where, as quietly and as inconspicuously as he could, he put to use his history of working in mines. Eventually, he was brought on as the apprentice to the town’s blacksmith, where he would learn to properly swing a hammer at an anvil, though in mis mind it was the heads of orcs that took the weight of his mighty swings. And at night, he prays to whatever gods may be listening that he be given a second chance to protect the lives of the innocents from the grip of tyrants. He vows not to fail another one.