6/05/2017

Tamanir

So my self-imposed prompt was:
YOU THINK YOUR CHARACTER IS COOL? MY CHARACTER IS AN ASSERTIVE HALF-ORC SORCERER FROM THE NICE PART OF A BAD TOWN WHO WANTS TO CLEAR THEIR NAME.

Tamanir was born in Kiz Idgol, daughter of an Orc Shaman and a runaway human peasant woman.  Their village was odd for Orc society, having mostly given up a nomadic lifestyle to establish a few small farms.  Those from the more powerful side of town (not rich, but rather politically savvy, magically gifted, or physically imposing) lived in the mostly agrarian lifestyle and traded with other Orc clans while planning the raids the less powerful members of the town participated in.

Tamanir's mother had run away from an abusive father and mother, intending to reach the Cardinal Kingdom.  Instead she was captured by the Shaman, Tamanir's father, and intended to be held as ransom.  Instead, they fell in love, him softening and her learning to trust.

Her heritage made Tamanir, who goes by Tami as an adult, a bit of an outcast.  The Orc children assumed she was weak and that her assertive nature meant she thought she was better than them.  Encounters with humans often went the reverse, with Tami being assumed a stupid brute with control issues.  Her parents, wanting better for their daughter, arranged for her to be taken to Odess on her 14th birthday.

Her father has sensed the spark of magic in her.  He hoped she would find her way to using it. Fortunately, Tami's go-getting nature served her well and found her in a school of magic in Glasswyn.  As she aged, her dual heritage caught the attention of agents within Odess Intelligence, and she was recruited.  Tami is now one of the record keepers for Odess Intelligence.

Tami stands at 6'0" tall, 232 pounds of mostly muscle, making her an imposing figure, which is only slightly lessened by the round-rim glasses and demure frock she frequently wears.  Her past has made her feel awkward, meaning that she often presents herself shyly to new people and superiors, but when she gets onto a familiar topic, her driven and assertive nature comes out.  Tami has gray-brown skin, short tusks on her bottom jaw, and black hair that she keeps in two pigtails, which she then braids.  She is prone to blushing when she misunderstands aspects of non-Orcish culture, or when subjects of romance come up.

Kiz Idgol roughly translates to "Livestock Camp" and most of the farming done in the area focuses on mushrooms, reeds, and swamp plants that are then fed to hogs, cows, and other livestock to become food for the various Orcs in the town and the clans who trade with them.  Kiz Igdol is led by Chieftan Gharol, an Orc woman of middle years.  Her predecessor founded the town, but was killed by townsfolk after a particularly clumsy raid.  Raids have decreased as time has gone on, but it's hard to convince the Orcs to drop them completely.

Tami's mother's name is Nahrina, and her father's is Yaghed.  Tami would like her town to be integrated into the Kingdom of Odess, but is unsure if that is an attainable goal.

5/27/2017

Alchos: Groundfall

Alchos huddled in the small copse, breathing shallowly, waiting on the sounds of the forest to grow stronger, less like someone was traipsing through it.  Not far off, the sound of the river travelling southwest towards Edith's Crossing had helped cover some of his approach.  Minutes passed.

Carefully, Alchos inspected the glow emerging from a large sinkhole about twenty paces from where he hid.  It must have been created by the Highbarrow canal project.  

Villagers from Highbarrow, a few days to the northwest, had tried to create a canal from the river towards their fields.  Mostly, they'd upset the folks in Edith's Crossing and cause a few minor floods.  And, apparently, created this sinkhole.

Definitely firelight down in the hole.  Shifts but not like something moving about; every once in a while it flares, probably when whoever is down there adds more fuel.  He ducked low, almost onto his belly, and crept forward.  As he did, he slowly became aware of a low sound, repetitive and breathy.

"Qaiidœl Kelur, Qaiidœl Kelur, lethu jo qebeex, dufõxå jo fõ kij œdib, lethu thokuy mbiatha thouy..."

It repeated, clearly some sort of chant in a language Alchos didn't recognize.  What he did recognize, however, was the race of the two individuals knelt face down near the fire.  The elder was a Genasi woman, of fire soul, her szuldar pulsing in time with the chanting.  She glared at the hooded figures around her, but made no move to challenge them.

The other was a younger male Genasi, earthen souled.  He looked enough like the woman to be of some relation to her, but he was not nearly as defiant in his gaze.  He stared bleakly at the ground, his szuldar pulsing in the same time as hers, only fainter.  Alchos frowned at the scene, creeping closer to the edge of the sinkhole.  The drop was at least 20 feet, but already he was sizing up the need to commit to it.

One of the hooded figures broke from the bunch.  Throwing back her hood, she revealed herself to be Half-orc, bald and...

Those cuts almost look like szuldar...

Alchos couldn't quite make out what that could mean.  The Half-Orc did not appear to have any Genasi blood, and her cuts oozed a dark red, almost black.  She seemed to be unarmed, but she stretched a hand out towards each of the Genasi as she continued to chant.  As far as Alchos could make out, she had three accomplices, who circled the Genasi and Half-Orc, also chanting.

Quietly, Alchos drew his daggers. The fire dimmed.  Alchos' gaze darted to it, but it looked unchanged save that the light shining from it had weakened somehow.  Shadows stretched from the hooded figures and Half-Orc, creeping towards the Genasi.  Now or never.

Alchos leapt into the sinkhole, daggers hurtling from his hands.  One sank into a hooded face, but the other went wide as the chanting ended abruptly and a second hooded figure rolled away.  The Half-Orc roared and the third chanter drew their own dagger, circling towards Alchos.  As he landed, Alchos drew his swords and spun to face the Half-Orc.

"What in the name of the Gods is going on here?" he snarled.  The Half-Orc sneered back; the two hooded figures stayed silent.  The Genasi woman croaked, "They took us from our parents' farm!  They said they had a use for us..."

"None of it good, I'm sure," replied Alchos, as the hooded figures charged him.  The closest swung high and missed as Alchos ducked slightly, the trailing figure managed to score a slice along Alchos' arm.  Alchos hissed, but spun, returning the favor and cutting the figure along the chest.  They fell, bleeding heavily.  The Half-Orc yelled a portion of the chant and the light of the fire went away, albeit briefly.  The two captured Genasi screamed; their szuldar flared.  In that brief darkness, Alchos could almost swear the Half-Orc had glowing lines on her skin, but as the light returned, she looked shocked and the lines faded.  Alchos didn't wait.  Dashing past the last remaining hooded figure, he plunged his sword into the Half-Orc.  Up close, he could see that her skin had been ravaged by some sort of ritual scarring, with old wounds re-opened and bleeding.  She coughed blood at him.

When he looked around, the final hooded figure had retreated.  For a moment, he considered going looking for them, but instead chose to free the two captives.  The shadows seemed to dance around him at every moment, but no attack came before the three could leave the sinkhole.

(Language created using Vulgar, Seed for this language: 0.8010841223189176)
lethu /ˈlɛθʊ/ nf. servant
thouy /θɔʏj/ v. fill
dufõxå /ˈðʊfɔ̃ɣɐ/ nf. prisoner
qebeex /ˈqɛbɛːx/ v. ask
qaiidœl /qˈaɪiðœl/ adj. bloody
kelur /kɛˈlʊʕ/ nf. god
thokuy /θɔˈkʊj/ nm. shade, shadow
mbiatha /mbiˈaθa/ nm. spell (of magic)
kij /kɪdʒ/ v. use
œdib /ˈœðib/ nm. transport
jo fõ /dʒɔ fɔ̃/ yours
lej /lɛdʒ/ them

2/18/2017

Alchos Character Study

Glasswyn's streets bustled with the din of vendors setting their wares, children on their way to classes, and the changing of the first shift of guards.  Alchos stepped past them all, purpose in his moves.  As he passed a stall, Alchos nimbly snagged a steaming meat pie. "Thanks, Cefarina!"

"Good timing, Alchos!" cried the saleswoman, seemingly unperturbed that he hadn't paid as he walked on.  Alchos waved back, calling, "I'm heading out today, I'll check in with you when I get back."

"Righty! Good luck!"

Alchos quickened his pace, seeing the steps leading to the gates to Odess Intelligence Services' buildings.  He nodded to the guards and ducked inside, heading straight to Master Belvelford's offices.

I see rivers and mountains,
I see valleys and meadows,
I see all the land about you,
For I have nature's soul,


"Tată? Why do you and Mama have different colors?"

The elder Genasi laughed softly.  "Alchos, you know this."

"Because of your soul!"

"Yes, because of our soul.  Mama's soul is the earth. She is steadfast and strong."  The elder Genasi paused, waiting for a response.

"Patient and careful!"

"Yes, exactly.  Tată's soul is air, like yours."

"Carefree and light.  Kind and... nim... nimble?"

"Nimble, yes.  It means quick and easy of movement.  We, of all our people, are the most wide wanderers."  Blue fingers ruffled white hair.

"Adventurers, Tată!" laughed the boy, poking at his father's leather armor.

"Adventurers, my little heart."

A feminine but deep voice harrumphed from the door.  "Ventos, it is time."

"Ay, I know, Thera.  Just a moment more with the boy," replied Ventos, stroking his goatee. "Just a moment more."

Thera nodded, her dark brown hair brushing against lighter brown shoulders.  The leather of her sword's scabbard creaked.

"Remember Alchos. Genasi souls give us strength, each different as the soul, but we as a nation are strongest for the mixing of those souls.  And stronger still for mixing with those of the other races around us."

"Yes, Tată.  I remember."

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

He lay face down on the bed, burying tears into the fabric.  "But why, Torontris?  Why haven't they come back?"

Torontris stood stiffly in his guard's uniform, uncomfortable with Alchos' outburst. "I don't know, lad."

Alchos sobbed.

"We'll get your things.  Bring them here.  You'll stay with me."

Silence stretched in the room.  "Car'onna says everyone is thinking of you.  She'll be by later with dinner and to look in on you.  I have a duty shift tonight."

"They always came back, Toron...  Ever since I was little.  They always came back."

"I know lad."

"They didn't this time."

"I know lad."

Alchos buried his face deeper.

I hear the stories and tales,
I hear the songs and music,
I hear the joys of mankind,
For I have nature's soul,


Feet up on the table, Alchos stretched his arms out over the back of the chair he was draped over.  "Thanks again, Car'y.  Toron's just been so busy lately, it's boring there all by myself."

The firesouled half-Genasi, half-Elven woman clucked her tongue.  Awash in reds and golds with pale hands on slim hips, she cut an imposing figure.  "You haven't been at Torontris' home in a week, Alchos Ohme."

Alchos laughed, szuldar flashing with reflected light.

"I have not! It must be the wanderer in my soul."

Car'onna sat in the chair next to Alchos.  "So this is it?  You're just going to float from home to home?"

"In the Maelstrom, we're all family."

Car'onna sighed.  "And that's a beautiful thing.  But what about Torontris?  What about me?"

Alchos smiled, dropping his feet off the table and looking the other Genasi in the eye.  "You'll always be my she’enedra."

"Not what I mean."

"I need to do this. Car'y.  I'll stay tonight.  I won't be far."

Car'onna shook her head, but said, "Alright.  Alright.  And of Torontris' offer of introduction?"

"I'll tell him yes.  I'll serve Odess."

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

Alchos shifted his weight forward, feeling more than hearing the attack coming.  A wooden dagger in an umbre fist flashed by.  Alchos' hand shot up, grasping at the cream colored sleeve and arm trailing the attack.  The attacker's free arm wrapped around Alchos' neck, bringing its owner's athletic body onto Alchos' back.

The Genasi bent at the waist, crouching and rolling forward.  His assailant tumbled forward, landing lithely on her feet and spinning to face him in a combat stance.  She reversed the grip on her dagger and darted forward.  Alchos, leaped up drawing his practice daggers.  The woman passed beneath him, dragging her dagger against his left calf.

Arcing down, Alchos spun and hurled a dagger.  It slammed into her shoulder, stumbling her.  The woman growled.

Alchos darted in, looking to finish it.  He launched himself forward, but realized his mistake all too late.  He landed, digging his remaining dagger into the front of her uninjured shoulder, but her own blade found his sternum.  She was injured, he was dead.  She smiled at him, flashing pearly teeth.

"You lose, Alchos."

A sound like gusting wind came upon them suddenly.  "Mistress Shenre, Master Ohme, you are summoned to report to Master Bevelford's study."

Alchos rolled forward and off of Lerna Shenre, his Human mentor within Odess Intelligence Services.  "Understood, Zephyr."

I see the war and peace,
I see the death and birth,
I see all the bloodshed,
For I have nature's soul,

Alchos hurtled over the barrel as it fell, following the sound of pounding feet.  "Not this time, Dwarf."

Ahead, his quarry ducked between the swinging doors of The Cream Donkey.  Alchos grunted and pushed through them with a shoulder.

"He went through the kitchen, Alchos!" cried the proprietor, a red-headed Halfling woman.

"Thanks, Senira!"  Alchos hopped the bar and darted into the kitchen.  The Dwarf, unbelievably, hopped a set of ovens taller than he was just a moment later.  Swearing, Alchos, darted around them only to see a black Dwarven boot slip out the delivery door.

Alchos didn't follow, instead rushing back out into the common area and into the small manager's office.  Senira called after him, "HEY, OFF-LIMITS!"

Smiling, Alchos opened the small window and dove through, landing beside a very startled Dwarf.  "Scheiss!"

"Durid Thohig, I presume," replied Alchos, putting a dagger to the Dwarf's throat, which was hidden beneath his well-kept auburn beard.

"Blast ye."

"I'm sure my superiors would love to talk to you."

The Dwarf sighed and raised his hands.  "At least have the decency to tell me who I'll be damning to my superiors, lad."

"Ohme.  Alchos Ohme.  Let's go."

The Dwarf grumbled but rose to his feet.

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

Alchos patted at the heavy scarf wrapped around his nose and mouth.  It wasn't a part of his usual attire, but he was thankful for it.  Barrels of green-yellow powder lined the walls of the store room, far more than the sacks of flower piled up in the middle of the room.

Behind him Lerna made a sound of disgust.  A shifting hinted to Alchos that Melechae, his Tiefling trainee, was about to add an opinion, but Alchos silenced him with a gesture.  The Genasi pointed towards the door and the light shifting through the cracks beneath it.  Their quarry was just outside.

The door would open left to right.  Lerna moved in on the left, ready to push through.  Melechae, as the trainee, went to the right.  Alchos, as lead on this mission, crept up to the door.  He gestured, 1... 2... 3...

Alchos kicked the door open.  Lerna darted through, sword flashing as she moved from the dark storeroom to the lit bakery.  Alchos cried out, "ODESS INTELLIGENCE!  ZEREX, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!"

There was a small meep from the Goblin woman, who didn't have time to run before all three members of OIS were on her.  Her assistants, however, scattered, leaving half-formed dough spilling off counters and onto the floor.  Half-formed and full of dream dust.

The Goblin snarled at them.  "You won't make this stick!  I'll be back here in a week!"

I feel the stares and jeers,
I feel the envy and fear,
I feel the spite against me,
For I have nature's soul,

Alchos spun the locket in front of his face as the campfire crackled behind him.  His companions slept, resting before the final push to Westmarch.  Three gems set in the front of it, each describing the corner of a triangle, glittered in the firelight.  The symbol of Lliira, the Joybringer.  Her worship was common among the Genasi of the Little Maelstrom.  His parents, certainly, had been devotees, teaching him to look for life's joy.

He ticked the latch on the locket open.  Tată and Mama.  It feels so long.

Their faces smiled out at him, one on each side of the locket.  Ventos' eyes were warm and kind.  Thera's smile was wide and welcoming.  Kind and nimble.  Patient and careful.

If I closed my eyes, now, maybe I could still hear them, still see them.  The thought hurt, like a dagger to the chest, and he pushed it aside, snapped the locket closed.

The symbol of Lliira glittered at him.  He had joy.  He loved his city, his friends, his job.  But the wanderer in his soul pulled at him.  Dragged him from floor to couch to bed.  He had joy, but maybe someday he could reclaim his peace.

I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul,
I have nature's soul and love no one,
that's why it is easy
for me to roam.

1/02/2017

Alchos Ohme

As an Air Genasi, Alchos is slim and muscular, his body reflecting his element.  His hair is white with a blue streak down the right side (over his right eye).  His hair is cut short on the sides, but drawn back into a shoulder-length tail on the top. It is constantly in tousled and in motion.  His face is thin and angular.  His skin is a pale blue and he has lines of darker blue running down his face, over his neck and chest, and out to his limbs, echoing a bolt of lightning.

 He wears dark colored leathers, made of up of a series of midnight blues and purples.  The armor has many layers, with overlapping sections at his waist, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.  Depending on situation, he can appear to have a tank-top-style shirt, with shoulders and upper arms exposed.  He often covers this lowest layer with a white tunic.  Often, he wears spaulders that also cover his upper arms.  These other layers are often layered beneath a leather jacket.  He has a deep hood that attaches to his various armors via snaps.  He carries a rapier on his left hip, a shortsword on his right hip, and two daggers at the small of his back.

Alchos regularly wears a smirk or smile.  He often hides directly in plain site, using his his abilities as a people person to blend into crowds, join parties, and position living obstacles in front of pursuers.  He moves with a definite swagger, bordering on arrogance, but he genuinely cares for people, especially the other Genasi in the community of his birth.

Inspiration pictures:

Hair




















Skin






















Armor




4/15/2016

After a tough week...

It's not a frequent thing that I post here, lately.  Just too busy, or unfocused, or just more enthusiastic about other places (oh hey, live tweeted RP sessions).  It doesn't really matter, because this is meant to be for me to share with whomever reads.

Anyway.

This week was a rough one for me.  My wife and I  have known she was pregnant for a little over a month (maybe six weeks?).  We told the first few people about a month ago, but not all of our family members know yet (so, uh, hey, if you know them, don't go telling or posting on facebook, please, the surprise is coming at the end of the month).  I've been pretty excited.

So this last weekend was rough.  It started with bleeding on Thursday, and an ER visit.  I didn't know what was going on for several hours and some of the things that were said made me very afraid of a miscarriage.  We stayed in the ER until 4 am, when we were sure it wasn't a miscarriage and that it was something bladder related.  But neither of us had slept and she could barely move.  I had to give up going to my game night, which I had been looking forward to, but she needed me in a way that pretty much never happens.

Instead of getting better from there, it got worse.  More blood.  Blood clots.  Increasing pain.  We ended up back in the ER on Sunday.  They talked around the C-word.  And in the ER and hours to follow, the doctors screwed up, causing secondary bladder injuries.  Leaving her in screaming agony (which I'd seen maybe once before this) for 9 hours until a doctor came in, recognized that we'd been asking help and not getting it for all that time, and yelled at everyone while finally helping her.  The baby was healthy, but she was put into real jeopardy.  We finally got out of the hospital on Tuesday, many tests later, with a relatively clean bill of health, still three of us rather than two.

For a while, I had thought a dream that I'd had since I was a pre-teen was dying.

Most of my childhood dreams have died.  I thought I'd be a paleontologist.  That died by the time I was five, when everyone in my class laughed at the idea, and convinced me that I shouldn't even consider it.  Knee surgery killed my dream of being a professional athlete, which may or may not have been possible, but wasn't ready to die.  The built up social awkwardness destroyed the confidence that would have carried me to being an actor.  My dream of writing may not be dead, but it isn't flourishing.  I've found a job and I like it, but it isn't those dreams.

But I'd always wanted, hoped, dreamed of being a parent.  It's the one dream I've managed to not lose or feel hopeless about.

It's going to mean sacrifice.  I understand that.  I'm already planning ahead.  Telling people I may have to cut back on how often I game in person in September (the baby is due in mid-October).  Planning contingencies for if the baby needs me during the weekend of Blizzcon (which I still want to commit to).  I have to be ready to spend money on a kid rather than myself.  I'm also trying new ways to get in shape.  Changing my diet.  Purging sugar.  Trying to be not just a father, but a father that can keep up.  Trying to do it differently than it was done for me.  It's bittersweet, giving things up, hoping it is temporary but not really knowing.

But I'll try anything to keep chasing this dream.  The dream it looks like maybe I'll catch.

2/04/2016

Wrak quick hit description

Trying to quickly sum up Wrak's appearance so that I can share it easily from memory.  The goal is to get each set of relevant details boiled down to a sentence or two that is easy for me to recall quickly so I can incorporate it into descriptions of actions, or in my visualization of scenes.


  • Wrak is 6'8", tall even for a Dragonborn, but only weighs 270lbs, making him lean despite his strength.
  • His scales are the color of aged silver, not shiny and reflective, but definitely metallic.
  • Like his draconic ancestors, Wrak bears a bullet-shaped snout, the upper half of which ends in an beak.  Small, almost goatee-like, fins jut from the very tip.
  • Wrak's "hair" (aka dragonborn head tentacles) is shaped like a mohawk down the center of his head from brow to the base of his skull.
  • Wrak wears two leather pauldrons strapped to a bandoleer style sword belt across his chest.  The right-hand pauldron displays his tribe and clan crests and is lined with polar animal fur.
  • The Rimebite Tribe's crest is a beaked dragonskull.
  • The Odeyar Clan's crest is a slightly-curved longsword and spear crossed, points down.
  • Wrak wears a black leather kilt with a number of pouches and pockets.
  • Wrak goes barefoot out of choice, especially in warmer climates.
  • The weapons Wrak carries match the weapons from the Odeyar crest.

1/29/2016

Wrak

Wrak was born upon the frozen tundra north of the Ten Towns, near the foot of Kelvin's Cairn.  He was the first (and only) son of the Chieftain of the Rimebite Tribe of Dragonborn.  His mother, the Chieftain, taught him of their lineage, silver scaled Dragonborn brought to Faerun by the spellplague, surviving in harsh environs by accepting them and being molded by them.  She taught him of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, and his war against Tiamat.  She trained him in the way of the Barbarian. To walk that path was to accept the primal rage of dragons and channel it, but to be of his blood meant to also temper it with the wisdom of Bahamut and duty to protect the weak.

Wrak is not, by most reckonings, an adult Dragonborn.  It was this fact that let a rival barbarian, Garruk, wrest control of the tribe away from him, from his family's lineage.  Wrak, though his heart demanded he fight, fled in the face of Garruk's rage and the slings of his sycophants.  He wandered south, taking work as a manual laborer, a tavern tough, a caravan guard, anything that would gain him the coin to keep moving.  Eventually, he arrived in Silverymoon, but the great city was not so welcoming to one who'd been raised so long in the wilds.

Wrak is strong willed, but not wise.  He is brave, but his courage is not tempered by introspection or esperience.  He is strong and charismatic, able to charm and intimidate by turns.  Perhaps his most redeeming feature, however, is that he is ardently devoted to the idea of justice.  While he adheres to no codified structure of justic, his barbaric nature too wild to pin down one set of ideals, he has a keen sense of right and wrong and rarely can he tolerate a villain.  He believes that trials are set before him so he might strengthen himself, whether for some more worldly challenge ahead or simply to return and best Garruk, he is not yet sure.




Character exploration:

His mother's body still lay on its pyre when Wrak was approached by Garruk.  The elder Dragonborn snarled at the teenaged Wrak, backing the teen into the Chieftain's tent, which had been Wrak's because it was his mother's but would not be if Wrak could not face and overcome the trials leading to his own installment as Chieftan.  First among them this discussion with Garruk.  And so he would face it.  The blade upon the stone.

Wrak stretched to his full height, managing to crest above the other Dragonborn's own not-unremarkable height.  Garruk growled again.  "Chieftan Odeyar lays dead.  The tribe is without leader.  And yet the pup sits here, mewling over a lost parent.  What of your greater family, pup?  What of the tribe?"

Murmurs of agreement came from without the tent.

"Have you no shame, Garruk?  We honor our lost, it is our way."

"Excuses," Garruk hissed, silver scales catching the light of the pyre.  "Talk in place of action."

Wrak reached out to brush past Garruk, but the elder Dragonborn gripped his arm, held him in place.  He sneered.  "You cannot run, son of Odeyar."

Shaking free, Wrak forced his voice to calmness, saying, "I will face the trials, Garruk.  The mountain.  The gauntlet.  The word.  I know them.  I will do as my mother before me."

"The gauntlet.  Now."  Suddenly, Garruk dropped back, gesturing.  Outside, in the night, twenty Dragonborn stood with weapons readied.  Garruk smiled.  Wrak drew a ragged breath.  Twenty.  Of course any who lay claim may join the gauntlet.  So many.  So many of those of age.

"Perhaps you thought only the minimal four would stand?  Not so many eager to follow a child, you see."

"Garruk, this is not the time."

"The challenge is laid, son of Odeyar.  Ignore it and ignore..."

"I know what I ignore!" growled Wrak, his anger causing the air around his muzzle to chill and frost to form on his lips.  Garruk smiled.  Wrak stepped fully from the tent and towards the gauntlet.

"Oh, but I am first..."  Lightning fast, a club smashed into Wrak from behind, sending him sprawling to the feet of the Dragonborn he'd assumed would start the gauntlet.  Before he could roll over, the club came down on him again, cracking something inside him.  Wrak twisted, trying to fight back, trying to free one of his own weapons, but paused, remembering that blades were not allowed in the gauntlet.  None of the collected Dragonborn offered him a weapon as was traditional, but not required.  They show me every sign that I am unwanted.

Wrak rose, but Garruk was already there, waiting.  The club smashed along Wrak's nose, dropping him prone once more with the force of the blow.  Again Wrak rose, again Garruk smashed him to the ground.  The nearby Dragonborn laughed.  For what seemed like hours, Wrak attempted to mount an attack, but was rebuffed at every turn.  Finally, he began to crawl.  Not towards the gauntlet, but towards the edge of the camp.  Garruk paused in his assault.  "Have you accepted it, pup?  That I lead this tribe now?  If you beg for my scraps, I may let you stay."

Wrak, finally given a moment to breath, pushed himself to his feet.  He glanced over his shoulder, eyes burning from blood and sweat, but he could not bring himself to turn back.  He slipped into the darkness, Garruk's laughter haunting him until the sun rose.  The blade upon the stone.