Character Stories

Torus Lavarar, Bounty Hunter

Eighteen years ago, during the height of the Middenheim Carnival, a dashing young rake called Lucidius Lavarar and his friends came to stay at the Templar’s Arms. Lucidius immediately noticed the attractive young blonde barmaid and asked her name.

“Eva,” she replied, “now kindly take your hand off my leg and tell me what you want to order.”

Lucidius devoted several hours to flirting with Eva, telling her outrageous stories and trying to persuade her to come to his room. He claimed he was involved in defeating a dark and dangerous plot to overthrow the Emperor and usher in a new era of chaos and darkness. She of course, didn’t believe a word of it, dismissing him as just another good-looking seducer looking for a fun night with a waitress. She wasn’t that easy though, and eventually Lucidius gave up.

Only a few nights later though—Oh Horror!—a band of hideous creatures: ratmen, beastmen, and goblins invaded the Arms itself, right there in Middenheim! Lucidius and his friends defeated the ratmen while Eva cowered under the bar. When they were all dead, Lucidius found her and held her in his arms while she sobbed out her terror.

She soon discovered that his story was true and that he was in fact a famous ‘adventurer’, being honoured by the Graf himself for his services. He was also suddenly rich and began showering Eva with gifts, including a purple velvet cloak that must have cost at least four crowns.

A few days later his friends brought him into the Arms late one night in a terrible state: paralysed by some awful poison. Eva sat up all night bathing his brow, and when he awoke, she was the first thing he saw.

His first words, were “You saved my life, you beautiful woman,” and her heart melted. The next day, the last of the Carnival, Lucidius and his friends were named honorary Knights Panther by the Graf. When Lucidius returned to the Arms, mantled in wealth and this ultimate sign of respectability, he once again tried to seduce Eva. This time she relented and took him to her bed.

A grey dawn saw Lucidius gone and Eva with child. He had left sixty crowns by the bed, but she never saw him again. Nine months later, after 18 agonising hours of labour, Eva gave one last convulsive heave to eject her son, then bled to death in her bed within the hour.

Before she died, she beseeched Torus Geschmecken, the owner of the Templar’s Arms, to help her. With bloody fingers she pressed the sixty crowns into his hand, “Please sir, you have no son, swear you will look after this child, raise him as your own, let him know his father is a knight.”

The innkeeper swore he would, and was good as his word. The boy grew hale and hearty, believing that the innkeeper was his father, leading the rough-and-tumble life of a pot boy in a busy inn. On his sixteenth birthday, Torus decided it was time to tell him the truth.

“You mean my real father, this supposed knight, seduced my mother and left her for dead, leaving a handful of coins?” exclaimed Torus indignantly. “He treated her like a common whore, the bastard! Where can I find him?”

From that day, Torus became obsessed with the idea of finding his father and avenging his long-dead mother’s honour. He spent days searching for information on his father’s whereabouts, but to no avail: he had disappeared without trace. It was almost as if Lucidius Lavarar, the once-famous ‘Merry Prankster’ and Knight Panther had never existed.

Despite this, nothing could dissuade Torus from his quest and, eventually, Torus senior called him to his room one night.

“Torus, if you are serious about finding your father you will need to learn properly how to track a man. Running about getting angry will not help you. Now, I know a man who is an expert at this. He is a bounty hunter. I have spoken to him and he is prepared to take you on as an apprentice. You have a choice to make: stay here and work with me and one day you will inherit this inn, or go with this man and learn the skills of the men who hunt men.” He handed Torus a scrap of paper with a name and address on it.

“Tell me your decision in the morning.”

In the morning, Torus’s room was empty of all but a note:

“Thank you Father, for that is what you will always be to me, my father. Keep the inn for me if you can, and when I have tracked down the whoremonger I will return to you. Torus.”

Torus spent the next two years apprenticed to Karl Reinheitz, a bounty hunter who made a good living tracking down escaped criminals and debtors, as well as spying on adulterers to provide evidence for betrayed spouses.

Burning with the fire of his personal quest, Torus was a quick learner. He swiftly learned to be agile and inquisitive; to be ready for anything; always to be questioning and observing. He learnt how to creep stealthily through the city; how to fire a bow with deadly accuracy, and not always to kill; how to eavesdrop and how to hunt men.

On the night of his eighteenth birthday he approached his master.

“Master, I have served you well for two years, but it is now time for me to find my father. I ask you please to release me from my bonds of apprenticeship.”

“I will do that Torus, on one condition, that you swear to me now on the soul of your dead mother, that if you ever find your father, you will not take his life or harm him.”

“I can’t swear to that!” exclaimed Torus.

“One day boy, not long from now, you too will spend a night with a barmaid and be gone in the morning. Do not censure your father for something many men have done, now SWEAR!”

“I swear then, on the soul of my dead mother, that if I find my father I will not harm him.”

“You have a good heart boy, don’t let it be consumed by thoughts of revenge. Come and see me if you’re ever in Middenheim, and if you’re ever in trouble, send me a message. Now go, and may Sigmar go with you. Oh, and Torus, take these.”

Karl picked up his bow and a quiver of arrows and handed them to him.

“Thank you master, I will repay your generosity.”

“Never mind that, go and look for your father, and remember that what happens along the way is your life.”

Torus rode out of Middenheim the next day. He hadn’t told Karl, but he had unearthed a rumour from a priest of Sigmar that a man answering to the name Lucidius had been seen in Altdorf, disguised as a witch-hunter. The time for action had come.

Immolatus, Apprentice Wizard of the Bright Order

When misfortune is visited so profoundly and visibly upon an individual, should one forgive those who choose to look away for fear of being joined in pain and misery? What if that individual is but a child? Perhaps the story of Immolatus may help you decide.

In retrospect the signs were readily visible to all, and many were looking for such things, but it was the love of a father that gave him a chance at life when others sought to end it.

His mother, bedridden with a terrible fever and a thirst that no amount of water could quench, died shortly after giving birth to him. What a strange babe he was: hairless, shrivelled, and with a sickly complexion the colour of ashes unique to that created during human cremation. However, as with most sad events, Time moved on and the circumstances of his birth were forgotten.

Yet Misfortune had only just awoken, and again her gaze swung to the small valley in the far north of Reikland.

Less than a year later, father and son were attacked by a pack of starved, mangy grey wolves that carried the babe away into the dense forest adjacent to what remained of the family’s small farm. After recovered his wits and arming himself with an old shovel, the badly injured father gave pursuit. Fearing the worst, he was amazed to find his son sitting quietly in the midst of a circle of dying embers, next to the body of a black, charred wolf, still smoking from the fire that had wholly consumed it. Perhaps the father was blind to truth, refused to accept the obvious, or feared the reaction of the villagers. Perhaps all that was of no import compared to protecting the life of his only child. Again Time moved on, and his father did his best to forget what he had seen and told no one of the events.

As the child got older and more adventurous, his strange nature became impossible to hide. Weather held no import; he was equally comfortable in the deep cold of winter as in the heat of summer, feeling neither blistering heat nor the cruellest cold. He was never wet, even after being caught in a rainstorm. More than once it was noted that fires seemed to move in his presence, becoming more aggressive or more subdued, as if following some invisible instruction, or seeking the same from an unseen master. The child was clearly unaware of it, so those looking for such things had no real grounds for accusations.

Notwithstanding the rumours, most found him entirely approachable and the cool intelligence behind his green-grey visage quite engaging. His gentle disposition was coupled with a fierce curiosity, and even at a young age his endless questions dominated any encounter with the villagers. Surely the rumours were nothing but gross exaggerations of idle or vicious minds.

While the local villagers respected the family’s unfortunately history and from time to time came to their aid, there were those who retained deep but private reservations about the child. There were too many unexplained stories, and persistent rumours. Human nature being flawed as it is, these reservations grew slowly into subtle fears, then fierce argument and eventually cunning plans to take action. Ultimately, perhaps it was simply base animal instincts that led to that fateful night, barely days before the youngster’s tenth birthday.

A handful of villagers, drunk with their fear of the unknown, decided to rid themselves of the child once and for all. In the darkest hour of the longest night of the year, four men armed themselves and set out from the village. With torches shielded against the wind, they approached the farm with dire intent.

His father woke to the front door exploding as it was kicked inward. As he leapt out of bed, he was smashed with the flat of a blade, and hit the ground dazed but conscious. Lifting himself off the floor and turning to find his attacker, he saw his son surrounded by the men with their torches held high and weapons drawn. His son turned, leaned past one of them and smiled at his father, then lifted his hands slowly in surrender. Drunk with dominance, the leader of the pack turned and without warning thrust his sword viciously into his father’s chest.

From the boy there came a primal, otherworldly roar, far deeper than the small chest should be able to render. Simultaneously the flames from the torches exploded and leapt directly onto the faces of the four men. The fire burned with an all-consuming ethereal blue colour, like that barely visible at the bottom of a candle flame. There ensued an eerie silence as they clawed at their faces in vain, for one cannot scream with lungs full of fire. As his father died, the flames surged to completely engulf the house and everything within it, including the child and the four writhing forms on the floor. Such a conflagration no one could survive.

The next morning as the villagers investigated the smoking ruins of the farmhouse, they found the boy half crushed under a fractured oak beam. Still breathing by some miracle, but unable to speak, there were no clues as to the cause of the horrible accident. The body of his father was not recovered. As a final act of compassion to the badly disfigured boy, he was passed into the care of a renowned healer, a wizard of sorts it was said, who was thought to be the only person who may save his life.

To this day, no one knows where the four men went in the middle of the night, although it was generally accepted they were murdered foul while whoring in a neighbouring town. There was no evidence of them at the farmhouse, and what business would they have with a poor farmer, after all?

It was sprinkling and there was a light morning mist in the valley. Looking across the valley, Fuegoletras was pleased with his work and his charge. Six years earlier he faced the most difficult challenge of his long, long life. Nursing the damaged boy back to the world required all his concentration and considerable resources for more than two years, yet his aura was brighter and cleaner than any other of its type he had seen, and this was a type with which he was intimately familiar. He had to be saved. Only the most powerful Bright Order wizards had magical auras of this potency, and here lay but a child. Such willpower to survive he had never witnessed. Once speech and willingness to talk to others was renewed, he learned of the boy’s remarkable childhood. Yet he refused to offer a name. Perhaps he no longer recalled it, or it was connected with a past now discarded in his mind.

His new ward was a quick study, rapidly absorbing difficult concepts and mastering the foundation methods of Channelling the winds of power. There was little doubt of his raw talent for controlling flame, but the teacher sensed a still raw and untended wound deep in the boy’s psyche. Such things were beyond his ability to heal, and he could only hope the rage that lurked there was to remain hidden lest it be released and fuel devastating destruction.

Taking him as an apprentice, Fuegoletras named him Immolatus, in recognition of and fear that the hidden potential within the boy would one day escape and consume him.

Fuegoletras was amazed at the extent of the child’s ideas. To Immo, fire was intimate and universal. At barely fifteen years of age, he theorised that all matter contained different levels of potential, and that this could be released slowly to give light, heat and warmth, or released in an instant to create titanic explosions. To Immo, fire was essential in transformation of matter, to sustaining life, beautiful yet deadly. Through fire things come into being and pass away.

With this level of natural ability, or perhaps a strange bond formed in the furnace of the farmhouse fire, his mastery of Aqshy’s Lore of Fire was effortless, and his degree of awareness of magical winds was strong. For a number of years he studied ways of gathering and controlling the winds without releasing the inner rage.

On his sixteenth birthday and after much thought, Immo decided to venture forth to discover more about the world, examine his theories, and apply his ideas to discover even more. With the blessing of his first Master, and now an Apprentice Wizard, Immo turned to the south, and began walking toward the rising sun.

Following the tragic events of his youth and his apprenticeship to the wizard Fuegoletras, Immolatus wandered the land in search of adventure and knowledge. He quickly learned that common folk greatly feared magic, and was from time-to-time forced to flee when his anger got the better of him in an argument, or when pressed by city thugs or bandits on the road. The results were usually spectacular and deadly, with charred corpses, burnt farmhouses, flaming wagons and scorched fields left in his wake. Reports of a young man with dangerous fiery magic eventually came to the attention of Édur Petard, a ranking Wizard of the Bright Order, who became concerned that a rogue Apprentice or Exeat of the Order may be the cause.

The search for the suspected rogue caster took many months, whereupon they found Immolatus in the service of a mercantile trader and loan shark—right under the very nose of the Order in Altdorf! It seems his way with fire was helpful in certain ‘negotiations’. Petard observed the raw power of Aqshy flowing in and around the young man, and quickly realised he had limited control over it. “Such a talent must be harnessed by the Order—it cannot be left untended or it shall flare into pure destruction”, he realised. Approaching Immolatus and revealing his College identity, he suggested there might be more rewarding work in the service of the College, along with the opportunity to develop his powers and no longer be concerned about the fears and reactions of ignorant common folk—or the town guard.

Immolatus became apprenticed to Petard, and so it was the story of his youth and his first master was shared over a charred boar one cool night in his master’s quarters. Indeed, what a surprise! Fuegoletras was known to the Order as a Jade Wizard of some renown who disappeared into the wilderness decades earlier, seeking to perform his own research into “healing the wounds of the earth”. (That a Jade Wizard of such power should appear in the story of Immolatus itself would in later years become part of both Jade and Bright Order legend. Many later theorised this early exposure to Jade magic had opened Immolatus to the winds beyond Aqshy, and he was likely tainted from the very start by the winds of Ghyran.)

Three years passed and Immolatus’s skills grew substantially, his focused learning intensifying his obsession with Aqshy. His temperament remained a difficult challenge, but it was not uncommon for members of the Bright Order to be quick to anger, so this was accepted even as his channeling, spell casting and experimentation became more reckless with each year that passed. It was this explosive disposition, sheer capacity for the Winds of Aqshy, that first hinted at his potential as a Battle Wizard. It was common practice that such individuals were developed by exposure to real conflicts in the world beyond the College, and so Immolatus left Altdorf seeking the successes that would lead to becoming an Acolyte of the Bright Order. Thus he found himself sitting in the Gibbous Moon Inn outside of Ubersreik, hoping that the bounty hunter, Kislev fighter and the mad cranky dwarf would attract some interesting challenges.

After battling beast men, retrieving lightning stones, fighting zombies in cemeteries, defeating a small hoard of goblins, exploding a few skulls and almost getting crushed by a comet, news of his exploits as one of the ‘Heroes of Stromdorf’ had already reached the Order at Ubersreik by the time of his return. He was subsequently inducted as an Acolyte of the Order, and after a brief ceremony, some story telling and a magic missile tournament, he rejoined his colleagues in the city to continue his questing. Christoph Engel, the Master Wizard in Ubersreik, said he would watch his development as a potential Battle Wizard with interest, but it was obvious they were glad to see the back of him.

The Grudgebringer, Dwarf Pit Fighter

The Tale of the Grudgebringer

“Uncle Grilli, Uncle Grilli, tell us again the story of the Grudgebringer! Did he really do everything they say he did? Did he really rip out the heart of a stone giant with his teeth? Was he really so wealthy that when he died his entire tomb was made from gold and diamonds?”

“Ah, children, he certainly did many things in the World of the Manlings. Whether he did all they say….well, stories often grow in the telling. And, by the Mighty Hammer of Smednir, the Grudgebringer’s story did not begin well. Not well at all…..”

Grudges: A Beginner’s Guide

Everyone knows that, even more than gold, dwarves prize Honour. And the dark twin of Honour is Pride. How many feuds, and even wars, have been fought, how many dwarves, elves and humans have died, because of the Pride of Dwarves? The race of dwarves have taken Pride to a level unknown to the other races, and in the height of their Pride the dwarves created the Grudge. To understand dwarves, one must understand that the Grudge is no mere bitterness, no small grievance, no minor enmity. A dwarven Grudge is an overwhelming hatred that consumes the holder like a fierce blaze, occupying every waking hour until the Grudge is satisfied. As the dwarf saying goes: “Revenge is a dish best eaten hot, bloody and with an axe in your hands!”

Of course, not all Grudges need to be to the death. Indeed, there is a certain kudos associated with ensuring that the restitution matches the cause of action—‘An Eye for an Eye’ is (often literally) a very good rule of thumb (and indeed has often been quoted as ‘A Thumb for a Thumb’).

And Grudges exist at every level—from those written in the Dammaz Kron at Karaz-Karak, the Ultimate Book of Grudges held on behalf of every dwarf (in which every Grudge is registered), through the Grudges maintained in the Great Book of Grudges held by each Karak, through those held in the Clan Book of Grudges of each dwarven clan, right down to the book of Grudges held by each individual dwarf. You might almost say there was an industry of Grudge creating, Grudge bearing and Grudge satisfying, and (for one reason or another) Snorri Sturluson, aka The Grudgebringer, was a master of the craft.

Back in the Karak

Snorri Sturluson was born in Karak Azgaraz in 2477 to normal parents in a typical clan. On its face, there was no reason to think that he would not spend his life in the Karak, as for hundreds of others of the karak-born, leading a normal life with a normal occupation as blacksmith or Ironbreaker or brewer. But at his birth the Ancestors were sleeping, or have a sense of humour much more evil than that with which they are usually credited. For Snorri became a focus for Grudges, a veritable eye of a Grudge hurricane. Some Grudges he held himself (and his book of grudges is a very full one indeed); some others were held against him; some were held between third parties who had the misfortune of crossing his path and somehow being drawn into the maelstrom of malice. As the following small number of examples shows, Snorri was not a dwarf that Karak Azgaraz could afford to keep as a citizen for long, without risking significant long term damage to its social (and possibly physical) integrity. “A walking grudgestone” they began to call him. And finally—“The Grudgebringer”.

As Snorri’s mother died at his birth, Snorri’s father Sturl held a Grudge against the mid-dwarf who delivered him, and eventually drowned her in a vat of Bugman’s. As punishment, Sturl was banished (more for ruining a vat of Bugman’s than for killing the mid-dwarf, who was universally recognised as more dangerous for babies than the murderous cave rats—it would have been a capital offence had the beer been Bugman’s XXXXXX, or even Troll Brew, but it was only Beardling’s Best Effort). Of course, he never made it out of the Karak, for he was killed by Kudrik Ironbar (a third cousin of the mid-dwarf) shortly after receiving sentence.

Grudges added to Snorri’s book:

  • Father Sturl for doing such a bad job of killing the mid-dwarf—crossed out on Sturl’s death;
  • Kudrik Ironbar—crossed out when Kudrik died from a rock fall, although strangely the rock that killed him seemed to be shaped like a child’s rattle made of rock; Snorri was at first suspected, but how could a 5 year old kill a fully grown dwarf?
  • The 3 thanes on the clanhave that exiled Sturl, not because of the exile (which would have been in accordance with Karak Law and thus acceptable) but because of certain gross inequities in the legal process—crossed out over time: one accidental death (genuinely accidental); one killed by greenskins (it was never quite clear how the greenskins found him, but it was pretty clear that Snorri wouldn’t have liaised with the greenskins to arrange the death, as Snorri really really hates greenskins); and the third, Loremaster Marzel, killed in a brawl with Snorri in 2519 (one of the reasons Snorri was banished).

Grudges added to other’s books against Snorri:

  • Kudrik’s 2 brothers and son—although as there is no evidence of foul play, it’s more a “hope he dies, soon” sort of Grudge;
  • Loremaster Marzel’s brother, two sons and 3 cousins—they have been trying unsuccessfully to kill Snorri for some time, and are still trying. The brother, one of the sons and 2 of the cousins are now dead through their attempts: one cousin was killed in the Karak (more fuel for this family’s Grudge), the others were killed at various places in the Empire including the son in a pit fight against Snorri (a very exciting ‘dwarf on dwarf’ match up that very rarely comes along…). Snorri expects continued attempts until he is dead or the remaining two family members have journeyed to the House of the Ancestors; and
  • The surviving members of the band of greenskins who encountered Snorri in the mountains above Karak Azgaraz and were driven away by him with significant loss of life (although they did fortuitously encounter some senile old dwarf in the course of their flight, whom they proceeded to kill).

As a child, Snorri almost lost track (though, thanks to his Book of Grudges, didn’t totally lose track) of the broken bones, broken toys, broken hearts, stolen property and other offences committed against him which needed to be revenged. And almost always were, successfully. He lost his 3 best friends (yes, he did manager to have friends, not least because of his fierce but often misplaced loyalty) because of various Grudges held against him, or generated by his mere presence: one died in an ambush meant for Snorri; one died defending Snorri from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (which in Karak Azgaraz are actually quite real and usually pretty terminal); and the third died as the result of a very complex feud between a number of dwarfs (excluding Snorri, for a change) which happened to arise from an off the cuff remark Snorri was overheard making during a rather boring dinner. As would be expected, each of those deaths generated Grudges in Snorri’s book of Grudges, although given the number of people involved and their mind boggling complexity Snorri eventually cancelled them all after a sufficient number of deaths and the payment of appropriate ‘blud-gelt’ (aka ‘blood gelt’).

As a young warrior, his penchant for Grudges initially seemed a good thing—he was certainly very meticulous and driven in cancelling out his Grudges against greenskins, the odd Skaven, human bandits and even the occasional Chaos marauders. However, the Grudges seemed to work both ways—survivors of battles with Snorri took great pleasure in seeking him out in later battles, and some of the dwarven warriors became a little reluctant to be in his war parties (although others, with a more traditionally dwarven view of battle, sought him out as a guaranteed lightning rod for the tougher elements of any battle). And woe to any dwarf who shirked his part in any combat involving Snorri—another Grudge was in the book. Often satisfaction of these Grudges involved taunts, insults or refusals to fight beside the offender again. Unfortunately, one or two recipients of such conduct are believed to have sought their deaths by throwing themselves suicidally into battle against impossible odds. Which of course lead to new Grudges against Snorri….

Finally in 2519 (when Snorri was 42 years old), the clanhave of Karak Azgaraz came to the conclusion that Snorri—now almost universally known as ‘The Grudgebringer’—had to leave the Karak. Drawing on a very old piece of Karak Law (passed in necessity in the past to prevent the complete annihilation of the Karak under a burgeoning Grudge culture), all Grudges held by or against Snorri were cancelled (Loremaster Marzel’s relatives managing to exempt their Grudge under an even older piece of Karak Law) and Snorri was banished “until such time as no Grudges were held by or against him, and that state of Grudgelessness had persisted for a period of not less than one year and one day”. Sensibly, any Grudge created by the banishment itself was also cancelled by the Law, otherwise Snorri would have held a very big Grudge indeed.

Why did Snorri accept the banishment and cancellation? As noted above, the Grudge is but a side effect of Honour, and failure to comply with the Law would not be honourable. Many things have been said about Snorri, but pursuing dishonourable Grudges is not one of them.

“This ’ere Empire Isn’t Big Enough for the Both of Us…”

Moving into the world of manlings, for the first few years the beardling Snorri took up a number of jobs involving strength, stamina and (where possible) the consumption of beer (albeit only weak-as-piss manling-made elf-spit). This included stints as a bodyguard, courier, bouncer and militia man. Provided his employers were fair and treated him well, Snorri was an exemplary employee. But if any man treated him unfairly, out came the book of Grudges. Examples abound.

Snorri was hired to find and recover a barrel of gunpowder for a fee of 1g. When the barrel was recovered, the client offered a fee of 30s on the basis of ‘liquidity problems’. Muttering “Liquidity Problems?!?! I’ll show you Liquidity Problems!”, and showing a decided lack of knowledge of financial terminology, Snorri dropped the barrel in the nearest creek.

Hired to transport a client from one village to another in safety to escape violent creditors, the client disappeared without paying the agreed fee (a possibly foreseeable result, given the fact that the client was fleeing creditors in the first place). Tracking the ex-client down, Snorri tied him up, transported him back to the original village, and left him to his just desserts.

As a militia man in a skirmish with goblins, Snorri and his band were deserted by two of the members of the militia. Although the punishment for desertion was death, Snorri decided on a more appropriate punishment—each of the deserters faced a captured goblin in the fighting pits, ostensibly giving the deserters a fighting chance. However, it transpired that there was a reason the militia men had deserted—they were crap fighters. Hating to leave any business with goblins unfinished, Snorri took care of the goblins in the pits himself. Which lead to his job with Don Rex…

Finally, in Ubersreik in 2522, Snorri was contracted as a pit fighter to Don Rex following his showing against a couple of goblins, and for 7 years found settled employ for one of the longest periods of his life. ‘The King’, as Don Rex was known, treated Snorri well and paid him fairly. In return, Snorri, now fighting under the nom de guerre ‘Grudge’, fought hard and won often. Any Grudge in the pit was settled in the pit, and on occasion Grudges outside the pit could be settled in the pit (just ask Loremaster Marzel’s eldest son, although you can’t actually ask him now because he’s dead). Indeed, Grudge could have stayed as a pit fighter in Ubersreik for many years except that Don Rex got greedy, and set Grudge up for a fall in a rigged and dangerous match.

Unfortunately for Rex, Snorri won against the odds, and declared a Grudge (pun intended) against his former mentor. In a period of a few days Don Rex’s stable of pit fighters ended up in various stages of physical damage, Don Rex’s properties ended up burnt to the ground, and Don Rex himself will not be walking without the aid of the stick, or doing two handed push ups, ever again (not that he ever did two handed push ups in the first place, but you get what I mean). The damage by Grudge to Rex’s outrageous hairstyle (albeit shorter term) probably hurt Rex almost as much as the rest of the damage put together.

We now find Grudge without gainful employ, hunted by a number of enemies, and without any decent beer in the offing. Surely things can only get better from here…

Yuri Ilich Stubbindrikov the Mercenary

“In Altdorf they call me Kislev Yuri because I come from Kislev and my name is Yuri. They are thicker than cold borscht in Altdorf.

I was raised by Ilya Stubbindrikov the caravan guard. Although he is not my real father he is the only father I know and so I call myself Ilich Stubbindrikov in his honour. He said he found me in the ruins of Yazki after it was destroyed by chaos raiders. He said everybody else was killed. He could have left me with the Ulric priests in Polotsk but he said they couldn’t raise flies with shit. I learnt that he himself was raised by the Ulric priests so I guess he’d know.

He said I had the look of a southerner and had the sound of the south upon my tongue, but all I knew was that i lived in Yazki and had a brother and parents that had lived there too, but I could not remember my family name.

Ilya had been working the caravan routes betwen Kislev and Polotsk but he gave it away in favour of local work in and around Kislev town. He said he was sick of the travelling but I believe that he was greatly disturbed by what he saw in Yazki that day and he never was ever so close to the Worlds Edge Mountains again. I think he also wanted to stay in one place until I was old enough to travel with him, which I eventually did. In the meantime he trained me in sword craft and the use of the crossbow.

When I was old enough I joined him on the road and we guarded the rich easy caravans heading up to Kobrin and the river traffic on the Lynsk. Sometimes we even went south into the Empire. Eventually Ilya retired and bought a share in a small tavern near Pinsk on the Kobrin road.

Now I can move as I want and I’ve a hunger to travel and learn more of the world. I’ve followed the caravans south. Maybe I’ll find out something of where my family came from. I have nothing to go by except luck and a locket that Ilya found on the body of my mother. Maybe I’ll find my brother Vladamir who I’m sure is not dead, I’m sure I’d know if my twin had died.”

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  1. Will
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    By Sigmar, i thought I was obsessive, but it appears I’m the only faintly normal one amongst you!
    At least we have one thing in common…

  2. Posted January 31, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Funny isn’t it? Adventurers never seem to have had nice middle-class, happy childhoods …