Tamar of Kaltes Land
In the northwestern-most corner of Ur-Delth, was located a large region of mixed tundra and boreal forest known simply as Kaltes Land. Scattered throughout this vast area were various bands of peoples, including those of Orcs. In one such orcish tribe, known as the Horde, Tamar Draenok, half-orc, was born. Individuals from mixed human and orc parentage were not common, but not exceptional, either. At the time in the years before Tamar’s birth, a marriage alliance had been made with one of the neighboring human tribes, resulting in a handful of those in the Horde whose blood had mingled with that of humans. That included Tamar.
The orcs were a nomadic people, roaming endlessly, staying in one place no more than six months at a time. Tamar learned the skills of hunting and marauding, as did most orcs. The orcs of the Horde lived by one precept –take what you want – and especially reveled in ambushing other humanoid settlements, not only to steal, but to cruelly put to death those they could. Perhaps it was because of her human half, or simply her demeanor, but Tamar did not take pleasure from the deaths of other beings. She had killed her fair share of humans, dwarves, and goblins, but preferred doing so quickly and without the fanfare of torture.
Once, Tamar went on a hunting excursion with some of her peers. She preferred to work alone, and broke off from the group to stalk deer. After a long while, she heard from far off the sounds of orcish whooping and the roars of some kind of large animal. Breaking into a run, Tamar approached the scene of her peers poking at a white bear with their spears. It was wounded and bleeding in a dozen places, and backed against a wall of rock. Each time an orc got a jab in, they would laugh and dare the next orc to do the same. Irritated, Tamar pulled her javelin forth and hurled it toward the bear, striking the beast cleanly in the heart. It promptly fell, and the young orcs turned to see Tamar behind them.
“That was our bear! We found it first, who do you think you are?,” one of the females shouted at Tamar.
Feeling her cheeks getting hot, Tamar replied, “Bears are for food and clothing. They are not playthings.”
“Oh, what’s this,” another spoke up, “now you feel sorry for the beasts? Must be that weak human blood of yours, Tamar.”
The others joined in, taunting her, until she approached the male orc who had made the accusation. She moved so quickly he had not the time to reach for a weapon, and punched him in the head so hard his jaw cracked and he went unconscious. The others, infuriated, threw their spears at Tamar and began to pursue her into the wood. One on one, she knew she could take each of them in combat, but as a group, they had the advantage. On and on she ran, until she could run no more, and she collapsed on the forest floor. It was almost dusk, but as she looked up, the tops of the trees appeared to be on fire. Suddenly, an inferno engulfed all of the half-orc’s surroundings, yet nothing seemed to be burning. Tamar’s head spun, and in that moment she found she was unable to move. Then, a voice from the flames spoke deep and clear:
“Let your sword now belong to the path of righteous wrath, to smite evil in all its forms. Such is your destiny, and shall be your reawakening. I have spoken.”
Whatever had gripped her was now released, and the light disappeared, leaving the forest dimly lit. What had just happened? Did she just have an encounter with a clever wizard or sorcerer? What did they care about justice? Or was it a trick of her peers? No, it couldn’t be. As she stood, Tamar was a bit dizzy and disoriented. But there was something else—she felt different somehow. There was evil nearby, that much she knew. Tamar neither saw nor heard, nor even smelled anyone or anything, but somehow she knew her pursuers were close. Strangely, Tamar found herself drawing nearer to them almost instinctively, until finally she discovered the group of orcs in a clearing setting up camp for the night.
With a confidence she never before knew, Tamar strode into the camp suddenly and attacked the orcs without warning. Though they fought back all at once, Tamar’s fluid movements eluded their swords, spears, and fists. As though in a trance, Tamar slew each one, a scattering of heads and blood littered the forest floor. A surge of heat coursed through her body, and Tamar indeed felt as though her heart was on fire. And then she knew. This was a gift from a god.
All desire to return to the Horde had now been extinguished, and Tamar set out on a new course. As she crossed the marches of southernmost Kaltes Land into the heart of Ur-Delth, she worried not about what the next day would bring or how she would survive. The fire of her god would sustain her on her holy quest to punish evil, wherever she would find it.