|“||“Ancestors guide me... For the courage of one, can change the destiny of many.”|
|Occupation|| Orcish Master of the Horse
Member of The Companions
Former Owner of Zephyr Logistics
|Age||27 years old|
|Social Standing||Husband to Fern|
Graphite pigmented skin with long white hair. Cloudy blue eyes. Toned musculature. Battle scars scattered across his skin.
Armor and Weapons
Wears the dark chainmail of his people.
Mounted he uses a lance when charging.
Greatsword is his melee weapon of choice.
Javelins as his ranged option.
His trust can be earned but it is slow to be given to others from being with just an orc tribe followed by extended isolation prior to settling in the Imperial City.
Those he calls friend are as family/tribesmen to him and will be defended/fought beside as such
My family / tribe is the most important thing in my life, no matter where my travels take me.
Each person should strive to better the tribe / group
Childhood to Arrival at the Imperial City
Born in to the Yako'Tyl Tribe of the Karakoon Clan in the north-western lands of the Cimmerian Steppes, Nazdrak was trained from a very early age like all his kin to fight from the saddle. Tending the horses between combat exercises was mandatory as he grew up, to learn respect for the animal and the advantages it could share. By age 14 he was already being sent out with scouting parties to keep an ever watchful eye on the border of the empire, to learn the ways of the land through experience alongside his continued training.
A full fledged member of the patrols at age 16 saw the orc involved in many a skirmish as the corruption tried time and again to test the resilience of his kin. Not long after his 17th birthday, on one such patrol he had a chance meeting that earned him new scars - but not through battle.
Nazdrak had been sent ahead to scout alone on the last stretch of his groups duty for the day. He rode his horse around a cliff face that led to a shallow canyon, letting his eyes follow the dusty path all the way to the borders edge. That's when he saw them. A horde of goblins charging towards this entrance to the Cimmerian Steppes. So many of them he couldn't single them out, like an angry wave in stormy seas constantly cresting over itself. Quickly he turned his steed about to gallop off to warn his people, to gather warriors to bolster a defence. But Nazdrak stopped, glimpsing movement in his peripheral vision, he dismounted and went for his great blade in the scabbard on his back.
A pool of shadow underneath a rocky outcropping in the canyon wall before him moved and then he saw eyes looking back at him. He slowly crouched, letting his sight focus and adjust to finally see a panther cub curled up in hiding. Malnourishment showing in the definition of ribs along her skin and patches of matted fur from wounds he could not quite distinguish.
"What are you doing here Little One?" He whispered, ever slowly creeping forward. She hissed at his approach, brilliant white flashing within her hiding place as she bared her teeth. "Still fighting," he glanced toward the enemy as he moved ever slowly. Time was not a luxury, he needed to leave but felt compelled to try to save this beast before what was left of her spirit gave up. Nazdrak turned back to the animal abruptly, feeling a small yet sharp pain on his outstretched left wrist.
"I'm sorry I wasn't trying to scare you," he made his voice as soothing as possible while inspecting the three tiny yet deep claw marks that beaded with crimson, the small paw sliding back into the dark. "I must go, I must warn my people. But I would help you if you'd let me but it must be now." A heartbeat passed, then another, before the orc stood to rejoin his horse. But then a single soft mew pierced the silence between them. His gaze returned to the shadow to find paws in the light, a black furred head hung weakly as the effort to move was staggeringly slow.
"Forgive me Little One," Nazdrak scooped her up in to his arm harsher than he wished, but there was no sound nor action of rebellion. Quickly jumping back in to the saddle of his horse, a final look at the charging goblins to judge distance and then he spurred his mount onward. He passed the information to the rest of his group and then continued back to camp for more aid in the defence.
The whole ride there, not a movement nor a sound came from the large black cub rested against the crook of his arm.
Over the course of the next year, Nazdrak nursed the young cat back to health revealing her to be larger for her species and growing quickly in to adulthood. With so much time being spent with the animal the orc found a bond not unlike that he had with his horse forming. Thinking it may be possible to use her as a mount once she reached full size he began training with her.
Two years passed and the tuition seemed to progress better than he anticipated but he still had to take everything slowly at a pace the overgrown panther would allow. He had named her 'Shadyr', a derivative of an ancient orcish word for 'From the shadows'. While the relationship with the large cat had grown stronger, his place within the Karakoon tribe became strained. While they did not exile him, most saw him as eccentric or didn't understand why he felt the need to even attempt to train a different animal as a mount.
Nazdrak held horses in great regard just as his ancestors before him but Shadyr offered a unique opportunity and an alternative that could provide other advantages. In his eyes he was only trying to add more strength to his tribe. Although his people did not outright shun him, he took more tasks guarding the caravans travelling to the trading posts near Gilgani. Feeling he was still fulfilling a duty to them while making them more at ease as Shadyr always accompanied him as he rode his warhorse, usually taking the scouting position far in front of the rest of those travelling.
He would never forget one particular trip closest to the edge of the Steppes. In his usual position as scout he'd found the trading post destroyed. The simple people that made and sold their goods here lying upon the ground like grotesque rag dolls amidst shattered and burnt wooden frames that once was shelter. All the goods were missing save for a few scattered pieces, they'd been looted and murdered and cast aside like waste. He recognised some of the faces from previous visits, remembered what they sold or what skills they offered. Then he saw the cart tracks in the dirt, they used to have a single cart shared between them and it was missing.
The rest of his party arrived but he only heard their shock and shouts for information which he ignored. His focus was on the tracks that went towards Gilgani and as the orc's vision followed them he caught sight of it in the distance. He urged his horse in to a full gallop closing the gap between them and himself. This group of bandits stood to try to prepare for this unknown threat but Nazdrak was upon them, launching himself from his horse to land within the group.
He killed them all without mercy and without guilt knowing that not so far away they had slaughtered men, women and children of a small outpost that harmed no-one. The orc sheathed his greatsword feeling the dull pain of fresh wounds opened up on his body. One of the vagabonds had nearly caught him off guard sneaking behind the stolen cart with a crossbow, but a large cat had leapt between them taking the bolt in his sted.
Nazdrak glanced about for his feline companion and found her lying on the dirt looking like a large pile of discarded black suede, her breathing shallow and infrequent. He rushed to her side grabbing the bolt and jerking it free, noting the coloured fluid on the tip. He sniffed then tasted it before spitting on the floor and throwing it away.
He prayed to his ancestors for guidance and for aide and his faith was strong. He felt the strange power emanate from his hand and watched as the poison was expelled from the panther's body. But the wound was deep, her breathing growing ever softer. Nazdrak lay down and put his head in front of hers, his fingers gently scratching between her ears.
"Shadyr," he stared in to her eyes as if he could will everything to be alright, "don't go." The feline responded by pushing her face against his and licking him once. Then the last breath left her. The orbs that used to look upon the world dimmed. Everything felt still.
Nazdrak wasn't sure how much time passed before he stood, his face streaked with tears but his expression now locked in a blank visage. The bandits had pulled the cart manually so the orc hitched his horse to it before loading Shadyr's body on the back. He rode back to the Karakoon tribe camp, only stopping at the now ruined trading post to bury all the dead and pray for them.
He said nothing upon arriving home and set to work building a funeral pyre on the outskirts. He cremated the panther, whispering prayers as he watched and stood vigil until it was nothing more than embers. In rememberance, he got a tattoo on the underside of his left arm. A small black panther with a paw touching the bottom of the three small scars Shadyr gave him at their first meeting. He stayed with the tribe but kept to himself, kept thinking about how horrific the trading post had been. How those that could not defend themselves were treated.
When he was 22 years old, he packed his belongings and chose to leave the tribe and head deeper in to the Empire. "Will you return?" His mother had asked and he had replied with a silent nod. "Why are you leaving?" His father questioned him then. "We've spent generations fighting the evil to keep it out," Nazdrak kicked his horse in to a slow trot as he looked over his shoulder, "No one ever told us about the evil that's already within our borders."
The time that followed, he lived off the lands moving through Gilgani. On occasion he'd intervened with travellers being attacked but he never stayed once the threat was removed. At age 25, he decided to leave his solitary life and so his journey took him to the Imperial city where he has been situated for the last year, trying to fit in and contribute.
After His First Year In The Imperial City
Skills and Strategies
At range Nazdrak will use one of the few javelins he has or close the distance with a mounted charge and his lance. Otherwise, he favors his greatsword both in and out of the saddle due to the intense training in the weapon since he was a young boy.
With room to ride, Nazdrak will utilise ‘hit and run’ tactics while mounted thinning enemy ranks with his lance and his steeds trampling hooves. This also means he can move towards any spread out members of the group he is with to assist at speed if necessary.
He will use the magic granted to him by his ancestral faith to aide those he is travelling with.
- Has a tendency to caress the inside of his left wrist when deep in thought or recalling memories.
- Wears a pendant of the symbol of his tribal family as his holy focus - A horseshoe in front of downward pointing sword.