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Balandar

The story of Grulg

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This is a very old story from when I played UO and joined the Shadowclan Orcs, probably 98 or 99. It's the basis for Grulg in all of his incarnations throughout the gaming world. It was playing that orc character that led to the Skullcrusher Orc Clan [Or(] in UO (a sub-guild of PGoH for roleplaying) and was a big part of why Skullcrusher Orc Clan came into being in WoW, now known as Clan Skullcrusher. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this small part of history. It took some searching for me to find it!

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The Story of Grulg'dush

(by Grulg'dush)

Nestled among the evergreen pines and blanketed by a fresh new layer of quiet white snow, a mountain cave sheltered a small family of orcs. The night was cold and moonless but the protective mother held her precious young son, Grulg'dush, close to her and the orcish child felt safe and warm. Just outside their cozy home however lurked a danger that was hell bent on destroying this loving family, the humans. The small child's father was a strong warrior and thus his instincts told him that something was wrong. The muscled male orc gripped his axe as he paced the cave’s mouth, his uneven breaths casting small clouds of vapor towards the sky. Slowly he would scan the trees that surrounded his home but his keen eyes only saw his own shadow cast by the flickering fire just inside the cavern. The dark night seemed calm but somehow he knew the serenity would soon be broken.

Grulg'dush's mother turned his head away from his father with a gentle hand. Now he could not watch his beloved father pace like a caged animal ready to strike, he could not see him grip the shaft of his weapon nervously or hear the muttered curses that were lost in the night. Strangely enough the boy was not calmed, he too had a warrior's instinct and the presence of an enemy began to pull at the nape of his neck. He could feel his mother's strong heart as well, the quickening beat and staggered thumps and thuds, and he knew that she too could feel the oncoming assault.

Then suddenly the snow was quiet no longer. A group of human raider's surged towards his father through the shadowed pines. Each swung wicked blades above their helmeted heads already dripping with the blood of the orcish people. Grulg'dush's father was ready for them however and within moments the largest human was skewed on his heavy axe.

Unfortunately this small victory spoke only of the orc's demise. The gore that swam from the human's spilled belly played havoc with the orc's grip and soon the mighty axe fell beside the dead man’s body whose still warm blood already turned the soft new snow to a horrid picture of scarlet murder. When the next man came the orc was defenseless and the arm that he thrown up to shield himself was savagely taken from him as the raider's cruel sword flew towards his head.

A cry of rage, a second strike and the unforgiving steel of a weapon brought the warrior down. His yellowed eyes rolled back into his skull and an ichor filled froth began to pour from his gapping mouth as the murderous human pulled his bloodstained blade from his quickly collapsing chest. His father was dead and Grulg'dush's mother was their next victim.

She too fought valiantly but the overpowering force of numbers was too much. The men surrounded her and her precious son and soon one of them had her by the throat, slowly coaxing the life from her body as he pulled his knife across her neck. The small boy was forced to watch his mother die. In this moment he remembered his mother's strong beating heart and cursed it now for pulsing her blood out of her body. Mercifully he was struck in the head and lost consciousness before he could witness what the men did to his mother next.

He awoke the next morning amid the still and ravaged bodies of his parents. A light fall of snow had begun to cover the gruesome scene but the terrible occurrence could never be erased from the young orc's mind. Quickly he went to his mother's side and was momentarily relieved to see that her chest still rose and fell. The excited young orc immediately started to tear his cloths to make bandages but his rapid movements disturbed the snow and uncovered his father's grand axe. For a moment he was forced to wonder how his father had died.

Carefully he began to mend his mother's wounds. Although she was still alive she hung close to death and Grulg'dush, even at his young age, could tell she would not survive another night. In spite of his knowledge he still attempted to heal her. He would never leave her and somehow it seemed his mother knew this and so she left him. She went peacefully that night.

Cold and alone the small orcish boy buried his parents. He drug their lifeless bodies to a solemn spot high above his humble cave home. At that spot he left his childhood behind as he held his father's axe high above his head and made a promise to average his parents' death. His life was ahead of him and let the humans beware because he was not going to let them go unpunished.

With only his father's weapon as a companion the young orcish man set out to find his people. For years his mother had spoke of another tribe of orcs in a fairy tale but since the raiders killed his people this tale was the only thing he could hold onto. The tale told of his journey before him, of the mountains, deserts, and swamps that would serve as barriers on his journey. He knew the way would be hard but still he would go, still he would forge on, still he would survive.

The way would be difficult for a caravan who knew where they were going. For a lone orc who knew little of his path and had only a axe and determination on his side, the way would be nigh on impossible. Imagine for a moment that it did happen, that a lone young orc did survive the impassable journey. Then imagine how much a long adventure could change an impressionable young orcish man and you'll know what it was like to see the lone Grulg'dush as he strode upon uncharacteristically long muscled legs towards the land of the Shadowclan orcs.

It was not far from their camp when he heard the tell-tail voices of the wicked humans that he hated and feared so much. His mind reeled back to the night that his parents were murdered and he knew there was no other possible outcome. The humans had to die. He ran headlong into the human camp, battle ensued shortly after.

There were four of them, a man and three women but to Grulg'dush that hardly mattered. All that he could think was that they would meet their end on the end of his axe, that his blade would be wetted with the blood of these horrid creatures, that it didn't matter if he did not survive the fight. Time passed so slowly and he could take the time to look deep into the human's eyes as he pulled the heavy axe through their frail bodies. He could smell the fear that permeated them and he could taste the rage that burned in his belly.

They seemed to fall like feathers off a dieing bird. His axe pulled flesh off of them with every swing and sprayed it to the waiting ground below him. He reveled in the taste of the gore that spilt into his mouth as he pushed his weapon through one of the woman's stomach. He had tasted nothing sweeter than the flesh that fell from his face into his gaping gasping maw. His heart began to beat faster at the sight of the delicious flesh and he had to will himself not to stop fighting so that he could fill himself with more of the scarlet flesh.

Grulg'dush had killed his second human when finally the male struck him hard and he was forced to take a moment to breathe. His breath came as an angered bellow however and it served only to task his lungs further. He had been through too much on his long journey and his body needed some kind of rest. His muscles screamed for air as he struggled to pull his axe around to the assaulting man.

His eyes filled with pain as he saw the human pull his sword back to attack again. To him it was that fateful night all over again. He was too weary and he could feel it would not be long before he saw his parents again. He fought on.

Again he bellowed but this time in pain as the man's blade, wickedly curved, cut a scarlet path across his chest. A visage of his family shot to his mind when he finally breathed again... he could see them, they were there with him, they were killing the human. Grulg'dush smiled as he saw an orcish weapon slam the human to the ground and his body somehow felt new and untaxed again. With his renewed strength he layed low the remaining woman but fell upon her chest with the weight of the swing.

A day passed before he again could see the world in his view. Now he realized what had occurred the night before. It had been the Shadowclan, come to his aid after hearing his fervent cries of battle. They had saved him in his time of need. A new family arose about him... he would be Shadowclan for they had seen his prowess in battle and they had deemed him worthy.

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