Masters of the Universe
Barbarian of the Stalking Panther Tribe
|Max Hit Points:||31|
|Surges per Day:||11|
|Heavy War Pick+1||Melee||+7||1d12+1|
The Bearclaw Barbarians were very prosperous under Chief Tyrog. Game was plentiful, the Bearclaws were at peace, and they had even begun to trade with the merchants of Longview. Bearclaw culture was built around the belief that all members of the tribe must contribute to the whole. The wisdom of the shamans, the strength of the warriors, and the skills of the craftsmen and hunters were all revered. There were rites of passage at birth and to enter adulthood. Those who could not pass the tests administered by the spiritual leaders either perished or left the tribe to go on spirit journeys that were guided by the head shaman. Some who left on the spirit journeys returned stronger than ever and with greater wisdom. Others never returned. The people of the tribe were happy this way.
All of this changed after Chief Tyrog took The Final Journey. His son, Rakob, became the chief. Rakob was the greatest warrior in the tribe, so none could challenge his right to be chieftain. The greatest warrior had always been chief. Unfortunately, Rakob had all the strength of his father but none of his wisdom. Rakob was very ambitious and did not believe in the customs of the tribe. When Tyrog was chief, Rakob was in charge of the elite warriors group called the First Strikers. Among other jobs, the First Strikers were responsible for protecting the trade caravans into Longview. During one of those visits, he befriended a mysterious warlock named Chaeris. Chaeris convinced Rakob that the goods of Longview could bring great power to the Bearclaws and Rakob in particular. As soon as he took power, Rakob began to make changes. Instead of trading with Longview twice a year and only bringing back the customary goods of steel weapons, herbs, and seeds for planting, Rakob began bringing back items of convenience and magic items to give himself more power. Rakob told the people that he could bring them prosperity and that they only needed to follow him. He abolished the rites of passage and convinced many of the people to allow the leadership to take care of them instead of taking care of themselves. During the Celebration of Elders in the spring, the Shaman Shirak confronted Rakob in front of the entire tribe. Shirak challenged the new laws and the fact that Rakob had continually ignored the advice of the elders and shamans. Rakob was unmoved. He told Shirak that he was welcome to leave or challenge Rakob for the title of chief if he was unhappy with the state of the tribe. Knowing that he was no match for Rakob in battle, Shirak chose to leave, and many chose to leave with Shirak. This was fine with Rakob because it consolidated his position of power and removed the rumblings of discord within the tribe. The elders who were too weak to leave would be completely marginalized, and everyone else was happy to place faith in their leader. With the opposition out of the way, Rakob could also bring in Chaeris as his advisor as they had discussed long ago.
Shirak performed a ritual that allowed him to commune with the spirits and take a spiritual journey to the location of his new home. The new home was further north and had all the water, land, and game that they would need. Shirak called his new tribe Stalking Panthers, and they journeyed to the land in his vision. The journey to the north land was long and hard, but the hardy tribe made it without losing anyone. When the tribe arrived at the site of their new home, they split into groups and began gathering resources to build permanent dwellings and storehouses. Unbeknownst to the barbarian tribe, a band of Death Ripper Orcs was traveling through the area. The orcs spotted one group of barbarians and immediately attacked. Using the element of surprise and sheer numbers, they overwhelmed the group of ten barbarians. Six men were killed and four women captured. When the rest of the tribe realized what had happened, they united and tracked down the orcs, ambushing them as their campsite. The orcs were quickly slaughtered and the women saved. Unfortunately, one of them, Kala, had already been ravaged.
The Stalking Panther barbarians were able to build up their village and establish themselves in their new homeland. They thrived under Shirak’s leadership. Kala’s experience with the orcs had left her with child. The halfbreed child was born healthy and easily passed the Rite of Birth given to him by the shaman present at the baby’s delivery, but Kala was a shell of her former self. The baby, given the name Scragg, was a constant reminder of the orcs and the fact that her husband had been taken from her. She was able to perform her duties in the village and cared for her son but always seemed to be in another world. Scragg’s childhood was difficult. His half-orc heritage was a constant reminder of the tragedy, and the distant attitude of his mother seemed to rub off on the entire tribe. His incredible strength allowed him to be very helpful around the village, but the isolation he felt left him with a simmering anger. During his rite of passage to adulthood, that anger erupted to devastating results. He defeated his spirit opponent in battle but very nearly killed the shaman giving him the test. Once he was informed of Scragg’s failure, Shirak communed with the spirits and shared the vision with Scragg. Scragg left on his spirit quest the next day with a vague idea of what had to be done and a general direction of where he was supposed to go.
After a number of days traveling, Scragg came upon a broken wagon with a group of scholars in it. The front wheel was cracked and they had lost their horses while trying to fix it. Seeing the brawny Scragg, they offered him 25 gold pieces to drag their wagon to Chapel’s Hill, a town only a couple of days from their current location. Scragg did not like the scrawny men but assumed that this was part of his spirit quest. He had heard of money and thought it may come in handy as well. Traveling with the scholars made for very long days. The scholars were talking strangely and using words he did not understand. They also mentioned magic many times which made Scragg extremely distrustful of them. Once he finally dragged them into town on their wagon, they thanked and dismissed him. The dismissal angered Scragg, so he knocked the wagon on its side. The scholars started to protest, but the crazy look in his eyes and large sword on his back convinced them that the confrontation was “not worth their time” They quickly headed towards the monastery to study the tomes of knowledge inside. Left alone again, Scragg entered the only building that seemed open to strangers. He saw a number of raised seats along long table with a fat man behind it and decided to sit there. The man asked Scragg if he wanted a drink. Scragg said yes, gave him a gold piece, and told him that he would drink as much as he could with that coin. The man raised his eyebrows slightly then start giving him full mugs of ale. The ale made Scragg feel warm inside and relax for the first time he could remember. Eventually, an annoying strumming caught his attention. It was giving him a terrible headache so Scragg stumbled over to the man playing the instrument and told him to stop. The man apparently did not hear him because he did not stop playing. Scragg snatched the instrument from the man and smashed it on the next table, turning over all the drinks on the table and angering the four guardsmen sitting there. They pounced on Scragg and eventually rendered him unconscious.
Scragg woke up in a dank cell with a throbbing headache. He looked around the cell and saw the man who had been playing the annoying tune. Somehow, the man knew that Scragg’s head was hurting. He passed him a glass of water and sang a pleasant song, and Scragg’s head felt better. The man, who introduced himself as Jonbon Jovvy, apologized for the annoying tune and explained that he tended to play it when he would get drunk. Scragg grunted in assent. Jonbon asked a number of questions about where Scragg had been and where he was going. When Scragg told him that he didn’t really know, Jonbon had a brilliant idea. He suggested that they go to Riverstead where there would be plenty of work, women, and ale. Scragg wasn’t sure about the ale, but the rest sounded good. The only problem was that they were in jail. Jonbon came up with a plan for escape, and it was executed with perfection. During the escape and the trip to Riverstead, Jonbon showed himself to be a trustworthy companion. Scragg enjoyed Jonbon’s company even though the bard seemed to brood almost incessantly. Scragg decided that they were friends.