The Nentir Vale
son of Kraol, of war-house Mogh-Lok
Thorik is the only offspring of Kraol and Karn, two high-ranking warriors of the war-house Mogh-Lok. His mother, Kraol, was the veteran of numerous key orcish battles of the last half-century. She was one of the most respected and honoured orcs of her generation, and maintained unchallenged governance of the Mogh-Lok war-house (which is very uncommon in orcish society) until her death. Inheriting control of the war-house by challenging and slaying her predecessor when she was only 16 years old, Kraol lead the Mogh-Lok war-house until she died gloriously on the field of battle during a skirmish with a horde of kobold warriors. Her platoon of six orcs was vastly outnumbered, but they managed to slay close to fifty kobolds before they finally succumbed. Kraol died seven years ago, but her legacy survives.
Because she was so respected, nobody challenged her when she took a human mate. Born Theodore Higgins, Thorik’s father Karn took on an orcish name when he was admitted to war-house Mogh-Lok. Admittance of humans or other races into orcish war-houses is rare but not unheard of—orcs recognize honour and battle-prowess more than factors such as race or gender, so as long as the initiate can hold his/her own, he/she is welcomed into orcish society. If the initiate’s patron is a high-ranking member of a war-house, he/she is even more likely to gain respect from the community. Of course, simply because the initiate is respected in public there is no guarantee that others will not harbour concealed animosity towards him/her—orcs respect honour and tradition to the point that they will supress their true feelings in order to uphold their customs. Karn was killed in battle during a raid on a bugbear den when Thorik was only four years old—many, Kraol included, speculated that his death was not an accident.
Because he is a half-orc, Thorik was never fully accepted by his peers as a child; however, because of his mother’s influence, he was admired in public and tolerated in private. From a young age, he knew his way around the training grounds and could handle a warhammer like few others, but Thorik was always more interested in scholarly activities (which, obviously, are not readily available in orcish society). After his mother’s death, Thorik travelled east to Vailindor, where he joined the ranks of the Priesthood of the Purple Heart, and studied under Ioun, deity of knowledge and learning.
After studying as a cleric for six years, he returned home to the Nentir Vale to resume his place in the Mogh-Lok war-house. Even further alienated from orcish society because of his training as a cleric of knowledge, Thorik’s return was not to great fanfare, but because of his mother’s honourable legacy he was reinstated as a high-ranking warrior, much to the chagrin of most members of the house, the head of the war-house, Rokkal, included. However, because of Thorik’s lineage and his prowess in battle, and because he has not technically dishonoured his war-house in any way, very little has been directly spoken about this discontent—honour dictates that Thorik must be treated as an upstanding, respectable member of the Mogh-Lok war-house, despite any personal misgivings. Suffice to say, the last year has been a very tense one.
Regardless of the politics surrounding his position in orcish society, Thorik is extremely fun-loving and charming, and might even be described as a bit of a “ladies’ man.” He can, however, be imposing if he needs to, and he does adhere to the orcish customs concerning honour.
Thorik has long, dark hair and a beard. His skin is light greyish in hue, and if wearing a hood he can usually pass for human, since his tusks are small enough to be concealed behind his beard.
Thorik has a pet tabby cat named Guar (the Orcish word for ‘literature,’ though, in orcish society, the term is often used in a pejorative sense), which he acquired while in Vailindor—Guar never leaves Thorik’s side, and can often be found in a satchel the half-orc carries with him.
Kraol & Karn (Thorik’s parents)