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The Tale Bringer

by Gordon McCormick

Kruhak was always different from the other bugbears. His cackling laugh and permanent drool led others to believe he was either cursed or blessed by the Immortals. His tribe, the Withered Oak, were one of the larger groups of humanoids who lived near the sacred valley in Tra Gar. They made a good living by raiding the gnomes, the elves and mostly the orcs and hobgoblins. The tribe grew complacent with it's victories. Then the humans came.

At first the Withered Oak tribe ignored the newcomers who were expanding the small homesteads that had been in the area for centuries. Then they saw the riches that the humans had and started raiding them too.

Two years ago Baron Sherlane commissioned a group of knights to travel to the west of Threshold and end the threat of the Withered Oak once and for all. They succeeded in their task. All the bugbear warriors were slain, the whelps and mothers scattered and left to starve in the cold biting winds of the mountains. Threshold was safe from the threat of the bugbears.

Kruhak survived the slaughter. Separated from the others of his tribe he wandered the lands of Tra Gar searching for something to make sense of the horrors he had witnessed. He was no warrior and had never before seen the terror of battle. Shaken he finally found a tribe that was speaking the wisdom of Dhrom Dhum. Kruhak heard, and Kruhak believed.

Since then Kruhak has travelled the lands seeking out isolated tribes of humanoids and bringing the word of Dhrom Dhum. He believes that soon the scattered tribes will unite under one leader and bring the fury of the Immortals onto the humans.

Recently he travelled to the orcish city of Caer Fulnow. He was met by the hundreds of orcs there and listened to their tales of past glories. Convinced that Caer Fulnow will become the base of operations from which the new empire of humanoids will grow, Kruhak is readying himself to travel to the far north and the Orclands where he hopes to enter the Underworld and gain the wisdom required to bring together the mightiest of armies the world will ever have seen.

[Note that Xipactla will not be exactly happy about Caer Fulnow becoming known to more humanoids since it increases the possibility that the Darokinians will find out about it and send an army to destroy it. Although an orcish city, Caer Fulnow has a population of only a few hundred.]