The Shattered Lands
The axe wielding Puppy.
Schurr is an axe wielding Gnoll, he prefers to fight straight on and doesn’t give a second thought about the fallen, just wants to continue on. He needs information about his family and if they are still out there and to get revenge.
Very young he learned the life lesson of losing family to death, raised by his mother early in his life , she rarely ever spoke of his father only to state that he died fighting so that they could escape, all that he could remember was a brief glance of a face. He was that of a litter of four, a younger sister and two older brothers. The first real memory that he can recall is of his forced jump into real life: after his father’s death they had fled to a very remote cave abandoned, someone had attempted about making a home out of it prior by using stone blocks to fill up the entry way and add a door. The cave went only twenty or so feet back and dwindled out to cracks that had been used as hiding spots for games they did not dare go back any further than just out of sight as fear what was further into the cave. His mother had trained them on hunting and warned them continuously to never let their emotions get the better of them, fighting for food and whatever was wanted was Gnoll life. Life was good.
Then one night the sky turned black with burning of torches and the ground shook from marching men. Their mother pushed them into the cracks back as far as possible and told them to keep quiet, she tossed their belongings into the fire once they could not see, setting another log over top of them to hide them. With a loud boom the door came off the top hinge and fell inward, screams of men then silence, light then dark. They did not move or make a sound terrified as to what was out there waiting for them. Hours passed as they waiting for their mother to state it was ok to come out, but this never came. Out of the darkness of their hiding places they crept never straying far from them. They did not know how to deal or cope with the dead loved one, they fought off tears and anger and the urge to cry. She did not go without a fight, dead soldiers also were close by ones shoulder barely attached to the arm that was there moments before and another whose armor was no match for the jaws of their mother. Others were injured evident by the bloody path out of the barely hanging door. Charred remains in the fire barely left any light in the room, which helped them move without attracting any attention. They soon retreated into their hiding places in the cracks when noise outside increased and heading in their direction and then entered again into the house. The bodies of the soldiers being dragged out and brush brought in. the sister then crawled out of hiding once the noise had ceased and they had moved out of the home, curious as to why they would bring in brush and retreat so hastily. Then the room caught ablaze a fire she had never seen catch so quick. She tugged at her mother to try to pull her back to the cracks, but this was of no use, she was too small to move her mother, and her mother too large to fit into the cracks. Deep into their hiding places was lit by the fire, the air pulled by the fire’s hunger whistled as pulled through the small openings into the house. Having no other means of escape they were forced into the depths of the cave. Once again the cave seemed to open up into what one described as the cathedral. Finally one broke down, the rest attempted to hide their feelings but soon gave in as well, and some time passed and they all slowly fell asleep cuddled together.
They slept for several hours, dreams of a better time, but soon awoke to dripping water from the ceiling and a wet sleeping spot. Hungry they now trudged deeper, not wanting to go back to the beginning fearing of what might be still there. At some points they argued that they had been here before, but none really had the energy to argue or fight over dominance and control they continued on. Several times they came across a pool of water and stopped to quench their ever growing thirst, but food was a growing thought in their heads and they knew soon they would have to eat. As soon as they thought they could go no further, the smell of something so delicious caught their noses by surprise and pulled them towards an exit.
As they watched from their hole, they notice a man dressed in robes turning a spit over a fire, a boar roasting they determined was what they had smelled. Without a glance their way he asked them to come over and join him. Reluctantly they slowly moved towards, each step taking longer to take then their last. Upon coming close to him he reached out and told them that he had been waiting for them, he did not know when they would show up, but knew the location. He handed them each a piece of the boar and told them to eat, they would need their strength. He trained them each on the basics of pack hunting and how to be a true Gnoll as well as teaching them about the different races that existed in the world that they were most likely to come in contact with. Years of training went by, until it happened again.
They were much older now, their mentor had bid them farewell earlier that day, and they had assumed he would be back. The sky darkened once again, they might not have remembered much, but they remembered this. This time revenge would be theirs or so they thought. Lightning struck nearby and rain began to pour, as if a god had grabbed a bucket and decided to douse the area. Each of them grew more and more angry and furious as time went on, the waiting; Schurr felt his rage especially strong. Then they crested the hill over, he could no longer contain himself. Lightning struck again, then nothing.
He awoke to the sounds of the birds in a nearby tree. Bodies were everywhere, but none were his brothers or sister. Trees uprooted, they looked like they had been used as weapons, he had no recollection of what had happened after they crested the hill, or where his family was. He knew he needed help, he searched their campsite and found a letter in the old man’s satchel stating that there was work for anyone willing to fight, thinking that this may draw him into some information as well as to why these soldiers kept on hunting his family and where his family was now, he headed to this city to begin his hunt.