Gore the Tigerbanner
An dark-hearted exile playing at being part of a team.
Gore the Tigerbanner can only think of one other time that he had been part of any cohesive, humanoid group, and that was when he was a child, living with his Tribe in the frigid south. A precocious youth, D’Relam, as he was called at the time, was always found curiously engaging orcish society, and the world at large. The tribe itself saw him as odd, possessing more intelligence and less strength than other males of his age and class. Though he found his way in the tribe, because family is everything.
An unfortunate event lead to him becoming the only known orc in his tribe that remained, and planted within Gore’s heart a seed of darkness that grew unchecked for over two decades. It earned him a name of ire and fear amongst the humans of that region. Known as the only Orc to have ever slain an army single-handedly, and with their own warbanner, no less. Gore. A name of terror. Gore the Tigerbanner. A nickname that passed along the frightened ears of human man and child alike. Gore had earned his name. He had earned their ire; their fear. Gore Tigerbanner was a demon whose existence served only to write words of blood and darkness into the annuls of history.
For over twenty years, the wilds became his companion, and being alone became his comfort. He learned to thrive where humans could not. He flourished where the wild things grew. In places where civilization had yet to touch, Gore the Tigerbanner found his home.
Now, with the gods pulling him to work with the rest of the group, Gore the Tigerbanner struggles with everyday tasks because now, instead of living for himself and figuring out what is best for him, he must keep the group in mind at all times. He finds no comfort in the weakness of city life, and cannot seem to find the means by which he will learn to trust the group he finds himself with. And, though this does not make him untrustworthy, it does sometimes seem to lend a sense of conflict when his “do or do not” attitude drags his companions along for the ride. He tolerates the conflict and sometimes even thrives within it. “Poor fools,” he often thinks, “If they knew who I really was, what would they truly think?” Those thoughts seem to echo in his never-still mind. Even as he silently looks on as the group plots and plans, squabbles and revels in their victories, the Tigerbanner finds himself in the darkness, his only solace found at the end of a bloody axe.
Yet he remains loyal. If death itself came knocking, it would be Gore alone that stood between death and the Waywards.
For better or worse, they have become his tribe.
..whatever the Hel that means.
Second Day of Wolf’s Ascending Moon
I cannot remove the blood from beneath my fingerails. With their screams behind me, now, I press onward toward the land of the Tigerbanner. Treacherous woods before me, and rising above them are mountanous titans whose peaks I dare not travel. I must. Vengeance must come. Vengeance will come. I leave a broken trail behind me, and will raze all that lies in front of me.
Fifth Day of Wolf’s Ascending Moon
I have delved beneath the black pits that lie within the moutains to find the black-skinned Drow nestled in a valley closer to the surface than I’ve ever seen them. Though they were not my foes, their warriors fell to my axe. I took what I needed from their larders and made quick work of their women and children. They thought they knew of pain, but their goddess, Llolth, had never taught them of the rage found in Orcish blood.
Seventeenth Day of Dragon’s Clutch
The carnage raged around me. Fires roared and spells of death flew from fingertips over my body. There was a part of me that could sense it. They called my name. They fought bravely, and thinking back, I can only hope that a part of that anger and rage was was bestowed by my actions. They fought for me, they fought for the dead.. but it was so far away from me. A distant dream.
The pain was instant, and subsided as soon as it had arrived. Oddly enough, I remember feeling worse pain in other instances of my life than was placed upon me by that cowardly Drow. Weakness such as his can never beget true pain.
I remember laughter, now. Perhaps it was my own, but it seemed distant at first. Familiar and feminine, like some sort of wicked dream that had come into my mind like the torrential rains of home. And through the rains I saw a figure that I thought I had left in times long gone. She was as I remembered her. Flowing cloth and flowers, carrying with her a scent of jasmine and sandalwood. Her visage carried with it a pain that shot through into my very soul. And the visions her visage laid before me in the falling rain resurrected demons I had not entertained since before the Gods had called to me.
Had I fallen? Had the Abyss finally called me home?
I remember looking down into the waters as they rose beneath my feet. I could see my reflection, wrought with the scars given as gifts by nearly two decades of war. I saw beneath my feet those I trampled in life. My own hands snuffing out the life of the Tigerbanner clan wherever I found them. Man, woman and child alike. Their screams in my memories like music on the wind. And when I looked away from those visions, I saw her tears. Her beautiful face scarred by their trails.
I could hear Davdak, now. He called my name. The sounds of their battle a farther dream than the battles below, in the waters and the rain. I wished them victory.
The waters rose to my neck, now. And before me, she remained. I remember her looking upon me with an infinite concern, just as I remembered her. I could sense in her my memories. The evenings beneath the southern stars. Her voice as she bid me farewell as I left the village to save them all. The flowers I left where I buried her.
I saw her smile, then, and offer me her hand. It was delicate, just as I remembered. Behind her, I could see my tribe, looking upon me with their approval of my deeds. Their forgiveness. And I could hear my tribe’s chant, and with my breath, I spoke it. And my spirit carried with it, into her hands.
“Avhere, do jiak ukee mausan faavhas.
Avhere, do jiak ukee mausan moavhas agh mausan ukiukaveruk agh mausan broavheruk.
Avhere, do jiak ukee avhe line ro mausan, kurrauz avo avhe beginnaumn.
Avheausan do bugd avo alnej. theausan bid alnej avake mausan nadar avhem. ”
Twelfth Day of Black Swan Ascending
That dragon fell upon the wrong Orc at the wrong time.
As I sit on that cliff with my feet reaching down into the nothing, the smell of the white dragon’s carcass bubbling. It’s stink is all around me. I hold what is left of my past within my hand. There is a sickness that has come over me, now. In the time it took the Genasi to finish speaking, all hope had crashed in around me. Are they really gone? Does nothing I do make any difference?
I remember once, when I was very young, Thalia and I had gone out into the meadows during the summer rains. She had asked me what I saw as we looked out from the vantage of the overlook. I remember describing the dark clouds, the smell of rain. When she asked what I felt, I told her that I could still feel the blood of that Auroch under my fingernails. I felt wet. I remember her smiling when I looked at her. She wasn’t looking at me, she was looking out at the meadow. “You wanna know what I see?”
She described the rain that came down from the heavens to nourish the flowers as they bloomed and opened to bask in the showers. She described the way the mud squished between her toes, and how she loved that feeling. She described the warmth of my hand as she held it.
She said I never saw the good in anything. She said that I sought out the bad things. She told me that she understood me, and that she knew why I saw the bad things. She knew that I looked for the bad so that I could protect others from it. To protect the ones who saw the flowers.
I remember her words when she told me that even though she admired my need to root out the evils all around our tribe. To protect us from the world. I remember the last thing she ever said to me. That wished that I could just look around me and, for once..
..that I could just see the flowers.
Seether – Nobody Praying For Me
I am a whisper lost upon wind.
I’m the ember that’ll burn you down.
I’m the water that’ll drown you.
I’m a star that’s just a black hole now.
I’m a terrifying danger.
I’m a fruit decaying on the ground.
Pop Evil – Footsteps
I’ve walked an empty mile.
Wore down this lonely soul.
I’ll take these footsteps, go higher.
I’ll find you, so far away.
I’ll Find You, After All.