KARRIK GREYSKIN CR 1
Languages Common, Draconic, Orc, Varisian
Out of the rain and into the uneven orange light of the smokey tavern steps what you first take to be a tall, powerfully built man of the local social elite. Under his drenched, travel-stained but well-made black long-coat you can see the signs of expensive and fashionable clothes. Crisp white shirt under black and red checkered silk vest. Silver accent buttons and cuffs. Mud-spattered but high-quality black leather boots. Even the black bowler hat on his head looks like one only sold in the upscale shops in Caliphas.
It doesn't take a second look, however, for some other details to jump out… immediately altering your assessment. Ashen gray hands slide the coat off limbs thicker than those of all but the most extraordinary humans. Beady black eyes survey the room from above a tusked mouth and protruding chin. As the surprisingly manicured hands remove the bowler hat, uniform multi-colored tattoos of mysterious arcane marks are revealed on his shaved head -- traveling down his neck and disappearing down into the crisply pressed collar of his shirt. Combined with the wicked scimitar on his left hip and arcane pouch at right, it's fairly easy to guess who just walked into this particular Ravengro dive.
Karrik. The half-orc. Professor Lorrimor's man. Though the locals usually call him Greyskin. Or more recently -- since his return to Canterwall after a long absence… flaunting his high-society attire -- Lord Greyskin or Earl Grey. Both names thrown out with scoffing laughs or resentful glares.
After hanging his coat with meticulous care at the entrance and scraping off his boots, the big half-orc moves across the room, being careful to avoid contact with anyone. Finding a suitably out-of-the-way table in the corner, he pulls out the corner-most chair and sits down, pulling a few books and some parchment and charcoal from his backpack. After a few unsuccessful attempts at flagging down one of the establishment's servers, Karrik shakes his head, gives one last glare around the room, then settles in to read from both books at the same time. Every few minutes he switches from one to the other -- obviously cross-referencing the two sources, then makes a few notes on the parchment. From your vantage point, you can just see a the corner of an expensive envelope containing an invitation to the funeral of the late Professor Lorrimor.
Init +1; Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +0
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +4
Intimidating: +2 racial bonus to intimidate checks
Sacred Tattoo: +1 luck bonus to all saves
Weapon Familiarity: Falchion, "orc" weapons
Arcane Pool: 3/day; Swift action to spend 1 point to gain +1 enhancement to weapon for 1 minute.
Spell Combat: (Ex) Use a weapon with one hand at -2 and cast a spell with the other.
Spellstrike: (Su) Deliver touch spells as part of a melee attack.
Feats Toughness (1)
Traits On the Payroll, Outcast
Escape Artist -1
Knowledge (Arcana) +6
Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +6
Knowledge (Planes) +6
Sense Motive +0
Growing up as an orphan in semi-rural Canterwall is tough on any kid. Growing up as an orphan in semi-rural Canterwall when you look like a grey-skinned, tusk-toothed, black-eyed orc whelp kicked out of Belkzan is brutal.
Karrik -- a life-long outcast -- has been forced to develop the attitude and skills to survive. What few people took the time to realize, however, was that behind his flat orcish face and beady black eyes is a surprisingly sharp mind. A mind with a ravenous thirst for information and answers. And while he spent his days surviving and avoiding the constant stream of street-side and alley-way assaults by the other kids of the community , he moonlighted as an undercover scholar… begging, borrowing, or stealing any books he could get his thick-fingered hands on. Magic. Science. History. Philosophy. Politics. Society. Religion. No subject was beneath his thirst, but he especially loved reading about the wondrous workings of magics and the strange workings of the strangest creatures. He did tend to avoid books wholly devoted to philosophy and religion; the two subjects made difficult for the mind of a child spurned simply because of the color of his skin and the shape of his body.
So this dual life of survival and study are all he knew until the day he met Professor Lorrimor. Or -- more appropriately -- the day he stole from Professor Lorrimor. With so many books, surely the man wouldn't miss just a few, right? Wrong. The Professor had the book thief tracked down, fearing that his precious rare books would soon become little more than kindling or something to fence for tomorrow's breakfast. When Lorrimor's men caught up to the teenage half-orc, they were all surprised at what they found. The boy's hovel -- little more than a lean-to cleverly positioned under an out-of-the-way eave of a Ravengro back-alley building -- held his treasure trove of books, ledgers, and scrolls. All kept carefully wrapped and tucked into folds of cloth to protect them from elements. Apparently the young creature had been stealing for years.
While Lorrimor's men (and everyone else, frankly) were inclined to return all the property and put the young half-orc in a cell, Professor Lorrimor surprised them all. Never one to ignore potential, he took the child on a trial basis. At first the boy was little more than a runner and paige. But over time Lorrimor was impressed with the half-orc's combination of assets. He was strong and resilient. As capable with his muscles and a blade as he seemed with letters and numbers. He was also resourceful and quick to learn. The Professor took him on in a longer-term role, and the young man flourished. He was paid for his services, but the real benefit was the learning. He got to learn about what he wanted as well as see a bit of the world. So a short-term job became a permanent gig.
Karrik has spend the last five years or so working any job the Professor asked of him. Jumping at the chance to do some he wasn't even asked about. Caravan guard duty. Personal body guarding. Research trips. Item drop-offs. Supply purchases. It's all good to Karrik. And while Karrik would happily work for the Professor for far less pay, the Professor took good care of him.
This was a formative time for Karrik. A time that shaped him into the half-orc he is today. A million pieces of advice, sayings, and encouragements have come from the Professor's lips, each one accepted, internalized, and memorized by the half-orc. "Dress for the station in life you desire; not the one you occupy." "You can't control other people's actions; only your own." "Magic doesn't care whether your skin is light or dark, Karrik. It cares only for the knowledge in your mind."
Under the Professor's tutelage and counsel, Karrik has taken on a unique perspective on life. A surprisingly positive outlook for one with such a painful background.
Karrik's personality, the Professor and some other DM notes:
Karrik is smart, but incredibly blunt. Either you're right or you're wrong, and we're all better if we know which is which. He's a believer in the power of information and study, which makes him dismissive of the local folks' superstitious outlooks. He's generally quiet and unassuming, at the same time willing to let others assume whatever they want of him. When he does speak, his deep, resonating voice rolls off long strings of intellectual words and thoughts. He's generally a good enough fellow, but he's not necessarily "Good". He does, however, have a soft spot for outcasts, tending to gather those who are on the outside around himself and look after them. He's a survivor and doesn't like losing -- two things that go hand-in-hand.
The Professor is the closest to a father figure Karrik ever had, and Karrik is loyal like a son (regardless of whatever the age difference might have been). The way Karrik dresses, carries himself, and views the world is HIGHLY based on the advice and experiences he had with Lorrimor. The death would be devastating to Karrik.
As soon as I saw that half-orcs are rare in this area and adventure path, I was drawn to it. The image of a dapper beast who has a strange mix of superiority and insecurity just sounds fun to me, especially given the fact that he'd be shunned by everyone. Layer this onto the fusion of orc ferocity and a brainiac… win.
And that's it. I hope you like the character. I really do.
And for full transparency, I'm the friend of Stormraven's that he mentioned earlier in the recruitment thread. I know you mentioned that you're not keen on dual submissions, but I just wanted you to know who he'd referred to.