Languages Common, Orc
Other Gear scale mail, heavy wooden shield, cold iron lucerne hammer, cold iron morningstar, dagger, javelin (3), longsword, sling, sling bullets (10), whip, backpack, bandolier, bedroll, belt pouch, flint and steel, mess kit, pot, hemp rope (50 ft.), soap, soldier's uniform, tabard, torch (10), trail rations (5), waterskin, 10 gp, 4 sp
Background (New and Improved!):
A Marked Beginning
Desh is a local boy, born and raised in Kenabres. His father was a huge bear of a human blacksmith who worked out of a smithy in southern New Kenabres. His mother was a half-orc crusader, a quartermaster and natural leader. And from day one, Desh was marked by fate … born with a body wrapped in naturally-occuring, mysterious tattoos. Some local priests said it was a good sign. Some said it was bad. But all seemed to agree they were old markings. Markings of power. Markings that set him apart (Sacred Tattoos, Fate’s Favored, and Destined bloodline).
Desh grew up doing what every little boy in Kenabres does … running around playing at killing demons from the Wound, emulating the stories they heard every day of the men and women in crusader’s colors they saw walking the streets (City-raised). Desh loved it. With his natural size, strength, and athleticism, he excelled when his parents taught him the blade. And while he had no mind for academics or the arcane, he was a confident, charming child with a penchant for making friends, bullying bullies, and talking his way out of trouble. He and his buddies dreamed of the day they could swear the oaths and take up arms against the hordes of the Abyss.
Desh took that oath nearly one year ago. His parents looked on with pride. He was nineteen, and he and his friends were convinced they would shatter the Wound and save the world. Well, as they soon found out, the daily routine of a crusader—particular trainees—was far more … well, boring. Sure, there was arms training and war exercises (all of which Desh loved), but the rest was all running errands, assisting crusaders, and attending meetings and classes. A never-ending lesson that defending the world was as much administration and tedium as it was bloody-handed heroics.
But he endured. Being the son of a weaponsmith, he wasn’t unused to hard work, and he continued to excel beyond his peers. His unusual size, uncanny charm, and unpredictable luck made him a bit of a known up-and-comer in the ranks. He couldn’t wait for the day he got his first real assignment.
A Fateful Day
It went horribly wrong.
The wagons weren’t being held up by weather, but by cultists. And they must have seen Desh’s small company approaching, because the company walked right into an ambush. It was a massacre. The combat awoke some thrill born into his blood, but it was also terrifying. In what seemed like seconds that lasted a lifetime, most of the unit was dead or dying. Desh, a recruit with under a year of training and no actual combat experience, found himself pitted against fiends from the Worldwound. Needless to say, it wasn’t much of a contest. His instincts and luck saved him, though, and as a demon’s spear drove for his gut, Desh rolled defensively. Searing pain lanced through his thigh, but then it did so much more. As the abyss-wrought iron drove into and through his leg, the power of his tattoos finally fully awoke. ‘Wound-founded foulness and the power of his heritage mixed in his veins, rippling throughout his mind and body like fire racing across the surface of oil-slicked water. Then there was a dull sensation of a thunderous impact, then nothing. Black.
When he awoke, he couldn’t see. He could hardly breathe or move. And as awareness returned, he realized the cloying stench of burned flesh gagged him. He was pinned to the ground by one of the company’s dead and burned horses. His armor had saved him, keeping enough of his ribs intact and giving him just enough room to breathe. As he struggled painfully to free himself, he put the clues together, and realized that his luck—his lifetime companion—had saved him again. Apparently, the horse, battle-crazy and on-fire, had slammed into him at the last second, burying him and shielding him from the killing blows of cultists or demons. And as he took stock of what must have been a half-dozen broken bones, it was the terrible pain in his leg and mind that dominated his focus. Desh still doesn’t understand it, but the demon’s attack did more than simply pierce his leg … its filth had crawled into his veins and infected his mind. Some piece of them now resided somewhere in him. He could feel the taint in his leg, in his veins, and in his mind (Exposed to Awfulness).
Desh was able to scavenge enough burned rations and water skins to survive the slow, staggering return trip to Kenabres. At least partially … a reinforcing company met him after nearly a day of walking. He reported what he could, and they patched him up enough to survive a ride back to the city. The next few days were a whirlwind of debriefs and medical check-ins. And afterwards, he was left with simple instructions. ‘Rest up and heal up, soldier.’
A Picture of Today
Otherwise, he’s spent the last few weeks trying to recover his body. Looking to regain his edge, he not only works himself tirelessly, but he’s signed up to deliver weapons training to the new recruits … something that he’s easily qualified for. Between the exercise, the additional work in the practice yards, and the Iomedaeans meditations, he feels himself getting stronger every day. And with his strength comes his old confidence. And with it a growing personal fury at the cultists and demons. They tried to kill him … he’s of a mind to return the favor.
Appearance & Personality:
Desh Smithson is a tall, powerfully-built half-orc. His green skin is scarred along the right side of his body, from his shoulder all the way down to his deformed right leg. He’s got a constant limp, which is exaggerated when he’s tired. He carries a military longhammer as a walking stick when needed. Lately, he’s accustomed to wearing his armor nearly all the time in an effort to rebuild his constitution, and he does best to keep it, his simple soldier’s attire, and his weapons well-tended and polished. Beneath his armor, and peeking out from under his cuffs and collar, is a huge, dark tribal tattoo.
He’s not really handsome in any conventional sense, though there’s an open charm that everyone finds welcoming. And while he’s not overly-educated or particularly mannered, his easy, simple way with people has a disarming effect. This personal gravity can be turned on its head when necessary, though, becoming a focused intensity that can be unnerving.
Desh is a simple young man who prefers simple, straight-forward speech and solutions. He’s physical by nature and prideful the way young men are (Pride drawback) … making him more than a bit reckless and impulsive. He’d prefer to make friends than enemies. He believes in the ideals of the Crusaders as well as those of society, but he generally values people above those ideals when the two conflict.
3) Power Attack
5) Divine Protection (?)
8) Swap out blood rage power for Lesser Beast Totem & Beast Totem (?)
Look for options to max out reach area control, on-demand bomb healing (Faith's Reach + Mythic Cure spells?), and BIG strength for massive melee hits.