“Grognak, the Half-Orc Barbarian (Berserker) in his 50s, is many things but smart is not one of them. As a Half-Orcling (an infant half-orc), Grognak was left at an orphanage in the rundown township of Siltington. Siltington is generally considered to be a pit of a community that even the most downtrodden of peasants hold in disgust. (Like Greeley.) Poverty is a lifestyle that residents of Siltington aspire to achieve. Outside of this orphanage hangs a sign that reads: “The Siltington Shie-Tey Orphange: A place to abandon your mistakes.” Most children do not survive to see the first anniversary of arrival at Shie-Tey, let alone adult hood. The proprietors of this establishment, Tilly Shie and Abnetha Tey (an abhorrent couple in their own right) use the orphanage as a front for a child labor sweatshop. The goods they manufacture is a closely guarded secret, but it is rumored that their products can be found in nearly every home across Honnleath, and generally really tie the room together.
Nearly 20 hours a day, Grognak slaved away doing manual labor in the sweatshop. His strength developed quickly. Lack of any education has left Grognak…kind of dumb. After years of service, and outliving the majority of his peers, a strange man came to town. This man was the proprietor and sole operator of a coliseum style fighting pit. The man’s name was never revealed to Tilly or Abnetha, he was simply known as: The Boss. The Boss was seeking young children to purchase as slaves to clean blood and body parts from the floors of his arena. Grognak and human twins named Dorni and Lorni were purchased for 10 gold, locked in a cage used for transporting livestock, and traveled to the fighting pits outside of the provincial capital city of Savir. The twins are around age 12 and Grognak appears to be the same age, but as is common among children of the orphanage, their actual ages are unknown.
Abuse and torment were the only companions of the three orphans as slaves in the pit, yet they found comfort in each other’s friendship. Dorni and Lorni had an unbreakable, almost magical bond, often associated with twins. The twins gave Grognak something that no other creature had given him: family. The three became inseparable.
On one particular day, the combat in the pit was fierce. Three large armored combatants were in the midst of a gruesome battle. This battle was so gruesome in fact that when the first combatant, wielding a great axe, fell to a longsword through the temple. This caused one member of the audience to become violently ill and vomited over the retaining wall in the stands onto the floor of the pit.
“Lorni! Clean that NOW!” boomed the voice of the Boss from near the entrance door of the pit. Lorni immediately grabbed her pail and shovel and rushed to appease the Boss. Combat in the pit intensified. Distracted by her work, Lorni failed to notice the combat approaching her at a rapid pace.
One combatant, armed with a spear lunged towards a dodging opponent. His lunge carried so much force he lost his balance and stumbled forward, his spear piercing Lorni in back puncturing a lung. Dorni and Grognak watched in horror as the combatant ripped his spear from Lorni’s back, causing a spray of blood the puncture wound. A blood curdling cry erupted from Dorni as he rushed to his sister’s side. The cry was so intense, combat within the pit came to an immediate halt. Grognak, paralyzed by the anguish of watching his die in front of him. As Dorni cradled his sister’s head, covered in his sibling’s blood, the combatant wielding the spear sauntered over.
“Get on with it,” he said as he drives the spear, still dripping with Lorni’s blood, through Dorni’s chest straight into his heart. Anguish is quickly replaced by anger, as the only family Grognak has ever known was killed within moments of each other. Spotting a fallen combatant’s axe lying in the dirt not far from him, Grognak bursts into action. Blind rage overwhelmed Grognak as he rushed for the axe, picking it up without breaking stride.
Not far from the murdered twins, the competitor with the long sword stood idly by, awaiting combat to resume. Hearing a commotion behind him, he turns just as Grognak reached his position. A powerful swing of Grognak’s recently acquired axe at the man’s leg caused him to fall approximately four feet away from his newly dismembered leg. The murderer with the spear hears the resulting cries from the former combatant. He turns to face Grognak just as his great axe impacts the soft flesh around his throat, cleanly removing his head.
The Boss, shocked by the sudden turn of events, slinks into the dark corridors, deep in the bowels beneath the fighting pit. The entertaining value of the combat now gone, a dull murmur began to arise from the crowd. The dull murmur quickly turned into screams of anger and hostility as the evening’s entertainment has come to an abrupt and unexpected end. Insults, debris and worse begin to rain down on Grognak as he is crouched over the twin’s still warm corpses. It quickly feels as if the crowd is tearing down the arena around him in an effort to kill the young half-orc. Fearing for his life, Grognak hastily retreats toward the nearest exit.
The rage felt by Grognak was powerful, brought on by the death of his family, continues to resonate within his mind. Now alone, Grognak wanders the land of Honnleath, in search of something or someone to fill his need for family."
Grognak currently wields Twitch the Greataxe.