Braglok (15,237 GY to 15,266 GY)

The Kardesian wanderer Braglok is not one of the better known historic figures of the last century, but this is not for lack of exploits. Braglok the barbarian was a northern reaver, kidnapped as a child during a catastrophic raid by his tribe, and sold in the Ghanish lands as a mercenary. From these humbling roots he won his freedom, and became one of the greatest heroes in Allornus' recent history, slaying one of the most feared and portended sorcerers of the modern age, and wielding not one, but two of the seven swords, before disappearing from the face of the world.

Formative Years

Braglok was born in the summer of 15,237 GY, to reavers of the Kardesian warsing tribe. As a boy he accompanied the hunters of his tribe, clubbing seals for blubber and skins and weatherproofing the weapons of the tribe's warriors. Later he would accompany the men of the tribe when they raided coastal settlements of enemy tribes to apply fat to their priceless Barchak-made arms, and occasionally they would push further south along the Ghanish coast. Braglok proved himself a warrior, however, when he slew an orgryn when the young warriors sent to perform the task were slain. Though it was not uncommon to slay one of the mortal enemies of the Kardes alone, it still put him amongst rare company - especially to have done so so young, and he was retasked as a warrior. And so Braglok took his place amongst the celebrated elite of his tribe, as a warrior reaver, spending his time navigating along the coast in battle, seeking glory against equal foes, and returning with tales for the fireside and goods for the stores. And quickly Braglok became the favoured hand of his small tribe, and there was much rejoicing whenever his roundship returned to harbour.

Slavery and Freedom

And so it was a shock to his people when Braglok's ship left one winter's day and never returned. In a particularly savage storm, the ship's helmsman became lost in the heavy mists, and tore the hull upon on an ice berg. Braglok was alone amongst the crew to survive the swim to the shore, for like their ancestors the Mhulak, the Kardes are fine seamen, but weak swimmers. But even as he dragged his massive form ashore on a silty frozen beachhead Braglok realized that he had fallen into the clutches of his most dire of enemies, the whalehorn tribe. And so the weakened reaver was taken in by his foes and nursed back to health, not out of care, but to shame the warsing tribe by forcing their favoured into the whalehorn Karda.

But when the summer came Braglok had not succumbed, and so he was taken, bound and restrained, and paraded at a slave market, and he was purchased for a handsome price by a southern slavedriver, who was assured that his profits would be great on the mountainous kardes warrior. And shackled to a dozen others all taken from their tribes by enemies, Braglok began the long trek south, chained to the slavedriver's caravan, overseen by the keen eyes and noses of vargör slave-chiefs.

And so it was that Braglok the reaver was sold into the service of a ghan nobleman in the north of Vo Chor, and toiled in the frozen, hard ground of the barren fields of the nobleman's claim until his broad back became bent and his face grew a great beard. And in all that time Braglok never spoke a word. Going about his assigned work grim faced and without complaint. And then, when some years had passed and the nobleman grew afraid of the giant slave who would not speak, not even to raise complaint, and so Braglok was again taken to the markets.

Wandering the East

But en route to the great slave markets of Voloskoya the convoy of which Braglok was a part, was ambushed by carroghan beast-warriors, and its masters slain. Taking up a great whip in his manacled hands, Braglok fought back slaver and attacker alike, and he and a small group of slaves he managed to bring with him fled the battle, and into the frigid wilds of a north ghanish winter. Though the cold was nothing new to the sturdy kardesian, his fellows were not so hardy and so they found a cave which was the winter lair of a great bear, and while Braglok's people considered it an ill omen, he had no choice but to kill the sleeping bear and give the other slaves its hide to keep them alive. And though he made sure to leave them with food aplenty, and fashion tools of stone and flint to break their restraints, Braglok would not remain with the escapees, for that was not the life for which he was destined.

And so the warrior began wandering, searching for something, perhaps redemption, perhaps new purpose, none but he could tell. Dishonoured by his capture and slavery, he could not return to his tribe in the north, but nor had he any home in these eastern lands, where he was a fugitive from lawful labour. Determining first to avenge himself against his former master, Braglok travelled back to the estate of the nobleman who had kept him, striking in the night, and slaying the nobleman but sparing his family, and taking what arms and goods he needed from the estate's stores as payment for his toils.

For a time Braglok the Wanderer moved about the lands of the east, freeing slaves where he found them, and punishing those who were cruel to them. And while he was hunted by bounty hunters, and sought by many a vengeful son, the warrior knew that he was taking revenge due to him, and offered any he wronged the opportunity to hunt him out and take the same revenge should they be able. And so the outlaw's name spread through the north, and became feared. And then upon a cold winter Braglok came upon a settlement of the horrid carroghans, the beastly creatures who lived only to slay, and amongst them he recognized many of the faces of men and women he had freed, and Braglok was horrified that these people had become worse than their captors, revelling in cruelty and slaughter as they did, and for a time he left the world.

The Ancestral Swords

And Braglok risked the return home to the north, but not the the lands of his people, rather to the far east, where dwelt the thunder bears, who his people respected and venerated above all other races. And he was welcomed by the stern bear-men, and lived amongst them, carrying steel to their forges and stoking their fires, and serving them as befits one who lives amongst those creatures most sacred to him. And for their part the bärchak came to respect the kardesian amongst them, and think of them as one of their own. The matriarch of the bears knew that he could not stay forever, for once the young males came they may see him as a threat and tear him apart. But without home or purpose, they could not turn him out either. For while the thunder bears are an austere people, they also have a grim hatred of waste, and the waste of a spirit is the worst crime to their minds.

So the matriarchs came together and decided that they should gift the wanderer with a task, something to give him purpose, that would take him far from their home, and offer him the chance of redemption, or else of a glorious, what their kind know as a 'beautiful' death. And honour seldom bestowed upon even the most respected of the bear-friend. They tasked him with finding a perfect sword, forged long ago by the thunder divh who they venerated. Their legends said that he plucked a star from the sky, and honed starlight into a metal so resilient, so fine, and that would take such an edge, that no sword could ever equal it, and with it he forged seven swords that were the perfection of the weaponsmith's art. Then he scattered these swords to the seven corners of the world. But they had ever come to those who sought them with good cause. And they bade the wanderer seek such a sword, for it would be his redemption to hold it in his hand.

And so it was the Braglok began to search. And for three years of his life he scoured the land, and the sea, for signs of a perfect sword. But whenever he heard a rumour, and whenever he tracked down a seemingly invincible warrior or fabled cache he was always disappointed. And at the prow of his one man roundship one day, fighting sleet in waters whose waves were ten times as high as a man, the wanderer began to despair. And he turned the vessel to the closest piece of land, ready to abandon his quest as fruitless. However when he landed he found himself not on the land at all, but upon a floating ice berg, and atop the berg were two bodies - battered by a mighty battle - both clutching the hilt of a sword embedded in the ice at the very pinnacle of the floating mountain. Braglok knew the moment he laid eyes upon it that it was the sword he sought, but he took heed that two men had destroyed one another utterly to reach it, and was cautious.

When he finally reached the summit he saw that the sword was also an opening, a thin sliver that offered a glimpse into another world, and in that other world, a barren land of ruinous grey, he saw the two men who lay dead at his feet struggling over a sword, and knew it to be their dead shades, still locked in battle, and so with one mighty hand he reached in, and though the wights scratched at his skin and tore at the flesh of his great arm, Braglok claimed the sword within the sword, then drew forth the other sword even as the shades screamed and reached their clawed hands out towards him, and the first sword caught the brightness of the blizzard and shone, driving the awful apparitions off with a shriek. Braglok descended the frozen slope, returned to his roundship and made for the shore, the ancestral swords of the thunder bears in his hands. He called them Thunder and Lightening, for they were as mighty as the elements when he wielded them, and as all encompassing.

Quest to Lone Peak

Now, it became common knowledge, amongst those who seek to know such things, that Braglok the wanderer wielded two of these swords of power, and at the same time that he returned from his quest, newly armed, a sorcerer in Vo Beloslakya had taken control of the mountain called Lone Peak, mustered a horrific host of carroghans, fanatics, and all manner of other unnameable monstrosities, and was making ready to march across the east, conquering and destroying as he went. That sorcerer was known as the herald of the end times. And the magician Giriff Soulwrender, div of death, was making ready to move against the Sorcerer of Lone Peak before he could lay the east to waste.

And so an agent of the Soulrender contacted the wanderer, and bade him meet the ancient magician, who held a great council and implored the kardesian warrior for aid. Eager to prove himself worthy of the swords he now bore, Braglok agreed to join in the quest to Lone Peak, where they could catch the wintering sorcerer and do away with him. The party was made up of some of the mightiest heroes of the age, and few survived to return from the mountain, but in the halls below Lone Peak Braglok met and slew the sorcerer, and the herald's horde scattered to the wind without their master to unite them. Braglok was heralded as the greatest amongst the heroes that did battle that day.

Latter Years and Disappearance

After the affair at the Lone Peak, Braglok lived as a hero for a time, venerated as protector and liberator by the people around the mountain, with gifts heaped upon him, and the riches that inevitably come along. And he told his tale again and again nightly to astounded and enchanted people, who came from miles around to hear the titan keep court in his fine home. And Braglok built a great feasting hall, and welcomed travellers to his fireside, and accepted tribute of food and drink from the local peoples. But after a time Braglok became haunted, restless, and vague. His stories petered out in the middle and eventually ceased. His tempers became less predictable and more dark. And eventually, without warning, he abandoned everything, taking only the two swords and the clothes on his back, and resumed his wandering.

For nearly a year the restless wanderer moved from place to place, but he never stayed long, nor achieved much. While a few stories from this time are told in small settlements in the north of the ghanish states, but few can be confirmed, or have the ring of prestige of the wanderer's previous exploits, and most agree on his brooding temper and grim countenance. Braglok was last seen in the harsh winter of 15,266 GY wandering over the border of the Frozenland, and has almost certainly perished since. Many would be heroes have tried to follow his tracks from here, to retrieve his legendary swords, but none have been able to follow him further. He simply faded from the world.