Half-orc barbarian. Has anger issues but is beginning to believe his barbarian rage must be used for good. Lived by the code "Only stupid people crave intelligence, smart people crave power"
6 foot 3
An origin story
The Dunkers are proud of their lineage. For centuries they have been the protectors of rulers of the world. Outside the battlefield the Dunkers are respected for their might and loved for their loyalty. When it’s going to get tough, the Dunkers gonna get going. But it’s not all praise that clings to their name: it is their lack of intelligence that made them famous. Other knowledge than that which is needed in battle is considered elitist and a sin to pursue. Most famous is the story of lateDerion Dunker, who fought so hard and long in battle and defeated so many enemies that he forgot to eat and, although his armor was as mint as the morning sun, died of starvation. The Dunkers themselves tell the story with great pride; Nothing else could kill their great great great grandfather, but only he himself…..other people simply considered it the pinnacle of stupidity. The expression Dumb as a Dunker, comes from the latter crowd….
The hard culture and ruthless upbringing that all of the Dunker tribe must endure is known throughout. The tribe is organized around a simple principle; the strongest warrior is the leader and only he determines what is to be done. Loyalty to strength, not loyalty to mind, is the motto. All are equal at birth; it is only through hard work and good training that one can become superior to ones peers. More equal than any system by the mind, the Dunkers would say….
Our ‘hero’ is the oldest of the sons of Daryl Dunker. Daryl is the undisputed king of the Dunkers since he murdered his predecessor 30 years ago in an unprecedented fierce manner. At the end of a battle against the corrupted Half-Elfs of Glurumy, five Dunkers fought of a group of 20 Half-Elfs. In a glorious victory four Dunkers remained and went on a bender. Drunk the King suddenly burst into tears for their fallen brother; a trusted friend of the well-respected warrior. Daryl felt sickened by the portrayal of weakness and challenged the king to a dual. It only took a few swings before the new King had cut his predecessors head clean off. A moment of silence filled the room. Then the Dunkers cheered and praised the ruthlessness of their new King.
As his first deed as King, Daryl decided that he would be invincible if he gained the strength of the second greatest warrior; the former king. In what is claimed to be days on end, Daryl did not leave his chair at the Dusty Inn and ate the body of his defeated adversary….. raw. Without relieving himself he went to his wife and fornicated with her. With all the anger, rage and warrior-strength concentrated in his bodily fluids he impregnated his wife with their first son.
At birth the child was named Dave Dunker and already possessed great potential when barely out of the womb, he, with a single blow, killed two bystanders and a runaway goat. Tragically the mother, drained of all her strength by the newborn son, did not live long after that. The father cared little and was pleased with his warrior-blood manifesting itself so strongly in his kin. Daryl made sure the boy received all the training, and murdering, he could get.
The aging prodigy warrior learned of life the way all Dunkers learn; in battle. If Dunkers had the ability to count above 50, they had known that Dave, reaching adulthood, had slain more foes than any Dunker before him. He cared not for anything other than battle and searched no friendship or comradely amongst other fighters of his tribe. Often he slept in the quiet woods, away from the village, when the tribe celebrated yet another victory led by Dave and his father Daryl.
That night in the forest Dave decided that he was to kill his father and take his place. His father was weak and it was almost shameful that Dave hadn’t seized the throne earlier. Dozing off he heard the sounds of what seemed to be a hundred bows being struck in a rhythmic sequence.
Dave do you,
Know what to do.
This is not you
This is not you
Instinctively the fighter drew his sword and before opening his eyes he’d already severed what felt like 3 small strings from the source of the sounds. His eyes widely open, Dave looked down and saw a Halfling standing a meter in front of him, with a device that had 3 strings attached and 3 strings sadly dangling. The Halfling though was unaffected and continued singing:
Sadly it is,
To witness this,
A warrior so strong
Struck down by a song…
Dave stood still and listened with great care. He felt a strange sensation in his stomach accompanying a single tear slowly freeing itself from his eyes. In panic he averted his gaze and cleaned his face of the shame that had overcome him. In a fluid motion he grabbed his swung and swung at the bard Halfling. To hit…nothing but air… The Halfling had disappeared and was nowhere to be seen. Dave Dunker quickly did the best thinking his limited intelligence could do: he was weak now! “The others will find out, and when they do, they will surely kill me! I have no chance, I have to leave!” The fighter grabbed his stuff and attempted to sprint away when he tripped and fell face down in the moss before him. He looked back and noticed what he tripped over: the device the Halfling bard used! Intrigued by it’s mighty power he put the apparatus in his bag….
After Dave fled his barbarian tribe…
When Dave ran away from his tribe he fled into the forest and lived on his own in an empty cabin he came across. He had some knowledge of nature to survive, but luckily for him the cabin was stacked with food and supplies. The strange thing the Halfling bard left behind intrigued him: it was a lute, with three strings still intact and 3 broken from his reflex sword-attack. He tried to play the instrument for days and tried to connect the sounds of the instrument to the movements of his fingers. Being average in dexterity, Dave could move his fingers to touch the strings in a right fashion. But with his low intelligence he couldn’t create harmonic sounds and chords, which frustrated him and often send him into an uncontrollable barbarian rage towards the nearest tree that, in his mind, laughed at his failures.
One morning Dave woke up by the sound of footsteps in the grass. He quickly grabbed his weapon and stormed out of the cabin. Due to his bad perception skills he often did this in vain, which led to some disappointment when yet another potential combat encounter turned out to be just a hungry squirrel, scattering among the leftovers around the campfire. But not this time! Suddenly Dave stood face to face with a tall robed figure, who was unarmed and standing perfectly still. Although the human wizard had an aura of peace around him, Dave did not perceive it this way. He went into a barbarian rage and stormed at the tall figure. He swung his weapon and expected the impact of steel on flesh any second. But the impact never came and Dave felt a cool calmth coming over his body. His rage cooled down and he saw his arms were stopped mid-air. The wizard was waving his arms in a magical manner and Dave concluded he was under some spell.
That night the barbarian half-orc sat at the fire with the human opposite to him. After the encounter the wizard had calmed Dave down and for a couple of hours and tried to reason with him, whilst holding him under his spell. His words, eloquently chosen as they might be, had little effect on Dave’s anger. He couldn’t make Dave trust his right intentions. Disappointed the human went into the cabin – which was his – and noticed the lute standing in the corner. ‘Don’t you dare to touch it! Let it go!!’ Dave screamed as the wizard walked out carrying the broken instrument. The wizard laughed but realized that it was unusual for any half-orc to care so much for any object, other than his own skin. ’Do you like music?’ the human asked ‘Well then wait till you hear what a real instrument sounds like!’
He put his hand in one of the pockets inside his long robe and took out a golden flute. The barbarian had never seen such a thing. ‘Impressive, said Dave, you have a golden stick, with holes in it. That makes is worth…..pretty worthless’. The wizard was unaffected by the taunt and began to play the flute. In a fluent and rapid sequence of notes the wizard played an impressive musical piece. The barbarian forgot his anger and was moved once again by the sounds of an instrument. He cried, apologized and told his life’s story at the campfire. ‘Teach me to play!’ he concluded ‘or I swear to the Gods I’ll kill you’. The wizard told the barbarian he’d like to see him try and added: ‘Ok I’ll teach you.’
What followed was an unlikely friendship between the two and during many days the human wizard, named Thodius, patiently explained to Dave music theory and fingering techniques .When the learning had little effect the wizard thought of the easiest possible way make Dave learn to play his lute. They worked around the problem of the three broken lute-strings and Thodius thought of a system he called ‘Power Chords’. With only three fingers and three strings needed, Dave learned to play the lute in a way fit perfect for him; simple and very powerful. Dave went on a barbarian rage against the machine and felt like in nirvana. Rock on!
After a couple of months Dave mastered the simple technique but the large amount of food and supplies in the cabin had depleted. Thodius had foreseen this and thought about it a great deal; Dave had not. The wizard told Dave he had an idea; they could perform for money and go town to town to tour. It took some pacifying magic (because of the barbarian rages), and a lot of words, to convince the barbarian of this ‘way to survive’. Eventually the hunger got to him and they hiked towards the nearest town. Thodius visited an Halfling and a dwarf he had met on his travels and convinced them to form a band; ‘ the Raging Few’. Dave did not like the name of the new members, although he had some respect for the Halfling, which looked somewhat like the creature he met in the forest, and whose lute he still played.
The band was a success and quickly the four travelled from town to town to perform. The technically superb playing of the three others and Dave’s energetic power chords made for a unique style, which they called ‘iron’. Dave wanted to name their style ‘metal’, but the dwarf insisted of the term ‘iron’; which ‘remine-ded’ him more of home. Dave did not like the term and never got the play on words ‘remine-ded’ the dwarf found so hilarious. (editorial: it was a reference to the dwarven ‘mines’…) At the peak of their succes Dave had some serious fights with the dwarf and started to drink more and more…Drunk on stage the lute player would mess up the simplest of songs and would start fights with members of the crowd that looked at him funny, or even worse; people that looked like people that looked at him funny. The number of inns at which the Raging Few were welcome diminished rapidly and Thodius was worried. He called for a break and the band temporarily split up. Dave was a wreck and a serious alcoholic by then. Thodius took him to the cabin in the woods were there was no alcohol of bad influences for the half-orc. Dave went through hell while Thodius studied furiously in his spell books, often days on end. One evening the wizard came to Dave and told him he had the solution to their troubles. He found a mystical magical spell that could help the barbarian get a grip on himself and be more resistant against bad influences. He began to mumble words and the barbarian skin began to burn. It turned red and then black and in pain Dave instinctively went into a barbarian rage and he attacked his friend with a magical dagger that the wizard always had in his left pocket. ‘It is my last line of powerful defense’ was all Thodius would ever want to tell about the dagger. As the steel went into the wizards flesh he looked in Dave’s eyes and calmly told him; ‘You stupid barbarian! I was trying to save you…’. Dave awoke from his barbarian rage and saw what he had done. ‘Look at your skin!’ the wizard said. ’I found a spell that gives you the strength of mind you seek’. Dave saw black markings on his arms and upper body, displaying mythical beasts, numbers, and esoteric texts. ‘Those are….Sacred Tattoos’ the wizard said, the strength fading from his body. The barbarian in panic called for help an tried all he could to heal the wound. He was unsuccessful and in a flash the body of the wizard magically dissolved in the ground. The metal of the dagger disappeared with him and only the wooden shaft, still in Dave’s hand, remained. Where the wizard was, dead or alive, Dave did not know; he never understood magic that much.
Dave went nuts; went without food for several days and was on the brink of killing himself on several occasions. On those moments a strange power from the tattoos on his body would keep him from completing the task and help him regain clarity. He realized that his barbarian rage, which always had been his most powerful weapon, was now the weapon that killed his one true friend. Ultimately nothing good can come from evil powers.
Dave gathered his belonging and made a pendant out of the shaft of the dagger, which he carried as a necklace and a reminder of his friend and the barbarian evil inside him that killed him….With his 3-string lute on his back, his weapon in his hand and his tattooed half-orc arms swinging lightly, he walked into the sunset. ‘Maybe intelligence isn’t the answer’ he thought ‘but irrationality isn’t for sure’ ‘I shall make use of the raging evil inside me to do something different for a change, maybe even something good….’
Meanwhile, at the tribe…
It is now twelve years since the mighty Dave Dunker disappeared overnight. The tribe was confused but the King said to go on with daily work, since confusion only affects those that think, and thinking was a sin. One evening, a member of the Dunker tribe returned from a far-away quest and told a story that captivated all: he had seen the return of Dave Dunker… THE DAVE DUNKER. No-one recognized him because his appearance was quite different; he was less muscular, had long hair, strange markings on his arms and scruffy ripped clothes. “When his eyes met mine”, the tribesman told, “he realized i recognized him and ran away. He was too fast and got away… Disappearing in the forest i noticed something on his back….is was a long wooden device with an opening in the middle and three small strings, dangling down…. “ The great Dave was gone. “Let’s hope” he continued, “he doesn’t do anything smart….”