"Whatever you do, NEVER open the barrel."
- Sir Reginald Whiteacre
Early Life Edit
Orinaki never knew his father. He was raised by his mother Gogrug alone, who cared for him and his younger brother Joraki in the Valley of the Giants, hidden away in Atsmah for most of his formative years. Gogrug never told her children how she made sure they had food on the table every evening, but Orinaki long suspected that she had dealings with some of the giants of ill repute down in the valley.
Asking about their father was off limits, as the two sons swiftly learned from their mother's unusually brutal slaps whenever the subject arose. Still, Orinaki couldn't help but wonder who this mysterious man was, and why he had left them.
Even with this secret in the family, the three of them lived a relatively simple and happy life in a small set of caves dug into the side of Mt Hrímþurs, far from human civilization. Each day Gogrug would leave in the afternoon and come back at sunset, leaving Orinaki and Joraki to study from an enormous set of old tomes (whose origin was never explained to the brothers) which covered everything from identifying plants and animals to the history of the Whispering Monks. Orinaki was always partial to the books discussing Magic, the Weave and the primordial forces, and would often stay up well in the the early hours of the morning in pursuit of knowledge.
The Pact Edit
This peaceful existence could not continue forever. On a cold winter night during Orinaki's fourteenth year, his mother came stumbling in well after dusk, beaten, bruised and coughing blood. Collapsing at the edge of the small fire lit in the back room, she managed to let out in a final gasp, "Find...Telinor. Find...find the Skygardens." And so a final sigh of air escaping her lips marked the passing of Gogrug.
The two children, in shock, sat motionless for days. Their mother's body lay on the freezing stone floor, and Orinaki and Joraki watched it without food or water for 3 moons before finally stirring. Orinaki clambered to his feet and half walked, half fell in to the library. An hour later he emerged with a few loose sheets of parchment, covered in strange runes and diagrams. Squatting next to his brother and taking his hand, the young half orc began muttering strange guttural noises under his breath while scratching markings into the ground around Gogrug's body with his knife. As he reached a crescendo he sliced into his arm and let the blood drip onto the carved rock.
Time seemed to slow down around the three, and the whipping wind grew still. Silence gripped the air for a long while. After what seemed like an eternity, Gogrug's fingers twitched, and her eyelids fluttered open. Overcome with excitement, Orinaki let go of his brother's hand and leapt to his feet towards his mother.
Too soon, it turned out.
As the brother's broke contact a white flash erupted in the darkened room. Gogrug sat bolt upright, eyes as white as the snow, and slowly turned her head towards her children. So fixed on his mother's visage was Orinaki, that he didn't hear his brother slump backwards. He didn't see the blood pouring out of Joraki's eyes. Not until Gogrug let out an unnatural, piercing shriek did the would-be necromancer turn to see his brother lying dead on the floor. And even as the horror of what he's done sunk in to his mind, a choking noise rent the air and he turned back to see Gogrug spluttering, a black, smoking liquid seeping from her blue lips. And so it was that Orinaki, in trying to return one life, merely lost another in his failure.
Current Life Edit
Years on, Orinaki still walks the land, trying to find the power to fix what he did wrong all those years ago. The pact that he made that day with a Great Old One still follows him, and the octopus that he carries in a barrel on his back is not only his supernatural watcher waiting to call upon his debt, but a constant reminder of his failure.