The Foreigner

Character sheet

Many years ago, in a small village deep in the interior tundras of the North, it was decided that those born under the new moon were destined to do terrible things. And so, if a child is ever born on the night of a full moon, he is put to death… Except one. One child survived this ritualistic slaughter, because he bore a mark on his left hand, the symbol of an ancient war god, and a powerful one. Fearing the deity's wrath, they spared the child's life.

Of course, the Child of the New Moon was not wholeheartedly welcomed either. He experienced a seperate caste in his village, an untouchable and shunned boy. They could not kill him for fear of Urglah's wrath, but to welcome him was akin to welcoming disaster. And so the boy grew bitter and dejected, alone in the harsh world. Even his parents were not completely supportive of their child. Perhaps it was for the best.

In these tribalistic cultures of the Northern interior, one of few common words between tribes is 'Fe'shrr'. The best available translation would be manhood. Regardless of the tribe in the area, the rite is the same—A boy of the proper age is sent forth into the unforgiving wilderness. He may bring with him one personal item, and the clothes on his back. He is to wait in the wilderness for… something. It is supposedly different for everyone, but it always has two common traits. First, it is some test of the boy's capabilities. Second, it will result in a physical item left behind. That item is to be taken and fashioned into something the boy can wear. Only then will he be a man.

The Child of the New Moon was no different. As all boys, he was sent into the wilderness with his father's old greathammer to grimly stand trial before the elements and the gods themselves. The village hoped that the rite of Fe'shrr would claim him. He would not be the first, after all. Three days of frigid winds and bitter snow assailed him as he wandered.

The loneliness crushed many, but he had been alone his whole life. The colds claimed some, but with patched rags and scraps sewn together, the boy had grown accustomed to the colds. The fear of death quailed all but the hardiest, but the Child of the New Moon feared nothing. He was prepared, even as the shaggy pelt of the massive doglike beast trod into view.

The creature was as high at its arched shoulder as the Child himself, and its mustard and black pelt as thick. On its forehead, it bore a single spot, a crude version of a hammer and fist. It would not appear for long before the flesh of the face pulled back to reveal bleach-white bone and taut sinew. The boy did not flinch. Urglah was testing him, and he would not fail. And so, the battle began.

The pair traded blows, attack after attack, but the child was losing quickly. He was raked and bitten, bruised and battered, and barely had the strength left to lift his father's hammer. But he would not falter. "You are watching." he called to the heavens. "I leave my life in your hands." And with that, he raised his hammer once more for a final attack. The beast did not strike. It lowered itself, and bowed its head as the hammer came down, crushing its spine to powder. it died without a sound or movement.

When the Child of the New Moon returned with the massive carcass of the Krenshar, the village was amazed. Some suspected cheating, but the divinations of the elders proved the fight was real. The boy retired to his home, and would not emerge for three months. When he did, he bore not tunic or amulet, as most boys did. No, his was a helmet, a full-face affair crafted from the skull of a Krenshar that he himself killed. The helmet represented a dog's skull, modified to accommodate the boy's head. The lower jaw was set in such a way that it could be lowered to show his mouth. It was set with two rather enlarged fangs coming down from the upper jaw and two up from the lower jaw. Mounted on the sides were a pair of ram's horns carved carefully from other bones from the creature. Finally, the entire helmet was reinforced with a few bands of pig iron, and the inside lined with the same. The overall effect was fearsome and feral. Indeed, the item was more than sufficient to qualify as the Fe'shrr. Still, something about it called to the deepest and darkest animalistic urges of those that beheld it… And told them to flee, for great and terrible things approached.

The Child of the New Moon had chosen his path as a man. He would not hunt, nor would he be a merchant or a fisher or a mason. Fine professions all, but he had a calling. He would serve the God that saved his life twice. And so, after a long and arduous trek to the nearest temple of his God, he submitted himself to the study of worship and war. The years passed slowly. He was submitted to trial after trial, combat and torture and training. When he passed, he was presented with a harder trial. When he failed, he was beaten to within an inch of his life. But he would not fail Urglah. Not after saving his life twice. It was his to do with as he pleased now. Eventually, he emerged, a man with a purpose. His armour shone, his helmet gleamed, and his hammer weighed heavily with the force of deific fury in the highest degree. It was time to do great things. Be they for good or ill, the world would have to wait in fear and anticipation to find out.

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