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Trial of Fire (Or some other dramatic name)
#1
(( Argh, bad title, but I'm sleepy, so hey. ...Considering that character-wise, Heari is becoming my favorite of my numerous alts, I thought I'd post up his backstory. I've researched the Trolls a bit, and especially the Bloodscalp, but PLEASE, if you spot anything amiss in the plot, etc., let me know! ))

The adolescent troll lay sleeping on the stones that had once been the temples of his ancestors. On the whole, he was fairly unremarkable. He bore the same blue skin and distinctive red hair that gave his tribe, the Bloodscalps, their name, and was of average stature for a jungle troll of his age. Some of the elders remarked on the odd appearance of his orange eyes, which were slightly unsettling, if only because they were absolutely the opposite of mysterious. One could see exactly what the young troll was thinking reflected in those eyes, and it was rarely comforting.

He had just been on his first war raid against the Skullsplitters, in which his job had mainly been to follow his older and more experienced tribe mates closely and watch, and more importantly not get himself killed. He had become rather distracted by trying to hide himself perfectly in a leafy plant, and had almost not noticed the Skullsplitter sneaking up to his location. He had been forced to run almost the whole way back to his tribal home, attracting the attentions of not only more Skullsplitters but a tiger and a few raptors as well. They had all either lost interest or were turned away by the Bloodscalps as he neared home, but he had been left exhausted and shamed by his blunder.

Now, he dreamt. It was still dark and warm, and smelled of home, but there was no one around. He was sitting next to the large communal campfire, listening to the wood crackle. Slowly, the noises became a voice.

You wish to be a hero to your tribe. You wish to eliminate your enemies.

He nodded, still staring into the fire.

Do what I tell you without question and you will gain the power you need.

"Yes,"
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#2
"Heari? Heari'taj!"

The young troll felt himself being shaken roughly, and the odd sensation that he had only just gotten settled in his body. He opened his eyes and found himself staring at one of his uncles, whose brow was furrowed in a rather gruff look of concern. Beyond him, a few other tribe mates stared at Heari as though they were afraid. The rest were rushing around the camp, shouting at each other.

His uncle shook him again, despite the fact that he was obviously awake now. "Did you sneak out?"

Heari thought of the dream, but shook his head. Normally it was expected that the tribe's dreams were shared with the witch doctors, like his uncle. They then became the dreams of the tribe, and were interpreted by the elders. This one, however, felt special and private. He wanted to keep it for himself. And anyway, he didn't feel tired at all, so he couldn't have walked all the way to the other side of the Vale.

An older brother, often the head of hunting parties, approached. "We heard the roar from here, but it was fire that killed them. Seven Skullsplitters." He spat the name, an offense to his being. "We found three of these nearby, and some burned cloth."
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#3
The airship had no one else on it, save for the goblin pilot, who Heari avoided resolutely. He instead had inched his way from the center of the ship toward the edge, just close enough so he could see the changing landscape below without being certain he was going to plummet to his death. Land gave way to sea, which quickly lost its appeal, and Heari finally dug the heat source from under his belt and marveled at it. It was the stone from his dream, glowing like a solidified ember. He knew it was unbearably hot to the touch, but it only seemed pleasantly warm in his palm. He held it to his ear and smiled at the sound of the crackling campfire at home. He stared at it until there was land under the zeppelin again, then carefully tucked it back under his belt.

The zeppelin glided to a stop next to a crowded platform, and Heari, not knowing what else to do, cautiously stepped off the flying machine. Around him, orcs, tauren, forsaken, and other trolls stared briefly, and then continued their conversations in alien tongues. He understood most of the conversation the two Darkspear women were having near him (complaining about the cost of a particular type of food, from the sound of it), and a little of the conversation between a tauren bull and an orc priestess (he got as far as “how are you?â€
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#4
The orc led him far away from the towering walls, to another fortified area she explained was used to train the next generation of heroes for the Horde. He trained there diligently, but rarely spoke to anyone outside of the rouge trainer, whom the orc woman had introduced him to. Soon he was encouraged to go out and explore the rest of the area, starting with the village of Sen’jin. He avoided this area entirely, as it was infested with Darkspear. Instead, he traveled further north to Razor Hill, where his bundles caught the eye of a large orc with an industrious look in his eyes.

Heari quickly learned that the orcs called his bundles “dynamiteâ€
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#5
(( This one makes refrence to one of Lurie's characters, Legn, and is where the story currently ends. ))

The zeppelin was just preparing to leave when Heari stepped on. This time, it was crowded with strangers. They pressed in closely at first, but Heari was no longer afraid of them. He was a hero of the Bloodscalp now. He fixed his grin on those closest to him and played with a stick of dynamite, the symbol of his heroism. Soon, he had nearly the entire top deck of the zeppelin to himself.

He had expected the long trip over the sea, but when they finally reached land again, Heari was confused. This was not the lush jungle of his tribe. It was dark and musty-smelling, and had the sensation of being... unclean. He was crowded off the zeppelin and onto the platform, then down the stairs, where he nearly crashed into what appeared to be a corpse in very serious armor. Heari had never seen a member of Lady Sylvanus’ army up close, as they were wholly inedible, but he was familiar with what a long-dead human looked like. He wasn’t entirely certain that they shouldn’t be able to walk and talk, his tribe’s lore was a bit sketchy on this, but he was quite certain their eyes shouldn’t glow.

The Deathguard looked over the scruffy troll, unimpressed. After carefully sizing Heari up, he lifted a bony arm and pointed over the hill. “Brill is that way,â€
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#6
(( Gosh, I hope this makes a lick of sense... let me know if it doesn't. ))

Part 2

Several months later...


Heari awoke to two conflicting sensations: first was the slow, gentle rocking of a hammock brought on by his own waking movements and a warm jungle breeze. The other was the sensation that someone had taken a mining pick to the right side of his head. He rolled onto his side carefully to take in his surroundings, and the pain intensified, causing white spots in his vision. He rolled onto his back and stared upward until the mental fireworks died away. He identified that he was inside, more or less, by the stone wall next to him and the ceiling that spiraled upward. It smelled of the jungle, ocean, and orcs. He gave himself a nod. Grom’gol, then. He muzzily remembered stumbling into the inn at the bottom of the zepplin tower late last night, or possibly earlier that morning.

The memory found itself attached to several others, and Heari reached up to touch the place where his right ear should have been. Yes, it was definitely gone, and was inexplicably covered with a linen bandage. He wondered vaguely who had put it there. Perhaps another guest at the inn, or the innkeeper himself. He didn’t look like the sort of orc who would put up with people bleeding all over his floor. Heari felt oddly detached from the situation. He knew he should be furious that someone had dared come near him, or frightened from his ordeal, or heartbroken. What he actually felt was hungry, probably from the initial attempts at healing himself. Then it hit him. He had been disgraced, and a part of his body removed. No living flesh until it regrew, that was the price. He groaned and sat up, ignoring the throbbing pain in his head and digging though his pack before locating a few scraps of jerky to chew on while he tried to think.

That was it, then. Gan’zulah had made it undeniably clear that Heari was no longer welcome within his own tribe. He found it hard to think badly of the Bloodscalp’s leader, even as such. Gan’zulah had called off his guards before Heari had been beaten completely into the ground, dragged him off to the side by his now-absent ear, and sat him down to explain. Heari was bad for the tribe. Trouble. He made the spirits that protected the Bloodscalp very upset. And on top of that, he wasn’t very bright. He had barely made it away alive from the tribe the first time he had attempted to return, and it should have settled into his thick skull then that this wasn’t open to negotiation. At this point, Gan’zulah had thumped Heari on the head by way of illustration. Then, while Heari was still reeling, his former tribal leader drew one of his axes, grabbed his ear again, then lopped it off and tossed it casually to one of his youngest sons, who happily began gnawing away at it.

And Heari had run. He still wasn’t entirely sure how he made it back to the orc encampment, but now that he was searching through his packs, he could see he was missing quite a few explosives. He heaved a sigh. He was no longer of two tribes...
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