To my shame, I have never played a half Orc in Dungeons and Dragons 5e before. With this character concept, I hope to rectify that.
Herbert is a half-orc fighter and former soldier who worships Tempus, the God of war. His primary weapon is a longsword, but he carries a hand axe and a light hammer.
Herbert is enormous, almost impossibly large for a medium creature, for despite being a half Orc, he would be huge even for a Goliath. Eight feet tall and three hundred and fifty pounds of solid bone and muscle that, with the slightest movement, rippled beneath his taught, weathered hide. His hair, black as a devil’s heart, is shaved around the sides and slicked across the crown of a mighty skull before being gathered together into a braided wolf’s tail that flows his back. He displays two powerfully prominent tusks with pride, and deep-set emerald eyes, which stare unblinking, like daggers through your soul.
Initial Visual Concepts
With his hammer, Nutcracker, and axe, Skullsplitter, dutifully by his side, Herbert strides with purpose towards the antecedent’s office of the mercenary guild, his hand resting upon the hilt of Matilda – always at the ready. The sword is named after his mother, a rare and formidable woman whose sheer size, strength and ferocity made her an outcast amongst her kind until a small band of roving Orcs attacked her village. Matilda, clad in nought but a bakers apron and wielding a great iron paddle as a weapon, not only proved her worth that day, but she took one of the invaders as her mate, and eleven months later, howling like the North Wind, Herbert was born.
Growing up with a folk hero for a parent was not easy for Herbert, as he struggled to differentiate himself from his mother’s shadow, to say nothing of expectations, the expectations of his parents, of the other people in his village – after all, this was the son of Matilda, the people’s hero, baker of sweet buns and tamer of beasts, surely he would take after her, and when he didn’t, when he made mistakes, or when he accidentally broke the other children’s toys, or the children themselves, people would point to his Orcish nature and call him a monster.
He bore their insults with an indignant pride and sated his desires for revenge upon dreams of slaughter, in which he wore the skin of his tormentors like fine clothes and sat upon a high throne carved from a mountain of their bloodied bones.
Only the hand of Tyr would stay Herbert’s wrath, saving his persecutors from the calling of Gruumsh that permeated those adolescent years.
By the age of eighteen, Herbert had grown tired of a life of discrimination at the hands of small-minded fools, and when his only friend, Martha, announced that she was leaving the village to enlist in the army, Herbert decided to join her. There, amongst his brothers and sisters of the rank and file, Herbert found his true calling and quickly became known as a fair and honourable fighter, always following the rules of engagement and treating his enemies with respect.
During his time in the army, Herbert discovered his faith in Tempus, the God of war, drawn to the deity’s philosophy of honourable combat and the belief that victory was only truly earned through hard work and dedication.
After his tour of duty ended, Herbert dedicated himself to worshipping Tempus and continued living the life of discipline and honour for which he had become known.
He became a wandering fighter and mercenary, travelling the land and seeking battles to test his skills and faith.
It is one such test that brought him here today, but looking around the tiny closet that served as the antecedent’s office, he was less than impressed. Snorting his displeasure in the direction of some fresh-faced adventurers, Herbert shimmied his massive bulk towards the small mouse-like creature who sat behind a desk that took up almost the entire room and took a deep breath before speaking in as quiet a voice as he could muster.
I.. was.. summoned…