Torash the Judge
Cleric of Reimar (Skald), from Norhelm
Torash is a human male of Norhelm, of typical height for those people (5’8”) and weighing in at close to 2oo lbs. a testament to the great strength found in his small frame. He has light brown hair laced with sun-dyed blonde, which he keeps cropped close to his head, and a thick, long beard that hangs unbraided to the center of his chest. His green eyes are clear, piercing, and thoughtful despite his unreadable expression, which is dominated by a broad forehead, and a noble nose like an eagle’s beak. Yes, an eagle’s beak.
He wears scale mail, and carries a heavy wooden shield, wielding the favored weapon of Reimar Skald into battle, the Warhammer. A silver holy symbol of his deity hangs at all time around his neck, and his ever-present pack is stuffed with various bits of native flora he collects to aid in his efforts of healing. Over all of this Torash wears a cloak emblazoned with an Eagle, symbolizing the powers of judgement granted to him by his deity, Reimar. He has take to painting one half of his face black, and the other white when preparing for battle.
Torash was born and raised the first of three sons to the well-recognized Thane Kiljern of Norhelm, on the border of that land and the Northern Wastes. Growing up an essential part of a noble household in a harsh land, much was expected of Torash as a boy and adolescent. His iron-will was forged in the training grounds of his family stronghold against the fighting men and arms-masters of his father’s retinue…as a young man Torash’s father, was a dedicated and fierce warrior who fought at the side of the legendary Siggard in both of the Ice King’s campaigns against Cadria and the war against Urdnar. This prominent history, along with countless successful skirmishes against the humanoids of the Northern Wastes, forged a sense of the heroic in the mind of not only Torash, but in all the followers of his father, the Thane Kiljern. The location of their land at the border of the ‘Mad North’ compelled their family to embrace the warrior ethic even more broadly, and many other pursuits were deemed a waste. Magic ability and rumor of magic since the Sundering were treated with great skepticism as such ‘talents’ had fallen out of favor in this part of Norhelm, a land of ‘kill-or-be-killed’. Magic was not forbidden among his clan, but prevailing views were of distrust.
As a young man, Torash looked up to the firm hand of his father for martial education and the skills of leadership. The relationship was a difficult one, as Kiljern saw fit to be hardest on his first-born. Despite the great pressure put upon him to succeed, Torash showed great promise in the martial arts and in the initial forays of local politics; training incessantly in the open grounds of his family manor, his unflinching resolve was unnerving to many of his clansmen, as Torash refused to back down from any challenge, from any quarter. His quiet ability to cut directly to the heart of any matter with supreme clarity began the whispers that his growing abilities may not have been entirely his own…
The path to the Thaneship, laid out carefully by both father and son, began to take a strange and irreconcilable turn at the time of Torash’s 14th birthday. Always exceedingly intuitive, Torash’s sensitivity began to develop in ways that were troubling and exciting. Already wise beyond his years, the youth began to experience things which seemed magical to him; clear premonitions regarding the outcome of situations, intuitive bursts and visual interpretations of his environment that made him feel as if he were streaming information from a deeper level of the reality around him. Or at times that his mind was being invaded by some unknown source. Terrified of these changes, they had begun to interfere with his training and rumors were beginning to spread about the young Thane-to-be, Torash withdrew more and more into himself.
The need to let go and allow these powers to develop was growing stronger and stronger until one day they fulminated unexpectedly…Torash awoke one day to find that he could see, to a certain degree, the aura of those around him. He was mortified of this sudden change and vanished into the nearby woods for several days. Upon his return to the compound of his suspicious father, Torash began to explore his new capabilities, discovering that the fields he saw around people related directly to their health. Following this understanding and shift in his perspective, Torash’s curiosity drew him secretly to the compound’s healer, Alec Sjkorheln, a discreet man of great faith and ability who immediately saw the untapped potential in the youth. For weeks Torash trained under him in secret, giving in fully to his new desires and abilities, and consequently dropping off noticeably in his pursuit of the qualities of leadership and martial excellence. A his understanding of the healing arts increased, his desire to be the tireless warrior and leader his father had become grew duller. But his aptitude was even outpacing that of Alec, and the boy found himself able to lay hands on the sick and to heal minor ailments, an skill unseen in that Thane for years.
This shift in attention did not go unnoticed by the clan or the keen eye of Kiljern, who confronted the young man and his teacher Alec at the cottage of the healer. The older Thane was greatly displeased to find that his first-born son was not only dabbling in the healing arts, but pursuing them with great dedication right under his nose…when, in a final appeal to salvage his position, Torash displayed his divine healing ability to his father the move backfired dramatically. Angered by the implications for his royal line at this surfacing of magical ability in his chosen succesor, Kiljern heaped the majority of the blame onto Alec Skorheln, publicly outing him for the practice of magic. Alec soon fell out of favor with the clan as he ahd with the Thane, and took to the open road, admonishing young Torash to remember and use his gifts despite the pressures from his father. Kiljern forbid his son to practice his healing skills and confined him to the corridors and open grounds of the stronghold, doubling his martial training and forcing the boy into displays of violence as a way to ‘purge’ him of his ‘sickness’.
Torn between his duty as a son and leader of his people and his blossoming divinty, Torash was being crushed by quiet anger. Finally, the youth one day snapped and took the life of an unarmed man he had just defeated in a full-combat spar. The rage inside him was quickly doused and replaced by a black guilt that weighed to the depths of his soul. That night, under the cover of a New Moon, Torash gathered his belongings and left the compound, fully determined to follow his own way of life, dissatisfied to the extreme with the shortcomings of his father’s warlike perspective. He headed into the nearby mountains and began to build a new life for himself.
Torash spent the next 6 years living in the wilderness of the Norhelm mountains, studying the healing arts with hermits and druids. Over this time he developed immensely in his skills, becoming a young master of survival in a harsh land; the close-ties he cultivated to the land and his healing arts led to a great blooming of his intuition, and Torash found that in his limited dealings with other humans in the area that he had a terrific instinct for truth in all of his dealings. This clarity and the precise, neutral calculations that followed led locals to nickname Torash ‘The Judge’.
The Judge came full into his own after making the acquaintance of an older man who lived in the mountains nearby to him. The man was secluded cleric of Reimar, known simply as Bright Thomas, who had found himself at odds with Norhelm society and had retired to the woods in order to develop his faith more purely. The cleric saw the anger which had settled deep within Torash and taught him to embrace the emotion and to set it free, teaching the boy the arts of Divine Justice so he might utilize them as an outlet for the frustrations of his youth. Torash gradually transformed his old, driven habits of battle and glory into a tightly channeled understanding of Reimar and of the nature of divinity.
In the worship of Reimar, an under the tutelage of Bright Thomas, he came to see the world in great clarity, not in the clear shades of black and white, but in many hues of grey. He began to see himself as a divine vehicle for the Law of Cause and Effect, recognizing that those who act in darkness shall darkness reap, and he would be the instrument of their deliverance. Likewise, those who spent their life in good deed should be rewarded in like faith, and it was to these people he devoted the bulk of his healing energies. Following a month of solitude and reflection in prayer, Torash was stunned by the appearance of a great eagle which circled around his camp on the final morning of his retreat. Taking this a sign from the divine, Torash saw in this symbol the completion of his transformation into a vehicle of God. Once again he took up weapons….this time the hammer of Reimar…and recaptured the skill of battle which had dulled over the years of relative solitude in the wilderness, growing in his conviction of the justice he was to wield with clarity and power.
Armed with a framework for his great insight and wisdom, Torash was convinced by Bright Thomas that he could best serve his talents and his fellow men by formally enlisting in the Church of Reimar. He left the tutelage of his great teacher and joined the church, no longer in hiding, proud of his progress and sure of his judgment. Word quickly spread to his father the Thane that Torash had resurfaced and was training with great fervor to become a Skald of Reimar. Kildjern made great haste to the church, intent on retrieving his first-born son and returning him to the household he was meant to one day lead, anger and hope burning in his heart. In his haste, Kiljern had left with only a small retinue of men-at-arms, and on nearing the church they were set upon by a large band of humanoids from the Wastes that had been ravaging the local populace for most of that Spring.
Word reached the church of the doom which had befallen the Thane and Torash immediately set out to aid his clansmen, arriving with a party of clerics and local fighters just as the Thane’s men were being overwhelmed. The Judge and his men helped turn the tide, and after a ferocious battle, the thane found himself face-to-face with the strong man who had saved his life and was stunned to find it was his own, lost son. Father and son reunited with great joy in their hearts, and returned to the clan together…soaked in blood and glory, and firm in faith. In his absence, the lineage had been given to Torash’s younger brother, and he had been sealed as the next Thane of the clan. This suited the Judge well, as he had dedicated his life to divine justice in the name of the church and his god Reimar. After a long spell at home reuniting with lost friends and family, Torash began his quest to spread the deeds of good, and to swiftly punish the deserving ones who dared to cross his path…